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Fender Limited Edition '65 Princeton Reverb 15W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp Bordeaux Reserve   

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In the pantheon of great amps, there are few that stand the test of time like the Fender Princeton and its signature clean tones. There’s that long, ...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Iconic tone in a limited edition amazing design.

In the pantheon of great amps, there are few that stand the test of time like the Fender Princeton and its signature clean tones. There’s that long, luscious spring reverb that lets players dial in everything from ethereal echoes to cavernous swirls. There’s that recognizable Princeton tremolo, which pulses with pure Fender character through every passage and performance. And then there’s the unmistakable tonal character that only a Princeton can offer; growling lows, shimmering highs and the classic breakup of the 6V6 tubes and 10 in. speaker when pushed to the brink.

The Princeton, in its most classic form, has been revered as a stage and studio must-have, and its presence on the most famous albums and riveting stage shows of all time further substantiates that claim. Clearly, its rich tone and responsiveness have given it an unmistakable voice. Fender’s latest partnership with Musician’s Friend and Guitar Center, however, proves that even the most perfect amplifier has room for modification.

That updated collaboration—the Fender Limited Edition Princeton 112 Bordeaux Reserve—ups the ante on the tone box that made its way in to the living rooms, studios and stages of Fender lovers. It incorporates one of the most popular Princeton mods—the inclusion of a larger, 12 in. Jensen P12Q speaker—allowing for a fuller frequency response, a perceived volume boost and clearer midrange. The exciting effort is an extension of Princeton legacy that, literally and figuratively, has been simply unheard of outside of the garages and tool benches of gearhounds and mod addicts. 

“We wanted to do something different for Fender fans that they haven’t seen or heard before,” said Rick Heins, Fender product development manager for amplifiers. With its stellar combination of new features, striking good looks and improved full-frequency response, the Limited Edition Princeton 112 Bordeaux Reserve delivers on that promise without sacrificing the signature sound of the amp prized and recognized for well more than a half-century.

The relationship between classic Fender amps and Jensen speakers has long existed, and they’ve long been part of the recipe that results in those beloved tones. But true to its namesake, the switch from 10 in. to 12 in. speaker serves up a little something extra for tone chasers—crystal clear wine glass fidelity with plenty of low-end punch and attitude when cranked—a slight differentiation from the tonal quality of the famous Princeton.

The Limited Edition Princeton 112 Bordeaux Reserve is a drool-worthy collectable for the discerning amp enthusiast seeking a cosmetically unique amp as well. Also in line with its moniker, the Bordeaux Reserve features a classy yet understated wine red textured vinyl covering and, paired with traditional wheat-colored grille cloth, offers an air of sophistication that only a Fender Princeton can exude.

The Bordeaux Reserve is available exclusively at select Guitar Center locations as well as MusiciansFriend.com and GuitarCenter.com.

FEATURES
  • Power: 15 watts (tube)
  • Tubes: 12AX7, 12AT7 (preamp); two 6V6 (power amp)
  • Single channel
  • Two inputs
  • Speaker: 12 Jensen P12Q
  • Controls: volume, dual-band EQ, reverb, speed, intensity
  • Long-spring Fender reverb and tube tremolo (œvibrato)
  • Impedance: 8 ohms
  • 1/4 in. output jack
  • Limited-edition wine red vinyl covering and wheat grille cloth
  • "Limited Edition" FSR badge
  • Fitted cover and two-button footswitch included
  • Cabinet material: birch/pine
  • Dimensions: 19.75 x 16 x 9.5 in.
  • Weight: 34 lb.

Order this special amp

SPECIFICATIONS

Limited Edition '65 Princeton Reverb 15W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp Bordeaux Reserve


Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
FenderLimited Edition '65 Princeton Reverb 15W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp Bordeaux Reserve
 
4.5

(based on 24 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

91%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Excellent sound (22)
  • Easy to use (21)
  • Portable (20)
  • Warm / comfy (19)
  • Good power output (7)

Cons

  • Limited functions (4)

Best Uses

  • Home studio (22)
  • Amateur recording (13)
  • Performances (13)
  • Professional recording (13)
  • Outdoor events / games (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (20), Professional musician (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Decent breakup at a relatively low volume.

I purchased this some time ago – when M/F originally made it available with the Bordeaux (wine red) vinyl covering, wheat grille cloth, and 12" speaker.

There...Read complete review

I purchased this some time ago – when M/F originally made it available with the Bordeaux (wine red) vinyl covering, wheat grille cloth, and 12" speaker.

There have been no mechanical/electrical issues to date. Flawless construction – a real beauty – and it came with a nice fitted vinyl cover (black).

The Princeton has nice tone when pushed, and it does not take much to get there – decent breakup at a relatively low volume.

I would also like to note that this is not my only amp. If I could only have one amp, this would not be it. Let me explain.

