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1956 Fender Princeton with 10 inch Celestion Ceramic

TPC168

Member
Messages
293
I wanted to provide some updates on how the Narrow Panel Princeton has been working out for me. Essentially, this little guy has become my main amp for rehearsing and gigging. My other thread has gut shots of before and after, as it has been re-capped, and a few weeks ago, my tech did change some tone caps. The Celestion Blue Bulldog 8 ohm ceramic speaker has been incredible. I have provided a quick video clip recently done with the 10 inch speaker. Though I liked the 8 inch speaker I had in there before, there is no comparison to the Celestion.

When mic'd, this thing sounds huge through a PA. This amp has been one of the best gear purchases I've made in a long time. Thanks to Killer Vintage in St. Louis MO for great communication and a stellar vintage amp. I can't recommend them highly enough. After some TLC, this thing sings!






 
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TPC168

Member
Messages
293
At the threat of turning this in to a better homes and gardens thread, my wife and I moved into this farmhouse a little over two years ago. It sits on her father's dairy farm of about 600 acres. We've done a ton of work to the house, and that deck was in deplorable shape a few summers ago before I refinished it. Those fan pattern on the railings goes all the way around the deck. It's a large deck, and needless to say, the sanding, staining, etc. is painstaking. I was glad when I finished.
 

TPC168

Member
Messages
293
Totally sweet rig, enjoy!
Am I crazy wanting to run this Princeton together with a Tweed Champ in stereo? The 59 Champ I'm thinking about getting needs some work, which my tech would turn into a monster amp. Though they have similar circuits, I find the Champ to be a touch darker sounding and narlier, and combined with the touch sensitivity of the Princeton (a bit more hi-fi), I think they would compliment each other really well. I would probably be buying a radial tonebone box with the switches to cancel hum and such--other recommendations would be great.

If you or others think that these amps in stereo would be an exercise in redundancy, let me know. On the surface, it would appear that way, but I'm thinking it would be awesome!
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,354
I think a Tweed Champ might be a bit redundant.

Finding a Harvard might be a challenge.

5E3 and a Princeton should compliment each other nicely, but demand pushes the prices up.

I would look for a super clean '61-64 Ampeg Reverberocket or Jet.

Historically Ampeg beat Fender in having both Reverb and Tremolo in a small combo. Plus these little Ampegs have all kinds of mojo.
 

TPC168

Member
Messages
293
I think a Tweed Champ might be a bit redundant.

Finding a Harvard might be a challenge.

5E3 and a Princeton should compliment each other nicely, but demand pushes the prices up.

I would look for a super clean '61-64 Ampeg Reverberocket or Jet.

Historically Ampeg beat Fender in having both Reverb and Tremolo in a small combo. Plus these little Ampegs have all kinds of mojo.
Yeah, I would love a Tweed Deluxe someday. The prices are high, and they will more than likely keep going up. I have some dough into the Princeton, so I can't pay the Deluxe premiums. If I do pick up another Fender Tweed, it can be a player grade--doesn't have to be minty.

I'm thinking this Champ might be had for a decent price; I'm thinking of throwing out an offer.

The Ampegs are great, no doubt. Prices on those are excellent. They can be had for cheap. There was a Ampeg Mercury M-12 that was for sale close to me for around 400 bucks. It had been all recapped and restored. It may still be for sale. Wonder why those Ampegs don't bring the money. A few years ago, Ampegs seemed to be selling for higher, but recently higher priced ones just sit around. Maybe it's time to pick one up.
 
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FFTT

Member
Messages
28,354
If you hear them with the original very low efficiency speakers, they sound to the ear as way underpowered.
Like half of potential volume.

This throws people off not understanding what a great speaker can do for these amps.

They run a bit dark and just need a tight crisp high efficiency driver.

I've got just under $1000.00 into my '64 R12R-M and topping $1,600.00 into My '65 Gemini I with upgrade everything including a $300.00 Fane.

Couldn't build either of these amps period correct for under $2500.00 each.
 

TPC168

Member
Messages
293
If you hear them with the original very low efficiency speakers, they sound to the ear as way underpowered.
Like half of potential volume.

This throws people off not understanding what a great speaker can do for these amps.

They run a bit dark and just need a tight crisp high efficiency driver.

I've got just under $1000.00 into my '64 R12R-M and topping $1,600.00 into My '65 Gemini I with upgrade everything including a $300.00 Fane.

Couldn't build either of these amps period correct for under $2500.00 each.
You've got two incredible Ampegs right there. I'd love to see some pics!

My tech has a reworked Magnatone M10 head with the reverb section removed, and it sounds sick! The amp is sort of like an M9. These are also killer amps. Undervalued too.
 
Messages
186
Great amp and nice playing, TPC. One question regarding the Bluedog in the amp now. Isn't there an ohm mismatch with the Princeton? Any concern about that? I have a 1960 tweed Princeton, and I've been contemplating a speaker swap myself. Thanks. Oh, and Dave and the gang at Killer Vintage are great!
 

TPC168

Member
Messages
293
Great amp and nice playing, TPC. One question regarding the Bluedog in the amp now. Isn't there an ohm mismatch with the Princeton? Any concern about that? I have a 1960 tweed Princeton, and I've been contemplating a speaker swap myself. Thanks. Oh, and Dave and the gang at Killer Vintage are great!
Hi Michael, there are a lot of inconsistencies with the ohm tap on these narrow panel Princetons. You need to check each amp individually to see what load it can take. I don't think there's a universal ohm that they take, as some have checked out to accept 4 ohm and others, like mine, take an 8 ohm speaker. If yours accepts a 4 ohm, there would be little damage done by going with an 8 ohm speaker, but don't go backwards--8 ohm tap shouldn't go down to 4 ohm. It'll make amp run too hot.

