'65 Princeton Reverb amp
Sweetwater sales engineer suggested this would be a good choice for me. Thomas was right. I can't say enough about this amp. Perfect for me in every way. Play every day.
Sweetwater sales engineer suggested this would be a good choice for me. Thomas was right. I can't say enough about this amp. Perfect for me in every way. Play every day.
I love, love, love this amp. I bought mine from Jason Kovack a few months ago to use at home and on the small stage. I thought it sounded nice at low volume but I wanted the amp to be everything it could be so I dropped a Celestion G10 Gold speaker in there and Holy Smoke!!! I'm cruisin' with my Strat and Tele and everything was sounding great. Plenty of headroom with the new speaker for larger gigs. Then just for grins I plugged my ES-335 in and turned it up on New Years Eve and...well, I just had no idea what to expect. Talk about creamy solo's and clear chords at fairly high volume! This is now my go to amp on every gig. Really! Thanks Jason. I couldn't be happier. Sweetwater is the best dealer in the business, period. Nobody can even come close the the service they provide.
3rd times the charm...
Fyi this purchase was a 3 month process of reviews, YouTube videos, and trying amps.
For starters, I've been playing live thru a hot Rod Deluxe 40 w for years. A lot of power, drive channel, great sound, surprisingly quiet... but I wanted a smaller home studio amp as well. Hot rod for live, Princeton for studio.
Initially I bought the 68 silverface Princeton reissue from sweetwater and it arrived with a very loud rattle. I returned it.
I then decided I would sell the hot Rod Deluxe on Craigslist and buy the 68 deluxe reverb Silverface reissue from sweetwater and use this one amp for both my studio and live needs. Seemed to be a solid plan and the right amp for that. Well that one showed up busted (missing screws, major hum and a busted Vibrato channel). Frustration set it.
My sales rep Adam Chesi is awesome however and we discussed several options at this point... and he was going to give his fender reps a serious talking to re: their quality control ha.
So... I decided I'd revisit the Princeton but this time go with the 65 blackface reissue (this one) because it seemed to have the most clean headroom (breaks up around 5.5-6) whereas the 68 Princeton breaks up earlier (4ish).
After having this amp now (in perfect condition... Adam tested it before sending) I've decided to sell the hot Rod Deluxe and use this Princeton amp exclusively for both live and studio. It's quiet (very low hum if any), clean tones are great... it's actually MUCH more powerful than I thought it would be. I thought the 10" Jensen would be as quiet as a lunchbox amp and it seems to pack as much of a punch as the hot Rod deluxe. And it takes pedals very well. I am using a JHS ruby red (super bolt) and the distortion sounds great. I don't see myself using the Vinrato very much for my style. That's the one feature I could take or leave. But all in all I'm in love with this amp.
I bought my Princeton in '68 as a junior in high school. Over all these years(I am 64 now) this amp has never failed to please. I had a Pro Reverb in the 90s for more power, but the beastly weight and size was not warranted, Use the ext. spkr. jack to add a single 15" Realistic musical instrument speaker and it is phenomenal. Don't be fooled by 15 watts, with the internal ten inch speaker it provides all you need and if miced any size venue can be covered while not driving you deaf standing in front of it. Build yourself a little wood stand to hold and tilt it up towards you for a great sound. The long spring reverb is absolutely its own flavor and highly desirable.My little old amp still sounds great, never have changed a tube.
It has taken me about seven years of moving from smaller modeling valve amps to a large well made kuston 36 with a master control I loved but a speaker I wasn't fond of and replaced with a nice alnico Weber. I always tried different guitars through a Princeton amp at all the shops and realized if I need more volume again (which would be doubtful at sixty and all the stage facilities are much more advanced than when I played in a small band in Texas in the late sixties/early seventies) I could just mic the amp. I finally sold and traded down all amps to two. A fender Champ x2 with a mod to a weber alnico and a Great Princeton 68 reissue. I still think it might just be a regular 65 reissue silver face, but it has changed my life for the better while playing and practicing at home. All my neighbors have told me how much they appreciate me practicing loud enough for them to hear. This was not the case prior to the Princeton. I highly recommend to anyone looking to buy a smaller wattage tube amp to consider the Princeton reissue reverb siver face models. You might be at the end of your search like me.
