Only 5 Watts? How could that be?
If you are famliar with the classic Tweed Champ or Princeton amps, your notion of what 5 watts sounds like is possibly based on those. You may well be startled when you first crank up the Junebug2. You may find yourself looking in the back to verify there really is just 1 6V6 back there! Well, in true Nolatone style, Paul is usually looking to serve up a healthy dose of Holy Smokes
factor and the Junebug 2 delivers that in spades. Several enhancements have been made to the classic Tweed Champ/Princeton power section design to deliver this, not the least of which is the mondo output transformer:
Driving this muscular output section is the clean simplicity of a single channel design featuring our special pentode input stage for great dynamics and pedal compatibility. The input stage feeds a circuit based on the classic Plexi cathode follower driven tone stack. Junebug 2 kicks it up a notch or three adding an extra gain stage which allows smoking high gain hot-rodded Plexi tones, but without sacrificing an entire range of killer classic rock tones!
In the process of the 3+ year task of designing the unique Nolatone high gain preamps found in the Wicked Garden and Wicked Johnny, I've learned there is great benefit to not going TOO FAR
with adding gain stages. These channels, including the Junebug 2, have enough gain on tap to get into singing compressed preamp overdrive, and to achive these gain levels, turn the input gain/volume controls up to higher settings. This is by design so mucho magic can be found in the mid to lower gain settings further down on the dial.
How many high gain amps have you played that were already too gainy turned up 1/4 of of the way? This is NOT a problem with the Junebug 2!
The Controls, Improved Flexiblity
The controls are Volume (pull boost), Bass, Treble, and Master. An enormous range of tones are available from this configuration in spite of its simplicity, even more than the former two channel Junebug! This is thanks to the improved tone shaping from the Bass and Treble controls, and more fun still is added with a tug of the volume control engaging the Pull Boost.
The Clean and the in Between
Plenty of cleaner sounds are available by setting the Volume control for lower gain settings and opening up the Master volume for more overall output to the power section. Though a 5-watt amp is generally not thought of for clean tones, very nice clean tones can be had here. Crank up the volume and find a whole world of tones ranging from chewy blues to crunchy classic rock, all with great touch sensitiity and dynamics, with still more options thrown in thanks to the standard Boost function.
The Gain, ohhhhh the Gain!
Further up on the volume control awaits rockin' overdrive with singing sustain and sweet preamp compression a-la hot-rodded Plexi, but don't go so far over the top that dynamics are lost. The higher gain settings sound amazing at any volume and for late night jamming, the Master
control works exceptionally well allowing singing overdrive at whisper levels with a gradual taper up to louder levels, so no more waking the baby due to touchy master volume controls!
Still Want More Gain?
The Supergain Option
adds another gain stage to the preamp pushing the gain further into sustain-ville. This makes the Junebug2 more rich in high gain options, so if grinding away with preamp gain is more your thing than classic crunch with less preamp gain, this is a great choice for you!
Need It Louder?
The High Power Option
adds upgraded power transformer to support your favorite 25ish watt power tube (EL34, 6L6, KT66, etc) bumping up the power from a (conservatively rated) 5 watts to about 12 watts. In the right setting the standard Junebug 2 can work live, but in many cases you'll want more power, so this is a great option for that.