British sounding alternative to Fender Blues Jr

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stavrosestavrose Frets: 0
Hi All!

I've had a fender blues junior for a couple of years now and I've never really loved it for some reason.  I changed the speaker to a cannabis rex and this definitely improved the tone - which was a bit ice-picky with the original speaker.  However, I just don't love the amp and the tone.  It doesn't excite me when i play with single coil or humbuckers.

So, I'm thinking of changing it to a more british sounding amp of a similar size and price range, but I can't seem to find anything that fits the description which is reviewed highly.  

Does anyone have any thoughts or recommendations on this?  I'd even consider changing the speaker out again but no idea what what to look for.

Many thanks,
Stavs


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  • mr-macmr-mac Frets: 151
    Obviously vox and Laney are in with a shout.

    don't discount a 90's crate vintage Club as they are cheap.  Effectively has a fender clean preamp, Marshall dirt preamp and almost an AC30 power amp.  

    Be worth getting a shop with good new and s/h stock and giving some amps a try
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30909
    Laney Cub 12.

    Similar power, size and quality, but half the price.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • cbilly22cbilly22 Frets: 286
    I'd also suggest the little Iommi signature 15 watter that Laney did. Much more versatile than you would think.
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  • musteatbrainmusteatbrain Frets: 475
    You may also like one of the Fuchs Casino range if you can find one 2nd hand. Very loud for their wattage and not great in the house, but mine was an excellent amp when I had one.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 8883
    Laney Cub or VC15

    Both excellent and somehow bafflingly cheap
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30909
    Laney Cub or VC15

    Both excellent and somehow bafflingly cheap
    I think it's more that the Blues Junior is bafflingly expensive. That becomes obvious when you compare what you get for your money with a Blues Jr and a Hotrod Deluxe at only just over a third more.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BebopperBebopper Frets: 10
    Fender Bassbreaker 15.
    London Jazz Guitar Society: www.meetup.com/londonjazzguitarsociety
    LJGS on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LDNJazzGuitar
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  • thermionicthermionic Frets: 4563
    Vox AC15 or AC10 worth a try.
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  • chromatunachromatuna Frets: 77
    edited June 12
    Another shout for the Laney VC15 here, my only gripe with it is the 10" speaker and the cab that is too small for a 12", however that gives you a great little grab and go amp, add a 12" cab for when you need a bigger sound and you are away. Can be had used for not a lot at all. The earlier UK made ones (one top vent) had spring reverb the later Far East ones (two top vents) a digital reverb. Really nice cleans and Laney style British dirt.
    Just because you can play lots of notes very quickly doesn't mean that you should
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  • Modulus_AmpsModulus_Amps Frets: 427
    edited June 12
    Get a vintage WEM Dominator MK bass combo with a 15" speaker. I have one here for selling, but it actually sounds really good, still Fendery tones
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  • timbuk02timbuk02 Frets: 31
    edited June 12
    +1 for the Laney VC15.  Lovely cleans, pedal friendly.  Complete bargain second hand and I found their repair department really helpful and quick to respond with advice if there is a glitch. 

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  • VinylfanVinylfan Frets: 7
    timbuk02 said:
    +1 for the Laney VC15.  Lovely cleans, pedal friendly.  Complete bargain second hand and I found their repair department really helpful and quick to respond with advice if there is a glitch. 

    Nice demo of the range of sounds you can get out of it.  Sounds like a good competitor to the Fender Blues Jr.
    How do they compare to the JetCity range as they seem to be liked around here?
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  • 57Deluxe57Deluxe Frets: 5408
    Session BluesBaby




    <Vintage BOSS Upgrades>
    __________________________________
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  • valevale Frets: 664
    edited June 13
    I've got a Laney LC which is similar to the Laney VC but with more bottom & mids & more grunt generally. VC range has more of a mid scoop (like the Vox or Orange sound, by way of comparison).

    Both models were marketed simultaneously as the VC range being the Vox-y twist on the characteristic Laney brit rock tone & the LC range being the Marshall twist on the Laney sound.
    So dependent on what you intend to do with it, that may be worth factoring into your thinking re the small to medium Laneys.

    Both varieties are distinctly Laneys in their own right, so if you really want a Vox or Marshall that is what you need (these are not clones), but if you like the classic dark & gritty brit rock Laney vibe (Laney's are my fav amps) these are Laney's nods towards both the Vox & Marshall voicing without selling out that essential Laney character.

    anyway, here's one like mine Laney LC30II with a Reverend that really makes it shine.



    & here's a head to head LC & VC so you can decide if either are for you. happy hunting.


    what she said.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 2805
    Pre-owned Cornell Vintage Brown 10.
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30909
    vale said:
    I've got a Laney LC which is similar to the Laney VC but with more bottom & mids & more grunt generally. VC range has more of a mid scoop (like the Vox or Orange sound, by way of comparison).

    Both models were marketed simultaneously as the VC range being the Vox-y twist on the characteristic Laney brit rock tone & the LC range being the Marshall twist on the Laney sound.
    So dependent on what you intend to do with it, that may be worth factoring into your thinking re the small to medium Laneys.

    Both varieties are distinctly Laneys in their own right, so if you really want a Vox or Marshall that is what you need (these are not clones), but if you like the classic dark & gritty brit rock Laney vibe (Laney's are my fav amps) these are Laney's nods towards both the Vox & Marshall voicing without selling out that essential Laney character.

    anyway, here's one like mine Laney LC30II with a Reverend that really makes it shine.
    All true, but I would avoid the LC15 - which is the nearest in size and power to the Blues Junior of the LC series - it's poorly built and suffers from reliability issues especially in the longer term. (And in my opinion doesn't sound that good either.)

