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Advice: SF Champ vs PRRI

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by Telecaster88, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    champ sounds overpriced- I may be in a minority but I sold my blackface champ-I far prefer the sound of almost any big boy fender amp even at low volume to the champ with 8 inch speaker (yes I had the champ serviced and it worked great)
     
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  2. Clickfiend

    Clickfiend TDPRI Member

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    I have both a SCX2 (w/ Celestion Greenback), and a PRRI ‘65 (w/ Celestion G12-65). I play both regularly and they def sound different (speaker/cabinet size maybe?). It’s also nice to have the different models in the SCX2. If you like clean with or without Reverb and Vibrato the PRRI with the 12” speaker is awesome even at low volume (and AMAZING at about 4). I don’t know about re-sale value on either amp mostly cuz I don’t see any reason other than complete unrepairable failure to get rid of them. I do have other amps, and Bias FX on my computer, but the PRRI and the SCX2 are all I really play. Hope you find the right thing for you :).
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
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  3. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Around my neck of the woods $500 will only get you a beat-to-heck Champ that needs an overhaul. A clean one runs around $700 - I'd jump on that Champ if it were me.
     
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  4. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Holic

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    Princetons break uo pretty early on the dial, do if you're after a "clean" tone, the Princeton wouldn't be my first choice and since you have a SCX2 I really wouldnt go nuts about trying to find a PR or PRRI, but that's just my opinion.
     
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  5. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I like to get mine off of the floor altogether. I sit it on my 68 PRRI. I also tilt the Princeton back a little to help define the tone a little.
     

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  6. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    I have a SFVC.
    It does what it does.
    If I were in your shoes, I’d save my money and buy a version of the Princeton with a 12” speaker.
    i think it’s more versatile.

    If you get a silver face amp understand that you’re probably going to need to budget for it to be serviced.

    Let us know how it turns out.
     
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  7. Hoodster

    Hoodster Friend of Leo's

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    I've had both and the answer is the Princeton all day long. There's really no comparison. If you like the super champ you will be out of your mind over the Princeton.
     
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  8. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Show me some $400 Champs, I'm looking too...
     
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  9. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    With the hyperacusis, you may want to consider one of the new Fender Tonemasters. They supposedly deliver tube-like tone via a big-ass computer inside. But the reason I brought these to your attention is the 5-step power attenuator. You can dime the dials on the front and drop the power output down to as low as 0.2 Watts! Just a suggestion. Easy on the ears AND the back!


    https://shop.fender.com/en-US/guita...tal/tone-master-deluxe-reverb/2274100000.html
     
  10. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I would buy a dozen at that price. Nothing cheap where I live, and nothing within a two hour drive.
     
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  11. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Holic

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    Yes, thanks! I've thought of those, but it doesn't solve my worries about the digital end of the amp going bad and being impossible to repair, unless I'm missing something... The Tone Masters are digital, aren't they?

    I have a Vox AV60, a model that went sadly under the radar and was consequently discontinued. It's a weird hybrid amp kind of like the SCX2, but the amp models are analog circuits. The built in effects are digital. That amp has a master volume and it's a godsend for me! Great tone at low volume.

    This whole thread is simply prompted by my worry that my SCX2 is gonna kick the bucket one day with no chance at resuscitation.
     
  12. hepular

    hepular Tele-Holic

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    if your worry is maintenance, planned-obsolescence, the answer is champ. Have you seen the inside of an RI? unless you buy the high$$ handwired, you get weird looking input jack destined to fail and be hard to repair, a heaping chunk of pcbs which might or might not be frying cuz of the tube sockets (i forget, did they fix those) & filter caps that might or might not've been specced out of the back of a truck somewhere, not to mention the questionable transformers. whereas with a champ . . . you might have to replace the cap can and some other electrolytics.
     
  13. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I forgot about the fix-ability part. Yes, they are digital. I have not seen a gut shot, but some digital amps have modular components/sections that you would swap out rather than repair. I do not know if this is the case with the Tonemasters.

