Let's talk Princeton Reverb


Silver Supporting Member
OK here's the deal: I just played a killer silverface one of these tonight and totally loved it. I had a '72 deluxe reverb and had lots of problems with it and got rid of it. I already have a Fargen Blackbird 40, so I've got a great clean Fendery amp with lots of headroom. I like the low watts of the princeton. My questions are:

1. Is the princeton better for smoother break up? I felt that the deluxe was almost too loud, and didn't break up that well.

2. Is the design different between a deluxe and a princeton?

3. How much would I be looking at for a used princeton reverb; blackface or silverface?

4. Should I get the reissue, or stay with vintage?

I know that there are boutique copies out there, but I'm guessing that an old one might still be cheaper than a boutique. The one that I played was $799 for a silverface, I don't know if that's a good price or not. I'm sure that the boutiques are more money than that.

All help is appreciated.


Um I am NOT an expert but

Yes, the Princeton has the most magical breakup with better mids.

It IS different than almost every other Fender design.

Silvers go from $400 - $800, Blackface - at least $1500 up (prob. much more)

I think the Silverfaces are still an amazing deal on a point to point wired amp.

One of the best amps I have ever played, and they are magical. Studio musicians figures this out long ago. These days PA's are so good you can take a Princeton anywhere. These beasts are loud. Output to a 4x12 and you will hurt someone.


Silver Supporting Member
I have a '71 SFPR and it breaks up beautiffuly with humbuckers, but not as much with my single coil guitars. Gotta be cranked though. A Les Paul sounds magical through it.


Silver Supporting Member
agreed, from 800-1000 for a silver PR is what i see.

...but still worth buying over the reissue, IMO.

I've got both and they're both smokin' amps. I saw Kenny Vaughn play last night with a Princeton Reverb. He sounded amazing...as always.


Is the Silverface vs. Blackface vs. Reissue really that much of an issue?

Blackface = sexiest

Drip-edge silverface = best value

Silverface = most affordable but watch for some changes in later years

Reissue = least maintenance, but no PTP mojo


The later silverface models are less desirable but still pretty cool. I've got one with the "pull boost" (which you can take out of the circuit) that sounds great. It actually has more power than the blackface or early silverface, about 18 watts, and it still sounds good! Also, the trem circuit is different in Princetons. I forget the technical jargon, but basically you don't get as much of a volume drop like you do with other models.


Gold Supporting Member
the phase inverter in the preinceton reverb is completely different than all the AB763 amps (deluxe reverb, pro reverb, 64 vibroverb, super reverb, twin reverb, vibrolux reverb).

A great amp for sure!


Princeton Reverbs are very nice, slight differances from a deluxe reverb. power transformer is alot smaller, so compressed transformer sag when cranked. all that aside, just play it clean is has a beautiful sound ! I think the reverb is close to the dr z hammond sound to my ears, might have something to do with the mixing of it and the vibrato is cool like a vibro champ, i think it's in the ouput phase inverter section ? I made a 12" baffle for mine and put a EV force in it. HOLY SMOKES does that make a great sound rig ! one of my favorite blackface amps !


i have mentioned this before on TGP...I played a PR with the pull boost that was modded by John landgraff,,,and just should have bought the damn amp right there. it was gone the next week...lotta potential in all those old amps depending on what you find, how much and if you got access to a good tech.


I have a 78' modded to blackface specs, which is merely changing a few components, a cap and a resistor, plus removing the pull volume boost. I had JJ 6V6's put in, which are a very robust tube and capable of higher wattage than the average 6V6. I would estimate mine to run closer to 20 watts. Another important swap is the speaker. The stock Fender speaker is anemic. I chose not to change the baffle and instead, put a Weber Cali 10" in there. I cannot believe the difference. I use good pre-amp tubes of course. A mix of Tung-Sol, JJ, EH. One thing about Princes, the bass is usually flubby at higher volume. These weren't designed to be played very loud. Mine starts to get a little hair after 4 on the volume. But that's with humbuckers. Vintage single coils don't drive it till 7 or 8. It is loud enough for small gigs with a moderate volume band. IMO, it's tone is the best of Fender. Plus mine is very quiet as well. Love my PR. I paid $600.00 for mine a few years ago already modded except for tubes and upgrade speaker. BYW, the is very little basic design differences from early BF to late SF.


Silvers go from $400 - $800, Blackface - at least $1500 up (prob. much more)
For the black face PRs, range is pretty wide, and up until recently (with the economy being what it is) was typically $1,200 to $1,800 with some outlyers from that (some going over $2K). Last month or two: $1,000 to $1,600.

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