Like another reviewer, I replaced the stock Jensen speaker with a Celestion Gold 10. Wow... What an upgrade. It took a very nice sounding amp to a great sounding amp. I've been using it at small gigs, and have even taken it to a loud jam. Never had a problem being heard, or having enough clean headroom. I usually get asked to turn down when I hit "4" on th volume control. I do goose the thing with a Klon klone, always on, which adds a whole additional layer of goodness without affecting the inherent superb tone of the amp in any negative way. I can't quite bring myself to use only this amp, something about being raised in the "big amp" era. I still take out my 50w Dr Z and 68 Deluxe Reverb at bigger gigs, but if I had to only use this amp the rest of my life there would be no problem. It's that good, and sounds better than anything else I own. And, yes, it takes pedals as good as any other amp I've used, including the Z.
For sale: Blues Jr. with upgraded tubes that I'll never use again now that I've A/B'd it side by side with my new '65 PRRI. After the Junior and one of those nifty Ibanez tube heads and a custom cab with Webers didn't quite cut it, I decided to quit fooling around and buy the real thing. The Twin Reverb is wonderful but you have to play it at a zillion DB to push it into breakup. The DRRI is wonderful but it won't bark and growl the way this one will when pushed, and a good clean OD pedal (I use an Analogman King Of Tone) will push it into sweet breakup with the volume at a modest 3-4 volume, but it cleans up as well as the DRRI to my ear. And holy cow is that a LOUD 15 watts, I've had the drummer beg me to turn down from 5, and truth is I can't bear it much louder than that. Real authentic vintage sounding tank reverb and old school trem, it's the whole package. I think I'm done amp shopping for life.
I was looking for a good low-power amp but was concerned with all the chatter about reliability problems with this amp. Mark Bruhn from Sweetwater assured me that the problems were in the past and the amp was reliable and bug-free. The amp has lived up to my expectations. I have a 66 Princeton reverb that I do not like to take out of the house so this will be my gigging amp. The tone is very close to the 66! The amp is pure old-school Fender tone. I play country rock and blues and the amp handles all I can give it. It works well with my Les Pauls, but it really shines when I play a telecaster through it.
Great amp... Great service from Sweetwater... A winning combination!
I've owned and used some of the best Fender amps ever made. My '65 Princeton reissue has that comfort sound I grew up on. No matter what the genre of music, this amp works. It offers the quintessential Fender tone! As always, Delvin is the best to work with.
I owned a mid 70s silver face 30 years ago and traded it for $50 dollars. Wished I had it now but I bought the 65 re-issue after doing some research. I received one of the newer models that includes a cage around the recto and power tubes as well as an additional brace on the baffle to prevent rattling. Also, the baffle is MDF while the rest of the cabinet is birch. After using several guitars with hum-buckers, including an Epi-Dot, I heard no rattling when the amp was turned up to 10. The power tube saturation was beautiful though, more than I expected or remembered. This is a great sounding amp. I did notice a hum from the reverb that turned out to be a bad ground in one room. There was never any hum from the pre-amp section though. Moving the amp to another room with better grounding COMPLETELY eliminated the reverb hum. The reverb and tremolo turned up together is like no other amp; spacious and dreamy. One of the best.
Chose 5 stars. Wow, blown away. The voice of the PRRI is classic/vintage Fender sound. Plug in my '51 Custom Shop Fender Nocaster Relic and the sonic match is incredibly corrrect sounding. I.e. classic Fender voicing. The PR Reissue is the right physical size and ideal power for the clean headroom I want for my gigs and home. and when I dig in at '4' to '5' on the Volume, it can go from sweet, pure, clear to adding a bit of natural tube overdriven grit and hair on the notes.
I did however make a couple upgrades: 1. replaced the stock Jensen 10" with a Celestion G10 Gold 10" Speaker. That was an amazing upgrade. But the next upgrade pushed it over the top!
