You’re looking for a clean tone and you can’t decide between these two.
It’s normal, Fender is not that great at naming their amp lineup. And if you can’t get to test them out side by side it might be hard to make a final decision.
We can help you with that.
If you want a short answer about the differences between these two Fender amps, here it is:
The main difference between the Fender Blues Junior and the Pro Junior is that the Blues Junior has a bigger 12″ Celestion speaker, 3-band EQ, and an incorporated spring reverb. The Pro Junior has a smaller 10″ Jensen speaker and only a tone knob. It is 8 lbs. lighter, and cheaper.
If you want to stick with us longer, in this article we will talk about the main characteristics of both these amps, then we will put them side by side and check out their main differences.
Finally, we will give you our insights about which one you should choose, depending on what you’re looking for.
Let’s get started.
Main characteristics of the Fender Blues Junior
The Fender Blues Junior is a small amp very popular among blues and jazz players. But don’t take me wrong, it’s not limited to these genres at all.
Whoever likes clean tones knows that Fender is king whatever style they play.
The Blues Junior is an all-tube amplifier introduced in 1990 with the objective of delivering warm clean tones to appeal to a broad range of players from blues to rock while remaining portable and affordable.
It surely delivered.
But let’s talk about what makes the Blues Junior a Blues Junior.
Here’s a table of its main specs:
|Spec||Fender Blues Junior|
|Speaker Size and brand||1 x 12” Celestion|
|Preamp tubes||3 12AX7|
|Power tubes||2 EL84|
It has everything you could ask for in an amp like this, including built-in spring reverb.
Tube sound, enough EQ, a small form factor, lightweight, and the Fender logo.
Its main drawback is that it might be a little low in volume to gig with, or even to play with drums while maintaining a pristine clean sound.
Is the Fender Blues Junior loud enough to gig with?
At 15 Watts, the Fender Blues Junior might be loud enough for small-sized gigs. For medium-sized venues and above, it might begin to fall short in terms of volume. If you can’t expect the location to have a PA system, we recommend you don’t rely on the Blues Junior as your only source of amplification.
Main characteristics of the Fender Pro Junior
The Fender Pro Junior is another weapon of choice for many blues and jazz players.
It’s a simple amp for simple people that don’t want to spend more time tweaking knobs than playing through it.
And that’s not a bad thing. That’s actually amazing.
How much time do you waste turning knobs endlessly when you have already found a playable tone?
It’s a sin we all can raise our hands to accept.
The Pro Junior makes it easy for you: 2 knobs, an input jack, and a power button.
What else would you need?
Here’s a more detailed view of this amazing piece of gear:
|Spec||Fender Pro Junior|
|Speaker Size||1 x 10” Jensen|
|Preamp tubes||2 12AX7|
|Power tubes||2 EL84|
This is for sure a lightweight amp that you can carry around anywhere.
Its strong point is undoubtedly its simplicity. You can’t go wrong with the Pro Junior, and if you can’t get a sound out of it, maybe that’s your problem.
However, its being a 15 watts amp brings the same problem that its bigger brother brings: It might not be loud enough to play and maintain clean with a drummer.
Is the Fender Pro Junior loud enough to gig with?
At 15 Watts, the Fender Pro Junior might be loud enough for small-sized gigs. For medium-sized venues and above, it might begin to fall short in terms of volume. If you can’t expect the location to have a PA system, we recommend you don’t rely on the Pro Junior as your only source of amplification.
Main differences between the Fender Blues Junior and the Pro Junior
If you didn’t skip the above part, you might already have a mental image of what these 2 amps bring to the table.
They really offer you very similar things, but the difference is mainly one in price and features.
You can get a Pro Junior, or you can pay extra for the Blues Junior’s features.
Here are their spec sheets side by side so you can better visualize it:
|Spec||Fender Blues Junior||Fender Pro Junior|
|Speaker Size and brand||1 x 12” Celestion||1 x 10” Jensen|
|Preamp tubes||3 12AX7||2 12AX7|
|Power tubes||2 EL84||2 EL84|
|EQ||3-band EQ||Tone control|
|Weight||31.5 lbs.||22.85 lbs.|
Having fewer features, however, is not a drawback. For many people, it could be a big advantage.
Not all of us enjoy EQing into oblivion our tone, and for a lower price, if you consider the modesty of having only a tone knob a plus, it might be a no-brainer for you.
Finally, the smaller speaker size might, and should affect tone, especially by cutting some of the low end that the Pro Junior can output.
Which one should you choose?
Here in GearAficionado, we don’t like pointing in one direction assuming all our readers will think the same as we do.
We always encourage you to try out the gear before making a final decision. A YouTube video or a blog post will never be enough to choose a piece of gear.
Although, if you want some insights into which one of these amps you should pick, here they are:
- If you like tweaking your amp until you achieve a perfect tone, try out the Blues Junior
- If you just like to plug your guitar and play, check out the Pro Junior
- If you enjoy the sound of 12” speakers, pick a Blues Junior
- If you prefer the tone of smaller 10” speakers, get the Pro Junior
- If you can’t live without reverb in your amp, give the Blues Junior a try
- If you use a reverb pedal or you don’t care about it, the Pro Junior might be the one
Hello there, my name is Ramiro and I’ve been playing guitar for almost 20 years. I’m obsessed with everything gear-related and I thought it might be worth sharing it. From guitars, pedals, amps, and synths to studio gear and production tips, I hope you find what I post here useful, and I’ll try my best to keep it entertaining also.