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Billm Audio Blues Junior Jr TwinStack simple tone stack mod modification

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Billm Audio
Small amps, big sound.

Twin-Like Clean Tone: TwinStack Mod


One of the easiest mods you can do your Blues Junior is to convert the tone stack from standard operation to
Twin-style operation. Heres the deal: The Twin is renowned for its bell-like clean tone. Part of that is having
enormous power and headroom on tap, but the way the tone stack is wired contributes to the bright, Twin
clarity. In the Twin, you can turn the bass, middle, and treble to 1, and get no sound out of the ampall
frequencies are cut off.
The Blackface tone stack, by comparison, started out with just treble and bassand a fixed mids resistor. No
matter how much you reduced the bass and treble, some mid-frequencies are always present. The Hot Rod
series of amps, of which the Blues Junior is a member, added a mids control, but in a nod to earlier Blackface
amps such as the Deluxe Reverb and Princeton Reverb, turning the mids control to 1 still left a basic amount of
mids in the mix.
The surprising thing is how bassy the leftover mids are and how much they can muddy up your tone.
Fortunately, its incredibly easy to modify the Blues Junior tone stack to work like the Twins. The reward is
greater tonal flexibility and cleaner, brighter cleans and more interesting distortion tones. Of course, this works
best with the tone stack mod, replacing the wimpy values in the Blues Junior stack with premium capacitors
that give more solid bassand mids.
This mod gives you all of your stock Blues Junior mids tones from about 4 and up on the control and fewer
mids, down to none, from 4 and down to 1. It opens up the possibility of an ultra-scooped tone, with just treble
and bass, as well as bass-only overdrive, which can be very effective by eliminating middle and high
harmonics.
Dont get me wrongthe Twin is still the King of Clean and no 15 watt amp can pretend to be something its not.
But this mod is dead easy and opens up some very nice tone possibilities. Its a popular mod on the Blues
Deluxe, Hot Rod Deluxe and Deville, for the same reason. So try it!
All you have to do is connect the left and middle (looking from the back) terminals of the mids control together.
This allows the mids control to fully ground out the middle frequencies. You can bend a short piece of wire and
stick it into the eyelets in the back of the control. You dont even need insulation. A piece of bare wire will do
fine.
You must, however, make sure that the jumper wire is not longer than the eyelets depth, otherwise it could
short against the metal portion of the control, which would remove all of the mids. You must also take care not
to overheat the control. Use a deft touch with the ironjust enough to melt the solder and fuse to both the wire
and the eyelet.
This mod is shown on a cream board, but it works equally well with the green board Blues Junior.

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Just to restate one of the points above, the TwinStack will give you a noticeable improvement on any Blues
Junior, but the tone stack mod brings out the best by providing more available bass and mids. With more mids
on tap from the tone stack, you have more available when the control is wide open, down to zero when the
control is at 1. So you improve on the stock tones at both ends.
When we do this mod in the shop, we bridge the center and left mids pot terminals on the back of the board. If
youre going to be pulling the board to install other mods, plan on doing it from the back; its faster and easier.
Heres how: First, start with a short scrap of wire that bridges the two left pins of the mids pot. A thicker clipping
from the tone caps or power supply stiffening caps is perfect.

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Next, apply heat from your soldering iron to the middle of the wire. Add a little bit of solder if necessary to help
the melt.

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All done:

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Comment (RSS) |

62 Comments
1. Dave says:
March 22, 2009 at 9:19 pm
I can see the offenders on ebay selling the twin stack mod kit and when unsuspecting people
buy it all they will get is a little piece of wire and instructions for $15. + $3. s/h . LOL
Dave
2. Trey Pitchford says:
June 5, 2009 at 5:05 pm
Have you done this mod to any other controls? If so whats the out come
bill says:
June 5, 2009 at 5:08 pm
The TwinStack jumper is not a magic fix that works on other controls in some generic
way. Its specific to the mids control and changes its operation from a potentiometer to a
variable resistor. Its not appropriate for any of the other controls.

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3. marsholie says:
June 17, 2009 at 6:42 pm
would be be ok to put a switch so i can go back and forth if i wanted to?
bill says:
June 17, 2009 at 7:28 pm
Theres no point to making the TwinStack switchable. The tone stack mod gives you
more mids overall, and the TwinStack mod gives you the ability to remove all of them. So
you create a larger range of adjustment from none to more than stock than you had
before.
4. Vin Scag says:
June 21, 2009 at 10:32 am
I was very pleased at how easy this mod was to do, especially for an amateur like myself.
The dialability/sound is great.
I got too excited with it and opened the back of my 06 Hot Rod Deluxe to do the mod there.
The C6 is right in front of the terminals on the mid and I dont imagine it can be done at
this side of the PCB.
I imagine this mod should be done by a good tech who would remove the board to do it on
the
other side.
(a mans got to know his limitations!)
5. frank swindells says:
June 30, 2009 at 2:49 pm
Hi
Thats interesting reading
If I get my amp tec to do this on my blues junior will I have the twin sound and also the stock
sound available
Cheers
Frank
bill says:
July 1, 2009 at 8:43 am
If you do the TwinStack mod, it works best with the tone stack mod and power supply
stiffening provided in the basic mods kit. It gives you a very broad adjustment range,
from less-than-stock mids and that Twin-like clean tone to more bass and mids.
6. Jonathan says:
July 1, 2009 at 9:21 am
I got a little confused when I was doing this oneI have a 2003 cream board, but the mid pot
doesnt have any pins to solder together, only eyelets. I did the solder connection on the
green back, but do I need to do both?
Thanks
Jon
bill says:

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July 1, 2009 at 12:52 pm


If you installed a jumper on the green side of the circuit board, theres no reason to
connect the eyelets together. Its two ways of doing the same thing.
7. frank swindells says:
July 5, 2009 at 7:54 am
Hi Bill
When I bought my blues junior, last month I played it next to a new Princeton. I prefered the
blues junior & half the price! Im interested in the mods but dont want to lose the sound of the
amp, just to give the possbilities of extra sounds when I want them. Is that what will happen
with the mods?
Thank for for your reply on 1 st July
Frank Swindells
England
bill says:
July 5, 2009 at 6:29 pm
Most people will agree that the modded amp sounds like a Blues Junior, but the best darn
Blues Junior you ever heard. Thats always been my goal. I dont try to change the basic
tone, but improve it.
8. dennis says:
August 20, 2009 at 10:09 pm
Which of the mods would most greatly get rid of boxiness?
bill says:
August 20, 2009 at 10:28 pm
The basic mods. Thats why theyre the basic mods.
9. don b says:
August 22, 2009 at 6:01 am
I was attempting to do the TwinStack mod with PCB removed and I cant help but notice the
board in your picture is differant than mine. I have a 1998 Rev. C Green Board. Should I
ignore the picture and connect the two terminals as shown?
bill says:
August 24, 2009 at 7:53 am
No matter what board you have, the mids control has three terminals. If you connect the
two terminals on the left, closest to the master volume control, youve done the
TwinStack mod.
10. walt says:
September 3, 2009 at 11:36 am
will I have to undo this if I install the presence control mod?
bill says:
September 3, 2009 at 3:54 pm

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No, they have nothing to do with one another electronically. Tone-wise, they get along
just fine.
11. balde says:
September 14, 2009 at 2:42 pm
Hello bill,
I have a DRRI amp. I modded mine with some features.
one of the mods, was the inclusion of a mid pot instead of the fixed 6.8 k resistor. I replaced
that with a 25k mid pot. my question is, if i turn the pot all the way counter clockwise
(minimum position) am i cutting all midrange freq like thw twin mod or am i leaving some??
thank u very much for your concern
bill says:
September 15, 2009 at 7:30 am
To make the TwinStack mod work, you have to connect the wiper of the mids pot to the
side of the mids pot that connects to the bass pot. This allows the mids pot to be
bypassed completely for super-scooped tone. It also shuts off all sound when all three
tone controls are turned all the way down.
12. Steve Austin says:
October 26, 2009 at 1:52 pm
Hi Bill,
Just thought I would update progress on my BJr. I did the tone stack mod, adjustable bias,
power supply stiffening, twin stack mod and changed the volume control to an audio taper.
The difference in sound was better but still did not make the amp gig worthy as the sound just
kind of disappeared among the other guys, especially the drummer. Then I tried one more
thing. I switched out the stock Groove Tube power tubes for 2 Mullard EL 84 s and what a
difference! That one mod got rid of the the mushy tone completely and together with your
mods, this amp has become one of the best small club amps Ive ever played through, outside
of a Princeton of course. The tone can go from crystal clear with my Strat to down and dirty
Skynyrd type harmonics with my Les Paul. Of course it has excellent highs and, with the
Mullards, some pretty decent lows now. In most clubs I never have to go above 3 and if I do
watch out for your ear drums. It does start to distort around 4. Any effects can be achieved
through my pedals. The only thing that might improve the amp at this point would be some
6L6 output tubes like the Princeton. But then if I did that and changed out the speaker I guess
it would cost about the same as a real Princeton, cost wise. For no more money than I have in
this amp though (I bought it used) it sounds great and solves the issue of weight when
carrying it to a gig. Ive also recorded with it and it does a superb job there as well. Thanks for
the help.
13. Tom Jordan says:
November 1, 2009 at 1:34 pm
Bill,
Got the parts today, did the work and just finished test driving the Blues Jr. Youre right, the
mod opens up the tone of this amp fantasically! It went from that tone that some call boxy or
muffled (to me, it made my Tele sound like a Strat in switch position 2 or 4) and has really
opened up. Plenty of bass and the power to project it but most importantly the ability to adjust
the tone for a wide range of choices.
My motovation for doing this mod was to be able to play my pedal steel through it for my
solo/midi and coffee shop type gigs. Before the mod, the mids were untamed and I wasnt
able to get a useable steel tone (E9 tuning and 18.5k single coil pickup). I put the BJ and steel

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through the test this morning and was pleasantly suprized! It sounds like a mini twin reverb.
High end sparkle, sufficient bass and most importantly control of the mids from none to
plenty.
I will have no trouble using this for steel/Tele on my small gigs and for a no hum recording
rig. I dont think I could use it for a steel gig with a drummer (maybe brushes though or
mikeddepends on the drummer) but for sure with my Tele. This Blues Jr is now a very
useable and just the ticket for those in and out light-duty gigs.
My voltages for plates (11.74) and bias (2.42) came out just as you suggested and the mod
was a fun way to spend the evening. Your instructions were very detailed and easy to follow.
This thing sounds like a Fender,
Tom
14. Rock Mumbles says:
November 1, 2009 at 10:27 pm
A friend and I just did the tonestack capacitor mods and the twin-stack jumper mod to a
newer Blues Junior. The owner liked the amp because of size and weight but thought it could
be more like a Fender amp. He was thinking about buying a new speaker, and Id read quite
a bit about Blues Juniors needing a new speaker, so that was my first inclination, but then I
remembered reading about your tone stack mods. To make a long(er) story short(er), the
combination of the tonestack and twin-stack mods made the amp sound like it was an entirely
new amplifier, it sounds like a real Fender amp now!
15. BlueSimon says:
November 10, 2009 at 12:04 pm
Bill,
Im a blues harp player in China.Last year I bought a NOS Blues Junior from the States.Its
really hard for me to fight with the feedback in gigs.Does this mod help to eliminate
feedback?Thanks.
Best Regards
BlueSimon
bill says:
November 10, 2009 at 12:45 pm
Some harp players say they get better headroom before feedback with the Twinstack
because it makes the tone controls less interactive and they can pull out more mids. I
think that the best solution for harp is a 10-band graphic equalizer pedal. With it, you can
pull down the main feedback frequency and leave the rest of your tone intact. More bands
equal more precision, but then youd need a piece of rack equipment, not a pedal.
16. todd huber says:
December 19, 2009 at 2:29 am
Bill,I did your twin stock mod today,my junior sounds really good cant wait to do your basic
mods.I want to do a twin stock mod on my hotrod deluxe.Is there anything i need to know
about flipping the circuit board to get at it.I assume every thing else is similiar to working on
blues junior.Or is there a site as good as yours with illustrations.I am new to all of this.Thanx
for your help. Todd
bill says:
December 19, 2009 at 1:43 pm

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Unfortunately, the only good Hot Rod Deluxe site disappeared a few months back and its
former host (Eastern Kentucky University) blocks access via Archive.org. So youre on
your own with the HRDx.
17. Mr_Wormwood says:
December 22, 2009 at 4:47 pm
Bill,
I did the twin stack mod, and did not notice much difference. I was careful to make the wire
only go barely into the pots holes and was also mindful of overheating of the pot. Is it
possible that I did it wrong, or is it more likely that the difference is subtle to my ear? I guess
what I really mean is if I did do something wrong, would there be a symptom that would be so
overt that I could not miss it such as amp simply does not work or explodes or something?
The mids pot does still function (if its on one and I turn it to 11 I can hear a subtle change in
tone) and I am sure that I put the wire in the correct holes.
I have not done any of the other mods yet but plan to, and I am just hoping that the twin
stack mod is so subtle because I have not yet replaced the caps with orange drops yet.
I am very interested in your prices for mods actually done by you as well but when I sent you
an email requesting prices a few weeks ago, it was not answered.
Is there a way to contact you for this or should I just email you again?
Thanks for all your info, you provide a wonderful cornucopia of information fir Blues Jr owners
and we are grateful for your passion for amp modification
bill says:
December 23, 2009 at 10:20 am
You can verify the correct operation of the TwinStack by turning off all three tone
controls. If youve done it right, no sound comes out of the amp. You can then turn up
the bass and treble for a super-scooped tone.
18. Joe says:
February 20, 2010 at 8:40 pm
Hi Bill
I have a Fennder Blues Jr. (U.S. made) and want to change the 2 tone stack caps. Can I
aquire The Orange Drops Caps from yourself. If so how much $?
bill says:
February 21, 2010 at 1:42 pm
The Orange Drops are part of the basic mods kit.
19. Randy Harper says:
February 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm
Wow! You are my BJ hero! I have a Limited Edition which I play a modded Nashville Tele
(Duncan Hot Rods) and a PRS Custom 22 on a modern country/southern rock gig and was
getting ready to get another amp. After this little mod and a check through my pedal board
with both guitars I will keep using this little guy. I have a friends Japanese Mustang and she
may not get it back. It sounds very transparent in clean/fat mode.
20. Joe feliciano says:
March 1, 2010 at 2:06 pm

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Ok, just got finished with the twin mod on my blues jr. This amp made me nuts all I wanted
was a clean fender tube amp that did not cost too much. $500.00 was a good price I was so
happy in the store but at home and playing with the band it sucked: flab flab flab. so I put in a
Texas heat and it was a little better. Then the tubes. If you ask me, GTs are crap anyway, so I
put in some JJs power tubes, electro hamonix pre amp tubes: 12at 12ax 12ay. I do have a
little buzz now that I didnt have before, but I think thats on me and my work I can fix it so
now I have $650.00 amp and its sound is great, tone is great.
21. Alice Buffalo says:
May 10, 2010 at 12:49 pm
Bill,
I did the Twin stack mod and the amp sounds great (no other mods done). I can actually hear
differences when I fiddle with the knobs and the highs ring. The amp is much closer to the
jazzier sound Id like, and that old guitar sound like in Little Esther Phillips The Storm.
I have noticed, though, that the amp seems quieter with the mod. When I pull the wire out
and dont change any settings, its louder. Is this change in volume real or apparent (because
everything is clearer with the mod, the amp may only seem quieter)?
Ive also noticed that the low end sustains more. I almost cant play with the fat switch on
because the notes just keep going until I dampen them. Why would this happen? (If it makes
any difference, Im using a Heritage H-516 with humbuckersexcellent guitar)
Thanks.
bill says:
May 11, 2010 at 7:53 am
When you install the TwinStack jumper, youre reducing mids, so you are in fact pulling
out some of the signal. The amp is a little quieter, but you can add the mids back in again
with the mids control. Or you can compensate with more volume or more bass and treble
if you want scooped tone. With the jumper in place, youve separated the interaction
between the mids and bass pots, so you may need to turn the bass down a bit, especially
on a green board, so it doesnt sound too prominent.
22. david jones says:
June 10, 2010 at 3:32 pm
Hey Bill. it seems you nearly always use orange caps .
what do you think of other types such as SOZO mustard caps ?
bill says:
June 14, 2010 at 12:02 pm
I dont hear a difference. The Orange Drop model I use is film-and-foil construction, like
most other premium caps. Theyre designed for PCB mounting.
23. Scott says:
June 20, 2010 at 10:11 am
I tried this mod a couple of weeks ago, and now I can finally stop adjusting the controls
constantly and just enjoy playing! This really gave me control over the lower mids which were
mushing up the bass sound. This small mod has made me love this amp so much more.
TIP: dont let the wire be too long. It only needs to go into the eyelet a little bit before it
creates a short. I sound checked it before I soldered to make sure its right and Im glad I did

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because the first attempt left me with no sound.


