Do you like Fender Clean tone at reasonable volume?
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.