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Made an Amp Decision

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KCFenderFan
(@kcfenderfan)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Topic starter  

I finally decided on the Blues Jr NOS. With that, I do have a question and I am pretty sure that it's “user”related. I am having trouble finding a decent volume level without getting a fair amount of humming and white noise. My wife even asked me why it was hissing. Can anyone with a similar amp suggest some test settings that they know don't cause noise issues on their amps?

Thanks,
Jim


   
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quarterfront
(@quarterfront)
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Does it do this with the guitar unplugged or only with the guitar plugged in?


   
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Wes Inman
(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Hmmm...

My Blues Jr is not overly noisey unless I really crank it up very loud. All tube amps make a little hiss, but nothing really distracting.

Single coil pickups can make some hum, have your tried different pickup positions? Does that make a difference?

Using high gain distortion pedals can make a lot of noise, are you using pedals like this?

Have you tried other outlets in your home? Sometimes you can get on the same circuit as an air conditioner or refridgerator, even your TV and get noise. Flourescent lights make lots of noise. Try different outlets and see if the noise changes. Try unplugging appliances and see if the noise goes away. This is very common.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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KCFenderFan
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Quarterfront , I had only tried it with the guitar plugged in. When I unplugged the guitar, it was really bad at the settings below.
Wes, while the site was down, I had a chance to do some experimenting with my guitar and amp. I started with the tone knobs at 12, the master and volume knobs at 6, reverb at 1 (or off). With my MIM HSS Strat in the bridge (humbucker) position with no volume, there was a faint hiss from the amp. No big deal. As I rolled the volume up, once it got to 4 on the guitar, the hiss became quite loud. Anything after that was “unacceptable” to me. I know tube amps are going to be somewhat noisy, but I am not sure this is normal. If so, then maybe tube amps aren't for me. I read on some other sites to change tubes, etc. If I just spent this much on an amp, I am not going to spend more to make it tolerable. Am I wrong here?
I do not own any pedals, so that isn't an issue. I did try other outlets in the room. There are no fluorescent lights or any appliances in the room. It's a spare bedroom and doesn't even have a PC or radio in it yet.
Another thing for me to think about, is that a co-worker and his friends are thinking about starting a band just for fun. Is my 15 watt BJr going to be able to hang with a drummer, another guitar and bass? I have no idea what equipment they have, or will be getting but I can almost bet a PA isn't in the initial plan. So the chance of me getting to mike my amp is slim to none. (Still can't help but wonder if I should have gone with more watts. :? )

Thanks in advance,
Jim


   
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jwmartin
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kc,

When I get home tonight, I'll try your settings and see if mine hums. I get some hiss in mine, but it's usually coming from my guitar, especially w/ single coil. I get a massive amount of hiss when I use my Boss EQ pedal, I basically can't use it at all w/ the Blues Jr.

Check this link out and you'll find some pretty nice settings for your amp. There's a link somewhere one there to download the Excel file. Zoteman's Blues Junior Settings I tried the "Hard Edged Blues" setting out the other night and love it. Just ignore the Master volume setting on the page and use whatever your comfort level is.

Trust me, your Blues Jr. will hang. Unless they roll up w/ some 100 watt Marshall stacks, you'll be just fine. My son plays drums and the first time we set up, I figured I'd have to really crank it. I had to "crank" it all the way to 3.5 (master volume) and he and I both could hear it. I'm scared to see what 12 would do.

Bass player for Undercover


   
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Canrock
(@canrock)
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So the chance of me getting to mike my amp is slim to none. (Still can't help but wonder if I should have gone with more watts. )

You could hook up an 8 Ohm speaker cabinet to the BJr. The interanal speaker uses a 1/4" jack.


   
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rparker
(@rparker)
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Sorry to hear you're having some hissing problems, Jim. I don't know what to tell you on that. I do get a little bit with my Blues Deluxe, but we're talking nothing to worry me about. I've only had it up to 2 recently, so take that for what it's worth.

