Fender hype.

bobio

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I bought a Fender 68 custom
Princeton last week after reading review after review if what a great amp it is, especially for clean tones. Got it home and played it for a few days and I liked it, but it didn't have a ton of head room and I wasn't sure about the 10 inch speaker. Anyway, after a few days of dialing in my new toy, I plugged into my Peavey Delta blues just to change things up and I couldn't believe how much better it sounded than the Princeton. I never bothered to do a side by side comparison up to that point because I figured it was apples and oranges. Besides the head room and the drive channel, you get with the Peavey the clean tones were much better. Richer, more colorful, and way more nuanced. Wasn't expecting the two amps to compete with each other, just wanted one for strictly cleans and the other for everything else. Just goes to show you what marketing can do. I can't remember the last time I read a bad review on ANYTHING Fender sells. I guess with so many of us buying their gear online now the big boys have figured out how to manipulate retailers and online reviews to hype their products. It's not just Fender. I played the Epiphone inspired by stuff too and it didn't live up to the hype either. Just saying...
That is why there is absolutely no replacement for seat time with a guitar or an amp BEFORE you buy it. Reviews and Youtube videos are rarely enough to really get a good picture of how a guitar or an amp is going to perform in your hands, in your environment. I think all the reviews left you with an expectation that this particular amp couldn't live up to.
 

ahiddentableau

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Those Peavey amps kinda have their own thing going on. To my ear they are richer and rounder sounding. Not as much treble cut and they don't do overdrive as well, but if you're into rich clean tones I can totally see some people liking the Peavey tone better than a Princeton. Maybe you're one of those people? They're nice amps. No shame in prefering them to the Princeton.
 

eldorado2001

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I have to agree with the OP. I have several Fender amps; a 66 Bassman, a PRRI, a DRRI, B Jr, Bassman Ten, Vibro Champ Reverb...I am a Fender guy from way back. I owned a 68 Custom Princeton for a short time a few years ago. Never mind the cheapo speaker, the amp itself was a huge disappointment. From what I had read I was expecting a Princeton Reverb that could get an attitude if pushed, but it was nothing but nasty, lousy sounding distortion, and very uncharacteristically dark-sounding. Not Fendery at all. I couldn't find any sounds in it that I liked.
It's the only dog I ever returned. Maybe it was the individual amp I got, but I'm not inclined to try another.
 

Dismalhead

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I've seen comparisons between the '65 and '68 reissues and the '68s always sound like they have a blanket over them when they're side-by-side. I also don't think you could pick a much worse amp if you're wanting clean headroom.
 

loopfinding

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They never really messed with the PR circuit, BF or SF. So that is a red flag to me, if I had to buy one sight unseen. I’d just buy a PRRI.

That is why there is absolutely no replacement for seat time with a guitar or an amp BEFORE you buy it. Reviews and Youtube videos are rarely enough to really get a good picture of how a guitar or an amp is going to perform in your hands, in your environment. I think all the reviews left you with an expectation that this particular amp couldn't live up to.

Absolutely. The “messing with” could be good, but you have to hear it. I’m definitely no purist, but if changes are made, I’m not gonna take someone’s word for it unless I know what’s going on.
 

kuch

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I bought a Fender 68 custom
Princeton last week after reading review after review if what a great amp it is, especially for clean tones. Got it home and played it for a few days and I liked it, but it didn't have a ton of head room and I wasn't sure about the 10 inch speaker. Anyway, after a few days of dialing in my new toy, I plugged into my Peavey Delta blues just to change things up and I couldn't believe how much better it sounded than the Princeton. I never bothered to do a side by side comparison up to that point because I figured it was apples and oranges. Besides the head room and the drive channel, you get with the Peavey the clean tones were much better. Richer, more colorful, and way more nuanced. Wasn't expecting the two amps to compete with each other, just wanted one for strictly cleans and the other for everything else. Just goes to show you what marketing can do. I can't remember the last time I read a bad review on ANYTHING Fender sells. I guess with so many of us buying their gear online now the big boys have figured out how to manipulate retailers and online reviews to hype their products. It's not just Fender. I played the Epiphone inspired by stuff too and it didn't live up to the hype either. Just saying...

I don't like the '68 series of Fender amps either. I guess I bought into the "hype" -for lack of a better term, and picked up both a 68 princeton and 68 deluxe along the way. I really didn't care for the sound compared to the BF based 65 series. To me they were as described by others-"muddy", "dirty" etc.... I'm happier with the 65 PRRI and the 65 DR.

But... I don't think it's Fender's doing. I think a lot of people like us, here on this forum, tend to "hype" their gear to "justify" their purchases and possesions. Sometimes you have to read between the lines, or different sides of the street.

