Epiphone Valve Junior
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Epiphone Valve Junior

Valve Junior, Tube Combo Guitar Amp from Epiphone in the Valve series.

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badgerific 03/24/2011

Epiphone Valve Junior : badgerific's user review

« Great cheap amp, better with mods. »
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The Valve Junior is a 5 watt (RMS) class A tube amplifier available in both head and combo versions. My review will be of the combo version.

Features:

-Single knob for volume

-Eight inch speaker

-EL84 power-amp valve

-12AX7 pre-amp valve

-4 ohm output



UTILIZATION

It's a very simple amplifier with only a single volume control. So changing the sound depends a great deal on what you're putting into it. That said the tone of the amp does change quite drastically depending on where the volume knob is set.

The best thing about this amplifier is that it's a great for modifying and that's where it becomes a great amp. When I bought this amp it had already been modified to have 8 and 16 ohm outputs using a different output transformer, a gain switch which is done by bypassing a resistor and a tweed tone control. I have since modified the amp further myself adding a switch to switch between triode and pentode modes of the power tube. This modification allows you to drop the output by around half which allows you to crank the amp to cause it to "break up" without it being too loud.

SOUNDS

I use this amp with a Squier Duo-Sonic guitar and a Electro Harmonix Big Muff effects pedal. Clean tones is not where this amp really shines, if you're looking for chiming cleans then a Fender Champion 600 would probably better choice for a small valve amp. When distorted this amplifier can sound great, I like setting the amplifier to a clean tone at around a quarter volume and then using the Big Muff to push the amp into overdrive by setting the volume at full and the sustain at zero, this is my favorite rhythm guitar tone using this set up. The amp also sounds great when it's set to a slightly distorted tone and then with the Big Muff set as a fuzz by pushing the sustain to near full and then just getting the volume to unity.

OVERALL OPINION

My favorite thing about this amp is it's simplicity to modify to open up it's possibilities for use, even the simplest modifications such as a tone knob allow the amp to be much more versatile and useable in more situations. Another thing I like about this amp is how it reacts to the different overdrive and distortion pedals that I've used with it.

I personally think that this amp is quite limited when left stock as without the triode/pentode mod getting distorted tones out of the amp will mean quite a high amount of volume which I expect would be too loud for people to use at home for practice.