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Fender Blues Junior III 15-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Amp - Black Reviews

4.5 stars based on 40 customer reviews
Questions about the Fender Blues Junior III 15-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Amp - Black?

Questions about the Fender Blues Junior III 15-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Amp - Black?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Kent Sallaz

    I searched for a long time for a low-wattage amp that could bring me the sound that I was looking for. As I played through a number of obscure boutique amps, I kept coming back to the Fender Blues Junior III. It's an amp that plays great, and gives me the classic Fender sound that I've heard on so many classic recordings. It's built really well and I'm not afraid to push a lot of sound out of it. Also, with such a great price, I don't have to take out an insurance policy when I take it to a gig.

  • from May 11, 2017

    Recording

    The Blues Jr. has been perfect for what I've been using it for, which has mostly been recording. It takes pedals extremely well, and is more than loud enough for playing at home. I plan to gig with it this summer, I can't say for sure, but I feel confident that it will be loud enough to use in a band with drums.

  • from Western Ny April 19, 2017Music Background:
    Hobbiest

    Lightweight/Heavyweight

    Honestly I was floored by the flexibility of this little package. It is clean if you want it and dirty if you need it. So lightweight just pick it up with one hand and pick up your axe with the other and go. Just a totally sweet amp worth much more than the asking price.

  • from Southern Shores, NC March 30, 2017Music Background:
    Student

    I love this amp

    I am a high school student and have been playing guitar for as long as I can remember. I bought this amp because I am going off to college next year and wanted to downsize from my fender champion 100 while also graduating up to tubes. After having played solid state amps for my whole life, I can confirm that tubes are waaaay better. The amount of clarity and punch that you get from this amp is amazing! Anyone who is worried about the volume you get from one 12 instead of a larger amount of speakers needs not be worried. Last night I went to band practice (with a bassist and a drummer who plays loud, loud, and louder) and did not need to push my amp above 3. All in all I am incredibly satisfied with this amp!

  • from TX - Texas March 26, 2017Music Background:
    Experienced

    Blues Jr Love

    This is by far my favorite amp, and I've played an abominable amount of amps. I actually already owned the tweed blues jr prior to buying the tolex, but the tweed has a really weedy clean tone, and gets real old, real fast. So, the tweed blues jr was the only amp I owned and I was getting pissed at not enjoying my sound, so I decided to purchase the blues jr tolex.

    So the blues jr tolex version to me has a nice pronounced bottom and top end, and if you EQ it right will have a mid-scoop sound very reminiscent of the fender blackface amps. The amp is extremely reactive to picking, and has an amazing feeling when playing clean through a single-coil guitar, where the notes just sing and blossom beautifully. The sound is never harsh, smooth as silk, and has a good amount of power as well, though it does short out of clean headroom sooner than 6L6 Fender amps. That said, the blues jr is my favorite amp for the size and price, hence I own two and they both do different things very well. I'd recommend this to anyone who plays anything from blues, to jazz, to rock n' roll. It obviously won't get much further than that, but that's not what it's designed for.

    Side note for those interested, the tweed blues jr has a very prominent mid-range, where-as the tolex has a very relaxed mid-range, hence to my ears the tolex has a nicer clean tone, and the tweed has a more aggressive mid-range bordering Marshall territory cranked tone.

  • from Miami Beach October 1, 2016

    Great Little Amp

    This is a great sounding, warm, articulate amp that can get plenty loud when needed. I've played in some medium/large clubs with this little sucker and had absolutely no problem cranking out all the volume I needed. Plus, it is very easy to transport! I sold my Twin Reverb and my Deluxe Reverb because I was tired of lugging them around, and I'm very happy I did.

  • from Vinemont AL May 7, 2016

    Blues Junior

    This amp is very impressive for 15 watts...The Cleans are phenomenal and it breaks up nicely...Thank you Sweetwater for your unparalleled customer service and support...Thanks to Brendan Murphy for his recommendation and expertise...

  • from September 14, 2015Music Background:
    Guitarist

    Great Amp.

    This is my first tube amp. I was a little hesitant, because you do have to replace tubes every so often. I play fingerstyle, and wanted a rich clean sound. My Sweetwater sales person recommended this amp. I love the sound. It really has the sound I was looking for. It works well with pedal effects also. By turning down the mid, and setting the bas& treble right, this amp almost reminds me of the delux reverb. If needed, this amp can also get a great dirty sound. Great Fender sound, at a great price.

