Love Letter to the 68' CPR

The_Gangler

Member
Messages
17
I love this amp very much - but there seems to be a lot of bad/ambiguous/disparate information about them floating around,s I thought I would curate some helpful info that I've found/learned over the past several years of playing it.

(My chain: Fender Starcaster RI w/with Creamery Wide Rangers -> (relevant pedals) always on Ego Compressor w/ tone @ 3:00 -> always on PettyJohn Chime (which is really worthy overdrive for this amp) -> Opamp Buffer -> Amp)

First, yes it has tons of bass. It's a Bassman tone stack, and it's nothing to be afraid of. Turn the bass knob all the way down and see what you think. I play mine at: Bass 1-2, Treble 6-7. You can get some thick and articulate tone.

If you can't countenance the bass, this mod clearly does work (obviously changes the character of the amp - we don't need any tirades on this):

https://www.thegearpage.net/board/i...om-princeton-reverb-to-much-bass-mod.1739491/

Second, it was designed for pedals. It sort of begs for pedals. I like the tones I can get from my guitar straight in, but not as much as I like it with a drives. IMO it needs an overdrive to really be a player.

Third, everyone seems to have their own take on the speaker. I thought the stock one was pretty good, but I wanted a little more power, so I put in a Weber 10f150t. It's great. It makes it about as loud as a 12" without having to mod anything. I fully recommend it. I haven't tried them but the two most popular alternatives to the Weber are the Eminence Ragin' Cajun and the WHS g10c (remember I'm talking about the 68 CPR not just any old Princeton).

Fourth, IMO the JJ's aren't the best tubes for the preamp. Here is a guy who put some work in and found a nice combo:

https://forums.fender.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=110334

Also, the Reverb on this thing is really beautiful. I leave it on around 5 (I use a Chase Bliss Dark World on top of it to get lush). Yes, you will get a little hum from it but nothing out of the ordinary. Remember that the Reverb is in the tone circuit, so having it on will actually improve your tone.

Finally, try using both inputs. I use Input 2 a lot, and I have a friend who likes it there with Humbuckers, as well. Not really interested in the electronic science here (I know someone will jump in and tell me why I should plug into Input 1 and turn the volume down). Just try it. Especially if you have humbuckers.

This is just my experience - but I really think this amp very is special, especially with some dialing!

Any other experiences (or disagreements ) with the 68 CPR that should be documented? Please, share your wisdom.
 

Pass175

Member
Messages
34
The strange thing about 68 customs is that they are based on amps that are known for their pristine, articulate cleans. Yet 68's are very muddy as clean amps. If you like BF or SF Princeton's and Deluxe Reverb's then 68's are the opposite of what you expect from an amp. Most people who have Princeton's don't even like it's overdriven sound. They are all about sweet, articulate cleans.
I think Fender should have branded them a bit differently. Maybe more in the category of tweed or bronwface amps instead of BF/SF (SF's are historically pretty much BF's).
 

ken374

Member
Messages
6,861
if there using JJ83 yeah there darker and gainey. Oh I see Sovtek preamp tubes
 
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caspersvapors

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,279
I love this amp very much - but there seems to be a lot of bad/ambiguous/disparate information about them floating around,s I thought I would curate some helpful info that I've found/learned over the past several years of playing it.

(My chain: Fender Starcaster RI w/with Creamery Wide Rangers -> (relevant pedals) always on Ego Compressor w/ tone @ 3:00 -> always on PettyJohn Chime (which is really worthy overdrive for this amp) -> Opamp Buffer -> Amp)

First, yes it has tons of bass. It's a Bassman tone stack, and it's nothing to be afraid of. Turn the bass knob all the way down and see what you think. I play mine at: Bass 1-2, Treble 6-7. You can get some thick and articulate tone.

