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  #1  
Old 10-25-2018, 03:30 PM
hovishead hovishead is offline
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Default Fender Princeton Reverb 65 Reissue vs Fender Deluxe Reverb 68

Hi there,

Going to have a look at these two amps to AB them this weekend.

https://www.musicradar.com/reviews/g...reissue-171922
https://www.musicradar.com/reviews/g...-reverb-603170
I've always wanted a Fender amp and these seem to be good going by the reviews I've read.

Just wondered if anyone had much experience with them? Especially for playing bluesy leads.



I'm mainly after something that sounds good at relatively low levels i.e good for recording.

I already have a 40 watt Blackstar amp for loud and rocky stuff, so the Fender is going to be mainly for playing blues stuff at more subtle volumes.

Which would you reckon would be better for slightly gritty (overdriven) blues tone? I'm quite fond of the Mustang Amp's 57 Deluxe Model and wondered which of these amps would get me closer to that sound but with valves?




I'm playing a Les Paul Studio by the way, but might add a Strat to my collection at some point.

Also, I've heard some folk say that the 68 amps take pedals better but don't understand why that would be.

As I said before I'm not going to be playing metal through these, just slightly overdriven blues.



Sorry for the rambling post.
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2018, 04:14 PM
muscmp muscmp is offline
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note that the princeton is 12-15 watts whereas the deluxe is at least 22 watts.

i have a princeton, not reverb, that i rarely turn up past 7 volume wise. i have a deluxe that i rarely turn up past 3. both are house amps only.

since you already have a loud amp, i would go with the princeton that should allow you to turn it up enough to get breakup that you want for that bluesy tone.

make sure to take your guitar with you.

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Old 10-25-2018, 04:16 PM
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More records have been recorded through a Princeton Reverb than any other amp. It was the amp of choice for The Wrecking Crew.

That should help your decision.
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:56 PM
jseth jseth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6L6 View Post
More records have been recorded through a Princeton Reverb than any other amp. It was the amp of choice for The Wrecking Crew.

That should help your decision.
I beg to differ - I do believe that the Deluxe Reverb is THE most recorded amplifier in the history of recorded music...

Not to dismiss the Princeton Reverb, not in the slightest... and it sounds as though the Princeton is the right choice for what this fellow wants...

I will add that I've heard a LOT of really positive comments about the Re-issue Princeton Reverb Silver Face 1968 model... more favorable ones than for the '65 Re-issue...
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Old 10-25-2018, 05:13 PM
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What a great dilemma to have! Honestly, you really cannot go wrong with either of these two amps and both would suit your needs just fine. I own both, but my Princeton is a special edition '65 reissue and has a 12" Cannabis Rex, so it's a little different from a 10" 65 reissue.

Honestly, if I had to choose, I'd go with the Princeton, but I'd look into the 68 reissue Princeton before deciding. For a good crunchy blues tone, it's hard to beat. In fact, for the cost of the 68 Deluxe, you could almost get a 68 Princeton AND a Vox AC10. It's a pretty sweet combo!
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Old 10-25-2018, 06:47 PM
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I own 2 vintage DR's and 2 vintage PR's all silver face amps. For your uses you describe I think the PR is the one you need. 12-15 watts is plenty loud enough even for gigs especially if you get one of the PR re-issues with a 12" speaker. I have both 10" and 12" PR's and IMO a 12' brings out the best of what the amp can offer. If I could only have one amp it would be a Princeton Reverb without a doubt. I personally would spend the extra bucks and go for an early seventies PR if you could find one for around $1100-$1200 that's been serviced recently. They are magical little amps.
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2018, 11:09 PM
jseth jseth is offline
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I've seen vintage, fairly clean SF Princeton amps for under $1,000, even as low as $600 - but without reverb (which, of course, is iconic!)... still a solid reverb pedal and you've got "the real deal"... they can take a bit to get them into primo shape, but it really is worth it... especially for a bedroom/house amp.
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Old 10-27-2018, 03:43 AM
hovishead hovishead is offline
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Thanks for all the advice guys. Would you say that the Princeton is just a smaller version of the deluxe? Are they both shooting for roughly the same sound?
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  #9  
Old 10-27-2018, 07:19 AM
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You've got a problem in that you are mixing two different sounds in your question - the Reissues and the Customs. The Reissues are an attempt to reproduce the actual amps. They typically sound clear and bright at low level and then become distorted but a tad woofy when pushed. Their power sections have a fair amount of negative feedback so that the distortion point of the amp is pushed up as high as possible and there is a relatively quick transition into that distortion, but typically up past 12 o'clock on the volume control. Between the Reissue Deluxe and Princeton, the Deluxe is pretty much more of everything the Prince offers, including bass.

The Customs were designed to offer the favorite mods power users have been applying to the amps. The lower the negative feedback to a point nearer the tweeds, allowing the amp to enter distortion at a lower point on the dial, somewhere around 9 to 11 o'clock, and to transition smoothly into distortion over a broader volume band. They also compress much more than the Reissues. Players have felt that the originals were to bright so they modified their tones stacks to aurally more resemble those of the Bassman, which is a darker amp. The Custom 68 Princeton has that as its character. The Custom 68 Deluxe has that applied to the "normal" channel. It also has the circuit modified to offer reverb on both channels.

