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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Talk me down! (Princeton GAS) ......again......

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by xgritzx, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. xgritzx

    xgritzx Tele-Meister

    May 20, 2016
    northern VA
    looking at the fender Bordeaux Princeton.

    I want it. that goes without saying. however im just a bedroom player. really just a noodler at best, but that's another thread in itself lol. anyway, what keeps me from just doing it? well, is a printed board amp really ever "limited" or "collector"? not that it matters but it obviously raises the price, perhaps unnecessarily. and even being a bedroom player I still think that one day ill play publicly again weather just jamming with buds or the dream of playing in a church band. so I worry 15w wont cut it. people say the AC15 doesn't gig but the Princeton does. 15w is 15w right? also I have a Marshall DSL 40C (the older model). which is essentially all those things already. and is the Princeton even going to do anything that $1k worth different than the Marshall?

    to complicate things even further. there are real and reworked classic Princetons around. would that make more sense for thee money?

    school me guys! (and gals)
  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Buy what you want but a 15w rating vs a 15w rating is not equal, both regarding actual wattage output and also volume of mid scoop vs mid forward, the current PCB Fenders are not bad but not what the old ones were in terms of quality and longevity, and an amp called "Bordeaux" sounds not American and not British.

    Are there cool French amps?
    How 'bout an old Selmer?
    Or were those Brits too?
    xgritzx likes this.
  3. Fullmoon07

    Fullmoon07 Tele-Meister

    Mar 19, 2018
    I Did a side-by-side last week with it at guitar center. I thought the silver face was far superior.
    xgritzx likes this.
  4. xgritzx

    xgritzx Tele-Meister

    May 20, 2016
    northern VA
    INTERESTING! in what ways? there is a guy with the tweed version that has the cannibis rex in it and tweed outsides that I like a bunch for $850. makes a little more sense I think. but the silver face new is around that price I think. and the deluxe's and supers are not out of the questions either though at the $1k'ish price point. not sure how bedroomy those are. a 410 super would be awesome lol. not sure playing one at 1 all the time would be satisfying or not.

    I also like the idea of a tube rectifier as ive never owned an amp that has that.
  5. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

    Apr 17, 2008
    Port Moody, BC
    I love my Tweed 65 PRRI. I used it for a club gig, not mic'd, and it was great.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
    jannodude and xgritzx like this.
  6. DimEyeGuitarGuy

    DimEyeGuitarGuy TDPRI Member

    Aug 6, 2018
    I think you’re overthinking it. I have a tweed prri with the 12" cannabis Rex. Honestly, they’ll pry it away from me out of my cold, dead fingers.

    The amp is PLENTY loud. If I’m ever at a venue playing that it’s not loud enough, then I’ll mic it.

    Bottom line though, get what you want. For me, the better bass response, extra volume of the 12" c Rex is worth it.

    jannodude and xgritzx like this.
  7. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    Buy an original silverface Princeton Reverb amp from 1968 to 1979 and have it serviced.

    I just don't understand how anyone looks at current production printed circuit board amps and is more taken with what color the covering is than how it is made inside.... or how it sounds and how fixable and long lasting it is compared to an original.



  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    I'm with you on this, but I also can't understand buying a car brand new.

    Aside from sort of understanding that some people buy everything brand new, which kinda has to happen or eventually there will be no used gear available.

    The buyers of new PCB amps also keep the prices down on vintage hand wired amps too, so we should support their choices!

    Buying vintage amps is a scary proposition!

    What if some of the solder joints are non original?
    How do you deal with internet opinions on whether or not to replace filter caps that still seem to work and aren't leaking?
    Where do you find a legit tech who doesn't have to watch a youtube tutorial to fix your new vintage amp?
    Should we worry about the death cap and blackfacing mods???
    And what about the fact that tube amps are unreliable, so you need one with a warranty?
    Then there's the worry over crappy Chinese tubes vs iffy NOS.

    But a Katana and practice 'till it sounds like a BFPR!
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  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Well a Princeton will indeed sound different from the Marshall, but it's certainly not a sound I'd pay $1000 for because I don't like the scooped mids BF/SF Fender tone.

