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Blues Jr. Speaker Upgrade?

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by Vintage59, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Vintage59

    Vintage59 Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 31, 2010
    Lost Angeles
    I've experienced the "fartiness" of the stock Eminence speaker of the BJr. Bill M has some suggestions on his web site and notes that not all 12" speakers will fit. Anyone here have any workable recommendations?
     

  2. Frankie

    Frankie Strat-Talk Member

    12
    Nov 16, 2009
    Fostoria, Ohio
    I put a Cannabis Rex in mine and love it and it fits with no problem.
     

  3. Vintage59

    Vintage59 Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 31, 2010
    Lost Angeles
    Thanks Frankie! Bill M has great things to say about the CR.

    "The Cannabis Rex gets its name from its hemp cone. Hemp fibers strengthen the cone and impart a different flavor than typical paper cones. The cones are made for Eminence by Tone Tubby, the leader in hemp-cone speakers. This is the warm/clean jazz speaker! It’s a great clean speaker, but its cleans have that hemp cone personality–soft-edged, but not mushy. It handles overdrive and distortion very well when you push it. It’s very efficient, one of the loudest speakers you can put in an amp, and it pushes out pretty, round bass notes really well. The top end is very sweet, even forgiving. This speaker couldn’t make a harsh note if it tried and is beautifully balanced bottom to top. Super for creamy lead work."
     

  4. Frankie

    Frankie Strat-Talk Member

    12
    Nov 16, 2009
    Fostoria, Ohio
    I failed to post that I also had Bill do his rash of mods to my Jr, and I haven’t looked back. Between the mods and the CR that took care of the “fartiness” as you described.

    I play out quite a bit and the JR has seen some pretty big stages and has stood it’s own up against some heavy handed drummers. Of course at some of the bigger places or outdoor shows the amp had to be mic’d but there was never an issue of hearing it on stage.

    I went through three or four different speakers and ended up with the CR. I play blues both live and sessions and it has been a perfect fit.
     

  5. sonicland59

    sonicland59 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    58
    91
    Sep 26, 2007
    Pigs Holler, PA
    My first upgrade was a Celestion V-12 and it fit perfectly but didn't improve the sound at all. I then caught Billm's speaker descriptions on his website and installed a Cannabis Rex. He was spot on with his description and it gave me the improvement I was looking for. And of course mine also fit with no problem.
     

  6. Vintage59

    Vintage59 Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 31, 2010
    Lost Angeles
    Frankie,

    I have been fascinated with the BillM mods. I seriously want the following:

    Basic kit
    The TwinStack
    Low Profile TO20 Output Transformer
    The speaker swap to the Rex

    Did you ship him your amp? I have some soldering skills but not much on PC boards. But I have a really good temp controlled pencil iron.
     

  7. bluejazzoid

    bluejazzoid Strats Amore Strat-Talk Supporter

    Aug 14, 2009
    Southeast USA
    Just for your interest: I just recently sold a Mexican Blues Jr, and the guy who bought it from me told me (today) that he replaced the baffle in the amp and put in a new one with a 10" speaker - and now loves it!

    I never thought about doing that (seems a bit radical, but he said it wasn't so hard). For the record, my amp had none of the BillM mods, and all the fartiness.

    And another +1 for the Cannabis Rex... I put a 12" CR in my Fender Concert (Rivera) amp and what a beautiful thing it is now! A killer speaker!
     

  8. Marco

    Marco Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    63
    624
    Jul 11, 2010
    Seattle
    I too would like to try the CR but if you decide not to go that route over at Ted Weber's site webervst.com redirect to tedweber.com there are testimonials of the speakers used Weber speakers in that specific amp. Or you could call them.
     

  9. dman

    dman Strat-O-Master

    765
    Feb 12, 2009
    Antioch, IL
    I'm glad to hear the Cannabis Rex is the way to go...I just ordered one for my BJ. I hav a Jensen C12N in there...good, but a bit too bright for my taste.

    BTW, Crispdeals.com has the C-rex for $64.95 + S&H.
     

  10. Vintage59

    Vintage59 Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 31, 2010
    Lost Angeles

    Nice tip dman, thanks! That's $25 off everywhere else I was looking.
     

