Video: Playthrough with a Fender Blues Jr NOS

A little quick and dirty, but some clean-toned blues playing through a Fender Blues Jr. I had in my studio recently:

I’ve always thought Fender really got it right on this amp. It has a glorious clean tone, and just enough preamp gain to get a bit of dirt into the sound with singlecoil pickups. At 15 watts, it’s output power is low enough that you can get it to break up a bit at typical “club” levels… Yet, unlike many comparable amps, it has a full 12″ speaker, so the low end isn’t weak or anemic and it sounds like a larger, more powerful amp, just at a more practical (sort of – it’s still a surprisingly loud amp, as Fenders seem to ramp up pretty aggressively in the low range of their output knob, and then quickly stop getting louder and start getting more overdriven) volume. Also, it has more reverb than you’d ever really need for pretty much any conceivable playing situation.

Smaller, low-wattage amps are enjoying a resurgence these days, and I for one am happy to see that (high output power sections with near endless clean headroom are critical for metal where you want tons of crystal-clear low end at any playing volume, but for a lot of other styles it’s absolutely desirable to be able to overdrive the power section – one of the many things that keeps me playing Mesa amps is they’ve increasingly allowed you to have it both ways, by building amps that have switchable poweramp sections that let you cut the amp down to 50, 10, or in some cases even 5 watts for a completely different playing feel). This Fender was just a ridicuouslyt fun amp to play through – if all I ever played was blues-rock or jazz, I’d absolutely want one of these to gig with.

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