Other Amps

Better question: will I be happy ditching my 4x10 deville for a Pri…


Ok--i know some of you will rag on the deville, BUT it has hung with me for years; it had the power to handle big, loud psychobilly and retro-classic rock and honestly, it sounded great for the money . I know some won't believe me, but I've seen plenty of bands roll through with the same amps--they are not that expensive, are durable and get the job done.

(I have to admit though that I ran this amp loud on 6 with Tavo's dyno brain pushing I t, which probably is why it worked so well).

BUT that little Princeton had IT. I mean the IT you (we) all talk about. It's also smaller, a helluva lot lighter and can get shockingly loud. I'm not sure what I think about just having one speaker--will I miss the big, full sound? But I am also not gigging like I used to. Mostly it's church and laid back, almost coffee house gigs.

What do you guys think?



For church and laid back coffee house gig probably you will enjoy the princeton better for the reasons you said, You will get less bottom out of it than a 4 x 10 cab. It won't have the same clean headroom though a really efficient speaker can help some with this.

In the last 4 years I switched from using a 4 x 10 75 lbs Super Reverb ALL the time to building my own smaller amps, like a 2 x 10 vibrolux, a stereo deluxe, and lately a princeton sort of deluxe reverb. Portability is great, They generally have enough clean headroom for smaller gigs with my drummers and sound good, maybe more focused. Not as big though. Still good, but different. I never turned my super up past 2 - 3 at any gig anyway.

I now own a smart car so I'm not sure the Super is even an option anymore However I have only used it once in the past 3 years anyways. Keep the deville and try the princeton, you can always sell the princeton if it doesn't work out.

There are good sounds to be had out of many amps, not being an amp snob I wouldn't scoff at your deville.


I like small amps which "give it up" at lower volumes. The tweed Deluxe, the tweed Vibrolux, the Marshall 18W... I don't like small amps which lose all their definition when pushed - like the Princeton Reverb RIs I have tried. They sound ok before breakup but I really, really don't like them once they do start to break up - which is quite quickly. Others seem to love them - so what do I know??

If you like that sound or of it works for what you do then go for it. It may well be that somehow the way it works with your guitar is fab and sounds magical. What works for me may not work for you - that is something I have learnt over and over again. Only you can really say. The only BF Fender I have ever really got along with was a Super Reverb. But so many players love BF Fenders. It's all a mystery to me! Like Toxophilite I make my own now.


It depends on your ears and your back. As you're playing coffee houses and churches, you might want to ditch the power and 4X10" weight for the smaller, easier to tote Princeton. I'd think that the smaller amp is more useful overall.


I moved away from using a SR most all the time when I hit about age 55. Honestly busted my butt just one too many times. I have bounced back and forth between Princeton RV and the Deluxe RV. For me, while I like practicing and recording with the Princeton, for live I prefer the 68 DRRI. They ship biased a bit cold so that needs to be fixed, and the new tone stack channel really rounds it out for me, really gives me more options with 2 channels, its sort of like two Amps imo. You can pick them up used quite reasonably.


That's a big jump down in volume, from a twin 6L6 4X10 amp to a Princeton.

I love a Princeton when recording, or for a drummer-less gig, because you can set it to its sweet spot and play. Like Jimmy says though, once you get past that sweet spot it just turns to mush, and not a very attractive mush at that.

In the wrong room, a Princeton Reverb is shockingly wimpy and underpowered with a band, not shockingly loud at all.


There's no law against having a little amp for little-amp things AND a big one for when the pleasure of lighting up the afterburner makes you want "to carry that weight"!


There's no law against having a little amp for little-amp things AND a big one for when the pleasure of lighting up the afterburner makes you want "to carry that weight"!

– DaveH

hear hear !


It's a cost issue. I'm tempted to sell my deville to get this.



It's a cost issue. I'm tempted to sell my deville to get this.


– Konrad

THAT issue is what financing is meant to solve.There's an even more subtle issue in play......GAS is a chronic and incurable condition,and if you sell something you will inevitably GAS for it back.You will also spend much more money replacing it than you got for selling it.


Get a Deluxe Reverb and put a Vintage 30 in it.


Gotta go with BZ on this one. A Deluxe Reverb is only slightly more bulky than the Princeton, but has the extra oomph for slightly larger gigs. Besides, doesn’t just about everyone mic the cabinets these days? Let the PA system do the heavy lifting.


If you are set on a BF Fender then I agree with the Deluxe reverb idea. And yes, put a better speaker in it, a Celestion is a good idea. I have put a G12H Creamback in a friend's DRRI and it sounded cool. Clipping the bright cap made a big improvement too.


Get a Weber mass attenuater, and keep the deviled....


I wouldn't get rid of your Deville if it has worked for you for so many years. A good sounding reliable amp is something to hold on to. There will always be GAS for other amps and guitars. And there's nothing wrong with owning different amps for different uses.

My first decent amp was a mid 90's Blues deVille and that is the one I always go back to when it comes to playing a gig. I also have other good amps which I used for gigs but if I have to choose now, it would be the deVille.


Mike, Nice to see someone else appreciates the deville.

Yeah--i'll probably just hold on to it for now. Have more time than money.



Consider something that was intended to compete with the Princeton back in the day. There are many, but amplifiers like the Gibson GA-15RVT, Epiphone Comet, Valco amps, etc come to mind. These amps cost a fraction of an old Princeton, but often require modifications (not hard for someone who knows what they are doing), better speaker. The Gibson/Epiphone amps can have better tremolos and neat swampy reverbs (although as I found the reverb is better if it has its own circuit/tube--not all of them do and there is no way to know without asking/looking).

I bought the Epiphone Comet to get the EL84 tubes (more British than 6v6s). I've dropped in a 240v power transformer for use in Europe guilt free (with Fender you wouldn't because of the effect on value and have to lug a step down transformer everywhere and get a huge shock if not grounded correctly).

For a 12'' speaker version that is a direct competitor with the Fender Deluxe (Reverb) check out the Gibson Minuteman GA-20RVT (20 being the wattage) also with EL84s. My brother has one in Spain I think he would sell.

Your current amp is too big - I would only use something that large at an outdoor gig. Before I retired from gigging I used a Princeton for any room and would just mic the thing.

Info on the Gibson Amp (which also has an Epiphone and apparently a Kalamazoo version): http://www.myrareguitars.co...

Register Sign in to join the conversation