24. rick frost says:
August 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm
Hi, will these mods work on an original blues deville? I hate the lead channel going into middle
too loud mode.
Great site you have.
Rick
bill says:
August 28, 2010 at 9:18 am
The TwinStack sounds good on the Blues Deville. You could probably work up a version
of the cathode follower mod, too. The other mods dont apply.
25. Randy says:
August 31, 2010 at 8:10 pm
I want to do most of the mods except for a couple I dont really need, Is there a particular
order I should do them or any that conflict? I have a Jr.thats about 3-4 months old I bought
used for $250.
bill says:
September 1, 2010 at 1:54 pm
Blues Junior order of work, depending on the mods you ordered:
1. pull knobs
2. unscrew input jack, speaker/footswitch jacks
3. pull quick connect wires from power and output transformers
4. unscrew circuit board
5. move jack board out of the way
6. pull circuit board down/out
7. clip tone stack caps, presence control resistor, bias resistor
8. desolder cap stubs, resistor stubs, any pots and jacks that need to come out
9. desolder input jack
10. drill holes in board for bias trimpot
11. drill holes in board for power supply stiffening
12. insert and solder new board components, not line out jack or Clean Boost.
12a. remove old output transformer, install new OT (if ordered)
12b. install octal output tube sockets (if ordered)
13. reinstall circuit board
14. mark and drill jack and presence control holes (I find its easier with the board
installed rather than loose, but feel free to interchange these steps).
15. install presence control
16. install aux/line out jack(s)
16a. connect/install ohms switch if applicable
17. reinstall jack board
18. install input jack
19. install Clean Boost
20 reconnect quick-disconnects, anything else thats loose.
26. cgt says:
September 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm
Bill,

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I just picked up a 2006 MIM Blues Jr, Id love to give this mod a shot, but to be honest, I am
worrying about electrocution. I used to have an Epi Valve Jr half stack and had a tech do the
Bitmo Trio mod on it due to the cautions listed. I was told the amp could hold a charge for a
while. I am a complete novice when it comes to electronics, is this something to consider
when doing this mod?
Thanks.
bill says:
September 7, 2010 at 7:19 pm
Read the Removing the Circuit Board page for an explanation of how the amp
self-discharges. If you have no experience soldering on printed circuit boards, I
recommend getting help from someone who does.
27. Ian Edwards says:
October 4, 2010 at 5:30 pm
Dear Bill,
Holy crap I just did the twinstack mod. Its amazing! It really evens out dissonant chords in a
way that I couldnt control before. I can hear now that it was some mid-low bass that you
couldnt get rid of before that was causing the problem. Anyways, thanks for the freebie!
Greatly looking forward to the kits that I ordered.
28. John Vengrouskie says:
October 5, 2010 at 8:28 am
Bill,
Been reading you for a wghile, the new site is grand
I have a line on a Blues Jr with intent to make it My Way whatever that is.
I have a Fender Supersonic that I love (absurdly loud as it can be), especially since putting a
JBL G-125 in it. Itll surf, itll crunch, itll sound like a recording amp in any vein I ask it. I have
a second G-125 and my thought is that it might go well in the B-jr if I can get the amps tone
in that ballpark of a Deluxe/Vibrolux sorta thing. Any suggestions there?
thanks for all the writing and doing!
JV
bill says:
October 5, 2010 at 9:56 am
The basic mods, TwinStack, and presence control will give you much more tonal
flexibility. An upgraded output transformer will give you better tone quality. The rest is
icing on the cake.
29. cgt465 says:
October 5, 2010 at 8:13 pm
Thanks again Bill, are there any mods that help the Master volume and/or the Pregain volume
have some rolloff between zero and 1 or 2? It seems to JUMP right in, very little tweak room if
I want to play it quietly.
Thanks again
bill says:
October 6, 2010 at 7:50 am
The volume control is already audio taper, so theres nothing else you can do to improve
the jump-up between 1 and 2. Then again, I cant imagine why youd want to set the gain

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that low. Its better to control the loudness with the master volume. On my Mod Kits
page, I have an audio taper control for the master. It makes the loudness curve much
more gradual.
30. dan smith says:
October 6, 2010 at 8:52 am
Hi Bill i recently got a kit from you,the basic kit for the mim amp and the presence
control/twinstack mod and had it fitted by a good local amp tech and the amp initially sounded
great but after playing loud was getting interfearance in the notes after youve played them.I
looked at the phase invertion oscillation atricles and did the lead dress which has helped but i
now seem to be getting the sound of the spring reverb in the speaker(rattlin/distortion)which
is actually is a marshall reverb that someone who had the amp before me has added,do you
think this marshall rev could be the problem??also i changed the speaker to a eminence
cannabis rex after reading your articles on speakers because i play mainly jazz either with a
ibanez archtop or a tele with a p90,the speaker sounds great,tried it in my hrdlx as well.Since
the mods i am getting a amazing amount of bass from the amp and have it turned down to
2/3 on the amp when using neck pickup on either guitar,i wondered if i should be getting so
much bass and i know this is causing a lot of vibration within the cab and wondered if this is
normal???many thanks.Dan.
bill says:
October 20, 2010 at 9:22 pm
Are your tubes fresh? 50Hz hum (UK) is often caused by worn preamp tubes. 100Hz is
more often worn output tubes or old filter capacitors. The mods give you a LOT more
bass. I like bass.
31. David Pokotylo says:
November 2, 2010 at 11:51 am
I intend to do the mod using the pot jumper wir, but am wondering how much length I should
leave on the bent piece that goes in the eyelet?
You note not longer than the eyelets depth we talking 1-2 mm here?
Looking forward to doing this as my first mod on the amp!
bill says:
November 3, 2010 at 7:59 am
Just use enough wire to go into the eyelets. Better yet, do it on the back of the board
and do the rest of the basic mods, too! The video on the Removing the Circuit Board
page shows you how to get to the back quickly.
32. Pasi says:
November 3, 2010 at 9:38 am
Just did the mod and wow! The change is just radical!
Thank You a lot for this mod, now I get as much and little bass as I want to. I was just about
to sell this but now this sounds like an angel!
I had already changed the Celestion Gold in it and warmed the bias of the Sovteks to some
75 mV:s and now I dont have words to describe how great this sweet little amp sounds!
Hats off to Bill!
33. Joel P. says:
November 28, 2010 at 8:31 pm
Hi Bill,

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After having done almost all of your mods and changed the speaker to a Canabis Rex, I must
say the amp sounds wonderful. Since Im always searching for perfection, is it possible to
remove some of low mids from the mid control? In other words, can I narrow the freq band
controlled by the mid pot by removing from its bottom? I usually keep the mids at 1-2 to keep
a very clean sound but I like the upper midrange fullness when I bring the control up to 4-5
however I find its bottom end too muddy. The Low control is fantastic especially since
changing the preamp coupling capacitors do I dont really wanna bring it down. Thanks!
bill says:
December 17, 2010 at 10:07 am
Mids are tricky. The mids cap drains midrange tones out of the circuit. A larger cap
drains more mids in a broader range. A smaller cap drains fewer mids, but in a narrower
range. My tone stack changes the mids cap from .022uF to .015uF. You might want to try
a .01uF mids cap.
You did the TwinStack mod, right? Thats important for removing midbass from the stack.
Joel P. says:
December 19, 2010 at 10:16 pm
Yes I did the Twinstack mod as well as the presence control, Heyboer OT. Does the
mid control have a bell curve or is it essentially linear? I guess what Im looking for
is to raise the center frequency of the mid pot so that it affects fewer low mids. I feel
the mid control and the bass control overlap too much, as if the mid control was
voiced a little too low in the mid-band range. If I were to take what youre saying to
the extreme, what would be left of the mids if you had an extremely small cap on
the mid control? Would the mid control do anything? would there be a fixed amount
of mids left? Obviously I lack an understanding of electronics anyway, thanks a lot
for your help and your wonderful mod kits. I must have the nicest sounding BJr in
town!
bill says:
January 14, 2011 at 6:26 pm
The mids control drains the leftover mids out of the circuit after the bass
control is done. A smaller mids cap will leave more mids in the circuit, it will not
change the frequency range of the control. A larger mids cap, will drain more
bass out of the circuit, however.
34. dan smith says:
December 2, 2010 at 8:52 pm
Hi Bill,i recently emailed you because after the basic mods,presence,reverb taper,twin and
tonestack mods,cannabis rex speaker(nice speaker) my mexican bj has too much bass when
using my archtop,my teles fine but obiously is much brighter,i cant get enough sensitivity in
the bass control,i have the bass control set 1-2/2.5 but its a bit of a bass on or bass off kind
of thing,Can i do anyting to smooth it out like the reverb taper style?Or lower the bass orange
drop value?or have another lower gain input?If so what do you recommend?Regards.Dan.
bill says:
December 17, 2010 at 9:55 am
You could put in a .047uF instead of the .1uF bass cap. On the cream board, the bass
control is already audio taper, so theres no further advantage to be gained there. You did
the TwinStack mod, right? That pulls out the excess midbass.
35. Wil says:

08-May-12 12:01 AM

Billm Audio Blues Junior Jr TwinStack simple tone stack mod modification

16 of 16

http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=58

December 16, 2010 at 7:12 am


Hello Bill,
My question is simple :
I bought the re-cap kit but cant remove the old caps, they are glued to the board, I read
acetone could help but I didnt tried.
So how do you proceed for doing that ?
Thanks
(Ps : The basic and presence mods are awesome !)
bill says:
December 17, 2010 at 9:43 am
After you clip the leads, you can rock the old caps side to side and it will break the glue
bond.

08-May-12 12:01 AM

Billm Audio Billm Clean Boost for Blues Junior

1 of 6

http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=105

Billm Audio
Small amps, big sound.

Billm Clean Boost Module


One of the ongoing complaints about the Blues Junior is that it doesnt step out enough when
youre going from rhythm playing to solo. If youre going from clean to distorted, a pedal is an
excellent solution. The Fat switch gives you a boost in loudness and a bass boost, but it isnt quite
enough to cut through the rest of the band. Putting a clean boost pedal in front of the Blues
Junior is often not a good solution because the BJrs high-gain preamp stage goes into overdrive
or distortion increases to unacceptable levels. The boost just isnt clean anymore when you cut in
the pedal.
The Billm Clean Boost module gives you more volume without a tone change by boosting an
under-used stage late in the Blues Junior signal chain. It takes the preamp tone and makes it
louderdrives the output tubes harder. Its one square inch, mounts right on one of the existing
circuit board retainer screws, and all the connections are done from the top of the circuit boardno
need to remove it or get to the back side. The clean boost module adds about as much additional
loudness as the Fat switch, but without the bass boost, and it does it at any volume level, all the
way up. It boosts clean signals or distorted, and doesnt change the tone. It does not suck tone or
alter the Blues Juniors tone in any way when it is off. Like the Fat switch, the Clean Boost
increases the gain of one of the Blues Juniors tube stages. But unlike the Fat switch, it doesnt
increase distortion or boost the bass significantly. When youre playing loud, though, it does
ultimately increase output-stage distortion, which is a good thing.
The Clean Boost is designed to come on when you pull up on the presence control. It can be used
in conjunction with the Fat switch for a big boost in volume and heavier tone. If you play out, you
may prefer an additional mod that changes the footswitch jack to a stereo jack. You can then plug
in a 2-button footswitch and control the Fat switch and Clean Boost independently while youre
playing. The footswitch overrides the panel settings for both the Fat switch and the pull-up on the
presence control.
The loudness boost, when combined with that of the Fat switch is dramatic. I made some tests
with continuous, harmonic-rich tones, similar to what youd get from a guitar, and wired one of my
Blues Juniors so I could turn the Fat and Clean Boost on and off independently.
I tested 400Hz and 1500Hz tones, starting a higher volume level with the 1500Hz tones::
400Hz 1500Hz As you can see, the boost is somewhat more effective at lower
frequencies, but the 11 to 15dB of total gain is an amazing
Starting Level 90dB 100dB difference. The boost remains effective even at 12 and 12 on the
Fat Switch
99dB 107dB volume controls (wear your earplugs!). The Blues Junior has some
untapped power hidden away in there, and the Clean Boost
Clean Boost 97dB 106dB module brings it outdramatically.
Both
105dB 111dB

08-May-12 12:18 AM

Billm Audio Billm Clean Boost for Blues Junior

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=105

This is the Clean Boost module. Its 1 inch square and it connects to your amp in three places. All
connections are from the top of the circuit board, so theres no need to get to the back side.
R3 is a thumbwheel trimpot that lets you adjust the amount of boost. If youre not running the
boost along with the Fat switch, youll probably leave it wide open. If youre combining the Fat and
Clean Boost, and the jump in volume is a little too much, you can dial it back. This is probably a
one-time adjustment for most users.
The Billm Clean Boost uses premium components, including a Bourns cermet trimpot for reliable,
static-free operation, and a Xicon low-ESR (equivalent series resistance) capacitor for maximum
efficiency. It switches in and out silently, with no pops or clicks. The active connection uses
Mogami low-noise coaxial. This is mixing board/studio-grade cable. The control and power
connections are stranded, Teflon-coated wire for ruggedness and resistance to the errant
soldering iron when you install them.

08-May-12 12:18 AM

Billm Audio Billm Clean Boost for Blues Junior

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=105

Heres the Clean Boost module installed in a cream board Blues Junior. The back of the board is
cushioned to prevent buzzes and vibration damage.
Although shown on a cream board, it works equally well on a green board, including those with
existing Billm mods. I supply the module fully assembled and tested, with instructions and wiring
options.
Comment (RSS) |

18 Comments
1. Scott Pope says:
November 16, 2009 at 1:55 am
Bill, if the audio taper gain and master volume controls are both installed, is there
anything to keep from installing the clean boost and hardwiring it so its on all the
time? With the new TO20 or TO22 transformer, it seems like that would be a mod
you would want on all the time if you wanted your BluesJr to hold its own with
something like a Blues Deluxe, or a JTM45 or such on stage?
bill says:
November 16, 2009 at 5:50 pm
Sure, you can just ground the blue wire and itll be on all the time. Or just
leave the presence control pullswitch in the up position.
2. John says:
May 9, 2010 at 7:09 pm
It does exactly what is says on the tin. Great mod!
3. Karl says:

08-May-12 12:18 AM

Billm Audio Billm Clean Boost for Blues Junior

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=105

August 12, 2010 at 12:57 pm


If you want to drive the output tubes harder, why not just change the resistive
attenuator that includes the master volume control? You could swap out a few
resistors; theres plenty of gain from the preamp amplifer stages.
bill says:
August 15, 2010 at 2:28 pm
The boost module is more easily switchable and includes tone shaping.
4. EricL says:
August 13, 2010 at 2:04 pm
Hello Bill.
Congratulation for all your work on the fender amps and the kit you offer. Fine new
web site too.
I was wondering what makes this boost clean compared to the fat boost since the
circuit is very similar to the fat switch, but working not on the same tube.
Thanks,
Eric
EricL says:
August 16, 2010 at 3:23 pm
Ok, I think I got it. This is the cap in parallel with R17 (or R10 for the fat
switch) that makes the difference. The bigger, the more bass (and vice
versa). Am I right ?
bill says:
August 17, 2010 at 10:16 am
Instead of changing the size of the cap, the Clean Boost includes a
trimpot so you can set the amount of overall boost. In this stage of the
amp, there is less bass boost than what youd get in the preamp, as with
the Fat switch.
5. Rusty Milner says:
August 30, 2010 at 10:09 pm
Bill, Is it possible to make a Mod to the Fat Boost that would tame the low end
when in use? Also for those who like the Fat Boost on all the time, can your Clean
Boost be wired to the existing Foot switch?
bill says:
August 31, 2010 at 10:02 am
You can de-fat the Fat switch by replacing the 22uF bypass cap that the Fat
switch turns on/off with a smaller one, perhaps 4.7uF or 2.2uF. But if the amp
sounds farty on the low end, you should probably do the basic mods and

08-May-12 12:18 AM

Billm Audio Billm Clean Boost for Blues Junior

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=105

TwinStack to clean it up. Then decide whether the Fat switch is more useful.
I dont recommend rewiring the Fat switch to control the Clean Boost. Its
actually easier to replace the existing jack with the stereo jack kit.
6. Sammy Wheeler says:
September 8, 2010 at 6:34 pm
Hey Bill!
Just looking through the mods you offer for the blues junior! Excellent! I was just
wondering with this particular one whether I have to have the prescence control
mod, in order to put the clean boost module in? I intend to use a two button
footswitch to toggle between the fat/clean boost via the stereo jack kit.
Best regards,
Sammy
bill says:
September 8, 2010 at 10:29 pm
Yes, you can wire it directly to the footswitch.
7. k-o-matic says:
December 28, 2010 at 5:30 am
Hello,
Sorry, I dont know anything about amp construction, so this might be a dumb
question But is it possible to convert this clean boost module into a mid boost
module, and be able to control the amount of mid boost with the trim pot? I have a
couple of D-style amps, so I am used to having the mid-boost function
Or is it possible to convert the Fat boost into a mid boost? Is that what the
de-fat-ing does? (replacing the 22uF bypass cap that the Fat switch turns on/off
with a smaller one)
Thanks in advance for your reply.
bill says:
January 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm
Given the simplicity of the BJr circuit, its not really possible to change the Fat
or Clean Boost into a mid boost. Turning up the mids control all the way gives
you some extra distortion and drive, but not as much as youd ever get out of
a Dumble-style amp.
8. scott says:
February 26, 2011 at 4:28 pm
Thanks for helping my blues jr. turn into a great amp. would it be alright to wire

08-May-12 12:18 AM

Billm Audio Billm Clean Boost for Blues Junior

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=105

the clean boost so its on all the time. I mean- can it be like like giving the master
a 13, and 14?
bill says:
February 26, 2011 at 9:30 pm
Its really designed as a boost, not a permanent volume increase. But if you
love it, you could just turn it on and leave it on; it wont hurt anything.
9. Paul L says:
March 11, 2012 at 4:04 am
Hi Bill
Till I purchase a 2 button footswitch, can I bridge tip and ring on the stereo jack to
control both Fat and Clean Boost with a 1 button footswitch?
bill says:
March 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm
Yes, that will work, no problems.

08-May-12 12:18 AM

Billm Audio Billm Standby Switch for Fender Blues Junior

1 of 7

http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=327

Billm Audio
Small amps, big sound.

Standby Switch for Blues Junior


By popular demand! People have been asking me for years for a standby switch on the
Blues Junior, and here it is. Ive seen a couple of implementations over the years, but
they typically used an on-off-on switch with standby on one side and play on the
otherkind of a kludge. Also, they involved cutting into the high-voltage wiring. I dont
like creating possible points of failure.
There isnt room inside the chassis for another
switch next to the power switch, even if you
relocate the pilot light. Yes, you could cram a
cheesy little switch in there, but were talking high
voltage here, and only a heavy-duty switch will
do. Fortunately, Carling, the same company that
makes the power switch thats in your Blues
Junior, makes a clever progressive switch. It has
three positions: off, standby, onvery logical. In
standby, the high voltage supply is cut off. The
filament and bias supplies receive power.
The kit is super-easy to install. Theres no
soldering andif youre sensible enough to unplug
the amp before you startno danger. I supply everything you need: the switch,
high-voltage wire, and a special connector, plus photo instructions. You can be back up
and running in minutes.
Even though standby switches arent really necessary on low-powered amps, Ive gotta
say its pretty cool! Its a handy way to mute the amp when taking a break or when
changing guitars. And even with the Billm cooler bias, the output tubes do run even
cooler on standby.
The kits are available now. Order from the Mod Kits and Services page.
The kit does not work for the Pro Junior. The switch can be adapted, but requires
removing the circuit board and doing some soldering.
Comment (RSS) |

41 Comments
1. Tom says:
July 5, 2009 at 8:40 am

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Billm Audio Billm Standby Switch for Fender Blues Junior

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=327

Will this Standby Switch for Blues Junior work on a peavey classic 20 amp?
bill says:
July 5, 2009 at 6:28 pm
Im sure you could wire up the switch to work, but the kit is specifically for
Blues Juniors.
2. Tom Levens says:
October 24, 2009 at 1:49 pm
Ive come across a bit of information that might be of interest to your international
readers. Ive been repairing a cream-board Blues Junior sold in the UK that had
been cooking its output tubes. Not only was the Bias set WAY too hot (as was
expected) but the plate voltage was around 380V! The combination of the two was
leading to the tubes dissipating about 16W at idle toasty! In poking about, I
noticed that Fender had the export transformer wired for 230V mains, but there
was also a 240V option on the schematic. Thought Id give it a try its as simple
as swapping the white/black wire connected to S2B (on the mains switch) with the
black wire connected to P6 (on the main board next to the fuse F1). Now its
running cool with a B+ of
346V with the bias set correctly. If Fender are shipping all Blues Juniors to the UK
(and Europe?) set for 230V, Im guessing a lot of people might be running in to
problems depending on their local
voltage. So might be worth advising people to check their B+ and adjusting the
transformer if necessary.
Tom Whitwell says:
April 18, 2010 at 3:54 am
Tom, I just checked my UK Blues Junior, and it was wired for 230v. Not any
more! Thanks for the tip!
Andy P says:
October 5, 2010 at 9:23 am
This was true of my Hot Rod DeVille 212 as well! Its being fixed by a friend at
the moment and one of the first things we noticed when checking over the
board was the incorrect voltage due to the connections to the transformer.
Now it is running with a lower B+. This sounds like a common issue
crsturmer says:
February 7, 2011 at 5:45 am
Hi Tom, Thanks for this tip. To confirm, do you take the wire off S2B and
put it on P6 and take the P6 wire and put it on S2B? Sorry, if Im being
simple, I just want to be extra sure before doing this!!
3. Don LeBlanc says:
October 25, 2009 at 8:48 pm

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Billm Audio Billm Standby Switch for Fender Blues Junior

