Saturday, August 6, 2016

Fender Blues Jr.: New Mod Day

I posted about a blog a couple of months ago about how I traded for my Fender Blues Jr. amp.  Here is the original post:

I bought it used because I knew I was going to ruin the warranty with mods.  First, I changed out the speaker, and then changed the tubes. 

But I decided to go all the way for these kind of mods.  The kind that would involve me doing this:

Not these type of mods:

Let me start at the beginning.  Fender had a great idea for the Fender Blues Jr.  To produce a small amp for coffee shops that has a 12 inch speaker and reverb.  Not to mention a full EQ section.  So it works well for what myself and a lot of others would do live situations. 

The problem was/is, is that, Fender made a muddy amp, but instead of fixing it, they put in a tinny speaker to counterbalance it.  So when I put in my WGS speaker, it sounded muffled.  That's when I found this guy on the internet:

It seems that this tech knows what he's doing, and has a modification kit on to help improve the sound of the Fender Blues Jr.  For the long explanation take a peek at this:

So, on a day I knew I had a lot of time to work on the amp, I set aside four hours to work on it.  I ended up needing five.  Here's what I was looking at:

I don't want to get overly technical, so I won't.  I removed parts from the circuit board, and put other parts in their place.  The reason I did this was so that the sound would come out more balanced and clear. 

I was over the top careful, and kept a cool head about everything I was doing.  Then, the moment of truth.  I flipped the switch on, and it worked.  I couldn't believe it.  The first time I flipped it on after doing all those mods, it worked. 

The hardest part was actually taking the circuit board out, and putting it back in.  Once I had the board removed, I knew what to do.  Actually taking out the parts was harder than putting in the new ones.  Usually it's the other way around.

So here was my favorite part of the build.  Putting the back cover on after I had worked on it for five hours.

The other mod I performed that I absolutely recommend for the Blues Jr. is the three way switch mod.  It adds a stand-by switch in-between the on and off switch.  Every tube amp should have one, and why the Blues Jr. doesn't have one is a really good question.  I'd like to ask Fender what they were thinking.

I have to say.  I love the sound.  It is clear and full without being muddy.  The EQ is much more balanced.  The sound can vary from acoustic to wooly blues.  I really dig it. 

The funny part is that I have been so busy lately, I haven't even had much time to play any instrument of mine.  But I'm going to have some fun with this once I get a chance.  Heck, in all the time I've owned this amp I've never even turned it up loud.  I may have to take it outside, and turn it up.  That way, I don't bother the other people in the house.  I have a good feeling about this.  I really do.

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