Alice In Chains axeman Jerry Cantrell is renowned for his heavy melodic riffs and searing solos. And for the last decade, the key ingredient behind his monstrous sound has been his signature Friedman amp; the JJ 100. Renowned for its incredible sonics and exquisite high-gain tones, Friedman has managed to squeeze the features of Jerry's flagship amp into a more compact and affordable head; the JJ Junior.
Able to project the unbelievable tones offered by its bigger brother, this 20W lunchbox-style head boasts two versatile channels and a wealth of modern features to meet the demands of contemporary players.
Unbridled Friedman Tones
Dave Friedman has mastered the art of combining trusted, old-school valve power with the perks of modern functionality. And the JJ Junior truly epitomises his ethos. Driven by a pair of EL84 power tubes, that unmistakable black and gold sound shines through; of course with Friedman's famous tweaks giving it that "modded" American character.
While the distortion channel offers the gloriously thick, saturated tone that Cantrell is known for; the clean channel delivers a chimey, AC30-esque sound. The JJ Junior is therefore more versatile than some may think, especially with the additional JBE switch that adds even more gain to enrich harmonic content. Accompanying the JJ Junior's 3-band EQ is a bright switch too, perfect for enhancing the treble if you're playing in a dark-sounding space.
The JJ Junior is an excellent pedal platform, featuring the very same transparent-sounding buffered effects loop found on Friedman's flagship BE-100 amplifier. Ideal for time-based and modulation effects like delay, reverb and chorus, the JJ Junior also superbly reacts to overdrive and wah pedals through its front end.
The coolest contemporary features that the JJ Junior has to offer are its internal load and cab-simulated XLR output. With a built-in load, you can use the JJ Junior without a connected speaker cab and instead rely on its cab-simulated output to plug directly into a PA system. In a live situation this can be a godsend, and the carefully-tuned cab simulation stacks up well against even some of the best cabinet impulse responses around.
Here's what Friedman says about the JJ Junior Head:
Dave Friedman teamed up with Jerry Cantrell and captured the Alice In Chains guitarist’s iconic tone and ferocity in the Friedman JJ-100 - Cantrell's first ever signature amp. The JJ-100 was an instant success. Not being the types to leave a great thing alone, they decided to cram all that punishing tone and grind into a stage-friendly 20-watt monster. Introducing, the Friedman JJ-Junior.
The JJ-Junior still gives you the same 2-channel, EL-powered tone that has carved out a legendary place in rock. All of the saturated, complex harmonic overtones are still lurking inside, as well as the AC30-like cleans. At 20 watts, the JJ-Junior lets you take the stage, studio, or jam session with total confidence.
Jerry and Dave spent years perfecting the "JJ" sound. Now, you can have the same tonal experience, in a smaller format, without sacrificing the attention to detail that goes into every Friedman amplifier.
The JJ Junior features and internal load and cab-simulated XLR output. Comparing this analog circuit to some of the most intricate computer-based IRs, Dave achieved a direct output you can proudly send to front of house or use in the studio. The JJ Junior also allows you to play "silently," meaning you can safely play the amp WITHOUT having a speaker cabinet connected. The XLR output includes a ground-lift, level, and center/edge of speaker cone simulation switches.
The JJ Junior was specifically designed to take pedals well especially boosts, ODs, phasers, flangers, tremolos, and wahs. The ultra-transparent buffered, series effects loop takes time-based effects pedals and rack units equally well. This is the exact same FX loop Friedman uses on all its amplifiers including the legendary BE-100. The head cabinet features beautiful black Tolex, with Baltic Birch construction and the same grille cloth used on the original JJ-100.
- Jerry Cantrell’s signature grind in a compact tube head
- 20-watt EL84 power section, perfect for most stages, studios and rehearsals
- Dirty and clean channels serve up Cantrell gain and AC-like chime
- JBE switch unleashes even more gain and harmonic content
- Ultra-transparent series FX loop
- 20-Watt all tube Head
- Two channels
- 2 x EL84 power tubes
- 3 x 12AX7 preamp tubes
- JBE voicing switch for a higher gain more saturated sound
- Clean channel: single volume knob with bright switch
- Dirty channel: gain, master, treble, middle, and bass
- Global presence knob
- XLR Cab Simulated output with Ground Lift, Axis and Level switches. You can record without having your speaker connected
- 8 and 16 ohm impedance selector
- Single button footswitch (included)
- Ultra-transparent series effects loop
- Dimensions 18" (W) x 8.5" (D) x 8.25" (H)
- Weight: 22 Lbs