|The Evolution of the Fender Princeton Amplifier|
Fender Princetons and Princeton Reverbs are highly valued particularly as great recording amplifiers. Jazz artists liked them two, since they were small, yet loud enough to be heard in a combo and had great headroom. Blues and rock guitarists like the early breakup of the 6V6 tubes. This is all sort of funny since Leo Fender considered this to be a student amp, hence the name Princeton. In his original line-up he also offered the bigger and slightly louder Harvard amplifier.
|1947 Princeton "Woody"|
The power tube was a single 6V6. It had an instrument volume control, a mic volume control and a tone control, along with 3 inputs. This amp was produced through 1948 when it was replaced in by the TV front Princeton. Fender usually put their badge on the lower corner of the Woody amplifier.
|1949 Fender TV Front|
The badge was placed on the top front side of this amp, and would remain in this position on subsequent amps until Fender came along with their front panel line.
|1953 Wide Panel Princeton|
Once again the rectifier tube was a 5Y3, but it could also be a 5B2, 5C2, 5D2 or a 5Y3GT. The changes caused a slight increase in wattage to 4.5 watts. The amp controls and fuse were now on the amps top control panel. This amp had an instrument volume control, a mic volume control and as on/off throw switch. This amp was in production until 1955 when Fender redesigned it to the become the Narrow Panel Princeton.
|1955 Narrow Panel Princeton|
|Speaker with a choke transformer|
The Brown Princeton amp was the first step Fender took in modernizing its design. The control panel was on the front of the amp. The wooden chasis was covered in brown tolex. The speaker grill material was a color usually described as wheat.
The Brown Princeton amplifers power rating was dramatically increased to 12 watts, which powered a 10” Jensen C10R or an Oxford 10J4 speaker. The front facing control panel was painted brown and the knobs were also brown. The amp feature hi and low gain input jacks, a volume control, a tone control as well as speed and intensity controls for the built-in tremolo circuit.
This amp was no longer cathode based, but non-adjustable fixed bias. The rectifier tube was a 5Y3, two 6V6 power tubes worked as class AB, two 12AX7 tubes acted in differing ways. Half of the first tube acted as a phase inverter, while the other half was for preamplification. Half of the second tube worked the tremolo, while the other half was utilized for preamplification. These amps were only manufactured from 1961 to 1963.
|1963 Princeton amp|
|1964 Princeton amp|
Perhaps it was the lack of a reverb driver, that provided this amp with exceptional headroom. The Blackface Princeton amp could be cranked up to 7 or 8 on the volume and still produce a clean sound.
|1964 Princeton Reverb|
|1964 Fender Princeton Reverb|
|Hammond Reverb tank|
|Note the Ground Switch on the left|
Back in the days where buildings only had two prong receptacles and amps had two prong plugs, if you got a shock from touching a microphone or another anything else the way to solve it was pulling the electrical cord from the wall receptacle, reversing the plug a half turn and placing it back in the receptacle.
|BF Princeton with AC plug|
The Black face Princeton Reverb was produced from 1964 through 1967.
|1966 Princeton Reverb|
CBS/Fender’s first major change was to change the control panel from black with white script to silver with blue (or in some cases red) lettering.
|1968 Princeton amp|
The Fender badge with the “tail” was mounted on the side of the amp from 1968 through 1974. Mid 1974 and after the badge was changed so the the tail was removed.
Later in the run the ground switch was replaced with a 3 position throw switch.
|1968 PR with aluminum frame|
Another half of a 12AY7 was used for the tremolo, and one 12AY7 was used as a reverb driver, with a half of a 12AY7 being used for reverb recovery.
The rear panel included the courtesy plug, a “ground” switch, a fuse, the on/off switch, the speaker jack, an external speaker jack, inputs for the vibrato and reverb footswitch, the reverb send and reverb receive jack. The reverb unit was also in a pouch on the floor of the chassis. This amp was available through 1981.
|Princeton Reverb II|
Rivera created a whole new line-up of Fender tube amplifiers.
The chasis was still black tolex, but the silver control panel section was once again black with white script.
the Princeton Recording-Amp in their Pro-tube series. This was essentially a blackface Princeton Reverb with an additional section of chassis which housed a built-in overdrive, compressor and a power attenator.
|Smith's original modified Princeton|
This is Kenny Vaughn and his SF Princeton Reverb