Tweed Deluxe Vs. Tweed Princeton Vs. Tweed Harvard

scott520

Silver Supporting Member
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2,111
I've become more and more intrigued by Fender tweed amps but have no real experience with actually playing vintage examples. Any of you guys own one or more of these little monsters? If so, anything you can tell me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

es137p

Member
Messages
2,623
never played the Princeton, played and/or have Victorias versions of Harvard and Deluxe. Similar volumes, Harvard a little cleaner, clearer tighter than Deluxe. Though when you push it, you get nice tweed overdrive, tighter bottom than Deluxe. Not as thick sounding as a Deluxe. More even sweep up the volume control on Harvard. Deluxe, your almost at volume by 3, then it just saturates more as you go up on the volume. There are some good Victoria Ivy League videos on youtube. I have the 12" version of the Ivy League.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
28,890
Wow, those are not a lot alike…

The Princeton is similar in circuit to the Champ, except a larger cabinet and a tone knob. To my ears it sounds much bigger and clearer, but it's still a single ended amp with not true clean tone.

The Harvard I haven't played, but it looks similar to a tweed Vibrolux, just a bit lower output from the lower plate voltage. It breaks up later than the Deluxe, but a noticeably earlier than the Deluxe. Very smooth transition to distortion.

The Deluxe is, of course, the quintessential tweed amp, great sounding in anyone's hands. The earlier versions are a little softer and smoother than the later ones but I'd say they all sound good.

The cheapest way to get into this would be to find a brown Princeton-should be around $1k and sounds VERY similar to the Harvard.
 

TJNies

Member
Messages
2,831
^Do you mean the 6g2 Brownface Princeton?
I believe he does. The Brown Princeton's circuit is similar to the 5f10 / 5f11.

I haven't played a tweed Deluxe, but own a tweed Vibrolux. It can play very clean until about 7-8 on the volume. Then you start to get some nice grind.
 

scott520

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,111
Wow, those are not a lot alike…

The Princeton is similar in circuit to the Champ, except a larger cabinet and a tone knob. To my ears it sounds much bigger and clearer, but it's still a single ended amp with not true clean tone.

The Harvard I haven't played, but it looks similar to a tweed Vibrolux, just a bit lower output from the lower plate voltage. It breaks up later than the Deluxe, but a noticeably earlier than the Deluxe. Very smooth transition to distortion.

The Deluxe is, of course, the quintessential tweed amp, great sounding in anyone's hands. The earlier versions are a little softer and smoother than the later ones but I'd say they all sound good.

The cheapest way to get into this would be to find a brown Princeton-should be around $1k and sounds VERY similar to the Harvard.
The Tweed Deluxe is really the one that I'm after but it's of course one of the more expensive examples to be found. Guess I just need to start moving some things around and pinchin' some pennies :D I mean, how freakin' sexy is this...

 

scott520

Silver Supporting Member
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2,111
Thanks for the great info fellas! Since I pretty much know that I'm after a Deluxe, are there differences between the thin, wide and tv panel versions of the Deluxe? Sorry for the newb questions but I've got very little experience in the way of vintage amps. I'm learnin' tho...
 

scott520

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,111
Also, for you guys that have ever gone back and forth between wanting vintage and/or a replica/clone, did you even end up wishing for one over the other?
 

AxeLover

Member
Messages
1,203
The one in the pic is a narrow panel Deluxe (made from '57 through '60 I believe). I think Neil Young uses two of those in his live rig. If my memory serves me right narrow panel tweeds are the gainiest of them all.
As far as getting one without paying an arm and leg for it look into old tweed Gibson Lancer amps which reportedly have the same circuit as the Deluxe. One in mint condition sold for $1200 around May or so on Reverb.
 

AxeLover

Member
Messages
1,203
For a quick display of differences between TV front Deluxe and narrow panel Deluxe check out the youtube clip by Music Store Live on tweed Fenders (they also demo Champs, Princeton and Harvard in that video). That clip alone made me want to own a tweed Fender.
 

scott520

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,111
For a quick display of differences between TV front Deluxe and narrow panel Deluxe check out the youtube clip by Music Store Live on tweed Fenders (they also demo Champs, Princeton and Harvard in that video). That clip alone made me want to own a tweed Fender.
Just watched it! That did NOT help my GAS! They all sound pretty damn good but I still want the Deluxe in a bad way. The grind that bad boy puts out is just spectacular!
 

scott520

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,111
The one in the pic is a narrow panel Deluxe (made from '57 through '60 I believe). I think Neil Young uses two of those in his live rig. If my memory serves me right narrow panel tweeds are the gainiest of them all.
As far as getting one without paying an arm and leg for it look into old tweed Gibson Lancer amps which reportedly have the same circuit as the Deluxe. One in mint condition sold for $1200 around May or so on Reverb.
Looks like there's not a lot of GA-6's around. The few that I've found have just plain silly price tags attached to them. I would like to get my hands on one. What are the differences between the GA-6 and the Tweed Deluxe?
 

succor

Member
Messages
1,938
For a quick display of differences between TV front Deluxe and narrow panel Deluxe check out the youtube clip by Music Store Live on tweed Fenders (they also demo Champs, Princeton and Harvard in that video). That clip alone made me want to own a tweed Fender.
 

cap47

Member
Messages
2,275
You can't go wrong with a deluxe. I am loving the mojotone kit I built! My other amps haven't had much use since.
 