If you can't countenance the bass, this mod clearly does work (obviously changes the character of the amp - we don't need any tirades on this):

https://www.thegearpage.net/board/i...om-princeton-reverb-to-much-bass-mod.1739491/

Second, it was designed for pedals. It sort of begs for pedals. I like the tones I can get from my guitar straight in, but not as much as I like it with a drives. IMO it needs an overdrive to really be a player.

Third, everyone seems to have their own take on the speaker. I thought the stock one was pretty good, but I wanted a little more power, so I put in a Weber 10f150t. It's great. It makes it about as loud as a 12" without having to mod anything. I fully recommend it. I haven't tried them but the two most popular alternatives to the Weber are the Eminence Ragin' Cajun and the WHS g10c (remember I'm talking about the 68 CPR not just any old Princeton).

Fourth, IMO the JJ's aren't the best tubes for the preamp. Here is a guy who put some work in and found a nice combo:

https://forums.fender.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=110334

Also, the Reverb on this thing is really beautiful. I leave it on around 5 (I use a Chase Bliss Dark World on top of it to get lush). Yes, you will get a little hum from it but nothing out of the ordinary. Remember that the Reverb is in the tone circuit, so having it on will actually improve your tone.

Finally, try using both inputs. I use Input 2 a lot, and I have a friend who likes it there with Humbuckers, as well. Not really interested in the electronic science here (I know someone will jump in and tell me why I should plug into Input 1 and turn the volume down). Just try it. Especially if you have humbuckers.

This is just my experience - but I really think this amp very is special, especially with some dialing!

Any other experiences (or disagreements ) with the 68 CPR that should be documented? Please, share your wisdom.
owned the 68 CPR for a couple years and now have a 65. The only thing the 68 did better was the tremolo. I am not exactly sure why that is, maybe bias but it just had great trem.
I think the 65 is superior in every other way.
 

mlj_gear

Member
Messages
2,997
Remember that the Reverb is in the tone circuit, so having it on will actually improve your tone.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by the reverb being in the tone circuit (or why that would necessarily improve tone). The reverb circuit comes after the tone stack and volume knob, I believe (on both the 65 and 68).
 

mikey69

Member
Messages
652
I dig mine, G10 Greenback, All new tubes and re-biased ..sound great, I do not crank it and used OD and Fuzz pedals ..tired the bass mod jumper deal temporary with some alligator clips ..didn't cut much bass at all in my opinion and left it stock ...current factory issue groove tubes are horrible, the sooner you ditch them the better off you will be
 

ken374

Member
Messages
6,861
I dig mine, G10 Greenback, All new tubes and re-biased ..sound great, I do not crank it and used OD and Fuzz pedals ..tired the bass mod jumper deal temporary with some alligator clips ..didn't cut much bass at all in my opinion and left it stock ...current factory issue groove tubes are horrible, the sooner you ditch them the better off you will be
what tubes are you using? was the stock bias cold?
 

mikey69

Member
Messages
652
what tubes are you using? was the stock bias cold?
Hi, 1 of the stock power tubes failed after less than 1 year of use, so I bought a bias octal connector and a matched pair of JJ 6V6S from eurotubes and followed their directions, the bias needed to be lowered just a touch with the new tubes. Right now I have V1 Tungsol 12AX7, V2 JJ 12AT7, V3 & V4 JJ 12AX7, powertubes JJ 6V6S, rec Tungsol 5AR4.
 

ken374

Member
Messages
6,861
Hi, 1 of the stock power tubes failed after less than 1 year of use, so I bought a bias octal connector and a matched pair of JJ 6V6S from eurotubes and followed their directions, the bias needed to be lowered just a touch with the new tubes. Right now I have V1 Tungsol 12AX7, V2 JJ 12AT7, V3 & V4 JJ 12AX7, powertubes JJ 6V6S, rec Tungsol 5AR4.
JJ83? there more gainey im sure tungs are good
 

kipper15

Member
Messages
177
Hi, 1 of the stock power tubes failed after less than 1 year of use, so I bought a bias octal connector and a matched pair of JJ 6V6S from eurotubes and followed their directions, the bias needed to be lowered just a touch with the new tubes. Right now I have V1 Tungsol 12AX7, V2 JJ 12AT7, V3 & V4 JJ 12AX7, powertubes JJ 6V6S, rec Tungsol 5AR4.
I have this amp, and one of the first things I did with it was replace the V1 slot 12AX7 with an Electro-Harmonix 12AY7. I only play at home so having greater control over the volume really helps, and I get all my dirt from pedals. Very pleased with the resutl.

