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Fender Princeton '65 or '68?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Rick_M80, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. ampsplus

    ampsplus TDPRI Member

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    As an amp tech, I work on both of these amps. The '65 is superior to the '68. The '68 lacks high end, and is too bassy. Reworking the tone circuits, reducing the signal capacitor values to allow less bottom end, and changing the speaker to the Eminence Alessandro 10 improves a lot. Take the '65 instead. Even put the Alessandro into it, makes a big difference. Another mod for both is make the baffle hthinner and allow it to float properly, remove the 2 bottom brackets and make the baffle no thicker that 1/2". Seems like a lot of work, but it is worth making the amp more "airy".
     
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  2. skaz

    skaz TDPRI Member

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    ‘65 PRRI all day long. ‘68 can get very muddy and you can just rely on your favorite dirt pedals with the ‘65 for OD. It takes pedals very well. Also, a speaker swap in the ‘65 makes a good amp great. Get an Alessandro G10-SC64 for $85 new and it will make your PRRI sound like a vintage amp. It’s amazing how good it is.
     
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  3. Clickfiend

    Clickfiend TDPRI Member

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    I demoed stock PRRI’s (‘65, ‘68) in the store. Finally ended up getting the limited edition ‘65 in tweed with a Celestion G12-65. It’s got awesome cleans, sounds great below 4 and amazing above it. I don’t really get any breakup at home volumes but it takes pedals beautifully. I love this amp. I also demoed the Tone Master Deluxe Reverb. You might want to check those out. I probably would have gotten one if I hadn’t been GAS’ing for years for a Princeton.
     
  4. GearGeek01

    GearGeek01 Tele-Meister

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    My first impression/thought is (I assume you are talking about the new reissues, both years?):

    >> Do you want to spend +/- $1,000 on a kind of low-powered amp with Fender's name on it that is made in America (the '65) (with a PCB)

    -- or --

    >> Do you want to spend +/- $1,000 on a kind of low-powered amp with Fender's name on it that is made in Mexico (the '68) (with a PCB)

    I think they do sound good, anytime I've plugged in at a store to either I like what I hear. Maybe if I found either used or maybe on a scratch and dent sale... the Princeton is just the right size for my use these days, I have several 1x10" or 1x12" combos... so far Mesa/Boogie, Vox and Orange brands. Each have their own voice. The Fender amps have a "voice" as well. Something I'd like to "add to the flock" so to speak.

    For now, I can't get my head around +/- $1,000 for the Mexico version... IMHO, with the cost of labor difference, I think the MIM version should be more like $500. I paid $800 for the Orange Rocker 15, and $500 used for a Mesa/Boogie Subway Rocket Reverb... the $500 for a slightly and gently used Vox AC-15C1 (in elegant purple tolex, LOL). So I am in the "under $1,000 amp club"... I just have to watch how I spend these days.
     
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  5. 100LL

    100LL Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Is the '64 PRRI the same circuit as a '65? I'm thinking yes, but Fender presumably uses the '64 moniker to differentiate for the hand-wired version?
     
  6. Wiley

    Wiley TDPRI Member

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    I went with the 65 RI with the 12" inch celestion alnico and this may not be a purist's preference but the sound has depth and the high end just sings.
     
  7. 100LL

    100LL Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Did you get the sweetwater special issue? That looks like a nice exclusive...and there's a demo for sale at about a $100 discount right now o_O
     
  8. Wiley

    Wiley TDPRI Member

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    No, I looked at their tweed with I believe a Ragin Cajun but I found a listing on Reverb by a small music store in Show Low, AZ that had a "knotty pine" new with the Celestion alnico cream. It must have been sitting there a few years and not moving. I couldn't resist.
     
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  9. Bluey

    Bluey Tele-Meister

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    Glad you found what "YOU" like.
    FWIW. I prefered the 68 myself & I don't buy into the bull dust about USA v Mexico Fender amps. With same components & the factories only 70miles appart in California I feel it's more a smart business tax decision. Something a company will never advertise so enter the diversion from the fact?
     
