Gassing For A Classic Fender Type Amp

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Shadoweclipse13
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Gassing For A Classic Fender Type Amp

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:42 am

I generally play a wet-dry thing with 2 amps, and have been craving that Fender amp sound for a while. With Covid, I haven't visited many stores (of the few near me that are open), so I haven't tried much out. Between listening to people talk around here and demos I've heard, I really like the idea of a Princeton Reverb, but am unsure of which direction to start looking.

I love the idea of a vintage amp, but that's hit or miss based on what's for sale. I'm not impatient, but I don't know about waiting years to find the right one. Plus there's the issue that it might need a little work, which I don't mind having done, but it's a consideration.

I've also considered getting a new Fender reissue, and having it sent to someone like Root Beer Audio after reading Lost In Autumn's Sort Of New Amp Day! thread, just to jazz it up.

The other thing I've been considering is to get a custom/boutique amp based on a Princeton circuit. I fell in love with the sound of Maggie's Secret Agent amp, as a hybrid "best of all versions" Princeton, but unfortunately Pierce isn't making them. I know there are other people making things based on the Princeton circuit with some modern upgrades and such.

I like the Princeton tone and low wattage. I don't want any speaker smaller than 10", and for my playing at home 15-20W is about right. I like that vintage Fender scooped clean, but I occasionally run my amps with a slight dirty sound. I've never played a vintage myself, and from demos not sure if I'd prefer a blackface or silverface era or sound. Before I make any decisions, I want to try to find some vintage blackface and silverface amps, and a reissue or two. I won't say that money isn't a consideration, because I don't think I'd spend a ton on something, but if I really liked something I could save up too. Ideally $1K-1.5K would be ok, though less than $1K for just the amp would be great (I know that any work or upgrades needed/wanted would be extra and I'm not counting that for now)

Just wanting to see if anyone has any neat ideas or experience with upgraded modern reissues or boutiques based on the different circuits.
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Re: Gassing For A Classic Fender Type Amp

Post by sookwinder » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:52 am

what are you skills with respect to electronics / soldering?
Have you thought about building an amp?

Plus it doesn't take much to "convert" that Fender scoop to a not so much of a scoop … a switch and a resistor.
I have that mod/feature on many of the amps I have built … when I am wanting a more "mid based" sound I just switch the switch.

(The Champ and VC designs actually do not have the scoop as much as the larger amps, with the less extensive scoop adding additional power/body)
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Re: Gassing For A Classic Fender Type Amp

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:20 am

I have actually thought about building my own. I'm a pretty decent solderer. I love the idea of building my own. I actually bought one of the old RCA circuit books last year (new reprint). I wouldn't mind going that way at all, and honestly having a project like that would be a hell of a lot of fun. The only thing about that is that if I'm making it custom, as opposed to buying custom/boutique, I'd kinda want to mess with the circuit, kinda like the Pierce Secret Agent. That might be beyond my scope right now. But for a straight-up Princeton, I could probably make one.

My other 2 amps are a Marshall Origin 20C and a Peavey Delta Blues, so I'm not too worried about boosting mids, though I like the idea of having the option.
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Re: Gassing For A Classic Fender Type Amp

Post by sookwinder » Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:04 am

Just FYI the simple circuit I use to reduce the effect of the Fender scoop (by adding mids back) when you have Treble/Bass controls is:

Image

You do not have to have the switch on the front name plate, it could be a toggle switch at the rear or maybe in the chassis floor accessible from the back/inside the cab.
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Re: Gassing For A Classic Fender Type Amp

Post by Maggieo » Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:10 am

Maybe this:
Image

Plus this:
Image
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Re: Gassing For A Classic Fender Type Amp

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:53 pm

sookwinder wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:04 am
Just FYI the simple circuit I use to reduce the effect of the Fender scoop (by adding mids back) when you have Treble/Bass controls is:

Image

You do not have to have the switch on the front name plate, it could be a toggle switch at the rear or maybe in the chassis floor accessible from the back/inside the cab.
So, if I'm reading that correctly, your mods are only the blue parts, correct?

Maggieo wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:10 am
Maybe this:
Image

Plus this:
Image
That would be a great combo. Having an amp reverb isn't an absolute necessity, as I use pedal reverb more often. My Marshall Origin doesn't have it either. If I got an amp without built-in reverb, I'd probably skip the external reverb to be honest, though I've always wondered what the Sole-Mate sounds like in person.