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=327

Would installing this Standby switch void the warranty on a Blues Jr or are the
changes easilly reversible ?
bill says:
October 26, 2009 at 10:14 am
Im sure that it would void the warranty, but it is easily reversible.
4. mira arnaud says:
October 30, 2009 at 9:05 am
Hello,Im living in France and i will buy your standby switch. Do you give the
schemat with it?
Thank you
bill says:
October 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm
The instructions cover the international version of the amp, too. Photographs
show how to connect it.
5. Larry Seagle says:
December 19, 2009 at 2:56 pm
Will your standby switch for the BJ, work on my PRRI?
bill says:
December 21, 2009 at 9:52 am
Yes it works. Ive installed one, and its pretty cool. Unfortunately, I neglected
to write down the lengths of the connecting wires, so I cant offer it as a kit
until I get another PRRI in hand and install another.
6. Chris says:
January 8, 2010 at 6:38 pm
Would this by some chance also work Peavey Delta Blues?
Thank you!
bill says:
January 12, 2010 at 11:16 am
In theory, yes. In practice, youd have to route the B+ supply to the switch
and back to the board. Someone knowledgeable about the Delta Blues would
have to do it. The connector I supply in the kit is specific to the Blues Junior.
7. Javi says:
January 22, 2010 at 2:06 pm
This kit was super easy to install! You just have to take your time and be very

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Billm Audio Billm Standby Switch for Fender Blues Junior

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=327

careful when pushing/pulling the connectors onto the PCB. I braced the PCB with a
finger while I did this. Works great, excellent work Bill!
BillEvans1956 says:
June 17, 2011 at 5:35 pm
Just ordered my kit! Looking forward to getting it and making the swap. Glad
to hear that its straightforward. Thanks. Bill
Shrewsbury
United Kingdom
BillEvans1956 says:
July 2, 2011 at 10:01 am
Fitted and all up & working again. Excellent piece of kit. Thanks Bill
8. Mike says:
January 23, 2010 at 5:11 pm
Hi, will this standby switch work for Princeton Reverbs ? Thanks
bill says:
January 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm
The fit is very tight on a Princeton Reverb (Reissue). Im not currently offering
it as a kit, but I may do so in the future.
9. Mike says:
January 27, 2010 at 1:18 pm
Hello again,
Will this switch fit / work in a blackface or silverface Princeton Reverb ? If so, how
much is it and how can I order one ? Thanks again
bill says:
January 29, 2010 at 7:13 pm
Its a very tight fit in a Princeton Reverb, at least in a reissue. Im not offering
it as a kit right now. The switches I stock have push-on connectors, so youd
have to install female connectors on the appropriate leads in the PR.
10. Carlos says:
March 1, 2010 at 9:30 am
Hi!
I installed the switch while drinking a cup of coffee nursing a hangover on a
Saturday morning! Easy to install and works great!
Thanks Bill!
11. Steve Adams says:

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Billm Audio Billm Standby Switch for Fender Blues Junior

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=327

June 24, 2010 at 1:11 pm


Hi All
To save any confusion thought would confirm officially voltage for UK changed
from 240volt to 230volts(-6%,+10%) as of January 1st 2004
12. Geoff says:
July 3, 2010 at 4:05 pm
Hi, The change of UK mains voltage from 240v to 230v is purely cosmetic. Nothing
has actually changed, theyve just shifted the error bands as shown in Steves
post. Its still effectively 240v, folks.
(This is to harmonise with the rest of
Europe btw.)
13. Adam Mackintosh says:
July 4, 2010 at 2:01 am
Love this switchare the installation instructions on this site? We bought a few of
them for the Lynda Kay band and I think someone else got my copy. Thanks cant
wait to have it in. -AM
bill says:
July 4, 2010 at 1:37 pm
The switch kit comes with instructions, 600V-rated jumper wire with insulated
push-ons installed, and wire ties for putting it back together neatly.
14. NHBluesMan says:
July 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm
is the middle position just not connected to anything?
Im interested in adding a switch like this to my Blackheart Handsome Devil, and
im wondering if this would work on it. Thanks!
bill says:
July 15, 2010 at 9:23 pm
In the middle position, theres power to the heaters and to the bias, no high
voltage to the plates. Since the HD is cathode biased, you dont have to worry
about the bias. But you can wire it so that it interrupts the high voltage supply
and leaves the filaments on.
15. Neal says:
August 7, 2010 at 12:46 pm
I have the relicd version of the Blues Jr and Im wondering if my aged nut and
washer will work on the threads of this switch?
bill says:
August 9, 2010 at 8:46 am

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Yes, the nut will fit. On Relics, I also rough up the switch with sandpaper
and/or a file and rub some black and brown permanent marker into the
scratches to complete the rusty look. I do the same with the replacement
input jack, which uses a different-sized nut than the original.
Good luck getting the back and case screws out.
Neal says:
August 31, 2010 at 12:23 am
ha, thanks Bill. Ive already done your basic mods so getting in a second
time wont be a problem, it sounds amazing so far, I cant wait to try the
TO20 tranny I also ordered
16. CSCAN15 says:
December 30, 2010 at 11:29 am
Hi Billwant to get this and have a couple questions. With replacing the switch, do
I have to worry about any voltage issues? Getting shocked? I thought it says plug
and play? Shouldnt you just have to unplug the existing terminals that are
connected to the stock switch and plug them onto the new switch? Let me know.
Thanks!
bill says:
January 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm
You cant get shocked if the amp is unplugged.
17. Naal says:
January 15, 2011 at 6:16 pm
Hey, Bill. You woulnt happen to know if this switch works on a Vox AC4, would
you? The little guy needs a standby for the sake of the tubes, and I cant seem to
find one here on the interwebs. Thanks!
-Naal
bill says:
January 18, 2011 at 8:43 pm
No idea whether it would work on an AC4. Someone who works on them
would be able to help. If it has the same toggle-type on-off switch, that would
be a start.
18. marko5702 says:
April 5, 2011 at 8:00 pm
Hey Bill just installed the stand by switch, I noticed a sight pop from the on to the
standby position and even a louder pop from standby to the off position, is this
normal?? Its quiet when flipping the switch the other way I have a cream board,
does it matter which of the two white wires go to P9 or P10? Will you be making

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Billm Audio Billm Standby Switch for Fender Blues Junior

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=327

any white decals SB to stick next to the switch??


Thinking about doing some of your other mods, what watt solder gun should I use.
For the bias control is there a proper setting or is it by what sounds good to me?
Thanks Mark.
bill says:
April 6, 2011 at 7:40 am
Some noise is normal when switching in our out of standby. Youre switching
AC, which goes from zero to full voltage to zero 120 times per second. If you
happen to hit it at zero, you wont hear a thing. If you hit it at full voltage
youll hear a pop. In between the two extremes, you hear less. Its nothing to
worry about.
Regarding the other kits, they come with full instructions, including setting the
bias.
19. lazarus909 says:
May 4, 2011 at 8:55 am
Will this switch work with the super champ XD ? also what tubes would you
recommend for the scxd? Thanks Bill
bill says:
May 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm
This switch will not work with the SCXD. I like JJ 6V6s output tubes.
20. TP says:
June 19, 2011 at 6:13 am
Some words regarding the 230-240V issue: actually most of the time the main
voltage I measure is near to 240V (speaking of Austria, but I think its the same in
most european countries) I changed the transformer wires to 240 on my BJ a while
ago to run it cooler, but my impression was: it sounds a lot softer and mushier
with a noticable loss of clean headroom. The better idea is to leave it on 230V and
set the bias cooler. High B+ voltage on a tube amp is a good thing.
I always check the filament voltage on my customers BJ, if its the correct 6.3V or
max 6.7V I leave the amp on 230V. Only if its much too high up to 3,8 or 3,9V it is
better to change the transformer wiring to 240V
21. Jazzman says:
October 17, 2011 at 1:17 am
Got the switch in Friday afternoon. Followed your instructions, which wewre
meticulously spelled out! My wife helped out. It took about 10 minutes and even
Mr. All Thumbs had successfully installed the switch. I used the amp on tonights
jazz trio gig and really enjoyed the new standby option the switch afforded me. It
made a sweet amp even sweeter. I used it mainly as a jazz amp and its great!
Thanks Bill!

08-May-12 12:05 AM

Billm Audio Fixing Simple Printed Circuit Board Mistakes

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=204

Billm Audio
Small amps, big sound.

Fixing Simple Printed Circuit Board Mistakes


Every once in a while someone installing my mods gets in over his head, or something
just goes wrong, and they ask me for help. I looked around on the Web for a page that
shows how to fix common printed circuit board problems, so I could refer them to it. I
was amazed that I couldnt find such a page. So here are some examples of what not to
do, and how to fix common problems when it all goes wrong.

I recently received this board for repair. The owner had attempted to install the green board reverb
mod and the tone stack capacitors, and realized that he wasnt hearing any bass or mids
anymore. He had removed the tone stack caps again before he sent me the board. He had
attached a weird piece of push-back wire to the cap thats half-inserted into C20 and tack-soldered
it to R40, and tack-soldered the re-routed R56 to the other side of R40. Neither tack-soldering joint
held; one broke off in shipment and the other broke when I touched it. Neither would have
survived the pounding that a combo amp gets from its speaker.

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As you can see, three out of four of the pads for the tone stack capacitors are completely gone.
This kind of damage is normally caused when youre desoldering components. The leads are bent
over onto the circuit board, and if you try to lift them while any of the solder is still adhered, the
pad comes off. If you work carefully, suck all of the solder off, and make sure the lead is not
adhered to any part of the pad, you wont have this kind of problem.
Scorching on the board and widely-spread rosin indicates that the soldering iron was either too
large or too hot or both.
This is nasty, but all is not lost.

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I cleaned the board with solvent and scraped off the excess rosin. You can see how the lower left
trace is partially torn off, too. The missing solder pad on the upper right breaks the continuity of
the thicker trace.

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The next step is to scrape around 3/8 inch of the green solder resist on the trace leading to each
missing pad. Take light passes with the edge of a hobby knife. You want to expose the copper
below, but not remove any of it.

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The next step is to tin the exposed copper. Just heat the copper enough to flow solder onto it.
Dont overheat it, or you could lift the trace.

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Put the new components into the holes. These Orange Drop tone capacitors have heavy leads.
Here you can see that I bent the lead over sharply, so that it overlaps the tinned trace. I then
heated it and applied a bit more solder, so that there was a long, smooth bond between the lead
and the trace. You can hold the lead down tightly with a jewelers screwdriver. Solder wont stick to
a chromed screwdriver.
After it cools, you can trim the unsoldered portion of the lead. Make sure you dont damage the
trace when you clip the lead.

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The upper trace that has to be connected in two directions to complete the broken circuit. This
requires a different approach. I twisted a piece of wire around the capacitor lead. This is a cutoff
from a thin resistorperfect for the task. Never depend on a bridge of solder to close a gap; always
use a patch wire.

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Drop the loop over the lead and pull it tight.


There are other ways to repair printed circuit boards, such as metal-bearing ink pens that let you
draw a new trace, or copper-loaded two-part epoxy thats rugged and conducts well. Theyre OK
for repairing cracked traces, but neither is as strong as wire and solder for a long-lasting repair or
for creating an attachment point for a component lead, as Im doing here.

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You can also use the loop technique to create a new solder pad. Just put a loop in the end of the
wire, then connect the tail to the scraped trace on the board. Make sure that the component is firm
against the other side of the board so that theres no possibility of play through the hole. Motion
can crack the solder joint or cause the trace to peel from the board.

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Remember the first picture? Above is the right way to attach top-of-board mods: Crimp the
components or wires so you have a strong mechanical connection before you solder.

Heres the tone stack and reverb mod, all finished up. Solder has flowed nicely on the C20
connection (also crimped first), and on the R40 connections. The Orange Drop caps are glued
together with hot melt glue to prevent vibration. Two more dots of glue hold the wire against

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vibration. Whenever you solder on the top side, always check the back side to make sure that you
havent loosened the back-of-board connection.
Were all set to button it back up.

Uh-oh, wait a minute! What the heck is this? Our modder decided to lower the too-hot bias by
replacing the 22K resistor in R31 with a 27K instead of going with adjustable bias. Good, but
tack-soldering the 27K resistor onto the cut-off leads of the old resistor is a bad idea, especially for
bias. I pulled the board again to take a look at the back sideand do the job right.

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Heating the stub caused it to desolder on the other side. This is a potential disaster waiting to
happen. Losing the bias voltage will certainly take out the output tubes and maybe destroy the
output transformer as well. Dont mod onto stubs from the top of the board!!

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It turns out that the tack soldering job wasnt so great, either. It broke while I was removing it. See
above, under potential disaster.
The solder pad and trace on the back of the board were in good shape, though. With a fresh
resistor in there, the bias will be dependableand cooler, reducing future heat damage from the
output tubes and improving the tone.

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Even arced-over, burned traces can be repaired. Damage like this can happen from a poor solder
joint at the ribbon cable or from a screen grid failure in one of the EL84s. The carbon is conductive
and it will arc again, even after youve repaired the solder joints.

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The solution was to create new solder pads for the plate and screen wires. I cut the trace leading
to the burnt area so there would be no possibility of further arcing or voltage leaks.
So the moral of the story is to do mods that are within your level of expertise. Learn how to solder
and desolder on a broken radio. Make every fix for the ages, not something that looks marginal
or is hanging on by a thread.
The ribbon cables are especially annoying to work on. If you break one connection, you have to
shorten the whole cable. Then you have to get all of the leads into the holes at the same time.
Like shortening one leg of a chair, things can go from bad to worse very quickly.
The basic mods to this board were done with a too-hot soldering iron, probably a cheapo plug-in
with no thermostatic control. All of them showed board damage; I had to remove all of them (tone
stack, presence, etc.) and start over again.
Comment (RSS) |

One Comment
1. sluggo42 says:
April 12, 2012 at 8:01 pm
Well, I had to take my board in to get my mistakes fixed, and get the job finished.
Got her back together and wow, sounds great!
I did have 3 bad caps (2003) so I replaced everything. I still need to set the bias,
and then it will be donefor now lol.

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Anyways, my point is that its not that easy to do all of this, and unless you really
know what youre doing with a soldering iron, I suggest just sending it in to Bill or
having a qualified person do the job. Its TOO easy to make a mistake and screw
up your CB. I contemplated attempting to mix my goofs, but figured $100 to a
qualified person was worth it. I now have $360 into my bjr, and it sounds
awesome. Thats tough to beat

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Billm Audio
Small amps, big sound.

Improving Green Board Reverb


Most people agree that the reverb in the early Blues Junior stinks, and most people blame it on
the short Accutronics tank. Fender heard a lot of complaints on the Fender Discussion Pages
board, but admitted to no faults. Then, without fanfare, it totally redesigned the reverb circuit in the
2001 cream board redesign. The green board circuit picks up and reinserts the signal after the
Master Volume control, so that any hum or noise in the reverb circuit is fully amplified by the power
stage. Apart from noise, this is a poor design because if you turn the master volume up or down
you change the drive to the reverb tank. This changes the proportion of the reverb in the
post-master signal, so you generally have to adjust the reverb if you make any significant changes
in the master volume.
The newer circuit picks off the signal and reinserts it before the Master Volume, so the reverb
changes with everything else and the proportion of the reverb in the final mix doesnt change. It
also uses a different dual op amp, with different component values, but the circuitry is essentially
the same.
This modification updates the green board reverb so that it picks up the signal at the same point
as the cream board and inserts it back into the signal chain at the same point before the Master
Volume. The result is much quieter reverb operation, stronger reverb, and better reverb tone.
Although Fender used a different op amp, a 4560, when they revised the circuit theres nothing
intrinsically wrong with the TL072 in the green board Blues Junior. Some early fixes for the Blues
Juniors reverb attempted to change either the gain or the frequency response of the reverb circuit,
but these early mods have proven to be ineffective; no one does them anymore.

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I provide the proper capacitor, with the lead already attached, plus the resistor in the green board
basic mods kit. As you can see from the photo, you simply unsolder C20, insert the free leg into
the right hole of the C20 location, and connect the other end of the lead to the right side of R40.
Then replace R56 with the provided 330K resistor, running it from the top hole to the left side of
R40. Its easiest to do this while you have the tone stack caps removed or before you replace them
with the tone stack caps provided in the green board basic mods kit.
If you want to roll your own, the 470pF cap should be a 1 kilovolt (KV) ceramic because the 1KV
caps are made to a higher quality standard that affects audio performance. Alternatively, you can
use a 470pF 250V or 500V silver mica capacitor. I supply a 1KV ceramic in the basic green board
kit.
You can use the existing 470K resistor in R56, but connected across to R40, but the new one in
the kit gives you more lead length to work with..
One More Step
If you play your BJr with the volume control at 10 and higher, you are likely to hear a high, ringing
tone that sounds like feedback when a guitar is plugged in. It is feedback, and its caused by the
poor layout of the old green circuit board, which has no ground planes or other shielding. Some of
the signal from the preamp circuitry leaks back into the amp through the input jack, and causes
the feedback.
One cure is simply to shield the jack. You can use adhesive metal foil tape (not duct tape, real
aluminum tape). Heres what the shielded jack looks like, and heres the pattern I cut out of the
foil. The fingers go on both sides of the threaded portion of the jack, and ground the foil against
the inside of the top of the chassis when you reinstall the circuit board.
When I mod green board Blues Juniors, I always replace the input jack with a Switchcraft all-metal
input jack (see kits). I bypass the feedback-prone circuit board traces entirely and wire it directly to
the preamp input resistor with shielded coaxial wire. I highly recommend the Switchcraft input jack
with all green board mods.

When you get everything back together, youll find that the reverb sounds cleaner and brighter,
and has virtually none of the previous sensitivity to hum. Turning up the Reverb control no longer
swamps the rest of the signal; you can use its full range. The Master Volume control will now vary
the amount of reverb along with the dry signal.

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18 Comments
1. Dieter Billinger says:
January 1, 2009 at 6:31 pm
Reverb tone/distortion suggestion:
I was thoroughly impressed by the improvements in my green board Woody Blues
Junior, but I did find that the reverb was somewhat distorted either by signal
overload or an excess of high frequencies causing harmonic distortions in the
reverb springs. I found that turning the tone down on the guitar to reduce the
highs had a dramatic effect on the cleanliness of the reverb. This lead me to
believe that the problem was probably caused by excess highs in the reverb tank
as opposed to general signal overload. It just happens to be that I didnt have a
680K resistor on hand to replace R43 however I did have a 300K and a 390k on
hand which I placed in series to get the needed value. (at least close enough for
rock, country and blues). The junction point of these two resistors was an ideal
spot to try and do some tone experimenting with the reverb. I pulled out my old
capacitance substitution box and connected it between ground the resistor junction
to see if a suitable capacitance will clean up the reverb distortion. Indeed this
proved to be very worthwhile. I found that placing a 2.2 nf cap between the
resistor junction and ground provided a remarkable clean up of the reverb signal
without a substantial loss to the reverb signal.
TP says:
December 11, 2010 at 9:02 am
Thats a good suggestion. I always found the reverb of the BJr too shrill with
too much treble . I tried a 1,5nF across R38 (cream board) to drive the reverb
with a little less high frequencies, but what I found to be even more effective:
a 2,2nF cap across the reverb poti smooths out the reverb signal itself and
sounds more pleasing to my ears. Anyway I left the bypass cap C23 in the
circuit, would be probably even more effect to cut that out too.
BTW: I have a Limited Edition BJr with the wooden sunburst enclosure from
2003, and I had to change also all power supply filter caps. Two of them
leaked and shorted the supply voltage after a while.
Many thanks to you, Bill for your passion and sharing so much usefull
information about this nice little amp
2. Matthias Huth (Leipzig) says:
February 3, 2010 at 5:13 pm
Hi Bill, Ive done the reverb kit in my 91 green board Blues Junior. I dont changed
eitehr the capacitor nor the resistor. So the hum and noise is gone and all is in
function. Only in case I turn the volume to 12 the reverb will missed a bit. May be
if I would use a 330K resistor instead of the 470 K (R56) the result will be better.