2. I replaced the stock Output Transformer with an Allen Amps TO20 Transfomer. This was critical to tighten up the low end and elminated the flabby farty mushy low end. Especially noticeable when I engaged a good OD pedal like a Jetter GS124 etc.
The combination of G10 Celestion 10" Gold and the Allen Amps TO20 transformer was huge! The Tremolo is classic and great sounding too! A Wonderfully musical and three dimensional amp!
I owned the original when in a band during my high school years. I even had it driving a twin 12 Fender cab. I always like to say tube watts are louder than their number. I sold it when I began my career and stopped playing guitar. I resumed playing 11 years ago and could find nothing that matched my old one. I picked up a used one (reissue) a week ago and it is as great as I remember my original. I wish I would have bought this when 1st reissued. Start with this amp and save yourself a lot of time and money! The 'verb and trem can't be beat!
Turn up its volume and hear yourself play. Gee, was that me on the guitar?
perfect right out of the box.just great sound no issues period.we contact nick church with what we want and next we know its on our doorstep.grwat sound and great service,thanks nick!!!
Well first off, read the other reviews for this amp, a lot of clear feedback and I totally agree with the other 5 star reviews. This amp is the real deal. Both straight in with a little of that Fender Reverb and Vibrato...man, the blues sound so sweet. Also great with pedals, they enhance that already excellent tone...The size and volume were just right for me, for home use.
Great service from as usual from Jeff Green. Highly recommended!
I am an amateur guitar player. I have been playing for 30 years or so. I have been practicing with a Fender Super Champ XD. The Super Champ is a great sounding amp. However as soon as I plugged into the Princeton I immediately recognized the magical Fender tone. A world of difference. It was like switching from a Chevy to a Cadillac. There is no turning back. Next stop Fender Deluxe Reverb or bust.
People. I have tried every amp out there. From Marshall, to Mesa Boogie, to Egnater, take your pic!
The older I get (49) I find I just like a good clean channel and my favorite pedals.
So, I decided, after much research, that if all I want is a super sounding clean amp to add pedals too, there were three choices. The Twin Reverb, the Bassman, and the Princeton.
After much research, I realized that the Princeton was for me, and man was I right. Here's the deal. I play small clubs, And I would bet a night with a model that if you are here reading this that you also play small clubs! If that is your deal, and you want good sound, Buy this amp! Get rhe right pedal's and rock the universe!
Then this is your next amp.
Up front, I am a Fender guy all the way. Leo Fender got it right back in the 1950s as far as I am concerned, and everyone has been trying to catch up ever since. I already own a Deluxe Reverb Reissue as well as a vintage (1973) Vibro Champ plus Strats and Teles. I had just solf off my Bassman Reissue because it was just way more than I needed at this stage, so I was amp shopping for something smaller and lighter with 10" speakers.
You may think that there is little or no difference between the Deluxe Reverb and the Princeton Reverb. I did, at first by rudimentary comparison. Thought the Princeton was just a smaller Deluxe. But the more I talked with people and read other folk's experiences I decided to give the Princeton a try based on size, weight, on board reverb and tremolo plus the right speaker size.
Well, was I surprised by how good this thing sounds! It is for me the absolute perfect amp because:
- The Fender clean tone is absolutely there, in spades even up to and past 5 on the volume dial. At 5 it crunches slightly. At 7 it crunches more and at 10 it breaks up very nicely IMHO. And it's not so loud you check for ear bleeding either.
- The reverb is a full size spring, tube driven reverb. Tasty indeed.
- The tremolo is the stuff of legend if you dig this particular effect. I do and this is on more than it's off. The Deluxe has an optical trem that is "OK", but clicks like crazy when engaged and drives me nuts after a while. Not so with this, and while I am not 100% sure - I believe this circuit is a bias tremolo circuit. It is certainly worlds better than the Deluxe in this regard.
- The 10" speaker is a ceramic Jensen and is is an excellent pick for this amp. Others may change it out I suppose, but I'm keeping this one in there.
