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

Why no HW Fender RI Princeton?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by GaryOsborne, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA

  2. GaryOsborne

    GaryOsborne RIP

    Jun 7, 2013
    Nashville, TN

    We've talked before. Yours has a 12" speaker and the bigger transformer correct? Any other modifications?
     

  3. Starshine

    Starshine Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 20, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    I think that's a pretty ridiculous statement. Fender releases tons of models based on customer demand. They're probably the best company in the musical instrument business for that. Cabronita Teles, Squier VMs and CVs, FSRs based on special orders from retailers (who are responding to customer demand)... I could go on, but I'm typing on my phone. Just because they don't release exactly what you're craving today doesn't make them unresponsive to customer demand.
     

  4. GaryOsborne

    GaryOsborne RIP

    Jun 7, 2013
    Nashville, TN

    It's just how I feel. What I'm craving today is a quality HW amp at a reasonable price. It's pretty simple yet Fender can't deliver. While DRRIs are nice, if I'm gonna drop 1k ($1099 plus tax) on a new amp, no way I'm paying Fender that money for PCB, Groove tubes, special design speakers, etc. For the same money I can go through a boutique company and get a HW amp with a much better speaker, components, etc.

    I have a guitar that most CS Fenders can't come close to touching and I paid 1/2 or even 1/3 of the price in many cases (the Nash). I'll prob find an amp from a builder that does the same thing. Appreciate your opinion though, it's certainly welcome.
     

  5. GaryOsborne

    GaryOsborne RIP

    Jun 7, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I'd way rather give my money to someone like Much, or Rob DiStefano. Someone who appreciate my business as much as I appreciate their product.
     

  6. jonrpick

    jonrpick Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 17, 2014
    Marietta, GA
    If I'm paying, in the case of a new CS Les Paul, thousandS of dollars, then by God, it had better not be made like they used to.

    For that price, I better be damn sure of what I'm getting. I want a free tour of the factory, a close up look at the CNC mills doing the grunt work, and a handwritten and notarized personal guarantee from Henry Juszkiewicz himself that no human hands will do any of the cutting or shaping of the wood.

    That precision machinery is the reason why you can find MIC, MIK or MIM guitars that can equal or flat-out spank vintage or CS equivalents. Sure, some of the bolt-on parts could stand to be swapped out for higher-quality stuff (tuners, bridge, pickups, etc...) but the core of the guitar, the wood parts themselves are built on machinery that can cut to very high tolerances. A new guitar can be designed, put into G-code and literally emailed to any capable factory in the world, where minutes later it could be in production.

    Now, I get craftsmanship, I appreciate it, and I totally understand that some things (like wiring a turret board in an amp) require skilled, hands-on labor. I do plan on buying a nice hand-built '59 Les Paul replica at some point. But it'll be from a small or private builder, not Gibson. Because frankly, a reissue is just a replica, no matter who makes it. Any Les Paul built to '59 specs that was made by anyone (including Gibson) ANY time after 1959, is by definition, a replica.

    I can get great replicas for much less money, and built to equal or higher standards from other builders.

    Speaking of which... this is slightly OT but related. Just an observation. Why is it that when we buy these nice Gibsons or Fenders, and we want the most accurate vintage tones, we look to anyone OTHER than Gibson or Fender for replacement pickups?? Why are '57 Classics and Burstbuckers considered "good", but nowhere near as close to the original PAFs as the pickups made by so many boutique pickup winders?

    :twisted:
     

  7. lwaun

    lwaun Tele-Meister

    135
    Sep 8, 2004
    Vancouver, BC
    Actually some of us don't go running off to boutique pickup makers. When I buy guitar I expect it to have good pups stock in it. When Jimi Hendrix bought his guitars he bought right off the racks. I have stopped buying all after market pickups. Really don't believe they make you sound any better.

    Seeing how you hate Fender so much why are you even on this board?
     

  8. NCSUZoSo

    NCSUZoSo Tele-Meister

    Age:
    30
    119
    Sep 26, 2013
    North Carolina
    Rather than buying a hand wired amp (VERY expensive), why not make it yourself? It's much more rewarding and most offer better features than those seen on RI amps.

    http://buildyourownclone.com/amps-cabs/amplifiers.html

    That is an example of one, but there are so many options and that one offers these options all in the same amp.