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Thanks a lot. Matthias


3. Ron Ditty (P-strat63) says:
April 27, 2010 at 10:08 pm
Hi Bill:
The reverb on my creamboard FBJr died. After replacing it with another tank, I
found the original to be the problem. The replacement is from a 1980 s Musicman
RP112-65 combo. The trouble is that now the reverb is very noisy. Unusably noisy.
I dont use a lot of reverb to begin with, just enough to add life to the sound.
Is it possible that I put the wires on backwards (I dont want to swap them until I
know that I wont damage a vintage tank.), or is this tank bad also? Which tank
would be a good replacement?
Soon, Ill be ordering the stand-by switch and your new transformer. Theres a guy
on e-Bay selling matched tubes for the FBJr that Im considering, either him or the
Amp Doctor.
Thanks for your help,
Ron
bill says:
April 29, 2010 at 8:52 am
That tank is probably the wrong impedance for the BJr. Use the stock
Accutronics 8EB2C1B tank or the replacement Ruby or MOD tank available
from Mojo Musical or Antique Electronics. You can also see how to repair the
usual problem with the tank here: http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=46.
The red wire goes towards the middle of the amp. The black is under V1.
If youre interested in improving the tone, start with the basic mods.
Upgrading the transformer doesnt help much if the amp is strangled by the
stock electronics. Theres no magic about where you buy your tubes. A pair of
JJ EL84s from Mojo, Tubestore, Antique Electronics, etc. are the same.
Matched 12AX7s are a waste of money.
4. Glenn Heller says:
June 16, 2010 at 12:24 am
Hi Bill. After installing this reverb mod on my green board, I felt the reverb
sounded more ditorted as i increased preamp overdrive (in a brittle way, not a true
reflection). And still a bit noticable with pre amp down and main volume up. Upon
reading the first comments by Dieter Billinger on 1/1/09 Im wondering if youve
also tried his resistor and cap mod to the reverb circuit? Upon looking for R43 on
schematics it appears to say (910K) but is that a standard value? Am I looking at
the wrong resistor? Can you help clear this up?
bill says:

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June 17, 2010 at 6:51 pm


I have not tried Dieters mod. R43 on the green board is R37 on the cream
board. Fender increased the value to 1M . The difference is not really
noticeable.
5. Glenn Heller says:
June 20, 2010 at 11:19 pm
Thanks Bill. I do love the re-routed pre-master reverb path making the balance
much better while I change settings between full master and low master. Perhaps
a linear pot change will be next for the reverb.
6. Greg Mauser says:
August 5, 2010 at 3:19 pm
Hi Bill,
I didnt see the answer I was looking for in the previous posts. In the green board
reverb mod, can you elaborate on the difference of the reverb sound when using
the 330K
instead of the 470K for R56? Im asking because I put the Ruby tank in and it
sounds REALLY good but my ears are not as finely tuned as yours and
I have not tested at all levels yet.
Thanks so much,
Greg
bill says:
August 9, 2010 at 8:51 am
The 330K resistor sends a slightly stronger signal to the reverb. No tone
difference.
7. NAUSICAA says:
January 8, 2011 at 4:26 pm
Bill, is it neccessary (or at least preferable) to sheild the input jack even if I keep
my stck plastic one? Or, does it only make sense to shield the jack if its all-metal?
bill says:
January 14, 2011 at 6:54 pm
If you do the tone mods, definitely shield the plastic jack. Otherwise youll get
internal feedback at high volume/high treble settings.
8. greekscramble says:
October 29, 2011 at 8:21 pm
Hi Bill,
Are there instructions for bypassing the reverb all together? My chicken head knob
has broken off of the reverb, and it is pinned at 12. I never use reverb, and I dont
want it.

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Thanks in advance.
bill says:
October 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm
Unplug the black wire a the tank and short the center pin to the shell tabs
with some thin, bare wire.
9. Colins says:
November 2, 2011 at 3:44 pm
Hi
Just came across this page looking for information on my BJ III reverb feedback
and It kinda sounds like the same thing, feedback/distortion when the reverb is set
around 10 and above. It just seems to happen when I hit a couple high strings
together. Is there anything similar I can do to the BJ III to quiet it down cuz its
kinda ugly.
Thanks for any help!
Colin
bill says:
November 2, 2011 at 4:44 pm
You may just have a saggy spring in your reverb tank. Try isolating the tank
with some heavy cloth. If that helps, you may want to get a reverb bag. Or it
may make more sense to have the dealer replace the tank.
10. tim2b98 says:
March 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm
Hi, Just recieved the Basic kit that came with a few extra parts that the instructions
did not mention. I found this page and now I know what the 470pf cap and resistor
(I recieved a 430k) are for. But I still dont know what the blue 100pf cap is for?
Tim
bill says:
March 24, 2012 at 4:26 pm
On the green board, the 100pF cap goes across the leads of R19 if youre
experiencing phase inverter oscillation.

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Billm Audio
Small amps, big sound.

Removing the Circuit Board


Some techs refuse to work on printed-circuit Fenders. Its too time-consuming and frustrating. The
newer amps were definitely not designed with serviceability in mind. I hope this guide will help
you.
The first thing you have to do before you can do any mods to your Blues Junior is get to the back
of the circuit board. You dont have to remove it completely from the amp; its more convenient, in
fact, if you dont. Heres what I do to open up a Blues Junior.
Remember that tube amps run at temperatures that can burn you and voltages that can kill you.
Work safely, and always think before you reach into an amp for any reason.
Disclaimer:
Its a shame to have to include this, but some people just like to make their problems somebody
elses problem. Although all of these mods have worked well for me, you perform them entirely at
your own risk. I do not warrant or guarantee that they will perform the same way for you or that
you wont damage your amplifier, burn yourself, electrocute yourself, or stick an X-Acto knife
through your palm. Tube amplifiers have components operating at high temperatures and lethal
voltages. If you dont feel comfortable doing these mods, take the amp to someone who does.
These modifications will void your warranty. Peace and music, not lawsuits.
Heres a video that demonstrates how to remove the circuit board:

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And here are the older, written instructions.


1. Unplug the amp.
Pardon me for stating the obvious. Then remove the back. If the back panel binds on the sides of
the case, you may need to loosen the two screws on the sides of the case that hold the chassis.
Dont remove them; just back them out a few turns to relax the tension on the case. Heres what
you see when you open the back:

2. Discharge the power supply capacitors.


Theyre the four large gray and black tubular objects. Actually, if you turn the amp off while the
tubes are warm, it will self-discharge in 20 seconds or so. Once youve turned it off, dont turn it
back on. Ensure that all the stored charge is gone from the caps by touching the positive terminal
of the big one to ground with an insulated jumper. The other caps are all connected together

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through resistors and will discharge any remaining charge at the same time.

3. Clip the wire ties.


You need some maneuvering room, and youll also want to retwist some of the wires later for hum
control. Be very careful not to cut or nick any of the wires.
4. Remove the knobs and input nut.
The knobs are pressed onto the plastic shafts of the control pots. Pull up with even, steady
pressure. If knob doesnt come off easily, hold the pot body with your other hand to reduce stress
on the circuit board. If the knob really wont come up, use a pair of spoons as levers. Pad the
faceplate so you dont damage it.
5. Remove speaker/FAT jack nuts.
Use a 1/2 nut driver or socket wrench to remove the nuts that hold the speaker and FAT switch
jacks. The lock washers are located inside the chassis, not under the nuts.
6. Unplug the power transformer and output transformer leads.
Do this before you unscrew the board. Pull up firmly and steadily on the red, brown, and blue
leads while wiggling the connectors side to side. Pull the push-on end, not the wire. Note where
they go. Theyre marked for color on the cream board, not the green board. The green, red, and
brown pairs from the power transformer are AC, theres no polarity when you reassemble. They let
go all of a suddenmake sure youre clear of the thin wires that run from the speaker jack board.
Dont tear out any wires. If youre working on an older (green circuit board) BJr, also remove
the pilot light. Do this by pulling gently on the petals of the white socket assembly. I use a
bent-jaw long-nose pliers for this. The red lens may pop off; be careful not to lose it. The white
LED assembly will remain attached to the wires.
7. Remove the circuit board screws.
Seven screws hold the circuit board. The black plastic standoffs may be stuck to the chassis. Pull
gently at each standoff location to pop them free.
Now youre ready to actually maneuver the board so that you can get to the back. Move the
speaker/FAT daughterboard out of the way, letting it hang over the lower edge of the chassis.
Press the output transformer and reverb (black) wires flat against the chassis. The lower edge of
the circuit card will want to catch on these wires, so keep pressing them down as you gently move
the circuit board down far enough for the pot shafts and input jack to clear the edge of the

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chassis. Unkink the power transformer wires so that they dont resist. Keep wiggling and pressing
and sliding, making sure that youre not stressing any wires. When the shafts clear the chassis,
bend it out gently, lifting the lower edge of the circuit board, until it is nearly at right angles to the
chassis. This will give you full access to the back of the board.
Dont pull on the big filter capacitor. Put pressure on the empty quick-connect stakes at the left
edge of the board, instead.
This is what your circuit board should look like in working position. You have full access to the
back of the board. and can operate the amp in this position after you replace the red, brown, and
blue output transformer wires.

For access to the component side of the board, its easier and less wear and tear to lay the amp
down on a soft cloth or carpet than to continually bend and flex the wires.
The printed circuit traces are fragile! When you solder/unsolder, keep the heat on the component
lead. Use a temperature-controlled iron. Too much heat on the board can cause the copper trace
to lift and curl.
The unsuccessful mods that come to me for repair almost always have burns on the circuit
board from a too-hot iron. You CANNOT use a crappy little plug-in iron with no thermostatic
control! And definitely not a soldering gun!
See my mistakes page for examples of how not to do it. (I havent moved this page to the new site
yet.)
If you have difficulty, its likely to be when you unsolder the tone stack capacitors. The bent-over
leads can be difficult to straighten without damaging the printed circuit. The traces and solder
pads on the back of the board are rather small and
Instead, clip the capacitors from the other side and use a solder sucker to lift the solder and
the stub of the lead. Do not try to salvage the old parts by removing them intact! Its far more
likely that you will destroy the traces on your board. Flush cutters are a better choice than
standard diagonal pliers. The picture shows the cream board tone caps, but the same technique

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works for the green board.

After youve clipped the caps, youll see that even with flush cutters, the upward force on the lead
has caused a dimple in the solder. Its best to remove the solder and the lead stub with a solder
sucker, as shown here. Youll have a clean hole with no damage.

When its time to button everything up, reverse the above procedures. When you get the circuit
board back into the chassis, twist the green, red, and brown wire pairs together to reduce the
possibility of hum. Secure them with wire ties. Dress the wires so they arch over the circuit board
and back down.
Very Important!
The plastic jacks for the input and FAT switch are fragile. Any attempt to tighten them snugly will
strip the threads. Just bring them up to the point where the nut stops turning by hand, then give
them a little bit more with the wrench. Be gentle.
If youve loosened the screws on the sides of the amp, dont forget to retighten them.
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54 Comments
1. Paul says:
February 11, 2009 at 1:09 pm
Bill,
If I were to get a temp adjustable iron, what temp should it be set at?
bill says:
February 14, 2009 at 11:52 pm
I set mine at 650 F
2. Peter says:
March 26, 2009 at 10:50 pm
Bill,
just seeking some further clarification on discharge of the capacitors before I
commence work on the amp.
You say above: 2. Discharge the power supply capacitors. Theyre the four large
gray and black tubular objects. Actually, if you turn the amp off while the tubes are
warm, it will self-discharge in 20 seconds or so. Once youve turned it off, dont
turn it back on.
By the bit about if you turn the amp off while the tubes are warm do you mean:
1. You switch the amp off at the on-off switch on the amp itself when the tubes are
HOT, or
2. You firstly do as in 1 above, but then let the tubes cool down to warm, and at
that point THEN switch the mains power off, or
3. Something else I havent covered.
Sorry to labor the point, but where electricity is concerned.
bill says:
March 27, 2009 at 12:57 pm
If the tubes are hot enough to play through and make a sound, the amp will
self-discharge in 20 seconds or so when you turn it off. Running a jumper
from ground to the + side of any of the big gray tubular capacitors is just for
insurance.
3. Steven says:
March 31, 2009 at 12:49 am
Will a solderiong iron at 770 be too much heat to do the twin stack mod?
bill says:
March 31, 2009 at 11:43 am

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As I said above, I keep mine on 650F.


4. Todd says:
June 5, 2009 at 3:42 pm
Bill,
What type of solder do you recommend?
Todd
bill says:
June 5, 2009 at 5:09 pm
I use Alpha 60/40 solder.
5. Mike says:
July 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm
bill,
im sorry i cant find the right place to ask this question, so i post here.
in the bias mod, ive changed the resistor to 27k(1/2W) instead of trimpots, will
there be a difference of using 1/4W or 1/2W?
thanks very much!!! i enjoy the mod u designed very much!!!
mike
bill says:
July 11, 2009 at 10:17 pm
No difference. Either 1/4 watt or 1/2 watt will be fine.
6. Scott says:
July 13, 2009 at 12:35 pm
Bill, what iron/soldering station do you recommend? I have a 15/30w switchable
radio shack right now, but want to get a better iron. From what I hear, Wellers are
the best. Any recommendations?
Thanks
Scott
bill says:
July 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm
I prefer the Hakko 936-12. It has excellent thermostatic control, its light, well
made, and a better value per dollar than equivalent Weller irons. Hakko
836-12.
7. Moe says:

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August 1, 2009 at 5:44 pm


I have done the tone stack, change over to JJ tubes, and rebiasing per your
instructions and my BJ wails. Others that hear it are amazed. And finally the best
part, since I rebiased the amp it runs much cooler and the ice in my drink sitting
on top of the amp doesnt melt as fast.
8. Dale says:
August 27, 2009 at 12:50 pm
OK, newbie question. Im thinking of following your recommendation in buying the
Hakko 836-12. Does it come with the tip I need, or do I need to order the tips
separately? If so, which tips? Thanks!
bill says:
August 27, 2009 at 5:54 pm
The standard tip that comes with the 836-12 is fine for everything you need
to do.
9. leni stern says:
January 6, 2010 at 3:37 pm
i need to change the fuse, plugged it into 240 in africa. what size fuse???? help me
!!!
bill says:
January 7, 2010 at 11:58 am
For 120V, 2A 250. For 240V operation with international transformer 1A 250.
10. Shawn says:
February 21, 2010 at 11:33 am
Hi Bill,
I play the harmonica and did your mods, can help for feedback???
If not, what is the simplest mods to do ?
bill says:
February 21, 2010 at 8:28 pm
I do things a little differently for harp. Some things are the samebasic mods
kit, TwinStackbut I also increase the input impedance to 10M ohms so you
can use a crystal mic or a dynamic. It also makes the high end a little more
airy.
I also do a super mids control which gives you a much broader range of
adjustment on the mids, from zero to more than stock. The tone controls are
less interactive, so you get more control and make it easier to dial out
feedback frequencies.
I unbalance the phase inverter a little for more crunch at the same volume

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and recommend the Clean Boost module for more output tube drive tone.
The presence control is an option if you want more bite and cutting tone at
the same volume.
11. Graham says:
March 23, 2010 at 3:02 pm
Bill,
I have just done a series of the mods and it sounds great. Just a few things that I
would like to ask you please, ..
First, when putting the circuit board back in the chassis, I am finding that the
shafts of the pots are not centered in the chassis holes. This is leading to a stiff
spot on the various pots when they are turned. To reduce this I removed a screw
that holds the circuit board down, so that it allows the board to move slightly
allowing the shafts to turn more freely. It almost looks like there should be a
washer behind the black spacers that the screws go through, so that the circuit
board would stand away from the chassis. This would work but it would be a
nightmare to try and re-fit the circuit board with washers, and I am thinking that if
they were not there originally then they should not be there now.
Have you seen this before, and have you any ideas as what I have done wrong?
Secondly, when you remove an original master volume pot, are you able to
remove the solder on all of the connections allowing the old pot to come away
easily? When I removed the master volume pot I found that I had to cut the
original pot away from the circuit board and treat each of the points of solder like
individual connections. Only then could I get the solder sucker to free the original
points soldered to the board. Is this normal, or is my technique not up to scratch?
I want to replace the plastic input socket but only if I have the capability.
Thirdly, the shaft of the new master volume pot is very short and the knob that fits
onto it is only just on the shaft. Is this normal?
Finally, I have seen a solder sucker on Ebay that incorporates a heat source so it
melts the solder then sucks up in the same unit. Are these any good?
Thanks in advance.
Graham
bill says:
March 29, 2010 at 8:19 am
Its possible that the plastic standoffs got a bit crushed from tightening the
circuit board, which could cause the misalignment with the front panel. I
actually like a little friction on the knobsit prevents them from moving too
easily if I brush one while adjusting another.
Using a plunger-style solder sucker, you should be able to remove a pot

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easily by desoldering the three terminals after desoldering the two snap-ins
and bending them slightly away from the edges of their holes.
I dont recommend the heated desoldering tools, at least not the AC-powered
inexpensive ones with the squeeze bulb. They get very hot and can lift a trace
very easily. You would need a dimmer to control the power and a lot of trial
and error to get the right setting. This type of desolderer is best suited for
circuit boards with through-hole plating. The Blues Junior circuit board is
single-sided, with no plating. So all of the solder is right on the surface. The
spring plunger-style solder sucker is best.
12. AL says:
April 10, 2010 at 2:49 am
Hey there, just ordered all of your mods.. 1st question I have is about the LINE
OUT mod.. Is it just there when you want to use it without interfering with amp
operation, also.. is it a balanced output? My other question is if you knew were I
could get a clear crystal for the LED indicator instead of that red one.. I really want
a blue light!
Thanks for your time
bill says:
April 10, 2010 at 9:04 am
The line out is not balanced. Its the speaker signal attenuated down to line
level. It does not cut off the speaker, doesnt affect the amp in any other way.
I have not found a source for a clear lens (or any other color) that would fit
the BJr LED.
AL says:
April 10, 2010 at 3:58 pm
Ok well that still sounds awesome, I want to go out from my BJ to my
tube-preamps and record like that.. Have you any experience doing this?
How did it sound? What if I went with a whole new fixture that would fit
the stock hole where the LED was.. Do you know what size this hole is? I
was thinking about doing some hunting.. Thanks Bill!
Gheorghe says:
April 15, 2010 at 5:44 pm
This may sound like a silly question, but is the lineout dependent on the
master knob, so, more speaker volume = more line out volume, or is it a
flat, unchangeable volume dependent on the recording devices
intake/input level?
Also, what does balanced mean when referring to the lineout?
Thank you.

