Fender princeton reverb vintage vs. ri??

Guitar Tricks Forum > Gear Discussion > Fender princeton reverb vintage vs. ri??

stratmanjimbo

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Joined: 02/23/12

Posts: 206

I've been pining for a nice mid 60s Fender Princeton Reverb amp but the expected prices are nearing the equivalent weight in gold!! Upwards of $4,000.00 for a practice amp that originally sold for about 1% that amount 53 years ago!! I have been reading and hearing some good things about the Fender reissue version.....especially with some upgraded speaker/tubes but I was hoping someone could weigh in. Jim

#1

I've been pining for a nice mid 60s Fender Princeton Reverb amp but the expected prices are nearing the equivalent weight in gold!! Upwards of $4,000.00 for a practice amp that originally sold for about 1% that amount 53 years ago!! I have been reading and hearing some good things about the Fender reissue version.....especially with some upgraded speaker/tubes but I was hoping someone could weigh in. Jim

fuzzb0x

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Joined: 04/02/13

Posts: 384

The originals would have been point to point wired while the reissues will used a printed circuit board, I've seen inside a few of the more recent Fender reissues and whilst they do sound nice, inside they are using much cheaper components than the originals had, this may not matter to you but if something does go wrong it may not be as easy to fix as an amp that was point to point wired.

One option is to build your own, Mojotone make a really good kit that is much closer to the original.

https://www.mojotone.com/kits/BlackfaceAmpKits_x/Mojotone-Blackface-Princeton-Reverb-Style-Amp-Kit_2

I've built a few amps myself and as long as you take your time they are not too difficult and you end up with a lot more amp for your money.

#2

The originals would have been point to point wired while the reissues will used a printed circuit board, I've seen inside a few of the more recent Fender reissues and whilst they do sound nice, inside they are using much cheaper components than the originals had, this may not matter to you but if something does go wrong it may not be as easy to fix as an amp that was point to point wired.

One option is to build your own, Mojotone make a really good kit that is much closer to the original.

https://www.mojotone.com/kits/BlackfaceAmpKits_x/Mojotone-Blackface-Princeton-Reverb-Style-Amp-Kit_2

I've built a few amps myself and as long as you take your time they are not too difficult and you end up with a lot more amp for your money.

stratmanjimbo

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Joined: 02/23/12

Posts: 206

That's certainly a great concept I hadn't considered.........thanks, fuzzbox!! Cracks me up though.......they charge so much for a reissue amp and most likely the separate components are the least costly items driving their high prices....yet Fender still gets cheap on including superior parts?? I've seen where people buy these and immediately install Weber 10" speakers and other electronic items to improve the overall tone.........seems crazy cheap and discouraging to me!! Jim C.

#3

That's certainly a great concept I hadn't considered.........thanks, fuzzbox!! Cracks me up though.......they charge so much for a reissue amp and most likely the separate components are the least costly items driving their high prices....yet Fender still gets cheap on including superior parts?? I've seen where people buy these and immediately install Weber 10" speakers and other electronic items to improve the overall tone.........seems crazy cheap and discouraging to me!! Jim C.

fuzzb0x

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Joined: 04/02/13

Posts: 384

I agree completely, it's a shame they don't build the reissues with more attention to detail, I'd been craving a Marshall JTM45 for a long time but the originals were well out of my budget then Marshall released the reissues and even though they sounded good they didn't have that true vintage tone I was looking for and I was not impressed with the build quality in relation to the price tag that came with the amp so I decided to go down the build it myself route.

I ended up with an amp much closer in spec to the originals all point to point wireing and at half the price of the reissues, it's sounds incredible and I get compliments every time I play it live with my band, I couldn't be happier plus I really enjoyed the whole amp building process and have done a few more since.

There's not much more satisfying than plugging into an amp you built yourself

#4

I agree completely, it's a shame they don't build the reissues with more attention to detail, I'd been craving a Marshall JTM45 for a long time but the originals were well out of my budget then Marshall released the reissues and even though they sounded good they didn't have that true vintage tone I was looking for and I was not impressed with the build quality in relation to the price tag that came with the amp so I decided to go down the build it myself route.

I ended up with an amp much closer in spec to the originals all point to point wireing and at half the price of the reissues, it's sounds incredible and I get compliments every time I play it live with my band, I couldn't be happier plus I really enjoyed the whole amp building process and have done a few more since.

There's not much more satisfying than plugging into an amp you built yourself

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 5617

Originally Posted by: fuzzb0x
I'd been craving a Marshall JTM45 ...[/p]

so I decided to go down the build it myself route.

