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It is aimed at achieving the warm, tube-driven tone common in many styles of American blues and blues rock dating back to the s, while remaining both portable and affordable. Fender frequently releases limited editions of the Blues Junior.
All have the same electronic components  [ failed verification ] [ non-primary source needed ] and specifications but have cosmetic changes and often a different speaker, at varying prices. Several limited edition versions of the Blues Junior have been manufactured since its introduction in The original circuit board underwent a major rede in , when production moved from the US to Mexico. The earlier circuit boards are green in color and are noted for a "darker," more bass-inflected tone.
Many green board models have excessive noise in the reverb circuit, as the al is inserted into the reverb after the master volume. The later circuit boards are cream or tan colored and sound "brighter" or more treble-oriented, with the reverb situated before the Master volume.
Lacquered Tweed editions, as the name implies, feature a cabinet upholstered with a lacquered tweed fabric. Some of these have been artificially aged from the factory and are known as Lacquered Tweed "Relic" editions. The "Blonde" and "Brown Tolex" Blues Juniors feature traditional Fender Tolex upholstery in their respective colors, while the Sunburst Ash edition features an ash cabinet with a sunburst stain. One edition was issued with a forest green colored cabinet, had a United States flag on the cloth speaker grille , and had United States Air Force markings detailed on the cabinet in yellow.
The standard Blues Junior is dressed like a traditional black Fender amplifier, with black Tolex upholstery and a silver cloth speaker grille. Fender does not always include these limited edition versions in their updated catalogs or on their website either because too few were produced only a few hundred in some cases or perhaps because of exclusive retailer agreements. Fender introduced the Blues Junior in and has revised and updated the amp periodically since then.
The Blues Junior history can be divided into two major : the early amps with green circuit boards and the later ones with cream-colored boards. The switch to the cream-colored boards reflects the change in where the amps were manufactured, from USA to Mexico.
The cream-colored board is laid out entirely differently from the green board. The biggest change is the reworked reverb circuit. The older amps tend to sound darker, while the new ones are brighter with more emphasis on treble tones. The table Below details the revision dates and the changes made on those dates. Fender adopted a two-letter dating code in The code can be found on the Quality Assurance label located inside the cabinet.
The label is often located on the bottom next to the reverb tank, sometimes it is placed on the side. The codes can be handwritten, which can occasionally make the letters hard to decipher. Fender discontinued date codes in There is no reliable way to date — amps other than to ask Fender customer support to look up the date from the serial . Amps made in have a small metal "Fender 60th Anniversary" button on the back plate. Amps from are undistinguished. In Fender updated their line of hot rod model amps and released the "Blues Junior III," adding many physical changes to the standard black tolex model.
Notable differences include the Fender "lightning bolt" speaker, "sparkle" circuit modification, rattle-reducing shock absorbers, set-screw "chicken head" knobs, "dog bone" handle, larger Fender jewel light, black non-reflective control panel, and "Blues Junior" subtext on the logo plate. The Blues Junior uses a nonadjustable power tube bias no way to vary the bias point , but it is fairly "hot" and can accommodate most matched pairs on the market. However, because they "run hot", a common modification is to add a bias trim to enable adjustments to the idle current when switching tubes.
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