  • from Fort Wayne, IN February 25, 2015Music Background:
    Life time ardent hobbyist

    Well worth the wait.

    I purchased this amp after several weeks research on small tube amps, which was not an easy task given the variety of amps upto and inculding this price range. After much debate and plenty of reading, I chose this wonderful sounding modle with not one regret. The sound is full and clean, just as I had expected.
    And thanks to Chris for his much appreciated assistance once again.

  • from Boston January 27, 2015Music Background:
    Gigging musician, teacher

    Great cure for the

    In my fifties, with a bad back, and looking for a classic sounding tube amp at about 30 pounds. After downsizing to this amp I realized that I had been spending tons of time and money over the years chasing tone through amps with too much wattage. Once I finally used this amp with my tele I discovered I got the perfect tone with just a single Ibanez TS-9 pedal....no need for compression, delay, or anything else. Running this amp at 60% sounds significantly better than a larger Hot Rod at 30% and it will fill a medium sized gig (about 50 people) and not get buried by a drum kit. Spring reverb is sweet. Ryan at Sweetwater was very helpful. No better amp below $900!

  • from Greensboro, NC July 30, 2013Music Background:
    Justapicker

    Best Purchase

    I'm just a closet picker but for my money this was the best Amp purchase I ever made!! Great to hear the hear sounds the Pros make coming out of my amp.

  • from New York June 5, 2012Music Background:
    A hopeful

    Tube amps are amazing, digital amps seem to run flat.

    Totally amazed at what this amp can do. WOW! Toyed with the idea in buying one but decided you do for others why not give yourself a reward for helping others? Am i a musician, No but love creating sounds and lines to express myself and the blues junior l gives me the tones I need!

  • from Fort Lauderdale, FL December 29, 2011Music Background:
    Hobbyist/Student

    Amazing

    I originally was introduced to this amp by a former teacher of mine who used another Fender Amp. I hadn't tested the Blues Jr. but trusted his word well enough that it was definitely amazing.

    Take my word for it and the Youtube videos attached to this page; this amp is worth it!

    The only con about the amp for me is that it does not have an output jack which doesn't allow me to use headphones or go out to a stereo setup from the amps.

  • from San Antonio TX July 7, 2011Music Background:
    Musician

    Fender Blues Junior III

    Very tasty, lots of clean, expansive headroom, Fender oomph, compact with a large face. Would I buy another? Absolutely, small or miked large, it projects what you play...just enough reverb at any setting. Clear and clean, juiced nicely with slight overdrive/boost pedal when desired. It is all it is advertised to be, I figger the other small footprints have to have a lower price point somewhat, or you WILL buy a Blues Junior III......Sweetwater delivers with good service followup, ease of purchase and shipping, and reasonable pricing and availability....

  • from Fort Wayne February 28, 2011Music Background:
    Hobbyist/Student

    An Outstanding Amp

    I just love this amp. I moved up to "tubes" from solid state and man what a difference; from the other part of the house my wife even noticed that it sounded better. I researched this quite a bit, even for me, and decided that this was the best possible choice. I was looking at Marshall and Vox as well, and the Jr III won out. The biggest factor was the Master volume control. I will play primarily in the spare bedroom and to get the break-up that I am looking for the Volume has to be nearly maxed out. The Master keeps the windows in the house and I can play at a reasonable level. This baby sounds great with my Les Paul and my Strat. Plenty of power, simple controls, sounds exceptional, works well with various pedals, what more could I possibly want.

  • from VA, USA February 27, 2011

    Quality 15W Amp

    I did a lot of research on 5 and 15 watt amps before landing on the Blues Jr. III. I use it solely for indoor practice and recording and I think it fits the bill quite nicely for the price. Great tube sound that you just can't replicate digitally and the simplicity is nice. I play clean/blues/rock primarily and but it can reach a good AC/DC sound at the highest gain (don't expect heavy metal sounds without a pedal). I've heard of tubes being damaged during shipping but mine seems to have survived the trip just fine.

  • from Tennessee December 26, 2016

    Fender blues junior 111

    Great sound good little amp
    Thanks

  • from Coral Springs, FL June 1, 2016

    Great Tube Amp!!

    Really dig this amp - terrific tone coming from my HSS Strat - tends to be pretty limited range of sounds but it works well with pedals. The clean channel and adding gain is pretty much perfect for me. I did receive a faulty product but Sweetwater was good about expediting delivery of a new one and its working great so far.

    Great service and follow up from Andy Rice!

  • from Washington,D.C. Metropolitan Area January 23, 2016Music Background:
    A 70 year old student

    Good things just get better!