    The VC15, Cub 12, LC30 - or any of the other models in fact - are much better than the LC15.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • thomasw88thomasw88 Frets: 714
    I'd actually look at a H&K 20th or 25th anniversary amp.  Lovely sounding thing and usually not expensive if you can find one.  

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  • ThePrettyDamnedThePrettyDamned Frets: 3806
    Vc15! 
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  • valevale Frets: 664
    edited June 13
    will any of these 15w amps be enough (without PA support) to drown out a boisterous drummer if necessary? rehearsal room & typical pub backroom venue?

    i've always held onto a general rule of thumb that (for guitars) valve 20w is bare minimum to keep up & 30w advisable in order to win every argument. & maybe bass up to 50w in same context.
    what she said.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30909
    vale said:
    will any of these 15w amps be enough (without PA support) to drown out a boisterous drummer if necessary? rehearsal room & typical pub backroom venue?
    No. 15W can be just enough, but you'll need an efficient cabinet, probably at least a 2x12" - at least if you want anything other than a fully overdriven sound.

    vale said:

    i've always held onto a general rule of thumb that (for guitars) valve 20w is bare minimum to keep up & 30w advisable in order to win every argument. & maybe bass up to 50w in same context.
    Speaker efficiency is at least as important as amp power. A 15W amp through a 2x12" with 100dB speakers will be about the same volume as a 50W amp with a single 97dB speaker... really. (Doubling the amp power is equivalent to a 3dB increase, doubling the number of speakers will give you a 1-2dB increase.)

    For bass, anything under 100W is essentially a practice amp, although some 50-70W valve bass heads can be enough, also with an efficient cab.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • VinylfanVinylfan Frets: 7
    So what would a Laney VC15 go for used? Am i right in thinking that the earlier ones had a spring reverb and the later ones a digital one?
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30909
    Vinylfan said:

    Am i right in thinking that the earlier ones had a spring reverb and the later ones a digital one?
    Yes, and the digital is better, contrary to what you would expect from popular wisdom...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • steamabacussteamabacus Frets: 907
    Vinylfan said:
    So what would a Laney VC15 go for used? Am i right in thinking that the earlier ones had a spring reverb and the later ones a digital one?
    Be aware though that the change to spring reverb came AFTER the livery re-vamp. My VC15 is of the later livery (better looking than the original in my opinion) but it still has the spring reverb. As far as I'm aware, it's identical to the earlier version other than the looks.

    Also, the very first ones had an HH speaker that was universally slated. That then changed to a better Jenson (this was all before the livery change).
                                                                                                                                                   My 'Guitar diaries' on BandCamp
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 15382
    The Blackstar Artist 15 is a similar price to a new Blues Junior.


    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • teradaterada Frets: 496
    ICBM said:
    Laney Cub or VC15

    Both excellent and somehow bafflingly cheap
    I think it's more that the Blues Junior is bafflingly expensive. That becomes obvious when you compare what you get for your money with a Blues Jr and a Hotrod Deluxe at only just over a third more.

    Absolutely, I AB'd these a couple of weeks ago and was shocked at just how shoddy the blues junior felt in comparison.

    It comes down to little indicators of quality too, like the feet of the BJ being hard plastic that clack around on the floor vs the soft rubber on the HRD which nicely dampened the amp as you set it down.

    They are way overpriced for what they are.
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  • valevale Frets: 664
    edited June 14
    Vinylfan said:
    So what would a Laney VC15 go for used? Am i right in thinking that the earlier ones had a spring reverb and the later ones a digital one?
    Be aware though that the change to spring reverb came AFTER the livery re-vamp. My VC15 is of the later livery (better looking than the original in my opinion) but it still has the spring reverb. As far as I'm aware, it's identical to the earlier version other than the looks.

    Also, the very first ones had an HH speaker that was universally slated. That then changed to a better Jenson (this was all before the livery change).
    if you are committed to the 15w VC15 then the second gen with the Jenson definitely better than the HH Invader. As for reverb options, that's down to your taste & intentions.

    if you are open to the 30w VC30II I'm pretty sure they upgraded from average HH to very decent Celestions.
    My LC30II is a 12" Celestion Seventy 80 (very sweet) so if the VC30II upgraded to the same, that's a most excellent 'free upgrade' to factor in to your thinking.

    As for reverb, my LC30II has an Accutronics spring & i would imagine the VC30II to be the same. So if you want digital rather than spring then the VC15 may be the way to go.
    what she said.
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  • VinylfanVinylfan Frets: 7
    Ok for someone who's relatively new to this - what's the practical difference - in usage and sound for example - between spring and digital reverb?
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 6822
    Vinylfan said:
    Ok for someone who's relatively new to this - what's the practical difference - in usage and sound for example - between spring and digital reverb?
    If you have spring reverb and jump up and down a bit by the amp you can make it go boing.
    Otherwise depends on the quality/ implementation of the spring reverb and the quality of the digital reverb. 
    My old Laney has a soso spring reverb and my new Laney has a soso digital reverb. I don't use reverb much but in either case I'd use a good pedal instead. 
    However, digital ( especially at the budget end) struggles to emulate a really good spring reverb and so that's a feature valued in certain amps. 
    Because we are used to people using a range of reverb types now and not just spring the sound in your head may well be something else anyway. 

    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30909
    Vinylfan said:
    Ok for someone who's relatively new to this - what's the practical difference - in usage and sound for example - between spring and digital reverb?
    The big practical difference with these is that the spring reverbs are considerably less reliable than the digital, and more prone to picking up noise.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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