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Epiphone Valve Jr Head & Trigger Cab

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(@crank-n-jam)
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My main amp for the last several years has been a Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue. Wonderful, wonderful amp, but after the last few jams I realized it was just too much amp for me. I was having a hard time keeping it low enough to stay at studio levels (ie bedroom levels) and decided it was time to get a lower watt amp. So I sold it back to the guy I bought it from and started looking for a replacement. I looked at a ton of amps, narrowed it down to a few choices, then went out and played them. I ended up with the Epiphone Valve Jr head and Epiphone Trigger Cab (4x12). It sounds killer!!!

The irony is that this new combo still gets LOUD! BUT, I'm getting that lovely, lovely tube distortion at levels that aren't causing blood to pour out of my ears. The 4x12 wasn't my first choice but once I heard the bottom end, I had to have it. Plus I got it for only a little more than the 1x12 costs and since I won't be lugging it around, I was sold.

Anyway, my point to this long winded post is that if you are looking for a cheap, all tube combo the Jr and Trigger cab sound wonderful together!

Jason

"Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution"


   
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(@dan-t)
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Welcome to the Epi Valve JR club! 8) I love mine too, although mine is going through a 1x12 Fender speaker cab I made by tearing up a broken combo amp. I use an Arion Tubulator overdrive on mine and keep the VJR at about 9 0'colck. I also made a homeade attenuator ala Smokindog that works great if you want to crank it! 8)

Dan

"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge


   
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(@crank-n-jam)
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Thank you Sir!

I'm still a little amazed at just how good this thing sounds. I tried some much more expensive amps and kept coming back to this thing. The others sounded great too, but I couldn't get over the price difference.

I'm curious about the Smokindog attenuator. Is there a thread?

Jason

"Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution"


   
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(@ricochet)
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Yeah, a VJ through a 4x12 doesn't fit my definition of bedroom volume, but it's a great sounding combination!

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@crank-n-jam)
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Yeah, a VJ through a 4x12 doesn't fit my definition of bedroom volume, but it's a great sounding combination!

Yeah, I got carried away by the tone. I can still get a good overdriven tone without it being TOO loud though, so I'm happy. The DRRI wouldn't go much past 2.5 before it hurt my ears (in my small studio).

Jason

"Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution"


   
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(@ricochet)
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Might consider attenuation if the overdriven sound's what you need. Nice thing about a 5W amp is that it's cheap to build an attenuater. I think maybe it's smokindog who came up with the wall dimmer attenuator from Radio Shack for the VJ. Something like $10 and works great. If you can't find it in the archives here (or someone doesn't pipe up with a link to it shortly), look for it over on: http://valvejunior.com/

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@hyperborea)
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The DRRI wouldn't go much past 2.5 before it hurt my ears (in my small studio).

I've heard though I don't know for sure (I haven't personally looked) that Fender's newer amps all use linear pots for the volume rather than an audio (log) taper pot. This means that you'll get most of your volume in the early portion of the volume control. I think they do this to make people buying the amp think it's really, really loud because if it's this loud at 2.5 think how loud it will be at 10. However, with a linear taper pot it won't actually be much louder at 10 - certainly not 4 times louder. If that's the case then putting in an audio pot would give you more control.

I've also got a Valve Jr. Head and the matching 1x12 cab. I bought mine used (very, very lightly) from Craig's list for about as much as the combo goes for new - great deal. It's been a great little practice amp. I use it though my Weber attenuator that I originally bought for my Traynor YGM-3 that also gets used at home (a different sound than the Valve Jr.).

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


   
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(@dan-t)
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I'm curious about the Smokindog attenuator. Is there a thread?

Jason,

Looks like the valve junior site is gone, and I can't find the thread on here. Very easy to make though. You'll need:

2 1/4" Mono Phone Jacks (Radio Shack # 274-275)

In-Wall Mono Volume Control (Radio Shack # 40-993)

Some speaker wire - I used 16 Guage (Radio Shack #278-1267)

Some solder & iron, or whatever you want to use to connect the speaker wire to the phone jacks and volume control. I think I just stripped the plastic off the wire ends, twirled it around the contacts, and put electrical tape on them. :oops: Remember to connect + to + & - to-

A project box to put it in ( I used Radio Shack # 270-1805, although 2" deep isn't quite enough, so I used spacers & electrical tape to seal it up. If you can find a 3" deep one it would be perfect.) The plastic project boxes are easy to cut. I cut out the top enough to drop the volume control into, and made holes on each end to install the phone jacks.

anothet short speaker cable to connect to your speaker cab.

I put mine together in a couple of hours with limited tools, and it works like a charm.

Hope that helps.

Dan

"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge


   
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(@crank-n-jam)
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Sweet! Thanks for the info Dan.

Hyper, you may be right. Just a slight twitch to the knob and it was WAY louder. Not as much later on the dial. That would make sense.

Been playing on this sweet amp this evening. My ears are ringing right now 'cause I was playing a little louder than I should (the wife is out). :twisted:

Jason

"Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution"


   
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(@sin-city-sid)
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I doubt that wall switch is going to load that system correctly. Try https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/micromass.htm


   
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(@dan-t)
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I doubt that wall switch is going to load that system correctly. Try https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/micromass.htm

Well, it's worked fine for me for over a year. I know of a couple of other members here that have buit & used it with their Epi Valve Jr's as well.

Dan

"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge


   
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(@sin-city-sid)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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I doubt that wall switch is going to load that system correctly. Try https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/micromass.htm

Well, it's worked fine for me for over a year. I know of a couple of other members here that have buit & used it with their Epi Valve Jr's as well.

Dan
Interesting, I figured that thing would get real hot. I didn't see any specs on it that pertained to its load carring capacity.

I was acutally thinking about buying the EP and that attenuator just for its ability to adjust tone and speaker load but the tone wasn't for me.


   
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(@hyperborea)
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Interesting, I figured that thing would get real hot. I didn't see any specs on it that pertained to its load carring capacity.

The specs claim that it handles 25W with a max of 50W. The 5W from the Valve Junior shouldn't be stressing it at all.

Since it's just resistive and not inductive like a speaker it will colour the tone some. That's where something like the Weber Micromass which uses a speaker motor (speaker without a cone) would possibly be a plus (depending on how you like the tone). You might be able to slip a bypass cap into the RadioShack volume control circuit to stop the high frequencies being rolled off more - maybe make the capacitor switchable.

Edit - Wait a minute. As I looked at the spec a little more closely the picture seems to show a transformer of some type. That might help with the tone not being rolled off. Can anybody with one of these confirm that there is a transformer in there? Pretty schweet idea.

Instead of a project box I bet you could use one of those plastic electrical boxes for in wall switches to hold this. You can find those at any home remodeling store (Loews, Home Depot, etc). It will be a perfect fit and you would be able to easily drill holes for the jacks.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


   
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(@dan-t)
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Edit - Wait a minute. As I looked at the spec a little more closely the picture seems to show a transformer of some type. That might help with the tone not being rolled off. Can anybody with one of these confirm that there is a transformer in there?

Yes, it does have a transformer. It doesn't color the tone at all from what I can hear, and doesn't get hot either.

Dan

"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge


   
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(@crank-n-jam)
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Cool stuff guys! Thanks for the info. Attenuators are expensive, so I'm a bit confused as to why now. I mean, if you can build your own for very little, why do most cost $300 or more?

Jason

"Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution"


   
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