BF Princeton vs. SF Princeton Reverb vs. PRRI

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by shark_bite, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

    Messages:
    5,190
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Location:
    outer space
    I think the title says it all. Between the release of the PRRI, all the buzz about it here, my intense desire to have something a little smaller than my Deluxe to play around the apartment, and the recent purchase of a few Jim Campilongo records, I've suddenly found I'm really gassing for a Princeton of some sort. So, here are my options:

    -For about $900 ($1k maybe? I don't remember) I can get a '68 Princeton Reverb. This seems like a stupidly good deal given that it's totally blackface minus the uh, black face. I played it, it sounded incredible. But given the limited utility of anything that small (I'm freaking out because the Deluxe isn't enough for some gigs), it's a little pricey.

    -Then there's the 65 PRRI. Nice amp, although I haven't played one myself yet. Again, kind of expensive. Maybe I should just wait till the used ones start hitting the market?

    -For $750 there's a BF Princeton available to me. No reverb. Obviously, reverb is a pretty important component here, and I probably can't do without it. Thing is, I highly doubt throwing a Holy Grail or something in front of the amp in the signal chain would feel like the same thing. Right?

    -And of course there's option four. Sit this one out. I was really interested in an Allen Brown Sugar AND a Goodsell Custom 33. I'm in the process of getting a new job, and the new position will pay 1 1/2 times what I'm making now. There will certainly be money in the budget for stuff like this, but I can hardly see anything with the word Princeton on the faceplate being a top priority, not until I've got a louder amp (or two) first.

    If you were me, what would you do?

    Edit: Since this is a pretty old, I'll just throw up a disclaimer here that I don't really need this advice myself anymore. I found the Deluxe Reverb I already had to be a far superior amp to any of the Princetons/PRs I played once I put them all side by side. Sold the PR I got and haven't really thought about it since. I went in more of a Vox AC15 direction and got a Bad Cat to cover the lower-wattage amp territory.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
  2. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,255
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Location:
    New York/San Diego
    I say blackface princeton baby.

    I'd put something like a nova reverb in front rather than a holy grail. Should be a better sampling of the sounds you get from a fender reverb.


    The Princeton doesn't have as much gain as the PR, but It feels like a much more pure circuit. Less extraneous stuff is a good thing.
     
  3. Shnook

    Shnook Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,427
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Roanoke, VA
    Note that some of the early '64 BF Princeton's are the 6G2 model, which is the brownface Princeton circuit. It sounds glorious. Not the same as the later '64 Princeton's and on.
     
  4. Lammy

    Lammy Member

    Messages:
    481
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Princetom=baby twin
    Princeton reverb= much more gain
    I have a silver face PR and it rips, you can find em on ebay for less than a PRRI.
     
  5. tjauernig

    tjauernig Member

    Messages:
    140
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    WI
    Go with the BF PR. You can't lose. One of the bst sounds period. As far as the PRRI. It's not very loud at all. I've played tweed Deluxes with much more oomph.
     
  6. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,264
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    Mid Atlantic USA
    BF Princeton ... with one of my Alesis Microverbs if I want to add a touch of 'verb (and also be able to hit the preamp tubes a little harder).
     
  7. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,802
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    It's hard to beat a Princeton Reverb for great sounding small amp. If you intend to play music with it, the Silverface is fine. Don't sweat the color of the panel.
     
  8. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

    Messages:
    5,190
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Location:
    outer space
    Oh I could care less about the faceplate. My #1 is a SF Deluxe.

    What seems really odd to me is that the prices are all over the map, including SF models. I just did this search on ebay, and it seems to support the claim that these amps have recently started fetching more money.
     
  9. Rockinrob86

    Rockinrob86 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,433
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Location:
    Tampa, Fl
    These arent exactly apartment amps either, depending on your situation. Make sure you know how loud they really are.
     
  10. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

    Messages:
    5,190
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Location:
    outer space
    They do kind of seem to sit between apartment amp territory and gig amp territory. I guess that makes them most ideal for recording... if I do get one though, I'll probably end up getting a 12" baffle and maybe also do a few of the popular mods I've read about.

