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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / Thoughts On The Fender Princeton Chorus?

Next 20 Messages   Newest 20 Messages

Duluth, MN U.S.A.

Oct 25th, 2009 10:23 AM   Edit   Profile  

Howdy... I am attempting to look at choices for my next amp. What are your thoughts and suggestions?

I am coming to think that a good choice is the Fender Princeton Chorus. It is affordable and can regularly be gotten on ebay for under $300.00. It is a light weight solid state amp, which is what I am looking for. I have also heard that while it is a SS, it is probably one of the best non tube amps that Fender ever made with a lower price. I heard that it has sweet, round, somewhat dark tones?

I am basicly looking for a warm clean, kind of like a Chet Atkins tone. I play in a duo in small to medium rooms, so I think that the PRC would give me plenty enough headroom. I also think that the 2 10 speakers would give me the fullness that I need in a duo. What are your thoughts?

Thanks for your help!

I wish I had something clever to write here!

Contributing Member


Oct 25th, 2009 10:52 AM   Edit   Profile  

Everything you wrote is on target for the Princeton Chorus Amp. They really are nice SS amps. The drive channel isn't one to brag about, but that doesn't seem to be a need for you.

I would only recommend that you ensure it has the headroom you need because it is only 25 watts. It's big brother the Ultimate Chorus has 65 watts and two 12" speakers.

The are two version of the Princeton Chorus. One has analog reverb and the newer ones (prior to discontinuing them)have DSP. I guess there is a third version also...which is really the first. They originally had red knobs and are referred to as the red knob versions.


Duluth, MN U.S.A.

Oct 25th, 2009 11:25 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have been told that there were 2 models of the Princeton Chorus, 1 that was made in Mexico, and the other in America. Do you know how to tell them apart, and is either of them better than the other? Also, I am now using to 30 watt amps in stereo, and they are more than enough. I just don't like the sound as much as I would want, and its a pain carrying 2 amps all the time. Would the Princeton Chorus give me about the same amount of sound?

Thanks for your help!

Still ain't feelin' clever!


Duluth, MN U.S.A.

Oct 25th, 2009 11:38 AM   Edit   Profile  

I read somewhere that the PC has 2 seporate 25 watt amps, 1 powering each of the 2 10 speakers, so while the amp is rated at 25 watts, it is actually quite a bit more powerful than is a regular basic 25 watt amp?

3 chord


I don't have anything clever to say
Oct 25th, 2009 12:06 PM   Edit   Profile  

I always thought I wanted one too but I found the amp to "fart" out with certain lower frequencies. I play a Tele clean so I don't understand why it would overload the amp.

I have read similar experiences on Harmony Central too.

Fantastic clean tones though, and the chorus is real nice too. Made in USA models say so on the amp.


Duluth, MN U.S.A.

Oct 25th, 2009 12:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm wondering if upgrading the speakers would help, or is it strictly a matter of overloading the power source itself?

Contributing Member


"Kilroy was here! "
Oct 25th, 2009 01:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

The PC is a fine amp.

But for the music you're describing I'd recommend a Roland JC-90. There's one on eBay (not mine) for $300 currently with a few hours left. The JC-90 is identical in size and weight to a Fender Deluxe Reverb (same cover fits both).

You may want to also consider a PRRI with a quality Chorus pedal like I use with mine (BOSS CH-1 Super Chorus).


Roland JC-90

(This message was last edited by 6L6 at 01:00 PM, Oct 25th, 2009)

Contributing Member


Oct 25th, 2009 07:23 PM   Edit   Profile  

VelvetTiger, Regardless, the amp is still 25 watts. It might have a more perceived loudness (darn I hate getting into that discussion) but 25 watts is what it is.

In my opinion, it would not be worth changing out speakers on that type amp. I think you either like it as is or consider 6L6's suggestion. Along that same thought, Fender made some fine Dyna Touch amps, that while not stereo chorus, are some fine amps.

The Princeton is a fine little amp, but I sure would not hang my hat on it, then consider a speaker change etc. There are plenty of other good options out there.

(This message was last edited by prolux at 07:25 PM, Oct 25th, 2009)


united states

Oct 25th, 2009 07:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

I got a Princeton Chorus new in '95.

For your purposes it sounds like it will be fine. It fits your parameters. It has a nice clean tone and the onboard chorus/reverb works well. The amp is light. The 25 watts is enough to punch through in a small to medium venue.

You're pretty much on target for the clean Chet Atkins tone.

For $300 you won't be in the range of some better tube amps in that power rating (DRRI).

Frankly if you can swing it save up a few more bucks and see if you can get a DRRI. In the long term you'll thank your self. My PC is a good amp but it stays in the closet in favor of the DRRI or Bjr.


Duluth, MN U.S.A.

Oct 26th, 2009 05:00 AM   Edit   Profile  

I just want to thank you all for your great suggestions and comments! Once again, I love the people on this web site. You all have great information, and it is nice to communicate with those who can go beyond the excitement over the latest pop star guitar craze! LOLL

My only concern with something like the Ultimate Chorus or Roland JC90, would be the weight with it having 2 12's. I'm old. LOLL And don't want to break my back carrying a monster around. Is the Ultimate Chorus or Roland JC90 as heavy as some of the other double 12's? In the old days back in the 80's, I had a Sunn double 12 tube amp, which of course was a truck. I later replaced it with a Sunn SS with double 12's, and as I remember, it also was really heavy. I guess I'm lazy, and want the biggest, boldest, most magical sound, all from an amp that I can carry in my back pocket. LOLL

(This message was last edited by VelvetTiger at 03:49 PM, Oct 26th, 2009)

Contributing Member


Oct 26th, 2009 04:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

"I'm lazy, and want the biggest, boldest, most magical sound, all from an amp that I can carry in my back pocket. LOLL"

Go with the Pinceton Chorus. It really does sound like it would be fine for your needs and weight limits. You won't need a speaker change either. They're good amps.

