2015 Vintage Modified ’68 Custom Princeton Reverb

  • 12 watts
  • 10” Celestion Ten 30 speaker
  • Modified Princeton Reverb all-tube circuitry
  • Handwired tube sockets
  • Schumacher transformers
  • Tube-driven spring reverb and tremolo

The Fender Princeton Reverb is one of history’s great amps. Introduced in 1964, it’s been a go-to for guitarists of all stripes, especially in the studio and for gigs with modest volume requirements. While the ’68 Custom is a dead ringer for a late 60’s drip-edge silver face Princeton, its not a strict reissue, as it’s wired for less headroom (originals were 15w, this one is 12w). If you’re working with a loud drummer and like to keep your tone clean, it won’t take much to reach the limit. On the other hand, as the old saying goes, if your band is too loud for a Princeton, then your band is too loud.

The amp has two inputs — the second is padded by -6 dB. It runs on two 6V6 tubes, three 12AX7s, a 12AT7 reverb driver, and a 5AR4 tube rectifier. Its still got the original tubes that it shipped with, but I may retube it in the near future with higher biased power tubes and see if I can squeeze out just a bit more headroom. The transformer is a Schumacher, and the speaker is a 10” ceramic magnet Celestion Ten 30.

I use this for small venue gigs, and it’s a pip in the studio. The output stays pretty clean until you hit around 4 or 5, and then it starts to break up, albeit in a very nice way, though the low-end gets a bit slurry at higher volumes. The legendary Fender reverb is lush and surfadelic, and the tremolo can get pretty deep. It plays nice with pedals and responds really well to varying types of pick attack and guitar volume knob settings. Nice to know Fender can still knock it out of the park for a proletariat price.