    Frankly, I only see amps like the SCX2 and AV60 getting better with every new iteration. Still difficult to fix, though. They are meant to be disposable. If your SCX2 craps out, you should be able to find another one, even if they are eventually discontinued. They are a nice amp and plenty have been made. I would imagine used ones are quite affordable. If you really like the amp, then you need to look no further. There are some nice limited editions out there now. My advice is to stay with the one you have and if it dies, cross that bridge when you come to it. The amp may outlive YOU for all you know - especially since you are not beating on it. Take that $600 and buy a nice Squier Tele instead!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
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  14. 100LL

    100LL Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Well if you have trouble down the road with a PRRI or similar non-handwired reissue there are several good choices (ordered here from most to least expensive):
    1. Send the chassis off to a place like Allesandro for a hand-wire overall (totally new electricronics, including pots, connectors and of course a hand-wiring of all the components). http://alessandro-products.com/rewiring-services/
    2. Buy a kit from Mojotone or similar, and do all that yourself. https://www.mojotone.com/kits/Black...e-Blackface-Princeton-Reverb-Style-Head-Kit_2
    3. Buy one of the PCBs on eBay or similar. Many are available from guys like alessandro that pull new ones for their "vintage continuation" offerings. They basically buy new PRRIs, pull the electronics (and sell them) so they can do their hand-wired work.
     
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  15. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Holic

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    Yes, now that I'm calming down I'm realizing this is all a solution in search of a problem... My SCX2 currently works and sounds great, and maybe it'll outlast me. I have other amps on hand already I like too. My GAS started just because I always keep an eye out for clean Champs for sale locally, and this one popped up. I really don't need another amp right now, so I should just chill out!

    Thanks to this thread I think I've learned that if/when it's time for a new amp, the PRRI will likely fill all my needs. I appreciate all your advice!
     
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  16. pi

    pi Tele-Meister

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    I've heard the channel 1 of SCX2 is very similar to a Princeton. If you buy it now you'll basically have a less versatile version of what you already have. I would just keep it and be happy.


    Save the money, and if the SCX2 dies, then you can get the Princeton.
     
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  17. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Holic

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    Sage advice, and I think that's just what I'm gonna do! Thanks, everyone!
     
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  18. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Glad to hear you are sorting this all out. It isn't a bad idea to continue keep an eye out for a good Vibro Champ or other vintage amp, not as a replacement for what you have, but rather as an investment or just dipping your toe into the vintage world. They also offer an opportunity to learn how to service old tube amps by watching Uncle Doug videos on YouTube! It can become quite a hobby in itself with a few tools and some acquired knowledge. I had a lot of fun recapping my VC - even though the original caps from 1969 were working fine. Old Silvertone tube amps are often found for peanuts, and can sound damn near as good as a Fender. But prices are going up on those as well, so keep your eyes open - reviving old gear can be quite an enjoyable hobby!!
     
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  19. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Holic

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    I'm not technical, but I can follow directions and sometimes I'm not so dumb... Ha. I think it would be really rewarding to learn that stuff on a simple old amp. Maybe that will be part of my retirement plans!

    I scoped out the mojotone amp kits @100LL posted above and saw you could build a Princeton Reverb clone in 5 hours! That's inspiring.
     
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  20. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Building is pretty easy - especially with good instructions. Some sellers of kits allow you to download the instructions before you buy. I have looked at a few and most are pretty good. The main thing is if the instructions are unclear or beyond your abilities, don't buy the kit! No one wants a $600 brick. But it isn't rocket science and as long as you are GOOD at soldering and able to dial the company's help number, you should be all set.

    Troubleshooting old gear requires more knowledge and time. Yes, vintage gear can usually be fixed, but the labor costs to diagnose can spoil the fun. Most repairs start with replacing all old caps for stability down the road. Then troubleshooting tubes and biasing. Then testing transformers and resistors. It all depends on how thorough your tech is.

    That being said, many vintage amps play just fine for 50+ years without requiring any repairs. But it would be risky to use them gigging because old caps can die in an instant and leave you stranded. Not an issue in the living room. So vintage guitars and amps are similar to vintage cars. The more you can learn to fix yourself, the happier you will be. Stay safe. Remember to keep one hand in your pocket when inside an amp!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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