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bill says:
April 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm
The line out is the same signal that goes to the speaker, but it is
reduced through some resistors so that it is low enough for
recording equipment or a PA amp. Any change that you can hear
through the speaker, tone or loudness, goes to the line out also.
Balanced signals are the kind that use an XLR jack, with 3 prongs.
Balanced signals cancel out noise and hum and can go a long
wayhundreds of feet. Unbalanced signals are like your guitar
cablea center conductor and a shield. Despite the shield,
unbalanced signals are prone to noise and should only be used for
short runs.
Matt says:
April 18, 2010 at 1:19 am
A 10mm LED w/holder fits with little modification (if youre here looking
at mods..most likely your warranty is already void anyways
). The
LED output from the Blues Jr is about 2.7v and runs a 3v led just fine. I
have a very bright blue LED in minelooks awesome.
jack says:
July 26, 2010 at 10:50 pm
Matt, wher can one acquire the neccessary items to do the blue led
mod like yours? Would like to do the pjr also.Thanks
jack says:
July 28, 2010 at 8:29 pm
Found it ! Pedalpartsplus.com 5mm LED and Holder
13. AL says:
April 10, 2010 at 10:12 pm
Ya, found nothing
14. Pete says:
April 22, 2010 at 9:55 am
Hi Bill,
I just purchased you basic kit for my BJ, I am wondering is there anywhere I can
find images of how to do these mod, kinda a step by step. The amp is sounding
great the the moment. I put a Greenback in there and some Harma Cryo Retro
valves in the preamp, based on the Mullards, really sweet tone and woody at the
same time.I have a pair of JJs in the power section and want to wait until I can
adjust the bias before using the Retro Mullard 84 s. Your site is fantastic btw, really
learned a lot from it. Sure let me know about step by step, if there is one. Best
wishes

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bill says:
April 24, 2010 at 8:40 pm
The mod kits come with photo instructions. They should provide enough
guidance if you have decent mechanical/soldering skills. If youre a novice,
you should get help from someone with the tools and experience.
15. Abi says:
April 22, 2010 at 11:39 pm
Hey Bill,
I was wondering if Id be able to disconnect the internal speaker on my blues jr
(green board, made in the USA) and hook up the amp via speaker cable to my
Avatar 212 cabinet. I was just curious to know if that would cause any problems.
The cabinet is 8 ohms. Thanks a lot.
Abi
bill says:
April 24, 2010 at 8:23 pm
Yes, that will work very well.
16. Ken Zuercher says:
May 3, 2010 at 7:10 pm
Bill, thanks for having this site and offering your mod kits. I was repairing a recent
Blues Junior for a student of mine when I noticed the cheeseball pots in the amp.
His had a cracked midrange pot that I replaced with a real pot. I have a Blues
Deluxe (not a reissue) that has real pots although I had to replace the input jacks
with Switchcraft jacks. Also i had to resolder every joint on the two circuit boards.
Now it is finally reliable. The tonestack cap change that you suggest (.1 and .015)
did the trick on the Blues Junior. Much cheaper than a Jenson Alnico Speaker.
bill says:
May 4, 2010 at 7:38 am
Now try the new coupling caps! Its even better. If the knobs are mounted
correctly, the stock pots (admittedly cheesy) will last a long time.
17. Luke says:
August 20, 2010 at 6:07 am
Hi Bill,
You reccomend 60/40 solder, but in the UK most places only sell lead free
(Sn99.3% Cu0.7%) which has a higher melting point (227 degrees celcius instead
of the 188C of 60/40) Ive been using this fine for general soldering, but would it
be suitable for doing your general mods, or do I need to seek out some leaded
solder (my dad may have some)?

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Regards,
Luke
bill says:
August 22, 2010 at 2:57 pm
If only lead-free solders are available, tin-copper is probably best for an
amplifier. Tin-lead is very malleable and absorbs vibration well. Tin-copper
has a higher melting point than tin-silver or tin-silver-copper, but its less
likely to crack. Work carefully, because the higher heat is more likely to
loosen the copper traces.
18. Joe C says:
August 21, 2010 at 9:30 pm
Im a complete noob!
I bought most of the mods, I bought the Hakko soldering iron station (big +), I
followed the instructions, emailed Bill a couple of times (poor billm!), got quick
answers, listened to the advice and now my BJr sounds freaking incredible! I have
soldered before, but the difference using a temp controlled soldering iron is huge.
Never even came close to overheating anything! (My biggest fear!)
My mods to a 2006(?) BJr:
Cream Board Basic Kit
Presence control
Switchcraft input jack
Audio-taper master volume control
Audio-taper reverb control
Clean Boost module
Stereo footswitch jack
22 Watt Heyboer
Recap Kit
Standby switch (I love this option!)
Aux speaker jack
Line out jack (not used, but I keep dreaming!)
Also added the Cannabis Rex speaker
Ruby reverb tank with a tank bag
I typically play with a Celestion G12 Century ext cab. this combo sounds absolutely
awesome!
I cant begin to tell you how nervous I was going into this mod, but fear not, it was
fairly straight forward and relatively easy! The big bonus is not only being able to
adjust your own bias when switching tubes, but understanding why you adjust
your bias!
19. Justin says:
September 8, 2010 at 4:59 pm

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Hey bill, Im just finishing up the mods, with a standby switch and I didnt write
down where the black wire from the power transformer goes I think its p4 on the
cream board? can you verify this for me before i plug it in
bill says:
September 8, 2010 at 10:28 pm
Yep P4. Just like it says on the schematic: http://www.fender.com/support
/amp_schematics/pdfs/Blues_Junior_Schematic.pdf
20. Rick says:
November 8, 2010 at 1:40 am
Great new video Bill ! Ive summoned up the courage to do the TO22 tranny,
Presence control & speaker jack mods myself. You just made my life a lot easier,
thanks. Rick
21. daven52 says:
January 21, 2011 at 10:26 am
Great site helped me a lot with a Blues Junior Ltd Edition 2003 it had a broken bass
pot. Is there some reason that the lock washers are on the inside of the jack
board?
Thanks
Dave
bill says:
January 24, 2011 at 9:21 am
The lock washer will work on the inside or the outside of the chassis. They act
as a spring to provide constant pressure on the threads, which increases the
friction and prevents loosening. They dont have to dig into the nut and
chassis to prevent rotationthere isnt enough stress there. Fender puts them
on the inside, probably for cleaner appearance.
22. JohnnyCNote says:
February 26, 2011 at 9:14 pm
Would the Weller BP860MP Pro Series Battery Powered Soldering Iron be suitable
for working on a Blues Jr. circuit board? Thanks . . .
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3086615&
filterName=Type&numProdsPerPage=60&filterValue=Soldering%26amp%3Bamp
%3B%23047%3BDesoldering
bill says:
February 26, 2011 at 9:28 pm
A thermostatically controlled iron that maintains a constant temperature
would be far better for printed circuit board work. Waiting 15 seconds for it to

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heat to 850F is a pain and 850F is too hot. I use 650-675. If you really
cant afford a decent tool, the Radio Shack dual-heat iron on low (20W) might
be OK. Cheap irons have large, clunky handpieces, however, and are not that
easy to use.
23. jdeall says:
June 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm
Bill,
Great instructions, just finished the basic cream board mod & standby switch love
it. The whole this only took 1.5 hrs. Funny story got done buttoned up really bad
hum, realized I forgot to put the ground back.
I play harp through this amp any harp centric suggestions for more tone, or gritty
sound. Suggestions for speakers related to harp?
Thanks Jerry
bill says:
June 20, 2011 at 10:13 pm
If you like grind, a quick and dirty way to get more grind is to use a 12DW7 in
V3, the phase inverter (next to the output tubes). Also known as an ECC832,
it has unequal gain in the two sections and drives the output tubes at different
levels, which causes distortion at lower volume levels.
Harp players tend to favor lighter-coned speakers that break up easily.
Something like a Weber 12A125 or 12F125 is probably a good choice for
brighter harp tones. The Celestion Greenback and G12H are probably good
choices, too.
24. Marc2 says:
September 14, 2011 at 6:34 pm
Hi Bill,
Love the mods, and cant thank you enough for making them!
I have two Blues Jrs I have modded over the years, and they have been awesome,
thanks to you. My main one has begun to make some awful noises. When it starts
up, it makes a terrible loud hum, and will then crackle intermittently. I would
attribute this to filter caps, but it seems that they should not be old enough to be
failing just yet. At any rate, I guess what I am asking is, I need to bring this to a
repair guy, and I am curious if there is anything I need to inform him of (other
than the obvious, that it is not a stock Blues Jr.). I am also curious if you have any
recommendations for repair guys in Massachusetts. While I am comfortable
modding, troubleshooting is a bit over my head.
bill says:
September 16, 2011 at 7:57 am

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Hum and crackling is usually tubes. If you have a spare set of EL84s, I would
pop them in, or use the tubes from your other amp. Preamp tubes can cause
hum too, but crackling is less likely.
25. Ravenant211 says:
November 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm
Hi Bill,
Just ordered several of your excellent mod kits for my cream board Blues Jr. Series
II. I am also going to need to replace the tubes sockets and wondered if you had
any opinion on the best company or model to choose for this? Im not upgrading to
the 6V6 tubes, keeping the EL84 type. Also wondering if you had any advice for
parts that would benefit from replacement outside of the mods you make, things
like capacitors or anything that doesnt fall into your mod kits? I ordered the low
profile power transformer, basic kit, sparkle and presence boost, caps replacement
and input and standby switch upgrades if that will help you think of what else
might be worth replacement. Really glad I found your site, looking forward to
getting the kits!
bill says:
December 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm
Why do you need to change the sockets? The springs do get weak in the
output tube sockets, but they can be tightened easily enough. Ceramic
sockets are cool and all, but theyre also sealed, so if the springs get weak,
theres no way to bend them back for a good grip.
Ive tried changing just about everything in the Blues Junior. The kits cover
everything that has a noticeable effect.
Ravenant211 says:
December 6, 2011 at 4:18 am
Thanks for the heads up Bill, good to know I dont have to worry about
anything other than what your kits include makes it easy
I was intending to change the sockets because they are so loose. I just
bought the amp about 2 months ago and the tubes always look/feel like
they are going to fall out. I have a larger tube amp and the sockets hold
the tubes so much tighter than the ones in my Blues Jr. With the Jr.
being so new, I thought that maybe the sockets are just bad or low
quality and wanted to avoid any trouble from them later like arcing or
other issues with the tubes getting knocked around. If you feel that a
good tightening of the springs would be sufficient to deal with possible
issues, I will gladly bow to superior experience. Just wanted to deal with
any weak links while Im in there taking care of the rest. So should I
leave the stock sockets then and just follow your re-tention and
re-solder guide to for a complete fix? Thanks for the response!
bill says:

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December 6, 2011 at 8:28 am


Yes, just retension your sockets. Chances are that only the output
tubes need it, but keep an eye on the others.

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Billm Audio Reverb Footswitch Control for Blues Junior

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=841

Billm Audio
Small amps, big sound.

Reverb Footswitch Mod


Some players would like their reverb to be footswitchable, so they can turn it off when
using distortion or when using different time-based effects. I get emails and posts
asking, Can you convert the Fat footswitch to kill the reverb?
Yes, you can, but then you lose the Fat function. Separating the the Fat button from the
footswitch and wiring the footswitch to the reverb is more work, and starts to get
complicated. And some people want both.
So heres a quick-and-dirty way to add footswitchable reverb to your Blues Junior, or to
any amp with an Accutronics-style tank. This mod works equally well with the
Ruby/MOD/Belton tank. In fact, they actually have a bit more room inside.
First, remove the tank. Youre going to work on the side that mounts towards the center
of the amp, where youll be able to plug in a footswitch cord. Measure a generous 3/8
inch from the bottom and from the side and mark the tank for drilling. Get the
measurement right; the jack has to nestle in the corner and not hit the spring assembly.

Youll need a good way to hold the tank securely. A wooden handscrew clamp is ideal. It
grips the tank firmly and provides a solid base to hold it upright. Before you drill,
center-punch the crosshairs to keep your drill from wandering:

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Clamping the reverb tank


The side of the tank is just a bent piece of sheet metal. It will deflect under drilling
pressure, so you need to come up with some way to support it. I used some pieces of
scrap wood. I prefer to use a step drill on sheet metal. It makes a clean hole and
doesnt pull into the work the way a twist drill can. Use a 3/8 inch drill or the 3/8 inch
step.

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Drilling the tank.


A step drill or a twist drill will often leave burrs inside, or a raised collar of stretched
metal. You can remove it with a hooked deburring tool or by careful use of a flat file
inside the tank.

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Remove burrs
A Switchcraft 11A mono jack or equivalent goes into the hole. Bend the solder tabs in
for more clearance and position the contact arm diagonally so that it clears everything
and doesnt touch the tank.

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Mono jack installed


Finally, wire the tank from the center/tip lug to the center pin of the output side of the
tank (where the black wire goes). Youll need 10 inches of light, stranded wire. You
dont have to connect the ground lug since the jack is grounded to the body of the tank.
Its important to connect to the output side of the tank, not the input side.

Wire the jack

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Reinstall the tank. When you need reverb switching, plug a guitar cord and an on/off
latching footswitch into the new jack. When the switch is closed, it grounds the output
signal from the tank and silences the reverb.
Keep the cord as short as possible to avoid picking up hum.
Comment (RSS) |

9 Comments
1. SCWhitmore says:
April 9, 2011 at 8:09 pm
Hi Bill, I would like to do this mod, but can you please clear up the guitarchord and
on/off latching switch. All I need is a single button foot switch like the one I have
for the Fat switch right?
Thanks,
Shawn Whitmore
bill says:
April 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm
Right. Just a single-button latching switch. Shielded cord.
2. SCWhitmore says:
April 9, 2011 at 9:09 pm
Thanks Bill, I realy enjoy your site. Gave me courage and confidence to do my own
work on my amp. I also did the Twin stack mod. I did notice a difference. I look
forword to doing more of you mods. Thanks Again. Shawn Whitmore
3. skatevato422 says:
June 25, 2011 at 7:19 pm
Very easy to do and alot of fun, I used a live wire footswitch and it works fine.
Next on the list is the bypass switch and a speaker change, Thanks Billm audio
4. Vintage64 says:
November 12, 2011 at 5:25 am
Ive done this mod on a 2011 Limited Edition Tweed Blues Junior and it works
great. There are however slight differences in this models reverb tank. The input
and output sockets have changed from the style pictured above to a white plastic
type and the wiring has changed. I originally soldered to the BLACK wire on the
OUTPUT socket tab of the tank (as described above) but it did not work (No fault
of Bills of course). On closer inspection I noticed that all the wiring colours were
reversed. That is the centre pin tabs on both the INPUT and OUTPUT were wired
throughout with BLUE wire and BLACK wire was used for the outer contacts. As the
new plastic sockets are moulded with the tabs built in, it can be difficult to see at
first which tab goes where. A tip is to look down the centre hole of the socket from

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the inside of the tank to locate the pressure plate that contacts the centre pin.
Obviously this is the right tab to solder to regardless of the wire colour. After
swapping to this tab that was connected to the BLUE wire on my tank it worked
fine. Im not sure if this wiring colour code is for the new models or if mine was
just built on a Friday afternoon? Hope that helps anyone having the same problem.
Thanks again Bill for great kits and mods.
5. skatevato422 says:
November 26, 2011 at 5:39 pm
Will the reverb footswitch mod work on the the reverb tank on a hot rod deville?
bill says:
November 28, 2011 at 11:07 am
Yes, you can do this on any Accutronics-style tank.
6. rayosytruenos says:
February 24, 2012 at 9:29 pm
Hello, Bill!
Ive been looking for something like this for my Fender Supersonic 60 for a long
time. Thank you very much for the idea. Ill try it as soon as possible.
I will try not to drill the reverb tank. Let my explain: In the photo number 5, I can
see a hole in the tank next to the contact arm. Maybe I could send a cable
through a hole like that, make the connections inside, and then add a female cable
plug to the cable outside the tank. When I want to use the mod, Id connect the
footswitch to the female jack with a guitar cable.
I think it would work the same. Am I right????? Am I missing anything? Maybe a
lot of hum or something?
I dont have a machine to drill the hole, thats why Im planning to do this. What do
you think?
Thank you very much for the idea and for your time!
And please, excuse my bad english.
Very nice webpage!
bill says:
February 25, 2012 at 10:12 am
Yes, you can just run a wire into the reverb tank and it will do the same thing.
You should use shielded guitar cable or you will get hum.

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Billm Audio Setting the Bias

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Billm Audio
Small amps, big sound.

Setting the Bias


After youve installed the basic mods, your final task is to set the bias. Much mystery
seems to surround setting the bias, but its really quite simple. Bias controls the current
flowing through your output tubes, and its well known that the Blues Juniors original
designer chose a large current, or hot bias. This causes excessive tube wear, limits
headroom, and constrains the tonal range of the amp.
Each model of output transformer has a characteristic resistance and when current
flows through it to power the tubes, there is a voltage drop across the resistance. All
you have to do is measure across two leads of the transformer and adjust the bias
trimmer potentiometer until you get the correct voltage.
This video, showing a Blues Junior with EL84s and a TO20 output transformer,
demonstrates how easy it is to set the bias.
SAFETY REMINDER: Youre measuring the difference between two high voltages!
Work carefully, with insulated leads, as shown.

Here are the target voltages for different tube and transformer configurations:
Tube

Stock OT TO20 TO22 TO26

08-May-12 12:09 AM

Billm Audio Setting the Bias

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EL84

2.6V

http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=1155

3.4V

6V6

4.2V

4.1V
5.1V

5881*

6.6V

6L6GC*

7.2V
* With TP24 power transformer.

Comment (RSS) |

2 Comments
1. Nuno says:
April 19, 2012 at 8:30 am
Hello Bill,
Just bought the basic Mod kit (cream board), and have one doubt, should I
remove the amp stage valves to set the bias?
Thanks
Kindest Regards
Nuno
bill says:
April 19, 2012 at 8:37 am
No, you set the bias with the tubes installed.

08-May-12 12:09 AM

Billm Audio Sparkle control tames brightness on Blues Junior

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=1074

Billm Audio
Small amps, big sound.

Sparkle Control for Blues Junior III (and others)


With the Series III, introduced in September, 2010, Fender implemented a sparkle
mod, which means that they removed a voicing capacitor, C9 on the cream board,
which limited the amps high-frequency brightness. The Series III is definitely brighter
than previous BJrs, but it can also be harsh and strident, even irritating. The Sparkle
Control makes the amount of sparkle reduction adjustable from zero (stock Series III)
to the same as the series II, to even darker, like the old green board (1995-2000) Blues
Juniors. When you pull up on the knob, it defeats the control and gives you the stock
BJr III amount of sparkle.
The Sparkle Control operates much like a
tweed-era tone control, rolling off harsh highs
gently, across a spectrum that covers the treble
control and steadily declining through part of the
high midrange. Instead of the usual tone control
location in the preamp, the Sparkle Control is
positioned just before the output stage, so it
seasons the tone regardless of your bass,
mids, and treble settings.
Why not just turn down the treble control? The
treble control actually has a balance function
built into it. When you turn up the treble, it
Click for larger image.
reduces the input from the bass and mids
controls, and vice versa. When you turn down
the treble, it increases the bass and mids, which is why your amp will distort more
easily if you back off on the treble. With the Sparkle Control, the ratio stays the same,
but the highs are tamed.
You can make a Series III sound like a series II, a Series II (2001-2010 cream board)
sound like a Series III, and either of them sound like the old 1995-2000 green board. It
will also brighten the green board, giving it a high-end sheen that you didnt know was
there.
It works well with the presence control and gives you a wide variety of additional tones
and inflections.
In this picture, the small knob on the left is the presence control. The one between the
Middle and Master is the new Sparkle Control.
Ill have recordings up shortly.