Conclusions? To my ears, the Customs are better blues amps by design because they have a compressed, sustain-y quality at all levels that the Reissues only approach when you flog them. I own a 65 Reissue Deluxe and a 68 Custom Princeton and have reviewed the 68 Custom Princeton HERE. If you want low home level, the Prince will break up at a quiet level but will still run you out of the room. At conversational levels you will need a pedal to get some distortion. I am currently looking at a distortion pedal for my Prince.



Use your own ears and enjoy shopping! I'll take questions if you are interested.

Bob
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  #10  
Old 10-27-2018, 09:19 AM
davidd davidd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jseth View Post
I've seen vintage, fairly clean SF Princeton amps for under $1,000, even as low as $600 - but without reverb (which, of course, is iconic!)... still a solid reverb pedal and you've got "the real deal"... they can take a bit to get them into primo shape, but it really is worth it... especially for a bedroom/house amp.
There is a huge difference between a non reverb Princeton and a PR that a pedal won't fix. A non-reverb Princeton is a CLEAN machine with way less breakup and gain. Both great amps but different beasts.
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  #11  
Old 10-27-2018, 11:12 AM
muscmp muscmp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
You've got a problem in that you are mixing two different sounds in your question - the Reissues and the Customs. The Reissues are an attempt to reproduce the actual amps. They typically sound clear and bright at low level and then become distorted but a tad woofy when pushed. Their power sections have a fair amount of negative feedback so that the distortion point of the amp is pushed up as high as possible and there is a relatively quick transition into that distortion, but typically up past 12 o'clock on the volume control. Between the Reissue Deluxe and Princeton, the Deluxe is pretty much more of everything the Prince offers, including bass.

The Customs were designed to offer the favorite mods power users have been applying to the amps. The lower the negative feedback to a point nearer the tweeds, allowing the amp to enter distortion at a lower point on the dial, somewhere around 9 to 11 o'clock, and to transition smoothly into distortion over a broader volume band. They also compress much more than the Reissues. Players have felt that the originals were to bright so they modified their tones stacks to aurally more resemble those of the Bassman, which is a darker amp. The Custom 68 Princeton has that as its character. The Custom 68 Deluxe has that applied to the "normal" channel. It also has the circuit modified to offer reverb on both channels.

Conclusions? To my ears, the Customs are better blues amps by design because they have a compressed, sustain-y quality at all levels that the Reissues only approach when you flog them. I own a 65 Reissue Deluxe and a 68 Custom Princeton and have reviewed the 68 Custom Princeton HERE. If you want low home level, the Prince will break up at a quiet level but will still run you out of the room. At conversational levels you will need a pedal to get some distortion. I am currently looking at a distortion pedal for my Prince.



Use your own ears and enjoy shopping! I'll take questions if you are interested.

Bob
couldn't get much better info than this from bob!

play music!
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidd View Post
There is a huge difference between a non reverb Princeton and a PR that a pedal won't fix. A non-reverb Princeton is a CLEAN machine with way less breakup and gain. Both great amps but different beasts.
Probably one of the most famous appearances of a non-reverb Princeton was with some of the rhythm guitar parts from Ed King on Lynyrd Skynyrd's Second Helping album. Specifically, the nice part on "I Need You" was his Strat with a non-reverb Princeton. That's from the late horse's mouth, by the way. RIP Ed.



Bob
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Old 10-27-2018, 03:51 PM
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I had a Princeton at one time and it sounded great. But it was to weak with a modern rock or blues drummer. It just got lost.
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Old 10-27-2018, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidd View Post
There is a huge difference between a non reverb Princeton and a PR that a pedal won't fix. A non-reverb Princeton is a CLEAN machine with way less breakup and gain. Both great amps but different beasts.
Sorry, David, but I have to call you on this... Fender (CBS) was WAY TOO CHEAP to do anything with that amp except put reverb on it... old Princeton amps sound just like Princeton Reverbs without reverb....

I'm not an EE, but I'd bet a lot of money that the amps are virtually identical, save for what was need to add the reverb circuitry and tank...

But it's my personal "sonic" experience that tells me what I'm saying here... Princeton's are terrific little amps, with or without reverb. And, like I mentioned, the Fender reverb sound is ICONIC, and if that sound is needed, then you're looking for the PR...
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Old 10-28-2018, 06:25 AM
hovishead hovishead is offline
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Hey guys, thanks again for all the advice. I went down yesterday and tried both amps for a good hour and a half. Came home with the Princeton 65 reissue.

Don't think I've ever played an amp as nice. Never been happier with a purchase and that's even taking in consideration my acoustics. The fender deluxe 68 was also very nice but I felt it was just too loud for my purposes. At the volume i need the Princeton sounded better although I imagine at higher volumes the deluxe reverb would be the winner.

That said I'm interested in playing through the 68 custom model too at some point. Would be interested to hear how it compares with the earlier breakup.

I have a feeling my blackstar will be relegated to the role of rock now that I have the Princeton for bluesy stuff. Its tone flatters my playing for this style.

Cheers.
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When you write, you wouldn’t just throw words into a bowl. There has to be a beginning, middle and end. Same thing with phrasing on the guitar"

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