Vintage princeton reverb vs deluxe reverb

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by gemckay, May 13, 2015.

  1. gemckay

    gemckay Member

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    Hey guys

    Haven't spent any time playing these but played the new custom versions. But thinking for the same price maybe a bit more could grab an old deluxe or Princeton reverb. Right now I have an old 67 Bassman but it's a lot of volume and a lot to lug around (head and cab). Looking for something to gig with not much for home use.

    What's everyone's impressions on deluxe reverb vs Princeton reverb? Appreciate any input on Silverface vs blackface too!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    BF vs SF doesn't make a lot of difference in these models.

    Both are nice but the Deluxe has a lot more clean headroom and sounds good when overdriven. PR's don't sound very good when overdriven.
     
  3. rockinrobby

    rockinrobby Senior member Professional musician ... Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a 69 Deluxe reverb amp it's got the drip edge and the original Oxford speaker it's a crazy good amp loud with a band setting easy to move and original love it!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Figaro

    Figaro Supporting Member

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    Since you're looking for one to gig with, go with a DR.
     
  5. gemckay

    gemckay Member

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    Thanks for the input already. How do the old deluxes compare with the new 68 custom or the 65 reissues?
     
  6. doublescale1

    doublescale1 FSR Tele Silver Supporting Member

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    the vintage Deluxe Reverbs are all hand-wired. Repairing them is an easy thing for any competent amp tech. If you get a 68 or 69, they may not need to be "Blackface" converted as the circuits didn't change for a few years - the amp tech will have the skinny on that, be sure to ask if you are looking for pre-CBS Blackface circuit and tone from your DR. All the Deluxe Reverb Re-issues and Princeton Reverb Re-issues are built with printed circuit boards, inherently not necessarily a bad thing, but fixing them usually means all new printed circuit boards instead of just the offending component(s). Many very good amps use circuit boards: bogner, mesa, rivera, etc. even Matchless has a model that features circuit boards and a lower price (less hand work in assembly and the boards insure very consistent signal path - the premium amps with this construction style generally uses HD Mil-Spec boards and keeps all pots and tubes NOT attached to the board but the chassis). Think about tit - all the electronics in an Abrams Tank are made w/Printed Boards, there is a way to do it right and rugged. Many players have giggled circuit board amps for years with no issues, others, issues. Many of the vintage mid-sixties Fender hand wired amps are now 50 years old or older depending on age - updating them is not a lot of money - new capacitors (the old ones leak), the odd weak-solder joint, and maybe a 3 prong grounded cord and your good to go. Either way you'll have the tone that these amps are famous for - Tele master and Princeton Reverb maven Jim Campilongo tours with the PR reissues and gets his signature tone from them every night. See what kind of vintage deals you can find, or look for a used DRRI for just under a grand, play them both and follow your ears... good hunting.
     
  7. caspersvapors

    caspersvapors Supporting Member

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    on the other hand the 68 custom princeton DOES sound good overdriven!
     
  8. Figaro

    Figaro Supporting Member

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    You can find a used DRRI for around $800 or less.
     
  9. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    I've gigged a SFDR off and on for 15 years. Never had it blackfaced, though I have replaced all the electrostatics, including the cathode bypass ones, and have done some mods on it. It is a GREAT sounding amp for blues stuff or country stuff. I play it on 6 and it is just at the edge of breakup there. Takes pedals really well and so handles rock and rolls stuff too. Clubs unmiced or bigger places miced. Records great.

    I have only gigged a princeton once, it was a brown one, it was miced. Turned up all the way, it sounded glorious. I played one of the reissues in a GC once, took it in the amp room and cranked it, it sounded pretty good. But I would build one if I wanted one.

    The new 68 deluxes don't sound that close to an old deluxe, though I played through one for a bit and it sounded good. The reissues are ok, not as good sounding as an old one, but some say that can be fixed up (I gigged one for a while, but it was borrowed, so I didn't swap stuff out).

