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  1. #1

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    Rhett does not play jazz chords but here is so many Princeton lovers that maybe this is interesting for someone.

    I enjoyed it! (Although I sold my SFPR for years ago.)


  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I've noticed quite a bit of variance in PRRI's. I have one of the first runs and it sounds better than any of the later ones I've tried. Might just be my amp, might be the run, who knows? What I do know is my PRRI sounds a lot like what I remember my old original 65 sounded like. It's a tone I really imprinted on.

    In the video, I preferred the PRRI to the hand-wired, which sounded a bit flubby to me, but not being in the room, it's really hard to tell. And while I like the idea of a solid wood cab and a hand-wired board, it's too much coin for my tastes. YMMV.

  4. #3

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    So, Fender have been selling inferior products for the last thirty-three years.

  5. #4

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    One thing to remember about the reissues: they come with Jensen C10R speakers.... which are not as robust as the C10Ns that usually came in the vintage ones. The R's can't handle as much power, and have a much flabbier low end. That, added to tolerance drift of many components...

    I'd bet if you put a C10R in a vintage Princeton, and maybe changed the filter caps to brand-new, the 2 amps would sound extremely similar....

  6. #5

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    What I took from this video
    - buy PRRI, upgrade speaker (first thing I did,took 5 minutes.)
    or
    - buy hand wired Princeton circuit amp from good indie maker

    The Fender handwired amp is overpriced.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    One thing to remember about the reissues: they come with Jensen C10R speakers.... which are not as robust as the C10Ns that usually came in the vintage ones. The R's can't handle as much power, and have a much flabbier low end. That, added to tolerance drift of many components...

    I'd bet if you put a C10R in a vintage Princeton, and maybe changed the filter caps to brand-new, the 2 amps would sound extremely similar....
    100% the stock speaker is crap. (Although some people seem to like their amps to fart, I’ve never understood it myself.)

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    What I took from this video
    - buy PRRI, upgrade speaker (first thing I did,took 5 minutes.)
    or
    - buy hand wired Princeton circuit amp from good indie maker

    The Fender handwired amp is overpriced.
    A lot of the well known boutique clones are actually not cheaper than the custom shop Fender. One thing you get with Fender Custom shop is, they hold their value and sell faster in the used market compared to the boutiques, especially the lesser known (ie cheaper) boutique ones.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 09-20-2020 at 11:25 AM.

  9. #8

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    I love my '71, but it's been blackfaced and uses 6L6 tubes and has a big old Weber speaker in it... the reissues sound good too... I just love princetons in general, the non reverb can be a great deal too
    I played a Tyler PT14 at a music store a while back, and it sounded awesome, $1400 new, handwired and very nice components and quality

  10. #9

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    At one point, I had an original Blackface, an original Silverface and a reissue. I upgraded the speakers in all three to Weber's clone of a Jensen C-10N. They did not sound the same to my ears.

    I kept the Blackface (and have since replaced the Weber speaker with a vintage JBL-D-110F) and have never looked back.

  11. #10

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    I have a 78 with a Jensen C10Q. It's louder than a friend's stock PCB 65 reissue with a C10R. I think it's also more midrangey, but I haven't tried to systematically compare settings and tones, and it's hard to be sure how much overlap/distinction there really is. I think the speaker is probably a big factor, but I don't know if there are circuit differences.

    John

  12. #11

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    I've never tried a PR reissue....so sorry to have nothing to contribute as far as comparisons.

    My two favorite and most versatile amps are a '69 Princeton Reverb and '69 Princeton Amp (no reverb).

    After lots of speaker swapping I've settled on a '65 C-10N in the Princeton Amp.
    It really compliments the amps great clean tone.
    The Celestion Gold 10 was a close second, but the C-10N has remained in use for several years now.

    When I acquired the Princeton Reverb, it had a damaged baffle, so thought I'd try a 12" baffle made by Larry Rodgers just to see where that might go....
    After fussing with different modern and vintage 12" speakers, I ended up settling on a '63 C-12Q.

    I'd thought it was going to be a placeholder until I found something better, and even considered reverting it back to a 10" set up, perhaps to use that Celestion Gold 10 that still sits unused in its box.
    Someday I may need more clean volume and do just that.....but that Q delivers a wonderful balanced tonal spectrum and does not easily break up the few times I've pushed it to see how it holds up.
    I live in the woods so no worries with the neighbors!

    I don't regret all that twiddling about, the internal mind games and restless searching...it was a good education for sure.
    But its a good feeling to plug in, be satisfied and play.

    z

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    At one point, I had an original Blackface, an original Silverface and a reissue. I upgraded the speakers in all three to Weber's clone of a Jensen C-10N. They did not sound the same to my ears.

