Epiphone Valve Junior Head
Epiphone Valve Junior Head

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

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M Elise 12/02/2008

Epiphone Valve Junior Head : M Elise's user review


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This is a 5 watt tube amp with a solid state rectifier. It has two tubes: a 12AX7 and an EL84. There is one input, one volume knob and one on/off switch and thats all. It has jacks for a 4,8, or 16 ohm speaker configuration. I have the above pictured version with the red covering on the face which I believe is slightly improved from the earlier blue version but I'm not aware of what the actual improvements are. The construction of the cabinet is unusually solid and inspires extra respect for the amp. Even though the amp is extremely minimalist in terms of features I'm ranking it high because thats whats attractive about it i.e. its simplicity.


The amp could not be easier to use obviously. As you turn up the volume the sound goes from clean to dirty. At full volume the amp is surprisingly loud which is not a plus because the purpose of a low wattage amp is to make overdriven sound at low volume levels. At full volume through a Marshall cabinet the amp is almost just loud enough to play in a band with if you have a power drummer playing an old drum kit but not quite.


This amp is most suitable for recording and practice at home. I use mine with a Weber attenuator to keep the volume down when turning up. I play mine through a single cabinet with a 12 inch Celestion G12H30 speaker. The amp produces an immediate somewhat brittle type of sound that I rightly or wrongly associate with class A amps. It is not as warm a sound as I get from my other more normal tube amps. The sound has a fidelity which lends itself to recording I think because the amp is very quiet and the notes you play are very clear,tight & immediate. The amp starts to really distort with the volume knob about halfway up depending on what pickups your playing. At full volume the amp produces a very distorted singing like tone that is excellent for lead but probably to harsh for rhythm except in small well placed doses. At about 3 oclock the amp sounds better for rhythm and produces a sound that sounds closer to power tube distortion than preamp tube distortion and thats good.


I do not recommend this amp as your only amp because its too limiting. This amp is more suitable as a second amp to practice through or use to add variety to your recordings. These amps can be bought new for only $150 and used for $100 and thats part of the attraction. I believe they have been big sellers and now other companies are offering alternatives in the same wattage and price range. The amp is cool and will probably maintain its market value over time but for me its too brittle sounding to be something I can fully love but from what I can tell many other people love em.