08-May-12 12:20 AM

Billm Audio Sparkle control tames brightness on Blues Junior

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=1074

Comment (RSS) |

17 Comments
1. aes87 says:
August 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm
Hey Bill- Thanks for posting so much info here- not only can I mod my amp, but I
(as an EE) gain some understanding as to what Im doing. Question on this oneIf I would like to add this mod for a pre-series 3 green board BJ, would I get there
by pulling the C9 voicing cap? While I like the stock high end pretty well, Ive
played on a series 3 and occasionally would enjoy making my older edition sound
as hot.
Thanks!
~aes
bill says:
August 31, 2011 at 7:17 am
The un-sparkle voicing cap on the green board is C35.
2. yan says:
September 5, 2011 at 8:05 am
Hi Bill,
I can see this amp has both presence and sparkle mods.
I dont know how to mod my amp. I want to cut high frequencies harshness.
apart from the schematic difference between these two mods that I am able to
figure out would you say that presence mod is better for Jazz players and
de-sparkle mod (on series II) is better for Blues or Rock players that use more
preamp gain and FAT switch on.
cant wait for de-sparkle recordings
bill says:
September 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm
I think the presence control is probably best for jazz tone on a series II Blues
Junior. But the basic mods will do much more for your tone, to round it out
and give it fullness.
3. eddie_bowers says:
October 12, 2011 at 1:49 pm
I just ordered this mod. I already have the presence control.
I know you said they work well together, but im curious about what to expect.

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Billm Audio Sparkle control tames brightness on Blues Junior

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=1074

My assumption is that the sparkle control will impact higher frequencies than the
presence control so you could increase the highs with this control and pull back the
high mids with the presence control if desired.
Is this correct?
I find that most of the character in a guitars tone is in this high mids to high area,
so Im hoping for finer control.
bill says:
October 13, 2011 at 12:55 pm
The sparkle control does start at the highest frequencies, but its a classic
tweed tone control. It rolls off highs at a -3dB per octave slope until you get
to about open E, below which its action cant be heard. The presence control
affects highs too, but its more about the attack of the notes, not the
frequency. The presence control can both exaggerate or soften the attack, the
leading edge of the note.
4. Billatl says:
November 11, 2011 at 7:36 pm
The mod was definitely worth doing on my series II 30Watt Blues Junior with
C-Rex & Ruby tank. Its really my wifes amp, and she heard the difference even
better than I did. I lost hearing the highs years ago. She intends to make good use
of it.
5. SamZ says:
January 16, 2012 at 10:07 pm
Hi Bill With this mod on the Series II cream board, will pulling out the knob make
it sound like a stock series II or a series III amp? in other words, does this mod
require removing the C9 capacitor on the series II cream board?
bill says:
January 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm
Its bright like the Series III when you pull up on the switch.
6. SamZ says:
January 19, 2012 at 12:25 am
Thanks Bill I just ordered this sparkle control and a few other mods. Can you tell
approximately what position the knob should be at to be at the stock Series II? I
got this mod so I can darken my amp in certain situations. Using the bridge
pickup, I find it too ice picky, and I roll off the tone control on my guitar to
compensate. The fact that I can get it as bright as a Series III makes me a little
nervous, but I just have to make sure not to go there
bill says:
January 19, 2012 at 9:00 am

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About halfway sounds like a pre-Series III cream board.


7. ernieg says:
January 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm
Just wanted to share this. I did the sparkle mod by removing the C9. But after a lot
of reading on your posts I realized the twin stack mod might help. I didnt like it
that bright so I put a 750 back on instead of the 1500. Put a legend GB128 (per
your blues tone suggestion), did the twin stack mod and WOW. HOLY *^#$#*%.
The amp sounds ridiculous GOOD. I see the reason for the sparkle control you
have created. To have access to dial that sparkle would be way cool but i really like
the static setting. Man I am in love with this setting. I have a 69 silver face twin
reverb and this BJ now sounds so its baby brother. The 750pF allowed for the
sparkle to still come through but seems much more tame. the twin stack mod
brought out more bass as I bring the volume up which I love. Looking forward to
getting my mod kits to get the full BillM Mod experience. Thanks Bill.
8. thed0ct0r says:
May 1, 2012 at 8:30 am
Hi Bill.
I spoke to my local music stores repair shop and they guessed correctly where I
got my info from. He knew your site well. Popular guy, Bill! Anyway, after a lengthy
discussion the technician asked me if I really wanted to have a hole drilled through
the chassis and add a knob or do I simply want to eliminate the Sparkle Mod
feature altogether? This idea actually appealed to me the most. So as your intro
says, they removed a voicing capacitor, C9 on the cream board. Would it be
too much trouble to ask what the voicing capacitor is rated at andthis is going to
sound so stupid.does C9 on the cream board literally mean C9 ON THE CREAM
COLORED BOARD? (I hope someone got a laugh out of that.) Thanks!
bill says:
May 1, 2012 at 11:56 am
Yes, it literally means that. If you remove C9 and replace C10 with a jumper,
your older cream board Blues Junior will sound like a Series III. If its too
bright, however, you can always install the sparkle control.
You can see C9 on the schematic that came with your amp (or at
Fender.com): 1500pF, 1KV.
thed0ct0r says:
May 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm
Sorry. Im confused. Didnt Fender introduce the Sparkle Mod on the
Series III 2010 to make the amp sound brighter by removing C10 with a
jumper and removing C9 entirely? Thats the amp I own. I want to
restore the warmer tone by undoing this. The Series III Blues Junior:
Whats Different? page explains the changes.

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Billm Audio Sparkle control tames brightness on Blues Junior

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I think we got our wires crossed somewhere(?) Sorry if Im being a


nuisance.
Brian
bill says:
May 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm
That wasnt clear from your post.
Sure, just put a 1500pF 1KV cap into the C9 holes. Dont replace
the C10 cap. It makes tone thinner, not stronger.
9. thed0ct0r says:
May 2, 2012 at 8:46 am
YeahI have a problem with confusing people. Sorry about that. Thanks Bill!

08-May-12 12:20 AM

Billm Audio The Billm presence control for Fender Blues Junior

1 of 10

http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=72

Billm Audio
Small amps, big sound.

The Presence Control


The presence control has an interesting history. Early musical instrument amplifiers typically had
three or more inputs, often labeled, Guitar, Microphone, and Acc. Whether that meant
accessory or accordion is a matter of speculation. The presence control affected overtone
frequencies in the human voice range, making the voice more present, hence the name.
But the presence control is not part of the tone stack. Instead, it controls the amount of negative
feedback in the output stage. Negative feedback controls the accuracy of the output stages
reaction to the signal sent to it by the prior stages in the amplifier. With no negative feedback, the
output stage tends to overshoot and exaggerate the high midrange and sharp, percussive sounds.
With too much negative feedback, the amp sounds slow and mellow; pick attack is muted.
The Billm presence control lets you adjust presence from a brighter, louder tone that puts an
aggressive edge on your pick attack to a more laid-back sound thats ideal for jazz or a warm,
mellow tone that swallows pick attack and lets the note bloom out. The stock value for presence is
at about the 1 oclock position on the control; you can cut or boost from there.

08-May-12 12:11 AM

Billm Audio The Billm presence control for Fender Blues Junior

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=72

The Billm presence control is mounted on the faceplate, just below the Fat switch. It fits nicely
here and doesnt interfere with other controls. All Billm presence controls now have a pull-up
switch. On amplifiers where the Clean Boost is installed, the pull-up switch turns on the Clean
Boost.

The knob is the correct style to blend with the chickenhead knobs, but I was unable to find a
suitably classic style with a line or an indicator dot. So I buy them in bulk and mill a flat-bottomed
hole in each one and put in a drop of white paint. I made an angled shaft jig for the milling
machine so the bit wouldnt skitter off the curve on the top of the knob.

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Heres how the Blues Junior handles a square wave (all frequencies in the audio range at once),
with no presence control. This is pretty good performance for a guitar amplifier. The rise time (left
side of the line indicates how it handles high frequencies.

Heres what happens when you crank the presence control all the way. It exaggerates the
amplifiers response to high frequencies and it overshoots. If you like incisive pick attack, this is it.

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When you roll the presence control all the way back it softens treble response and causes the
amp to undershoot. The tone is very mellow and controlled, with no edge to the notes.

With all three tone controls all the way up, the red line shows the frequency response. Its actually
fairly linear for a guitar amp, with a little scoop at 500 Hz and a little bump at 2.5K Hz. The blue
line is the additional boost you get from the presence control.
You can hear the additional loudness in the 1KHz to 4KHz range in the form of cutting power. 5 or
6dB makes a noticeable difference.

Comment (RSS) |

35 Comments

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Billm Audio The Billm presence control for Fender Blues Junior

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=72

1. robert says:
March 4, 2009 at 8:56 pm
This is great mod if youre a jazz player. Turning the presence way down gives you
that dark Wes sound without killing your treble response. Highly recommended.
job ian says:
April 12, 2010 at 6:24 am
in my own observations.. and conclusion.. presence knob sharpens and
smoothens your sound.. and it adds the scratchy sound ..
bill says:
April 12, 2010 at 9:57 pm
If theres a scratchy sound, theres a problem with the control or the
wiring. It should work silently if all is well.
2. Mark S. says:
July 14, 2009 at 10:41 pm
Id like to add my two cents regarding this mod. My BJr is used for everything from
Jazz to Country to Blues to Rock and the presence control has been a wonderful
way to broaden the amps versatility. When Bill suggested this mod I wasnt sure
that it was going to be worthwhile but one listen later I became a believer.
mark says:
October 27, 2009 at 11:59 pm
can you still get the same stock bjr sound once the presence is installed?
bill says:
October 28, 2009 at 7:21 am
Yes. The presence control makes one of the resistors in the negative
feedback circuit variable. When the knob is set at around 1:00 or 2:00,
its the stock amount of resistance. So you can vary the presence higher
or lower.
3. mike says:
November 2, 2009 at 7:35 pm
hi bill..is this presence control working on the same principle as on the blues
deluxe/deville or is it a more like an attack control on say the boss compressor
sustainer?
bill says:
November 2, 2009 at 8:44 pm
It works the same way as the presence control in the HRDeluxe/Deville. But
as you can see from the scope photos, you hear it in the highs and feel it in
the attack.

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4. Miketoo says:
January 25, 2010 at 9:35 pm
Bill,
I have the presence control on my BJ that you did the work on, would the same
presence work on the Pro Junior? Or maybe a switchable tone stack bypass for the
PJ?
Thanks,
Mike(too)
bill says:
January 25, 2010 at 11:19 pm
The negative feedback loop (where the presence works) is different on the PJ.
It would have to be engineered for proper performance. But the simplest
thing would be to replace R27 with a 100K pot so you can go from stock to no
NFB.
You could do a tone lift for the PJ, but since its a tweed-style tone control,
you wouldnt get the big volume boost that you do on a blackface-style stack.
And if you play at high volume, the tone control is essentially out of the circuit
anyway. The higher you go, the less effect it has.
5. Lance says:
January 29, 2010 at 6:34 pm
Can the reverb knob be used in place for a new presence control.
I dont use reverb.
bill says:
January 29, 2010 at 7:06 pm
Its the wrong value for a presence control, but you could switch to a lowerresistance pot. Youd have to cut traces and run wire to the reverb control,
but theres no reason why it wouldnt work.
6. Mike says:
March 27, 2010 at 11:55 pm
hi Bill, is the presence control mod a difficult mod or one of the easier ones?
bill says:
March 29, 2010 at 8:07 am
If you can drill a clean hole in the faceplate, its pretty easy, just two wires to
solder. But if you have doubts about the drilling, dont do it.
7. John says:
May 9, 2010 at 7:08 pm
Just did this mod. I play mostly jazz (Eastman AR803CE-15D). This rig used to
start to boom a little right around 200Hz, which is where acoustic feedback first

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kicks in. I have found that turning the presence control all the way down (less
feedback) improves the tone a lot and makes the rig much less prone to do this.
The clean boost more than compensates for any loss in volume while keeping the
tone clean.
8. Mark says:
May 12, 2010 at 7:43 pm
I added the presence control mod, the main mod package and the master vol
tapered pot..
My amp went from a box-like tonality to singing.. I think this is the best bang for
the buck if you have a BluesJr (cream board) I have experienced. I actually am
considering purchasing more mods but I am not sure if I can get my amp to
sound better.. it sounds pretty damn good.
I have a few Marshalls, a Randall, Gibson and a vintage Deluxe .. I prefer my
BluesJr with the mods now to all of them the little amp sings.
9. DaveG says:
June 11, 2010 at 8:15 am
I finally got this one installed. Everything went well, but I find that the control
really only has an effect at the very end of its range. While it does seem to get very
bright and crisp at the far end, Im not really hearing any sort of jazzy muffled tone
at the other end. Is this pretty much the expected behavior?
thanks!
bill says:
June 14, 2010 at 12:03 pm
It should darken the tone as well, but the treble control can override it.
10. Eric says:
June 26, 2010 at 11:30 am
I recently installed basic mod kit, recap kit, T020 trans, twinstack mod, input jack,
& presence control. Am extremely impressed & happy with the improvement in
sound and sensitivity, but am experiencing same effect as DaveG regarding
presence control, from 7 o-clock to 3 o-clock no difference in tone whatsoever,
presence kicks in only from 3 to 5 o-clock. Have tried every variation of treble,
mid, & bass constrols with no difference in presence control response. What think?
bill says:
June 27, 2010 at 8:11 pm
Im hoping to find a different taper for the control. Im researching options.
11. Robert M says:
June 29, 2010 at 1:05 pm
I got the basic mod kit and presence control kit today and installed it. basic mod

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kit was good but the presence control is kind of a dissapointment for me. I
experience the same problem as Eric and DaveG: nothing happens in sound from 7
o-clock until 3. Its more of a three way switch 1.(7 to 3 o-clock) nothing 2.(3 to 4
o-clock) little more presence 3.(5 o-clock) Too much presence.
I have read about good jazz sound on this site and some great feedback on the
presence control. Thats why Im dissapointed.
I measured the resistance on the pot and found 2.4 ohm when pot is in highest
level (5 o-clock). When I turn the knob down the resistance seems to go zero all
the way down to 7 o-clock.
Is it broken?
What is the small resistor soldered on the pot?
I really hope there is a solution for this.
BR Robert
bill says:
June 30, 2010 at 9:36 pm
The presence control with the switch is only available in 10K and 50K values.
25K linear would be ideal. The resistor reduces the value of the 50K pot to
about 25K but it also makes it nonlinear. All of the tones are available, but
they get compressed. Perhaps Ill switch back to 10K.
Robert M says:
July 1, 2010 at 12:24 am
Thank you Bill for the answer. What do you think is the reason some
people experience different behaviour? Do we have different versions of
the pot?
bill says:
July 2, 2010 at 10:41 pm
There are both 10K and 50K (with the resistor that reduces it to
25K) versions out there. Some people find the 50K to work well,
others dont. Im switching back to the 10K.
dennis sipe says:
August 9, 2010 at 3:45 pm
Bill,
I have standby switch mod, and the basic mods for my sons
cream BJ. Also did twin reverb mod. Im going to get the clean
boost and a new volume knob and new capacitors. I have two
questions: Do you like the dryer sound of a cream board with
the extra headroom mod and do you think it is a bad idea to
use only a stereo foot switch to engage and disengage the
clean boost. Im kind of lost in the thread about the pot
variations on the prescience knob. Is the prescience control
working for most people just fine?

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thanks
dennis
bill says:
August 28, 2010 at 9:45 am
The vast majority of the resistors on the Blues Junior are 1/4
watt. The plate resistors are 1/2 wattslightly larger and fatter.
Compare your resistor to the ones on the board. Most pedals
use 1/4 watt and 1/8 watt resistors.
12. captainbackfire says:
October 23, 2011 at 2:22 pm
Hi Bill,
I have a new NOS and will do your mods soon. I have a serious idea though with
this particular prescence mod. Can I possibly make the mod without drilling
anywhere on the amp? Basically I want a lively tone just like the bright jangly
characteristic of the Vibro King so maybe I can set it permanently on the max
prescence setting and just use the treble control. Tell me what you think. Thanks
alot!
bill says:
October 23, 2011 at 6:57 pm
You could replace the resistor that sets the presence tone with a trimpot.
Youd have to take the back off the amp to adjust it, of course.
klutz says:
February 3, 2012 at 9:46 pm
Great stuff, Bill!
Do you have the instructions for making this an internal mod, trimpot,
etc?
Im making a sleeper, (the clean-boost is on the footswitch) and I
usually leave the presence @ 9 (80%).
bill says:
February 9, 2012 at 8:33 am
You could mount a 10K pot inside the amp. Youll just need to find a
way to secure it so it wont rattle. Or use the same technique as the
Pro Junior bias trimpot:
http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=916
13. racktones says:
November 23, 2011 at 8:54 am
HI Bill,

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I dont use the Fat switch on the control panel, I only use it via footpedal. Is it
possible to remove that switch and put the presence knob more or less in its
place? save cluttering my faceplate.
bill says:
November 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm
No. Its too close to the circuit board. The pot will not fit in that space.
racktones says:
November 25, 2011 at 10:25 am
How about taking out the on light, and putting it there? I dont really
need the light, Id prefer a cleaner faceplate. And if so, is it then possible
for me to use a bigger knob?
bill says:
November 25, 2011 at 11:00 am
Maybe you should just skip the presence control.
racktones says:
December 4, 2011 at 12:52 am
Heh heh, sorry. Ill just do it as prescribed.

08-May-12 12:11 AM

Billm Audio TP24 Upgrade Power Transformer for Fender Blues Junior

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http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=1098

Billm Audio
Small amps, big sound.

TP24 Power Transformer


Billm Audios ongoing collaboration with David Allen of Allen Amplification pays off
againa real upgrade power transformer! The new TP24 power transformer fits exactly
and addresses a number of Blues Junior modification issues:
1. More heater power for octal conversions. While its not necessary for 6V6 output
tubes, its essential for getting full power from the 5881 or 6L6GC.
2. More plate voltage. An additional 25 volts of B+ provides more headroom without
exceeding the 400 volt rating of the coupling capacitors.
3. More reserve power. Theres lots of current on tap for a powerful, effortless sound.
4. Designed for the Blues Juniors bridge rectifier power supply and includes the
bias/solid state winding.
5. Cooler running under load, no overload or sag issues, as you would get with the
stock PT and 5881s or 6L6s.
As you can see, the TP24 has nearly twice as
much core as the stock power transformer and
has an internal bell end for maximum hum
protection. The TP24 benefits any Blues Junior,
but it delivers the most with 5881s or 6L6s.
Theres no particular reason to choose a 5881
over a 6L6GC, unless you like the sweet tone of a
particular tube, such as the Tung-Sol reissue
5881. The 6L6 delivers more bass and more clean
headroom:

Click for larger image.