I remember thinking the Stapleton Princeton sounded really good from the demo or two I'd heard. For $2K, I'd think I could get something boutique with reverb or make my own. I'd love to try one, but that's a lot for a non-boutique in my opinion.
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Re: Gassing For A Classic Fender Type Amp

Post by Maggieo » Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:08 pm

I’ve used a Sole-Mate for over a decade with mu Vibro Camp and it’s a great match.
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Re: Gassing For A Classic Fender Type Amp

Post by sookwinder » Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:55 pm

Shadoweclipse13 wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:53 pm
So, if I'm reading that correctly, your mods are only the blue parts, correct?
Yes. So rather than just the 6.8k res going to earth there is a switch with a 15k res. (in series)

Switch position 1 : 6.8k Normal Fender scoop
Switch position 2 : 6.8k + 15k = 22k Far less scoop, more mids, more like amps with minimal scoop.
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Re: Gassing For A Classic Fender Type Amp

Post by Igorilla » Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:49 am

+1 for building your own!

If that Stapleton-Princeton sounds good to you, you might start with a 6G3 Deluxe kit (which is fairly simple circuit) and calm down the first amp stage (change 3 resistor values). You end up with a two channel amp in the ballpark of that Princeton for much less $$$. Then you can voice the channels to your liking.

That's what I have done, with a TAD kit, and I am pretty happy with the outcome.

Mojotone has a kit:

https://www.mojotone.com/BrownfaceAmpKits_x#/

BTW: I just noticed that they have introduced a 6G16 Vibroverb kit as well :w00t:

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Re: Gassing For A Classic Fender Type Amp

Post by danbind » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:00 am

A friend just showed me one of those new Fender digital modeling solid state "tribute" amps:

https://guitar.com/review/amplifier/fen ... in-reverb/

Normally, I would dismiss it out of hand, but this just seems way too practical...perhaps I should set my corksniffery aside...
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Re: Gassing For A Classic Fender Type Amp

Post by blunderbuss » Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:54 pm

danbind wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:00 am
A friend just showed me one of those new Fender digital modeling solid state "tribute" amps:

https://guitar.com/review/amplifier/fen ... in-reverb/

Normally, I would dismiss it out of hand, but this just seems way too practical...perhaps I should set my corksniffery aside...
I’ve had one since about January and I love it.
Ryan

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Re: Gassing For A Classic Fender Type Amp

Post by wproffitt » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:14 pm

Regarding the Fender Tonemaster series of amps, I’ll admit that I’m very curious.

With regard to the OP’s thoughts on a vintage Princeton, I have a SF PR from 1977 and must say that I LOVE the way it sounds! I’ve had it for 10 years and would never consider selling it. I thought it was great the day I bought it, but after a tune-up from my amp guy, it became a whole new kind of beautiful. Sure, SF PRs don’t break up in quite the way that the BF ones do, but the cleans really are something!

As for rolling your own, DO IT! If you can already solder (I couldn’t when I built my 5E9 Tremolux :) ) and you’re willing to do some reading and have some patience, this is a great experience. Also, I’m still learning things about the amp I built three years on.

For what it’s worth, Mojotone also sells a Tweed Vibrolux (5F11) kit that would have a sound VERY similar to the Fender Stapleton (6G2) Princeton. If you don’t NEED reverb, this could be your ticket.

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Re: Gassing For A Classic Fender Type Amp

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:00 pm

Maggieo wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:08 pm
I’ve used a Sole-Mate for over a decade with mu Vibro Camp and it’s a great match.
Hmm. Maybe I'll have to try one out finally...

sookwinder wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:55 pm
Shadoweclipse13 wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:53 pm
So, if I'm reading that correctly, your mods are only the blue parts, correct?
Yes. So rather than just the 6.8k res going to earth there is a switch with a 15k res. (in series)

Switch position 1 : 6.8k Normal Fender scoop
Switch position 2 : 6.8k + 15k = 22k Far less scoop, more mids, more like amps with minimal scoop.
Sweet! Thanks for the info! If I go the DIY route, I'll put that in for sure. I love having options :)

Igorilla wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:49 am
+1 for building your own!

