Gibson Falcon vs. newer Princeton Reverb Reissue?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by brennanmcnally, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. brennanmcnally

    brennanmcnally Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    I think my neighbors have finally had enough of my 100w Ampeg V-4, and even my Silvertone 1484 is a bit too loud, so...

    ...it's time to get into the low-powered world! Here's what I'm thinking about:

    There's a '64ish Gibson Falcon locally on Craigslist for $450 firm. Always heard great things about these, though I've never played one personally. Would be great to hear from anyone who owns or has experience with these.

    Also absolutely love Princeton Reverbs; can't afford a blackface one since those seem to go for $2-3k locally, but I've heard the reissues are pretty good. Chicago Music Exchange has used them in a lot of their gear demos, and they sound almost as lush as the originals.

    If there's anything else I should be considering, I'd love to hear recommendations. Main goals for me in this next amp adventure are:
    -Roughly 15w or less (less is definitely better)
    -Really prefer reverb
    -Good for home recording

    Ideally looking to spend less than $700, but could stretch that for something really special. But I'm leaning towards the Falcon for the price.
     
  2. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Member

    Messages:
    1,382
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Check out the Falcon. If you dig it buy it. Never pass up rare gear so long as you like the tone. There's plenty of Princetons out there and you'll have no trouble getting one in the future. Can't say the same for a fairly rare find like a a Falcon.
     
  3. BigPapiFan

    BigPapiFan Member

    Messages:
    2,215
    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    Wasn't that Falcon pre-amped with 3 6EU7 tubes and a 7199? Be aware that those are expensive and hard to find.
     
  4. brennanmcnally

    brennanmcnally Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Ooh, see, that'd be good to know. Looked up the prices on those tubes... they're a bit high.

    Anyone ever played one of these things?
     
  5. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,167
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Upstairs, L.A.
    I dug my old '63 Falcon but man...it was too bright and ultimately, not really loud enough for band practice. Incredibly unlike anything made by Ampeg (other than the late '60s reverb-o-jet which was also impossibly bright). Boy, I'd look for an old Gemini 1. Should be able to find a decent one for less than 600. Put a decent speaker in it (e.g., a Eminence american-flavored speaker, like a Swamp Thang) and you'll be rockin at more reasonable volume levels...
     
  6. BigPapiFan

    BigPapiFan Member

    Messages:
    2,215
    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    I love the old blue-checked 1960's Ampegs. I have ad a few and still have a Reverberocket II. I would recommend any of them over the Gibson amp but, Ampegs are famous for using "weird" tubes. Not only 7199, 6U10s and 6CG7s in the preamps but also 7591 or 7868 power tubes. Vintage amps are also most likely going to need service: 3-prong power cords, cap jobs, vibrato units, footswitches. "It can all be worth it if you love the tone," says this classic Ampeg owner, "but a recent model used DRRI or PRRI is going to be a lot more convenient."

    Sometimes vintage just means old.
     
  7. brennanmcnally

    brennanmcnally Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Interesting, didn't think of those! Saw Mavis Staples' guitarist playing a Tele through a Gemini a couple years ago, and it sounded phenomenal. Really swampy. Thanks for the tip, definitely going to look into those. There's a Gemini II for sale locally at $600 obo, but that might be a little too big for my needs.
     
  8. stephenyi

    stephenyi Member

    Messages:
    466
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I used to own a Gibson Falcon and currently own a Gibson Scout which is very similar. The Falcon is a great amp with lush verb and haunting tremolo. I think these vintage Gibson amps were designed to stay clean when played with Gibson's HB-equipped guitars since it takes quite a bit more to get the amps to reach the breakup point compared to say a Princeton Reverb.

    Regarding the 6EU7 preamp tubes, yes, they may be more difficult to find but note that the price of good NOS 6EU7 tubes are far less than the price of good NOS 12AX7 tubes.
     
  9. brennanmcnally

    brennanmcnally Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Thanks for the input! I might just have to go try the one out. I really am looking for something Princeton Reverb-y where I can get a little bit of breakup out of it at fairly low volumes. But if I can potentially find a Falcon for a lower price (seen a few sell on eBay for $300-350), it may be worth just getting that. Hard to beat the price, still lower than a PRRI.
     

Share This Page