    I kept the Blackface (and have since replaced the Weber speaker with a vintage JBL-D-110F) and have never looked back.
    OMG that JBL must sound fantastic, a bit heavy, but that is perfect

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    A lot of the well known boutique clones are actually not cheaper than the custom shop Fender. One thing you get with Fender Custom shop is, they hold their value and sell faster in the used market compared to the boutiques, especially the lesser known (ie cheaper) boutique ones.
    Well in that case I’d buy second hand anyway. Only mugs buy new (I bought my PRRI new because I am a mug haha.)

    Maybe I’m underestimating the value of handwired Princeton clones... in any case there is a lot of value to a pro in getting a handwired one, it’s just that isn’t necessarily about the sound...

  15. #14

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    Interesting video comparison. Fender's 5 year warranty is one of the reasons they can charge what they do for amps. Otherwise, there are many amp builders making their interpretation of Leo's circuit. My current favorite remains a '69 Princeton non-reverb with a EV10 speaker.

  16. #15

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    I have a Headstrong LilKing since >10 years and it's still my favorite small tube amp (hand-wired blackface princeton clone). Only thing I changed was the reverb pot to have a little more fine grained control over the amount of reverb. I even sometimes think of using something like the boss tube amp expander for situations that require more power and when miking the amp would not be enough / possible. It has an Eminence speaker and I once had a Celestion Gold in it (borrowed), might get one of these at some point.

  17. #16

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    Could it be possible to know why a hand-wired amp is better than a PCB amp? Does a signal passing through wires gain something, or not lose something? Perhaps the difference is something akin to that between vinyl records and CDs, something the experts say is not there, but the listeners can discern.

    I have a hand-wired amp, a Princeton Reverb II in an oak cabinet. I have never heard anything as good, but perhaps that is just my preference.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Could it be possible to know why a hand-wired amp is better than a PCB amp? Does a signal passing through wires gain something, or not lose something? Perhaps the difference is something akin to that between vinyl records and CDs, something the experts say is not there, but the listeners can discern.

    I have a hand-wired amp, a Princeton Reverb II in an oak cabinet. I have never heard anything as good, but perhaps that is just my preference.
    As Schull and the other guy sum it up in the end: handwired amps are easier to fix. They don’t break as easy as pcb constructions. And they are easier to tweak, change components etc. No mystique there!

  19. #18

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    My main motivation for getting the LilKing was that this amp would be carried around and eventually would have to be fixed by myself. It's much easier to do this on a handwired amp, and if they're done right they'll also break less often in my experience. And I also just liked the original Fender Princeton and wanted something with ~100% the same guts/layout, that's just me, I'm not sure if really relevant.
    One other thing, especially with smaller builders, that could be a factor: you have one guy building, tweaking & testing the amp, just like a luthier building a guitar, taking care of the whole thing at once. Of course also here: depends on the guy doing it etc.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie
    As Schull and the other guy sum it up in the end: handwired amps are easier to fix. They don’t break as easy as pcb constructions. And they are easier to tweak, change components etc. No mystique there!
    While this is true, they are also usually heavier... and as I age, that's points towards PCB lol.

    A PR wouldn't matter much, due to the relative simplicity of the circuit, but for example, my Hot Cat is a channel-switcher, and the HW version is ALOT heavier than the PCB version. Also keep in mind, there are different quality levels of PCB... Peavey has been building super-rugged PCB amps for MANY years...

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie
    As Schull and the other guy sum it up in the end: handwired amps are easier to fix. They don’t break as easy as pcb constructions. And they are easier to tweak, change components etc. No mystique there!
    Yes, but those are lesser considerations. The point of the demonstration was sound quality, and my question was why hand-wired amps sound better. That is the mystique. Do they objectively convey signals better than PCB amps, or is it that they produce a sound we associate with a good amp – for historical and cultural reasons?

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Yes, but those are lesser considerations. The point of the demonstration was sound quality, and my question was why hand-wired amps sound better. That is the mystique. Do they objectively convey signals better than PCB amps, or is it that they produce a sound we associate with a good amp – for historical and cultural reasons?
    Everyone has an opinion on that. IMHO, I don't think there's a sound/tone difference, assuming the same quality components are used. But there's just something cool about "hand made" (hand wired)... call it mystique, call it mojo.... nothing wrong with wanting it, as long as you are willing to pay the extra for it. But the sound won't "improve" with hand wiring (again- all else: same quality components- being equal.)

  23. #22

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    As mentioned in the video, there are a number of parts that are of higher quality in the hand wired version. I presume that would be common practice, as hand wired amps usually cost more to make, sell for more, so it would make sense to cut less corners on them than those on a cheaper pcb amp.

