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Princeton-ish amps that don't sound like my 6G2 Princeton

dehughes

Member
Messages
1,156
I think it's time for a gear shift.

I have a 6G2 Princeton and it's now my favorite amp. It has a "softness" to it that I just love, and is about the right spot for volume-cranking without being too loud. Turn it to 4 on the volume and everything just makes sense. Maybe it's the 10" Oxford speaker? Maybe it's the circuit itself or the cathodyne PI? I dunno, and I'm tired of diving deep into the engineering of the circuits and speakers, and instead just want to grab a stock amp that just works and doesn't inspire me to tinker. That is what my Princeton is to me. It does not require pedals, but it takes them well. This is the type of amp I want to find, yet in a different tonal color than the Princeton, if possible.

I also have a modded Marshall DSL50 and a mostly stock Top Hat Club Royale 1x12, and while they are great amps (especially through my 4x12s), I wanna find more amps that FEEL like the Princeton.

The Marshall is LOUD and while it sounds GREAT for gainy rock tones, it's more of a one-trick pony in terms of being a monster rig. It's like a poor man's Friedman. And it's great. But it's too much for me nowadays.

The Top Hat is my favorite amp ever...I purchased it new back in 1998...and is responsible for getting me fixated on amps and circuits, etc., but next to the Princeton it's too edgy and quick and sharp. GREAT sounding amp, don't get me wrong, but I can't crank it like it deserves now that I primarily play at home. Vox/Marshall for days, beautiful, clear, but it has a harsher, quicker feel than the Princeton.

So, I'm looking for your hive-mind recommendations as to what amplifiers would be like my 6G2 Princeton in terms of volume level and feel and comfort, but not actually BE a Princeton. And yes, I had a '65 non-Reverb Princeton that I gave to a friend, so I've played one of those. Never played a reverb-variant, though, but again, I'm looking for similar feel but different tonality as I don't need two of the same thing. Open to heads or combos, any tube type, master volumes or not.

Was actually thinking about getting into the tweed era of circuits, but again I don't want too much overlap. Tweed Deluxe have this same feel? Tweed Champ? Some other new builder making amps that feel old and comfortable?

Lemme know. Thanks in advance.
 

spi

Member
Messages
418
I'm watching this thread out of curiosity of the responses.

But I'm also wondering what your motivation is... I mean it sounds like you found the ideal amp for you, so why are you looking for another amp? Are you trying to replace it? Want to carry multiple amps to gigs? Or using them for recording? Just want variety in a limited context?
 

56Tweed

Ge Fuzz-o-holic
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,023
While describing sound can be difficult, I'm really surprised that while I have both the Brown Princeton and a CR, I would not describe my experiences like yours.

There is nothing soft about my '62 Princeton. The attack is pretty hard and sharp with the naylor special design 10 speaker. I love the amp just past the edge of breakup or below.

On the other hand, my '03 Club Royale can sound warm and fat. It can be setup a bit bright with the G-12H speaker, but played through my scumback alnico 2x12 cab I can get smooth breakup tones.

As for the Tweeds, I think they are unique and a different sound. My 6G2 doesn't sound or feel anything like my 5e3 ('59 Deluxe).
 

dehughes

Member
Messages
1,156
I'm watching this thread out of curiosity of the responses.

But I'm also wondering what your motivation is... I mean it sounds like you found the ideal amp for you, so why are you looking for another amp? Are you trying to replace it? Want to carry multiple amps to gigs? Or using them for recording? Just want variety in a limited context?

Simplifying things. Selling gear to consolidate. Reducing what I have and don't need. Distilling down to that which is pure and good. Not necessarily looking to replace the Princeton, but move my DSL and my CR and find one alternate color palate with the same base feel that compliments the Princeton but doesn't duplicate.
 
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dehughes

Member
Messages
1,156
While describing sound can be difficult, I'm really surprised that while I have both the Brown Princeton and a CR, I would not describe my experiences like yours.

There is nothing soft about my '62 Princeton. The attack is pretty hard and sharp with the naylor special design 10 speaker. I love the amp just past the edge of breakup or below.

On the other hand, my '03 Club Royale can sound warm and fat. It can be setup a bit bright with the G-12H speaker, but played through my scumback alnico 2x12 cab I can get smooth breakup tones.

As for the Tweeds, I think they are unique and a different sound. My 6G2 doesn't sound or feel anything like my 5e3 ('59 Deluxe).

See, all ears are different, huh. :) My Princeton can be plugged directly into using either my '52 Reissue Tele with Lollars, or my Epiphone Sheraton II with Seth Lovers, and is perfectly fine as-is. Plus, it's a transitional amp, so it's not your average 6G2. I believe the volume or tone pot is different, and maybe something else. It's been a while since I looked inside.

My CR sounds great as well, but I have to dumb it down a bit with the cut knob to take the edge off, yet it still is quicker and louder than the Princeton once I get it turned up to the point where the low end fills out.

My DSL50 is a monster amp that sounds KILLER at low volumes because I modded it to do that. However, it's more of my humbucker mid-gain amp, as my Tele just doesn't quite work with it as well.

So, I'm looking for an amp that does what my Princeton does...takes either of my two guitars and works dandy. My Princeton has an air and broken-in feel to it that my other two amps just don't have. Both are fine, don't get me wrong...great amps...but I'm getting older and want my amps to feel like a worn-in pair of pants.
 