Keep on rockin' ;)
 

Maguchi

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I bought a Fender 68 custom
Princeton last week after reading review after review if what a great amp it is, especially for clean tones. Got it home and played it for a few days and I liked it, but it didn't have a ton of head room and I wasn't sure about the 10 inch speaker. Anyway, after a few days of dialing in my new toy, I plugged into my Peavey Delta blues just to change things up and I couldn't believe how much better it sounded than the Princeton. I never bothered to do a side by side comparison up to that point because I figured it was apples and oranges. Besides the head room and the drive channel, you get with the Peavey the clean tones were much better. Richer, more colorful, and way more nuanced. Wasn't expecting the two amps to compete with each other, just wanted one for strictly cleans and the other for everything else. Just goes to show you what marketing can do. I can't remember the last time I read a bad review on ANYTHING Fender sells. I guess with so many of us buying their gear online now the big boys have figured out how to manipulate retailers and online reviews to hype their products. It's not just Fender. I played the Epiphone inspired by stuff too and it didn't live up to the hype either. Just saying...
Had a similar experience with the '68 Princeton reissue's little brother, the Vibrochamp Reverb '68 reissue. When I bought it, I played it a lot, tried adjusting the knobs every which way to get a good sound, but it just sounded kinda one dimensional and not very inspiring. A couple of weeks after I bought it and played it every day, right about when I was about to take it out of the rotation, the amp really opened up and started to sound wonderful, complex and deeper. Not sure, but it might have been the speaker getting broken in. Don't know if you will have the same experience with your Princeton or not, but thought it was worth mentioning.

BTW, I also have the Peavey Delta Blues and the the other amp mentioned a lot in this post the Fender Blackface '65 PRRI. All three of these are great sounding, but different.

FndrPrnctn&VbrChmp.jpg
PVDeltaBlue.jpg
 
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Grandfunkfan

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So you prefer the tone of your Delta Blues to a 68 Princeton without a broken in speaker ? Why is this Fenders fault? I have had quite a few Fender amps over the years and they have all been great . Maybe it’s just that you prefer the Peavey over the one Fender amp you’ve had . Nothing wrong with that , but to troll Fender because you prefer something else is a bit over the top, no? Of course aside from being a different tone stack , tube platform , speaker size , the peavey is going to have a lot more headroom . I would never expect much headroom out of a Princeton, especially a 68 custom which was designed with less than the prri. Oddly enough , the amp I owned for the least amount of time was the peavey classic 30 .
I didn't mean to make it sound like a rant against Fender. It was just an observation. The only expectation I had for the Princeton was a clean tone that was superior to the Peavey. It was good but it was not the holy grail it's portrayed as.
Those Peavey amps kinda have their own thing going on. To my ear they are richer and rounder sounding. Not as much treble cut and they don't do overdrive as well, but if you're into rich clean tones I can totally see some people liking the Peavey tone better than a Princeton. Maybe you're one of those people? They're nice amps. No shame in prefering them to the Princeton.
 

budglo

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I didn't mean to make it sound like a rant against Fender. It was just an observation. The only expectation I had for the Princeton was a clean tone that was superior to the Peavey. It was good but it was not the holy grail it's portrayed as.
Well your title was pretty inflammatory tbh . Honestly though , expecting an amp half the power and a smaller speaker to have better cleans is a bit uninformed. I’ve had the 68 Princeton . It is a bassy amp. I believe it has the bassman circuit as it’s tone stack . When I played my single coils I had the bass turned to 2 and at 0 when using humbuckers . I would run the treble at around 7 . It can indeed be a dark sounding amp , especially without allowing the speaker to be broken in. For me in the end , it just wasn’t what I was looking for . I have a deluxe reverb and 59 bassman for my tones. If you dig your delta blues , look no further. If I’m looking for Fender cleans , a deluxe reverb would be the bare minimum, but even that can be tough to get especially with humbuckers . Don’t believe everything you hear on YouTube .
 

hamerfan

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Check amp output impedance before you do that.
I’m not the expert on these things but the DB is 16ohm.
The PR isn’t.
There is a rule on what is safe and what may harm the amp but I don’t know it.
It is safe! A slight mismatch (eg 8 to 16 ohms) is no problem in either case. The speaker shouldn't much lower than the amps output impedance.
 

Endless Mike

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I bought a Fender 68 custom
Princeton last week after reading review after review if what a great amp it is, especially for clean tones. Got it home and played it for a few days and I liked it, but it didn't have a ton of head room and I wasn't sure about the 10 inch speaker. Anyway, after a few days of dialing in my new toy, I plugged into my Peavey Delta blues just to change things up and I couldn't believe how much better it sounded than the Princeton. I never bothered to do a side by side comparison up to that point because I figured it was apples and oranges. Besides the head room and the drive channel, you get with the Peavey the clean tones were much better. Richer, more colorful, and way more nuanced. Wasn't expecting the two amps to compete with each other, just wanted one for strictly cleans and the other for everything else. Just goes to show you what marketing can do. I can't remember the last time I read a bad review on ANYTHING Fender sells. I guess with so many of us buying their gear online now the big boys have figured out how to manipulate retailers and online reviews to hype their products. It's not just Fender. I played the Epiphone inspired by stuff too and it didn't live up to the hype either. Just saying...
I'm not going to say that marketing/advertising, the manipulation that does in fact go on with that, has anything to do with the situation with your amp. But you do bring up a good point about hype and manipulation, with regards to marketing and advertising. I always knew that was the case. There was a somewhat famous book about the subject that was published when I was a kid (1970s), so I was at least partially educated to the subject at a young age.