Tubes

Power
TO20
TO26
Transformer TO22

EL84

Stock

15W

EL84

TP24

18W

JJ 6V6 Stock

18W

JJ 6V6 TP24

20W

5881

TP24

23W

6L6GC TP24

30W

When paired with the TO26 output transformer, the TP24 can drive a pair of 6L6s to a
clean 30 watts, with all of the effortless, big-plate sound you expect from a 6L6 amp, but
still in the Blues Juniors convenient form. We provide the TP24 with leads trimmed for

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the Blues Junior and high-quality, double-crimped push-on connectors for easy
installation.
With EL84s or 6V6s and either the TO20 or TO22 output transformer, youll hear
additional clean headroom and the additional punch you get from having all the current
on tap that the tubes can use. There is no sag.
New! The bias board gives you proper bias regulation for all octal tubes with the higher
voltages produced by the TP24. It, and the basic mods kit, are essential for proper
operation of the TP24.
Comment (RSS) |

67 Comments
1. catscratch says:
September 25, 2011 at 12:22 am
Hi Bill
What affect does the high voltage preamp mod have when used in conjunction with
the new power transformer and is it necessary (cream board version III)?
Thanks and regards
bill says:
September 25, 2011 at 12:11 pm
I have the TP24 and the TO26 installed with 6L6s in a Series II, along with the
high-voltage preamp. The brightness is much like a Deluxe Reverb, but when
you turn up the volume, theres still plenty of grind. If you like headroom, go
with the high voltage preamp mod.
Eric Bernhardt says:
October 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm
Will the new power transformer increase all the voltages? Im looking for
maximized non-detrimental voltage levels. Even though I installed the
high voltage preamp kit, I wouldnt mind some more volts so I can get
even closer to Blackface territory.
bill says:
October 10, 2011 at 7:03 pm
Yes, the new PT increases all plate voltages power and preamp.
Theres noticeably more clean headroom.
Eric Bernhardt says:
October 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm
Grand! I measure the B+ currently at 324 volts. How much can
I expect with this new transformer? Im sure 415 is asking too

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much but even higher 300 s will please me. Thanks Bill. My amp
is getting more fierce with every mod.
bill says:
October 11, 2011 at 7:45 am
415V is not only asking too much, it is too much! The coupling
caps in the Blues Junior are rated at 400V, so you want to keep
it under that. Depending on the line voltage, youll see
355-365V on the B+.
2. catscratch says:
September 25, 2011 at 12:28 am
I just noticed that this transformer is only available in 120v format.. Any plans for a
220-240v model?
bill says:
September 25, 2011 at 8:26 am
No, sorry.
Dual-voltage makes it even bigger and 50Hz introduces heat issues.
3. Richard Wetzel says:
September 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm
Hi Bill,
I have many of the mods done including the T020 output transformer. I have not
done
an octal conversion and not sure if I will. My Blues Jr is a green board and Im
curious
what changes/ improvements I would expect with the PT upgrade, including
estimated wattage increase.
Thanks! Richard
bill says:
September 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm
As the chart shows, you only get a few more watts with the TP24. But the
headroom increases and you get a bit more depth and slightly brighter tone.
The EL84s are the limiting factor.
4. Phil Connolly says:
September 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm
Do you have any plans to post some sound clips? I.e., perhaps various before and
after combinations: TP24 with EL84s, with 6V6s, with 5881s. And a clip of the TP24
+ TO26 + 6L6s. How does that combination line up to the HRD?
bill says:

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September 27, 2011 at 8:06 am


It sounds like a baby HRDx or a brighter Blues Deluxe. I hope to get some clips
up one of these days.
5. Johnny Blues says:
September 27, 2011 at 1:52 am
Would KT66 tubes work with this setup?
bill says:
September 27, 2011 at 8:09 am
No. The tubes are too close together, too close to the back of the amp, not
enough ventilation for the excess heat, and not in the KT66 sweet spot for
plate voltage. And finally, are you freakin serious?
6. wbyoung2003 says:
September 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm
In order to make the jump to 30W, I would need the basic mod (which I have & in
the process of installing), the TO26 mod & the TP24 mod Correct?
Would I also need to perform the cathode follower mod?
Does the TO26 kit include the material to upgrade to the 6L6 tubes?
And finally, Will you make some recommendations for speakers that will handle the
30W ?
bill says:
September 27, 2011 at 4:40 pm
Yes, to get 30 watts, you need the TP24, the TO26, the octal conversion kit,
and a pair of 6L6s. The octal conversion kit is separate. Its listed on the parts
page.
I recommend the cathode follower mod because it improves the toneadds
some harmonic richness. It is not essential.
Pretty much any of the speakers on my speakers page can handle 30 watts.
The stock speaker sound pretty darn good when you get some power behind
it.
7. roger says:
September 27, 2011 at 5:36 pm
Bill, since I dont think Ive seen this spelled out on the site, what is your advice on
when to keep modifying the BJr vs upgrading to a bigger amp or adding amps or
other? Here are the options in my mind:
-Base: do main mods and replace speaker
-Option 1: add Clean Boost for more DB and to minimize unwanted distortion at

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max volume
-Option 2: mike the amp to add more DB (sounds like would still need clean boost)
-Option 3: Add an extension speaker (mod) to add more DB (sounds like would still
need clean boost)
-Option 4: do this 30W mod (TP24)
-Option 5: add a second Bjr or other amp (split the signal giving a lot more flexibility
in tone)
-Option 6: use a bigger amp
What is your recommended approach to navigate these options? Thanks! Roger
bill says:
September 28, 2011 at 9:49 pm
Theyre all options. The Clean Boost works at moderate volume, but when
youre playing loud, it increases drive to the output tubes. Hey, its still just a
15 watt amplifier! Micing the amp is always the least expensive way to get loud
and get over the drummer and the bass.
An extension speaker is worth 3dB.
The 30 watt version is very loud. But it doesnt sound like a normal Blues
Junior.
Two Blues Juniors sound like a Blues Junior, but the sound stage is wider.
Surprisingly, its not as loud as the 30 watt version. Theres less clean
headroom with two amps than with a full-on modded Blues Junior.
Using a Blues Deluxe will give you lots of volume and Blues Junior-like tone. I
havent had a chance to compare them head to head. But if you like the form
factor of the Blues Junior, the 30 watt version is the way to go.
Thats no help to your decision-making process. Sorry!
roger says:
September 29, 2011 at 8:59 pm
Very helpful. Thank you Bill! Roger
8. fp2000 says:
September 29, 2011 at 10:52 am
Bill, I did the TO-20 installation earlier this year, and then the octal tube socket
installation as well. Now, I never tried my 5881 s in it because of the PT not being
able to handle it, if I do the upgrade to this new PT24, will the TO-20 be able to
keep up? Please let me know. I have the stock 8ohm jensen speaker.
Thanks Frank
bill says:
September 30, 2011 at 6:41 am
The 5881s are an impedance mismatch for the TO20, so you lose some
efficiency. The 5881s also put out a bit more power than the TO20 is
comfortable with, so if you play loud and proud, the TO20 will get warm. For
around the house and occasional jamming, no problem. but youll get some

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saturation when you turn up.


Also, at full power with 5881s, there is measurable voltage sag, which means
that the power transformer is maxed out. Thats good for some funky
distortion tone, but if youre playing out, youre pushing that PT to its limits
and beyond.
9. Ralph says:
September 29, 2011 at 9:44 pm
Hi Bill,
Id like to do the 30 watt mod with 6L6s, (among other mods), to my Blue-J but
from what Ive read on your parts page it wont work with a green board. Is this
correct? (If thats the case, I have access to the cream PCB assembly).
bill says:
September 30, 2011 at 6:46 am
Thats correct. The green board, unlike the cream board, has components on
the tube board that need to be moved to the tube sockets and the main circuit
board, with new connections. There are multiple ways for owners to mess up
and the instructions become too complex, so I dont offer the octal conversion
for the green board.
10. leslie says:
October 2, 2011 at 8:10 pm
Hey Bill,I just thought I would come over here on your web page and see if you had
come up with a power transformer for the 6l6 s, and low and behold there it was
you done it .Great news!! I cant wait, You will be hearing from me real soon!!!This
coming weekendI assume the to 22 isnt an option for use with the new
pt?..Thanks for all your help!
bill says:
October 3, 2011 at 6:35 pm
You can use the TO22 with 6V6s and the TP24. If you use 6L6s, the impedance
mismatch will cost you several watts and the TO22 will get a bit warm at higher
volume. Its being pushed a bit beyond its design limits.
11. Jeff says:
October 3, 2011 at 8:41 am
Any physical interference issues with speakers or the chassis to plan for with the
TP24?
bill says:
October 3, 2011 at 6:13 pm
No interference problems.
12. Billatl says:

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October 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm


Hey Bill, I have ordered the parts to upgrade to 30 watts. Will it be possible to
switch from the 6l6 to the 6v6 tubes with a simple re-bias? Do any of the
modifications to accomodate the 6l6 tubes make the amp un, or less suitable for the
6v6 s? Thanks, Bill
bill says:
October 3, 2011 at 9:30 pm
The 6V6s will lose a couple of watts because of the impedance mismatch, but
you can run them. Youd need to reduce the bias by around 3 volts.
Phil Connolly says:
October 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm
What is it about the T026 that is different from TO20 / TO22 that you
decided to recommend the TO26 only for 6L6 s? I saw on the Allen
website that all three very close primary impedance (7000 ohm for TO26
and 6600 for the other two), all basically similar in price too (within a few
bucks of each other).
bill says:
October 8, 2011 at 8:10 am
Theres more to transformers than impedance. The TO26 is
heavier-duty. More steel, more windings. 6L6s will make the TO20 or
the TO22 get warm, and both will saturate under load. They dont
allow full output power.
Phil Connolly says:
October 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm
I guess my question was confusing. I wasnt asking if the
smaller OTs could handle 6L6s. If a modder wanted to upgrade
the OT, would the T026 work regardless of which power tubes
are chosen? Each of the Allen OTs is in the same price range,
similar impedance. Is it possible for an OT to be too big (more
steel, more windings) for EL84/6V6s ?
bill says:
October 12, 2011 at 7:05 am
The TO26 will work with lower-power tubes. The impedance
match is somewhat off, but it would work.
13. wbyoung2003 says:
October 5, 2011 at 10:19 am
Bill,
I just finished the basic cream board mod, presences knob & master volume taper

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mods.
Very Pleased!!! thank you!!
I was looking at bumping up the wattage to 30W. However, I really dont need more
volume(I play upstairs in the bonus room), but would like to get the most out of my
BJ. In order to maximize tone
1. Is the 30W upgrade the way to go or can I just replace the output transformer?
2. Do I need to make the octal socket mod to change the tubes?
3. And for the final mod, replace the speaker?
Thank you in advance for spelling it out for me
bill says:
October 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm
If you play at home, theres no need for 30 watts, unless youre in love with
the tone of 6L6s. Theres plenty of good, quiet tone on tap in your Blues
Junior, and you can bring it out with just the basic mods and a TO20 output
transformer. The audio-taper master volume control might be a good idea so
you can dial in nice tone at low volume.
14. B.Lindsay says:
October 6, 2011 at 1:52 am
I see in the comments that the 30watt 6L6 version is much louder (more so than an
extension speaker) and that the tone is quite different. Ive done almost all your
other mods, and I love them, but I havent felt the need to do the octal sockets.
How much louder does the EL84 18watt version with TP24 get? Is there a big tone
difference in it? As a matter of your personal preference, would you endorse the
tone change in the 30watt version (I mean, am I really missing out on something)?
bill says:
October 6, 2011 at 7:26 am
The TP24 in an EL84 amp with the basic mods and one of the upgrade
transformers is not noticeably louder than the stock transformer. You cant
hear the difference that 3 or so watts make (and that only comes at full
power). There is a difference in tone, mostly in clean headroom. The amp feels
a little faster, more responsive to pick attack.
The 30 watt version sounds much different than a stock Blues Junior. It has
robust bass and the glassy transparency that you only get with 6L6 tubes. And
it can get quite loud.
15. leslie says:
November 7, 2011 at 8:07 pm
Hi Bill, Just got the T24 The T26 and the 6l6 conversion kit today. I was
wondering about the extra wire green with a yellow stripe? Where does it

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connect?.There was no information about it on the mod pages. Thanks.


bill says:
November 8, 2011 at 12:24 pm
The green-yellow is a filament center tap and is not used on the Blues Junior.
16. mattydubs says:
November 9, 2011 at 10:10 pm
Hi Bill, Ive been near convinced to pick up a new Blues Junior and go haywire with
mods. Historically, Ive only owned heads/cabs (a Twin Rectifier back in the
post-hardcore hay day of the early aughts, a MIG-50, etc) and am bent on a more
retro garagey sound (MC5 like), which has led me to Fenders with pedals (if
needed). The Blues Jr seems like the best starting point (save the heavyness of a
bigger 410 for the practice space). What mods would you recommend? 30W might
make it strong enough for shows. Ive not worked on amps before but I do have a
little soldering experience in my past (surface mount stuff mostly). Would this
output transformer be too big of a task for a relative newbie? I want to run with the
amps natural distortion most of the time and kick on a pedal (my Ram Head kit
pedal or the Keeley DS-1 I use with my bass) occasionally.
Thanks, Im super stoked on this project (and a little afraid of zapping myself).
bill says:
November 10, 2011 at 9:38 pm
I think you should make sure that you like the basic sound of the amp before
you dive in with mods. Theyll make it a better-sounding Blues Junior, but I
cant be sure that that sound will be the sound you want. Also, do you need
more volume, or can you mic the amp through the PA?
17. Billatl says:
November 11, 2011 at 7:31 pm
I finished the 30Watt conversion, and I have to say that it rocks! Most importantly,
my wife likes it, also. Its her amp, and she only plays it for her church gig and
various get-togethers. She thought that the sound was far better than my modded
vibrolux. And she can still can carry the damn thing.
Question 1: Is 6.5 volts (brown/red wires) about right for the JJ 6L6 tubes? (My
wife has claimed my vibrolux JJs as her own. Ill have to buy more.)
Question 2: I tried a Burr Brown 2134 (on a socket) as the reverb op amps, but
with all the changes, I cant tell what difference it made. Have you played with
different op amps?
This is a Blues Senior, now. Its got the big Fender sound. No other way to describe
it!!!
Thanks,

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Bill
bill says:
November 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm
Hi Bill,
Yes, the 6.5V drop is just right. The tubes are stressed enough to sound funky,
but well within their capabilities.
The op amp for reverb send/recovery doesnt make any audible difference. Its
driving three floppy coil springs through a magnetic transducertheres so
much loss and slop in that system that theres no hope in hearing a fidelity
difference.
18. Dustinfee says:
November 15, 2011 at 8:53 pm
Bill, Which 6L6 tubes can be used with the new power supply? Like Tung sol
6L6GC-STR?, GT 6L6-S, GT 6L6-R(B), JJ 6L6 GC? Can all of these be used and if not
why not and which ones can be used and what do you recommend? Sorry thats a
bunch of questions.
Dustin
bill says:
November 17, 2011 at 12:05 am
You can use any 5881 (GL6GB) or 6L6GC, I like JJs.
19. Billatl says:
November 20, 2011 at 4:12 pm
On my amp the bais was ok, [ just barely, I think ) for the JJ 6l6gc tubes. I tried
some old RCA 6l6gc tubes and it was way to hot! I am not sure , but I think they
went into a run-away condition after only a few minutes on. The brown/red wire
voltage was over 10 volts and rising fast. I could not set the bias down any more
without changing ( let Bill say which ) a resistor.?? Put the JJ tubes back in and the
amp is fantastic. The sound is NOT the same, there is the 6l6 bloom thing going
on!
bill says:
November 20, 2011 at 8:40 pm
Yes, the 6L6s change the sound of the amp in several ways the bloom, as
you mentioned. Also, it has far more dynamic range from soft to very loud, and
its noticeably brighter than the EL84 or 6V6 setups. If you want to use NOS
tubes, which require a higher bias voltage, wed have to build a voltage doubler
into the bias circuit or cathode-bias them. David Allen has done this with the
6L6s and says it sounds great. He likes the compression you get with cathode
bias, even though it costs a couple of watts of power.

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Billatl says:
December 26, 2011 at 10:59 am
Wow, you really got me thinking. At 30 watts, I can lose a few to cathode
biasing. With the spare parts off the Blues Junior, I repaired/modded a old
silvertone 1482 amp chassis I had been given 25 years ago.It is cathode
biased and has
the compression and smooth breakup that good distortion pedals are
trying to emulate!
Looking at the schematics for the BJ and some cathode biased amps,it
doesnt seem so difficult. Maybe it could even be switchable from fixed to
cathode biased. Have you looked at how to try this?
To me, the steps to convert would be; unhook existing bias supply,add a
ground between r31 and r32, add the bias resistor and capacitor from the
cathodes,( pin 8), of both the power tubes and connect to ground.??? If
this is correct, how do we determine the value and wattage of the bias
resistor? Am I in the ballpark???? Thanks for any help! Bill
bill says:
December 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm
Cathode bias will get you a somewhat more compressed sound, so it
might be worth a try. Id try a 330 ohm resistor, bypassed with 22 or
25uF, 100 volts. You probably only need 5 watts, but I like these
chassis-mount resistors (use a thin pop rivet; the holes are too small
for screws).
http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Arcol/HS50-330R1/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMtbXrIkmrvidKzXrWGN%252biMBZujkptCjNA8%3d
Billatl says:
December 26, 2011 at 9:05 pm
Thanks,it may take me some time to do this , but I will let you
know how this turns out.
20. Billatl says:
January 1, 2012 at 10:20 am
Hey Bill, I got the cathode bias done and it worked out pretty good. I ended up with
a 300 ohm resistor and a 75 uf cap. 330 ohm lost a little harmonic richness, 220
ohm was unstable, 260 ohm still had ghost notes. The sound was fantastic, quite
bright, the larger cap seemed to fill in the bottom end better. The tone controls had
less influence than before, but the sparkle control maybe had a little more. The
overall perceived volume seemed to be much lower, maybe 50 or 60%,possibly
deceiving because of the compressed tone, smooth attack and sustain like a good
pedal. Notes sparkled, making reverb optional. Great boutique blues sound, the
notes floated around the room.
The bad news, my wife missed the bold, clean sound and volume of the fixed bias,
so I changed it back!( Its her amp!). She did tell me, though, that she appreciated
the sound.

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I think I will still buy a 10 watt resistor ,a 100uf 100 volt cap and make it switchable
back and forth!
Thanks for your help and encouragement, Bill
bill says:
January 2, 2012 at 10:35 am
Yes, thats why I dont like cathode bias all that much. The compression is
nice, but you give up a lot of power, too. At some point, the size of the bypass
cap stops mattering. Its very unusual to see more than 22-25uF in most
cathode circuits.
21. duncan says:
January 18, 2012 at 10:51 pm
Do I need to have any other mod installed before I install the TP24 upgrade?
bill says:
January 19, 2012 at 9:06 am
What are you trying to achieve? Just putting in the TP24 wont change much
a little more clean headroom, thats about it. The amp would still be
constrained by the stock coupling caps and tone stack, as well as the output
transformer. You get much more improvement from the basic mods and a
TO20 than from a TP24. I would recommend the TP24 primarily for the
higher-power octal conversions because the amp with EL84s is going to be
limited by the tubes. Final point: If you change the plate voltage, you have to
change the bias voltage. So you would need the adjustable bias mod thats
part of the basic mods.
22. duncan says:
January 19, 2012 at 11:25 pm
Thanks. I just ordered the cream basic kit as well as the recap kit since i found that
mine were leaking. I was mostly drawn to the tp24 when I read that it enabled
30watts. Ill order the tp24 and to20 after I get the basic mods in place! Thanks.
bill says:
January 21, 2012 at 12:20 am
But you only get 30 watts out if you do the octal conversion and run 6L6GCs
with the TO26 output transformer. EL84s limit you to 15-18 watts no matter
what.
23. DOUBLE J says:
January 30, 2012 at 11:13 pm
Bill
Love the site. Ive pretty much read everything now and had thought to buy a Green
board BJ like I had in 95 .
One of the things I liked about it compared to other Re-issue type amps was it

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wasnt too brittle or painful in the high end.