As far as power goes, I'll just say that the sole reason for the Blues Deluxe was the tone. I know without a doubt that I have too much power. If you are going to want to saturate the tubes, as they say, this thing will blow windows out. I knew that heading in and ended up getting some pedals. Many others here have enjoyed some really good tones without them on the Blues Jr. One other thing. If you find that it is not enough, you still have a top of the line practice amp. You could still find a used Blues Deluxe or Hot Rod Deluxe or whatever for the big halls.

Good luck with the hiss. Hope everything turns out well.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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KCFenderFan
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Topic starter  

Thanks jwmartin and canrock! jw, I will be interested to hear if your amp acts the same as mine. canrock, yeah I have thought that if it came down to it, I could add an external cabinet.

Thanks for the encouraging words, Roy. My thinking is that this might be the one good chance I have to get the amp I want/need and I would hate to think I have squandered that chance. I hope to get to GC tomorrow and see if they received any more BDRIs. I would really like the chance to play it side by side with my Blues Jr. When I bought it, they didn't have a BDRI in the store, but they had a really nice Hot Rod Deluxe with a brown tooled Western style cover. However, since they wanted $800 for the HRD (which was $300 more than the BJr), I went with the cheaper of the two. Since the BDRI is only $50 more, if it sounds like the better of the two, that is what I am going with and I'll just have to tame it somehow.

Jim


   
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rparker
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Make sure you ask if you don't see it on the floor. Both of my tube amps were purchased from the stock-room at the GC. One other thought would be to bring your guitar in to use for the test drives. I didn't do it and was fine, but I wasn't having a hissing issue to deal with either. Might save you a surprise later?

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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KCFenderFan
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Make sure you ask if you don't see it on the floor. Both of my tube amps were purchased from the stock-room at the GC. One other thought would be to bring your guitar in to use for the test drives. I didn't do it and was fine, but I wasn't having a hissing issue to deal with either. Might save you a surprise later?

Yep, I'm going to call to make sure they have them before I go over there. And bringing my guitar is an excellent idea. I usually try to find one that is similar, but using my own would be best in this case. Thanks for thinking of that, Roy.

Jim


   
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Wes Inman
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Yeah, your problem sounds unusual, my Blues Jr. doesn't make noise like that. Take it back.

As was said, take your guitar, and even your cord to rule out problems there. See if you get this hissing through other amps. A defective cord makes tons of noise. You probably already checked that, but just in case. Try other guitars and cords through your Blues Jr. as well.

You were asking if the Blues Jr. is loud enough to gig with? Oh yeah, easy. It is a surprisingly loud amp.

Let us know how everything comes out.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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KCFenderFan
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Thanks for the additional advice, Wes. I'll definitely try other guitars through the amps and will take my cable as well. It is maybe a month old.

I will let you know how it goes.

Jim


   
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KCFenderFan
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I took my NOS Blues Jr back to GC and they did not have another one like it, but could transfer one from another store. While I was trying to decide what to do, my Sales guy excused himself to help other customers. I tried a new, just out of the box BDRI, a Hot Rod Deluxe and a Hot Rod Deville. I liked all of them, but kept coming back to the BDRI for the tone. I was able to regulate the volume pretty well in the store, so I went for it.
I brought it home and have found it to be great there as well. The volume is not as hard to control as I feared, but as has been said/warned, it will get loud in a heartbeat. :twisted:

The good thing is that my wife and I are pretty much the only ones at home in the waking hours and so far, she is okay with a bit of volume. I think she's glad that I have finally decided on something and getting back to playing (or a resemblance of it anyway). :roll:

Once again, I appreciate everyone's input and hope that I haven't offended anyone if I took a different option than what they presented. :wink:

Jim


   
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rparker
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I was wondering which way you ended up. Too many choices sometimes. Glad you got something you like. Those BDs do have some great tone, eh? 8) 8) 8)

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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KCFenderFan
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Those BDs do have some great tone, eh? 8) 8) 8)

Yep, they do! I just hope to someday be able to unleash some good music from it. I fumbled through some basic 12-bar blues stuff last night and my wife said "Wow, that sounded really good!" She is too good to me. :lol:

I can't wait to hook my Tele up to it and "try" some basic Stones riffs.

Jim


   
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