Contributing Member

south louisiana, usa

get'em jumpin', mbj
Oct 26th, 2009 08:17 PM   Edit   Profile  

i had one - with red knobs ('95?) - and i could not get it to do what i needed - which is play gigs - it has no volume (and i don't need much) and never was able to cut through any mix anywhere, ever, even miced - it's a nice bed room amp with a shimmering chorus (it's stereo if you hold your head between the two speakers).

it is a pretty looking amp - it's a very lightweight amp - but it does not project well.

try before you buy.

the 'ultimate chorus' is similar (if you're set on a chorus amp) but much more up to the task.

Rick Plays The Blues


ooops, I changed that tube again ...
Oct 26th, 2009 11:56 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a 96 or so Princeton Chorus (black knobs, Made in USA written on the back, analog chorus and spring reverb = no DSP) and while I do not appreciate the built-in overdrive, I love everything else about this amp.
It is classic Blackface clean sound.

And by the way, it has 2x25watts - the power amp is stereo for the built in chorus.

2x10 inch speakers and 2x25watts IS exactly the same as if you have a 50watt power amp driving 2 10" speakers, since then again, each speaker is getting 25watts - same situation.
BUT the OEM speakers in the PC are of low efficiency, so I experienced already, that the volume was too low on stage, but that was a loud jam rock band and the amp was not mic'ed ... and it still was audible on the overdrive channel, but the clean channel was lost.

The PC is my go to amp, if I need easy transportable Blackface cleans and if I want to show off with my effects collection. It makes a cool effects amp in a three way setup as well (main amp running dry, effects running via the PC stereo effects return - cool!)



Oct 27th, 2009 10:14 AM   Edit   Profile  

I really enjoy my Princeton Chorus DSP Mexico made amp.
It's classic Fender "clean" tones are great and it's a stereo amp to boot.
I only play at home however.
The DSP is great for my purposes; especially the delay function which is great for rockabilly stuff.

Contributing Member


Oct 27th, 2009 02:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

"2x10 inch speakers and 2x25watts IS exactly the same as if you have a 50watt power amp driving 2 10" speakers, since then again, each speaker is getting 25watts "

I'm sorry Rick, but that is not accurate. It does have two 25 watt amps, each pushing a 10" speaker. But it is still 2 separate 25 watts. You don't add them to get 50.

Another example. I have 2 pro jrs. Both 15 watts. I run them together with a stereo pedal or a/b/y box. But it doesn't make them 30 watts. They are two 15 watt amplifiers being played at the same time. You can have six 25 watt amps playing at the same time, but it doesn't make them 150 watts. They are six 25 watt amps. Lot's of fullness and some increased loudness because of the fullness...but not 150 watts.



Oct 27th, 2009 10:47 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have an Ultimate Chorus and notice the fuller sounding low end from the 12" speakers vs the 10" on the Princeton Chorus.... however I love the sound of the gain channel on the PC more than on any other ss fender amp I have played. Distortion/overdrive preference is a matter of personal style and taste so pay no attention to me LOL.

The size of the PC is nicer. go for it. Price $200-$225 is typical on Craigslist.

btw I found a $25 Marshall Valvestate head that I use as a preamp for distortion and feed it into the UC. It simply sits atop the UC and I do not use the power amp in the Marshall. The 2 reverbs, variety of distortion/gain/od, and chorus give this combo a huge sound pallet.

Rick Plays The Blues


ooops, I changed that tube again ...
Oct 28th, 2009 01:50 AM   Edit   Profile  

Prolux, I am sorry, but you are wrong.

Imagine this: we are talking 8ohm speakers in the PC.
Pushing 25watts through a single 8ohm speaker means 14.14volts pushing 1.77ampere.
Pushing 50watts through 2x8ohm speakers - speakers in parallel (total load is 4ohm): the power amp puts out again 14.14volts, but now delivering 3.54amps. When speakers are switched parallel, both see the same voltage and the current is split up, so each speaker is getting 1.77amps at 14.14volts.
If the speakers are switched in series (total load 16ohm) 50watts means 28.28volts driving 1.77amps. When speakers are in series, the whole current goes through both speakers, but each speaker sees (in case of two speakers) just half of the voltage - and there we are again with 14.14volts and 1.77amps.

So however you put. 50watts into two speakers in series or in parallel or 2x25watts driving two separate speakers, you always get same voltage and current at each speaker.

Contributing Member


"Kilroy was here! "
Oct 28th, 2009 06:54 AM   Edit   Profile  

Don't confuse the Roland JC-90 with the Roland JC-120!

The Roland JC-90 has two 10" speakers and weighs in at just 42 lbs (same as a Deluxe Reverb).


Contributing Member


Oct 28th, 2009 10:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

Rick, we will just have to agree to disagree on this one.


Rick Plays The Blues


ooops, I changed that tube again ...
Oct 29th, 2009 03:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

Prolux, you may be right, but it seems I have come up with an accurate explanation whereas you leave us alone without any explanation but just a statement.
There may be something wrong with my explanation and if so, I'd be happy to know about.
Honestly, I always tend to believe if something is explained. But I doubt any unexplained statements. I very well know, that an explanation may be wrong versus the unexplained statement may be true. But most of the time, it is the other way round.
So I'd love to get an explanation :-)

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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / Thoughts On The Fender Princeton Chorus?

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