fenderish combo- princeton or rv35, super fat deluxe, and such

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by feet, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    as you may recall, i had a thread going about looking for a small combo to tide me over while my beloved tophat heads to the shop. http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=1022543

    so i pawed and pawed through those suggestions. dug for clips and comparison shopped and all that. and mostly, it was a lot of kind of but not really.

    i also thought that maybe i should expand my horizons a little. get something different, that will have a justified existence when my amp gets back. so i figures i should roll the dice on a princeton type amp. not that familar with them, but you can't hate one of those, right?

    but after going through so many clips, they just aren't doing it for me. granted, they are poorly recorded and using guitars i don't care for, but for the most part, it just isn't happening. they fit the bill on paper; a silverface without reverb seems like a nice deal, but it isn't doing it for me.

    but two things did. one was the morgan rv35, and the other being the tophat super fat deluxe (or possibly the americana or whatever). which is all wrong for me. much more than i want to spend, bigger than i had hoped, long (for me) wait times attached to each. and naturally, i need to hear more of both, but it isn't like i'll find one in a store. but they both were doing it for me. don't know what to tell you. they both have a slight voxy overlap, but go much further in another direction.

    persuasive evidence here:




    so what do you think? just find an old princeton and call it a day (and hope for the best) or save, spend twice the cash and go after what it seems i actually want? i more or less know the answer already, but if can convince me that a time tested, enduring super classic standard is "good enough" for my dumb ass, that would be great. and any insights into the morgan or tophat would be nice.

    ps- it also means that for now, i'll have to forgo buying something and make due with the old jc77. fortunately, i keep my feathers numbered for just such an occasion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  2. earthlydescent

    earthlydescent Senior Member

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    I think the old Princeton is a wonderful idea. I'd prefer the Princeton Reverb myself, but it's a matter of taste and need. I've been on the look out for a good Princeton Reverb myself, but I'm not getting far. I'd want it under $750, like they used to go for... But the used market is nuts for em right now. But I am a little geeked on the new Vox AC4HW1 coming out this year, and it may drain the fund.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Kitten Cannon

    Kitten Cannon Member

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    I'll never understand why people aren't more specific about their intentions when they say "I'm looking for an amp..." Voxy? Why? 10" speaker? Why? What exactly do you want this amp to sound like?
     
  4. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    i had thought the princeton nr might be better for me than the pr because i didn't need dirt from it, and they were generally cheaper than the reverb'ed models. silverfaces being even cheaper still. but then i thought it might be nice to have a little bit of sparkle and character to the clean, but i was letting my wallet decide.

    a lot of the hows and whys where covered in my previous thread. to briefly recap- i had wanted a 10" voxy thing because i wanted something small and light to keep by the couch or wherever i might find myself, and all of my amps are el84 based. i like that sound. but lately i've been thinking a different style of amp might be beneficial and less redundant. what i want from this magical, unnamed new amp is what i'm trying to figure out.
     
  5. Kitten Cannon

    Kitten Cannon Member

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    Still doesn't answer the question at hand. What kind of music? What sort of guitar are you going to play through it? And is the "next to the couch" scenario the only one that matters? I mean, Voxes have done everything from Beatles to U2 to church music, to god knows what else. There's a pretty wide palette there. EL84's don't have an intrinsic tone, and I don't care what people here say, that's just flat-out incorrect. They have unique compression characteristics when driven, and they do impart a thing or two on the envelope of a note when you pluck a string, but by and large, the topology of the amp - from the way the preamp is designed to the power amp to the choice of rectifier, etc... has a lot more to do with what the amp will sound like, especially at home, than most of the blanket statements people make here (EL84 = Vox tone!, etc.).

    All told, it's hard to argue against a Princeton or a Princeton Reverb, though. I think BF amps, especially with a little more midrange (which you do get from the Vibroluxes and Princetons), are probably the most versatile amps there are. Maybe also tweeds. If it were me, I'd be thinking pretty hard about the PRRI (especially after watching the Jim Campilongo demo of it), or maybe a Carr Raleigh, or a Victoria 5112, or a whole bevy of other amps like that. If you really want to go Voxy, you should probably wait for the AC4 HW amp or grab the Morgan discussed in the other thread.

    Unfortunately at this point you've gotten approximately 2334098 suggestions and you're only going to buy one amp... so, tough call, right? Not really... I would think there are a LOT of choices that will all make you equally happy, just maybe for different reasons. So maybe don't over-think it too much, buy whatever your wallet agrees with, and see what happens. If you buy used and get a good deal, you can probably flip it right away and start over again without being out more than a few bucks.
     