If that Stapleton-Princeton sounds good to you, you might start with a 6G3 Deluxe kit (which is fairly simple circuit) and calm down the first amp stage (change 3 resistor values). You end up with a two channel amp in the ballpark of that Princeton for much less $$$. Then you can voice the channels to your liking.

That's what I have done, with a TAD kit, and I am pretty happy with the outcome.

Mojotone has a kit:

https://www.mojotone.com/BrownfaceAmpKits_x#/

BTW: I just noticed that they have introduced a 6G16 Vibroverb kit as well :w00t:
I don't know much about the VibroVerbs compared to the Princetons, but I've been eyeing the Mojotone kits for a while now. I love that they sell the cabinets as well. Mojotone says that that kit is a 40W amp, which is definitely more wattage than I'd both need and want. They do have a Princeton Reverb kit in the Blackface section though! Never looked into TAD kits, but that's another option I'll look into!

danbind wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:00 am
A friend just showed me one of those new Fender digital modeling solid state "tribute" amps:

https://guitar.com/review/amplifier/fen ... in-reverb/

Normally, I would dismiss it out of hand, but this just seems way too practical...perhaps I should set my corksniffery aside...
I honestly really like the sound of the Tone Master series so far, but if I ever got one, I'd wait to see if they plan on releasing a Princeton Tone Master. That would be perfect. That said, though I'm not a purist for the sake of it, sound-wise I've always preferred tubes. I think I would rather have a typical Princeton in that regard. I do want to play a Tone Master though. The demos have sounded great so far!

wproffitt wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:14 pm
Regarding the Fender Tonemaster series of amps, I’ll admit that I’m very curious.

With regard to the OP’s thoughts on a vintage Princeton, I have a SF PR from 1977 and must say that I LOVE the way it sounds! I’ve had it for 10 years and would never consider selling it. I thought it was great the day I bought it, but after a tune-up from my amp guy, it became a whole new kind of beautiful. Sure, SF PRs don’t break up in quite the way that the BF ones do, but the cleans really are something!

As for rolling your own, DO IT! If you can already solder (I couldn’t when I built my 5E9 Tremolux :) ) and you’re willing to do some reading and have some patience, this is a great experience. Also, I’m still learning things about the amp I built three years on.

For what it’s worth, Mojotone also sells a Tweed Vibrolux (5F11) kit that would have a sound VERY similar to the Fender Stapleton (6G2) Princeton. If you don’t NEED reverb, this could be your ticket.
What's the wattage on the Vibrolux? I am really loving the idea of a DIY amp more and more. I'd be ok with vintage too, if I could find one. I like the idea of having an amp that could break-up a little, but honestly, I've got plenty of drive pedals and when I think of the Fender sound I want, it's all about the cleans. I've definitely got some things to think about...
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Re: Gassing For A Classic Fender Type Amp

Post by wproffitt » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:40 am

[quote=Shadoweclipse13 post_id=1636723 time=1600758054 user_id
What's the wattage on the Vibrolux? I am really loving the idea of a DIY amp more and more. I'd be ok with vintage too, if I could find one. I like the idea of having an amp that could break-up a little, but honestly, I've got plenty of drive pedals and when I think of the Fender sound I want, it's all about the cleans. I've definitely got some things to think about...
[/quote]

The tweed Vibrolux is about 12 watts, I’d say. It’s cleaner sounding than my Tremolux or a 5e3 Deluxe, for sure bit can get gritty with a spin of the volume dial. Also, it has three inputs, each with a different level of volume attenuation, so that’s nice.

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Re: Gassing For A Classic Fender Type Amp

Post by Larsongs » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:51 pm

With the budget you mention you probably won't find an excellent condition vintage Blackface or Silverface Princeton... I suppose it's not impossible but I've been looking for over a year & I haven't seen one.. Projects, yes. Excellent to Mint, no.

I do own a recent 65 Princeton Reverb which I bought new. I have other Amps for other Sounds.. I wanted traditional small Fender Sound... They are amazing little Amps right out of the Box. Well within your budget..

I've owned it aprox 5 years.. I have no interest in a small vintage Amp as this little 65 Princeton Reverb nails the Sound...

I can't say that for my 65 DRRI or my recent Twin.. Both were purchased new in the past few years... While they do the job I still would like a really nice early vintage Silverface Deluxe Reverb... But, for Excellent to Mint they are much higher than your budget.. I'm still looking but like you the Covid has interfered immensely.....

Good luck!

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