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  10. Fmalitz

    Fmalitz TDPRI Member

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    The 65 and 68 cannot possibly have identical loudspeakers. Even if they were the same model, guitar speakers are not high-quality drivers and vary from sample to sample. It’s a good idea indeed to judge each amp Personally. Incidentally, there’s also a small difference in break-in, new versus old.
     
  11. Scott Bennett

    Scott Bennett Tele-Meister

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    I bought the '65 PRRI Tweed with the 12" Cannabis Rex from Sweetwater. It's plenty loud enough to rehearse and gig with a loud 5 piece band in small bars and clubs un-mic'ed. I set the volume between 3.5 and 4 depending on the room and use a Wampler Plexi Drive or Velvet Fuzz for dirt.

    The other guys in the band who know nothing about gear and everything about tone say that my sound has never been better. It's a no-brainer keeper for me!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Electric Warrior

    Electric Warrior Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I'm a basement solo player so ymmv. Love my 65 tweed w/ 12" G12-65. On a whim, I sat down with it and bought it on the spot. I was not even looking buy an amp but it was a sound that I loved and off I went. I've let every other amp go, which included some good stuff. I can go from nice mellow jazz sounds to the Circle Jerks with a LP Junior, OD, and this amp,, so it is plenty versatile to me. I've been running it through a Marshall 1965b for extra fun. I have sat down with the 68 a couple of times; it didn't move me, but obviously it moves others.

    So really I encourage you to try stuff out first, if you can. Who knows what the sound in your head is but you?
     
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  13. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Meister

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    I played both and ended up buying the Fender 65 Princeton Reissue because I felt it was more versatile and offered a wider range of sounds between clean and dirty. Has a nice dirty sound when cranked and also works well when switching between clean and an overdrive pedal.
     
  14. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe TDPRI Member

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    I have a 68 PRRI that I like a lot. It has a JBL in it that weighs a ton but I can’t remember the speaker model. I’m liking it recently because I’m working on octaves like Wes Montgomery and the deep sound is great ... but when I’m just strumming along to the radio I sometimes use an EHX knockout pedal to tame the bass a bit and get some jangle in there ... I use an older Epiphone Dot as my guitar if that helps.
     
  15. SundanceSanDiego

    SundanceSanDiego TDPRI Member

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    Used a '68 Princeton Reverb for almost a year before tiring of it's overly dark and woody tone - yes it can minimized by high treble/low bass settings but IMO it dominated more of the guitar's inherent tone than I wanted...tended to make my guitars all sound the same. Bought a '65 Limited Edition w/15W and a 12" Alnico Blue and find it has all the lovely Fender tones and is much more flexible and pedal friendly. My PRS 408, Custom 22 Piezo, and Telecaster Cabronita all sound like very different instruments through it and seems to bring out the best, most genuine character/tone of each.

    '68 is a great low-volume amp, but I found even the higher watt/larger speaker '65 Limited Edition (Chilewich Blue) to be almost as good, very usable at Volume '5' in the garage late at night.
     
  16. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Afflicted

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    Seems like we had a similar thread in the last few months so I'm repeating myself here. Because I love black face cleans, I went with a '65 PRRI special edition. A lot of posters here didn't notice that you're in Ireland so that particular amp is probably not available to you. I got my tweed covered amp from Sweetwater. It's 15 watts and 12 inch speaker. As many have mentioned, the speaker makes a big difference. Most of the substitutions mentioned here have been American speakers, so again, not an option for you. After trying a few speakers, I took the leap and got a Celestion 12" alnico cream. It's 90 watt speaker that puts out 100db, so TONS of headroom. And the sound is glorious. That speaker in that amp only starts to break up past 5 and is too loud for my hearing. It's actually nearing the sound level of my Deluxe Reverb. A good OD pedal is definitely a must. If classic Princeton Reverbs with 10" speakers are all that is available to you over there, people have been swapping out the baffle and putting 12 inchers in that amp for years. Also, I've heard reports that the 10" Celestion Gold is a great match for that amp. Hope this helps. -TP
     
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  17. Bikersluggo

    Bikersluggo Tele-Holic

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    I ended up getting a '68 because I found a good deal on a used one and hadn't really done my research very well. It had way too much bass for me. I ended up swapping most of the components to switch it over to '65 spec and I put the Allesandro GA10-SC64 spreaker in it and I really like it now.
     
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