AxeLover

Member
Messages
1,203
Looks like there's not a lot of GA-6's around. The few that I've found have just plain silly price tags attached to them. I would like to get my hands on one. What are the differences between the GA-6 and the Tweed Deluxe?
Here are the specs of narrow panel Fender Deluxe (from here):

Model/Circuit Number: 5E3
Years of Production: 1955 – 1960
Era: Narrow Panel
Configuration: Combo
Controls: Chrome top facing w/ white screened labels, controls numbered 1-12
Knobs: Black Chicken Head
Faceplate
Front: Ground Sw, Fuse (2A), Power Sw, Pilot Lamp, Vol, Mic Vol, Tone, In, In, Mic In, Mic In

Cabinet
Dimensions: 16” x 20” x 9 1/2”
Hardware:
Handle: Raised Brown Leather
Feet: Glides
Corners:
Covering Material
Tolex/Tweed: Diagonal Tweed
Grill Cloth: Dark Brown Linen (55) or Brown Grill Cloth

Logo: Cabinet mounted, Script
Weight: 25 lbs.
Speaker
Size: 1 x 12
Impedance: 8 ohms
Model: Jensen P12R or Jensen P12Q(For more info, check out the Jensen Replacement Speakers)

Effects:
~Watts: 15 watts
Tubes
Pre amp: 12AY7
Power: 2 x 6V6GT

Bias: Cathode Bias
Rectifier: 5Y3GT

And here are the specs of Gibson GA-6 Lancer:

GA-6 Lancer (tweed)

10-14W 2x12" Guitar Combo (identical to the GA-14 Titan except for the 12" speaker)
Speakers: 2x12"
Inputs (instr. + mic.): 2+2 (tweed)
Channels: 2
Volume Controls: 2
Tone Controls: 1
Tremolo: No
Tubes: 5 (2x12AX7, 2x6V6, 5Y3 or (newer version) Pre (2x7025), Pow (1x6V6 PAIR + 5Y3))
Watts Output: 10-14

Push-pull 6V6s; like a Fender 5D3/5E3 Tweed Deluxe; cross between the two Fender circuits.

Here's a good source of specs on vintage Gibsons - www.0rigami.com/gg/amps.html
 

scott520

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,111
Here are the specs of narrow panel Fender Deluxe (from here):

Model/Circuit Number: 5E3
Years of Production: 1955 – 1960
Era: Narrow Panel
Configuration: Combo
Controls: Chrome top facing w/ white screened labels, controls numbered 1-12
Knobs: Black Chicken Head
Faceplate
Front: Ground Sw, Fuse (2A), Power Sw, Pilot Lamp, Vol, Mic Vol, Tone, In, In, Mic In, Mic In

Cabinet
Dimensions: 16” x 20” x 9 1/2”
Hardware:
Handle: Raised Brown Leather
Feet: Glides
Corners:
Covering Material
Tolex/Tweed: Diagonal Tweed
Grill Cloth: Dark Brown Linen (55) or Brown Grill Cloth

Logo: Cabinet mounted, Script
Weight: 25 lbs.
Speaker
Size: 1 x 12
Impedance: 8 ohms
Model: Jensen P12R or Jensen P12Q(For more info, check out the Jensen Replacement Speakers)

Effects:
~Watts: 15 watts
Tubes
Pre amp: 12AY7
Power: 2 x 6V6GT

Bias: Cathode Bias
Rectifier: 5Y3GT

And here are the specs of Gibson GA-6 Lancer:

GA-6 Lancer (tweed)

10-14W 2x12" Guitar Combo (identical to the GA-14 Titan except for the 12" speaker)
Speakers: 2x12"
Inputs (instr. + mic.): 2+2 (tweed)
Channels: 2
Volume Controls: 2
Tone Controls: 1
Tremolo: No
Tubes: 5 (2x12AX7, 2x6V6, 5Y3 or (newer version) Pre (2x7025), Pow (1x6V6 PAIR + 5Y3))
Watts Output: 10-14

Push-pull 6V6s; like a Fender 5D3/5E3 Tweed Deluxe; cross between the two Fender circuits.

Here's a good source of specs on vintage Gibsons - www.0rigami.com/gg/amps.html
So the GA-6 is almost identical to the GA-14 circuit wise?
 

AxeLover

Member
Messages
1,203
So the GA-6 is almost identical to the GA-14 circuit wise?
Looks like it except for the 12 inch speaker. Titan (GA-14) has a 10-inch one. One near mint Titan with stock Jensen was listed here on TGP last December for $1450 shipped/PPd CONUS. And I think it sold on Reverb for about the same +/- $200. I was considering it at the time but both (Lancer and Titan) are definitely overkill for home use unless you have a soundproofed room. For rehearsals with a band though I think they'll do just fine.
 

scott520

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,111
Looks like it except for the 12 inch speaker. Titan (GA-14) has a 10-inch one. One near mint Titan with stock Jensen was listed here on TGP last December for $1450 shipped/PPd CONUS. And I think it sold on Reverb for about the same +/- $200. I was considering it at the time but both (Lancer and Titan) are definitely overkill for home use unless you have a soundproofed room. For rehearsals with a band though I think they'll do just fine.
Yeah an attenuator will probably have to get thrown into the mix until we FINALLY move out of our condo and I can finally get my man cave/home studio back up and running. I guess it's no big secret now that those particular Gibson models are pretty bad ass in their own right.
 

AxeLover

Member
Messages
1,203
Yeah an attenuator will probably have to get thrown into the mix until we FINALLY move out of our condo and I can finally get my man cave/home studio back up and running. I guess it's no big secret now that those particular Gibson models are pretty bad ass in their own right.
Agreed. Old Gibsons seem to be in the same league with some old Valcos in terms of being relatively undiscovered gems which makes them so coveted in terms of price-to-quality ratio.
 






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