Might've just went Full Fendo™

jellodog

Rock Star
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3,940
Or to put it another way:

I kissed a PRRI and I liked it.

I've wanted a Princeton Reverb for years. I was even going to build one a few months back.

And so I've been aware of the perceived issues for years with the '65 Princeton Reverb Reissues. They "don't sound like they used to", and I know for sure that the stock Jensen C10R can be a little on the bright and strident side; as is the BF tone stack itself. And even the original PRs had underpowered trannies. Oh and then there's the MDF baffle etc..

I know all this. And I've been a bit of an opinionated snobby twat about it; and I've also refused to pay the current new price for them, which seems pretty high in Canada.

BUT

I wanted a cute 'n' portable lil' box o' vintage fun for my living room; and I've never owned a Princeton Reverb, warts and all. And it's all true: the Princeton Reverb is the sweetest sounding of all the BF amps. It's got da vibes.

Saw a used PRRI for sale locally. Tried it. Liked it. Bought it on the spot.
 
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Couple more thoughts...

The PRRI is totally usable and enjoyable stock, but of course I've ordered a speaker and replaced a couple of the stock Groove Tubes already 😄

The reverb signal was pretty hissy; solved that with a military spec JAN Philips 12AT7WC in the V2 reverb driver position and now that's perfect 👌

It may be true that the Jensen C10R "just needs to break in" as people love to say at The Other Place™; but the amp is over a decade old damnit, so it's as broken in as it's ever going to be. I suppose it's possible that the amp has been in someone's closet all that time. But even with the brightness of the C10R, there's lots of shimmer, it's enjoyable and a whole lotta fun.

And yes, I did say this:


I stand by that haha.

The PRRI underpowered transformer with all its delightful sag and the weak inefficient speaker is perfect for my living room, where it looks great too. It would be terrible for gigging at higher volumes (and I can see why that's an issue for some), but that's never going to happen with this amp, so I'm super happy with it.
 
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So my plan is that I will sell off an amp, some pedals and then be down to:
  • 1 FAS modeller + excellent Neumann monitors or HD 6XX headphones.
  • 1 small, portable, modest second-hand tube amp - with a handful of toneful upgrades / enhancements.

The folks on this forum were probably right when they said, "Why not both?". I feel relieved that I've finally realized that I don't need to choose between digital and tubes. But I've also tried to whittle things down, after having tried just about everything (except the obvious Princeton haha).

So the Bella will probably be looking for a new home soon.

The Bella is an amazing heavyweight, authoritative and muscular amp for professionals doing proper full-on live work with gobs of clean headroom and power, no flub bass, great for pedals and delivers on its design promises. But I just don't need its godly powers; I'm not a professional gigging musician and I'm currently living my life as a shut in. The Princeton in my home context is simply more fun and enjoyable for me;
 
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10/10. On title alone; let alone thread content
Round And Round Sport GIF by US National Archives
 
Couple more thoughts...

The PRRI is totally usable and enjoyable stock, but of course I've ordered a speaker and replaced a couple of the stock Groove Tubes already.

The reverb signal was pretty hissy; solved that with military spec JAN Philips 12AT7WC in the V2 reverb driver position and now that's perfect 👌

It may be true that the Jensen C10R "just needs to break in" as people love to say at The Other Place™; but the amp is over a decade old damnit, so it's as broken in as it's ever going to be. I suppose it's possible that the amp has been in someone's closet all that time. But even with the brightness of the C10R, there's lots of shimmer, it's enjoyable and a whole lotta fun.

And yes, I did say this:


I stand by that haha.

The PRRI underpowered transformer with all its delightful sag and the weak inefficient speaker is perfect for my living room, where it looks great too. It would be terrible for gigging at higher volumes (and I can see why that's an issue for some), but that's never going to happen with this amp, so I'm super happy with it.

I think the guys who struggle with them are mostly trying to use them for things they were never designed for. The Princeton was never meant to be a high volume gigging amp.

Happy NAD!
 
I think the guys who struggle with them are mostly trying to use them for things they were never designed for. The Princeton was never meant to be a high volume gigging amp

Fully agree. And the speaker that I've ordered respects this design intent, as well as the original vintage Jensen flavour. It's also a low efficiency (less than 95 dB), low power-rated Fat Jimmy C1025.

I'm not going to do "that thing" where the new owner immediately stuffs in a 100 dB sensitivity 12 incher (And then complains that they can't get sweet tones at home volumes!).

I reiterate that the stock Jensen is fine though, just need to keep the treble dialed back to manage high end.
 
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Hell yeah, but theres no pic

Haha. Okay... I'll get one. I didn't bother taking a pic because this PRRI looks exactly like all the others! I'm going to add some taller rubber feet though; that might be the only visual change, but should be barely detectable.

I'm such a sucker for the silver-shimmer grill cloth too.
 
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In response to your photo requests. Here is a photo of a totally generic PRRI in my living room 😃

Not bad for 12 years old, eh? She was only a little dusty and cleaned up nicely.

prri_natural_habitat.jpg



"This is my amp. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My amp is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life."
 
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However, I do not care for the orange vase

** clutches pearls ** 😮


It's actually a lamp that looks like a vase... but I'm waiting on a replacement fitting for it.

Having recently moved house, I just got it out of a box and placed it there to add some colour to a fairly blank and dull room. Much of our stuff is still in boxes.

I feel that you have a valid criticism sir, nevertheless 😄
 
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** clutches pearls ** 😮


It's actually a lamp that looks like a vase... but I'm waiting on a replacement fitting for it.

Having recently moved house, I just got it out of a box and placed it there to add some colour to a fairly blank and dull room. Much of our stuff is still in boxes.

I feel that you have a valid criticism for sir, nevertheless 😄

It's not a lamp or a vase. It is a ME-sized coffee mug. Yes, please. :guiness
 
In response to your photo requests. Here is a photo of a totally generic PRRI in my living room 😃

Not bad for 12 years old, eh? She was only a little dusty and cleaned up nicely.

View attachment 2847


"This is my amp. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My amp is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life."
Wow - 12 years old!? Looks brand new. Nice score!
 
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