Fender launches a hand-wired ’64 Princeton Reverb

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Sombrero Top, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    In most aspects, probably so. If markos's comment above is accurate though, this 'same' amp from 1967 is being sold at ~ $1000 higher price tag today than what it was back then. That is not the old Fender company. In this day, even making a 'hand-wired' amp should cost less than it did back in 1967. It is faster and therefore less expensive to produce all of the components and to higher consistency. The company has had decades to refine efficiency in producing amps (including hand-wired). Yet here we are seeing the same amp from 1964 being sold at $1000 higher price.
     
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  2. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I didn't claim it was good deal, I just said, a clone is not a Fender. However compared to a CS tele for... (insert completely completely stupid amount of money here) it's a bargain.
    Hopefully the workers in the custom shop are getting paid good money to build those things, and buying houses and cars and are able to send their kids to college on their wages.

    I bet if Fender offshored most or some of the hand work on their hand wired amps, they could bring the prices way down too (like ceriatone), I'm guessing most of the materials and components used in all amplifiers and all of the electronics we buy now days are produced offshore.

    Cordoba has Chinese made guitars with solid wood backs and sides for about the same price as Spanish Made guitars with laminates.

    What really kill me are the Fender "Custom Shop" amps that are a regular PCB board blues deluxe (or whatever) in flame maple cabinets etc for (insert completely stupid amount of money here).

    I have some vintage fender amps, and I have some clones too (I like clones) don't get me wrong. But a Fender is a fender and a clone is not.

    In the gamut of "evil" corporations both past and present though (if that's the point) I'm not sure that fender is making the top of the list. I'm happy to not know who is and why.

    /me shudders

    If your point was to support local guys doing good work for a fair dollar, instead of big box retailers shipping overpriced new Fender gear, I'm with you on that too.
     
  3. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I PR is more like a wonderdawg though (even though it come's in a 1x12 cabinet. It's a little more plus you'll have to get a speaker..

    WonderDawg in 1×12 Combo (no speaker) $1299 Classic blackface chassis and combo cabinet, JJ tube set

    I'm sure they sound great. Little Dawg amplifiers seem like a pretty great deal in general.
     
  4. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's only expensive in relative terms. How much would Vox charge for an eyelet board version of an AC15? Twice that?

    The problem is that they priced the Blackface pc board amps in line with the real 60s amps, which have perhaps gone up in price. If you check out similar amps (same number of tubes and somewhat similar features, more or less), you'll find the Fenders are more expensive.
     
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  5. tvas22

    tvas22 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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  6. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Afflicted

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    I did a prototype for them, but they wouldn't go with it... something about tooo cooool for the average joe.
    .
    IMG_20200104_130028.jpg
    IMG_20200104_125636.jpg
    .
     
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  7. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you compare the Broadcaster announced - $150 odd bucks in 1950 without a case, it's about $1600 in 2020 dollars. Fender themselves have lots of competition to this - let alone amongst other models

    So considering the PR is a limited numbers amp - not their standard offering, the original was a standard production amp - it's not a dreadful price.

    Handwired Vox AC15 - $1600-1800 depending which you get, made in Vietnam. Handwired in UK Marshall 2061 18 watt? $3100.

    Both those amps don't have reverb, albeit they're both louder.

    I think it's not bad. Of course lots of choice in clones and boutique some with 'more'. But - Fender walk into a store instant buy, warranty, service, return, resale etc - all the reissue amp advantages.

    Now Fender has to convince people to stump up almost double the price of a PCB reissue. Hard ask I'd say they'll sell 1 in 10 handwired to regular resissue..

    Choice is good, Fender has amps from entry-intermediate tube in the Juniors, Blues and Hotrods; intermediate/pro in the regular resissue and pro/borderline boutique in Handwired.

    I also like what they've done with the LT and GTX line. Give you a taste of what is happening with classic tones you may have heard or heard about but never understood where they come from.
     
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  8. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    2300 bucks . Now thats funny
     
  9. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    This all sounds very familiar, from when the '64 Custom Deluxe reverb came out...

    Same arguments that you could build one for less, or that a used original one could be found for less. However, as a buyer (based in the UK) I didn't want to build one from scratch, that would be worth next to nothing if I ever want to sell. Finding a good used original amp that hadn't been messed about with and didn't need a rebuild by a specialist to make it safe/reliable wasn't a task I was prepared to go through.