Kind of medium.(RI deluxe reverbs have way too much treble for me).
I had played out with my old BJ and it worked well enough for small clubs.
Right now I am planing on doing the basic mod/pre-amp voltage/taper master v &
reverb controls/presence/ and adding a TO20.
Later I could consider adding more watts(tube and PT up grade) but I read were
that is not possible with the green board units, correct?
The main reason I am concern is I see the possibility of wanting to try the 5881 s.
As I am basically only playing Blues in tone(attitude). How different does the 5881 s
sound compared to the EL84 s?
I realize it isnt going to sound like a super reverb. However I like fat and glassy with
natural distortion. 23 watts is a nice idea too if I play out again.
If the series II juniors are as treblely at the RI deluxe reverbs, I may have to stay
with the green board.
Am I wrong to be concerned out the cream boards high end?
Thanks
DJ
bill says:
January 31, 2012 at 9:58 am
I dont sell the octal upgrade for the green board as a kit, but I can do it here.
There are too many ways for it to go wrong in owners hands, outside of my
control. Also, the TO20 is fine with 6V6s and OK with 5881s and the stock PT,
but if you go to the TP24 and 5881/6L6, you will need the TO26 output
transformer.
The cream board can be just as mellow as the green board; just add the
presence control. And if thats not enough, add the sparkle control.
The tone of the 6V6, 5881, or 6L6 is much different from the EL84. Theres
more bass, a smoother, glassier top end, more authority.
24. Matthew says:
March 1, 2012 at 8:31 pm
Thinking about grabbing a BJr for some modn fun (my Limited Edition one still has
few years on the warranty). If I do I will definitely want to do this mod for 6V6
tubes. Im wondering if upgrading to the new OT that you offer will give me the
option to use a 16ohm speaker instead of 8ohm. I have a great English made V-30
that is 16ohm that I would like to use for the project.
bill says:
March 2, 2012 at 11:22 am
You can use a 16 ohm speaker; you just lose some efficiency and create a bit
more heat in the output tubes.
25. stevewdewitt says:
March 9, 2012 at 2:43 pm
Can this power transformer be run with the T020 output transformer and the octal

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conversion? I have purchased the T020 and I am now thinking about the octal
conversion and what that would take. I have not installed the output transformer
yet. Thanks for all the great work!
Steve
bill says:
March 9, 2012 at 5:34 pm
You can use it with the TO20, but only with 6V6s, as shown on the chart on the
page. For 5881s or 6L6s, you need the TO26 OT.
26. scott says:
March 20, 2012 at 10:03 am
I just added the TP24 to my blues jr. This was an excellent upgrade im glad I got it.
Im still using EL84 s so I wasnt really sure if it would be worth it or not.
I already had done the basic mod, TO20, upgraded tubes & a Texas Heat a while
ago, so here is the difference I noticed after recently adding the TP24:
1. It sounds much cleaner/ clearer, even when everything is turned up the notes are
still clear through the distortion. (crunch sounds more musical).
2. bass is not mushy at all. more punchy and powerful.
3. the low and upper mids sound a little brighter, but not too bright (the amp was a
little dark before with a les paul)
4. response is better, by this I mean I have better control of whether it plays clean
or crunchy by how hard I pick and easier use of the guitars volume control.
5. fat switch on sounds tighter. (Ill just always leave it on now).
TP24 didnt really make the amp any louder, but the quality of the sound at loud
volume is nice. (I always play it as loud as it will go and still maintain a cleanish
sound).
27. scott says:
March 21, 2012 at 10:54 am
Oh yeah, I had a question! All this talk of 30 watts in a blues jr makes me wonder
why not just add 2 more EL84s? Would it be possible? And wouldnt (4) EL84s still
sound like a blues jr but be louder.
If this sounds ridiculous, Please forgive me, its because Im a musician NOT an
electrician. Have you ever considered this?
bill says:
March 21, 2012 at 8:30 pm
Four EL84s take up more room than a pair of 6L6s, suck down more heater
current than a pair of 6L6s, and generate more waste heat than a pair of 6L6s.
You would also need a different output transformer to match the impedance of
paralleled tubes. Its far less work to replace two sockets than to add two
sockets. And in my opinion, a pair of 6L6s sounds better than a quartet of
EL84s.
28. leo says:

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May 7, 2012 at 12:30 am


Can I install only the TP24 and the TO20 or TO24 in my blues junior and get decent
results without having to do all the other mods. I can install the transformers but I
dont have the skill to do the mods. I already opened up the amp and changed the
speaker and it is a creme board 2008. I dont have a year to wait for the amp
either.So is it possible to upgrade my tone with only the transformers. Thanks bill
bill says:
May 7, 2012 at 12:20 pm
Doing the transformers alone would be a huge waste of money. The tone is still
bottled up in the amp, and you need adjustable bias to compensate for the
higher voltages from the power transformer.
The turnaround for modding the amp here is only a couple of weeks these
days.

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Billm Audio
Small amps, big sound.

TO20 Low-Profile Output Transformer


This brilliant new output transformer, co-developed with Allen Amps David Allen, is a
breakthrough for the Blues Junior, Pro Junior, Princeton Reverb Reissue, and Super
Champ XD. Designed from the ground up to provide big-transformer performance in the
least possible space, the TO20 is built by highly respected US manufacturer Heyboer,
fits the stock mounting holes in all of these amps and has the same height as the stock
transformer. The widebody core is made of premium M6 steel, which has superior
magnetic properties, allowing maximum efficiency and power transfer from primary to
secondary.

Princeton Reverb, TO20, Blues Junior/Pro Junior output transformers


At 1.5 lb., the TO20 is more than half a pound heavier than the stock transformer for
any of the above amps. The core size is carefully balanced against the wire gauge and
turns ratios. The design increases the Q of the output circuit and provides a higher

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damping factor. The amp thus controls the speaker more accurately, which is especially
beneficial for low frequencies. Flaws like woofy, flabby or farty tone are a thing of the
past. Overdrive tones are sweeter, harmonics are richer. Frequency response extends
well past the range of hearing, so nothing is left behind.
Output transformers seldom make an amp louder; theyre mostly about tone quality.
But they do improve headroom by reducing distortion.
Below is a power spectrum sweep, using a stock Blues Junior OT:

Power Spectrum, stock Blues Junior OT


Next is the same sweep, same amplifier, nothing changed but the OT:

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Power Spectrum TO20 M6 core


You can see that the power curve has shifted up several dB; the increase in loudness is
just noticeable, not overwhelming. The real difference is in the distortion-free bass and
improved tone throughout the range.
The only caution is for Princeton Reverb users, who may like the classic grind of the
stock, undersized output transformer, what Fenders Shane Nicholas calls the
aaaaaat! tone. But its the same tone that forces you turn down the bass as you turn
up the volume. With the new OT, the bass comes through in a way that youve never
heardunless youre one of the old-timers who tore out the stock PR OT and installed a
Deluxe Reverb OT. The TO20 gives you all of the performance of the DRRI transformer
or other oversized aftermarket transformers without having to drill holes, find and
attach the right quick connects, or worry about interference with speakers. (The 20
designation is just to differentiate it from the TO22; either OT can easily handle 25
watts.)
The Billm TO20 kits fit the Blues Junior, Princeton Reverb, Pro Junior, and Super Champ
XD (SCXD available end of October), with the correct wire lengths and the proper
push-on quick connects for each amp.
For reference, here is the power spectrum for the TO22 transformer, which has a 4 ohm
tap as well as an 8 ohm, and is preferable for maximum efficiency running two speakers
or a 4 ohm cabinet. You can see that the TO22 is very similar to the TO20, and both are
superior to the stock OT:

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Power Spectrum, TO22


You can order either output transformer from the Mod Kits and Services page.
Comment (RSS) |

135 Comments
1. fp2000 says:
December 9, 2010 at 3:55 pm
Hi Bill,
what is your opinion for an octal socket conversion? If I decide to use 5881 s and
6V6 s, would the TO26 be an upgrade worth pursuing since it has both 4/8 ohm
taps? or would the TO22 or TO20 will suffice?
Do you account for TO input impedance when you switch between 5881 s and
6V6 s.
Please let me know
Thanks
bill says:
December 17, 2010 at 9:51 am
The Blues Junior power transformer can barely provide enough power to run
5881s, so the impedance doesnt matter much (it gets more important at full
power). The TO26 isnt necessary because the 5881s cant pull more than 25
watts from the power transformer.
Remember, you run 5881s at your own risk. The BJr bias supply can barely

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provide enough voltage to run them properly and they draw very heavily on
the heater supply.
2. gjcamann says:
January 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm
Other than the proverbial doorstop, is there any other good use for the original OT
after its been upgraded. Could it be used in my Valve Jr?
bill says:
January 24, 2011 at 9:24 am
The Valve Junior is a a single-ended (one output tube) amp. The BJr
transformer is for push-pull (two tubes). Theyre different in design, not
interchangeable.
3. gjcamann says:
January 20, 2011 at 4:09 pm
I know enough about electricity to be dangerous.
Ive got a 16 Ohm speaker Id would be interested in trying with a Jr. Could I run
the two 8 Ohm speaker outputs in series to allow it to drive an 16 Ohm speaker?
bill says:
January 24, 2011 at 9:27 am
A stock BJr has only 1 8 ohm output. The other jack is the footswitch jack for
the Fat switch. You can unplug the 8 ohm speaker and plug in the 16 if you
want to hear what it sounds like. You could also run both speakers in parallel,
not in series, for a 6 ohm load. The amp will drive either a 16 ohm load or a 4
to 6 ohm load without problems.
4. lancer.303 says:
February 17, 2011 at 3:02 pm
Bill,
I am trying to decide between T020 and T022 for my early 2010 PRRI and have
read your descriptions. My main goal (other than tighter low end) is to safely run
an external cabinet in parallel with the combo speaker for a total load of 4ohm, but
not all the time. And I really prefer the installation that does not need drilling for an
impedance switch as required for the T022. Your description for the T020 says,
for occasional use of an external 4ohm load. Just so I understand, the T020 is
rated 8ohm, so I would still be running an impedance mismatch from time to time
when I hook up my external cabinet using this model OT. Can you explain how this
works? Does the more robust T020 protect the amps power section from stress
even when running the occasional mismatch? Or does the T020 have a second tap
for 4ohm as well?
bill says:
February 18, 2011 at 5:55 pm

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The TO20 only has an 8 ohm tap. Any tube amp can typically handle a 100
percent mismatch without breaking a sweat. So a 4 or 16 ohm load on an 8
ohm OT is OK. The tubes will run hotter with the mismatch, but only at full
power. You can sacrifice a little tube life for more speaker if thats your
choice. Theres not a lot of room for an impedance switch on the PRRI, and
youd also have to drill a hole to mount the TO22. An alternative would be a
switching jack that switches to 4 ohms when you plug in the second speaker.
5. fp2000 says:
March 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm
Bill, thanks for such great transformer upgrade. Basic mods and OT upgrade have
made a huge difference. Just the basic mods with the twin stack mod I thought the
amp sounded awesome, and after the new OT was installed and rebiasing the amp
sounded fuller. I can say now that I dont even want to touch the amp anymore. I
am not even a fan of EL84 s, but the amp sounds pretty good compared to what it
was originally. My next mod will be the conversion to 6V6 s, but like I said, I want
to enjoy it as it is. Id wish I had a 6V6 modified bj to compare to and see if the
conversion is worth for me.
Thanks again Bill. By the way, installation was pretty straight forward.
6. madvek says:
July 15, 2011 at 11:30 am
Hi Bill, I recently picked up a 78 SFPR with the TO20 already installed. Also came
loaded with an Eminence Ramrod. The combination makes for a great portable
LOUD and CLEAN grab and go Fender. Im not sure what, if any other mods were
done.
Questions:
Where does the TO20 put the power rating of the PR?
Can you recommend a good speaker to give me some breakup? Or what power
rating should I be looking for to get some breakup without relying completely on
pedals. Thanks!
bill says:
July 16, 2011 at 8:35 am
The output transformer doesnt change the output watts unless the previous
transformer was severely undersized or mismatched to the tubes. The power
is the same, bu the tone is better.
Your 78 PR should start to break up naturally past 5 on the volume. If it
doesnt, it may need attention in other areas, such as fresh electrolytic caps,
coupling caps, out-of-spec resistors. Do you really want speaker breakup? Or
harmonics and compression from the amp?
7. aschcsa says:
August 22, 2011 at 6:03 am

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Hello Bill
Can I use this transformer in Australia ?
bill says:
August 22, 2011 at 8:04 am
Yes. The output transformer has nothing to do with the mains voltage.
8. musicman_atl says:
August 29, 2011 at 11:42 am
Hill Bill:
I just bought and installed your T020 transformer (and standby switch and
presence control) , it sounds great. In the instructions which came with it it says to
measure, after the install, the voltage drop between the red (CP2) and brown (CPI)
leads which should be set to 3.4 My jr. had already had an adjustable bias
installed, but this was the first time I have touched it. I used a multi-meter set to
DCV 200V and recorded 4.xx. I adjusted the trim pot until it read 3.4 and then
checked the Blue lead (CP3) which read 3.0 It would seem they are unmatched
output tubes.
Did I measure that correctly? The description of bias adjustment for the B jr on
your previous site and on your bias adjustment video for the pro junior involved
multiple steps. Should I use the multi step method and measure at the top of R23
(or R25, R24, R25)?
Thanks for the speedy turnaround of the order, the quality of the products and a
very enjoyable site.
Bill
bill says:
August 31, 2011 at 7:18 am
It sounds like you measured correctly. Your output tubes dont match
perfectly, but theyre close enough.
9. Erik says:
September 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm
Hey Bill,
I like to use my BJ pretty loud, but still clean (pretty much the EQ and master
cranked, volume below preamp breakup). Sounds like a better OT would be useful
for me
However, I would like to know if I can install a TO20 without drilling or heating up
my soldering iron?
bill says:
September 28, 2011 at 9:56 pm

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The TO20 will improve the tone, especially in the bass, but it wont make the
amp substantially louder, at least not without further mods. If you want more
clean headroom, youd need to do the basic mods and high-voltage preamp in
addition to the output transformer. The TO22 is a little brighter, more
clean-ish than the TO20.
10. Skyblue737 says:
September 30, 2011 at 7:12 am
Bill,
I have a cream board BJr, and purchased the TO20 transformer. In the
description, it says fits the stock mounting holes in all these amps. Well, my
original transformer has four mounting screws at the corners. The TO20 has TWO
flanges for mounting, center-type. Did I misunderstand something? Does the TP24
transformer have two or four? Please advise.
Rob
bill says:
September 30, 2011 at 8:37 am
Youre confusing the power transformer with the output transformer. The
output transformer is on the back of the chassis.
11. eddie_bowers says:
October 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm
Does the bias need to be adjusted after upgrading the transformer (I already have
the adjustable bias mod)?
bill says:
October 12, 2011 at 10:56 pm
The bias current is determined by the tubes, not the transformer. Although
the voltage drop that you read will be different, the current will be the same.
12. goldtop87 says:
October 19, 2011 at 3:39 pm
Bill, I have emailed david allen and he mentioned that the to20 for the scxd has
caused some oscillating with this ot . Will this happen to all scxds? I wanted to
purchase, but are they even available for the fender scxd yet?
bill says:
October 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm
I have heard of some SCXDs have oscillated. I have a TO20 installed in one of
my SCXDs and its OK, but I have not had an opportunity to test more amps.
Its probably not worth the risk. Im currently not selling the TO20 for the
SCXD.

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13. livingwater says:


January 15, 2012 at 6:53 pm
I installed the T020 today.
It was a perfect fit
Also installed the basic , tone stack and presence mods
I now have more bass, complete control of my treble , bass and mid pots
And the amp is extremely noiseless except for my playing
Thank you Bill
14. bluessr1 says:
February 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm
Bill, I have a PRRI and it is very farty on the low end when playing hot pickups.
Someone referred your transformer and another person said to just replace the
speaker?
Is there a huge difference?
Can you get the 30 watts like the new BJ transformer listed?
I was thinking of doing both. What do you think of the Rajun Cajun or do you have
a better one in mind? I want little to no break in the speaker. Also the cabinet has
a BUZZ where the bottom back panel meets the bottom of the cabinet. This amp is
BRAND NEW, I cant believe I have to modify it.
bill says:
February 13, 2012 at 12:03 am
I think the Eminence Copperhead sounds better than the Cajun in a PRRI.
Hot pickups can be a problem for any amp and they can certainly cause the
OT to saturate. You have to turn the bass down quite a bit as you turn up to
avoid that. The TO20 will certainly help with that; so will doubling the value of
the first filter cap to 47uF.
If you want 30 watts, youll need a different power transformer and a different
output transformer and 6L6s. Check with David Allen at Allen Amplification.
15. SamZ says:
March 4, 2012 at 1:16 am
Hi Bill Im a little confused on how ohms and loads work. My scenario: my amp
currently does have your 8 ohm aux out. I ran the aux out to a 2 x 12 8 ohm cab.
My BJr has a C Rex speaker which drowned out the 2 x 12 cab. Since the 2 outs
are in parallel with each other, does that mean power is evenly distributed across
the 2 outs, where the C Rex got 50%, while the other 2 speakers in the cab each
got 25%? I am wondering if its possible to get a balance of volume between 3
speakers (assuming they each have the same sensitivity) using a 2 x 12 cab, via

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the aux jack.


bill says:
March 5, 2012 at 9:24 am
If the cab was truly 8 ohms, the current was divided evenly between them.
But what the speakers do with it depends on their efficiency. The C. Rex is
probably more efficient, since its one of the loudest-per-watt speakers you
can find. Two speakers with lower dB-per-watt ratings will hardly be heard
over single, more efficient speaker. Also, if the cab was closed-back, its
probably quieter because it trades off efficiency for tight, controlled bass.
SamZ says:
March 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm
Thanks Bill this helps! I know the speakers in the cab were 75 watts @
97 dB. Using th dB/watt ratio, that makes the CRex 2.04 db/watt, while
the cab speakers 1.29 dB/watt. For argument sake, if the cab had 2
additional CRex speakers, an open back, and truly 8 ohms, could there
ever be balance of output between the 3 speakers or would the evenly
distributed current between the 2 parallel outputs still hinder that? I
wondering if the lesson of this experiment is that I need to use same #
of speakers, with matched efficiencies (dB/watt) from each output jack if
I want even volume across all speakers
bill says:
March 5, 2012 at 10:23 pm
The maximum watts rating doesnt matter. Thats simply the
amount of power that you can put in before the voice coil melts. It
sounds like your speakers are 97dB at 1 watt and I think the C.Rex
is rated at 101 or 102dB at 1 watt. So its going to be louder no
matter what.
Adding a second, identical speaker increased the overall loudness
by just under 3dB. A third identical speaker adds another 1.5 or
2dB. If you want it to be significantly louder, you need a lot more
watts going into the speakers. And yes, its best to have speakers
that have similar dB at 1 watt ratings. You can mix and match
tones, but youre never going to hear a 95 or 97dB speaker over a
modern 100+dB speaker.
16. isljms says:
March 4, 2012 at 7:07 pm
After playing my Blues Jr. for a good 3-4 hrs. The clean sound starts distorting a
bit especially when I volume up. Do I need to mod my transformers? I also
switched out the speakers to a 12 100w 8ohm. and it still does that.
bill says:
March 5, 2012 at 9:29 am

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How new are the tubes? How old is the amp? The filter caps may be failing, or
you may have other heat-induced problems. You could also have phase
inverter oscillation. See here:
http://billmaudio.com/wp/?page_id=115
17. srwilk says:
March 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm
Hi BillI would like to upgrade my Superchamp XD with the T020 Low-Profile output
transformer. Is this simply a remove and replace, (drop in) transformer switch?
Any other mods necessary once I move forward with this upgrade? Thanks for
your time! Steve
bill says:
March 23, 2012 at 9:17 am
Its a drop-in. Same screw holes, same push-on connectors. A few folks have
reported oscillation with the TO20, most others love it. I havent had the time
to do extensive testing to see if there are issues.

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