    I don't know if anyone has done a sound comparison by building a hand wired and pcb version of exactly the same amp.

    I've only heard the 64 on a shop, but I've gigged reissues and own an old one, they all sound good, but different, the vintage one being my favorite. I wouldn't pay what Fender is asking for the 64 one.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Yes, but those are lesser considerations. The point of the demonstration was sound quality, and my question was why hand-wired amps sound better. That is the mystique. Do they objectively convey signals better than PCB amps, or is it that they produce a sound we associate with a good amp – for historical and cultural reasons?
    You asked: ”Could it be possible to know why a hand-wired amp is better than a PCB amp?”

    Nothing about the sound.

    When amp is silent and Your gig starts in an hour the superior servicebility of hw amp is not a ’lesser’ consideration.

    The video answers the questions of reasons for the different sounds quite well. Main reason is the speaker, maybe the pine cabin too a bit.

    The amps sound a bit different even with same speaker and cab. But many of the ’same’ amps sound different. The tolerance of the electronic parts are typically +-10-15% and the tubes are a bit uneven nowadays.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    While this is true, they are also usually heavier... and as I age, that's points towards PCB lol.

    A PR wouldn't matter much, due to the relative simplicity of the circuit, but for example, my Hot Cat is a channel-switcher, and the HW version is ALOT heavier than the PCB version. Also keep in mind, there are different quality levels of PCB... Peavey has been building super-rugged PCB amps for MANY years...
    This is confusing point of view, I can’t imagine why would the handwiring make an amp heavier. If it is a tube amp You have to have big transformers in it, no matter how the circuit is made.

    Of course there is cheaper transformers and more expensive, more ’historically accurate’ (or something) transformers, but that will not automatically mean heavier.

    Could there in the pcb version be some circuit made with transistors instead of tubes so there is less transformers? I don’t know!

  26. #25

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    This is all academic anyway, one for the enthusiasts.

    It’s unlikely I’ll be using my Princeton much for any gigs I might have, so a light speaker, a class D power amp, and simulation is the way forward for me.

    Anything I can take on a push bike or public transport. London is not a city to be driven in now. It’s Chaos...

  27. #26

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    I bet that if you could go back in time to 1965 and find a music store that has a couple of Deluxe Reverbs to choose from they would all be sounding quite different and for every great sounding example there will be a dud as well...

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    ...The point of the demonstration was sound quality, and my question was why hand-wired amps sound better. That is the mystique. Do they objectively convey signals better than PCB amps, or is it that they produce a sound we associate with a good amp – for historical and cultural reasons?
    There is no reason to believe that hand wiring vs. PCB have any effect on sound quality by themselves. If the PCB amp has parts that are out of spec, or poor construction (e.g., bad soldering), or if the board has a poor wiring layout there will be differences in sound quality, but the PCB construction isn’t the cause.

    If Fender’s handwired amps sound different than their PCB amps, I’d attribute that to other factors than the use of PCBs. Since they charge much more for the handwired amps, it’s likely they are also taking more care in quality control to help justify that premium price.

    I’ll also cynically suggest that Fender could intentionally design a PCB amp to have a somewhat different (not necessarily worse) sound than it’s hand-wired namesake to give the potential buyer a sense that the more expensive amp has some special mojo that that’s missing in the less expensive amp. That’s a well worn marketing technique. I’m not claiming that Fender has actually done this, and I’m not addressing other issues such as reliability, ease of mods, maintainability, etc.

  29. #28

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    Making and selling stuff is all about price points. The PCB Princeton will be in the same market as any number of mass-produced amps. The hand-wired Princeton will compete with the boutique amps. Most visitors to the shop will baulk at paying the price of two Princetons for one with hand-wiring. Some will think it worth the expense.

    I think what they are getting is the sound of a hand-wired amp, rather than anything objectively better than PCB. Rock culture is nostalgic by its nature, always preferring guitars and amps from the ‘50s and ‘60s to anything new. The hand-wired amp gives the buyer the sound of the past.

  30. #29

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    The search for differences in sound was compromised by a strong difference in reverb level, but the elephant in the room was the outrageous noisy guitar hum/buzz EM interference... the condensing mic used for the video to suppress that mess is not really suitable for comparisons.

  31. #30

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    At the beginning, the other guy says that the amps have slightly different circuits and different components. Right off the bat, it's not an all-else-equal comparison between hand-wired and PCB, before we even get to speakers and cabinets. It's also only a test of two individual amps; a different pair might sound more alike (e.g., because of component tolerances). But once they plugged the PCB amp into the other's cabinet the sounds were very close.