  6. tnt365

    tnt365 Supporting Member

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    The amps in your videos sound fine to me lol, I'd probably go with one of those.
     
  7. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    i guess i could have clarified that i little. i did use el84 as short hand for "voxy", though i've played up to thrash and doom metal through el84s before. was only interested in a (relative) clean machine, the couch specification only because i had a similar, larger amp already (the club royale). i like that and i wanted a smaller version of that. though oddly, i don't really care for the voxy distortion at all. that scuzzy, compressed tone- no thanks.

    then i figured "why not something new?". i had wanted to avoid pcbs* so i was led toward original princetons and princeton reverbs (though i seem to like the prri sounds, and can probably find one easily). read all about how there wasn't much of a price difference, may was well get the real thing, appreciation and so on.

    but then the dice rolling on an old one, cost of future ownership and uncertainty (as well as the general lack of enthusiasm for what i've heard so far) led me to keep looking. but this isn't exactly a niche market. there are billions of similarly priced amps based on the princeton circuit. clones tend to run north of $1500 which is already way more than i had wanted to spend.

    the rv35 and fat deluxe stood out because they were either presented in way more closely to the way i'd use them or the demos were just better. that may be key. it wasn't the same strat/tele blues/classic rock guy over and over again with the same basic tone. also, they weren't strict clones and there was a slight overlap with what i already liked, so between the club royale and a shiny amp x, i could cover the marshall to vox to fender spectrum. not bad. sadly, these amps don't appear to be that common here, at least not in the emporium, so i might have to go new (against my wishes :mad:)

    lp, 335ish and gretsches- humbuckers, floaters, minis and filtertrons. no fender types, no single coils or no p90s*. mostly pretty pretty cleans and broken cleans. pedal friendly. high(er) gain not required, but welcomed. (generic) jazzy cleans a plus.

    *-also covered in old thread :p
     
  8. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    forgot to cite this video earlier.



    one quick thing in favor of yet another el84 voxy thing is that it would free up the top hat to do other things, as i mainly use its cleaner, voxy-er abilities.
     
  9. Kitten Cannon

    Kitten Cannon Member

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    It could just be the recording, but that Morgan does not sound good to me at all. Neither clip did. Different strokes, I guess. To be fair, I'm not so into the Voxy thing unless it's more of a Beatles thing. On the other hand, I don't hear anything overtly Voxy about that Top Hat clip by Greg V. It sounds really, really good though. But, he will make any amp sound better than most of the rest of us will. So, there's that.
     
  10. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    we are agreeing to disagree on the morgan, though i think we both need to hear more from it. especially distorted, but that wont be so easy with 35 watts.

    we do agree about the tophat- there isn't any vox in the video, which is partly why i like it. it is supposed to evoke some vox at some point. but i wouldn't expect it to be anything like the the voxyness of the club royale. he didn't really do a super clean, but i'm sure it's in there.
     
  11. ROKY

    ROKY Member

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    Maybe I can help ..






    GET THE TOPHAT !




















    Does that help, any ?
     
  12. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    My only advice here is to get what you really want (assuming you know what that is) because it is a lot less expensive in the long run, even if it means forking out more dough initially.
     
  13. Grizz_Lee

    Grizz_Lee Member

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    It'll be easier than you think, you can crank the gain and adjust the volume to get break up all day. I have an rv35 and wish it would stay cleaner louder sometimes. It is a great amp, I've had it for a couple of months and really like it. I like the fact it can take a lot of different power tubes as well.
     
  14. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    may i have it?
     
  15. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    so i wandered over with my guitar to guitar center to check out the princetons. and, wouldn't you know it, they had a 65 princeton (nr) sitting around. i thought this fortuitous and plugged in.

    and...

    :messedup

    maybe it was a dud. maybe i'm a dud. maybe i'm just not a fender guy. whatever it was, it just wasn't happening for me. i knew right away but i did my due diligence for a solid 10-15 mins. it wasn't bad. just... plain. i didn't hate it, but it was not right for me. maybe i've just heard "that sound" too many times already. really, it wasn't anything that my tophat didn't do better, when its set to something i don't like as much as its other settings. (ostensibly) original speaker, new looking jjs, melted 2 prong cable; the vibrato wasn't nearly as strong as i had expected, and it just was not loud at all. stayed clean up to 10, but it was blown away by the tweed blues junior someone else was playing (which kinda sounded cooler, too).

    so that was the end of that. i'm of the same mind as the riffmeister, which has been a problem for me. but its also why i don't have much of a gear turnover. maybe i shouldn't buy anything.

    grizz, i'd love to hear more about the limitations and capabilites of the rv35. not enough headroom for you? couldn't you mess with the pre and power amp tubes? any demos?
     

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