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What settings do you use on your Blues Junior (or similar)

bratpack7

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Nov 28, 2003
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242
For a slightly crunchy blues sound that I can solo with, I have a foot switch for the FAT channel, and I have borrowed a Maxon OD808.

Here are my questions.

1. Does the FAT switch boost the preamp tubes, the big tubes or all of them? Is it doing the exact same thing as the OD pedal?
2. Is it better to drive the small tubes hard or the output tubes? Does it matter?
3. Is it harmful to the amp to run on the FAT channel and overdrive as well?

Fine tuning the EQ is another story, I would like to see some examples of others setups that I can use as a reference. I find that when I start chasing a sound I spend all night at it. Part of the problem is probably my guitar, the tone pots only seem to sound good from about 7-10 Anything rolled further back seems muddy.
 

renderit

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Jan 19, 2009
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What guitar are you playing?

FAT and OD are fine. The amps can take it from what I have seen. I have done it.
I'm pretty sure the FAT on these just hits the preamp (small) tubes.
As far as which is better to drive is a matter of taste. And of tubes. But hopefully one of our amp nerds will kick in on this one.

When setting EQ on an amp with Presence it is easiest to effectively cancel it out and set your EQ then dial it in until you are used to what it does. You can add very nice shimmer and sparkle with it but it is easy to get screechy and harsh. If your sound is not pleasing without it, it won't help you at all. So if everything else sounds good, but you are a little muddy slap the heck outta the presence (take it way up) and see if you can put the treble back in, giving you more latitude.

Generally you can't add something which is not there. But sometimes it is there and you can't hear it.
 

bratpack7

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Nov 28, 2003
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My guitar is stock 85 Standard. I like the sound of the pickups but both tone controls have to be either maxed or rolled back just a bit to sound good. Anything more is quite muddy.

I don't have a presence setting on my amp, it's the mids that I am having a tough time with when I adjust the treble and bass. That and the quest for the "just right" amount of breakup. I think I will try to roll back the OD on the pedal and use the FAT for the crunch and the pedal for a bit of a boost for soloing.

But I would still like to see what settings others use, it might give me ideas I haven't thought of.
 

demundo

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Sep 12, 2001
Messages
712
I use my BJ with a les paul, so for everything but blues, vol 12 treb 8-9 mid 7 bass 7 master 4 rev 3 fat switch only when needed. clean sounds roll off pickup volume and cleans up great. I don't like this amp at home very much, but at band practice it sounds so different in the mix. if I need just a clean sound vol 4 master on 6 and up.
 

renderit

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Jan 19, 2009
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Sorry. I added a presence and 'sparkle' controls and forgot they are not on the regular ones. My bad. None the less. Mine USUALLY sounds best with Treble, Middle and Bass about 6:00 for starters. Darker guitars get treble added and some bass added (treble no higher than 8 and bass to flavor). I might subtract a bit of mid but in my case with the additional controls I do not. Try Master and Volume about 7 and tweek volume until you get closer.

What speaker are you on? On dark guitars that makes more difference than others.

Hey Big Al! We needs yo' self here!
 

bratpack7

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Nov 28, 2003
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242
Sorry. I added a presence and 'sparkle' controls and forgot they are not on the regular ones. My bad. None the less. Mine USUALLY sounds best with Treble, Middle and Bass about 6:00 for starters. Darker guitars get treble added and some bass added (treble no higher than 8 and bass to flavor). I might subtract a bit of mid but in my case with the additional controls I do not. Try Master and Volume about 7 and tweek volume until you get closer.

What speaker are you on? On dark guitars that makes more difference than others.

Hey Big Al! We needs yo' self here!

I have the Cannabis Rex speaker and I can get an amazing sound out of it, particularly when I have some volume. But when I have to turn down a bit, and want to have clean, crunch, and solo capability it gets trickier. It's pretty rare that I will be able to turn both volumes on 7, so I am forced to get OD by either lots of preamp and lower master, or with a pedal. And if I do that do I drive the main tubes or the preamp? I honestly don't know if it makes a difference or not.

But I am interested in other players settings, I might stumble upon something I never tried.
 

Big Al

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Apr 24, 2002
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Here are some ideas. Run Gain and Master at 12:00, Bass at 9:00 Treble at 3:00 and Mids off. Check the loudness. If you need more volume raise the Master. I typically have master volume dimed with gain half way.