    Regarding that SF Princeton, that one is the non reverb which in addition to lacking reverb also lacks one gain stage, so it has less power and less overdrive at full volume.
    This may suit you fine, but plugged straight in at home it will sound dry and kind of dull.
    If you have a reverb pedal or use a delay pedal for your ambience/ reverb, you may like it just fine. They are solid amps if you like the non reverb Princeton sound.
  10. tonyj

    tonyj Tele-Afflicted

    May 23, 2011
    Alberta, Canada
    I tried out a 'Limited Edition' Bordeaux amp at a local dealers just a couple of months ago, but was sadly more than disappointed with the sound. It just didn't sound anything like or as good as any of the other Princeton amps that I had tried earlier that day. It just sounded "off", i.e. a sound which is very hard to describe. A kind of cheap tinny sound. This was a brand new version of this handsome wine coloured amp, and one which I had kind of set my eyes on, once I saw it, until 'we' tried it out

    Even the tech at the store was unable to get the sound we were looking for out of the 12" Jensen speaker that this model comes with. The 10" much cheaper model next to it sounded much better for some reason.

    Sorry, no sale made, .... that is until I was leaving the store and I spotted a display stand with three 'new' 'Limited Edition' versions of the Princeton amp series that were located in an easy to miss location. I immediately spotted a 'Bordeaux' lookalike which was finished in a "Sonic Blue" tolex vinyl covering. This amp was driving a Celestion Gold 12'' speaker and came with a two button footswitch and cover, and was otherwise spec'd as being similar to the wine coloured Bordeaux that I had just tried, except the power rating was 12W rather than the 15W rating of the Bordeaux. There was a modest price increase for this '65 Princeton Reverb - Sonic Blue/Wheat w/ 12" Celestion Gold Alnico speaker, however the sound and tone was amazing and just what I was looking for, with the long string Fender reverb and the tube tremolo sounding ethereal when called upon.

    ....... and believe me this Amp can be as loud as I will ever need it. Sale made, and I love it.


    teletimetx and xgritzx like this.
  11. Dukex

    Dukex Tele-Holic

    Nov 8, 2012
    No expert here, but I think the Princeton (non reverb) has a different circuit than a SF Princeton Reverb. A SF PR in good working condition will probably cost $400-$600 more.

    I don't think it would be a mistake to buy either the PRRI or a SF PR. Both will make you happy. Personally, I purchased a Vintage Sound V-15 and have been very happy. Rick at VSA builds a great amp.
    xgritzx likes this.
  12. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 11, 2006
    Near Athens GA USA
    Princeton's get loud enough for cranky "new parent" neighbors to call the cops on you at 7:30 PM because you woke their baby (speaking from personal experience).
    AAT65, teletimetx and xgritzx like this.
  13. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

    Dec 8, 2010
    Up North
    THe Re-issues aren't that bad.
    They are nowhere as durable as the old ones, however.

    Great Bedroom, practice rig.
    If you do get to the point of playing out, your tastes may have changed by then.
    THis would be good trade bait.
    xgritzx likes this.
  14. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Holic

    Apr 1, 2013
    NW USA
    My first suggestion would be to go and play a bunch of different amps if you have the time and the stores in your area to do so. Usually guitar stores like to have people try out stuff even though they know you probably won't be buying anything. Usually when I am trying out amps, I just say so and the salespeople will leave you alone. If you live around the DC area, there are plenty of failed musicians that sell their equipment for way too cheap so you might find some really good deals if you look hard enough. With that said, here are a few suggestions of other amps you might look for.

    I would go for an older Traynor YGM-3 before buying that new Fender. You can find a YGM-3 for $300-500. They are completely point to point and a really good sounding amp with reverb and tremolo. They use EL84 tubes which gives it a bit more of a hi-fi clarity than a Princeton's 6V6 tubes. Once the bright cap is cut from the input, the Traynor YGM-3 can be a killer practice/studio amp.

    If you really looked you could find a Fender Super Champ from the early 80's for less than the Bordeaux Princeton. The Super Champ would hold its value and it's a far more versatile amp. The original 82-84 Super Champ had become a classic guitar amp for good reason. I would personally take one of the Rivera era Super Champs over most Princeton Reverb amps(now a 6G2 Princeton from 61-64 is one of my all time favorites. I would take it over most amps).

    Otherwise, the advice to get a Princeton from 68-79 and fix it up is the better route though I doubt you would find a 68-71 Princeton for anything less than $1500-2000 unless you really look. Unless you happen to be buying a Dumble new, buying a new amp is basically an automatic 30-50% loss on your initial investment. I do know looking at the Bordeaux Princeton I would immediately chuck the speaker and put something more efficient and better sounding in its place than an Italian Jensen.