    Just for once I didn't want to buy the 'mid range' model (MIM/Electrosonic equivalent).
    So I bought a new '64 Custom Deluxe reverb, with warranty and it sounds fantastic. I'd imagine the '64 Princeton will too, though time will tell I suppose.

    I guess I'm the target demographic; I'm at that age where I can afford to treat myself to something I'd always fancied and compared to other hobbies, such as home cinema, just over £2k is a manageable amount. Sure it's not pocket change, but you could spend more than that on a Custom Shop Tele, that you could argue isn't much different to a MIA one for half the price.

    No doubt people will be moaning about the price for the next 6 months, even throwing the old 'dentist/doctor* blues player' line about. :rolleyes: I'm sure there will be plenty of happy owners about though and those who want to build something similar will be free to do that too. :)

    * I'm neither, I'm an engineer and I can build amps as that was a previous job, but I'd rather be playing. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
  10. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Afflicted

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    I had a go at building a TAD PR kit, and I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. I saw one that sold recently for about the price of an unfinished kit, roughly the cost of a used PRRI. If I was going to do it again I'd probably get a Modulus version as they supply a turret board version rather tan eyelet holes. Both kits have transformers that are probably "wrong" when compared to a 60's PR, but you end up with a very useful variation on the original.

    I'd love to see a shoot out between a well- maintained 60s PR and the new one, or at last a schematic. Most modern kits incorporate useful mods that can affect the final tone; it'll be interesting to see if fender has done the same.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
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  11. DuckDodgers

    DuckDodgers Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Do hand wired amps sound better? There’s no reason they should. They might sound slightly different from a PC board amp with the same circuit, owing to differences stray inductance sand capacitance, but that doesn’t mean one style would sound better than another. It certainly may be, as one poster suggests, that Fender is using better components in these models.

    Well made PC board construction is more consistent, and more reliable than point-to-point wiring. Cheap PC boards are like cheap point-to-point wiring. I’d certainly love to own the new Princeton, but if I were actually in the market for a hand-wired Princeton I’d buy a Mojotone kit.
     
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  12. Lamar Fandango

    Lamar Fandango TDPRI Member

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    I don't know why these aren't more popular. Great sounding amp. Had to sell mine, but it was everything you'd want in this size amp.
     
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  13. DuckDodgers

    DuckDodgers Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    True, for the most part, but while technology has sped up a lot of manufacturing processes, hand wiring is still limited by the speed at which humans work.

    Leo Fender was a genius at manufacturing, and you can bet that his factory was set up to wire eyelet boards as fast as possible.
     
  14. DuckDodgers

    DuckDodgers Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    A new Princeton Reverb was $189.50 in 1968. Adjusted for inflation, that’s $1383. Why the increase in today’s price for a similar model?

    Several reasons, I suspect. The components used- especially transformers- aren’t produced in the same volume in the US today. OSHA regulations mandate more controls for things like glue, paint, lead solder, and ventilation. The workers in the US producing these custom models are paid better now, and get more benefits.
     
  15. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Afflicted

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    Don't forget the extensive marketing department.
     
  16. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I bought my handwired '64 Custom deluxe, not because it 'sounds better', but because I wanted an amp that could be repaired well into the future: I've been burned by amps that weren't able to be repaired (admittedly not a valve amp, but it was a present from my family, so I felt bad when it was beyond repair after only 5 years or so). Me or my wife could repair the '64 Custom, but surface mounted or multilayered PCBs devices unlikely.

    It might be different in the USA, but I don't think a used Mojotone (or other) kit amp would be worth even what the parts cost in the UK: People would expect a saving over 'new' and the fact that an amateur had built it might put people off as well: I might be a qualified engineer, but the buyer doesn't know me, or how thorough I am, so I can't blame them. Same reason why I gave up on an idea to build a Fender Champ clone and bought a cheap copy instead (the little Fame version).
     
  17. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    This has come up in some of the other reissue Fenders. It's a guard to keep people from sticking things too deep into the holes and getting zapped.
     
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  18. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    I like mine. I think that the stock speaker had some limitations though. A little blah sounding to me. I changed it out to a Weber hemp cone. Nicer texture.
     
  19. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Tele-Afflicted

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    Pretty sure the $2300 price is list, should be a lot less at stores.
    Al
     
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  20. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Nope - Fender doesn't do the list price thing anymore. The price on the site is the same as in stores since they also sell direct now.
     
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