    Unbelievably, the Fender Blues Junior III is an improvement on previous editions. Fender keeps refining it. My favorite feature is the master volume which when used with the volume can create "big" sounds without making my hearing worse. The external speaker jack is a great feature making the Blues Junior even more versatile. Thanks Fender and Sweetwater!

  • from Detroit, MI December 9, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist, performer, amatuer songwriter-recorder

    Awesome little tube amp

    This is a great little tube amp. Perfect size and power for practice, recording and small gigs. Super warm tube sound with great break-up. I play this along with a 68 Deluxe Reverb Reissue and a Vox VT-30 Modeling amp. Can't beat the Fender tube sound, especially in these hot-rodded editions. For the price, it has to be one of the best amps around.

  • from sioux falls sd October 21, 2014Music Background:
    lead guitar player for over 50 years

    blues jr 111

    this little amp kicks ***. the reverb is awesome i love it

  • from Cleveland October 16, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Great Tube Amp

    Have had this amp for a month. First tube amp and I may never use my Mustang Modeling Amp again. Much fuller Fender clean sound than a solid state amp. Acoustic also sounds good through it. Plenty of volume for around the house. Reverb is great but I don't use the Fat Switch much as I prefer my Blues Driver pedal if I want to go that direction. I'm not much for gimmicks and love the clean sound. My mustang has been relegated to playing jam tracks for now. Just an amateur player trying to enjoy the guitar in my free time and this helps.

  • from Seal Beach, CA April 19, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Sweet Sounding Amp

    For the past few years I wanted this amp. I made a lot of excuses why I would not buy it and thought I could get around it by buying modeling amps and cheaper tube amps. After finally realizing that I could not get the same tone with other combos, I took the plunge and regret not buying this amp in the first place. I have sold off the amps won't be looking back.
    Sweet tones and just an all around great sounding amp. My only reason for the half point downgrade is I wish Fender had put in an effects loop, but a minor point.
    On board reverb is good, but still use my TC Electronics HOF pedal to get my reverb. The amp handles pedals well and love the 12 inch speaker.
    Don't waste time, if the specs are in your wheelhouse, go ahead and buy. You won't be sorry.
    Thanks to Mike Soper for handling the issue with the FAT switch. All is well now!

  • from Richmond, IN March 4, 2014Music Background:
    Worship Leader, Tone Enthusiast, Recording Hobbyist

    Great Stage Amp!

    The clean side of this amp is like butter! It works great with effects and you may need to trim the treble a bit. Hot enough to cut through a mix, yet has low enough wattage to help you keep your hearing. The tone is incredible! One of the best 15 watt tube amps on the market. I will be getting another one so I can bi-amp for multiple delay effects. Just get one already and save some time.

  • from Richmond, VA December 25, 2012Music Background:
    Musician

    Great vintage like sound

    Thick, warm, fat sound that can only come from a tube amp. Nice mid (Club size). Service at Sweetwater is the best. Issue with shipper that Sweetwater followed up on to make sure the amp arrived safely.

  • from Mt.Vernon, NY August 15, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Amateur Home Recordist

    Incredible tone!

    I bought this amp mainly to record at home because I played through one at Guitar Center and at a recording session and I was blown away by how great the clean tone was! Both amps had the stock Lightning Bolt speaker. I was actually planning on buying the limited edition two color one with the Cannabis Rex speaker but Sweetwater had sold them out, so I bought the stock one and I have no regrets! This thing records like a dream! I put an AKG C214 in front of the speaker and was in recording heaven! If you are looking for classic clean Fender tone, it doesn't get any better than this! The only drawback is that it's a 15watt amp, so unless you are playing with a really loud band, this amp will cover the gig with no problem! My Sweetwater rep Mark Bruhn is the best! He's always there to answer all my gear questions and I trust his expertise! Call him and he will hook you up!

  • from Pine Bluff, AR December 8, 2011Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Blues Jr. Amp

    I am loving this amp. I would have rated it a 5 if it had a foot switch included so you could switch between the fat channel (in and out).