So, first check out what your Princeton will accept. What ohm speaker do you have in there now? These amps sound very good with Rola pre-Celestion Alnicos. That'll give you early breakup, sweet organic tone, if a bit brighter. The ceramics yield a bit more headroom--for my music, I like ceramics in these. But, it's all up to personal taste. There's a ton of options out there.
 

e???

Member
Messages
2,967
Am I crazy wanting to run this Princeton together with a Tweed Champ in stereo? The 59 Champ I'm thinking about getting needs some work, which my tech would turn into a monster amp. Though they have similar circuits, I find the Champ to be a touch darker sounding and narlier, and combined with the touch sensitivity of the Princeton (a bit more hi-fi), I think they would compliment each other really well. I would probably be buying a radial tonebone box with the switches to cancel hum and such--other recommendations would be great.

If you or others think that these amps in stereo would be an exercise in redundancy, let me know. On the surface, it would appear that way, but I'm thinking it would be awesome!
Running a tweed champ in stereo with that thing would be awesome
 

TPC168

Member
Messages
293
Running a tweed champ in stereo with that thing would be awesome
See, that's what I'm thinking. Essentially, you're running two class A, cathode biased amps together for touch sensitivity heaven--I could imagine that would sound awesome, like you mentioned. I'd love to hear from someone who is running a similar rig.
 
Messages
186
Hi Michael, there are a lot of inconsistencies with the ohm tap on these narrow panel Princetons. You need to check each amp individually to see what load it can take. I don't think there's a universal ohm that they take, as some have checked out to accept 4 ohm and others, like mine, take an 8 ohm speaker. If yours accepts a 4 ohm, there would be little damage done by going with an 8 ohm speaker, but don't go backwards--8 ohm tap shouldn't go down to 4 ohm. It'll make amp run too hot.

So, first check out what your Princeton will accept. What ohm speaker do you have in there now? These amps sound very good with Rola pre-Celestion Alnicos. That'll give you early breakup, sweet organic tone, if a bit brighter. The ceramics yield a bit more headroom--for my music, I like ceramics in these. But, it's all up to personal taste. There's a ton of options out there.
Thanks for the response. My Princeton currently has the original 8" speaker. I was thinking of going up to a beefier 10" to get more headroom in order to use the amp with my band. But not too much headroom to lose the great touch sensitive drive.
 

TPC168

Member
Messages
293
Thanks for the response. My Princeton currently has the original 8" speaker. I was thinking of going up to a beefier 10" to get more headroom in order to use the amp with my band. But not too much headroom to lose the great touch sensitive drive.
When I speak of Princeton headroom with the 10 inch ceramic Celestion, I'm not talking about Bassman type of headroom. This thing is gonna be hairy at 4.5 on the amp volume and guitar volume turned up. But the thing is, these amps are so touch sensitive that you really need to have them turned up, running those tubes nice and warm. Just pick lighter and adjust your dynamic control, riding the guitar volume. There's something about these cathode biased, single ended amps that just sing. I'm now looking for a Tweed Champ to go with my Princeton.
 
Messages
186
When I speak of Princeton headroom with the 10 inch ceramic Celestion, I'm not talking about Bassman type of headroom. This thing is gonna be hairy at 4.5 on the amp volume and guitar volume turned up. But the thing is, these amps are so touch sensitive that you really need to have them turned up, running those tubes nice and warm. Just pick lighter and adjust your dynamic control, riding the guitar volume. There's something about these cathode biased, single ended amps that just sing. I'm now looking for a Tweed Champ to go with my Princeton.
I hear you. I have a tweed Champ, too. I dig it, but the bigger box of the Princeton translates to a bigger sound. If you're looking for another tweed to compliment or augment your Princeton, I would recommend something a little larger, as others have suggested. My personal favorite at the moment is a big box early Tremolux. Essentially, a Deluxe in a bigger cabinet. But for around the house, the Princeton is awesome. I'm just curious if I can use the Princeton and the current speaker with my band. I need to take it to my next rehearsal and audition it.
 

TPC168

Member
Messages
293
I hear you. I have a tweed Champ, too. I dig it, but the bigger box of the Princeton translates to a bigger sound. If you're looking for another tweed to compliment or augment your Princeton, I would recommend something a little larger, as others have suggested. My personal favorite at the moment is a big box early Tremolux. Essentially, a Deluxe in a bigger cabinet. But for around the house, the Princeton is awesome. I'm just curious if I can use the Princeton and the current speaker with my band. I need to take it to my next rehearsal and audition it.
Owning a Tremolux would be a dream come true.

I can't comment on how the originals actually sound because the Permoflux speaker in mine was toast. I did have, briefly, an 8 inch ceramic and it sounded great. That lasted about a week until my tech built me a new 10 inch baffle, and we installed that Celestion Blue Bulldog. But the 8 inch would certainly work in a band setting.
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,354
My only concern with a Tweed Champ would be that it may end up a one trick pony compared to your Tweed Princeton.

Basically, you already have the cooler amp.
 






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