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princeton reissue help?
  • I first was exposed to jim's music through the video he did for the reissue princeton-in fact it made up my mind on the amp and I bought it.

    I definately made the right choice-it's a great amp and i'm rarely away from it,however I was just wondering if theres anybody on here who can give me some advice.

    When I crank the amp AND the bass it gets really flubby on the lows and sounds bad-If i'm gonna crank it I need my settings down to like 2 or 3 for the bass(and subsequntly for the treble).

    Having read about jims own settings he can have the bass all the way up to 10-how can he do it? The only changes i'm aware he makes to his his amp are the bia and swapping the speaker,so are these the answer?

    I don't particularly want to copy jims sound or anything. I can get a a good cranked tone out of my amp now but I feel there's a GREAT tone waiting to be had.

    Any ideas?
  • Hey GM,
    there's nothing wrong with your amp, that's how blackface fenders are, yes you can get here and there some improvement, speaker, tube rectifier, caps, old RCA's but it's always gonna be flabby and yes it's a nasty sound.
    Playing low powered amps and a single 10" requires a certain attitude and control especially in a band situation.
    If you want to set your amp like this, the amp will be super sensitive and you need to start using your guitars volume and tone control as well as adjust your playing. Where and how hard you pick your string, with the pick or with your fingers will give you all you need to control your sound, and use your ear, if it doesn't sound or feel good to you or nothing like Jim it's one of the above.
    I my opinion learning how to have "good tone" is very important, you can do way more with it then an amazing player with no tone. You can play this one note and everybody will feel and get it.
    And very important, you gotta have a sense of humor, that flabby bass should just put a smile in your face at the moment you want to use it, people think your amp's exploding and you smile.
    Hope this helps you to achieve what you're after.
    Cheers
  • Thanks esquire for that brilliant answer.
    Yeah I had heard that the flubby bass was a common trait on these amps but I just couldn't figure how some players got round it without modifications(apparently a replacement output transformer will sort it).

    I don't really want start modifying my amp to much.

    It makes sense that it's jims touch....................so i'm off too practise!

    Thanks again!

  • Hi, first posting here. I, too, pulled the trigger on a Princeton Reverb Reissue after watching Jim's Fender promo. Knew i wanted a nice tube amp-had looked at numerous ones, but that video nailed it for me. Not quite an answer to the question, just a comment. All the best, guys.
  • I agree with Esquire. Tone can easily be more important than notes. Lately I've been telling my kids "It's not what you say, it's how you say it". That applies to them musically and parentally ;) And it totally applies to tone....also phrasing.

    If you need more volume, mic that little amp on stage into the PA, get used to what it can do and can't do. I like Esquire's example us using that flabby bass and smiling when you want to use it.
  • Replace the baffle and the speaker on a Re-issue , no flub, no fart. A Jensen neo 10-100 will work great will minimal weight increase. Others have had good results with higher power weber ceramic speakers.
  • Set the bias first. Usually the come very cold from Fender.
  • Change the stock tubes for NOS as Jim does (or JJs) and replace the output transformer with a T20 (google PRRI mods). This'll get better low end with the existing speaker.
  • i also purchased a prri thanks to Jim's endorsement... I think they must have given Jim a nicer amp then what they sell... I was thoroughly disappointed... The amp's cabinet is junk... I replaced it with an all pine version from mojo... I also had a "Flubby" bass sound... I replaced the tubes and that helped... I also changed the speaker.... all in all I wish I knew how much id be spending on a reissue.. I should have just spent the money on a silver face and gotten the real thing.

    There are certain noises you should expect from a small combo amp... I understand this. I am however, dissapointed in fender for using junky tubes and poor cabinet construction on an amp that is almost 1000 dollars.
    even the new eric clapton hand-wired amps have crappy tubes in them. I just don't understand it.

    I will say that jj tubes are a nice economical upgrade for tubes. NOS tubes are most likely best... I cannot afford the luxury at the moment..

    also if you want NOS tubes and cant afford a full tube swap...just change the pre amp tubes to NOS and use JJ for the Power tube section
  • I wanted to add a small bit of philosophy. This may all be well understood and I hope not to offend but I started thinking of particular amps as starting places. Kind of like buying a house. Buying a house you try to get as much on your list as you can but expect to do a bit of remodeling to make it yours. I know the Princeton Re-issue is about $1000 so it seems it should be good to go. Jim has documented the tweaks he makes to all his amps. So it seems that even with the entry level price that the amp needs a bit of tweaking.

    I have a Fender Blues Deluxe that is a completely different animal. In Seattle we are lucky enough to have a local amp guru named John Fromel. For a few hundred dollars he can take a good solid amp like a Blues Deluxe and tweak it into a VERY good amp. I love playing through my Blues Deluxe now. It's something I really look forward to after work.

    I really appreciate Jim being willing to post up the things he tweaks. I'm considering buying a Princeton Re-issue used but I'm planning on tweaking right away to some of Jims specifics.

    Anyhow that is how I approach amps. I hope it helps and I feel for anyone who purchased an amp that doesn't perform how they hoped it would. Maybe a few tweaks and you'll have the dream tone you're looking for.

    Best of luck and thanks jim for so much great info.

