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PRRI settings from Jim Campilongo video

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by 100LL, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. 100LL

    100LL Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    At minute 6:00 Jim C talks about his settings he typically uses on his PRRI


    He states he runs the volume at 10. I assume he just turns down his Tele accordingly.

    Being new to the electric world and having my rig (which consists of a PRRI) only a week or so, I'll admit confusion here.
    Why does he run it like that, and is that normal? Also, my PRRI isn't as quiet as his at 10. Maybe it's the recording of the video. Please help because I'm stumped and need to learn how to run electrics.
     
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  2. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    It's not "normal" to run it like that, but you can't argue with his results!

    Also, if you go to his website, there is a gear section, where he talks about HIS PERSONAL Princeton Reverbs, and how they are biased hotter and have different speakers in them than the reissues do... as well as NOS tubes. The speaker makes a HUGE difference in this amp, I know from experience.

    From what I have gathered over the years, most people run their PRRIs at 4-5 if their location allows that volume. I run mine at home on 3-4. I would say the volume at 3-5 is "normal" for these amps, as a general statement.

    As for bass and treble, that's totally to taste.... I could never run my bass on 10 for example, because my PRRI has a 12" speaker in it, and it has a lot of bass frequencies already. But when I had a stock PRRI, with the stock C10R speaker, I DID run the bass at 10... but you can't turn it up that loud because the speaker starts "farting out" because it can't handle the bass frequencies.

    Set your amps controls with your ears, not your eyes. I think a good starting point is 4-4-4, volume-treble-bass.... then adjust from there until you hear what you want to hear.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
  3. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, it depends on how the amp is configured. My PRRI has a Weber 10F150 speaker and a Heyboer TO20 OT, and the bass sound is huge as a result. I've never played mine past 5 on the volume control, and most rooms I have the bass at 3 and it still wants to jump off the chair.

    For an amp that's supposed to be 15-18 watts, the PRRI is a beast.
     
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  4. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    I'd say that running the Princeton on 10 and turning down the guitar's volume is normal for many folks. It opens up a different, perhaps wider, range of tone and lets you move from clean to overdrive with a twist of a knob and picking dynamics.
     
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  5. 100LL

    100LL Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I should mention mine is less than a year old and the guy who bought it new put in a Gold Celestion G10. He did give me the original Jensen in the sale. He only used it for some recordings.

    It looks to be otherwise stock and quite lightly used. If I crank the volume all the way up there's certainly some noise coming out which is worsened if the reverb is in. And I have to turn the guitar way down for it to be tolerable in the house.

    Obviously Jim is a professional and knows what he's doing...but it just struck me as an odd way to play clean tones. maybe it's the way he has them set up with tubes/bias/speakers like ruger9 mentions.
     
  6. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Unless he's started dyeing his hair, this must be an older video. Last time I saw him, he was fully gray. Just saying, so things may or may not be current.
     
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  7. caspersvapors

    caspersvapors Tele-Meister

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    These settings like that were actually pretty common for guys who played Fenders in the pre-pedal era.

    Jim definitely adjusts the tone and volume controls accordingly. Those settings, especially the volume on 10, and treble up, provide the widest palate of sounds to work with.
    Jim doesnt really use many pedals and is relying on the amp for drive, so he dials his guitar volume down for clean and turns it up for amp drive.
     
  8. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Friend of Leo's

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    It may be worth reminding us all that Campilongo *turns the guitar down*. The focus seems to be on him cranking the amp to *10*. I doubt he runs the guitar all the way up, EVER. His sound is way too clean for that. Unless you have a treble-bleed circuit, turning down the Tele's volume control also rolls off a bunch of ice-pick. That and running the bass high, plus cranking the volume, gives you an almost Les Paul lead tone, complete with endless sustain, when the guitar volume is maxed out.
     
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  9. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    How are we at a point where this is even remotely controversial that Campilongo does this?

    Of course he does this, and if you spend enough time listening to him you know he doesn't use pedals and if you listen to his songs he goes back and forth between heavy amounts of drive & clean constantly in the songs by rolling the volume up and down.

    You can't crank your amp up to 10 in all situations, but this technique is something everyone should be trying!

    FWIW my guitar teacher took lessons with him.. so maybe I'm biased by that chain of influence. That lesson has obviously been passed down.

    I don't put a clean amp on 10 like this when I practice cause its too loud in my practice space but I don't run my volume on 10 for a clean sound basically ever.. 10 on the guitar volume knob is always some amount of "overdrive".

    The thing with this is at least for me once I got this lesson into my thick skull I started realizing overdrive pedals really pale in comparison.

    He is touching the volume knob very frequently in the video shared by the OP.
     