    4 tweed-era circuits in a single amp:
    - 5F1 Champ
    - 5F2a Princeton
    - 5F10 Harvard
    - 5E3 Deluxe
     

  9. NCSUZoSo

    NCSUZoSo Tele-Meister

    Age:
    30
    119
    Sep 26, 2013
    North Carolina

    Here is a free tour of the current factory (both amp and guitar) and a 1959 tour shot on 8mm film:







     

  10. InkStained

    InkStained Tele-Meister

    130
    Feb 3, 2013
    Ohio
    I'm always amazed at the Fender bashing found on a site dedicated to one of Fender's best guitars.

    You can get a new Sweet Spot for, what, $1,700? A comparable new Swart for a little less, maybe $1,500. That's great. It's your money; you should spend it on what makes you happy.

    Meanwhile the humble PRRI goes for half the cost of the "handwired" copies. And Fender's handwired amp that is closest to a Princeton is about $1,000 -- made in the USA, by the way.

    No one offers more choices, or hits more price points, than the company everyone loves to hate: Fender.

    I got my Ltd edition Deluxe Reverb for $875, backed with a five year warranty, brand new. Zero taxes, by the way.

    If you can find a phenolic board copy for less, you should buy it.

    Where else would they go? The Swart discussion page? :D
     

  11. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    51
    Jan 23, 2007
    Denmark
    The RI amps aren't cheap , but they are not bad either.
    I know prices are rather high in the US for the smaller vintage designs these years, but why not get an original and put it in a aftermarket chassis , along with the speaker of choice ?
    You can kind of have your cake and eat it too that way
    It's not like its easy to wear out the insides of these amps
    Or , get an RI amp and mod/tune it to your taste. So many pros use RI amps every day ,they aren't bad by any means
     

  12. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    The West
    People tend to get super passionate about these topics. Seems like there's plenty out there to satisfy everyone. For those that want the real deal, shell out $900-$1200 for a used SIlverface, spend $100-$200 to recap it and service it, hope it hasn't been modded and/or needs any more work done to it and you're set, but at this point, given what you're spending, you might as well go the aftermarket, boutique route and get a brand new hand-wired build.

    For the rest of us that haven't been fortunate to find a reasonable price on an old PR that isn't butchered and needs ton of work, the PRRI's are not a bad deal. Sure, $949 before tax is a bit much, (and it's pretty easy to get one for under $900 out the door after tax if you haggle or take advantage of promotions) but it's ready to go out of the box, unless you're a tweaker and want to replace everything (OT, speaker, tubes) and if that's the case you should go have one custom built to your specs. If you're a hardwired die hard, again, go with a custom build. IF you're scared that your PCB will crap out on your sometime down the line and will be impossible for a tech to fix, then go with a custom, hardwired build. Trust me, I totally get the fact that a hardwired amp is WAY easier to fix and repair, but there comes a point where you have to determine if spending twice what a reissue cost is going to offset any repair costs down the line. As an example, I recently scored a new PRRI for $787 out the door. It has a warranty, but after the warranty expires, I doubt I will ever have t spend another $700 in repairs on this thing during it's lifetime. There are always duds and lemons, but it seems like overall PCB is pretty reliable.

    I feel it's like saying old cars are way easier to fix, so why even bother spending the money on a new car because they're so complicated and harder to fix. Sure I'd like to have a vintage, hardwired, pristine PR, but it's just not in the cards. I can't afford (more like don't want to spend double what a PRRI costs) just to say I have a hardwired amp. Plus, no mater how much I spend, or if my amp is hardwired, best components, etc., it ain't going to make me a better player. I'm not trashing the boutique builds. All of them are SUPER nice amps and darn fine, but to think that everything else is inferior as far as sound, tone, etc. is just ridiculous. There are killer sounding PR's in several price points, and the PCB's can hold their own.
     