  11. guitargeekaz

    guitargeekaz Senior Stratmaster

    May 6, 2009
    In the present
    just looked at the crispdeals link. can you explain the difference between the two speakers they have. 8 or 16 ohm?
    Thanks
     

  12. dman

    dman Strat-O-Master

    765
    Feb 12, 2009
    Antioch, IL
    Speaker ohms are the impedance of the speaker. (Sorry, doesn't help much, but that's about as technical as I can get!) Generally you want your
    speaker(s) to match your output transformer. In the BJ's case, it's an 8 ohm output, so you'd get the 8 ohm speaker. You can run a speaker(s) with higher resistance (say a 16 ohm with an 8 ohm output amp) and generally have no problem...the amp just works harder and has less output. What you want to avoid is less ohms than the amp's output...the transformer could burn out without enough resistance on it. (That's why you never run an amp without the speaker plugged in.) BTW, Bill M says the BJ runs just fine on a 4 ohm load...he knows a whole lot more than me, so you can trust him on that!

    If you use two speakers, the ohms are either doubled or halved, depending if you put them in series or parallel...but I can't remember which is which!
     

  13. gcat

    gcat Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    60
    Apr 10, 2010
    Cheyenne WY
    Parallel = 1/2 Series = X2
     

  14. guitargeekaz

    guitargeekaz Senior Stratmaster

    May 6, 2009
    In the present
    thanks dman, your explanation couldn't be clearer!
     

  15. Vintage59

    Vintage59 Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 31, 2010
    Lost Angeles
    So what do you guys think? I want to do the following BillM mods:

    The Basic kit & TwinStack
    The Low Profile TO20 Output Transformer upgrade
    The speaker swap to the Rex

    I have some soldering skills but not much experience on PC boards. However, I've got a really good temp controlled Hakko pencil iron, the ability to read & follow instructions, common sense, and plenty of overall "mechanical awareness", if you know what I mean. (Overheating components is bad.) This would probably be my biggest undertaking in terms of "shade tree electro-tech guy".

    Should I give it a try?
    (I also have a very knowledgeable friend if I get into trouble...)
     

  16. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 1, 2009
    My house.

    I have a HRD and I know they're different, but it has some fartiness too. I don't think its the speaker. When I use an outboard overdrive its very tight and bassy. I think it has to do with the way the amp tones controls interact. I'm not positive, but I'd look into that first.

    In my case I use way less bass and mids than I thought at first I should and the thing sounds pretty darn good that way.
     

  17. Frankie

    Frankie Strat-Talk Member

    12
    Nov 16, 2009
    Fostoria, Ohio
    I’d say go for it. From my understanding Bill is backed up quite a bit. If you dropped him a note he would give you a pretty good time frame on when he could get to it. How he works is he puts you on the waiting list, then drops you a note when he wants you to send it to him. That way you can use it right up until when your name comes up on the list.

    If you can work the solder guns and have someone that could help you if you ran into any rough spots, give it shot. I’ve talked to a couple of guys that have bought the stuff from Bill and did the mod work them selves. They said it wasn’t that big of a job and Bill’s instructions were pretty clear and easy.

    Bill did do mine back in the Aug 2008 time frame, and I was on the waiting list for about 6 months before he dropped me a note telling me to send it to him. He only had it for a bit over week before he sent it back completed.

    This is what I had done to mine and cost a bit over $200 with shipping….

    Basic Mods
    Presence Control added
    Twin Stack
    Audio Taper Master Volume Control.
    Audio Taper Reverb Control
    Ruby Reverb Tank
    Metal input jack
    Auxiliary speaker jack

    Plus I added the CR speaker like I mentioned above.
     

  18. Frankie

    Frankie Strat-Talk Member

    12
    Nov 16, 2009
    Fostoria, Ohio
    I would tend to agree with that statement. I changed my speaker out before I had Bill mod my amp. The speaker alone made the amp sound better, but didn't do away with the boxy or fartiness that often is discribed.

    Once I had the amp moded.. Problem solved. I beleive it was probably mostly do to the Tone Stack, but Bill could explain better then I. And maybe I shouldn't say "problem" solved. Because a lot of folks use the amp just like it is out of the box and seem quite happy with it. To my ears the mod was a great improvement.. Then again, everyone's hears something different.

    I'm surprised Bill's not posting here.. As he's over on the sister Telecaster site.
     

  19. Vintage59

    Vintage59 Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 31, 2010
    Lost Angeles
    Thanks Frankie. I'll email him. If I'm going to void my warranty, I might as well have a professional do the work. And it certainly makes sense to get everything you want done in one pass.
     

  20. Babones

    Babones Strat-Talker

    134
    Jul 19, 2010
    London, UK
    This 'fartiness' you talk of, is it when you overdrive the speaker with a pedal? I've recently found that clean, albeit with the gain all the way up and with my low output strat pups, the amp sounds fine/lovely. A nice break up.
    But when i step on some dirt, i get a woofy/farty bassier sound, as if there's a slight drop in volume too, because all the high end comes off. Is this what you guys mean?