Blues Jr. -- Speaker Selection -7

Posted by Jim Black on 4/10/2015 to Mods
The Billm mods website has a very long discussion about speakers for your Blues Jr.
My legacy came with a Jensen Special Design P12R. The frequency analysis I did showed that the lows and mids were well under the predicted level that the Duncan Tone Stack showed. I try some experiments to get the levels I want.
This is Bill's assement of the stock speaker for my Blues Jr.
Jensen P12R
Fender chose this speaker for the Relic Blues Junior version. The Relic looks like it was made in the 1950s and lived a very hard life, complete with rust, stains, cat-clawed grille cloth, and tattered tweed. The P12R sounds like it’s from the 1950s too… kind of like an old table radio. This speaker makes the Blues Junior sound like a kazoo on steroids: squawky, nasal, thin, and weak. If you like that old-timey sound, you’ve found it. For the rest of us, yuk.
I couldn't agree more.

I read all the speaker reviews and thought this one sounded like just the ticket for me.
Eminence Swamp Thang
There’s nothing swampy about the Swamp Thang–this is the loudest, cleanest speaker in Eminence’s lineup, but its response is tilted towards the bass side. Eminence calls the treble response moderate, but I find its highs more prominent than the Texas Heat’s. It produces big, round lows, even in the BJr’s small cabinet. The magnet is huge and it will add noticeable weight to your BJr. It might hit an aftermarket, larger output transformer like the Heyboer I use. You can probably spin the baffle 180 degrees to place it at the lower right instead of upper left (from the back) for clearance. I use the Swamp Thang on my test bench because it’s so clean (I want to hear the amp, not the speaker) and the moderate highs keep the ice pick tones out of my ears. The Swamp Thang is not a truly neutral speaker; it adds a warm, woodwind-like undertone.

I got all the mods done, replaced the speaker and now it's time to hear the changes. Oh boy, was I surprised! This amp totally sounds different. The highs got buried by the increase in bass and mids. I like some high end but I had to turn up the treble just to hear any at all. It is time to regroup and take more measurements to see where I stand and what to do next to reclaim some highs. Next time, I reread the speaker reviews and discover some places where Billm and I differ in our tone judgment...

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