If the amp is loud enough, fine tune the eq. If the lows are tight and the highs happening, sweep the Midrange pot to find the sweet spot.

You should now have a full clean on the verge of breakup tone with vivid dynamics, both from pick attack and the guitars vol control. This is your clean/full tone.

Now engage the FAT Switch. Ain't that cool? Midrange boost and gain bump.

If you feel the need for pedal enhancement, dial up the grit that fits. The FAT function can be off or on to give your pedal an optional overdrive funtion.
Hope this is of some help.
 

renderit

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Jan 19, 2009
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Sorry. I said 6:00 and meant 6 on the dial markings (or 12:00). Thanks Al.
 

Big Al

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Sorry. I said 6:00 and meant 6 on the dial markings (or 12:00). Thanks Al.

I figured that is what you meant and the easiest way to start, I think, when dialing up a tone. I have found that lower Bass settings and higher Trebles generally do it for me with the Middle control changing depending on the tone I want or the room I'm in. Any amp I have that has both Treble and Presence has one raised up and the other reduced. Say Treble off entirely with raised Presence, as you said earlier. Boy both raised up is annoying to say the least.!!:hank
 

bratpack7

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Nov 28, 2003
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Ok, thanks for the responses all. I have experimented with all of these suggestions, and here is what I have found so far.

The room I practice in at home is basically a large storage room with not much muffling, so running the master and volume at noon is just too loud, and treble and reverb are really pronounced. So here is what I have done:

Volume-8 Master-3 Treble-4 Bass-9 Mids-8 Rev-1
Maxon OD 808 OD-10:00 Tone-10:00 Bal-10:00

I get a great crunch out of this, nice lead tone with pedal applied. A little too crunchy for clean but light attack and rolled off volume make it manageable.

Steppin' out sounds good, BB King stuff not so much.
 

bratpack7

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I figured that is what you meant and the easiest way to start, I think, when dialing up a tone. I have found that lower Bass settings and higher Trebles generally do it for me with the Middle control changing depending on the tone I want or the room I'm in. Any amp I have that has both Treble and Presence has one raised up and the other reduced. Say Treble off entirely with raised Presence, as you said earlier. Boy both raised up is annoying to say the least.!!:hank

I forgot to mention that I can only roll off the treble on my guitar a small amount before it starts to get muddy. So I have to keep the treble on the amp lower than you suggest. I will try bumping it up at my next jam.

85 Standard, completely stock. Maybe not the best quality pots?
 

renderit

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Jan 19, 2009
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I forgot to mention that I can only roll off the treble on my guitar a small amount before it starts to get muddy. So I have to keep the treble on the amp lower than you suggest. I will try bumping it up at my next jam.

85 Standard, completely stock. Maybe not the best quality pots?

Excellent place to start. Pots and caps are frequently the culprit.
 

Monroe

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Mar 11, 2008
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Your description of not being able to roll off the tone controls without getting muddy is key.
Your pickups, if stock, are likely Shaws... which are well regarded and widely liked.
Maybe look into upgrading the pots (and maybe the caps) and wiring (or having it wired) 50s style.
It might be just fine with a different amp, but it sounds like your 85 standard is just too dark with the BJ.
 

DannyR8

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Mar 2, 2015
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Blues Junior loaded with a Cannabis Rex with an r7 loaded with WCR American Steele set or r8 loaded with Rewind PAF-1 set:



  • Volume between 9/10
  • Treble 9
  • Bass between 7/8
  • Middle between 9/10
  • Master dependant on situation
  • Reverb barley audible around 2/2.5
  • Fat switch engaged

All these settings are tweaked up or down a number or so depending on the room. Clean and lead tone controlled by the guitar.

My Blues Junior does everything from home practice, band rehearsal and most indoor pub gigs with my five piece band and has no problem keeping up with a tone that I am happy with. Any outdoor gigs call for the Fargen or the Bassman. We play rock and blues including Allman Bros, Joe Cocker, Free, ZZ Top, etc. The amp just delivers when used properly in the right environment.
 

bratpack7

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Nov 28, 2003
Messages
242
Blues Junior loaded with a Cannabis Rex with an r7 loaded with WCR American Steele set or r8 loaded with Rewind PAF-1 set:



  • Volume between 9/10
  • Treble 9
  • Bass between 7/8
  • Middle between 9/10
  • Master dependant on situation
  • Reverb barley audible around 2/2.5
  • Fat switch engaged

All these settings are tweaked up or down a number or so depending on the room. Clean and lead tone controlled by the guitar.