Then I came across a BBC documentary with the title "The Century of the Self". That was quite eye opening, and a bit unsettling. I won't say too much except that Freuds' nephew, Edward Bernays, took his uncle's theories and applied them to what he then called "public relations. This would eventually become marketing and advertising. Bernays' first book on the subject carried the title "Propaganda"

That may be saying too much, but I'll leave it there. Interested parties can watch for themselves, it's on the EweToob. There's no doubt that there's more than a little arm twisting when it comes to what we purchase, and reviews? I came across a website not too long ago showing how something around the 90 percentile of Amazon reviews are gamed. Same for many other review sources. How do you get objective information about anything you want to purchase? I have no idea. It's one reason why TDPRI is valuable. Yeah, sure there are those who just get sucked into hype and fads, but there are some here that are well educated and have extensive experience with amps, pedals, etc, and they can and do provide good information about gear.

If moderators feel any of the above is out of bounds, please feel free to remove it. I hope I haven't offended anyone's sensibilities.
 

joebloggs13

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I bought a Fender 68 custom
Princeton last week after reading review after review if what a great amp it is, especially for clean tones. Got it home and played it for a few days and I liked it, but it didn't have a ton of head room and I wasn't sure about the 10 inch speaker. Anyway, after a few days of dialing in my new toy, I plugged into my Peavey Delta blues just to change things up and I couldn't believe how much better it sounded than the Princeton. I never bothered to do a side by side comparison up to that point because I figured it was apples and oranges. Besides the head room and the drive channel, you get with the Peavey the clean tones were much better. Richer, more colorful, and way more nuanced. Wasn't expecting the two amps to compete with each other, just wanted one for strictly cleans and the other for everything else. Just goes to show you what marketing can do. I can't remember the last time I read a bad review on ANYTHING Fender sells. I guess with so many of us buying their gear online now the big boys have figured out how to manipulate retailers and online reviews to hype their products. It's not just Fender. I played the Epiphone inspired by stuff too and it didn't live up to the hype either. Just saying...
I was in the same situation a few years ago. Did a lot of research and ended up buying a Louis Electric Columbia reverb. It's a vintage Princeton style circuit with a mids control, a 12 inch speaker and 18 watts with 6v6s or 28 watts with 6L6s. It will blow a Princeton away. Never looked back. Highly recommended. 👍
 

Jazzcaster21

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I bought a Fender 68 custom
Princeton last week after reading review after review if what a great amp it is, especially for clean tones. Got it home and played it for a few days and I liked it, but it didn't have a ton of head room and I wasn't sure about the 10 inch speaker. Anyway, after a few days of dialing in my new toy, I plugged into my Peavey Delta blues just to change things up and I couldn't believe how much better it sounded than the Princeton. I never bothered to do a side by side comparison up to that point because I figured it was apples and oranges. Besides the head room and the drive channel, you get with the Peavey the clean tones were much better. Richer, more colorful, and way more nuanced. Wasn't expecting the two amps to compete with each other, just wanted one for strictly cleans and the other for everything else. Just goes to show you what marketing can do. I can't remember the last time I read a bad review on ANYTHING Fender sells. I guess with so many of us buying their gear online now the big boys have figured out how to manipulate retailers and online reviews to hype their products. It's not just Fender. I played the Epiphone inspired by stuff too and it didn't live up to the hype either. Just saying...
You could have taken that money and put it toward a Vintage Sound 20. Like a Princeton but, way better.
 

Sleph

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Whenever I buy anything these days, I try to buy from smaller companies because smaller companies work harder to please their customers.

Corporations on the other hand, don’t care as much about their customers - they don’t care as much about their workers - because they have a legal duty to put their shareholders’ needs first.

And because of that legal duty, they will always produce products of the bare minimum quality and sell for the maximum price the market will allow - and that’s what I see reflected in most Fender products.

The Princeton is a nice enough little amp - but it’s really a practice amp - and it costs way too much for what it is IMO. They cost about $2K where I live and that’s silly money for a mass produced 12 watt practice amp.
 

sax4blues

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I have two pricey boutique amps, completely different design and sound. When I mix & match guitars and start twisting knobs I get a myriad of clean to overdrive tones. I’m still trying to figure out which one is over hyped and which one is good.
 

RetiredUnit1

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Well, I have to disagree with OP. Not only does my 68 Custom Princeton sound great, but since I've owned it my playing has improved, my breath smells better, and I've lost 5 lbs. It's a miracle amp, I tell 'ya.
My original 68 SFDR not only sounds great but it waxes my truck for me!
 




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