Who designed the Epiphone Valve Jnr amp?

5F6-A

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Does anyone know who designed this (quirky) amp? Was it commissioned by Gibson (Epiphone's owner) to be designed in China as well as built there? What was its inspiration? Is it based on a vintage circuit? Thanks!!

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Jymbopalyse

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No mention on "who" or place of manufacturing

History[edit]
The Epiphone Valve Jr. version 1 combo was released in 2005 as a part of Epiphone's line of amplifiers. In January 2006 a head version was released and also a version 2 combo. In June 2007 an updated head version and a version 3 combo were released. The first Epiphone Valve Juniors (version 1) were only combo amplifiers and received only a fair reception, due to such problems as buzzing and hum caused by the AC filament voltage. Epiphone then released a head version, correcting these issues and changed the AC filament voltage to DC voltage. Version 2 combos also featured these modifications. The version 1 and version 2 combos feature an 8" 4 ohm Ceramic speaker.

Epiphone released Combo version 3 and a newer version of the head with higher retail prices and feature a variety of tube brands based on availability including Electro-Harmonix, JJ, and Sovtek. The newer versions of the head and version 3 combos feature updated transformers with 4, 8 and 16 ohm outputs and the version 3 combos feature an 8" 16 ohm Eminence Lady Luck speaker. In 2007, Epiphone released a speaker cabinet that can be used with the Epiphone Valve Junior, featuring a 1x 12" 16 ohm Eminence Lady Luck speaker rated at 70watts RMS.

  • Combo version 1 has front panel stripes that run along the centre of the front panel and has a 4 ohm output only and an AC filament voltage.
  • Combo version 2 has front panel stripes that run along the top of the front panel and has a 4 ohm output only and a DC filament voltage.
  • Combo version 3 has front panel stripes that run along the top of the front panel and has 4,8 and 16 ohm outputs and a DC filament voltage.
  • Head only versions have 4,8 and 16 ohm outputs.
  • Early versions mainly have Sovtek tubes and later versions have a variety of tubes such as JJ, EH and Sovtek tubes.
As of summer 2012, these amps appear to have been dropped from the line. The Amps page no longer exists on the Epiphone website.



 

rich85

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I had the head version which cost $120 new here in Aus. Like an idiot I sold it. They are not for sale very often as they were so cheap people hold onto them.

I had a Fender Champion 600, 5F1, at the same time and the Valve Jr. Had a very similar sound as the pre amp circuit is the same but Valve jnr wasnt as bright, maybe because of the EL84. Much better than the Fender.
 
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Stinky Kitty

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I found a ver 3 on CL a few years back. Takes pedals exceptionally well, and is a real screamer when run through my 1960a cabinet at 16 ohms..

And I agree, it's got an overall more versatile and more pleasing sound to my ears.
 

bilbarstow

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Built / re-built / built from turret board from scratch several of the Valve Jr's. There was a whole community of Modders all over that circuit. Look up sewatt or AmplifiedParts still carries parts and component kits.

The Mods that were available were a lot of fun to work through, as a way of learning "who did what to who" about a simple tube amplifier.

I still have one working chassis, with several of the upgrades (on switches). But it is terrible cosmetically, because it was in my "test" chassis and got lots of extra holes drilled in it.

The Epi Single 12" Cabs with the Lady Luck speakers were a GREAT Buy. I have 2 of them, one with the Lady Luck still in it, another that was transplanted with a WGS speaker. Great little grab and go cabs.
 

dspelman

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I have a pair of heads. One is bone stock, the other has the Mercury Magnetics Modification, an expensive bunch of bits that showcased the difference that MM makes in an amp. I think it included transformers, a choke and an added-in octet socket that enabled a 6V6, which allowed the use of just the EL84 OR the 6V6 OR both together. The MM modded head is spectacular, but getting it there was the best chunk of $500.

They were *extremely* popular. "A real tube amp for $99? No brainer!" And there were a ton of modifications available from various vendors.
 

bilbarstow

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I have a pair of heads. One is bone stock, the other has the Mercury Magnetics Modification, an expensive bunch of bits that showcased the difference that MM makes in an amp. I think it included transformers, a choke and an added-in octet socket that enabled a 6V6, which allowed the use of just the EL84 OR the 6V6 OR both together. The MM modded head is spectacular, but getting it there was the best chunk of $500.

They were *extremely* popular. "A real tube amp for $99? No brainer!" And there were a ton of modifications available from various vendors.

The MM Upgrade, particularly with the 6V6 was outstanding. But pricy for the relative cost of the original amp. I used ClassicTone iron, and added a choke to one of them. It was a screamer for "5" watts. There actually was a lot to be said for the simple Volume (all gain) circuit. Adding Negative Feedback was also an easy mod that made a difference. A Bright Cap (on a switch) also gave options. Lots of fun to tinker with for relatively short money. But a gateway drug, because I went on to build several other amp circuits, just because it was fun.
 

sonar

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The mods and appreciation are all Kool and the Gang, but they don’t address the OP’s questions.
 

rich85

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Well it's kinda been answered, nobody knows who designed it but it is a modified 5F1 circuit with the same pre amp but a more British sounding EL84 power amp section.

Not sure how much more info you will get on a Chinese only built Epiphone amp.
 

dspelman

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The MM Upgrade, particularly with the 6V6 was outstanding. But pricy for the relative cost of the original amp.

Stultifyingly Stupid expensive when compared to the original amp cost. I think that, with installation, it would run about $400 in addition to the $99 original cost. OTOH, look where 5W amp prices are these days.

