Silverface Princeton Reverb vs Carr Sportsman

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by chamberpop, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. chamberpop

    chamberpop Tele-Meister

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    To anyone with experience with both:

    Considering selling a 1977 pre pull-boost Fender Princeton Reverb in 9.95 out of 10 condition to buy a used but almost perfect Carr Sportsman. PR in all original, super clean condition. Original Fender/Rola 10" speaker, but have been using an Emi Copperhead with the band... plenty loud at 4 on the Volume with that.

    Chance at a Carr Sportsman for just under $1400. Seems like an idealized PR with an actual usable master volume in their "Headroom" control. I use a pedal for most of my trem needs, so no biggie that the Sportsman doesn't have that effect.

    Seems like the Sportsman might be a more pulled-together, tighter and more versatile-at-any-volume version of a PR-meets-DR. But, my PR is all original and sounds killer. Seems that Princeton Reverbs are only going to increase in value. But a Sportsman around $1400 might not be hard to get rid of in a similar price range if it's not my jam. Also, a recent Sportsman probably won't need much work in the next decade or two, where an all-original '77 PR will definitely need caps in the future, sooner rather than later.

    Would also miss the courtesy outlet for the pedalboard in the PR, but...

    What would you do?

    Thx!
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  2. Mutato

    Mutato Tele-Meister

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    That's a tough one. I checked out the Carr amp. Super nice. I own a '77 PR (with Pull Boost), but with a cut baffle holding a 12" speaker. Love it.

    So needs and price. I got mine for $650 and probably spent another $100 for some light work on it (new plug and fixed reverb/new pan). $1400 for an amp is too high for me, but I'm sure it's an amazing amp.
     
  3. sidneystreet

    sidneystreet Tele-Afflicted

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    You summed it up pretty accurately. The Sportsman does a few things the Princeton Reverb won't do.

    But, I didn't hear any demos that had the gorgeous clean tone of a vintage Fender Princeton Reverb.

    If you have a great one, I wouldn't let it go.
     
  4. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yeah...these old worn out Fenders have lived their lives. You need a newer amp. I'll give you $682.50 for that worn out Fender?? Keep talking 'em up, right?
    Here is a Sportsman thatdid NOT bring that $1400....close but not quite. IT is hard to count on a newer amp bringing back your investment....but it would be better to put $1400 into one than to buy it new at over $2K, right?
    IT is hard to think that these old Fender will keep on going up, too.....the young guys are not married to vintage amps. These old amps don't have the MV"s, VVR, whatever in 'em.....right? Okay....$600.0 for the Prin Rev. I talked it down some more.... (;^)


    Good luck with the decision.
     
  5. chamberpop

    chamberpop Tele-Meister

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    Probably get the Sportsman and keep whichever amp works better for me and sell the other. Thanks for the responses!
     
  6. bo

    bo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Jeez, this is an excellent first world problem to have! Check the incredible build quality of the Carr. Your grandkids will love you for it ;)
     
  7. Coop47

    Coop47 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd stay with the PR if it sounds killer. But I'll take vintage over boutique any day.
     
  8. chamberpop

    chamberpop Tele-Meister

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    ... as are the subjects of most posts on online guitar forums :D
     
  9. RubyRae

    RubyRae Friend of Leo's

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    You will be happy with either amp. Carr seems to have a bit more mid range control.
    I guess it depends on if you want the classic or a little extra.
    I'd be curious to see if the Carr has a bit more clean headroom.
    That is my biggest issue with a PR. Good luck!
     
  10. chamberpop

    chamberpop Tele-Meister

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    Thx, man.
     
  11. chamberpop

    chamberpop Tele-Meister

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    Hi Wally,

    Ever played a Carr Sportsman?
     
  12. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    I wouldn't use an all original 77 PR for anything but a foot rest.
    A properly serviced one is another matter.
    Those Carr amps seem pretty darn nice too really comes down to what you want to do.
     
  13. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    The Carr is missing the way, way cool bias vary tremolo of the Princeton... Deal Breaker for me.
     
