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Fender '68 Custom Princeton Reverb 12-watt 1x10" Tube Combo Amp Reviews

4.5 stars based on 29 customer reviews
Questions about the Fender '68 Custom Princeton Reverb 12-watt 1x10" Tube Combo Amp?

Questions about the Fender '68 Custom Princeton Reverb 12-watt 1x10" Tube Combo Amp?

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  • from Foster City, CA June 10, 2017

    Loving it

    This thing so far sounds phenomenal. The vibrato on this is just beautiful. I have a 65 deluxe reverb but the vibrato sounds nothing close to the Princeton. All four of my guitars sounds great thru this. I have a strat style, 2 teles (single coil and humbuckers) , and a Les Paul. Can dial in tons of tone through this amp with all guitars.

  • from Plainfield, IL December 3, 2016Music Background:
    I love playing!

    Very Suprised

    This amp arrived this morning and I have a couple hours on it. Many say its an overly warm amp, others say very bright. Both are true but it also has everything in between. This amp can go either way depending on where you want to dial it in at. First impressions, excellent build physically. Lots of tonal options within the dials from warm and jazzy to crunchy blues and rock. Easy to see why this amp circuit has been used on many recordings. Classic sounding straight thru. My sweet spot so far is volume at 5 and use the guitar volume to dial the rest of the way, really opens the amp up IMO. Was not sure how I would like the stock celestion 10" but I feel it is an excellent stock fit. Could go different directions but I want to break it in stock first. Very touch sensitive amp, every bit as sensitive as my Morgan. This would make an excellent amp for anyones collection. Reverb is strong stock just like all other fender amps, from surf to soft and gentle its a good stock reverb IMO. Vibrato no matter where you like to set it at gives it the glaze. I would recommend this amp to anyone from stage to studio to home. Thank you Sweetwater. Excellent service as always.

  • from Ohio May 13, 2016

    Warm, Warm, Warm

    It's not a less expensive 65 PRRI, but it is less expensive, and it is a Princeton, just of another flavor...warm. The bassman tone stack dominates and so maybe single coils are the best fit, but man, what a fit! Fender reverb, Fender tremolo and killer looks. Mine is quiet and responsive and it just makes you FEEL it as you play with a tone all its own. This amp is way cool!

  • from March 14, 2016

    Best Go-to Combo Amp

    Easy the most overlooked amp, yet probably all you'll ever really need! I always turn mine up to 10 and play through her with p90 pickups. Instant tone Classic rock overdrive! It cleans up nice when you roll off the guitar volume. Also has spring reverb and a sweet trem! EXCELLENT! Perfect for garage bands and gigs. And it is super light so you can grab and go.

  • from New City, NY November 14, 2015

    Great product and great service!

    Very nice upgrade from my Blues jr. I am going to be happy for quite a while with this one finally found my sound. Special Thanks to Tyler in sales who went above and beyond to make the order happen. Thanks Sweetwater!

  • from San Francisco November 12, 2015Music Background:
    40+ years of giging and recording.

    Good as it gets!

    I watched all the video demos, but it wasn't till I played through one that I was sold.
    Fast forward over a year later, and 100's of hours of practicing, gigs, and recording it sounds better and takes pedals amazingly well... But you don't really need them, thanks to Joe Schafer and his help I've found my tone again.
    Breaks up at 4.5 to 5, but back off the tone on the amp and you'll get way more clean headroom, it's made for using your guitars controls, so go for it.
    You won't be disappointed!

  • from Orcutt October 19, 2015Music Background:
    Hobbyist / church worship / 60-70 rock / blues

    More than just for home use

    I've owned th his gem of a Fender 12 watt amp shortly after I heard it being played by someone else at a guitar store and knew I would be getting one for myself. I have found it to be great not just for the home but use it frequently at church. As we mic our amps through the house system this 22 watt jewel can hold it's own and then some. As advertised it takes to a pedal board like a great marriage. It is also super light to lug around and small enough to fit in with the other gear in the car. The only thing I did do was drop in a Celestion G10 Gold after hearing it in a 68 Custom Princeton if you enjoy the tone of the Fender amps and want a powerful amp with some grit to boot then check this one out as I'm certain like me you will be owning one too

  • from Brandon, FL September 25, 2015

    Yeah baby!

    While working on a new project in the studio, they had a Vox, Dr. Z, and 2 Marshall amps, so I walked in with this Princeton. The engineer was blown away! After that days session, he said I could leave it there! I don't think so!
    In larger venues, I simply Mic it up with an e906 and pump pure ecstasy thru the foh.
    This is by far the best sounding amp I have found! Just plug in your guitar, no effects needed, and listen to what electric guitar is supposed to sound like....