- It takes pedals extremely well. Way better than the Deluxe which isn't bad at taking them. I use a variety of high quality analog pedals by Fulltone (Plimsoul, OCD, Mini Deja Vibe, Clyde Wah), MXR (Carbon Copy Analog Delay) and a TC Electronic Ditto Looper.
This is NOT a honeymoon review. I have had this amp for over a month now, and I have had the same guitar (a 50th Anniversary American Series Stratocaster) plugged into it since the day it arrived and have played it MANY hours over that time. It sounds great to me each and every time I flip the switch on and play. Musical style played include surf (of course), fusion, funk, electric blues and classic rock...you name it and it sounds wonderful in this configuration. I usually have the amp set at 5 and my girl (who is NOT a fan of loud at all) has never said boo about it being too loud. In fact, she has said it sounds exceptionally sweet, which trust me is a BIG deal.
There was a fellow who said this amp was bad and not to buy it. I have no idea what he's talking about. My advice is to ignore that review and if you're on the fence and like the styles and sounds I mention here, do it.
I havent changed my review but i'd like to respond to the complaint of "no good dont buy"'. Im not sure a about a "splat" sound, but i would bet a months pay that the "problem" you are describing is the result of Fender shipping these amps with a 5AR4 rectifier tube. I'll grant that The 5AR4 IS an odd choice for a 15 watt vintage Fender combo. The only thing I can guess is Fender wanted the amp to have more compression and a "modern" quick response to try and compete with the super triple-recto-bonecrusher-5 channel-modeling combo on sale at the Big Box store, and thats providing any "splat" your might have heard. Its a shame you sold the amp because simply intalling a 5U4G type or even a 5Y3 ,as the originals used would "solve" it for you. Sag and "Touch dynamic distortion" restored.....Its a shame some people are going to read that lousy review and maybe miss out on buying a great American amp,at a decent price.
This Fender reissue is IMHO far better than even the original. This Princeton Reverb behaves quite a bit more like an old original Deluxe.I dont know why the guy who left a 1 star review for this amp did so, except that maybe he thought this amp was going to be like the 70's silverface Fenders that were so "'clean' they could have been used (and often were used) for Bass amps.This little Princeton Reverb is an anachronism (which i hope Fender has the good taste to keep building).It has the voice of early and Brittish Invasion rock n roll , bluesy riff based rock n roll. The long spring reverb alone is ebough reason to have one. But I like to Jump the channels with an ABY box, a Good vibe effect and maybe slight clean boost to heat'er up, for my favorite liquid guitar tones. Its amazing how guys will go on and on about Soldano,Buddah or Bogner, who have copied original Fenders so closely, and dump on Fenders. Maybe Fender should charge $3500.00. NO! forget I said that.
This is absolutely the best small amp you can get that has the classic Fender sound you know and love!!!
Let me just say I've had one of these for only a few months and have been nothing but impressed. The reverb and vibrato on this is amazing. Also it comes with a great fender warranty. The drive knob on mine got bumped and I sent it in under warranty and fender fixed it at no cost with little hassle. The tone on this thing is great to but if you need that extra crunch or lows to your guitar tone I definitely recommend picking up a overdrive or distortion pedal.
The Fender '65 Princeton Reverb is an incredible amp. As all serious players know, tone is the Holy Grail for guitarists, and this amp has it in spades. The Fender Princeton Reverb perfectly articulates each note with clarity, precision, and detail; furthermore, it heightens each of those qualities with a sublime reverb and, if you like, a twinge of delicious vibrato. If you're a big effects player, the amp handles pedals with aplomb. That said, the tone of the amp, sans effects, is so deliciously addictive you'll find yourself regularly playing your favorite guitar in a very minimalist manner. All you need is your favorite ax coupled with your personal tweaks of those six dials on the face of the amp, and you're making music as soulfully and tonally as physics will allow. I can plug in any of my electric guitars: a Stratocaster, Telecaster, Gibson ES 335, or my personal favorite, a Gretsch 6120 (recently purchased from Sweetwater), and every time I do it makes me so very glad I decided to learn how to play the guitar some 50 plus years ago. If you're stuck in a musical rut - and we all are at one time of another - I recommend you consider the Princeton Reverb as the perfect cure for what ails you.
