Alesadndro PRRI Rewire Opinions

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Texicaster, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    Thanks... so ~$1500 USD and probably find less in USA... but that's the kind of prices I see if I see any at all...

    TEX
     
  2. Crawldaddy

    Crawldaddy Tele-Holic

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    If you find your Princeton not as warm as the Swart, may I suggest you try out a speaker like the Weber Amsterdam ceramic. You can get the lovely chaps at Weber to break it in for you.

    Not a direct comparison, but I recently installed a 12" version of that speaker in my '65 DRRI after using the stock lighting bolt speaker, then an Eminence Texas Heat, and an Eminence Cannabis Rex after that. The Amsterdam smokes the lot, and my DRRI now doesn't lack anything even when compared to my Mesa Boogie Fillmore 50.
     
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  3. brbadg

    brbadg Tele-Afflicted

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    After all of these things,it's still a Princeton and not the Swart.
    Guess which one will ultimately win? I don't think the Alessandro magic will make a damn bit of difference.I think the money could be better spent with something else,or another Swart for a stereo rig ( see Buddy Miller)
     
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  4. Kontaktmoi

    Kontaktmoi Tele-Meister

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    I have a few amps and note that I only have Fender Strats and Teles.. Nothing else.. They go from thj '70s, '80', 90's and more recent a variety of custom shop Versions too. OK... here is my take and before you ask, the Custom Shop versions blow thr normal production Strats and Teles out of the water.

    Here is my list:

    2 x PRRI ( 1 x Celestion Greenback 1 x Weber Ferromax 10F150 )
    2 x Swart AST ( 1 x British Mojo, 1 x Celestion Gold)
    1 x Deluxe Reissue ( 1x Stock Jensen Special Edition )
    2 x Vox AC15 ( 1 x Celestion Greenback, 1 x Celestion Alnico Blue)

    All amps are stock, most have JJ tubes or stock.

    They all sound different , they all sound amazing good.
    Somehow I prefer the Ceramics over the Alnico's because they are just more in your face and seem to have a more pronounced mid range Maybe it is just me

    So I have listened to the Allessandro's both Princeton's AND Deluxe and I also listened to the latest Fender HANDWIRED Deluxe, I listened to all of them.

    Assuming you have multiple guitars, I think there is more tone / sound variation with different guitars, different pedals and maybe even old versus new strings. LOL. So I have given up.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
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  5. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    Swarts are more on the tweed side, maybe something like a tweed/brownface hybrid so they‘re different beasts.
     
  6. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Holic

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    I might get bashed for this but, I think the PRRI sounds pretty darned good in it's own right anyway, and the extra cost for the Alessandro handwire just doesn't (to me), justify that extra cost. There are many who say that if it's ever damaged, the handwire will be easier to repair, but if it needs repair, I don't think you ever recover that repair cost, handwired or not. I know techs don't like working much on PCB boards, but of all the PCB amps I've ever seen, the Fender reissues are a step above most of the Asian made PCB amps, in design, and modularity.

    They mount the tube sockets directly to the metal chassis, and hand wire them to the main circuit board, so melting the PCB is likely never going to happen. Even the input jacks, and pots are each on their own separate circuit boards, so replacing those is just a matter of plugging in a replacement board. (You can find all the replacement boards, minus the transformers, and tube sockets on eBay), a pleasant aside from so many players wanting handwired Princeton Reverbs, that the boards are in plentiful supply.

    I'm prejudiced though, I, (and my Tele), love my Tweed '65 BF PRRI reissue...she's a sweetheart!:cool:
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  7. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just stick the Allesandro SC64 10"speaker in your PRRI.

    It's paper voicecoil former, close-gap, vintage Jensen sounding goodness. It sounds great in my Superchamp, which is basically a BF Princeton on the clean channel with a DR output trans and SS rectification.

    Selling your PRRI and getting a SF PR is the next best thing you can do. If it hasn't had a recent service $300 outside max for tubes, caps and replacement speaker you will have something that will keep going up in price.

    If you mod your PCB PR, you will make it almost unsellable. Not because the handwiring is a bad idea per se, but because of the unknown factor.

    There's little real difference between BF and SF Princetons. They are truly immortal but if you did have issues parts at every corner store, almost.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  8. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Make sure your current amp is right. Bias especially.

    If it is biased eighth and it’s not your fave, a BF or SF or rewired one won’t change that.
     
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  9. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    I've found the 65 PRRI liveless compared to an old one. I don't know where's that mojo coming from, but they sound better. The PRRI sounds good, no question, but the old ones sound great. The Allesandro SC64 10"speaker sounds really huge, you won't miss a 12". Best bet in a Princeton Reverb, at least to my ears.
     
  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I would not pay to have a budget built Chinese reissue amp hand wired leaving all the Chinese parts in place.

    There are numerous "better" hand wired USA amps based on the PR/ DR but with some added controls for more mids and more dirt if desired.
    They aren't all very expensive either.
    The Allen Sweet Spot is a Princeton/ deluxe based hand wired amp, $1700 for the combo but cheaper used. Should be similar price used to the value of a used PRRI and the allesandro wiring job.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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  12. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    The PRRI is made in Corona, CA USA.

    Perhaps you're referring to the electronics...

    MY deal is I already have the PRRI and resale value minimal. Probably lose $500 selling it. So the economics of selling it and buying whatever to simply have another Princeton don't make sense.

    Alessandro rewire replaces a LOT with high quality parts. He said he can sell you transformers but says transformers are actually very accurate and sound proper.