  • from Ocean City Md. August 19, 2015Music Background:
    Part time professional last 20 years.

    The Holy Grail of Tone

    This is my second single channel low wattage amp. The tone from this thing is incredible. If you are considering this and you are wondering if 12 watts is loud enough, don't be! This thing breaks up beautifully starting at about 4.5 on the volume knob. I love the tone above 5 but my stage mix would just be too loud. I chose this over the Deluxe because of the lower watts. If there was an 8 watt version that might even be better. I've come to discover that you have too much watts and aren't getting the most of your tone if your playing volume is less that 5.

    This amp is ultra quiet so would be great for recording. Depending on the venue I either use it with internal speaker or bypassing internal and going with two 12" cabs. Sounds great both ways. It seems to be eq'ed more on the bassy side, thus it loves single coil guitars. Rather than change my bass/treble settings on the amp when I switch to a hum bucker guitar, I use a overdrive with more high freq dialed in.

    The reverb and vibrato sound great. The reverb and amp in general is more touch sensitive than any that I've played. Small gripe is that I'd like an LED on the footswitch to alert when reverb and vibrato are on.

  • from Northern VA June 16, 2015Music Background:
    Gigging Musician

    Updated Review

    I bought this amp when it first came out for mostly studio-home use. Since then it has become my go to gigging amp!! Its so portable and sounds so good it has made life at gigs soooo much easier. I mic it to our bands PA and it sounds glorious. There is no need to haul around stacks of speakers and heavy amps. Wonderful fender tone that accepts pedals well - sounds great with a OD pedal pushing it. Has been super-reliable too. :)

  • from Jackson April 25, 2015Music Background:
    Active working musician

    So Pure!

    I am amazed at this little amp. First off, it is incredibly loud..like I can't even turn it past 3.5 when I play at church loud. Do not think that because of its size, it lacks any power. Secondly, It is very light! I played a DT 25 before I purchased this and that was 50 lbs! This one is somewhere around 30. HUGE difference and way easier to carry. Thirdly, this amp takes pedals like a champ! I bought a Cmatmods Brownie and when I kick it on, the princeton goes from a bell like clean little amp to a cranked marshall. It takes my boss overdrive really well too! Classic overdrive sounds. I play every weekend, so when it came time to replace my line 6, I needed something that would be reliable, light, and sweet sounding; This Fender 68 princeton fits the bill! Thank you Sweetwater!

  • from North Hollywoood / Portland April 19, 2015Music Background:
    Tracking Engineer

    Very Clean, Great Dynamic Range, Sweet little amp

    This amp is a tone beast. I've gotten nothing but great tones with little girl, its great for the studio. If you cant get this amp to sound killer you need to adjust your ears and/or signal path. Thank you Ryan Sloan and Sweetwater for the great service and quick shipping.

  • from United States January 24, 2015Music Background:
    Semi pro guitarist, Church worship leader.

    Beyond Satisfied

    What a great amp. It sounds amazing!!! Great tone, rich reverb and vibrato and takes pedals as advertised. I will use this for practice sessions and small venues. I may now consider the '68 Deluxe Reverb for larger venues. The '68 Twin may be a little overkill for me, but I am sure that it's amazing too. I was disappointed with a recent Fender Hot Rod Deluxe and Supersonic 22 that Sweetwater took back with no problem, but this new family or products seems to be what you'd expect from Fender.

  • from Lumberton, NJ January 9, 2015Music Background:
    Hobbyist, Home Recording Enthusiast

    Great amp for practice at home

    Nice amp overall for home use. I was looking for a nice practice amp that had that Fender clean sound plus some decent bluesy breakup. Single channel is great for me because it simplifies things greatly. Comes with the footswitch for control of reverb and tremolo, which sound great by the way - cover comes with it too. All control I need with this amp is via the pickup selectors and vol/tone controls on the guitar. Simplicity itself! Good practice levels at 1-4, starts to breakup at 5 and vol increases from there. Very nice overall and can't wait to try it out more. Thanks much to Chris Carter for the recommendation.

  • from Clinton Township, MI November 2, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Fender '68 Custom Princeton Reverb amplifier

    Most excelant guitar amp! I have a Fender Mustang amp that sounds good (Like 2 percent milk), but the 68 Princeton sounds like Heavy Cream!
    Sounds like I got a completely new guitar (Fender Blacktop Stratocaster)
    a very lush and clear sounding amp with fantastic reverb and tremolo. I absolutely love this amp!

