Juketone Royal Blood 10

Upon hearing about the new custom tweed reissues from Fender, I was gassing for something lightweight and simple that I could easily carry on and off public transport going to and from gigs and rehearsals in London. At £1035, (~$1760 AUD) the Fender offering had me sighing heavily. I love good sounding equipment, but no way could I justify spending that much on fairly limited amplifier. My woes were solved upon opening the December 2016 issue of Guitarist magazine to find a fairly generous review of the ‘True Blood’ offering from Juketone (a tweed champ clone). After  doing some research and listening to the few available demos online of Juketone amps, I took a punt on the ‘Royal Blood’ (a 5f2a / Tweed Princeton clone with a 10” Celestion). At £305 delivered (~$520 AUD / ~$370 USD), I felt relatively safe.

Now for some observations:

  • The tweed covering feels very nice and seems to be of high quality material

  • Mains cord is non-detachable and fairly short (~4 ft)

  • Noise floor is very low even with the volume at maximum

  • Good amount of volume on tap for a 5w amp into a single 30w, 10” speaker. (ie cranked is well over what most people would consider ‘bedroom level’)

  • Tone control is very useable throughout the range - I keep it around 4 for single coils and would have it closer to 10 for humbuckers.

  • Corner protectors are ugly but adequately perform the task of protecting whilst simultaneously covering the not-quite-fender tweed job

  • Handle seems to be made of a strong composite leather - not the shitty rubber fender handles that comes stock on Fender Hot Rod’s and Bassmans

  • No foil insulation inside back panel, though doesn't seem to be required as noise is minimal

Weight: ~10kg

Dimensions: 37cm wide x 37.5cm tall (not including feet and handle) x 23.5cm deep

Price:  £305 delivered (~$520 AUD / ~$370 USD)

Worth noting: The Fender custom tweed champ is £1035 (~$1760 AUD), and the Victoria 518 is £1410 (~$2400 AUD).

Speaker is a Celestion Tube 10 - nice papery sound to match the 50s tweed tone but stays firm when pushed. Seems very nicely matched to the amp. The lows are very very satisfying with the amp - not boomy and not thin either.

The missus even said “wow, it’s such an ‘organic’ sound!” - An ironic choice of words that could only hold value coming from a non musician such as herself.

Tubes: Ruby 12AX7, Ruby 6V6, unknown brand 6Z4 rectifier, according to Juketone: “a rarity amongst amplifiers of this price and plays a large part in identifying a strong vintage tone.” It seems that Chinese 6Z4’s are abundant on eBay, thus I am not overly worried if this ‘rare’ one kicks it.

In many ways the build quality is better than my ‘59 Bassman LTD, this before even considering that the Royal Blood is handwired PTP. Overall, I am incredibly impressed with the tone and build quality of this amp at this price point. As a point of reference, my main amp is a 100w Marshall super lead (reissue, non-HW) and a Fender '59 Bassman LTD. Previously a DRRI as well.

When it’s time to for me to move back to Australia in July, I’m already worried I’ll be too attached to sell it!

Clips to come.




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