Blues Jr Speaker Upgrade - Wow! (long)
- Subject: Blues Jr Speaker Upgrade - Wow! (long)
- From: Mojo Red <harplicks@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2003 07:43:35 -0700 (PDT)
Well, I finally got my new speaker installed in my
Fender Blues Jr. amp, and I gotta tell ya, it's
made a HUGE improvement on its sound for blues
harp. Like day and night.
After a somewhat in-depth bit of research, many
great suggestions and sound advice from my friends
on Harp-L and Harp Talk (special thanks to Barbeque
Bob and Michelle Free), I decided on a model 12A100
from Weber VST. It's an 8 ohm 12" speaker with
AlNiCo magnet that is modeled after the vintage
Jensen P12R. The BJ comes with a ceramic speaker
made by Eminence that is very loud but I was never
crazy about its tone.
Tonewise my BJ now has lost most of the hard
edginess that prompted me to begin my search in the
first place. Now it sounds much closer to a vintage
50's tweed Deluxe than I could have ever imagined.
Breaks up early and buttery smooth. Carries the
mids extremely well and now expresses this
delicious bell-like singing quality that is this
blues harper's dream. The trade off is that it's
not ~quite~ as loud as the Eminence, but not enough
to make any difference for my own needs.
I had initially wanted Weber's 12A150 (C12N) AlNiCo
speaker with the larger magnet (rated at 25 watts)
for the headroom, but it turns out the thing
wouldn't fit into the BJ! Then I looked at the
12F150 (C12N), a ceramic magnet version (25 watts),
but in the end wend for the 12A100 primarly because
it breaks up earlier.
Although the smaller-magnet 12A100 is rated at 15
watts (same as my BJ) Ted Weber built it for me
with a heavier voice coil, bumping it up to 25
watts, thus providing the headroom I wanted. Now I
can crank the volume all the way up to 12 if I
want, without fear of blowing the speaker. Kewl!
Ted also added what he calls an "H" dust cap which
he said was effective in cutting out some of the
higher frequencies that cause feedback. Boy, was he
right! My BJ is FAR less feedback prone now, and
I've even taken my old Sure Green Bullet (sans
volume pot) out of retirement. The GB sounds
~awesome~ in this rig, and I can push it MUCH
louder than ever before without feeding.
Okay... I realize I'm gushing, but I wanted to put
it out there to all you BJ owners who may be happy
but not completely satisfied with your amp's tonal
palate. Get yourself a speaker upgrade!!
I highly recommend Weber's 12A100 model, but the
Jensen P12R re-issue and the MojoTone MP12R models
are equivilent options that I also considered (but
they won't come with the cool H dust cap mod).
Can't wait to take this pup to a gig.
Harpin' in Harp-Amp Heaven in Colorado,
- --Ken M.
P.S. I was able to do the speaker swap-out myself.
It wasn't difficlut and required only a
screwdriver, a soldering iron and some common
sense. I had to remove the speaker's bell cover to
make it fit in the small space of the BJ, but Ted
said it wouldn't hurt the speaker to do so.
"When you speak of Walter Horton, the first thing you think of is his tone, that big, fat tone."
- ---Li'l Ronnie Owens
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