56Tweed

Ge Fuzz-o-holic
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,023
I'm wondering if your oxford speaker in the Princeton is just worn out. You said you play it through the 4x12s, does it behave the same way then?

Hearing what you are asking for, and realizing that you are playing at home, one good suggestion would be a Carr Mercury (original, not a Mercury V). Its a single ended EL-34 by default, but you can put in other tubes. It sounds really warm and round on the clean channel with a stellar reverb. Then there are two boost channels that defeat the tone stack if you want more gain and a built in attenuator if needed. Its a pretty versatile amp that can fit right in with what you are asking for.
 

dehughes

Member
Messages
1,156
I'm wondering if your oxford speaker in the Princeton is just worn out. You said you play it through the 4x12s, does it behave the same way then?

Hearing what you are asking for, and realizing that you are playing at home, one good suggestion would be a Carr Mercury (original, not a Mercury V). Its a single ended EL-34 by default, but you can put in other tubes. It sounds really warm and round on the clean channel with a stellar reverb. Then there are two boost channels that defeat the tone stack if you want more gain and a built in attenuator if needed. Its a pretty versatile amp that can fit right in with what you are asking for.

I don’t play the Princeton through my cabs, just the stock cab and speaker. It doesn’t sound worn out, it sounds fantastic. Maybe I’m just a fan of 10” speakers and never knew it?

Thanks for the recommendation on the Mercury. I’ll check it out.
 

jmonk99

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
442
I think you’re right about a Tweed Deluxe or Tweed Champ as a natural choice for your next amp. For home use, I’d lean towards the champ.
 

dubbinman

A HAPPY OLD BOY WITH HIS BALL
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
737
A few years ago I was on a similar quest. I wanted a 6g2 platform with a little twist. No reverb, no fx loop simple no nonsense circuit ~ and it had to have a master volume. Local builder created this for me. Some reading this post may have seen this amp head before as I have responded to other threads...cost me $1200. Builder did everything from scratch as it was a one off request.
From the builders facebook page: "ToneTron Amp custom built by request; as a platform this gem uses a brownface Princeton with elements of blackface Princeton, tweed Deluxe, and original ToneTron Amps design."

View media item 300968
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dehughes

Member
Messages
1,156
Nice amp.

Again though, I’m not looking for a Princeton variant, but rather another amp that has similar feel. Kinda leaning tweed-ish for some reason but I’ve never owned or played a tweed anything.
 

skovach623

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
145
Try a Swart STR-Tweed or Swart AST. STR-Tweed is a small Tweed 1x12 combo that is just a blast to play. The AST is similar sized combo and leans more blackface but still kind of it’s own thing. Highly recommend both if looking for something just a little different than a Princeton.
 

dehughes

Member
Messages
1,156
Try a Swart STR-Tweed or Swart AST. STR-Tweed is a small Tweed 1x12 combo that is just a blast to play. The AST is similar sized combo and leans more blackface but still kind of it’s own thing. Highly recommend both if looking for something just a little different than a Princeton.

Okay, yeah, I'm digging these two. Again, I’m open to any circuit or design, though. Maybe even go for a low wattage Germino head or one of his tweed replicas?
 
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Laurence

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,407
You may want to look into a Gibson GA20 or GA40. Nice amps with a different feel and response. I have a '64 Princeton transitional model (tuxedo), and my 53 GA20 is a nice variation.
 

Blue Bee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,364
Look into a Harvard style circuit amp.
It my absolute favorite and from your describing sounds like it would be perfect. I was looking for a second amp slightly different from it and the 6G2 was at the top of the list
 

_Rumy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
398
Nice amp.

Again though, I’m not looking for a Princeton variant, but rather another amp that has similar feel. Kinda leaning tweed-ish for some reason but I’ve never owned or played a tweed anything.

Might you be chasing the wind? Nothing might live up to your beloved Princeton.
 

PorkChop

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
321
I’m gonna make this fast as it is a Princeton type. Eddie Wang Pulsar Reverb. The tone stack is baxandall. You can get BF Scoop, tweedish flat EQ and just sorta Marshall mid bump. 12” speaker and power scaling, which opens it up a lot for home use. I only suggest because the feel might be similar for you but the tone and breakup at any volume can can be way different.
 

dehughes

Member
Messages
1,156
Interesting stuff. Thanks all!

That Pulsar Reverb is made in my area...never heard of him until now.

So far, though, the ones that perked up my ears are:

Fender Harvard
5F11 Vibroux
Low-Power Tweed Twin
Tweed Bassman

Quite a range of size and wattage, but all seem to be in the area of what would work for me in terms of vibe. The last two are likely WAY too much amp for me, but they have that vibe...I can hear it through the samples even on YouTube....but if I don't like cranking my Club Royale then I won't like cranking a Tweed Bassman.

Now to figure out what gear to sell to fund the search.
 

dubbinman

A HAPPY OLD BOY WITH HIS BALL
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
737
how about a fryette ps2??? use all the amps you have. it's both a great attenuator AND a tube amp/reamp! the fryette is really an almost 'must have' for all kinds of reasons. if you're not familiar do some research and do a search here on tgp...:cool:
 




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