    I've played more than a few Princeton Reverbs over the years, so I know the amp well enough. They're definitely more of an apartment amp than the Deluxe that I'm playing with there right now. Let's just say thank god my neighbors are so nice - I should have been run out of there by now, but they seem to not mind the noise.
     
  11. erplander

    erplander Member

    Messages:
    444
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    If it were me, I'd choose either the SFPR or the BF Princeton. As noted above, they are different amps, so it depends on what you want. If you want the growl and reverb, the SFPR is your choice. The BF Princeton is a clean machine. My drip edge Princeton stays clean up to about 9, and the tone is really great. I use pedals for crunch, reverb, and extra volume, and and they sound great with the Princeton.
     
  12. Maven

    Maven Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,376
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    on the silvers what is the story with the push-pull? it seems like most guys don't like them...when did fender ad that to the circuit?
     
  13. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

    Messages:
    5,190
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Location:
    outer space
    Good question. I'd like to add to that. When I was at the store that had the 68, the guy there (I think he was the owner actually) was telling me that the 68 was basically a blackface, but after about 72 they went to a SS rectifier and changed the entire amp. I'm reasonably confident that he was giving me incorrect information. When did they cut over to SS rectifiers? The 80s? I honestly don't think the SF P/PR EVER had a SS rectifier, at least nothing I've seen on ebay has had it yet.

    Was anything else significant added before the push/pull or was that the point at which it cut over from being a mostly BF to being a completely different amp? Didn't they change transformers and increase voltage somewhere throughout that process?
     
  14. erplander

    erplander Member

    Messages:
    444
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    The push-pull boost was added around 77. The cabinets changed from pine to plywood sometime around 72 or so. I don't think SFPRs ever had a solid state rectifier. Early SFPRs had a GZ34 rectifier, later ones had a 5U4GB. Not sure when they switched.
     
  15. mbratch

    mbratch Member

    Messages:
    2,390
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Webster, NY
    Both options 1 and 4. Here's why...

    If you pay $750 for the Princeton, you might pay enough for a good reverb pedal taking you to about what the PR would cost.

    If you buy the PR for $900, that's below average going price on eBay for a '68 SFPR (average being a little more than $1,000). You could basically turn around and sell it for a little profit if you changed your mind. But better would be to keep it, "sit it out", and it will probably appreciate in value while, at the same time, you can appreciate playing a very nice amp. When that hankering for an Allen comes back, sell the SFPR which would give you enough money (at least close) for an Allen. But you will get cold feet about selling the SFPR once you've had it for awhile. ;)
     
  16. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

    Messages:
    5,190
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Location:
    outer space
    Not as long as I need a louder amp. Seriously. Nothing in the world is more frustrating to me (amp-wise, at least) than the fact that I have to hang onto something 30+ watts just because one of my church gigs doesn't mic me and the "engineers" - really just people who stand behind the board and move things around on it from time to time - can't figure out how to control the stage volume. That's why I've had to hang onto this damn CVR for so long.
     
  17. karmadave

    karmadave Member

    Messages:
    4,073
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area
  18. mbratch

    mbratch Member

    Messages:
    2,390
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Webster, NY
    But your premise going into this thread was that you needed "to have something a little smaller than my Deluxe to play around the apartment." ;) Of course, if that requirement changes, then yes you might sell the PR.

    OTOH, a Princeton Reverb is quite giggable. :D
     
  19. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

    Messages:
    5,190
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Location:
    outer space
    The premise of this thread is that I am ridiculous and I want too much. I probably don't NEED anything. Anyway, I'll set it straight - I really want a PR. I'm using its volume relative to the DR to rationalize the future purchase of something that I knowingly do not need. However, right now I don't have the available cash sitting around, just a CVR that I've been trying to unload. That being my only "loud" amp, I'd have to replace it with another "loud" amp if I get rid of it. So really the PR is a step in the wrong direction.

    BUT THEY'RE SO COOL!!!
     
  20. mbratch

    mbratch Member

    Messages:
    2,390
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Webster, NY
    Agreed. :)

    I "gig" my SFPR in a church seating 1,000 people, no mic, volume on 3.5 to 4, standing next to bass player, drums, and grand piano (not baby grand). Speaker is an Eminence Ragin Cajun. Also sounds great at lower volumes.
     

Share This Page