Fender 65 Princeton vs. 59 Bassman LTD

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by James824, Aug 28, 2021.

  1. James824

    James824 TDPRI Member

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    Old dude here..wanting to go out in in a blaze of glory.

    in the bottom end of my 6th decade, I have NEVER owned a new tube amp.

    Think I am gonna get one one of these bad boys, NEW.

    Strictly a bedroom player, I know the Princeton is all I need, however, the Bassman is just so bad ass, and not that much more $$, it would be a helluva lot more fun and look so COOL with my Teles hanging near by.

    But, a tweed Princeton is pretty cool!

    What say you?

    Please no "buy used" or "XYX" is a better amp. I get it. But my old deteriorating mind is made up on these two.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2021
  2. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Holic

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    I haven't tried a '59 Bassman reissue since the mid 2000's (in a random store, no less) but I own a '65 Princeton Reverb reissue (PRRI) and it's a great amp that gets stellar clean and overdriven sounds at reasonable (though still loud) volumes. Sometimes I miss the mids in its scooped sound, but thankfully there are pedals for that. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the '65 PRRI.

    Don't know if that helps any but it's just my $0.02...
     
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  3. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I'd say you haven't got it figured out, yet. What is your goal for the amp you'll get? What music do you play? What guitar(s)? What tone do you want? What volume will you usually tolerate to get that tone?

    Think about this a lot more. You're asking if you should buy a compact car or a pickup truck.
     
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  4. King Fan

    King Fan Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Both good amps, repros of two of the most iconic out there. Maybe that’s why you hit on them? But totally different. Not only that. You’re 55. Buy one now, by the other in a year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years. With respect, even admiration, if this is just you arbitrarily indulging a wish, cool, but it makes practical advice kind or irrelevant. :)
     
  5. budglo

    budglo Tele-Meister

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    So many questions from the poster above that are really helpful to help answer your question. I have had the 68 Princeton and presently own the 59 bassman pictured in my avatar. Both great amps , but are worlds apart. Both can be really loud , but the 59 bassman can be brutally loud, although it is very controllable.
     
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  6. jwag

    jwag Tele-Meister

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    You can’t go wrong with either. I have a Princeton Reverb, but would love to own a Bassman as well.

    Good luck.
     
  7. rolandk

    rolandk TDPRI Member

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    ‘65 PRRI and ‘59 BMRI (pre-LTD) owner here. Very different amps. Sounds like your heart is set on the Bassman, so I’d get it. It still sounds fantastic at low volumes with a warmth that just fills up the room. For OD pedals I’d suggest a Klon type and a tube screamer.
     
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  8. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    You’re comparing apples and oranges here... For the intended use, the Princeton Reverb is a no-brainer.
     
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  9. Back at it

    Back at it Tele-Meister

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    As long as you can lift it I say bassman
     
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  10. Rmccamey

    Rmccamey TDPRI Member

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    If your mind is made up, why not spend the money on an original.
     
  11. James824

    James824 TDPRI Member

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    Good advice. Me thinks the Princeton is all I really need.
     
  12. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Afflicted

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    you'll get a wider range of home use out of a pricenton.
     
  13. teleman1

    teleman1 Friend of Leo's

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    When you say Princeton, it is a Princeton. When you say Princeton Reverb, that is what it is. They are two different sounding amps, regardless of reverb. A PR 65 is awesome; stock.
     
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  14. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I own both. They're completely different amps. The Bassman is a good platform for pedals. You aren't going to push the amp. It's just too darn loud. It's also on the heavy end as it's over 50lbs. I usually only use mine at gigs when I want to really be sure I'm going to be heard.

    The 65PR is a much more portable package. It's not light, but at about 30ish lbs it's definitely less risk for a back injury when moving it around. Obviously it has built in reverb and tube bias tremolo - both of which sound great. If you can get one of the PR models with a 12" speaker I'd recommend that as opposed to the stock 10.

    Both amps sound great so I don't think you can go wrong tone-wise. The things I'd consider as you mentioned your age and that it's mostly home use would be size and weight. And obviously the PR would be the wiser choice.
     
  15. Timbresmith1

    Timbresmith1 Tele-Holic

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    If you have the space to wind it up, go for the Bassman.
    Drag that sucka outside on NYE and play the star spangled banner Jimi style at midnite.
     
  16. telekaster1999

    telekaster1999 Tele-Afflicted

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    I had a bassman and sold it for a huge profit, wish I hadn't. So there's my pick.
     
  17. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'd go with the PR. Wasn't even a big fan of the Bassman RI on stage personally. If I wanted big loud tone in the bedroom, I"d pick up a Super Reverb.
    But if you want some magic in in a smallish amp buy a Z Carmen Ghia, you wont be disappointed!
     
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  18. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I am mostly a tweed player these days... used to be a brown and black/silverface guy.

    A quick amp path, then some notes... Went from a Mesa Mk IV to a DRRI; DRRI to a '63 Vibroverb Reissue; added a '69 Vibrolux Reverb: added a PRRI; sold PRRI; traded '69 VR for a 5e3 (+cash); added a '59 Bassman Reissue; added a '58 Twin; added a Marshall origin 20. (I had a Blues Jr or two in there somewhere as well, but never bonded with them).

    The PRRI I had had a 12" Vintage 30 in it. It was a great sounding amp, but wasn't the grab and go package I had really wanted... It was a touch heavy. The Princeton Reverb is one of my favorite amps. If the store has one when I am guitar shopping, it is probably the amp I will plug into, due to the V30. I like PRs a lot at bedroom/Guitar Center levels... But, to get natural overdrive, they're gonna be loud in a small space.

    When I first plugged into the Bassman, I heard the sound I'd been hearing in my head for years... only out loud. It is one of my favorite amps of all time. Only thing that beats it is my tweed Twin. I use it for home practice all the time, but I am not pushing it into heavy distortion at home. I can barely get it there for most bar gigs. But, it still sounds so darn good, I just don't care. The Bassman sounds beautiful at low volume playing. I play it in my open floor plan house all the time, without getting the stink eye from the wife.

    I have been getting most of my dirt from pedals for years now. Even a Deluxe or Princeton can be too loud to get real dirt from the amp. So, to me, that's kind of a wash. One real difference is the tweed tone vs. blackface tone (although the Princeton does tend to be a touch warmer than some of the other BF amps). The mids of the 5f6-a have so much more harmonic content than the PR's. The other difference is 1x10 vs. 4x10. 4x10 just fills a space so much faster and is so much less directional. The single 10 of the PR can be beamy. it is much more directional of a sound... Move off axis just a hair, and it's a way different sonic experience. But, with the Bassman, it really just fills every corner with sound. It is more swirly, and notes tend to bloom more with the Bassman as well.

    My experience has been that most 6l6 amps from Fender tend to have a better volume taper, with a better low volume tone, than any fo the 6v6 amps. They tend to handle bass better at low volumes and give a bit warmer, less sterile or brittle tone at 'bedroom' volumes.

    So, for me, it's the Bassman any day of the week. But, I do have the ability to crank it up from time to time without getting in dutch with the wife. I also gig a lot and the Bassman is a great gigging amp!
     
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  19. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Even if I OWNED both, I'd only PLAY one of them.....the Princeton Reverb. For home use OR gigging I have no use for a Bassman. ;)
     
  20. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Holic

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    Your title says '65 Princeton but your post says tweed Princeton. Those are pretty different!

    If tweed, I vote for Princeton because it's the more reasonable tweed for home. If the '65, I might say Bassman. If you have a chance - even once in a great while - to crank it, well...there's your answer.
     
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