Princeton Vs Ampeg

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Mr. Green, May 22, 2006.

  1. Mr. Green

    Mr. Green Member

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    so I was reading a lot about the Ampeg Gemini I G-12 112 Combo and the Gemini II 115 Combo.....

    from the other side, we have the Princeton family ...

    I'm not sure which of them is better...

    I'm looking for a warm, thick sound--> crunchy, kick ass, rich and full with harmonics sound..

    what you guys saying ?:horse
     
  2. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Apples and oranges...

    The Geminis do big cleans - only overdrive near max volume (which is much louder than the Princetons). If you want warm AND crunchy, check out a '62-'64 6G2 Princeton like this one:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Mr. Green

    Mr. Green Member

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    he looks like a million $:drool
    what are you playing with him ?
     
  4. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Everything - strat, tele, LP, Dano...

    Great amp.
     
  5. MoRawk

    MoRawk Member

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    I've been scanning evilBay for a real nice pre-CBS Princeton Reverb. I tried a friend's blackface PR and the clean puts goosebumps on my arms. I tried it with my Zendrive and knew I had to have one. Haven't been successful with the evilBay so I might have to look into the Clark Kanee, Headstrong Lil' King or Carr Rambler. Unless someone can refer me to someone selling a nice PR heh.
     
  6. mwbrock

    mwbrock Member

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    My Gemini II is my favorite amp, and meets your criteria with maybe the exception of crunch. However, it sounds amazing with a Fulltone OCD in front supplying the crunch. For reference, I have a Super Reverb, a Deluxe Reverb, a Top Hat Club Royale, and a Reverend Kingsnake that all receive much less attention.
     
  7. Mr. Green

    Mr. Green Member

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    WOW, that's a nice set of amps..
    especially the super reverb..
     
  8. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    One's not better than the other. The Ampegs are louder, 20 or so watts for the Gem I (with 7159 tubes), 30 or so for the Gem II - VI (7159 or 6L6). Not loud for that wattage (actually, maybe quieter than you would expect), but louder than most Princetons I've heard. Ampeg clean is different. Less pristine than BF, more muscle. Both are sweet as hell. You can't go wrong. The 15" Gemini II-VI -- especially with 6L6s -- will have quite a bit of warmth, a fair amount of crunch all the way up. Those Ampegs deliver bonus points in magnificent reverb sounds, excellent trems.

    Me, I'd go Ampeg. The BF Princeton Reverb I want is way too expensive. Those Ampegs are quite reasonable in comparison. Great amps, but few players care that much.
     
  9. erksin

    erksin Member

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    I think you mean 7591s, right MD?

    I agree the Ampegs are cool amps (have a '65 Reverberocket w/7591As myself) - but crunch and a lot of harmonic content aren't features I'd attribute to them from the ones I've heard and played.

    If you want to go Ampeg, maybe look at the earlier '60s Jets and Reverberockets with 6V6s - they are killer amps, thicker with more overtones and breakup. Quite a bit more similar to a Princeton than the Geminis...
     
  10. Mr. Green

    Mr. Green Member

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    they look the same as the Geminis .....is it possible that every one of you will upload a short audio, recorded with those amps... it might be helpful
     
  11. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Actually, they look quite different from the Geminis - the early '60s Ampegs had top/rear mounted chassis - the Geminis all were front facing like BF Fenders...

    Here's my '65 RR:

    [​IMG]

    If you're looking for clips of an early '60s Jet - check out Tom Petty's 'Running Down A Dream' - that's what Mike Campbell used on it IIRC...
     
  12. Don L

    Don L Member

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    I prefer Fender cleans over Ampeg cleans. Fender's seems to have more shimmer to them.
     
  13. erksin

    erksin Member

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    I think you'd need to be a little more specific - what Ampeg did you play through? My RR's cleans are incredible - it's why I've kept it so long. It hates most pedals, and only breaks up near the end of the volume knob - but the cleans are truly amazing.
     
  14. Don L

    Don L Member

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    Don't remember which ones I've tried, but tried several, and all of them to my ears sounded duller and not as sparkly as the Fenders. I didn't compare them cranked up...
     
  15. AL30

    AL30 Member

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    I've got two old Ampegs (and a 70's V4 that needs repaired) - 68(?) SB-12 Fliptop and a 66' Gemini I. Both are fantastic sounding amps.