Also put an Electro-Harmonix 12AT7WC in the V2 slot. Now considering a pair of Electro-Harmonix 7025s for V3 and V4, or maybe even Tung-Sol 12AX7s for V3 and V4.

How different do the JJ tubes sound to you, the ones that you replaced the factory-fitted Groove Tubes ones with? I'm curious about that because, as I understand it, the stock tubes in the '68 CPR are relabelled JJs.
 

mikey69

Member
Messages
652
I have this amp, and one of the first things I did with it was replace the V1 slot 12AX7 with an Electro-Harmonix 12AY7. I only play at home so having greater control over the volume really helps, and I get all my dirt from pedals. Very pleased with the resutl.

Also put an Electro-Harmonix 12AT7WC in the V2 slot. Now considering a pair of Electro-Harmonix 7025s for V3 and V4, or maybe even Tung-Sol 12AX7s for V3 and V4.

How different do the JJ tubes sound to you, the ones that you replaced the factory-fitted Groove Tubes ones with? I'm curious about that because, as I understand it, the stock tubes in the '68 CPR are relabelled JJs.
I've used a EHX 12AY7 in V1 as well with great success, they are a great tube in the Princeton. I have a black face champ clone that I currently have the EHX 12AY7 in and sounds great in that aswell. Replaced the stock V3 and V4 tubes because the amp had some noise issues, intermittent buzzing, replaced with some old JJ's I had laying around and the problem went away and never came back ...only replaced V2 because I already did everything else, not sure if it improved anything however and now have a backup 12AT7.
 

kipper15

Member
Messages
177
I've used a EHX 12AY7 in V1 as well with great success, they are a great tube in the Princeton. I have a black face champ clone that I currently have the EHX 12AY7 in and sounds great in that aswell. Replaced the stock V3 and V4 tubes because the amp had some noise issues, intermittent buzzing, replaced with some old JJ's I had laying around and the problem went away and never came back ...only replaced V2 because I already did everything else, not sure if it improved anything however and now have a backup 12AT7.
Totally agree on the EHX 12AY7, it works really well in V1 in the '68 CPR!

I am still trying to decide on whether or not to replace the stock V3 and V4 tubes with EHX 7025s or try a pair of Tung-Sol 12AX7 RIs there.

Although I must admit I'm very tempted to try out the 7025s :)
 
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rickt

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,153
I'm sure it is a good amp for your needs. But for me, any amp that requires a couple hundred bucks worth of effects pedals to sound decent is not for me.
 

mikey69

Member
Messages
652
I'm sure it is a good amp for your needs. But for me, any amp that requires a couple hundred bucks worth of effects pedals to sound decent is not for me.
to each their own, I dig that however let me know what amp sounds like Big Muff Fuzz ...I would definitely be interested in buying it
 

kipper15

Member
Messages
177
I'm sure it is a good amp for your needs. But for me, any amp that requires a couple hundred bucks worth of effects pedals to sound decent is not for me.
The '68 CPR sounds pretty decent without pedals, to my ears anyway :)
 

mikey69

Member
Messages
652
Totally agree on the EHX 12AY7, it works really well in V1 in the '68 CPR!

I am still trying to decide on whether or not to replace the stock V3 and V4 tubes with EHX 7025s or try a pair of Tung-Sol 12AX7 RIs there.

Although I must admit I'm very tempted to try our the 7025s :)
If your not having any problem with the stock tubes I would just say keep them in there for awhile but you will never know until you try
 




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