Help me make a decision on a Fender combo amp...

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by Shades of Blue, Aug 5, 2019.

  1. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Most Honored Senior Member

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    I need a new Fender combo amp, and I honestly can't make up my mind. My needs are really nothing more than home jamming with my daughter as she plays along with a violin or on her guitar.

    Currently, I have a Marshall Origin 20 head and 2x12 vertical cab. I like it, but it requires a lot of volume and it doesn't deliver the pristine cleans I'm looking for.

    My 4 choices are:

    1) Princeton. Not sure which variant yet. I'd really like one of the special editions, preferably the 12" Tweed option from Sweetwater. But, do you lose the Princeton sound with a 12" speaker?

    2) Tone Master Deluxe Reverb. This is an interesting option. The power scaling feature is the main draw for me, but the price makes me want to opt for the Princeton with pedals....

    3) Blues Jr Tweed. I have owned this amp and really like it, but I don't think it sounds quite as classic "Fender" as the PRRI or DRRI. Definitely the cheapest option, but don't know if I want to go down this road again.

    4) Fender Super Champ X2 head to pair with my Marshall Cab. Not sure how good it would sound though.

    What do you guys think? I'm probably 75% on board with the Princeton, I just think I'd prefer a 12" speaker. Otherwise, I'd go for the 68 Custom.
     
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  2. oatsoda

    oatsoda Puck of Paradox

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    PRRI. The 12" Rex is full bodied and sweet, even at low volumes. If you got the bread, way finer than the jr., my opinion.
     
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  3. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

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    Budget?
    Really the most significant variable.
     
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  4. Morf2540

    Morf2540 Senior Stratmaster

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    I have had several versions of the Princeton Reverb, as well as the Blues jr.
    I had the 65PRRI with a 12" speaker, the Bordeaux one sold at Guitar Center. It was fantastic and I loved it. I thought the stock Jensen speaker was great. Ultimately I decided that for gigging I did not prefer the "scooped" blackface sound, and the silverface sound was better for me. So I ended up with the 68CPR, and for now I am satisfied with that. But if your primary use is home playing, the 65PRRI would be perfect. The standard 10" version would be perfectly good too.

    The Princeton is a better amp than the BJ. The one advantage of the BJ is a master volume, so you can dial up some gain without pedals. It's also less expensive. Some people dislike it, but for what you're doing it would be fine. But no, it does not sound as good as the Princeton.

    People like the Super Champ, but I have no direct experience with it.
    Given the needs you described, my advice is to just get the 65Princeton reissue.
     
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  5. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General

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  6. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Senior Stratmaster

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    There only one of those that appeals to me. The Princeton.
     
  7. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Most Honored Senior Member

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    Wide open really. I'd love to keep it under $1000, but the less expensive the better. Demos of the new Tone Master amps are great. With power scaling, that could be right up my alley. But, for the price the Princeton might just sound better.
     
  8. jrbirdman

    jrbirdman Senior Stratmaster Platinum Supporting Member

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    I agree with @Stratoskater , 5e3
    A member here is selling a clone at a fair price.
    I have the Princeton SE from Sweetwater, 12 ' speaker. I did not like the speaker so I changed it out with a creamback.
    Still haven't bonded with it, wish I got the regular Princeton with the 10".

    I since then got a clone 5e3 and haven't turned on the Princeton since.

    I put my USA Blues Jr in storage and will dispose of it later, it does nothing for me no matter what I do with it.

    I also play thru my 65 DRRI and Origin 20 thru two vintage 30's.

    Another option - an Egnater Rebel 20 thru your 2x12 cab. Great little amp head
    Great for low volumes, 1 to 20 watt setting, 6v6 & el84 & blend option, gain...
    I use this at home and late nights.

    Good luck and happy jamming
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
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  9. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

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    And that those are the ones...

    That I would stay as far away from as possible.

    My personal take is that they are computerized gimmicks, assembled from the cheapest rubbish China has available. At that same price point, one can acquire a real Deluxe or Twin...albeit reissued. For a bit more, a Silverface, which opens the opportunity to "Blackface it".

    If modeling is what is on the table, look no further than the Kemper Profiler (I like the head version). Expensive, and from every competent review I've read, worth it. Now, and a decade from now.

    And then there are the real tweed builds...not the printed circuit board versions...the real ones. 5E3 and 5F2 things. Versatile, dependable, and with one component lacking in all of the above save the Silverface things...

    Soul.

    No computer can create that. Emulate maybe, but that's as good as it gets.
     
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  10. Ferpie

    Ferpie Senior Stratmaster

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    Honestly if I was going in your direction, I wouldn’t think twice about a 10’’ PRRI. They’re just perfect amps
     
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  11. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Most Honored Senior Member

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    You know, I am definitely leaning that direction. I saw a used 68 locally for $600, but it's already gone. I will be ready to buy within a month or two, so I'm sure another will pop up.
     
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  12. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Most Honored Senior Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts. I kind of feel the same way. I don't like modeling, and I get tired of menu diving. But, the thing that interested me was that the Tone Master line is an actual amp with a familiar interface. I'd like to play one, but I bet it still does have something about it that won't feel quite right...
     
  13. 79olympicwhite

    79olympicwhite Strat-O-Master

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    My uncle rocks a blues jr and it sounds great, l play a 64 Gibson invader ga 30 rvt (say that 5 times fast) those old Gibson’s are gold to me for next to no money if you do some digging but the best strat player lve ever heard live plays a blues jr if that helps
     
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  14. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Most Honored Senior Member

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    My issue with the Blues Jr isn't that it doesn't sound great. I for one very much enjoyed mine. The reason it is so low on my list is because I don't find it especially Fender sounding. So, great sound, but just not what I'm really looking for.
     
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  15. Ferpie

    Ferpie Senior Stratmaster

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    I liked the 68 version too but you need to try them both in a store before because the 65 you’re 99% sure to like it, the 68 it’s 50/50
     
  16. Dick Blackmore

    Dick Blackmore Senior Stratmaster

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  17. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .




    .
     
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  18. mjea80

    mjea80 Lost In The Light Silver Member

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    +1 for the Princeton. Ive had the 10” version for prolly 4 years and like it a lot!
     
  19. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

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    Entirely my personal preference....
    If I were still performing, and I were forced to choose one amp to service all of my needs...

    It would be a Blackface Super Reverb.

    When I was forced to haul only one, this is the one I brought. Its cleans are unlike those of any other amp I've encountered. When appropriate, its growl is other worldly...but it lends its qualities to pedals very well.

    The downside is that the damn thing is heavy. And I am old. The price point of an original Blackface in excellent condition is, I think, just shy of $2k....A silverface can be had for somewhat less. Which considering the glorious tone these things produce, is a bargain.

    And, the tone has to be what one desires, because it is like no other.
     
  20. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General

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    This one (or any good clone of it), with your guitar volume knob, will give you every Fender sound you could want.

     
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