This Fender Blues Junior Repair was an urgent repair job for a London based guitarist. I got the amp at 23:30 on the Saturday after a gig in Southwell near Newark and had it diagnosed by 11:15 the next morning before he returned to the ‘big smoke’.
Actually, big smoke was obviously a problem that this amp had experienced in the past as can be seen in the image. A power valve had blown and seriously damaged the PCB. Unfortunately the amp had been taken to a Nottingham music shop for repair and I’m afraid they didn’t know what they were doing!
Whoever fixed it has did something weird and wired up a valve pin that doesn’t connect to anything – it should have been going to the cathode, although they have then wired up the cathode separately. There’s no actual harm with this, it just suggests they didn’t know what they were doing!
They also not secured the valve base very well, so it rocks and lifts the pins when you remove or move a valve. This has started to pull up a PCB track on one of the power valves. This will almost certainly cause problems in the future.
I’ve performed a temporary fix on the problem pin 7 by shaving the solder mask off the copper and adding more solder to give the pin an extra connection.
I recommended rewiring the whole power stage at some point in the not too distant future because the amp is a bit of an accident waiting to happen. Unfortunately there wasn’t time to perform the full repair before the customer left for London.
However all this was a chance discovery. I was actually asked to look at a faulty spring reverb on this blues Junior repair. The problem turned out to be with the tank itself. I checked continuity and ground on the cables and observed signal getting to the tank and nothing coming out.
I’ve got a short Accutronics reverb tank kicking around from an amp I gutted so I thought I’d try it, The impedances didn’t match and it sounded terrible with the Blues Junior! But it proved that this was the only problem with the reverb.
The good news is that the customer could buy a spring reverb unit and fit it himself – you only need a screwdriver.
The customer was kind enough to leave a review on my Facebook page.
If you have a Fender blues junior repair, please get in touch.