  • from Houston, TX July 8, 2011Music Background:
    Home Jammer

    Warm Tube Tone for a Great Price

    Bell-like, warm, sparkling, thick: these are all adjectives that accurately describe this amp's tone. Of course, the Blues Junior is also affordable, tube-driven, and portable, which makes it very attractive indeed. When searching for an amp, my main considerations were that it be a tube-driven, low wattage amp with a minimum number of knobs, a 12" speaker, and voiced to be more clean than dirty (fuzz boxes are my main source of dirt). The Blues Junior fits that description perfectly, but the extras make it even sweeter: spring reverb and an extension speaker jack. But, this amp isn't perfect. Playing through my Tele with a humbucker in the neck, I get some buzzy vibration on the bass notes. It turns out that the source of the vibration is the plastic shafts that the knobs attach to. As Billm states on his site, "[t]he Blues Junior and Pro Junior have plastic-shaft potentiometers that are soldered to the board, but do not attach to the face plate with a nut." But, as with all assembly line products, some tweaking is to be expected.

  • from New Mexico May 1, 2017

    Nice, portable amp

    Now that I am in my 60s, I decided to sell my DeVille (2-12s) and bought this amp. I still have a Deluxe with 1 12" (40 watts) if I need more headroom. This is a decent amp - not the end all, be all, but a decent amp. It has minimal features and of course legendary Fender durability. I've used it for practicing in my living room with a trio, house parties, and the like. It's perfect for those small situations. I imagine it would work in a nightclub if you put a mic on it although I haven't tried it. One thing I wanted to mention is, to find the sweet spot on this amp (at least for me), I turn the channel volume up the bare minimum (about 2.5) and then use the Master Volume to bring on the rock! You get lots of good clean volume and then of course you have your pedals or whatever. To get distortion out of this amp, do just the opposite -- turn up the channel volume and THEN start turning up the Master Volume. I don't care for the distortion on this amp but then again, I never did on Fender amps.

  • from Illinois July 7, 2016

    blues junior lll

    wonderful little amp for the money.cant go wrong with this little gem!

  • from Illinois July 6, 2016

    Fender Blues Jr III

    Cool little amp! Good for small bars, or mic it for bigger joints. I use it a couple of ways: 1) As a stand alone amp at a small bar or small event, 2) I use it with a closed-back 1 X 12 cabinet to yield a different tone, and since the cabinet is larger, it's beefier, and 3) I use it as a stereo rig in tandem with my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. The Deluxe is the 'clean', and the Junior is the 'dirty'. More to lug around, but an awesome sound! I was going to buy an amp splitter device, but my stereo delay pedal does the job without hum.

  • from Texas April 18, 2016

    Fender Blues Amp

    The amp is as The specs stated and is a very good match for my Guitar

  • from Antelope Valley March 14, 2016Music Background:
    40 years experience

    Perfect for small bands

    This should come with the boost switch. It does not. Add another 35.00 This has a great clean sound and a very nice crunch if set up for that. It only has 1 channel so I set it up semi-clean then add some compression via a pedal. That, with the boost makes a pretty clean sparkle crunch although I am ordering the Morning Glory for some added punch. For clean I set the two volumes to match and the eq straight up on all knobs with very little reverb. For semi-crunch I set the volume at between 8 and 9 the Master volume at about 3. I run the Treble at 8.5 the Bass at 6.5 the mid at 8.0 and the Reverb between 2 and 3. Its a very bright amp but I'm playing a Les Paul so it evens it out. If I were to use a Fender I would back off on the Treble some. The boost switch adds enough volume jump but actually could use a little more db. I use the boost then add the compression set a little bit higher on the volume. It's portable but it is heavy. Very much quality built. I compared this side by side with a Vox 15 watt. There was no comparison. With my guitar this won hands down. Plus this is quite a bit less expensive. Still at 529.00 it should have come with the boost switch. That's really the only reason I gave it a 4 instead of 4.5. It's definitely plenty loud for a medium size auditorium or a small club. Of course you could always mike it if need be. This little amp just has a really nice quality sound to it and is very easy to get great sounds without having to mess with it.

  • from Richwoods, MO January 25, 2014Music Background:
    Praise Band Guitarist

    Yes, Wonderful amp, but...

    CAUTION!! After light use for only five months the rubber handle snapped off one end and almost crashed onto the parking lot. I was left holding it by the part fortunately still connected. I don't think a crash would have been good for the tubes. I won't try to get another factory handle. Can't be trusted. I will have to make one out of leather or nylon strapping.
    LOVE the amp.

  • from Denver, CO September 7, 2012

    Excellent Practice/Recording Amp

    I just received my BJIII in the mail yesterday. What I noticed was that unlike a great deal of the reviews I have read, it sounds more warm than bright. I am using a Humbucker equipped Tele, and my pickups are pretty dark so that may be the reason why. I am also using my POD HD 400 in front of the amp with ok success. Plugging in directly there is a big drop in tone, so I am going to play with the POD settings to see what is going on because even with everything bypassed there is a significant loss of signal. It also may be the cable that I am using to connect the pod to the amp. It takes the overdrive pedals well. I am able to get some very lush and deep clean tones with this thing.