    I really like the Ampeg cleans but I would agree with some of the previous posts. Fenders do seem to have a little more "sparkle" and the Ampegs have a little more "muscle". Hard to describe if you haven't played them. If you're coming from a Marshall then an Ampeg may be a good in between as Fenders can sound thin if you're used to a Marshall mid-range. I don't know if I wouldn't describe the Ampeg clean as "dull" though. It's just different. But it is a good and very useable clean. The single notes seem to have more "pop" to them on the Ampegs. I also have several fenders as well - modded Champ, '67 and '64 Blackface Bassmans, '72 Quad Reverb.

    My Gemini I has some serious break-up at around 5 or 6 on the volume with humbuckers. Any more on the volume and it is saturated. Great amp and you can't beat them for the money.

    The SB-12 is the best sounding amp I own.

    I'd go with the Ampeg. You'll get more bang for the buck as older Fenders prices are steadily climbing you can still get a nice, comparable Ampeg for far less. From the sounds you're describing - to my ears - you want the Ampeg.


    AL
     
  16. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    SB-12's are great sounding amps. The Baxandall tone stack makes it very different from a Fender. They also sound much bigger than you would think....especailly with a good 2x12 or larger cab.
     
  17. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    Erk: Whoops! I can never remember tube numbers.

    The RRs and jets are different than the Geminis. 6v6s change the sound. RRs have a different kind of clean, somewhat smoother OD. The Geminis are pretty different between models. The Gem I has cathode bias, 20 watts or so, 12" speaker. All later Geminis have 15 inch speakers, with some of the Gem II - VIs having 6L6s. The crunch I heard from from one of the later Geminis. Not hard core crunch, but a decent amount of alnico compression out of that 15 speaker. Where the Geminis fall down in comparison to Fender BF is in quality of OD, at least to my ears. Not a big deal with the later Gems. The Gem I sounds a little spitty cranked to me.

    Personally, I don't think there is one defining, definitely-best clean sound. Ampegs rank right up there. Not the same as BF fenders, nor anything else for that matter. Throw a more efficient ceramic speaker into one of those Ampegs and see how it sounds. I associate "dull" with the beat, poorly maintained examples I've seen. The good ones, especially those with upgraded speakers, are not dull in the least.
     
  18. mwbrock

    mwbrock Member

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    I think most of the Gemini I's and II's came stock with ceramic Jensens. C15N's in the Gemini II.

    My guess is that many of these amps (proportionally more than Fenders) languished in disrepair because of the odd tubes and cap cans, so you're much more likely to hear a dud that needs some servicing. That said, I can accept that they may have slightly less "sparkle" than a typical Fender from the same era. But that same difference in tonality seems to let me crank my Gemini II and fill a room with huge clean sound without that Fender ear fatigue.
     
  19. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Member

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    I think the Gemini 1 is one of the best sounding guitar amps ever made. It is far more harmonically rich and complex than any blackface fender I've ever heard. The blackfaces are bright because they really have to be bright; they don't have much going on in the midrange. They're a much plainer sounding amp to me; a very ubiquitous clean tone. The ampegs can get a great clean tone even set dark. However, they do get bright if you engage the bright switch which is at the end of the treble control. They're more like the tweed fenders in sound.

    The Gemini 1 also has about the gain of a tweed amp/JTM45/18 watter. At maximum volume, no cleans, they can just about keep up with a loud drummer.

    Also, the 7591 tube is outrageously underrated. It's way more balanced than a 6v6 or EL84 for low wattage amps. It's closer to an EL34 in tone but at a lower wattage. It is also as touch sensitive as an EL84. So, you end up with an amp that doesn't really have "the small amp sound."
     
  20. erksin

    erksin Member

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    From the mid-'60s blue checks I've seen, they came with ceramic Ampeg-branded CTSs mostly.

    The Gemini I is pretty close to a Reverberocket 2, bigger OT I think - but that's about it. '65-'66 was a real transitional period for Ampeg, so there a lot of circuit variations. You really have to check the individual amp to see what's what in there.

    The Reverberockets with 7591As are killer Surf amps, totally different than the earlier 6V6 models which are thicker with MUCH more midrange content.
     

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