  • from Jamestown, NC September 21, 2014Music Background:
    Long time guitarist and occasional gigging musician

    The real deal

    Purchased the 68 Custom Princeton Reverb recently from Sweetwater and absolutely love it. Super fast shipping by the Sweetwater folks.
    Let me tell you, this amp was made for stratocasters. It also sounds great with my p90 SG jr.
    Here's the thing folks...this amp will really make you appreciate the supreme law of tone that your ultimate sound is best when each piece of the signal chain compliments the others. If the amp over drives early like this one...use a guitar with weaker pickups. Just like peas and carrots!
    I've used it already at a couple of smaller gigs and you just can't beat the portability and rich tone of this amp. Highly recommended as long as you go into it with the right guitar and pickups.

  • from NY August 23, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    I love this amp

    I was considering buying an old Fender amp because that is the sound I decided I wanted to invest in. I'd have to have work done to the electronics, replace the speaker, etc. on a vintage model. I tested this model out, and loved it. 6 months later and I could not have been happier. If you could turn a stick of warm triple cream butter into sound waves, those waves would be coming out of this amp. Then again, these amps have a distinctive sound. If that's what you like then you wond be disappointed. TIP: when this comes shipped to you take a second to push the tubes in to make sure they are seated firmly.

  • from Northern VA June 30, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist/Gigging Musician

    Perfect Studio Amp

    This is a great little amp for recording/studio use - Especially if your looking for a great clean, blues, classic Fender sound. This little amp will make your Strat and Tele's come to life. This is the real deal Fender. I think the 6v6 power tubes are smoother than the EL84s often seen in small amps. I have a Fender Blues Jr. that cant touch the tone and attack/feel of this Princeton. Spend a little more and get the Princeton - well worth it! Only down side is the amp is too small for most gigs (unless of course you mic it). For studio use I disconnected the speaker input and Im running the "head" to an isolated mic'd Scagg Brothers Blues Jr. ext cab with a Ted Webber 12" speaker...sounds glorious and more open than the 10 inch celestion. The amp is light and compact - easy to get a good sound. If your primary goal is an amp to gig the clubs with, opt for the Custom Deluxe reverb. I wont gig with the princeton - the hoe/studio is where this one shines. Enjoy!

  • from Badgerland April 28, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist, weekend warrior

    i'd buy it again

    Received my 68 Custom Princeton Reverb about 2 weeks ago. Still honeymooning. Love this silverface look. Sounds as good as it looks. Pure, true Fender rev and trem. Nice (not squeaky, tinny or thin) clean tone up until about 4-5 when it starts to breakup (thick, not buzzy, not overpowering). Luv the natural breakup before it gets to "call the police" volume. There are tube swaps you can do if you need more headroom. If you STILL need more consider a 22w, 2 channel '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb for an extra $150 instead. If only they made that Custom Deluxe in a 2x10…hint, hint Fender.

  • from San Pedro, CA December 4, 2013

    Fender nailed it with these

    When I saw this, I tripped over myself to order it from Sweetwater. Fender video is very accurate depiction. It is not a SF Princeton reissue, nor is it same as '65 PRRI. Fender's tweaks-modifications make this amp highly useable right out of box - it provides a more full-bodied beefier tone and works like a charm with pedals. This 12 watt amp loses clean headroom after 4.5 volume, but the amp does not get louder after 5, just incrementally more overdriven. This is a good thing for players who appreciate a 12 watt volume threshold; the amp is solidly giggable in a moderate volume small room/club setting. If you need more clean headroom, look at the '68 DR or Twin. I A/B'd with my 12w Tweed Dlx, and the '68 Princeton behaves very similarly - for cleaner tone and using pedals set at 3.5 - 4.5; for more cranked tone out the door, set at 6+. I own and play various boutique amps, and a Blues Jr., and used to own Blues Deville and '65 DRRI. The '68 Custom Princeton is instantly amongst the most "go to" usable amps I have, just leapfrogged over a couple others, and just hits the spot. Oh another bonus, the #2 input (-6db) sounds really good also - nice for in the house). I play mostly old school rock 'n roll, blues, country, alternative.

  • from Nashville June 19, 2015Music Background:
    Beginner

    Awesome classic

    Great reproduction of a classic, rely loud for 12w. Wish it could switch to a lower watt for bedroom level.

  • from Kimberling City, MO November 10, 2014Music Background:
    I've played live music for 40+ years.

    I made a few simple changes

    I am really enjoying this new amp. I put in JJ Tubes and rebiased to a very reasonable 22 mA. Put in a Weber Beam Blocker and a Celestion G10 Vintage speaker. I flipped the power cord input so it can accept a right angle power cord that never has to be unplugged even when I put the cover on. All these changes have really changed the amp for the better. I can't recommend the G10 Vintage enough. It has opened the tone up to a full professional sound. It was a little muddy before the speaker upgrade. Truly stageworthy now. I wanted an amp I could take to small clubs and this is the coolest. It was fine the way it was, but now it is unbelievable. The speaker gave the amp more usable headroom for sure. Pedals work great with this amp. A lot of us change the speaker and tubes in a new Fender amp not because they are bad, but because there is way better. None of my changes are necessary. Out of the box, this is one great amp. I have already used it in clubs. It rocks!