  • from New York City February 9, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist, fomer recording engineer, former electronics tech.

    The Standard

    In short, this is a great amp. I gig with mine, it goes anywhere. It lacks that shimmering clean sound of the Fender Twin Reverb, but it makes a great rock and blues amp. It's also capable of very loud levels.

    And kudos to Sweetwater for incredible customer service. The amp arrived and it had no reverb, which I quickly diagnosed as a broken RCA plug on the cable to the tank. One phone call had a new amp at my door in two days with a Fedex return slip for the original. that's why I love Sweetwater!

  • from Connecticut January 8, 2012Music Background:
    Playing guitar since the 60's

    Back in the mid 60's

    Back in the mid 60's I owned a Fender Super reverb amp
    The tube tone from this amp along with the spring reverb was incredible.
    I have been researching tube amps, looking to bring back the sweet memories of my super reverb and came across the Blues Jr3.
    This tube amp, although only 15 watts driving a single 12" speaker has comparable tone and punch reminishing my old Super reverb.
    Without the back breaking weight and the very attractive price you should consider this amp.
    After owning one I can see why this amp is considered to be one of the BEST selling amps on the market today

  • from Houston, TX August 25, 2014Music Background:
    Retired pro

    A Reliable Workhorse

    Been playing my Blues Jr for 4 years now and it's never let me down. The sound improved noticeably when I did all the BillM mods, and I replaced all the tubes with w better quality and that made a noticeable difference too. Funny enough, I like the stock speaker better than the Cannabis Rex I tried. After working on the electronics of numerous amps my opinion is Fenders cheap gear is better than anybody else's cheap gear. Any critique you can make of these meat and potatoes hot rod series amps is resolved by moving up to the next series, the vintage modern line. This is not a Cadillac amp, this is an affordable pick up truck you can put to work and rely upon. Gotta respect that.

    Oh, and yes, it is loud. Crank this all the way up at home and you'll get to meet your local police.

  • from April 8, 2014Music Background:
    Professional hobbyist

    Not bad but i was Disappointed

    I have to start by saying that this is not a bad amp. It is just not as good as people rate it. it is somehow dull (at least with my 2012 les paul standard) and not as interesting as people might think.
    It has really really very low overdrive. it is not versatile at all, however i have to admit it takes overdrive pedals nicely. i compared it at the store with the Blackstar Ht-5 mini stack and i can assure you that the Blackstar is way better sounding for both cleans and overdrive sounds.
    I mainly play Blues/Rock music and it is really surprising how the Blackstar is an excellent blues amp. go check both and you will understand what i mean immediately...

  • from Arkansas December 13, 2012Music Background:
    8 years piano, 2 guitar, play for personal satisfaction.

    Not so hot without mods

    First, let me say that I bought it somewhere else but I do like Sweetwater. Their great. Now, about the amp. Most people love it just as it is but I found it to have very little bass and the mids are lacking as well. For a 12 inch speaker, it just wasn't putting out bass like it should. I did some research and discovered billmaudio.com. He does extensive testing and repair of amps. His test revealed that the output curve for the frequency range is very nonlinear. The bass and mids are very cut off with the high range peaked out. He sells modification kits to solve the problem. I bought and installed one for $28.00. The difference is amazing. Now, it has plenty of bass and mids, and surprisingly, the reverb works much better as well. Now, I love it. You can hear all the frequencies evenly. I'm quite surprised that so many people like it as is. Other than that, I really like the amp a lot. I guess I'm very critical of sound. I want it all.

  • from Mandeville, LA June 23, 2014Music Background:
    Gigging guitar player

    Not reliable

    The first Blues Jr. I bought from Sweetwater didn't work right upon arrival to my house. Sweetwater worked with me to try and fix it by sending me new tubes to install. After installing the new tubes the amp still had a loud crackle and didn't work right. I sent it back to Sweetwater and they sent me a new one as a warranty replacement.

    The 2nd amp functioned ok for about 3 months then stopped working. I have returned the second amp to Sweetwater and they are issuing me a credit to use towards another amp. I will probably go with a Made in USA Fender Deluxe Reverb. The Blues jr. was a disappointment.

Questions about the Fender Blues Junior III 15-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Amp - Black?

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