    Scott

  • Hi guys
    I have Princeton reverb reissue and I'd like to replace the speaker (jensen c10R) with Weber Vintage Ceramic 10F150T 50watt. Do you think is a good choise to sounds better?
  • I too started looking more seriously at the Princeton Reverb Reissue amp after seeing a couple of videos featuring Mr. Campilongo. However, having experienced the common bass note flubby sound of some small wattage amps with 10-inch speakers (I have a Fender Super Champ X2), and having a wonderful Deluxe Reverb RI with a 12-inch speaker that just sounds super (albeit a bit heavier to lug around than a Princeton), I punted and found a wonderful Princeton Reverb “Limited Edition” in Blue Tolex with a 12-inch Celestion G12 Alinco Blue. My oh my what a great tone. That amp has that wonderful “just breaking up” sound I just can’t seem to get from the Deluxe Reverb without really cranking the volume up. I am thoroughly enjoying my new “Reissue” Princeton with the 12-inch speaker!
  • My PRRI and I started our relationship on a sour note with it "flubbing" on bass notes. I soon started on a quest to eliminate that problem. Since I also play many outdoor solo gigs and play clean 95% of the time, clean headroom with max volume is paramount. I suppose I could have just used my Vibrolux Reverb Custom, but weight and size constraints dictated I realize the maximum potential from the PRRI. First stop: get rid of the cheap, speaker farting Jensen. Fix: I am lucky enough to have three JBL D110s from the 1960s. I installed one in the Princeton and, instantly, no more "flub or fart." Secondly: increase the potential clean headroom and volume. Fix: I obtained a Fromel Supreme Mod Kit and had my tech install it. These mods include the "Stokes mod" that uses an unused node on the phase inverter circuit (I'm still a little fuzzy on the particulars) combined with a power output transformer upgrade to a T020 transformer brought the power output up to 18 watts. Finally, at the suggestion of my tech (knowing what sound I was after), I installed a pair of Genelec Gold Lion power tubes. These provided a slightly less hot output than the JJs that were in it to begin with. The outcome of all these modifications is a Princeton Reverb that remains clean up to about 7.5 on the volume knob, is almost as loud as my lead player's DRRI, and has NO speaker fart whatsoever. The JBL doesn't have the "chime" of the Jensen, but has a much bigger sound overall, with considerably more bass response. My PRRI and I are now in love.
  • I went thru this with a PRRI too.

    A new speaker fixes most, if not all, of the problem.

    Some people install a new output transformer (Allen Amps sells them), but I found it made little to no difference in stiffening up the bass response (with the stock speaker.)

    Some people also add an extra filter cap to the power section... I found this helped a little, BUT...

    A new speaker really is the answer. I think that's why Fender has been releasing so many PRRI's lately with different speakers:

    Celestion Gold
    Celestion Greenback
    P10Q
    Celestion Cream 12"
    P12Q (12")
    Cannabis Rex 12"

    ...the regular stock P10R sounds ok clean/low volume, but just can't handle being cranked up. It also doesn't take overdrive pedals very well.
  • I completely agree with ruger's assessment. I went through all of the mods he listed, and the speaker by far makes the biggest difference. Beefing up the first stage filter cap seemed to help a bit with overdrive pedals in that they sounded a little clearer to my ears. But it wasn't a night and day difference.

    Speaking of the Cannabis Rex, has anyone here tried one with their Princeton? I'm curious how it sounds.
  • I have a CR in my Supersonic 22, the clean channel is basically the same thing as a Deluxe Reverb, and I love the thing.

    When I buy my next PR tho, I'm sticking with a 10". That's part of what I love about it. Either a Greenback (which I had before and really liked) or a Gold.
  • I've used my 68 CPR for nearly all my gigs over the past 3 years. I wanted it as a low-power, somewhat dirty alternative to my old Deluxe Reverb, which is just too loud to overdrive in most settings (glorious clean sounds with a JBL!). I play small clubs and festivals in various combinations, from duo to 5 piece.

    At first I thought the bass might be too much, but now I love working with the amp "as is" with the stock Celestion. I confess that I've never fully understood Jim's "bass at 10" methodology, and so my tone settings are usually treble at 8, bass at 3. I replaced tubes with various NOS ones I had in my collection, and ultimately replaced the reverb tank to get closer to the Hammond in my old DR. A MOD replacement did the trick, it sounds fabulously surfy now.

    For me, the trick to controlling the bass isn't so much in the amp - all Fender amps have a lot of bass - it's the right hand. Jim C plays very close to the saddles, which has a drastic effect upon the behavior of the instrument. Between the tone settings and that technique, the little 68 CPR is a workhorse.

    FWIW, I'm using an early Fender 52RI Tele (new in 1982) with a mid-80s Seymour Duncan Broadcaster and a VanZandt Strat pickup in the neck position. Original hardware, several refrets and neck re-radiused.
  • I confess that I've never fully understood Jim's "bass at 10" methodology

    The "trick" is, turn the amp ALL the way up- Vol 10, bass 10, treble I think he says around 6-7. THEN use the guitar's volume knob to control your volume and amount of gain. I had "issues" with his approach too, until I turned the amp all the way up and the guitar way down. It's a bit unorthodox (in modern day; this is what everyone did back when electric amplification was first invented), but it does work.

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