What's your favourite OD/distortion into a CLEAN Princeton?

theartofutility

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
94
Got myself a Fender Princeton Reverb reissue (with 12" creamback) a couple of months back.

I play it between 4 and 5 on the volume knob and this thing doesn't break up until you get to over 6 (which is VERY loud). So, I need to get all my gain from pedals played into the amp clean (can't even get into 'edge of breakup' at sensible volumes).

Currently rocking (and loving) my Barber Gain Changer SR. I've heard a lot of folk say everything works with a PRRI but IME, I've found op-amp/diode-clipping ODs sound better to my ears (the compression can help tame the trebles) than, say, a JFET OD into a clean PRRI (the latter tends to be more dynamic but ragged to me).

What pedals are you using for your OD/distortion needs with a CLEAN Princeton?
 

phractus

Member
Messages
346
It depends what sound you want but I like the revival drive compact into the Princeton as a "dirty chanel". Hit it with a trebel booster for more gain and to pop out of the mix.

As far as your concern with some pedals... Yes some can have like a sizzle on the top end that I don't hear with other amps. It's so open that you need to chop those frequencies down yourself sometimes.
 

Benny

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,433
The Barber stuff is pretty great for this application, and the Direct Drive pairs up well with the Gain Changer if you need more/different gain from a pedal.

How much gain do you need? If you don't need much, there are some good sounds to be had with a Centaur/Klone (yes, even into a clean Fender). The Boss OD-3 is also no slouch if you need a bit more gain from a pedal.
 

Steve Y.

Supporting Member
Messages
1,130
Slightly off-topic, but I was discussing the Princeton Reverb Reissue the other day with a friend, specifically talking about the possibility of adding a master volume control so I could get the amp to break up at lower volume. He mentioned looking into swapping in a different speaker (specifically he was thinking an AlNiCo speaker like the '64 Princeton handwired amps have) that would essentially reduce the clean headroom of the amp. I don't know if that would get you down below the volume threshold you want, but could be an option to try at less money than many pedal options.
 

Stratburst70

Member
Messages
6,227
I really like the Green Rhino MkII with my PRRI loaded with a 12” Cannabis Rex. It sounds great whether I have the amp cranked or not.

If I want more gain, then the D&M Drive has served me well.
 

theartofutility

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
94
It depends what sound you want but I like the revival drive compact into the Princeton as a "dirty chanel". Hit it with a trebel booster for more gain and to pop out of the mix.

As far as your concern with some pedals... Yes some can have like a sizzle on the top end that I don't hear with other amps. It's so open that you need to chop those frequencies down yourself sometimes.

This one has definitely been on my radar as an amp in a box pedal, particularly, after I bought the Cali 76 which was so well made. It's quite dear even here in the UK (where they are made) so I'll start putting away those pennies! I completely agree that some pedals just don't jam with the PRRI. I got a Hudson Broadcast which was much raved about however it was brittle and harsh through the PRRI and the high gain mode was like a barrage of icicles.
 

theartofutility

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
94
Slightly off-topic, but I was discussing the Princeton Reverb Reissue the other day with a friend, specifically talking about the possibility of adding a master volume control so I could get the amp to break up at lower volume. He mentioned looking into swapping in a different speaker (specifically he was thinking an AlNiCo speaker like the '64 Princeton handwired amps have) that would essentially reduce the clean headroom of the amp. I don't know if that would get you down below the volume threshold you want, but could be an option to try at less money than many pedal options.

That's interesting. I hadn't considered that possibility as one to reduce headroom. I actually made the opposite change in my Orange Tiny Terror 10" combo by swapping out the stock speaker with a 10" Celestion Gold AlNiCo for better cleans as the TT is notorious for early break-up. I also swapped out the stock pre-amp valves for NOS 12AT7s and I can now go up to noon on both the master volume and gain and stay clean.

I believe the 64 Princeton has Jensen P10-Rs and I'm not sure how they compare to the Celestion 12" Creamback or even the Celestion AlNiCos. I think I might try out some tube swaps first before venturing down the speaker route - even cheaper (unless I'm holding out for NOS Brimars/Mullards etc.)
 

theartofutility

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
94
The Barber stuff is pretty great for this application, and the Direct Drive pairs up well with the Gain Changer if you need more/different gain from a pedal.

How much gain do you need? If you don't need much, there are some good sounds to be had with a Centaur/Klone (yes, even into a clean Fender). The Boss OD-3 is also no slouch if you need a bit more gain from a pedal.

I am a definite Barber convert having got myself two GC SRs in two different colourways - I love that pedal so much! Now, I'm patiently awaiting the DD v.4

Funnily enough, I removed my Klon KTR from my PRRI pedalboard. While it certainly added something, it was very subtle and it seems to be much more effective with my Orange Tiny Terror (with the amp set clean). I wonder if that's because it's easier to push the Orange into edge of breakup tones which seems to be where the KTR excels?
 

CohenTheBarbarian

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,222
I play a PRRI as well and own a bunch of dirt pedals. My amp is equipped with a 10’’ Jensen anilco speaker so I expect there may be differences with your own experience.
Most of the drive pedals I have tried sound really good with this amp, it DOES take them very well.
As someone mentioned before it depends a lot on what you are trying to achieve. If the idea is to emulate the overdriven sound of the amp at low volume then I think bluesbreaker-style pedals do a very good job (JHS Morning Glory or Snouse Black Box are my recommendations, the latter has more gain than the former).
Interestingly it seems I am the only person on Earth who got a Gain Changer and did not bond with it. With my PRRI I felt it added metallic overtones to my sound that I did not like. I sold it after a few months.
 

theartofutility

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
94
I play a PRRI as well and own a bunch of dirt pedals. My amp is equipped with a 10’’ Jensen alnico speaker so I expect there may be differences with your own experience.
Most of the drive pedals I have tried sound really good with this amp, it DOES take them very well.
As someone mentioned before it depends a lot on what you are trying to achieve. If the idea is to emulate the overdriven sound of the amp at low volume then I think bluesbreaker-style pedals do a very good job (JHS Morning Glory or Snouse Black Box are my recommendations, the latter has more gain than the former).
Interestingly it seems I am the only person on Earth who got a Gain Changer and did not bond with it. With my PRRI I felt it added metallic overtones to my sound that I did not like. I sold it after a few months.

Hey @CohenTheBarbarian, thanks for this. I've been meaning to get my hands on a BB-style pedal, namely a Snouse Black Box. Seeing that you're also a PRRI player, can I ask what volume you normally play at and whether you're using all your drive pedals with the amp set to clean?
 

sputnik

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
430
I’ve been through a ton of pedals with my Princeton. My favorites:

Vemuram Shanks ODS-1
Gain Changer SR
Prince/King of Tone
Centura
Lightspeed
 

Valves-R-Us

Member
Messages
993
I built an Allen Amplification, Classic 10 based on an old-timey Princeton, two knob, 10W, with a single 6L6. That thing is loud and clean up to window rattling level. Had to have some pedal crunch! This site helped point me to the AIAB solution. Went with a Wampler Pantheon and love it. Pretty much in the realm of a POT/KOT and offers a tad more EQ control. Okay it's not a POT but works great for my setup. It is the 'always-on' pedal I was hunting for.
 
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