New Old Content

It's been some time since I've posted about my Epiphone Valve Junior - in light of the fact that I've been living with it for half a year, I think an update is warranted.

I first gushed about this little diamond-in-the-rough in this blog, in a post entitled Reward. Since then, I've drug that little monster all over town. I mentioned that I built a 2 x 8 cab to haul around. That cab is fine for the living room, a little on the quiet side for rehearsal, and not bad at all for recording.

The surprise is that I've gigged with the VJ several times! In a small enough room I can hang, even with the (right) drummer using STICKS. And I've hooked it up to my Bassman Ltd 4 x 10s in gigs for a little more volume. I know - it's heretical to connect a LITTLE amp to a mighty Bassman's speakers, but I really dig the sound - I get a real dark, blurred, horn-like sound from the set-up.

The amp doesn't sound good for blues guitar, IMO - too grindy (I tend to favor guitar tones more like Jimmy Vaughan, Albert King, Jr Watson) for blues.

Oh yeah - the VJ is OK with a 520DX, but it doesn't sound good at all with my favorite crystal (which is the mic of choice for the Bassman), but the BEST mic for it is a real low-gain franken-mic we refer to as "The Cheese Mic" because of it's "Lo-Fi", cheesy sound through the PA. The Cheese mic is "Baby Bear" (Juuust Right) for the VJ - I can turn the amp up to about 85-90% driving the power tube almost to saturation. Ah, tube compression & distorted harp...Mmmmm...

A while back, my amigo Karlos had me over to taste-test some of his incredible vintage Nationals, so now I have a hankerin' to get me some ovals to blow through. Those Natis he plays all have 6 x 9 speakers - man, you want to hear a trumpet bark!

Speaking of which, some cats are just SO authentic and true to the sound of real blues...listen to Karl & Tom's band West of Memphis if you get a chance - you'll be blown away if you haven't heard the real stuff like they play it. (Yeah, I know - broken record - well, it's true, I really admire WoM) Check them out - you'll understand what I'm telling you.