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Princeton Reverb RI vs. Blues Jr

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by rippingrudy, May 2, 2010.

  1. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a '68 Deluxe Reverb (since about 1997) and a 1999 Blues Jr. (got it used in 2001) and I just love them both, andI bet I'd feel the same about a Princeton Reverb too!

    Both of my Fenders have served me well for a lot of country, blues and classic rock gigs... I know they are different sounding amps but I seem to be able to make the BJ sound a lot like the Deluxe (as I never really "open up" the Deluxe, its never past 4, so it stays clean, which is what I want) The BJ does not have quite the sparkle or presence or depth of Reverb as the DR, but I can still run it very clean, still with the big Fender Smiley Face EQ and with the Reverb cranked it is about the same as the DR Reverb on 3 (I have a Neo Emi 'Lil Texas speaker in the BJ, which helps with headroom) So I use the BJ for most of my gigs (mostly small/ medium rooms) mainly because it is smaller, lighter, its got a very warm clean tone good foundation tone for anything I play, and likes my OD pedals just fine! Love the BJ, Love the DR, Know I'd love a Princeton!

    FENDERFENDERFENDERFENDERFENDER Amps!
     
    Luthier Vandros likes this.
  2. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    My post selling the BJr and buying PRRI is not the whole story. I also bought a Mesa Express 5:50 so in reality I replaced the BJr with the Mesa, and got the PRRI as a different amp. And I will say for me the Mesa blows away the BJr (big surprise huh).
     
  3. Tele-Champ

    Tele-Champ Tele-Holic

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    Excellent observations on picking out the type of amp for the tone/sound you want.
     
  4. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    I sold my BJr to finance a VoxAC15C1. I already had a Princeton. Occasionally, I do miss the BJr. but only in perspective to the other amps. It has an interesting midrange tone that is soulful, but as a single amp, I would not have enjoyed that tone all the time.
     
  5. still_fiddlin

    still_fiddlin Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I've been practicing once/week for about 2 years on a Blues Jr, but bought a PRRI a year and a half ago after trying both out in a store (and having several hours logged on a Jr.). There's a big difference. The Jr. is a good gigging amp, and as many threads have pointed out, probably nobody in the audience will know or care which you have. But, it's just not as "interesting" a sound, and, for me, just another amp, while the PRRI is always a pleasure to plug in to and play.
     
  6. Smoky Booroo

    Smoky Booroo Tele-Meister

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    I love my PRRI. I got a lopoline head and I can go between a 10" and a 12" cab when I want. I like the versatility! My Bjr was fine but I remember posting about this same decision and everyone said I wouldn't regret it... and I haven't. The other piece of advice I didn't take was selling my DRRI to help finance a Victoria... to be continued.
     
  7. Little Ricky

    Little Ricky Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    What would those be?

    I would love a BJ with four EL84s - not a PV C30 or DB, which have a different tone character than the BJ.
    I'm hoping the answer is not boutique ala Dr. Z

    Thanks.
     
  8. StratQuebec

    StratQuebec TDPRI Member

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    Interesting thread.
    I'm (as usual) going the opposite way as everyone does. I have a PRRI which I just love stock. I use it exclusively at home for my home recordings and it's a real pure Fender creamy warm sounding amp. (Soon the TO20, a weber copper cap and JJ 6v6s should put in)

    I don't like it when pushed hard otoh. Way too loud. Sounds good with humbuckers but not really good with my strat with the Hot Noiseless (which I just love, it's my main axe). And it don't takes pedals well, at least, the Bad Monkey and the MXR Distortion III (YMMV). The moment I put a pedal in front of it, I loose 50% of my tone. This amp likes a guitar and a good cord. Period. And that's a tone coming from the heaven. I'm sure God himself plays a PRRI.

    But I need some good tube distortion at low volume and I like a lot what I hear in this demo. Kind of Marshallish tone. Just great. link. So the BJ III is on my list now. I think that a master volume amp is a tool I need and that will probably be the BJ III, not an original BJ because I don't have too much time to spent on mods.

    So the PRRI for the clean, the BJ III for the rest.
     
  9. Billm

    Billm RIP

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    The BJr III still has the same wimpy coupling caps and tone stack as the previous Blues Junior. Online recordings aren't the same thing as being there in the room with it. It may sound thin, especially when compared to your PRRI, but the cure is simple.
     
  10. StratQuebec

    StratQuebec TDPRI Member

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    Then I may consider the previous BJ as well Bill!
     
  11. smokerjoe34

    smokerjoe34 Tele-Holic

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    The Princeton Reverb RI is a much better sounding amp hands down !! I just don't like EL-84 tubes for tone at all !!
     
  12. WashParkBob

    WashParkBob TDPRI Member

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    I've tried a couple Princetons and they seem to break up at a pretty low volume. My BJ is not a perfect amp but it is light for gigs and seems to have more headroom.
     
  13. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm surprised that more hasn't been made of the tubes. I've got a BJ and a DRRI so I'm in the same ballpark as you. The BJ is a totally different amp with its EL84 tubes than the flagship Fender amps that are known for 6V6 goodness. No matter what kind of speaker you put in the BJ, its always gonna sound like a Blues Jr, and will always just miss that whole "Fender vibe" that the other amps already have.

    If you aren't getting a BJ specifically to mod it than the fun quotient of that amp is greatly reduced. You can own a Princeton for years and never want to crack it open to look inside and you'd still be happy. But a Blues Jr. always seems to be almost perfect, it just needs a new (fill in the blank).

    And I don't find the BJ, with its cheap components and tubes attached directly to a printed circuit board to be a very durable amp. If you can get it for cheap, its a decent amp that wants to be better. To me, the BJ was a half baked idea, the PR is perfect just the way it is.

    I'm glad I have my BJ, I like all the stuff I did to it and will keep it for the long haul. But I don't play it very much at all and I'm thinking about building a whole new Hoffman turret board circuit for it someday to see how that sounds if I ever arrive at a place where I've got all the spare parts I need onhand. It's almost perfect.
     
  14. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    Not to stir up the pot, but one might be totally surprised by the difference in sound between an EL84 and a 6V6. Ready for the surprise, there is really very little difference, it's more the tone stack/design of the BJ compared to the PR than it is tubes. How can I say that, well there are a lot of comparisons on-line, videos etc. How I know first hand has I owned a couple of Mesa Blue Angel's, which you can switch on the fly between tubes (EL84/6V6) or use both at the same time. Yes there is a difference but if one wasn't really listening/paying attention, I doubt you'd even notice.

    Now to the OP's question - I had a USA Pro Jr (tweed with an blue alnico speaker), the smaller brother of the BJ which many like better than the BJ. It was a fun amp, had a very nasty, breaking up tone to it. More in the Marshall camp than in the Fender camp no doubt. I also have a late 70's PR. Side by side the PR blew away the PJ, so out the door it went... no comparison in tone, none. If you can afford the higher cost of the PR, get it!
     
  15. markeyd123

    markeyd123 Tele-Meister

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    I have also found that the 68 Custom Princeton Reverb RI broke up in an unpleasing way at high volumes with low tones especially. It would fart out or flap . . . putting in a Weber speaker with a bigger magnet fixed this problem. Now (also with Tung-Sol tubes) when I use an overdrive pedal or turn the volume up it breaks up the way it's supposed to. I liked the sound of the stock speaker, but just not at higher volumes, and by that I mean past 3.5 or 4 or so.
     
  16. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    I've got a Jupiter in mine.. love it!
     
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