The Fender Pro Junior Combo really is the ultimate beginner's guitar amp. It's small, yet loud enough to be used in a full-band situation. It's simple to operate, yet sounds great. And, it's an "all-tube" amp, yet costs less than most other tube amps.
The Price Point:
Coming in around $400, the Fender Pro Junior costs more than some of the cheapest beginner amps, yet considerably less than most full tube amps. Although, to new guitarists, this may seem like a considerable cost (perhaps even more than the guitar playing through it), keep in mind this is an amp that will be useful for years. Plus, if the time comes and you want to sell the amp, the Pro Junior should be able to fetch close to what was paid for it.
More on the Fender Pro Junior:
An important consideration when buying a beginner guitar amp is the situations it will be used in. While any amplifier will provide enough volume for "bedroom practice", most of the cheap, tiny beginner amps can't provide adequate volume for playing with others (especially if there are drums involved). As a result, parents end up buying "upgrade amps" a few months after their teen has begun playing guitar. I've witnessed this firsthand with my students countless of times over the years - sometimes, I'm just unable to talk parents into thinking "big picture", and it invariably ends up costing them.
At approximately 15"x15"x9", the Fender Pro Junior Combo is small, but not as tiny as some of the amplifiers you'll see at your local music store. Of course, the Pro Junior is bigger for a reason - it houses a bigger speaker than the average small beginner guitar amp (10" versus the usual 8"). Coupled with 15 tube watts of power, this provides the Fender Pro Junior with plenty of volume - enough for jamming with friends, and probably even enough for playing in small clubs.
Fender took a decidedly no-frills approach to the Pro Junior - the amplifier features an on/off switch, a volume control, and a tone control. And, that's it. This might be problematic if the Pro Junior didn't sound great to begin with. But it does. Play a guitar through the Pro Junior at quieter volumes, and the sound is clean and warm. Turn up the volume, and the guitar sound fattens up even more, and starts to "break up" (aka distort... a generally desirable guitar sound). It's a simple, straightforward design that yields great sounding results.
As the design is so bare-bones, there are features some guitarists will miss. There's no reverb, for example. And, you can't get that thick, chunky, heavily overdriven sound without the use of a guitar pedal. Minor quibbles, in my opinion, especially in light of the great sound coming out of an amp in this price range.
Fender Pro Junior III 15-Watt 1x10-Inch Guitar Combo Amp - Black
Sale Price: $419.99
Eligible for free shipping!
The world's most popular tube amps just got better! Fender Hot Rod series amplifiers are found on every stage in the world, large and small, and are used by guitarists from all walks of life. Hot Rod amps deliver unmistakable Fender tone and are the perfect platform for musicians to craft their own signature sound...
- 15 watt, stripped-down circuit serves up sweet, touch-sensitive clean tones, and throaty overdrive when cranked.
- A 10" Fender Special Design speaker with vintage cone offers a slight emphasis in midrange frequencies that really helps this amp cut through.
- An absolutely perfect choice for the studio and smaller venues.