Princeton Reverb Amp Kits

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by Gretschtim1, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK

    How do you rate the Jupiter? There's not much information available about them.
     
  2. Lionpotato

    Lionpotato Gretschie

    411
    Oct 10, 2018
    Upland
    Incredible! Best speaker I have ever tried in a Fender and I’ve tried a bunch. Same with Fat Jimmy speakers which are essentially the same speaker. I find the new Jensen speakers to be a little harsh and strident. Jupiter is sweet and creamy. Very three-dimensional. They got it right. I’ve ran that Jupiter 12 inch alnico speaker for years in my Fender and it doesn’t get any better. I play live. It gets tested pretty hard and just sounds incredible. Takes pedals really well. Delivers all the frequencies. I don’t even look for anything else after having a Jupiter. They are modeled after a 50’s Jensen.
     
  3. Lionpotato

    Lionpotato Gretschie

    411
    Oct 10, 2018
    Upland
    EDBA54B4-4DB2-4951-99BB-D61EAB46E9C3.jpeg BC9FCA0A-4DB1-4462-8E07-3F7D290C23D9.jpeg
    I made the baffle myself and safely tucked away the original. A PR through one if these doesn’t get any better.
     
    Uncle Daddy likes this.
  4. Lionpotato

    Lionpotato Gretschie

    411
    Oct 10, 2018
    Upland
  5. stiv

    stiv Synchromatic

    933
    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    You guys are gassing me a lot over a PR.
    Luckily I don’t have enough money for a brownface (that would be my dream choice), but I guess that a Princeton is written in the cards, sooner or later. :)
     
    Lionpotato likes this.
  6. Winnie Thomas

    Winnie Thomas Gretschie

    317
    Jun 13, 2011
    Cochise AZ
    Uncle Daddy likes this.
  7. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Every smaller (Vibrolux on down) Silverface and blackface combo that ive played (lots) was equally great sounding unless something was wrong with it. I played a '69 Vibrolux next to my '65 and they sounded identical. I played my '76 Deluxe next to my buddy's '78 pull boost.......identical, if you didnt use the boost. 1980 Champ compared to '65....same. Alot of what you read is elitist B.S. use your ears.
     
    new6659 and Tony65x55 like this.
  8. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Now a brown Princeton is very different than a BF PR, more like a cross between a tweed Tremolux. Very cool amp, hope you can find one someday.
     
    stiv likes this.
  9. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Age:
    63
    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    Brian Luckhust used Hammond transformers in my two BF Princeton Reverb clones. No complaints from me, they sound excellent.
     
  10. stiv

    stiv Synchromatic

    933
    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    Well I did find one. It was a ‘63, All original, mint condition. The guy didn’t put the price on the ad. Not a good sign if you ask my pockets. :).
    The best bet (as it’s for all the vintage gear these days) would be to find one to repair or heavily modified to revert back to former glory. But it takes time.
     
  11. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    Update - Okay so tonight I went over to the guy's studio - the guy that brought by the mid 70s silver face Princeton reverb amp that I loved so much. We made arrangements to have a 68 reissue & a 65 reissue to play along side of the Silverface.
    We used a Gretsch Tenny with Hilotrons, a Gibson Les Paul, a fender Telly, a Fender Jazzmaster, a Rickenbacker 360 and a Carvin DC 127 with Seth Lover Pickups.
    It took 3 of us a total of about 1 minute to decide that the Original mid 70s Silver face was the best amp and the 68 Reissue was the worst. We even sent the new amps through the speaker in the silver face amp and vise versa and it made no difference. The silver face was warmer, fuller and cleaner sounding. The sound was bigger with richer bass and it felt like the amp responded better to touch. Notes seemed to bloom. Compared to the original amp the reissues sound thin and dead. It was a major difference in sound - the reissues weren't even in the same ballpark.
    I was ready to buy a reissue but there is just too much of a difference for me to even bother.
    Now if I can't find an old amp at a reasonable price I guess I'll be getting a Mojo Tone kit or have a clone built for me by one of the suggested makers.
    I thought I'd pass this along.
     
    Lionpotato and hcsterg like this.
  12. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Yes @Gretschtim1 : everybody wants "legendary" BlackFaces ? Fine ! Let us the "disregarded" Silverfaces... Thy are just good enough for us ! That's why I keep mine...

    My 70s SF PR is from the worst category : the one with the infamous "Pull For Boost" facility, plus even the factory-fit FSW jack socket at the rear to control it by foot... :eek:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Oh, I even got the original cover from the 1st owner... A kind farmer lady from Conesville, Iowa, who barely played it :

    [​IMG]

    But once modded :

    [​IMG]

    I wouldn't part with it ! ;) (Even if these times, I do not play it too much... :oops:)

    A+!
     
    Lionpotato likes this.
  13. Lionpotato

    Lionpotato Gretschie

    411
    Oct 10, 2018
    Upland
    Same experience with PRRI and a 79 Princeton. Different quality of components. Handwired vs PCB. Different metal in the transformers etc. OT has the most influence. Sound is very different. The Silverface was so much better head to head.
     