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  10. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The Celestion Vintage 10 (60-65 watts) that he uses is THE best speaker in a PR , according to Jim
    and I.

    I had one From a Velocette sitting on a shelf And sold it to a bandmate who put it in his early 70’s PR and - boom.


    Best all around tone/presence/feel/amount of headroom.

    YMMV
     
  11. cravenmonket

    cravenmonket Tele-Holic

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    Agreed. When I do this, I get a fatter, thicker, warmer tone, and it's fun to shake the walls at the spin of knob. The PRRI is a loud amp for 15W!

    Unfortunately it is pretty noisy too when it's dimed, and I get fatigue pretty quickly with that airy/hissy sound behind everything I'm doing. Rolling back the guitar volume doesn't address the background hum/hiss/buzz; it's always there.

    I think I'm in the minority actually, because I prefer the way my PRRI* sounds with the volume relatively low. I keep it around 4, sit quite close when I'm practicing, and I hear no noise at all - it's totally quiet and crystal clear. And I spend most of my time on the neck pickup, so it's warm and full-sounding without needing to crank the tubes up to max.

    *Has a 12" Jensen onboard, so I get plenty of lower mid-range at low volumes.
     
  12. Jack Clayton

    Jack Clayton Tele-Holic

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    Ten seems a bit much to me, but I've definitely started dialing my Princeton higher when I play it out. With no band behind me, I typically set it around 5 or 6 and then pull my guitar volume back to compensate.

    The thing you should take away from this video is that you don't set your amp volume with the guitar all the way up. You set your guitar volume at 5 or 6, somewhere that leaves you plenty of room in both directions, and then you set your amp to that.

    That allows you to pull back on your volume, or push your amp into breakup territory, all with your pinky.
     
  13. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If you watch him he has an incredibly light touch and I’d guess very light strings. He also has amazing control.

    Him running his PR on 10 with Bass on 10 is not applicable to all.
     
  14. Jack Clayton

    Jack Clayton Tele-Holic

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    Some players also set their pickups very low to keep the magnets from interfering with string resonance. I cant tell from the video whether he's done that or not, but it could account for some of it as well.
     
  15. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    If I were me, I'd get that Princeton to an amp tech to de-hiss it. No reason to tolerate noise, I say.
     
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  16. speedy mcfeely

    speedy mcfeely Tele-Holic

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    Jim has a 59 tele with the stock pickups. Those have aged and “lost a step”. So if he turns down and gooses the amp he gets a very sweet sound. Also it’s got to be said; he chooses his amps because they sound right to him. He doesn’t just have random Princetons. Vintage amps vary quite a bit. My advice to you would be to find your sound by experimenting. Don’t follow accepted norms. Tread your path wherever it takes you. Jim did.
     
  17. hepular

    hepular Tele-Meister

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    wasn't this video about the reissues?
     
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  18. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Yes, the tones in this video come exclusively from a PRRI. Jim plays vintage PRs on most of his albums, and live... until recently when he started using a 68RI on the "Dream Dictionary" and I believe, live, albums.
     
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  19. cravenmonket

    cravenmonket Tele-Holic

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    Can such an operation be performed? My assumption is that all amps - especially the tubular variety - will get a little hissy/airy when they're cranked to the max. I've only had it six months and I'm still breaking it in. It's not noisy at all at lower volumes.

    Are you suggesting I could have a hiss-free machine if some magic-fingered valve-wizard had a peek under the hood? Tell me more!
     
  20. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    Here's my semi-informed view. The subject matter experts will add to this or correct me.

    Tube amps are not especially prone to hiss. Some tube guitar amps are dead quiet and audiophiles worship their high end, quiet, tube stereo amps. The amount of noise in a circuit comes down to the design, components, quality of build, and amount of gain that amplifies everything, including noise.

    Some components add a bit of noise simply because of their design or composition and some get noiser over time. Carbon composition resistors can introduce very slight white noise (hiss) and get worse as they age. For hum, hiss, and noise, the routing of wiring, light corrosion of tube socket contacts, etc., matters. Several sources of very slight noise can all add up to noticable noise after the gain stages emphasize it.I don't know what noise sources might be specific to the PRRI, but a PR shouldn't be an inherently noisy circuit if it's built right.

    If I were me, I'd swap the V1, V2, and V3 tubes with my spares to see if noise dropped. I'd also spray tube pins *lightly* with Deoxit and push them in and out of the sockets a couple of times. After that, I'd drop some money for a hour or two of bench time with an amp tech who's known to be good with BF Fenders.

    YMMV, of course, per your time zone, weather, existential angst, and other variables.
     
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