My New Amp! And man...am I lovin' it...!

Wow… A look back at my previous post titled “My New Axe! But I don’t feel proud of it! frowning”, that was actually a year ago…! So much has happened for me, especially the struggles through my internship and my hostel stay… And I’m sooo glad that I came out of all of it…! I wouldn’t use the word that “It made me stronger…”, but instead, all these experiences made me more vulnerable, more authentic, more hateful, more lustful, more rebellious. It made me realised how unloved I was, and from there, I know that I needed loving, I needed the respect that was never given to me…

But yes, wow still can’t believe that I’ve been here for more than a year, and back then since at my verge of deconstruction…!

But cutting to the chase, here it is! the beautiful fender blues junior that was recommended by my guitar instructor…!

Before getting this amp, I must say that I’ve been swirled into the whirlpool of debates on tube amps vs. solid-state (digital) amp. To give some simple understanding, digital amp are a little like listening through a hi-fi system, but tube amps are like listening to live concerts (? - not the most accurate, but the idea is somewhat there). We’ve reached such a time where even digital amps (like my BOSS katana) was able to emulate the brilliance of a nice guitar sound from expensive amplifiers like Marshall or Vox. Yet, there was something missing… Sure, tonally both of them sound great when played side by side, but the tube amp just has a little ‘magic’ that digital “might never” be able to replace. That is, the warmth, the ‘life’, the ‘punch’, the response, the dynamics in the sound, or in fact, the ‘unpredictableness of the harmonics’ in the sound (as texas blues alley puts it Tube Amps 1: Why Tube Amps? - YouTube). The unpredictableness of the sound that comes out from the tube amps breathes life out of the air from the amp. It’s magic. Yet, there would be a ton of players out there saying how revolutionary digital amps are (and they are…) and how even so many professionals are ready to sell their tube amps away to convert to a digital rig, because they seem to do the same job well, and sometimes even better. Reliability, low maintenance since no tube replacements needed, lighter amp and no need for loud volumes from a tube amp…

Sure, those are valid and that’s their experience I suppose…! But for me, at this juncture, the tube amp seems to outperform digital with that ‘magic’. Comparing between the digital, the digital would be sound to my ears, but tube amps are like a “physical” thing (as yngwie (a famous guitarists) puts it haha!) No matter how nice the digital amp is, it doesn’t push air out like a tube amp. It’s… well… beautiful that it works that way…!

And I just I’m happy that I came to the conclusion that I “needed” a tube amp, and narrowing to the blues junior…! And this time, I can be happier and more proud to say that “I loved it from first impressions! :wink:” and even if I don’t, I’m happy to keep in mind a safe exit to move on from it if that does happen! (i.e. sell it, find something else!)

P.S. Just a reflective thought: Many older guitar players I’ve met seem to have this trend. As they get older, they got more and more tired of listening to metal, or heavy rock music. And they settled for lighter genres like funk, reggae, blues or jazz. Man… when I grow old, nevermind hard rock or heavy rock, I wish that I’d still be able to live and breathe the blues!

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It’s probably the amp I would have recommended as well. I’ve owned one for many years now. I’ve done all kinds of mods to mine over the years. They sound great! I believe it’s Fender’s best selling amp. And they hold their value unlike the larger, heavier amps that few people want to lug around. And the Jr. get’s plenty loud enough as I’m sure you’ve already found out… :slight_smile:

Congrats!

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Ahah that’s real true…! It is fender’s best selling amp! But honestly after owning it for a couple of days now, I’m constantly A/B-ing the sound with my Katana amp. And it gets so hard to decipher which tone is better. Totally, both sounded great and I’m just not sure if I bought this because of tube amp hype…! But there’s magic in the tube amp and I suppose I’ve put my finger into it to want to try experiencing that for myself at room… otherwise, it’s gna be another itch that I can’t scratch!

And yeah, plenty loud definitely, and the master is just practicality only at 2! But I’ve thought abt that before I bought the amp, and I told myself that I could live with it for the experience of tube amp sound!

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Remember if you are A/B-ing… there’s more to the “energy” of something than just the “sound.”

A/B testing does “blind” us to certain things… or has us narrow in on one aspect.

For example, if I A/B test my iPhone 12 Pro Max against a Samsung phone as to how the pictures of sunsets come out, I very well may like the Samsug better! But, the phone is an overall experience. Its engineered and also infused by the attitudes and preferences of all those involved in it – many tens of thousands!

My guess is that whether amp or guitar or phone or computer, if we attune ourselves to our overall YES, we can feel how it serves us. If we start A/B testing and comparing, well… that’s like dissecting more than experiencing to me.

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And this is exactly why many musicians (myself included) have more than one guitar and more than one amp. Before I go out to play I look at my selection and ‘feel into’ each one…pick a few up and play them and decide which one suits my mood and my physicality on that particular day.

