Want to upgrade a speaker for your Blues Junior amp? Here are 3 replacement speakers that I think are going to spice up your playing.
Top 3 replacement speakers for Blue Junior III
While there are many potential choices, I narrow it down to the following 3 based on the factors that I have listed down in the later sections:
- Eminence Texas heat: I consider this a well balanced speaker. It performs well overall in bass, mids and highs but not especially outstanding on either. If you want something that does a good job in the middle of the road, this is the one for you.
- Eminence Cannabis Rex: This speaker is for you if you want clean and/or warm tones. Distortion is pretty easy to achieve as well thus making it more suited to hit that sweet edge of breakup tone. Highly recommend this for jazz or country music players.
- Celestion Vintage 30: This speaker for the lead guitarist. It is weaker in the bass section but powerful in the mids and can achieve early breakups. Not for bass players.
Why Eminence Texas Heat should be your choice
As mentioned, the Texas Heat is the most balanced among the 3 options above. In terms of tones, this is what you will be getting:
- Bass: Solid bass tone that is pretty obvious to hear
- Mids: Smooth but a little mix of smokiness
- Highs: A pretty creamy high but might sound a bit distance if you are playing for cleaner tones.
All these means that this speaker can cater to a wide range of styles from metal to rock. It is not as good as speakers that are specifically built for each style but still offers a solid audio experience.
The price is also pretty affordable as it is under $100.
Factors to consider when getting a replacement
Here are the factors I used to come up with the suggested list above:
- Portability: The replacement speakers should not add too much to the weight the Blue Junior to hamper its original portability. This is why I didn’t include speakers with a large magnet that can weight the amp down such as Eminence Swamp Thang
- Playing Style: Each speaker caters to a difference audience. Some are for folks who like to play cleanly while others might be for bass players. If you are unknown or wants to experiment, go for a well balanced speaker.
- Price: I try to stay below the $100 mark
- Compatibility: I make sure each of the speaker I recommend can fit into the cabinet of the Blues Junior well without too much modding needed.
How to change the speaker in Fender Blue Junior III
Once you have decided on the speaker you want as a replacement, how it how to change the speaker out.
First, the tools you need:
- Screwdriver for medium size screw
That is it. Now, the steps are:
- Remove the four screws as shown in the image below (see red circle). There will be 2 on each side. Before unscrewing, lay the amp on its front such that the back is facing upwards towards the ceiling.
- As you unscrew the last screw, you should hold on to the panel that is coming loose just in case it falls off
- Once the last screw is done, life the panel up a bit. There will be a jack that connects the speaker to the panel. You need to unplug it first. The pic below shows where the jack was connected but you will not be able to see it like what the image is showing.
- There is also another screw you need to unscrew to be able to life the whole panel out. See image below.
- Once the panel is out, the next steps is to unscrew the 4 screws holding the speaker to the cabinet.
- Replace the old one with your new speaker and screw it back in place
- Put the panel back in place and insert the jack back to the same spot. Remember to screw the one screw on the left.
- Screw back the 4 mains screws and you are done!
How to get the best out of your Blue Junior stock speaker
The Jensen stock speaker is actually not a bad speaker but you need to break it. Most reviews I read said the stock speakers sound harsh on highs and/or farty on lows. This tells me that they probably have not played it enough to season it.
My advice is push the speaker to work hard when you first have it. This is what you can do:
- Practice on it daily
- Tune the volume up so that the amp will force the speaker to work
- Blend in some distortion to condition the speaker
If you do the above for 90 days, you will hear a much better tone afterwards. This tone will be warm and punchy as well as commanding a presence in the room. If you have a Fender Blue Junior III and you don’t get that kind of tone, you have not conditioned it yet.
According to what I read, the reason why Fender uses the Jensen speaker is because when they bought the rights, they also gotten the tooling that was used to make these speakers. As a result, they were able to fashion the current Jensen speakers to be as close to the vintage models as possible.
Having said that, there are replacement speakers out there that can definitely improve on the Jensen stock speakers, like what I have recommended. Especially if you want a certain tone to match your playing style.
The stock speaker from the Fender Blue Junior III can be sufficient if you first break it in. If not, you will hear tones that are spikey and flat.
If you are still unsatisfied after breaking the stock speaker in, then one of the 3 options I recommend should lead to a better sound quality. If you have bought these due to my recommendations, leave a comment and let me know what you think.