Pros: This is a great sounding half stack.
EPIPHONE VALVE JUNIOR HALF STACK
Who can resist the appeal of the appearance and the sound of an all tube electric guitar amplifier head seated atop a pro quality extension speaker cabinet. That is precisely what the Epiphone Valve Junior Half Stack has to offer. A good sounding half stack usually costs a lot of money, as well as producing an immensely loud volume. That is not the case with the Epiphone Valve Junior Half Stack, as it is both inexpensively priced, and the volume won't peel the paint off your walls, even when the all tube head is cranked up to 10. Read on and see if the Epiphone Valve Junior Half Stack sounds like it might be something you would be interested in auditioning the next time you are visiting your local musical instrument store.
The Epiphone Valve Junior Half Stack has a list price tag of $439.98, but it can be had for as little as $249.99 from most of the large musical instrument chain stores, and from some of the better Internet retailers. The Epiphone Valve Junior Half Stack consists of two parts, the Epiphone Valve Junior Tube Amplifier Head, and the Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Speaker Cabinet. The Epiphone Valve Junior Tube Amplifier head sells separately for a list price of $279.99, and can be found selling at a discount for $129.99. The Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Speaker Cabinet has a list price of $299.99, and can be found selling at a discount for $129.99. Thus buying the two separate units together can save you a bit of money, and hey let's face it, every little bit helps.
First let me say a few words about the Epiphone Valve Junior Tube Amplifier Head. To start off, the Epiphone Valve Junior Tube Amplifier Head has Class A electronic circuitry. In an amp that has Class A circuitry, there is always current flowing or being conducted, even when the amp does not have a signal running from a guitar running though it, or it is being played. Constant power is flowing from the tube or "valve," which is always turned fully on. Because there is always a current that is flowing, an amp that is said to be biased as Class A is naturally more sensitive and responsive to a musician's playing because the sound is immediately sent to the speaker, and it is quick, accurate, and responsive. The Epiphone Valve Junior Tube Amplifier Head is an attractive, but simple looking amplifier head. It has one knob, and that is the Volume knob. It has one quarter inch guitar input, and that is it. It has one Preamp Tube, which is a 12AX7A, and one Power Tube, which is an EL84. The amplifier is covered in black Tolex on the sides, top, and bottom, and red Tolex on the front, with a faded whitish piping on the edges of the front of the amp. There are 3 speaker jacks located on the back of the amp head, and these are rated at 4, 8, and 16 Ohms respectively, and as such one can easily find a speaker enclosure with a matching impedance. The dimensions of the Epiphone Valve Junior Tube Amplifier Head are 10 inches in height, 8.5 inches deep, and 14.25 inches wide. The weight is 16 pounds. With these dimensions and weight, the Epiphone Valve Junior Tube Amplifier Head is certainly portable enough, and easy to move around.
Next I would like to say a few words about the Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Speaker Cabinet. Of course the Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Speaker Cabinet would make a great speaker cabinet for any comparable amp head, but it was specifically designed to be a companion speaker cabinet to the Epiphone Valve Junior Tube Amplifier Head. At the heart of this speaker cabinet is a 12-inch Eminence Lady Luck Speaker. This is a very solidly built speaker cabinet, and it is made with 11-Ply Baltic Birch Plywood. It has an open back, which serves to give it a warm sound, but it does so at a minor decrease in its forward projection of sound. The solid Baltic Birch and tight construction adds to the resonance of the cabinet. Epiphone and Eminence worked together to design a speaker that was specifically designed to complement the sound of Epiphone's new line of tube amplifiers. The Eminence speaker in the Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Cabinet is rated at 16 ohms, and it has a handling capacity of 70 Watts RMS. The Eminence Lady Luck speaker has a frequency range of 80 Hz. on the low end, to 5000 Hz. on the High end. When combined with the Epiphone Valve Junior Tube Amplifier Head, this cabinet sounds simply great. The low end is tight, the mids are fat, and the highs are sufficiently bright.
The Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Cabinet is covered in durable black Tolex on the sides and back, and it has a red colored Tolex covering on the upper part of the front of the cabinet, and the speaker grille cloth has a really attractive vintage tan appearance. White piping adorns the edges of the front of the speaker cabinet, and it really adds an attractive appearance to the overall look of the cabinet. The dimensions of the Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Cabinet are 18.75 inches high, 18.25 inches wide, and 10.75 inches deep. It has one handle on the top of the cabinet, and it weighs in at 26 pounds. For a speaker cabinet that is capable of putting out this type of sound, the Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Cabinet is surprisingly portable and easy to move around.
The Epiphone Valve Junior Half Stack sounds quite good. It has a solid and tight low end, the speaker cabinet does not rattle. The high end is not as bright and shimmering as one would expect from a amplifier, like a Fender Deluxe Reverb, and it is warmer and mellower, and sounds closer to a Vox than a Fender. I tested out the Epiphone Valve Junior Half Stack using a Gibson Les Paul Standard with BurstBucker pickups, and I was very please with the overall tonal quality of the amp. On lower volume settings of the amp, and with the guitar volume settings at around 5, the Half Stack sounded adequately clean. When both the amp and the guitar were set to about 7, the sound began to have more presence, and the warmth of the amplifier began to shine through. When both the guitar and the amp were cranked to 10, the sound had a commanding bite and sustain, while still maintaining a warm overdriven tube sound.
Overall, I would have to say that the Epiphone Valve Junior Half Stack was a pretty decent sounding piece of equipment, and in this price range, it is well worth considering, especially for practicing and/or studio use.
Well I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my review, but now if you will excuse me, I must get back to my practicing.