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Great point Rick! That’s the overall goal! But I’d say that after a couple of days of self reflection and tapping, the A/B-ing really showed how scared I am of making the “mistake” of buying something that doesn’t work for me, or scared to feel the pain of regret of buying this. And learning to embrace the experience, whether good or bad without shame or judgement from past trauma is indeed where I’d like to be…! That means even if I didn’t like the amp from day 1, I can still be “ok” with the fact that I’ve at least had an “experience”.

Holy shit am I glad to hear this. I would officially say that the negative culture of “G.A.S” (Gear Acquistion Syndrome) coupled with the Asian Frugal mindset has led to so much shame in the things that I want to buy. I kinda hate guitarists that stuck out with just 1 guitar and say that those who have more guitars are just wasting their money. I mean sure, if that’s what they’re happy with, then so be them! But I don’t like it that there is the imposing of belief (even on the internet) saying “you don’t need more gears/guitars, you need more practice”. Those statements didn’t make me feel good or a YES to them. Does that mean gears/guitars aren’t impt? And you’re saying that crappy gears/guitars would make practice happen? (And again, there are those that can practice really well with a crappy gear). But for me, I’m so glad that I spend those money getting the higher-end guitars, learnt to properly setup my guitars for best playability and now owning a tube amp sound. With everything, it made practice sooooo much more fun and enjoyable, and I thank myself for upgrading my gears. If I was still using my $150 guitar and $50 amp till now, I would’ve put down the guitar way more times because of how “uninspiring” it all is…! So for me, it’s a “YAY” for owning more gears/guitars that matters!

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A ‘feisty’ woman (and well known blues singer in this area) who ran a jam I used to go to saw me onstage with a new guitar one day and she walked up to me and said in a very condescending tone “How many guitars do you need?!..why can’t you just have one guitar that you really enjoy”. I held her gaze and smiled and said “How many pairs of shoes do you own?” Her face went slack and without saying a word she turned and walked away. :laughing:

I’d played some gigs subbing in her band before and she tried to rip me off once. She told me what the gig paid and at the end of the night she handed me less than what she had told me I’d be paid. I looked at her and said "You told me I’d be paid $ xxx and she never said a word…she didn’t even look at me, she just handed me the the rest of the money, turned and walked away. She didn’t even attempt to lie or offer an excuse for trying to underpay me. That’s how little she cared about me or herself. A real stellar human being. :roll_eyes:

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I’d LOVE IT if people felt free to put their energy (and their energy of money) into what gives them pleasure and freedom and opportunities to express their heartistry.

I have two guitars. I would never say I “need” two guitars, or even one! They bring me pleasure, and they open options for expression however awkward.

What turns people on is sooooo different. What lights people up is soooo diverse.

Part of being emotionally free for me is recognizing when others are trying to “be our decider” by telling us who we are, what we should and should not do, and yeah, how we get to spend our life energy (and money energy!).

Great that this is coming up prior to the next workshop on money!

Thank you!

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Aaaaah, the blues!!! I was not introduced to the Blues until I was in my 30s when I saw B. B. King and Lucille at Bumbershoot in Seattle in the 80’s. I was blown away by the emotion of his singing and playing! Then, in 2004 I was so fortunate to see David “Honeyboy” Edwards (he was in his 90s at the time and knew Robert Johnson!) in a small venue in Cambria by the Sea, CA. Again, I was blown away as I realized I was experiencing the history of the Blues up close and personal! Jun-Rong, I invite you to start living and breathing the Blues now!!! There’s no time like the present!!

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@Glenn yup, sounds to me like a real stellar being that doesn’t resonate the beautiful world of what guitars are capable of…! What a shame… These are the people I’d stay away from too!

@Rick Sure, perhaps not a survival need, but now, definitely an emotional need. I think my life would’ve been way duller if without the existence of electric guitars… Maybe I would’ve find another alternative (?), but hey I have em’ now so hell yeah to that! definitely checking out the replay when I can :wink:

@Norene Wow, so happy that you get to see those blues legends! I do hope that one day I’ll get to see one of my heroes in person too!

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How many books do I need? How many keyboards? How many … how many? I even have 2 Instant Pots. So what? That was a good answer @Glenn

I like your Amp @Jun_Rong

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How many books, guitars, art supplies do I need??? Good question!! I don’t think I know how to answer that! Maybe it comes down to what you actually DO with what you have. I mean, if I had to, I could dip my finger in my coffee and paint something on a scrap of newspaper! But then again, I love to discover new art supplies or cook books to spark my imagination and creativity.

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Yes!! I’ve been looking at drawing/art apps on my Ipad, then looking at You Tube videos on how to use these apps. I checked out canva to see what it would let me create. Then there are all the cooking recipes online plus Udemy how to’s on making music on the piano. I subscribe to a huge magazine app where I can read just about any magazine there is. I could go on and on and as I was writing this I thought maybe I have FOMO, or is it just curiosity? It keeps me off the street, off the booze and makes me happy :hugs:

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