  14. valiant

    valiant Tele-Holic

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    Strange that Carr thought they'd do their take on a Princeton Reverb and hoped no one would notice the missing tremolo......when is a master volume not a master volume when it is a headroom control!
    Bias vary tremolo and a mid control that's a Vintage Sound.
     
  15. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Nope. I don't see any of those around here. The only big stores around sell to the masses. The price of that Carr is on a par or maybe even above the price of the old handwired Fenders....like the Prin Rev that you have and that may soon need a new home. I was simply making an absurd...at present time....offer on the amp that the Carr might be supplanting for you.
    But....if you do think the Carr is so much better, my offer might not be out of the realm of reality, eh? Old guys like me are fading, and the market for that old raggedy Fender is fading according to many. I'll up the offer to $725. ;)
    About the Carr....that faceplate might make it an easy choice for a hunter.....do they come with a shotgun? :lol:
    Seriously, though, I am sure the Carr is a good amp. I KNOW the Princeton Reverb is a great amp when they are in proper running condition. I have no need for a MV on such a small amp. Ex: I have two Rivera era Super Champs. They are in essence hot-rodded Princeton Reverb's without the trem. I keep the MV on 10. I also keep the other two gains on 10.:eek:
     
  16. chamberpop

    chamberpop Tele-Meister

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    Nothing raggedy about my '77 pre pull-boost PR. It looks like it was purchased new and sat in the back of someone's closet for almost 40 years. Had it gone over by the amp tech at Rumbleseat Music, and he says no cap bulges or leaks anywhere. It's quiet as a mouse at idle. But, thanks for the offer. :D
     
  17. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Chamber pop, you are taking my posts much too seriously. I apologize for my flippancy. In your position, there is no way I would turn loose of a clean Prin Rev in order to buy that Carr. If I wanted the Carr, I would have to find another way to get it.
    On the condition of the electrolytics in that Prin Rev amp, I don't wait until there are physical signs. There are sonic clues to e-cap weakness that are prevalent long before there physical signs, and those sonic clues occur long before any hum begins, too. Those cans have longer lifespan that individual caps, in general, but the caps in the cans get weak too.
    Enjoy the dilemma..
     
  18. chamberpop

    chamberpop Tele-Meister

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    Well, I did put in the smiley face...

    Look, I have been a Fender player my entire life. I've had BFPRs, BFDRs, PR IIs (twice). I know the sound, the aesthetics, the lore, the history and how they compare to some of the junk made nowadays. I learned on my grandfather's 1956 Telecaster through his tweed Tremolux (both of which I still have). I get the attraction, and the fact that this stuff is desirable and valuable and not really made anymore. I have to take this "all us old guys who value vintage gear are gonna die and your old Fenders will then only be worth two bucks" narrative with a chuckle. That's not what's gonna happen. The original Fender stuff will always be just that, and will become more desirable as less of them survive. Look as CBS-era stuff now getting higher and higher prices. Guitarists are a nostalgic bunch in general. And the value and legend of original gear from the heyday of the most iconic manufacturer of electric instruments in the world gets passed on from generation to generation. Barring national economic disaster, I'm betting the over on the value of these things holding steady or climbing.

    And... you've never even played the Carr. How do you know someone (maybe even you!) might not like it even better than a PR? And, from all accounts, Steve's amps are hand-wired masterpieces of bullet-proof beauty. Of course, all of this is personal, so to each his own.

    No apologies necessary to me. You are a Fender homer, and that's where you're coming from. I know because I am, too. Takes one to know one.
     
  19. chamberpop

    chamberpop Tele-Meister

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    Got the Sportsman. Louder than the SFPR for sure. Sounds bigger, and the bass can get much fatter with less flub than the PR. More headroom if you need it, depending on how you have it set up. More versatile (obviously).

    But... I'm not used to the snappiness and immediate response of the solid state rectifier and whatever else Steve designs into his amps that make them that way. My PR is like an old pair of jeans you've had for a long time. Guess I'm just more used to the forgiving nature of it. Gonna have to play them next to each other for a few days and make a decision. As stated, nice problem...
     
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