15 Watt Fender Amps with Tubes – Under $500!

I like the Blues Junior amp from Fender.  It sounds pretty good for what styles of music I like to play.  Mine was bought for less than $500 and had an upgraded speaker that came installed in it.  I recently installed JJ EL84 power tubes in it (a $20 investment) and it made a small, but noticeable improvement. 

I had played a friend’s stereo amp setup with ping ponging delay and instantly had a desire to buy a second amp in the not so distant future.  I kind of wanted another Blues Jr, but after thinking about it for a while, I really wanted something that would be different, possibly more versatile for practice or jamming without many pedals, and yet something that would also pair nicely with the Blues Junior in the stereo amp rig.

I kept asking people what amp they would get and researched 15 watt tube amps under $500 to death.  In fact, I looked at many that I knew I didn’t like.  I even looked at HYBRID amps with solid state components!  Then, I listened to the tones coming out of all the amps with and without tubes and figured that a couple amps that weren’t fully tube driven could remain in the running.

After seeing the fan base and watching videos online for the Super Champ XD, I started asking all kinds of questions on forums, especially if people who owned the SCXD also had owned a Blues Junior.
I heard from people who preferred the blues junior and from people who preferred the SCXD.  It sounded like a good amp and had a 5 year warranty from Fender, so I wasn’t so scared about the dsp effects and solid state components.  I tried one out in Guitar Center in San Marcos and realized this amp could A) get loud enough and B) was pretty toneful, regardless of price.

I got some gift cards for Christmas and sold some gear to come up with enough to take a SCXD home to try it for the 30 day $ back guarantee.

Immediately, I wanted to see if I could emulate the blues junior tone and run it in stereo, paired up with the blues junior.  I did want something different, but my curiosity was killing me.  I wanted to see if this amp was versatile and could do the blues jr thing as well as the black face, tweed, marshall, and more things.

It gets close in my opinion.  Close enough for the stereo thing and toneful enough on at least 3 channels that I have made up my mind about the 30 day money back guarantee…I don’t want my money back. 😀

Part I video:

Part II video:

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About Nick

A servant and worshiper of Christ, a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a gecko breeder, a guitarist, a mountain biker, a GIS specialist.
This entry was posted in Amps, Guitar, Techniques, Technology and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 15 Watt Fender Amps with Tubes – Under $500!

  1. fender says:

    I even looked at HYBRID amps with solid state components, and so cool …

    • Forgivenick says:

      Yep, its a HYBRID amp that I ended up going with! I never would have thought I would buy an amp that wasn’t all tube after buying the blues junior. It really does sound that good though and even takes my od pedals pretty well. Go figure.

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