    Again here's what's included:

    George personally does all work on these types of projects, including:

    • Removing the printed circuit board, pots, and jacks
    • Build a custom board and handwire the circuit, following the original vintage specifications
    • All new pots and components are used in the re-build
    • The factory transformers, chassis, and certain other components are re-utilized
    • Amps comes stock with Fender Groove Tubes
    The new circuit board utilized in these rebuilds is a custom, proprietary Alessandro epoxy/glass laminate military specification board. Components include:

    • All wiring is done using audio-grade silver eutectic solder
    • Select orange drop-style capacitors
    • Alessandro’s proprietary high-end filter and bypass capacitors (made in Germany)
    • Silver mica caps in the audio path
    • CTS pots
    • PTFE/Teflon-coated silver-plated wire (the same as used in Alessandro amps)
    • Switchcraft military spec input jacks
    • Carbon resistors in audio path for proper tone
    • Film resistors in power supply for quiet, reliable operation
    • Upgraded speakers are an available option

    Far from replacing cheap chinese with more cheap chinese.

    Resale value of PRRI is in the tank anyways. As i said earlier there's been one locally on CL for as low as $700obo for months. I have to assume he'd have sold if a $600 offer come through. I'd wager an Alessandro rewire would increase resale value but that's not why I'm considering.

    I'm not trying to make it sound like my Swart either...just cool to have a smaller amp around.

    Custom builders may be using solid pine instead of plywood case but I can't think of any other parts that would be so inferior as to dump it...

    Still on the fence...

    Thanks!

    Tex
     
  13. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

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    Groove tubes are just re branded tubes from whoever. Often used to be NOS american, now often Chinese I believe.


    None of that is as impressive as they want it to sound. IMO, brand and even composition of resistors caps and pots don't matter outside of reliability and tolerance. Transformers and tubes matter more, and speakers the most.

    For the most part a princeton is a princeton and it sounds like you don't actually want a princeton, you want something else.
     
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  14. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    It hurts to say this, cuz I'm a total believer in handwiring, Carling, Switchcraft, CTS, good caps, good wire, etc. Yep, I use eutectic solder. (As noted, some other 'features' are just marketing -- GrooveTubes, Orange Drops, etc).

    But the guys I know best and trust the most here are basically saying that, lovely as they are, these old, reliable, traditional, best-in-class parts and methods just don't affect tone very much.

    The price/value thing is complex. You already bought the PRRI for $X, and you think it may now be worth $600 resale? Then $X-600 is a sunk cost; it isn't coming back. Let's say that's $400, and say if Alessandro charges $700 with shipping, you'll be into your amp for $1100. And it won't sound all that much better, unless you upgrade the speaker. If you just put a nice $100-$200 speaker in it, you'd only be out $5-600.

    There's a chance you just don't like BF. But if you don't try a better speaker, you'll never know. The logic chain, to me, goes like this:

    1. The vintage PR is super famous for its tone
    2. The PRRI, though well-liked, differs *mostly* from vintage in its speaker
    3. Though some folks like 'em, others hear Italian Jensens as thin, shrill, icepick, etc.
    4. There may or may not be more subtle mojo factors (the cab for sure, baffle maybe, NOS tubes, aged speakers, aged caps, who knows) in vintage PRs -- but just re-handwiring good parts on a good board with good wire and good solder doesn't capture them.

    The simplest, least expensive 'upgrade' for a PRRI is absolutely, without question, a speaker swap. Period end full stop. I'd try that first, break it in for a month, and if you still wish your amp were handwired, at least you'd get it back with a good (and broken-in) speaker in it.
     
  15. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Holic

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    Thanks!

    Don't get me wrong I LOVE the PRRI. It does pale a bit next to my Swart which is expected. I'm not trying to get more out of it per se. I just figure it's an investment best kept so optimize it instead of selling at loss and buying another.

    I have no clue how close the PRRI PCB is to the vintage schematic. Is it an "exact" duplication more or less? Since Alessandro uses vintage schematics does this necessarily push more towards those tones?

    While the PRRI is a great amp most say is pales next to vintage and perhaps the schematic a major reason.

    I think I may go with an Alessandro Eminence GA10-SC64 speaker first since that's recommended as part of the build...

    Thanks,

    TEX
     
  16. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't agree with this part. I bought a used DRRI and put a board in it. Sold it for over double what I bought it for! The buyer's reasoning was he wanted a "newer trouble free amp" vs older vintage with a lot of iffy components in it.
     
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  17. Kontaktmoi

    Kontaktmoi Tele-Meister

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    That is exactly what my tech says too. In fact he even tells me that this " tube swapping " game is a GAME and that ANY tube - provided it has the right specs - will not make much of a difference either.
    He looks at signal in and signal out with a scope and expects it to be mirror image just larger. That's what he expects from an amp with any tubes.. The amp should AMPLIFY.. not COLOR the sound in any way... That, he says, is what you do with the tone stack and with the guitar settings. I buy into that.
     
  18. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    It is not really comparable to the ptp board in the vintage or clone Princetons. It sounds different and the handwired tubesocket in the reissues won‘t change that. The reissues are assembled in mexico or the US, but the guys assembling mass produced parts.
    I know what I‘m talking about since I own a vintage Princeton and I‘ve owned a 65 PRRI.
    As said before, Swarts are fantastic, but they sound different, not better.
    A tweed deluxe sounds different than a princeton, but not better. You know what I mean?
     
  19. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    Lol. Try a cheap 12AX7 Fender tube from china and compare it to a selected Highgrade 12AX7 TAD. If you don‘t hear the differences, even if they’re subtle..whew. But this opens a can of worms.
     
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