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New 65 PRRI Issues. Need help.

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by mlight, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. mlight

    mlight TDPRI Member

    12
    Mar 16, 2013
    knoxville
    Hi all,

    I just purchased a new 65 PRRI with a 12" speaker. It's a huge investment for me. Unfortunately I've been really disappointed so far and would like to figure out whether any adjustments can be made or if I just need to find another amp.

    I had played my brother's stock 65 PRRI for a couple years now and love it. On his amp, with the volume around 2, you get a nice full, sparkly clean tone. It's so awesome.

    On my new amp, it seems like the sound only really "fills out" around 4. Up until that point it's thin and just sounds like there is no saturation at all. The only thing I can compare it to is the sound of his amp if you use the padded input instead of the normal one.

    I can't imagine this has anything to do with the speaker. Could it just be biased extraordinarily cold? I messed around with the trim pot but didn't get significantly different results. (I'm hoping that wasn't super harmful to the amp... I was feeling desperate.)

    At this point I am trying to decide whether to sell it or try to take it to a tech. It's a bummer to have a brand new amp that requires work immediately.

    Thanks so much for any thoughts.
     

  2. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    51
    485
    Dec 18, 2016
    Camden Point, MO
    I've never seen two amps with perfectly matching pots of any kind.

    4 on one amp and 2 on another doesn't sound that far off to me. That is , if you can get the same sounds ?
     
    asnarski likes this.

  3. Clarkj734

    Clarkj734 Tele-Meister

    218
    Nov 24, 2015
    Bloomfield Hills, MI
    It could be the speaker.... It certainly needs some time to break in.

    The C Rex is also very efficient, meaning loud. Much louder than the stock PRRI that you have played in the past, so if you are running the same volume / decible level that you run the 10 inch Jensen version, then you arent working the amp nearly as hard which could be adding to the thin sound.


    Have you tried turning it up to around 4-5 yet? Does it still sound "thin"?
     

  4. mlight

    mlight TDPRI Member

    12
    Mar 16, 2013
    knoxville
    Hmm... The speaker efficiency thing makes a lot of sense. If I do crank it up to 4 or 5 it starts to get some saturation and sparkle. It's just way too loud for me at that point (and sounds kind of farty through the speaker, which is maybe not fully broken in).

    Maybe what I want is just a less efficient speaker then? Or maybe I should just try to get enough money for this one that I can get one of the 10" PRRIs with a Jensen.

    Bummer...I should have played it before ordering it.
     

  5. Rialto1564

    Rialto1564 Tele-Meister

    210
    Jun 12, 2013
    Metro Detroit
    Is yours the wine tolex version?

    I briefly tried that one out with a Tele at a shop and there was nothing on the volume till 3-ish +, which struck me as odd...
     

  6. mlight

    mlight TDPRI Member

    12
    Mar 16, 2013
    knoxville

  7. Rialto1564

    Rialto1564 Tele-Meister

    210
    Jun 12, 2013
    Metro Detroit

  8. Clarkj734

    Clarkj734 Tele-Meister

    218
    Nov 24, 2015
    Bloomfield Hills, MI
    Did you buy this tweed version because you wanted the tweed look? Or did you want a 12 inch speaker?

    Personally, I tend to like 12's for low volume playing because they often sound more rich to me than a 10. That said, the C Rex is really loud and without a master volume it can be tough to control in a lower volume situation.... In my experience and opinion. Great sounding speaker though once broken in.

    I like the alnico Jensen in the Bourdeau model, and its less efficient than the C Rex. But the 10 inch standard PRRI sounds great as well.
     

  9. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Holic

    876
    Jul 31, 2014
    Alberta Canada
    I don't think there is anything wrong with the amp if its new. I have had a vintage and a Ri ... these amps have plenty of power. I cant get really get over 3 in band rehearsal because its getting too loud in a space that isn't large.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
    asnarski likes this.

  10. mlight

    mlight TDPRI Member

    12
    Mar 16, 2013
    knoxville
    Yeah, I figured the tweed looked cool and that the 12" speaker might have a slightly fuller sound. It makes a lot of sense what you're saying though, because my main goal is to have a nice, slightly-saturated clean sound at a low volume. Maybe that's just not possible with this speaker.

    The only thing that doesn't make sense to me at this point is why mine seems to be so quiet up until 3/4 on the knob, whereas his has decent volume starting around 1/2. Could that just be a difference in components? I would think it would be the opposite based on the speaker efficiency.

    Clarkj734, what would you say is a better 12" speaker for what I'm trying to do?

    Thanks so much for your feedback.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017

  11. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    People often aren't aware of the things they wish for. The Cannabis Rex as others have noted is efficient and loud. You're playing on 2 - most Fender BF/SF afficinados would never expect a Princeton or even a Twin Reverb to sound good on less than 5-6. With the CR the PRRI is no longer a bedroom/apartment amp turned up to that.