My Blues Junior does everything from home practice, band rehearsal and most indoor pub gigs with my five piece band and has no problem keeping up with a tone that I am happy with. Any outdoor gigs call for the Fargen or the Bassman. We play rock and blues including Allman Bros, Joe Cocker, Free, ZZ Top, etc. The amp just delivers when used properly in the right environment.

This is very close the settings I have found to give the sound I want 90% of the time. As mentioned above my tone controls are of limited use if rolled back anything more than about 2 or 3 notches from max.

Do you use any boost at all for solo's or simply roll the volume on and off?
 

DannyR8

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Mar 2, 2015
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I just use the amps gain. I have found that any type of drive pedal makes the tone too congested.
 

Big Al

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Apr 24, 2002
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I NEVER, EVER boost volume when I solo. I have always found it an obnoxious practice. I always spent a lot of time balancing the volume of the band, so it was a nice mix with the instruments and Vocals on top. I do not think I ever played a gig where the singer sang over my solo and when the vocals dropped out, i could be easily heard, along with the whole band. Big volume jumps on solos is not needed. I set my over all volume for as loud as I intend to play and ride my volume and tone pots on the guitar for dynamics, listen to any live Allman Bro's or any good band live. When one member is soloing the others should turn down. If I am playing with another guitarist or keyboard player, I back of a bit and support their solo's with a backed off volume and complimentary comping. If the song had harmony or simultaneous lead playing our volumes were already balanced. No need to turn up.

Fastest way to get kicked off the stage when I ran/hosted an open mic/jam gig was to turn up the volume. See Ya, next! Maybe it's an age thing, I might be too old and have different ideas about stage etiquette. I am a dinosaur, after all.:laugh2:
 

bratpack7

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Nov 28, 2003
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I NEVER, EVER boost volume when I solo. I have always found it an obnoxious practice. I always spent a lot of time balancing the volume of the band, so it was a nice mix with the instruments and Vocals on top. I do not think I ever played a gig where the singer sang over my solo and when the vocals dropped out, i could be easily heard, along with the whole band. Big volume jumps on solos is not needed. I set my over all volume for as loud as I intend to play and ride my volume and tone pots on the guitar for dynamics, listen to any live Allman Bro's or any good band live. When one member is soloing the others should turn down. If I am playing with another guitarist or keyboard player, I back of a bit and support their solo's with a backed off volume and complimentary comping. If the song had harmony or simultaneous lead playing our volumes were already balanced. No need to turn up.

Fastest way to get kicked off the stage when I ran/hosted an open mic/jam gig was to turn up the volume. See Ya, next! Maybe it's an age thing, I might be too old and have different ideas about stage etiquette. I am a dinosaur, after all.:laugh2:

Nope, I take this as pretty good advice. Maybe I don't need as much volume boost as I think I do. The room we jam in is quite small so the sound of the drums, guitars and vocals is all right on top of one another, and sometimes my solo gets lost in the overall sound. Maybe we just have to manage the rhythm section volume better and have my lead volume similar to the vocals.
 

Big Al

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Apr 24, 2002
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Nope, I take this as pretty good advice. Maybe I don't need as much volume boost as I think I do. The room we jam in is quite small so the sound of the drums, guitars and vocals is all right on top of one another, and sometimes my solo gets lost in the overall sound. Maybe we just have to manage the rhythm section volume better and have my lead volume similar to the vocals.

It took me ages to realize that every instrument has to sit in the mix. Like recording you have to EQ differently so each instrument has its own sonic space. Room size is another factor as it may be cool to use that 100 watt Plexi stack in an arena or outdoor stage, you will overpower a small room and everything becomes mush. While I played plenty of big stages and festival events, the bulk of what I did was Club work. Most were small rooms and volume becomes a problem, for patrons bring to order drinks and being heard to dancers getting pummeled by a sonic assault.

It also takes a whole band to work together as a unit, each supporting each other. I would always lock onto the drummers groove on the high hat and snare drum. Snare for punch and high hat for how I comped the rhythm. Bass player locks to the bass drum, and on and on. When you all are locked in the pocket and listening to each other, well, in my experience, that is when the magic happens. Still, I am a Jurassic leftover and almost fossilized. A sonic Tyranosaur! :teeth
 
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