    FWIW picked up an early 60's Ampeg Reverberocket R12R that had the transformer set that works for 6V6 power tubes. Ken Fischer was right-the early Reverberocket are killer rock & roll amps-basically a tweed Deluxe with reverb & tremolo. I spent close to $800 for the amp & all service to completely rehab it(with new baffle board). It wouldn't be my first time dealing with older tube amps, so I always prepare myself to have to pour money into an older amp. Once they are working, as long as you play them regularly, that service will last for decades in some instances(tube changes aside). Best advice is to be thrifty and check out as many amps as possible before pulling the trigger with your cash.
    rebelwoclue and xgritzx like this.
  15. Mutato

    Mutato Tele-Meister

    Sep 16, 2008
    Rhode Island
    I bought my 1977 PR for $650 about 8 years back. And that's modded with a 12" speaker (which I was cool with). Like other's have said, you could find a mid to later 70's PR for the price of a new PRRI. It's all up to you.
    xgritzx likes this.
  16. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    I own that amp's younger brother. I have a '70 Princeton with a 12" Cannabis Rex. The video linked in that craigslist add does not do these amps justice with the volume barely on 3. Mine doesn't start sounding good until "5" and it's at "7" to "10" that it really starts to cook. And the sound is anything but dry and kind of dull.

    It's definitely a cleaner sound than a PR but hit the front end with some P-90s or use a boost/OD pedal and this little puppy will growl. I usually will use a delay pedal. I also have a reverb pedal but think of that as more of an effect in the same way as you might chorus or flange - it adds cool sounds but isn't necessary to wake up the amp. And the Princeton has that same great trem as a PR.

    Since adding the CRex, I would call this amp plenty loud for gigs and jams. I've used it in a garage with drum kit and other guitarist cranking his larger amp; I've used it at open mic jam sessions against Hot Rod Deluxe, Twins and other larger amps and had no problem keeping up. And if you are micing your amps it's a joy to just turn it up to 10 and let the PA take care of the rest. I've also played in a rock band where the Princeton would not have handled our practice sessions. Whether it's loud enough for your gigs & jams will depend on the volume levels you are playing.

    Not saying the OP should get the Princeton vs the PR. While similar, they do have a different sound (I've played a number of PRs in stores plus a couple vintage ones here & there). But, money being equal, I would not trade my Princeton for a PR (in the real world I'd likely trade, sell the PR, buy another Princeton, then pocket the profit. ;) )
    telemnemonics and Mike Eskimo like this.
  17. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Meister

    Feb 6, 2018
    Philadelphia, PA
    I have the Bordeaux Princeton Reverb 12" that you're looking at. It's great. I got it from someone on Craigslist for $700. I put a Cannabis Rex speaker in there for a while (like the tweed version Sweetwater sells), but ended up going back to the stock speaker. It is a beautiful sounding amp. As for volume, I have used it in rehearsals and the volume sits at around 6. Takes pedals great. The natural clean sound is magnificent. I previously had the regular 10" version, but the 12" is noticeably fuller sounding, as you would imagine. Listen to "A Matter of Time" by Los Lobos. That's what it sounds like. I would try not to pay the $1100 sticker price if I was you. That's a lot of dough. Scout the used marketplace. The only drawback I can find to this amp is lack of master volume. So your gain needs to come from pedals.
  18. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    telemnemonics likes this.
  19. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Meister

    Dec 10, 2016
    Tip of the Mitt
    Look for a used prri 65.

    Or firmly haggle with a dealer and get some money off, it's not hard to get 15% off from most of the major retailers.
  20. LudwigvonBirk

    LudwigvonBirk Tele-Holic

    Aug 26, 2017
    Idea: Buy a brand new one that you really like, and take advantage of that factory warrantee (2 years? or 5? idk). Learn the amp, play it a lot, break in the speaker, have fun with it. Other than maybe the speaker don't mod it at all while under warrantee (don't void the warrantee).

    At some point several years down the road, 5 or ten years later after the warrantee is over and the amp starts acting up, gut it and install old-school AA1164 PR components, which will cost you under $200 in parts if you use the original chassis and transformers. You could do the re-build yourself or farm that out.
    fasteddie42 likes this.
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