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Fender Footswitch For Princeton Chorus Amp
Overall Rating
Submitted: June 9th, 2009
by Woody-WJ6qL
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Sound Quality
I played this amp with only a Gibson ES-135, 1996 model with P-100's. The clean sounds, as other previous reviewers have noted, are amazing. For a really nice jazz tone, I'd keep the bass EQ'd around 4, treble at 6ish, and the mids at 8. Add a touch of reverb and chorus depth and rate both set at 2. Playing through the neck pickup with flat-wound .11's sounded fantastic. Very lush, full sound. However, and this for me was a big however, getting a consistently useable distorted sound was a chore. I play jazz, blues, alt country, and indy rock. For jazz and blues, this amp was fantastic. Not so much, though, for the slightly Wilco-esque distortion I was looking for. Also, I should note that I bought this amp primarily for home recording and practice. To get the distortion breakup I wanted and a tube-ish sustain (which IS possible thanks to the limiter), I had to play at volume levels much higher than my wife or my neighbors appreciated. If I were recording in a studio situation or playing jazz out at small venues, I would have probably kept this amp.
Reliability/Durability
Thick as a brick.
Price/Value
General Comments
I've been playing now for around 12 years, and am mainly an acoustic multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter recording from home. I own several Martins, a handmade banjo, and a Japanese carved top mandolin in addition to my Gibson ES-135. I actually just traded away the Princeton Chorus to pick up a VOX 4ACTVH and accompanying 12" speaker cab. I decided that I wanted true tube distortion at much lower volume levels for home recording and practice that won't drive my wife (and baby on the way) crazy. I do already miss the clean sounds and the stereo chorus from the Princeton, but let me tell you, it's nice to switch the VOX's attenuator to 1/4 watt, crank the volume and tone and get pure tube saturation at reasonable home volume levels. Plus, set to 4 watts, the VOX has some nice clean headroom. So, I'm very much aware of the tradeoff I made, and could envision a scenario down the road when I might go out and score another Princeton Chorus (or ideally two to run in stereo) for small jazz gigs. Bottom line for me is if you're looking for great cleans and dripping, swirling chorus for studio, rehearsal, or small gigs, if you can find one of these for around 200 bucks, you're getting a deal. However, if you're looking for a truly versatile home recording amp that can provide both cleans and easily dialed-up saturated distortion, look elsewhere.
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