65 Princeton ri vs 68 ri any experience?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Nashvillian, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. Nashvillian

    Nashvillian Electromatic

    9
    Jun 20, 2016
    United Kingdom
    Hi,
    I am looking to upgrade my amp from a vox ac4tv and was looking at the Princeton's. However, the only place that has them both in stock is a couple of hours away. So before I make some time to get over there I wondered if it was worth the journey:)
    I play mostly at home and use a 6120. I play mostly rockabilly and country (no surprises there).
    Just wondered if anyone could share their experience and wisdom?

    Thanks
     
  2. Joey L

    Joey L Synchromatic

    571
    Jun 24, 2016
    White Plains, NY
    I have a 65PRRI with a Celestion Gold speaker and love it. I do not find the '68 as clean and chimney. In my opinion the 65 is best for Rockabilly and Country.
     
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  3. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    62
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Good choice in music that Rockabilly and Country
     
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  4. MBERTHOLD

    MBERTHOLD Country Gent

    Never played them however Ive heard that the 68 breaks up earlier:)
    Good luck hope you have a great day testing them out yourself!!!


    The 65 has been on my wish list forever, way before the days of 68
     
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  5. Tele295

    Tele295 Country Gent

    I found the 68 to sound muffled in a side-by-side test against the 65.
     
  6. Joey L

    Joey L Synchromatic

    571
    Jun 24, 2016
    White Plains, NY
    I also upgraded to a T020 Output transformer for tighter bottom end and run a 12AY7 in V1 which is a lower gain tube. All great mods for Rockabilly and Country tones.
     
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  7. Lizardkinged

    Lizardkinged Friend of Fred

    Age:
    34
    Oct 5, 2009
    Michigan
    Ok. I've been through amps. This question comes down to HOW DO YOU PLAY.

    If we're literally only talking PrincetonsI'd get the 65' and here's my rational...

    I'm currently trying to get an amp that's super clean and a decent pedal platform. I don't wanna lug around a Twin. I do sortof want something with 6L6's instead of my current lineup of 6v6's and an EL84 equipped orange.

    SO. I'm thinking Deluxe... I've wanted a DRRI for YEARS. YEARS. But I also wanna be able to crank it up and get that super sensitive spongey saggy touch/picking dynamic... The negative feedback being different on the 68's make that easier to acheive, better transformers, I also hear they're noisy... BUT it also get's them to breakup easier... 6v6's also breakup faster than a 6l6...

    So I'm starting to shy away from that idea because I still want all the clean-headroom I could ask-for. My 22w Supersonic which the clean channel is a solid state rectified DRRI basically almost doesn't have ALL the clean headroom I could ask for with some of my guitars.

    But there's the 68' Vibrolux that's 35w, 2 6l6's that's basically a 210 half twin. It doesn't have a rectifier tube though. That means I'll have to get it pretty loud before I get my touchy... sortof sticky picking dynamic/attack. I do have an attenuator but that's aside from the point...

    It's a tough choice... I would tell someone to get the 68' Princeton if they play quieter at home because It's 12w. It's negative feedback loop is significantly decreased and it breaks up VERY fast. If you play loud and want the clean headroom AND that sticky touch sensitivity and breakup and pick attack like me... for almost the cost of the 65' PRRI you can get the 68' Deluxe...

    So It's all apples to oranges. A lot has to do with how you wanna play and how loud is loud enough for you. And your family. (Pets too... consider your pets they've got very sensitive ears)
     
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  8. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    NJ
    As great as the 65PRRI is, the one thing it is NOT, imo, is a good pedal platform. Especially overdrives and fuzzes. Just godawful. It did get better with various speaker swaps, but I never got an OD to sound GREAT with that amp... for me, the PR needs to be for clean or mostly-clean playing, a la Jim Campilongo or Marty Stuart.

    For me, the 65 vs the 68 comes down to cosmetics, because I'm gonna' change the speaker regardless. In which case, I prefer the blackface to the silverface cosmetics.
     
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  9. Lizardkinged

    Lizardkinged Friend of Fred

    Age:
    34
    Oct 5, 2009
    Michigan
    Well I did say I'd get a Deluxe or a Vibrolux before either Princetons lol ;) I think I'd even have a Twin before the Vibrolux and just pull 2 tubes.
     
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  10. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    NJ
    The CVR (the OLDER one- the discontinued BF one) has been on my radar for years... because it's a much more BROWNFACE circuit than Blackface.
     
  11. Lizardkinged

    Lizardkinged Friend of Fred

    Age:
    34
    Oct 5, 2009
    Michigan
    The newer 68' CVR has been classified as "sweeter sounding" blackface... Wasn't the brownface stuff full range? I dunno... Doesn't matter. I gotta sit down w/ both.