I think i have "mods" sitting around in plastic baggies waiting to be installed from the days when Bitmo and everyone else was flooding the market with them. I think there were a LOT of people who decided they could sling solder and mod an amp based on these little mod packages, and part of the reason was because the original amp was so cheap.
 

sonar

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Well it's kinda been answered, nobody knows who designed it but it is a modified 5F1 circuit with the same pre amp but a more British sounding EL84 power amp section.

Not sure how much more info you will get on a Chinese only built Epiphone amp.

Thanks for answering the question. I assumed it was a Champ flavored amp, but was too lazy to compare schematics.

Don't really care if this thread goes in another direction, but was interested in the OP's question and hoping somebody could answer. Thanks again.
 

paruwi

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Does anyone know who designed this (quirky) amp?

nobody knows who designed it

His name is Pyotr Belov


Pyotr Belov amplifiers


belov.JPG

Pyotr Belov amp maker.
Made in Huntington Beach, California
He appears to have had an association with:
Gibson and Epiphone amps
Blackheart
Ampeg



About us

After over 25 years in the Music Instrument Industry I decided to offer my knowledge to all of those who want to take their product to the next level. For a more in depth bio please check out my Linkedin profile.

I also invite you to take a look at some of the projects that I was personally involved in.

Best regards,

Pyotr Belov




Roscoe Guitars
Roscoe Guitars Dr. Death
Roscoe Guitars blast from the past

Belov Amps


Gibson and Epiphone


Epiphone Valve Special Review, Guitar Player Magazine, August 2005
Epiphone Valve Series Review, Vintage Guitar Magazine, October 2005

Epiphone E Series, October 2005
Epiphone Valve Junior Head, March 2006

Epiphone Blues Custom 30, July 2006
Epiphone So Cal 50, Guitar World Review, December 2006 "Gold Award for Overall Value"
Epiphone So Cal 50, Guitar Player Magazine Review, February 2007

Blackheart Engineering
Blackheart Speaker Selection Interview with Pyotr Belov, Premier Guitar Magazine, June 2008
Blackheart Family, Guitar Player Magazine Review, February 2010 "Editors' Pick Award"
Blackheart BH100 Hot Head Half Stack, Guitar World Magazine Review, February 2010
Blackheart BH100H Hot Head, Guitar World Magazine, March 2010
Ampeg
Ampeg Relaunches US Manufacturing, Bass Player Magazine
Ampeg Heritage B-15, Bass Player Magazine
Ampeg Heritage B15 From Inception to Resurrection, Bass Player Magazine


Disclaimer: Belov Group LLC is not affiliated with Roscoe Guitars, Sadowsky Guitars Ltd., Gibson Guitar Corp., Epiphone Guitar Corp., Blackheart Engineering, Ampeg and LOUD Technologies Inc. Blackheart Engineering and Ampeg are trademarks of LOUD Technologies Inc.
 
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rich85

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His name is Pyotr Belov


Pyotr Belov amplifiers


belov.JPG

Pyotr Belov amp maker.
Made in Huntington Beach, California
He appears to have had an association with:
Gibson and Epiphone amps
Blackheart
Ampeg



About us

After over 25 years in the Music Instrument Industry I decided to offer my knowledge to all of those who want to take their product to the next level. For a more in depth bio please check out my Linkedin profile.

I also invite you to take a look at some of the projects that I was personally involved in.

Best regards,

Pyotr Belov




Roscoe Guitars
Roscoe Guitars Dr. Death
Roscoe Guitars blast from the past

Belov Amps


Gibson and Epiphone


Epiphone Valve Special Review, Guitar Player Magazine, August 2005
Epiphone Valve Series Review, Vintage Guitar Magazine, October 2005

Epiphone E Series, October 2005
Epiphone Valve Junior Head, March 2006

Epiphone Blues Custom 30, July 2006
Epiphone So Cal 50, Guitar World Review, December 2006 "Gold Award for Overall Value"
Epiphone So Cal 50, Guitar Player Magazine Review, February 2007

Blackheart Engineering
Blackheart Speaker Selection Interview with Pyotr Belov, Premier Guitar Magazine, June 2008
Blackheart Family, Guitar Player Magazine Review, February 2010 "Editors' Pick Award"
Blackheart BH100 Hot Head Half Stack, Guitar World Magazine Review, February 2010
Blackheart BH100H Hot Head, Guitar World Magazine, March 2010
Ampeg
Ampeg Relaunches US Manufacturing, Bass Player Magazine
Ampeg Heritage B-15, Bass Player Magazine
Ampeg Heritage B15 From Inception to Resurrection, Bass Player Magazine


Disclaimer: Belov Group LLC is not affiliated with Roscoe Guitars, Sadowsky Guitars Ltd., Gibson Guitar Corp., Epiphone Guitar Corp., Blackheart Engineering, Ampeg and LOUD Technologies Inc. Blackheart Engineering and Ampeg are trademarks of LOUD Technologies Inc.

Well that's amazing.
 

5F6-A

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Summing up:

The Valve Jnr is a budget Chinese amp designed by a Russian guy in Texas who learnt a little bit about electronics for a year in Germany.

LOL!
 

sonar

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Summing up:

The Valve Jnr is a budget Chinese amp designed by a Russian guy in Texas who learnt a little bit about electronics for a year in Germany.

LOL!


Since you put it that way...

it's still kinda cool.
 

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