    Anyway, the short of it is - Deluxe Reverb is a great gigging amp. Small not too heavy and unless the band is really loud, can keep up fine. In fact, it is nice to be able to crank the amp to the point where it is cooking and not be too loud. Love mine.
     
  10. zenas

    zenas Member

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    Lucky enough to have a BFDR and a BFPR hard to say wich one I like better.

    Helpful post ! :)
     
  11. Laurent Brondel

    Laurent Brondel Supporting Member

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    Totally true, and speaker choice makes a huge difference on both amps in terms of headroom, volume amd gig-ablity.
    Jim Campilongo would argue about a PR not sounding good overdriven… Depends with what speaker.
     
  12. mary04

    mary04 Supporting Member

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    I dissagree on the overdrive statement of the PR. I`ve owned a blackface PR and now own a silverface PR, and for blues and rock`n roll the overdrive in a PR is glorius IMO. Speaker matters though! I have a Weber 10F150 in mine.

    Here`s a demo on my 1978 Fender Princeton Reverb:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np5OVllcmSI
     
  13. fuzzface71

    fuzzface71 Member

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    To be honest, I would probably not gig with an original blackface (maybe just for special occasions). Get a silver face to gig with. These gems are getting old and rare by the minute.
     
  14. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    I don't know, I still take my BF pro reverb out when the sfdr isn't enough. Now, it is not a museum piece, speakers changed, all the electo caps changed out, but it is a great amp to play through.

    I might not seek out a BF now, especially a deluxe or princeton, cause the SF are pretty darn close and a lot cheaper, but if I have one, yea, I gig it. But I gig my '60 strat too, if it is a gig I can keep an eye on it. :)
     
  15. rockabilly69

    rockabilly69 Supporting Member

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    I own a '64 Deluxe Reverb and have access to a '65 DR, and 2 '65 Princeton Reverbs. The above statement that the PR doesn't sound good overdriven IMNSHO is totally off base. It all comes down to the speaker. Change the baffle, put in a 12" Celestion Blue and a vintage PR smokes!
     
  16. wyatt

    wyatt Member

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    As you might notice, the PR's overdrive is a polarizing issue. The cathodyne PI in the PR adds a little bit of grittiness at all times, but really gets noticeable when overdrive. That's there no matter what speaker you use.

    Many love it...heck Headstrom amps flagship model is based on giving that PR grit at higher volumes. Many others, like Mike, hate it. I side with the latter...I hate it and would never take a PR over a DR...neither for clean or dirt.

    Try before you buy.
     
  17. satisphied

    satisphied Member

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    OP, I just got a custom 68 dr last month. I was in the same predicament you were in, for the same price I could have gotten a true vintage super reverb/princeton or a dr for a couple more hundred.

    However, I am completely blown away by the 68 custom drri, the bassman tone stack channel sounds amazing and the vintage channel sounds the same as my friends 71 silverface dr.. You pretty much get two amps in one, without worrying about refurbishing. Also a 5 yr fender warranty and sweetwater offers an amazing two year (fender will take 6mos) warranty for free. Don't be scared by the bad reviews, there is nothing wrong with my amp. I had no idea something could sound so good.
     
  18. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    Yep... DR all the way. I've had several Princeton Rev's... and love them at very low volume, but they just give it up too much at many gigs.
     
  19. veendog

    veendog Member

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    I have both, and a silverface vibrolux, Super reverb and Twin reverb.
    Might depend on what kind of gig and what kind of guitar. I use the Princeton reverb every chance I get because it sounds so good. But often with a humbucker guitar it breaks up too fast. Deluxe is a little more scooped in the mids, so for me is not necessarily a good replacement but I love it with Fender guitars. If you like the Princeton, for me the Vibrolux Reverb is a louder closer choice. But honestly, a silverface deluxe is very close.
     
  20. gemckay

    gemckay Member

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    Bump for more input! Which years are best for these? 65-68?
     

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