For Sale: heavily modded Epi Valve Junior

Discussion in 'Epiphone Classifieds' started by vomer, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. vomer

    vomer Well-Known Member

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    Sadly parting company with my VJr (Grainger Valve Edition 5) after many years as I need to fund another bigger amp. Here's the text of my listing for ebay which isn't up yet. I'm asking £170 ovno. If the text below contains words like "bid" I'll try to get back and edit it later, bit busy at the moment, and I'm locked out of my Photobucket account so I can't post a pic until later. Will post to the UK or try/collect welcome, Wells, Somerset.

    The Grainger Valve Edition 5 is the Epiphone Valve Junior Version 2 which was badged as Grainger and sold by the national chain of stores Soundcontrol around 10-12 years ago. It is a 1x8" Class A combo with ECC83/12AX7 and EL84 valves.
    I've owned this from new and had mods carried out by Nigel Briggs, 'Alnicomagnet' on ebay, soon after. Later I had Power Scaling fitted by MJW amps. A couple of years ago I fitted the Celestion Eight 15 speaker, and new JJ Tesla valves.

    The result of all these upgrades is a killer amp. Nigel Brigg's mods tame the hum, open up the sound, shift the preamp valves bias towards a more 'Fender' style, put in a Line Out, and the Hammond 125DSE output transformer. I've seen it suggested that with the Hammond, the power output is more likely to be 7-8 watts and this amp is certainly loud. The Hammond also gives a switchable 4, 8, or 16 ohm output.
    Power Scaling is a proprietary method which is only licensed to a couple of places in Britain. It enables a reduction of volume so that the richness of output tube overdrive is available at low volumes, maintaining tone, unlike ordinary master volume methods. And it works well, this amp can be run into any amount of overdrive at bedroom volume levels, or with the Power Scaling turned down, fully open and loud.
    The Celestion Eight 15 is a night and day transformation for an 8" speaker combo. It genuinely does sound like a bigger speaker, with no boxiness or sense of restriction in the sound.
    And JJ Tesla valves, everyone may have their preferred valves but I always go for JJ's first as to my ear they give the clearest and most balanced tone without spending a fortune on NOS.
    The amp is in excellent condition apart from one small scuff in the tolex on the left edge. It will be well boxed for shipping, or collection is welcome.
    This is a seriously competent and toneful amp, with the kind of tones you just can't get from a solid state amp and would have to pay a lot more for to find in an off the shelf boutique amp. If you've read this far you are probably already aware of the potential of a well sorted Class A design. But that's the hype, don't take my word for it, grab a bargain!
    UK bids only please, and any zero feedback bidders please contact me before you bid or your bid will be cancelled.
    Postage should be £14.39 according to the UPS website and I'm going to have to buy some packaging. It will be signed for delivery.
    Below is a list of some of Nigel Brigg's mods, the Hammond OT isn't mentioned here:
    1. Drop HT voltage to a safer level so increasing valve/tube life.
    2. Fit extra HT filtering to further reduce hum.

    3. Fit HT fuseholder and fuse to protect mains transformer should a fault occur on the HT rail.

    4. Re-bias pre-amp tube to give a Fender "clean" sound.

    5. Reconfigure input to 1meg high impedance (makes your guitar "come alive").

    6. Change interstage resistive network to further clean up sound.

    7. Fit Standby switch (increases valve/tube life).

    9. Fit output impedance selector switch (gives the option of using 4 or 8 or 16 ohm speakers).

    10. Fit Line-out jack with built in ground lift.

    11. Fit Sprague Orange Drop coupling capacitors to give a cleaner sound.

    And some more details from Nigel Briggs about a few of those:
    • HT voltage: the stock amp has a much too high HT voltage. This results in the EL84 output valve being worked too hard. Designed working voltage is 250V. Maximum voltage is 300V. I've measured anything up to 348V (on a V.1) and 330V on a V.2 My mod reduces this to around 300V. What's more, the absolute maximum anode (plate) dissipation for an EL84 is 12watts. I have measured and calculated anything from 12.5 to 14.7watts. These are dangerous levels which can result in a burnt out valve, or shortened valve life at the very least. My mod reduces anode dissipation to around 10.7watts. You can now use your NOS Mullard safe in the knowledge that you won't destroy it!

    • Standby Switch - absolutely essential in my opinion. All valve amps (especially those with silicon rectifiers) should have a standby switch. It allows the valves to become fully warmed up before applying the HT (high tension) (high voltage) to the valves. Eliminates cathode stripping and other damage. With proper use of the Standby Switch (wait at least 30 seconds before switching on, and switch to standby before switching off the mains power switch) your valves should last at least twice as long!

    • HT Fuse: let's take a look at the protection for the Valve Junior. The mains lead itself is protected by a 5amp fuse. The mains input to the amp (mains transformer primary winding) is protected by a T1AL 250V time delay (slo blo) fuse. The heater (filament) supply is protected by a T4AL 250V fuse. Both legs of the auxiliary output are protected by T1.6AL 250V fuses. That leaves the HT winding (with no protection)! Imagine if the output valve is damaged by vibration and shorts out. Or, what if a power supply capacitor blows or shorts - voila! there goes your expensive mains transformer! For the sake of a few quid it ain't worth the risk!

    • Line-Out Jack. Again, never wanting to follow the crowd, I looked at what others were doing and decided there was a better way of doing it. Rather than take the line-out signal from the pre-amp output, I decided to take the signal after the output transformer, thus giving it the true output valve distortion sound. Now there is no need to mic up at a gig, simply run a lead from the line-out jack to the mixer desk, or into a more powerful amp, with no worries over microphone feedback.
     
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  2. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    Good luck with the sale.
     
    vomer and Paruwi like this.
  3. Norton

    Norton Active Member

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    Pics? Price? Power scaling is the real deal!
     
  4. vomer

    vomer Well-Known Member

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    Norton, very sorry to not reply sooner but I had already had some interest and I was waiting to see if that turned into a sale, so yes, it's gone now.
     
  5. vomer

    vomer Well-Known Member

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    SOLD
     
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