Great story! Thanks for mentioning this. What was the most challenging part?

Originally Posted by: fuzzb0x

There's not much more satisfying than plugging into an amp you built yourself

I can see how satisfying that would be. Good for you!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#5

Originally Posted by: fuzzb0x
I'd been craving a Marshall JTM45 ...[/p]

so I decided to go down the build it myself route.

Great story! Thanks for mentioning this. What was the most challenging part?

Originally Posted by: fuzzb0x

There's not much more satisfying than plugging into an amp you built yourself

I can see how satisfying that would be. Good for you!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

fuzzb0x

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Joined: 04/02/13

Posts: 384

Thanks Chris,

The most challenging part was getting the layout correct in terms of keeping all wires as short as possible to reduce any chance of noise from the amp and making sure all the wiring was nice and neat. I'd already read a few books about amplifier design and construction so I knew a few tips about lead dress in amps and reducing noise from the tube filament heaters etc... And to bring the amp up in power slowly for the first time using a Variac not only for safety reasons but also to allow the electrolytic capacitors time to charge and form properly the first time.

The thought of building an amp was a bit daunting at first but as long as you take your time and follow the wiring diagram and schematic closely and double check everything as you go it's really not as hard as first thought and plugging a guitar into it for the first time was great fun!!!

#6

Thanks Chris,

The most challenging part was getting the layout correct in terms of keeping all wires as short as possible to reduce any chance of noise from the amp and making sure all the wiring was nice and neat. I'd already read a few books about amplifier design and construction so I knew a few tips about lead dress in amps and reducing noise from the tube filament heaters etc... And to bring the amp up in power slowly for the first time using a Variac not only for safety reasons but also to allow the electrolytic capacitors time to charge and form properly the first time.

The thought of building an amp was a bit daunting at first but as long as you take your time and follow the wiring diagram and schematic closely and double check everything as you go it's really not as hard as first thought and plugging a guitar into it for the first time was great fun!!!

stratmanjimbo

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Joined: 02/23/12

Posts: 206

Sounds to me like Fuzzbox should seriously consider getting into the hand-wired boutique style amp business!! I know I'd happily be interested on getting my hands on one and becoming a guinea pig!!!

Jim C.

#7

Sounds to me like Fuzzbox should seriously consider getting into the hand-wired boutique style amp business!! I know I'd happily be interested on getting my hands on one and becoming a guinea pig!!!

Jim C.

fuzzb0x

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Joined: 04/02/13

Posts: 384

Now that would be a cool job to have

As it goes I have just finished building a stand alone reverb unit for a friend based on the Fender 6G15 and it came out sounding really nice!

I'm not sure what country you live in Jim but I'm in the UK so postage would be the only thing that would actually stop me from building an amp for you as I've really enjoyed the process of each one I've made so far but if you do decide to go down the route of building your own I'd be more than happy to help you out with any information you need along the way.

#8

Now that would be a cool job to have

As it goes I have just finished building a stand alone reverb unit for a friend based on the Fender 6G15 and it came out sounding really nice!

I'm not sure what country you live in Jim but I'm in the UK so postage would be the only thing that would actually stop me from building an amp for you as I've really enjoyed the process of each one I've made so far but if you do decide to go down the route of building your own I'd be more than happy to help you out with any information you need along the way.

stratmanjimbo

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Joined: 02/23/12

Posts: 206

Ha!! My old British nanny's (growing up in Switzerland) dad was postmaster general of London!! I kid U not!! I have numerous First Day Issues from him when he learned I collected stamps......that was a long time ago.....but you Brits do seem to have an excellent knack with electronics!! One of the best amps I've owned were Laney and Marshall.........in that order!! Hand wired high quality boutique amps are a premium over here....I keep after my brother-in-law electrical engineer PHD (from Purdue no less) to help me out but somehow I get the impression this is beneath him?? I would think many people would be interested, Fuzzbox!! Jim C.

#9

Ha!! My old British nanny's (growing up in Switzerland) dad was postmaster general of London!! I kid U not!! I have numerous First Day Issues from him when he learned I collected stamps......that was a long time ago.....but you Brits do seem to have an excellent knack with electronics!! One of the best amps I've owned were Laney and Marshall.........in that order!! Hand wired high quality boutique amps are a premium over here....I keep after my brother-in-law electrical engineer PHD (from Purdue no less) to help me out but somehow I get the impression this is beneath him?? I would think many people would be interested, Fuzzbox!! Jim C.