    Gretschtim1 likes this.
  14. Lionpotato

    Lionpotato Gretschie

    411
    Oct 10, 2018
    Upland
    But I will say when I hear the PRRI without a reference point I think it’s sounds incredible. There’s a huge difference being in the room with the amps.
     
  15. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    So now it's 4 of us that are hearing this. You, me and the two pro musicians that were with me last night during the A/B/C comparing we did. It wasn't a small difference to my ears it was huge.
     
    Lionpotato likes this.
  16. Lionpotato

    Lionpotato Gretschie

    411
    Oct 10, 2018
    Upland
    It is unfortunately. I don’t want it to be that way. But if you test them in a room at volume it’s pretty substantial.
     
  17. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    Another update. On Monday a friend of mine and I went to a local Guitar Center (not my favorite place to try out amps and guitars but). We were going around trying out Princeton reverb amps. I decided I'd give it one more try before I had a clone built or buy a kit from Mojotone. GC had a PRRI with an alnico speaker with a price tag of $1099 and a 68 Custom just like the one that we tried out and hated last Friday at a friend's studio. I first plugged into the PRRI and just like the amps from last Friday it was dead. No life at all. Next I plugged into the 68 Custom and both of us were stunned. It was super punchy with volume on 3, treble on 7 and bass on 6. We played it for half an hour using a Telly & my trusty Carvin with Seth Lover Humbuckers. I was so impressed I bought the freaking thing. With GC's 14 day return policy I felt no pressure in buying the amp.
    Well I took the amp to my studio put mics on it and played all my guitars through it. Country Gent, 335, Telly, Strat, Jet, Rick 330-12, Carvin, etc. They all sounded awesome. I had it right next to my 1994 DRRI that I've loved for 25 years and the Princeton had a richer, sweeter, fuller tone than the DRRI. I have a Celestion silver in the Deluxe. So next I started playing the Princeton through different speakers. I played it through a Celestion Blue alnico and it got louder, cleaner with more chime on top. Then through, Greenbacks, Vintage 30s and some old Jensens. Each speaker added a different character but they all sounded good in there own way. I actually like the stock speaker in the 68. It doesn't have that ice pick brightness that the one in the 65 has. If I want those other sounds I will simply plug it into those cabinets and leave the stock speaker alone. I was just loving it. I'm thinking "What a great amp".
    B U T THEN IT HAPPENED. The amp started making static noises that would come and go. Then that sparkling clean sound started to get distorted. If I strum a G chord it would be clean but if I turn the intensity knob up to 10 it would distort like hell. So one by one I changed the tubes with known good ones but no improvement. Obviously something crapped out, a cap, resistor or what ever. I opened it up and there were no obvious problems with bad connections or cold solder joints so I closed it back up. I called Fender since this was a new amp (made in June, 2019) and they told me I could take it back and get another one. But I explained to the guy that I'd tried out a bunch of them that were lame and I'd rather have a tech check it out since it is brand new and under warranty. He agreed so I took it to the repair center and I'm hoping it's just something minor.
    This whole quality control thing that goes on these days is nerve wracking. It's not just Fender these things are popping up more and more with all kinds of things.
    One reason I took a chance on this amp was I was thinking about doing a few mods to it. This amp and the 65 Reissue share the same boards and inside there are only a half dozen parts that have been changed in the 68 Custom that makes it different from the 65 reissue. I was hoping to install a few switches that would allow me to change the NFB from a 68 to a 65 and also do the same thing with the tone stack. It appears to be very doable but first I've got to get through this ordeal.
    I also wonder why there is so much inconsistency in these amps? How could I play through so many amps that were lame and then come across a gem sound wise? Bad transformers, caps, resistors, etc.?
    At any rate these things should not get past quality control. I tend to believe some of the components are not high quality enough and should be upgraded by Fender.
    This inconsistency between amps must be why some people think they are great while others think they are a lame turd. The ones I played through before finding this one were lame turds.
    In the mean time I called GC and they are ordering me another one.
    If the one I bought still has a problem I will take it straight to GC and compare it to the new boxed one.
    This amp sounded great while it was working - every bit as good as any 60's or 70s Princeton I've heard or have played through. Even through the distortion I could tell the amp was better sounding than the others I've tried out. I'm not ready to give up on it yet. I've gotten 25 good years out of my Deluxe reissue and it stands up to any 60's black face I've heard and in many cases sounded better.
    We'll see - I'll report back.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
    Lionpotato likes this.
  18. MTurner

    MTurner Friend of Fred

    Age:
    63
    Aug 17, 2010
    Clayton, North Carolina, USA
    How utterly frustrating for you.
     
  19. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    Yeah man because before the failure the amp was sounding great and I was really excited about finally having a good sounding Princeton without selling organs to buy a used 60's or 70's amp.
     
    Lionpotato and MTurner like this.
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