  • from Morgantown, WV May 23, 2017

    68 Custom Princeton

    Nice amp. Excellent, warm clean sound. 4-5 on the volume is the sweet spot. Break up occurs around 6-6.5. Decent breakup. Gets nasty around 8. Tons of bass. I play with the bass backed all the way off. Changed the speaker to a WGS ET-10. Not sure that it improved it. The stock Celestion works very well with this amp. Definitely worth the price. Very portable. Fantastic reverb and tremolo, much better than the 65 DRRI. You won't regret making this purchase.

  • from Reno/Fallon April 14, 2017Music Background:
    Playing local Ca NV bars for over 40 years

    Gigging the 68 reissue Princeton

    So far I've taken my new '68 Princeton reissue to the local jams and been very happy. I got a wonderful sound using my 2x12 cabinet with older Celestine from England as well. I have a Blues Jr iii that also sounds sweet for open mic nights. I love having a gain control. Perhaps someday, Fender will create the perfect Hybrid of these two great amps.

  • from April 3, 2017

    Returned it for a Custom '68 Deluxe Reverb

    First off, this is a great amp. I went in looking for a 65 PRRI blackface, but when I plugged into this for comparision in the shop it was game over. The '65 sounded brittle with little warmth and little low end. This thing had all of those and managed to keep the Fender sparkle.

    So why trade? Well it the Deluxe has both the Bassman tone circuit and the blackface circuit...and the blackface circuit sounded more delicious on a DRRI than the '65 PRRI I tried, way more (warmth sparkle, etc..) Both '68 PRRI and DRRI have the Bassman, and it is a great circuit, but on the DRRI you can jump the channels and play the blackface and bassman at once....Wow!

    I also didn't like the way the PRRI broke up, it is not as smooth and refined as the DRRI.
    The tremolo on the PRRI is way better than the DRRI, the best....never heard any tremolo that good. The reverb was solid but not as good as the DRRI. I ended up playing dry mostly on PRRI.

  • from Bentonville, Arkansas January 26, 2017Music Background:
    Blues. Guitarist/Vocalist for the Jeff Horton Band

    Very impressed

    I love my 68 Custom Princeton Reverb! What an incredible sounding amp right out of the box! As with all my amps, I played the stock tubes for a week or so and then re-tubes it without Mullard power tubes and JJ Preamp tubes, and it really brought the amp to life! I'm considering getting another one!

  • from April 8, 2015

    Great tube sound

    Great sounding amp that is deceivingly loud. Nice break-up, nice cleans and the reverb is the best in the business. I've had no issues with QC (as some have) but do get some cabinet rattles at high bass volumes. That's the only thing keeping me from a 5-star rating.

  • from Lincoln, NE March 23, 2014Music Background:
    Gigging Hobbyist

    Great Low Wattage Combo

    I've owned many Fender tube amps over the years, both vintage and contemporary, and this one's as good as any I've owned. The clean sound is great and it breaks up nicely once you pass five on the dial. As others have noted, it is a bit on the bassy side but this only seems detrimental with some of my humbucker-equipped guitars, mostly notably my Les Paul Studio with 57 Classic pickups, but sounds decent with others, such as my 72 Tele Thinline Reissue. It sounds uniformly great with single coils, though. I've used it for several bands rehearsals now and there's plenty of volume for that application, especially in a smaller room. I think it would be eminently useable for any club gig where the amps are mic'd up. The size and weight are great. I think it puts out a sound that's wider and deeper than the size of the cabinet implies, if that makes sense. Not sold on the speaker yet, but I'm going to stick with it for now. Overall, I'm pleased with the amp. For what it's worth, I actually preferred it to the 65 PRRI.

  • from Allen January 26, 2017

    Quality control an issue?

    I wanted to love this amp and if it wasn't full of cabinet rattle and buzz I would have. Out of the box, the amp had a very distinct rattle on low notes above volume 3. I tightened every screw in this amp, pulled the tubes and put them back in, making sure they were tight, and still had a terrible rattle. It was to the point where it was unplayable above 3. I know amps will have some buzz here and there. I get that but this was with every low note (pretty much everything on the E and A strings) and it was very loud. Maybe I got a bad one but I don't really want to try another one and have to ship that back to so I'll be looking at the 65 Princeton or maybe another amp altogether.

    I've noticed several other reviews and posts on forums mentioning the 68 having bad cabinet rattle. Fender, take note!

Questions about the Fender '68 Custom Princeton Reverb 12-watt 1x10" Tube Combo Amp?

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