It’s hard to believe that I have been playing guitar for 50 years. It’s true. Rock and Roll, mainly, and always a just a hobbiest. Never wanted to make a living doing it, although I did fantasize about it from time to time. I am no virtuoso. Never have been. I just love to play well. I would rate myself as pretty dang good. Better than many. But, there are many great guitar players. Over the years, I have had many guitars. Because I didn’t play professionally, I never had a real need for many amps. I have had a few, though. Big amps. More power and speakers than necessary. We played rock and roll through big amps. Now, I am 60 years old. Still rockin’ and rollin’-always will-, but suffering from the usual side effects- ringing ears and a really sore back. Can’t do much about the ringing ears. Memo to self- wear earplugs. As for my aching back, it just made sense to unload the heavy stuff. It was sensible and necessary. I couldn’t hardly lift the darn stuff anymore. I recently parted with my 9.5 lb Les Paul and my 2 x 12, 60 watt boutique tube amp. Both monsters. I loved them. For the good times. Which brings me to my point here. I bought a Fender ‘65 Princeton re-issue. I can pick it up! The amp is a little treasure. Great sounds come out of it. It can be soft or it can get loud. It can be clean or it can be raunchy. It handles all genres of music with excellent tone. I wish it had a standby switch- my only complaint. Not a large problem. The reverb and vibrato are more than adequate. Pedals sound perfectly fine coming through. Not sure who started that rumor that pedals sound better through the ’68. The 10 inch Jensen speaker has a vintage sound in the ’65, which was one of the main reasons that I chose it. And hey, when they call me to play the Beacon Theater, I won’t worry about bringing a small amp. I’ll mic it! Thank you, Fender, for accommodating me as I closely approach advanced age. And my ears and my back thank you, as well.
I had an Original Brand New '64 Princeton Reverb that I got from my Father and Brother along with a New Fender Duo Sonic Guitar that they bought me at Ernie Balls Music Shop in in Tarzana CA.as my first Real Guitar and Amp...This one is very close in sound and playability...Looks Great and authentic! Sweetwater does it again...Thanks to Wayne over in Sales!!!
I got this for blues-inflected jazz, and strictly for in-home use. It is amazing. It blows my Polytone away, and, unlike the deluxe reverb I used to use, it is not too bright and it gets incredible tube effects at low volumes. It is perfect for what I need it for.
i have owned my Princeton since 1968, when I bought a used amp from a h.s. friend. I've never replaced a tube. )The only thing I had to do was in the mid 9i0s, I had to replace the two power supply capacitors to get rid of a hum. Now it is as clean as new and still a killer amp.Watch the Marty Stuart show and you'll see Kenny Vaughn using a Princeton on the show.
Paid the extra dollars for the 65 re-issue. Arrived. Plugged in and all appeared to be in order except for the reverb. Noticeable growling at low or higher volumes and at varying intensity of reverb. Sounded like a faulty reverb tank. Took it the reverb unit out to verify that the springs were not damaged, then sat the reverb unit away from the amp and off the cardboard and the same condition persisted. Returned this to sweetwater for a replacement which they are promptly sending. I have never had a faulty reverb on any of my amps I purchased in the past so curious where these tanks are being manufactured. The amp is stamped California, but some of the components appear to be from other countries.
I recently purchased a Fender 65 Princeton reverb and was having trouble with one of the power tubes. It actually fell out! As it turns out, the tube pin inside the socket was bent down and the fool that installed the tube just pushed it in and left it. It was tested by "m", also tested by "w" and finished by "y". Somebody with initials "ro" also signed and dated it 07-16. Of course they wouldn't sign their names because their work is *****. "Assembled" in the USA? Ha! These people need to be sent to Mexico for retraining. I hadn't bought anything by Fender for a long time. Lesson learned. I won't be buying Fender again. Promise.
I would have loved this amp but the cabinet noise which I assume is because of it being made form MDF.