    I would get a bias probe which will.let you determine where the 'sweet spot' should be without cooking the tubes.

    The stock speaker in the 10" model isn't as efficient, so your brother might also have treble and bass higher which means the powertubes are working not idling'.

    You'd need treble at least around 6-7 and bass maybe 4-5 with that speaker and volume level - and being more efficient it will colour the sound less than the 10" ( which also tend to work better at low volumes).

    I'm not a fan of over-speakering small wattage amps for this reason: they can sound anodyne at low volumes. The CR is a headroom mod, sounds like you want less, not more.
     
    WineCaster likes this.

  12. alnicopu

    alnicopu Friend of Leo's

    Oct 3, 2009
    georgia
    I prefer 10’s in a PR. They seem to be more touch sensitive and responsive, IIHO. Ive played “over speakered” amps that sounded like they were trying to be something that they aren’t.
     

  13. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    That pot should NOT have been touched unless you have the knowledge and proper tools to bias your amp. I suggest you NOT play the amp unless you know how to monitor your tubes to understand if they are red plating.

    The problem at this point is you have randomly set the power tube bias. This might be just fine, or could be unhealthy for the tubes - or the amp. I just can't resist asking - why did you adjust a semi-concealed control that you didn't understand?

    Before using the amp again the best choices are to either:

    1) Study and thoroughly understand power tube biasing AND purchase a tool that reads both bias AND plate voltage, or

    2) Take it to a qualified amplifier tech that can correct what you did and fine-tune the bias to get the best sound. AND set it safely.

    Those are two different, but related, things.

    As to why this amp does not sound like the other you played:

    1. The speaker on yours will need 10-20 hours of playing time to fully break in.

    2. His amp may have completely different tubes in it.

    3. His amp may be biased to get the best sound. They always come from the factory biased "cold" for long tube life, and I recommend all new Fender tube amps be rebiased by someone qualified to get the best sound.
     
    blakestree likes this.

  14. Clarkj734

    Clarkj734 Tele-Meister

    218
    Nov 24, 2015
    Bloomfield Hills, MI
    The Jensen p12q alnico is the only other 12 that I personally have played in a Princeton. You might also look into the Eminence Maverick which has an attenuation feature that allows you to lower the efficiency. Essentially you can rotate the magnet further away to make it less efficient.

    That's not the technical explanation, but it works very well. That would be an after market speaker, but surprisingly affordable.

    Good luck. I think the PRRI is a great amp for your usage and situation, its just a question of finding the right configuration that makes you happy.
     

  15. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    I don't have a PRR, but my understanding is that regardless of speaker, turning up a PRR to where it starts to saturate is going to be anything but "low volume"... but of course that's a subjective term that varies for each person and room size.
    It could be that bias needs to be adjusted a bit hotter, as cold biased amps tend to sound sterile. Also contributing to the tone you may be hearing a stiff, unbroken-in speaker...
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017

  16. blakestree

    blakestree Tele-Meister

    137
    Nov 21, 2014
    Savannah, GA USA
    I had a PRRI with Jensen C10R. I would typically set treble at 7, bass at 2, when using a Tele. The amp would need to be at least at 3 to start waking up. Nice clean around 4. Best tone 5-7.

    And, fwiw, I think the Cannabis Rex is probably the best 12" for that amp.

    Get your bias sorted out and break in that speaker, bro.
     

  17. mlight

    mlight TDPRI Member

    12
    Mar 16, 2013
    knoxville
    Cool. I'm gonna get the bias fixed, break in the speaker, and then see about either keeping it, replacing the speaker, or trading it for a standard Jensen 10" model.

    Thanks all!
     

  18. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Friend of Leo's

    Oct 9, 2008
    S. CA
    I think it's possible for you to like the amp as much as you expected. Unfortunately those hemp cone speakers are tricky to like. I'd suggest either to determine you're gonna keep the amp and swap the speaker, or return it and get the 10" version you think you'll know you'll like.

    However, getting a more traditional sounding 12" speaker in there isn't too much work and shouldn't cost too much--you have lots of options. If I were in your shoes, replacing the speaker is the route I'd take, however returning it and repurchasing a 10" version is certainly understandable.
     

  19. mlight

    mlight TDPRI Member

    12
    Mar 16, 2013
    knoxville
    Cool. Thanks for the advice. That would definitely be the most pain-free option. Is there any way to try out other speakers before buying? I'm wary of making another blind purchase.

    Also, any recommendations outside Jensen p12q alnico and the Eminence Maverick that Clark suggested?
     

  20. BobbyB

    BobbyB Tele-Holic

    My Princeton has a 12" Celestion Alnico Creamback. It starts sounding good around 2.5 on the volume I have the bass around 5 treble 5 Thats a nice living room volume. From there on up it gets pretty loud. Like Garage Band Loud. It sounds amazing for such a small amp and this speaker sounds great.
     

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