  13. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    51
    Jan 23, 2007
    Denmark
    They certainly can , and if something need repair , you just need someone who can and will work on them........You know , people that are capable of repairing stuff from the late 70´s and up....Its not that big a deal
     

  14. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    The West
    The other thing that cracks me up about people and amps is how they say things like "I want this amp, but want it to have a different this or that or these, etc." To me that says you DON'T what that amp then, because after all of the changes you're asking for.
     

  15. jonrpick

    jonrpick Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 17, 2014
    Marietta, GA
    The point being that a lot of folks don't feel that current "stock" pickups from Fender, Gibson, etc, sound as good as the stock pickups prior to the 70's, and therefore look to boutique or otherwise after market vendors for that sound. Better and worse are, of course, subjective. But I know that no stock Gibson guitar I've played from the 80's onward has sounded like my LP copy with handmade PAF replicas does.

    If you're going to be a troll you should at least base your trolling on statements that I've actually made. Go try your lame, immature and extremely transparent attempts at e-bullying on someone else.
     

  16. GaryOsborne

    GaryOsborne RIP

    Jun 7, 2013
    Nashville, TN

    I never intended to bash the 65' Reissues. They're great amps for the price. There's a 65' PRRI on my local c-list for $550 right now and the DRRI is great too.
    I just don't understand why Fender can't make a hand wired amp in the US for a reasonable price. The EC Vibro Champs are still $999 and the other EC amps are twice that. $999 is a reasonable price but for a 5w home/studio only amp? It's still reasonable but that's still only 1.
     

  17. milocj

    milocj Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Aug 21, 2005
    Michigan
    A lot of people already bash the street price of the PRRI and the circuit is relatively complex if you started taking it to the Custom Shop for a hand wired version. Probably has as many or more components as the tweed Twin so that's probably where your price would fall.

    There's a lot more things involved for a large US company to make something by hand than most folks realize. Small builders can keep their prices on the lower side because they most likely don't take an hourly rate at night for themselves when they're placing parts orders and doing similar work surfing for the best parts prices, etc. Depending on how small the builder/company they may not have other employees and have to pay unemployment insurance and may be able to fly under the radar on UL approval and keep their insurance costs fairly low.

    A big place like Fender has to get everything they sell approved, idiot proof their amps with extra parts (tube cages, thermisters, and even shields that prevent people from sticking things into the input jacks and getting zapped) and it all adds up.

    I'm a tooling designer at a large company. If I need to use a standard off the shelf purchased component that our company doesn't already have in our system it probably costs us at least 4-5 hours to have one of our purchasing department employees get a quote and add it into our supply system. That's the kind of stuff that a company like Fender has to do when they need a simple part they don't have on hand. Add in the cost of developing the tag board, having it made and all the other stuff and people would be screaming at how Fender was ripping them off, especially when originals are still around at lower prices.

    Since you're already looking for a PR or non-verb I'd go give that reissue a try. You wouldn't lose any money on it when selling if it's a nice one and sounds good, and you could use it until you decide what you want to do long term. Or just spend an extra $200 for an original non-verb or go with an original '70s PR for $1000-1100.
     

  18. wrathfuldeity

    wrathfuldeity Tele-Holic

    878
    Apr 25, 2011
    Turdcaster, WA
    Abit off...but why not get a hand wired non-fender vintage that can better than a handwired fender reissue. There are some odd balls vintage amps that have the BALLZ but not the price tag. My examples are $25 Newcomb AV1612 not really a princeton...more like a waaay better blues jr. However, my $67 Bogen VP12 does a monster non-reverb tweed princeton after just a wee bit of bench time with Skip Simmons...(total of all costs about $250). In fact, recently took it into loco GC to a/b with a 64 bf princeton that was listing for $1300 :eek:. Anyway went back home very satisfied and didn't spend a penny ;).

    below look at post #19 and 20

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/amp-owne...-amps-lets-see-those-repurposed-beauties.html
     

  19. kennl

    kennl Tele-Holic

    969
    Feb 6, 2007
    Moon Township, PA
    I think I read back in the 1980's that Fender's most formidable competition in the amplifier market was used amps they had sold 20 or more years prior. Not much has changed in 30 years.
     

  20. GaryOsborne

    GaryOsborne RIP

    Jun 7, 2013
    Nashville, TN

    That's so interesting. I've thought about this before. They are their own biggest competitor!
     

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