    Also, with a strat, you don't get anywhere near the amount of break up through a PR that you do with humbuckers, even with the amp turned way up. So, to compare the amps' headroom, OD characteristics, and low-frequency tightness at loud volumes, I think also doing this with a humbucker equipped guitar would be a much better test of these two amps' differences. So all in all, I think it's a fair a test of the question "do these two individual amps sound identical?" (no, they don't), is not a test of whether the difference is due to the construction methods, and is only a partial catalog of the differences (or the degree to which the differences disappear with other guitars).

    Nice try, but no cigar.

    John

  32. #31

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    Hand wired probably more reliable in the long run. Hand -wired sounded better but throw an EP booster in front of the circuit board amp and you might get close.

    I drank the boutique kool-aid....I have a Lil' King Reverb with a 12" speaker.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes
    I drank the boutique kool-aid....I have a Lil' King Reverb with a 12" speaker.
    Me too. Killer amp!

  34. #33

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    I A/B/C'ed the PRRI, PR Chris Stapleton Brown and a Carr Rambler and ended up with the Rambler. Not just for the hand-wiring but for the triode option (nice for jazz), mid control knob, 12" Eminence Elsinore speaker, hand-picked tubes and the lower noise floor.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by medblues
    I A/B/C'ed the PRRI, PR Chris Stapleton Brown and a Carr Rambler and ended up with the Rambler. Not just for the hand-wiring but for the triode option (nice for jazz), mid control knob, 12" Eminence Elsinore speaker, hand-picked tubes and the lower noise floor.
    What did you think of the Chris Stapleton? I would like a small warm sounding amp, and consider another Brown panel amp. The Lil Dawg amps look like very nice alternative.
    Carr are very nice amps, but well over $2000, I think.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDeville
    What did you think of the Chris Stapleton? I would like a small warm sounding amp, and consider another Brown panel amp. The Lil Dawg amps look like very nice alternative.
    Carr are very nice amps, but well over $2000, I think.
    It had less headroom and was less suitable for jazz, higher noise floor (maybe curable with tube change ?).

    Carr Rambler is expensive new but only in comparison to the PCB versions. Allen Amps Sweet Spot (in between price point) is one you might want to compare to Headstrong Lil King. The ones Lil Dawg Amps have are based on different (earlier ?) circuits with which I am not familiar.

    Ceriatone out of Malaysia has a much cheaper but well-liked head version called Prinzetone that I looked into. American Classics PrinzeTone | Ceriatone

  37. #36

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    Compare and contrast: the Princeton Reverb II, one of the last Fender amps with hand-wound circuitry as standard.


  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Compare and contrast: the Princeton Reverb II, one of the last Fender amps with hand-wound circuitry as standard.
    ”I would have named it something more... brutal!”

    I somehow like Segeborns videos. Very straightforward attitude in guitar and the gear... Everything to ten and go!

  39. #38

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    Has anyone tried this 68 Princeton Reissue? Does it have a warmer more midrange sound that 65 Reissue.

  40. #39

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  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDeville
    Has anyone tried this 68 Princeton Reissue? Does it have a warmer more midrange sound that 65 Reissue.
    Yes, but also less headroom. The difference is think mostly in the tone stack. I was able to dial in very similar sounds between the two of them by using a pedal into the 65 once. You can get the 65 sound like the 68 with a pedal but not the other way around, I don't think.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDeville
    Has anyone tried this 68 Princeton Reissue? Does it have a warmer more midrange sound that 65 Reissue.
    I agree with Tal. My show tour bought one and I have to use it; the mid and bottom is so strong I ended up doing a mod to make it clearer. For my taste the '65 sounds much better, and is more versatile.

  43. #42

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    I prefer handwired.
    Especially when I have a handwired one built to put out 35 watts, with a 12" speaker.
    And even more so when it's for sale.
    On this forum.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 09-23-2020 at 05:24 PM.

  44. #43

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    In case anyone in particular is wondering, I have come to the conclusion, after moving recently, that I no longer need 30 great amplifiers to make me happy. These days I can be happy with 10 or 15 great amplifiers. I'm down to 20 or so. Help a brother out in his pursuit of happiness!

    The same goes for guitars, but this is an amp thread.
    About Princetons.
    Like the handwired one I have.
    It gets far too little playing time.
    And is for sale.
    On this forum.
    Last edited by Hammertone; 09-23-2020 at 07:06 PM.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    I can be happy with 10 or 15 great amplifiers. I'm down to 20 or so.
    Only 5 amps away from happiness and coming from the other side to boot!

  46. #45

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    A shameless plug for selling an item. Who would have thought it coming from you Hammertone?
    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    I prefer handwired.
    Especially when I have a handwired one built to put out 35 watts, with a 12" speaker.
    And even more so when it's for sale.
    On this forum.