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1966 Princeton Non Reverb mods

JTJ

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
116
Hey guys, I recently got my hand on a Fender Princeton and have been reading around trying to find some good information on mods and stuff. I am wanting to make it a little more like the Princeton reverb and increase the volume and gain. So far I have figured out that there is some kind of mod with the phase inverter to make it a little more efficient. I have a weber speaker on the way so that will help a little bit. Anyone done anymore mods or interesting changes??
 

Jeff Gehring

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,356
Don't mod your BF Princeton*. Sell the '66 and buy a silverface PR, or go straight to a SF Deluxe Reverb if it's more power you want. Leave the lil guy alone for someone who wants the amp just as it is.

*Though I can get behind the usual playability mods, like 3 conductor AC cord, reversably adding a bias pot, and removing the 'death cap'.
 

67super

Member
Messages
1,503
Don't mod your BF Princeton*. Sell the '66 and buy a silverface PR, or go straight to a SF Deluxe Reverb if it's more power you want. Leave the lil guy alone for someone who wants the amp just as it is.

*Though I can get behind the usual playability mods, like 3 conductor AC cord, reversably adding a bias pot, and removing the 'death cap'.
Good advice - The bias pot I added is reversible and I kept the original parts. I of course replaced the power caps and added a grounded AC chord.

These amps can't be made gigable without mods. Stock the Princeton can't keep up, it's just meant to. I have a lot of amps but I gig an original 68 DR and love it. The Princeton sounds really nice and takes pedals very well. When I put a Fulltone Fat Boost and overdrive in front of it, it really sounds good, it's a fun amp.
 

Steppin' Wolfe

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,263
JTJ, that PRinceton lacks the 3rd gain stage that sits in the Princeton Reverb....it is hard to make up for that. IF the amp is clean and original, I say don't do anything radical in the way of mods. Volume??? A high efficiency speaker will do more to increase volume than anything else, ime. Gain??/ As I said...hard to create that out of thin air.
IF one had a Princeton that was not original..just a player amp...then one could do away with the tremolo circuit and use that triode for that 3rd gain stage...vola! A Princeton with the gain of a Princeton Reverb....but just a 'straight' amp...no effects.
 

zenas

Member
Messages
8,859
Ever try a 6g2 Princeton? You might like one of those better. If I had a trashed nonverb Princeton it'd be a 6g2 pretty fast.
Hell I had another trashed Vibro Champ that'd be a 6g2 pretty fast. That's what happened to the last Vibro Champ I found rotting in a junk yard. Been my brother's favorite amp for a few years now.
 

DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,704
If you want more gain get PR or just put a OD pedal in front of it. Those amps are fantastic as a pedal platform. To me actually sound better than a PR simply by putting a pedal out front.

Speakers, yes, one best things you can do to increase volume.

Get it serviced to make sure it and it's tubes are running 100%.

All the mods are just going to devalue the amp.

Stick this in front and you'll forget all about mods. Plenty of egg frying PR sizzle lurking in this pedal.

 

JTJ

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
116
Thanks for the replies guys! I reckon I won't mess with her too much. I did replace a few resistors that were fried (I got lucky and had some old ones laying in the parts drawer) and put a proper power cord in. I'm going to stay away from the mods for right now and just replace the speaker and cap can. And we will see how she do. I have not played a 6g2.. I will have to read up on that.
 

Blue Strat

Member
Messages
30,190
If you want more gain get PR or just put a OD pedal in front of it.
Or a clean boost pedal and/or overdrive pedal. I use both with a speaker upgrade and the amp is almost as gigable as a Deluxe Reverb.

The 6G2 tone control (one control instead of 2) mod adds LOTS of volume and is what I'd do IF the amp wasn't a '66. I wouldn't mod a '66.
 

jay42

Member
Messages
7,057
If you have money to throw at it, buy a bigger cabinet from Allen Amps and a 12" speaker. A 12" in there, in a bigger box will make a better sound. SF amps do not have a removable baffle. Not sure about yours. You can't cram a 12" in there without cutting away some wood on the bottom of the cabinet, so imo, that's a bad approach. ymmv

Several years ago, there were a couple of mods. Paul Cochrane suggested biasing the PI/Splitter better, like some 60's Ampegs, and someone named Stokes was having people move some wiring for more power. The Stokes mod blew some OTs, so it's one to avoid. The PaulC mod tightened up the output. If you really want louder, then a bigger amp is in order, as Jeff mentioned. hth
 

Steppin' Wolfe

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,263
Fwiw, the diameter of a speaker does not determine what comes out of that speaker, ime. There are 10" speakers that can make some 12" speakers sound like tin cans....and vice-a-versa. I don't automatically think more diameter when it comes to changing speakers.
To mod or not??? For me, that is determined by the originality and condition of the amp as well as by the extent of the mods.
RE: SF Fenders and baffleboards. The early SF Fenders are built in the manner that the BF amsp were...with a one-piece baffle/grille board that is 'floating'....it can easily be removed. The glued in baffleboards with the separate grille boards were introduced circa 1970, IIRC> I have a '71 SR sitting here with the glued in baffleboard and the separate grilleboard.

6G2 Princetons...hot amps. Yes, the simpler tone stack does not reduce gain the way the BF tone stack does. This amp is a direct link to tweed days.
 

jay42

Member
Messages
7,057
Fwiw, the diameter of a speaker does not determine what comes out of that speaker, ime. There are 10" speakers that can make some 12" speakers sound like tin cans....and vice-a-versa. I don't automatically think more diameter when it comes to changing speakers.
Thanks for the baffle information. About the speaker thing -- almost any 10" speaker will sound better than the ones they put in the 70's models...sigh. The actual size -- height and width of the baffle board makes a difference and the Princeton box is too small and square. In the dark ages, I took an audio class for non-engineers. One telling demonstration was to hold up a speaker, run a signal into it, then hold it to a baffle...no cab...just a 1/2" thick board with a hole in it. At the time, the Golden Ratio was being advised. It was the heyday of "The Advent Speaker." The DR is shaped a bit more Golden Ratio and for me, is about as small as I want a speaker cabinet for a guitar amp.
 




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