What would you do with this Princeton amp?

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

  1. Intubator

    Intubator Tele-Meister

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    Hey folks, A few weeks ago I picked up this '58 Princeton amp and as you can see there are some issues. I was planning on having it recovered (original tweed was stripped by a previous owner...) but I kinda like the way it looks bare vs recovering it. There is a lot of residue glue still on it that would need to be sanded off, but I don't think that's too much of a big deal. Here's a list of the good and bad about it for consideration:

    The Good:
    -Original chassis, transformers, tube sockets, wiring, pots, etc...
    -i just replaced all the filter electrolytics with F&T's, and a three prong cord, amp is quiet and sounds good.
    -Hardware is all original and there except for two of the speaker retaining bolts (different diameter for some reason...)
    -Original handle (I think, based on photos of other original '58's I've seen)
    -The cab looks to be original to the chassis and is in good solid condition
    -The model label is in pretty good condition.

    The Bad:
    -Tweed stripped off
    -I don't think the speaker is original
    -Speaker baffle looks to be original but has modern reproduction cloth on it
    -Baffle was cut to accomodate a "10 speaker (I think, not exactly sure when they went to 10" from 8"..)
    -The back panels are gone, I've got some mojo tone replacements coming without the tweed applied If I go the route of not having the amp re-tweeded.

    If it were you what would you do with this at this point? I'm really leaning toward no covering, finding a late 50's 10PQ or R and an original period correct grill cloth and calling it a day.


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  2. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

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    I'd build my own replacement back panels. I'd re-tweed everything and spray it. Install a handle and feet. I'd install a G10C/S speaker. Service it. Add switchable negative feedback. Then enjoy it for many years.
     
  3. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I would restore it to within an inch of it's life and then enjoy it:)
     
  4. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Tele-Meister

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    It's completely thrashed, ship to me for proper disposal.
     
  5. Jeru

    Jeru Tele-Holic

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    If it were you what would you do with this at this point? I'm really leaning toward no covering, finding a late 50's 10PQ or R and an original period correct grill cloth and calling it a day.

    This is EXACTLY what I would do.
     
  6. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I would never strip the tweed off an old amp like that without very very good reason, but since it’s already off, I’m in the “sand the pine and make it purty” camp. I stripped the tolex off my PRII, sanded the pine, and put a light finish on it, and it’s spectacular.
     
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  7. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'd put it back together sell it on Reverb. Let someone else worry about it. I'd build at least four 5F2 based Morpheus types with the proceeds.

    Morpheus types get a 10" Copperhead. They'll eat that thing for lunch...
     
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  8. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

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    Restore it and give it to me. ;)
     
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  9. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I think I like your plan, put a 10 in it and play it.
     
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  10. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's

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    Externally, re-tweed vs. bare wood is sixes. If you want to resell it some day, it *might* be easier if you re-tweed. I say 'easier', not more lucrative; brand new tweed isn't gonna make it 'more original', and without the speaker, baffle, grill cloth it's not gonna be 'collectible.' I could see bare, with new oxblood cloth, if you're not gonna bang up the wood -- that's as 'original' and authentic as you're gonna get, and wouldn't offend anyone who loves old amps. I might leave it bare in that case and not re-finish the wood.

    Next: I'm not sure. Did the 5f2a ever go to 10"? The 6G10 version they called a Harvard (and barely ever built) was 10" in any case. Are you gonna run a 10"? The 6G10 makes it legit even if 'real' Princetons were all 8s, and 10 sounds good in these amps.

    Your quest for an original speaker is worthy, and if you find one that sounds good, go for it. In the meantime Keith's suggestion is excellent, or the Weber 10A125 is an excellent modern version of a Chicago Jensen.
     
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  11. Intubator

    Intubator Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the input kiethb7. Any reason not to go with the MojoTone panels? I thought about buidling them myself as well initially...
     
  12. Intubator

    Intubator Tele-Meister

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    LOL!!
     
  13. Intubator

    Intubator Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, I've been running the Weber i mentioned in it for the last few weeks and it does just sound great in it. It's a 30 W version with no dope, breaks up nicely and has yet to be fully broken in so may get better over time. Your right about originality, shame the original tweed is gone but I guess it may give me the opportunity for a winter project. Not that I don't already have enough.... Thanks for the input King Fan!
     
  14. Intubator

    Intubator Tele-Meister

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    Interesting, I'll have to look into that circuit. Thanks for the heads up!
     
  15. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

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    Cool score. I'd take the path of least resistance and restore it with a decent speaker. Unlike most posters, a retweed usually looks fake to me. The raw wood is fine though you might use some linseed oil, Tung oil or something similar to seal it. This would also be an argument for retweed. I guess I prefer look of frayed tweed and just can't stand the look of overly lacquered tweed that recovered tweed amps seem to veer towards. I would rather have the road rash, but I am that kind of collector. I like mongrels and damaged beauties. Well done recaps and refrets are welcome.
     
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  16. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think i would put that cabinet in the closet, then build a new head-only cab, cover it with tweedand try to make it factory-original as possible.
     
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  17. Intubator

    Intubator Tele-Meister

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    I thought about doing something like this by just picking up an already made cab with a 10" baffle and just using it with the chassis and a decent speaker to enjoy it while the cab gets recovered professionally by someone like Gregg Hopkins. We'll see...
     
  18. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Makes no sense to re-tweed it, buyers of vintage gear want it as close to original as possible and a re-tweed will not bring much value back to it. Sand it, put a few coats of gunstock oil on it and show it proudly.
     
  19. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    i would play it.
     
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  20. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Gregg Hopkins currently has my Princeton, the one in my avatar photo here. I would for sure, send it to Gregg, but if you pack it for Gregg do not use peanuts. He did a gorgeous clean up of my Princeton, he cleaned the grille cloth at a local carwash....I know folks that think Gregg is THE cabinet guy....good luck with your new prize whichever way you choose to go.....enjoy for many moons!! I have a beautiful pair of original 1961 Jensen P10Q's, they came out of a 1961 Super, one is my Clark Harvard and the other is in my Princeton. They do sound wonderful....
    61_P10Q(2)-_BasketsTop-1.jpg



    RJ
     
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