    I just want to be able to go from glass cleans to light breakup, and overdrive, both w/ syrupy rich pick attack. I've got the FD3, great fuzz's, an extra boost not on the FD. AND an attenuator... So I really even have the pre and post sections covered.

    I have also heard the 68's are a bit noisy though. (At least w/ the reverb engaged... which is silly to have an amp... like a supersonic... with a noisy reverb... Need I say Flint). I may just end up w/ a DRRI after all.
     
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  12. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    NJ
    The 68's are noisy due to the reduced negative feedback (which also lowers the headroom).

    I gave up on trying to get "glassy cleans to overdrive" with just one amp, altho my Supersonic 22 does that pretty darned well. Truthfully, I don't NEED any other amp, the SS22 can cover all the bases. But it's not as sweet clean as the PRRI (and the reverb is nowhere near as nice), and while the dirt channel is highly EQ-able, I still long for something in the brownface-ish camp, like a Swart or something....

    Altho, Jim Campilongo seems to get glassy clean to dirty with his Princetons.... he turns them up to 10 and controls everything from the guitar's volume knob. It actually works! He does have speaker upgrades tho- either reconed vintage Jensen C10Ns or new Celestion Vintage 10s.... the C10R that's in the reissues can't handle anything other than home volumes, imo.
     
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  13. Hotshot

    Hotshot Gretschie

    362
    Mar 23, 2016
    Toronto
    Having played both, and deciding on an amp for rockabilly and rock stuff, I preferred the 65 over the 68, but I chose None of them. I went for a hand wired fender deluxe tweed clone for less $$ than the reissues. Fact is the " reissues " are totally different amps and just modern circut boards with a cool look.


    Before you pounce, check out little dawg, Allen, Victoria, Mojotone, etc... The tone and product quality will blow you away. These amps Are the original circuits for the most part. If you open up a reissue be the original you'll see.

    Happy hunting.
     
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  14. The Marlin

    The Marlin Friend of Fred

    Feb 2, 2011
    London...ish
    I like the 68. Though, reliability (on early models at least) is/was an issue.
     
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  15. Gotone

    Gotone Gretschie

    216
    Jan 2, 2012
    Ontario
    The which Princeton is better debate has no definitive answer IMO. They're both excellent amps with different tonal characteristics. On one side of the spectrum you find the 65 which offers that definitive Fender clean sound and on the other the 68 produces a warmer tone. Subjective to say the least. I ended up with the '68 after waffling between the two for a long time. Fwiw, I use a Carbon Copy for some slapback with the reverb and tremolo set to 0 on the amp, volume to (max) 4.5, Treble at 7, Bass at 3. The 68, with these settings and the CC, gives me a sort of 50ish sound, which I seem to prefer. My Setzer SSL and 6120EC sound amazing to my ears. In my tone quest, I absolutely fell in love with the EC Tremolux but the hefty price tag told me nope. The '68 came closest to achieving the sound of the Tremolux for a lot less $. I found the '65, in comparison to the '68, a little too sterile sounding for my ears. Anyway, that's my story and 2 cent wisdom.

    Sent from my SM-G900W8 using Tapatalk
     
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  16. Lizardkinged

    Lizardkinged Friend of Fred

    Age:
    34
    Oct 5, 2009
    Michigan
    Maybe I should just save all my dough and build myself a 5E8 low-power tweed twin...


    See I can get all that, I just meant that I can use my pedals on a Twin or a CVR to get OD that isn't just hitting the sweet spot on it's own. My Supersonic 22 and my Dark Terror are all I need for all zee metals tones. I like the clean channel of the SS22, but dude it isn't touch sensitive enough. It's totally a gigging amp in my book because I can get everything I need and fuzz on top of that.

    So is my lil Ibanez TSA15... but also again Solid State rectifier. I need to sell that and move it on for a 65' Princeton already, which I think does get good OD, but I also would need to put a 12 in there.

    In terms of the amp I desire. I think I just need to build a 5E8 Lo-power tweed twin. I need the sag/touch sensitivity. And rod magnets...
     
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  17. HBob

    HBob Synchromatic

    526
    Feb 26, 2012
    Plano, TX
    Cool video...

     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
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  18. Nashvillian

    Nashvillian Electromatic

    9
    Jun 20, 2016
    United Kingdom
    Thanks for the brilliant feedback, that's why I love this site. I am just going on my pilgrimage will keep you updated and let you know what I decide.
     
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  19. Gotone

    Gotone Gretschie

    216
    Jan 2, 2012
    Ontario
    Oooh. Don't forget to take your 6120 on your pilgrimage. You don't want to cloud your judgement testing the amps out with an off the rack guitar.

    Sent from my SM-G900W8 using Tapatalk
     
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  20. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    Atlanta
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