Blues Jr Vs Blues Jr III: Which is Better?

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If you’re curious about the Blues Jr vs Blues Jr III and how they compare, you’ve come to the right post!

Fender Blues Junior Amps

5 Great Fender Blues Junior Tones

Back in the mid-1990s, Fender launched a new amp called Blues Junior.

The same model remains until this day, although the company has released a few different versions over the years.

The current one is a Blues Junior IV, bringing a few specific traits of its own.

Fender Blues Junior IV 15 Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier

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Fender introduced them back in 2018.

Nonetheless, the older versions still have their appeal.

In particular, the Blues Junior III is still fairly popular among guitar players.

Along the way, they also had some special-edition variants.

But although different, these different versions still have some of the same traits.

After all, they’re all based on the same principle.

The main idea with Fender’s Blues Junior amp was to emulate the tone of the company’s 1950s amps.

At the same time, they’re supposed to do all that without busing your wallet.

One thing that they all have in common is that they’re single 12-inch speaker combo amps.

The output power is 15 watts and they come with one channel.

However, they also sport an additional “fat” switch that adds some dirt to the tone.

Aside from that, we have basic controls for input gain (labeled as “volume”), output volume (as “master”), 3-band EQ, and reverb.

But what’s unusual is that they come with a pair of EL34 power amp tubes.

This is more typical of British-style amps and is a departure from their standard 6L6 tubes.

Although cheaper and manufactured outside of the US, Blues Junior is a surprisingly great amp.

It comes with a warm vintage-ish tone.

You can notice a slight increase in mids compared to what you’d expect from a Fender amp.

And despite having one channel, it’s fairly versatile.

However, you’ll need an additional overdrive or distortion pedal to push it into heavier territories.

Blues Jr Vs Blues Jr III

To anyone wondering about this particular question, there are a couple of things that we need to get out of the way first.

When we say “Blues Junior” today, we mostly refer to the current version, the Blues Junior IV.

On the other hand, if you just say “Blues Junior” and try to compare it to other iterations of the amp, we can also assume that the discussion is about the original version.

If you’re asking this question, I can assume that you’re not entirely familiar with the amp model and its versions.

You might be thinking that these are different models that are all available today.

So let’s go from the start.

The original Blues Junior was, to my knowledge, released back in 1995.

These days, it’s not that easy to get your hands on one of these.

The basic traits are all the same, including controls.

These earliest models came with a green circuit board and are known to have a slightly darker tone.

Additionally, these older amps can get some unwanted noise at higher volume settings.

From what I’m aware of, these oldest variants were made in the US.

However, there were no differences in build quality compared to later versions.

Then we have Blues Junior IV as the latest version, released in 2018.

Its tone is slightly bassier, rounder, and fuller compared to Blues Junior III.

It’s also capable of handling more gain.

Not only can it achieve more distortion, but it’s also capable of not making things too muffled.

But in the end, the differences between all versions are more or less subtle.

Additionally, there aren’t any traits that would make one of these “better” or “worse” than the rest.

But if you like it slightly brighter and thinner-sounding, then I’d suggest Junior III.  

Blues Jr vs Blues Jr III: Conclusion

I hope this article has helped you think through the differences between these amps and which might be best for you.

And if you want to read more about Blues Jr amplifiers on this blog, then check out:

Lastly, feel free to leave a message in the comments below if you have questions about this or another guitar-related topic!

2 Responses

  1. I found that the differences between the original USA Green Board amps and the Creme Board Mexican BJ’s is much more than subtle.
    While the Green Boards work decently for Jazz, they lack the “sparkle” of the Creme Boards. Likewise, the reverb was vastly improved on the Creme Board models.
    If you are, say an old school Blues player (none or not much distortion), I would highly recommend the Mexican Made Creme Board.
    If you are a Jazz player, and don’t crave the Fender sparkle, and don’t need much reverb, and likely won’t venture into Blues, Rockabilly, Country type genres, the American Green Board is for you!!
    I have zero experience on the III or the IV models, so won’t even try.

    1. Hey Kevin,

      Thanks for sharing your experience! This personal level of experience is the sort of stuff that’s really valuable to others but also hard to find online. I appreciate your input!

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