Fender should stick with the Baltic Birch as they have done with the Deluxe and other fender amps. It would appear that Fender is aware of this since they are using different materials for some of their amps.
What a shame they did not do this with the Princeton. It makes it impossible to use a condenser mic on it for recording at a close proximity. Wish I could have given it 5 stars
this amp is almost good, but NOT! i grew up playing a princeton reverb so after playing it for over 15 yrs, i know how they should sound. a decent princeton reverb is absolutely one of the best amps ever made. fender came close with this reissue and completely blew it.
this reissue amp sounds wonderful with vol on 3 and tones on 5. just like a good orig princeton, the reissue sounds great up to that point. but a princeton is also supposed to sound touch-sensitive gritty on vol5 and have the most amazing touch sensitive distortion up to vol10.
the reissue ALMOST does it, BUT there is a horrible "BLAT" sound that accompanies what should be that incredible touch-sensitive distortion. this problem is written about all over the various forums on the web. people refer to it as 'cab rattle', but it's not.
believe me, i really did not want to give up on the reissue because it is almost(but not) great, but it was unfixable. people write about changing the tubes, the spkr, the baffle board etc. i was almost going to go that route because i really did want this to work. of course i resent having to rebuild a brand new $900 amp from the ground up!
anyway, i decided to test if it was the spkr, or cab as alot of folks who are modding this amp on the web seemed to think, so i plugged into into various spkr cabs i have that work well. it turned out the same problem occurred with perfectly good spkr/cabs. i tried several.
i contacted various people who did mod their prri's. several did extensive mods, but then sold them anyway!
sorry, but this amp has a design flaw. it's all over the internet. buyer beware. this is a dawg!
save your $ and get on orig princeton or one of the clones out there-fender really messed up this chance.
I ordered the 65 Princeton Reverb as soon as they were available. I've owned many Fender amps over the years and used those that I haven't owned. I own a Blues Jr. that I love.
I was greatly disappointed in the new 65 Princeton Reverb from the minute I first plugged it in. It just doesn't have the power that I felt it should. My 15 watt Blues Jr. does a decent job in nearly every venue the you could imagin, even on outdoor gigs, (un-miked). If you need any more power than the Blues Jr. gives you, you will most likely be playing in a setup where everything is miked. Also, our rhythm player uses a 15 watt Fender Pro Jr. for practice, (very small and easy to transport). Like the Blues Jr. the 15 watt Pro Jr. also blew away the 65 Princeton Reverb.
I actually felt the new Princeton was defective. Maybe a weak pre-amp tube. You could detect initial signal break-up with the dial set at just 4.5, and obvious distortion at 5.5. The Blues Jr. has a 12 inch speaker and the Princeton has a 10 inch but didn't feel that should have made that much difference in the volume. Maybe it does.
I attempted to use it at our next practice session the day after it arrived. By the end of our first warm up song (Eagles - Take it Easy) I was unplugging it and hooking up my Blues Jr.
I drove the 90 miles and returned the amp. They took it straight to their tech department and checked it out. Low and behold, no problems existed and it was putting out just over 15 watts on the scope.
This amp was just not going to work for me so I upgraded to the Fender Deluxe Reverb. For the 50 bucks difference in price, I should have bought the Deluxe Reverb to begin with, but wanted the 8 pound lighter Princeton after having two back surgeries. Also I wanted the foot switchable reverb and tremalo/vibrato that the Blues Jr. didn't have.
If you don't need more than small room volume, the Princeton could do the job for you. I will say the reverb tank sounds much better than the Blues Jr. Overall, it's the typical Fender tube sound. It just doesn't have the guts for my use.
Again, I would highly recommend the Fender Deluxe Reverb for just a few bucks more. The 22 watts isn't too much to get a lower volume for practicing, the 12 inch speaker over the Princeton 10 inch is an improvement, and the Reverb tank sounds even better yet.
I'm still perplexed over the volume difference of the Princeton compared to two other 15 watt Fender tube amps. But, I'm absolutely happy with the Deluxe Reverb.
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