Several items of disappointment include (1) lack of a standby switch. At this price point, it should have one. Everyone knows that having and being able to use the standby function extends tube life. That is a fact. I thought this amp had one – never thought to verify its existence before making the purchase. (2) The amp has very little headroom. Clean volume is sparse, and is marginally acceptable. I expected more. (3) In order to use two external speakers – should one be so inclined – you need to have two 16-ohm speakers. This is limiting. Why Fender did not configure the amp with two inputs that would accommodate two 8-ohm speakers is puzzling – other manufactures do so with similar amps. (4) The stock 12" Jensen speaker (8-ohms) is okay – nothing great. For kicks, I unplugged the internal speaker, and plugged in a recent purchase – a Supro Black Magick 1x12 extension speaker cabinet (purchased from M/F). I cannot emphasize the noticeable difference and improvement in tone – much more muscular and ballsy sounding – exhibiting stellar dynamics that the Jensen lacks. The Jensen speaker has a very small magnet – the cylindrical cover is deceiving. I removed it (friction fitting made it rather easy) and discovered its demure size. Compared to the coconut-sized magnet on the Supro speaker, the magnet on the Jensen speaker is the size of a walnut. I mention this as a point of comparison, not criticism.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Fantastic sound but shaky quality

From the first note, I absolutely loved the sound of this amp. It has such an organic and balanced sound that complements all of my guitars, including PRS, Strats, Gretsch, and especially...Read complete review

From the first note, I absolutely loved the sound of this amp. It has such an organic and balanced sound that complements all of my guitars, including PRS, Strats, Gretsch, and especially my Teles. From 4.5 to 6 on the volume, the amp just blooms and comes alive. I am not as fond of the break up once the volume gets much beyond 7. It is perfect for playing at home and recording.

Aesthetically, this amp is just gorgeous. Between the sound and seeing the amp, I am just continuously inspired to play more.

Now to the quality. I played the amp for about two hours when the volume just started to fall off, and then the amp died. I checked the fuse, but it was fine. While doing that I noticed that the power transformer was scorching hot. It was then that I noticed I could smell a burning paint smell, probably from the transformer. I sent the amo back that morning to be replaced. Funny thing is that I had read another's review that had the same experience.

When the replacement came, I immediately turned it on and played it for 4-5 hours to make sure it wasn't going to melt down like the first, all the while monitoring the transformer temperature. It did not take long to get got. I measured the temp using an IR gun. Within an hour, the temp maxed out just above 140 degrees F. Again I could smell that hot paint smell, though I am not certain whether it is coming from the transformer or from the tolex/glue. Anyway, the temperature remains constant at ~140F. For comparison, I compared this side by side with my 1963 Princeton. The 1963 transformer also gets pretty warm, but it doesn't get much above 130F.

I have scoured the internet, and I have been unable to find any widespread problem with these reissue transformers, just my own experience and the other person's review. If my first one hadn't melted down immediately, I may not have been as aware and concerned about the temperature of the present one. I hope the first one was just a fluke.

Reviewed by 24 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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4.0

Princeton Reverb 15 - A Jazzer in Disguise...

By Old Dog Rocker

from Apple Valley, MN

About Me Experienced

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Beautifully made, great color combo
  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Good power
  • Good Warmth
  • Portable
  • Sweet Sound

Cons

  • Trouble right out of the box

Best Uses

  • Amateur Recording
  • Home Studio
  • Performances
  • Professional Recording
  • Small venues, clubs

Comments about Fender Limited Edition '65 Princeton Reverb 15W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp Bordeaux Reserve:

I was looking for a 68' Princeton Reissue with the Celestion 10 when I came across this Bordeaux Reserve, so after ordering it and checking it out once received, I noticed it had a scratchy, swirling, background windy noise on warm up - so, I suspected a bad tube or tubes to be the problem; after about 6-7 minutes, the amp was quiet. So, I emiled MI and they said I could return it or have it serviced here in the MPLS area. I decided to do just that and found Savage Audio (Savage Amps) in Savage, MN and they are an Authorized Fender Service Center. Jeff at Savage removed the chassis, replaced the GT 6V6 Power tubes and the 5AR4 Rectifier Tube with JJ Tubes and re-soldered the sockets and the amp just sings..! I would hae given this amp a 5-Star, but with the initial problem of he tubes, I didn't. It's Super quiet now and I can't wait to break this amp in..! It is really well made, and starts to sing above 5 on the volume. And for some unknown reason, the original power tubes were bad - I've owned a lot of amps in the 50+ years I have played, but I love the size of this amp and the sound as well with my 70' Sunburst Strat. !

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great amp! But quality issues

By Gregg J

from Pittsburgh PA

About Me Professional Musician

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Portable

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Fender Limited Edition '65 Princeton Reverb 15W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp Bordeaux Reserve:

    This amp is everything you could want in a grab-n-go. To me, because of the 12' speaker, its everything you wouldn't want tone wise in a Deluxe, but with the portability and ease of a normal Princeton. After I received this Princeton, I went to my local guitar shop and A/B'd this amp next to a Deluxe reverb RI and the Princeton won out no question. The guy working in the shop was stunned and immediately ordered one for the shop. Its no question the amp youre looking for if you want that classic Fender sound without breaking your back....however...

    The stock tubes caused my problems right out othe gate. After being on, I would randomly get pops/fizzle/crackle sounds and even lose volume and high end. It even died out completely on me at one point after being on for about an hour. Ive read other reviews where this has also happened to people. If you buy this amp, I recommend immediately ordering upgraded tubes. This is something I would do regardless of tube problems because the stock groove tunes are, lets be honest, not that great. When I had the new tubes installed, all problems were fixed and it sounded even better.

    (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    I tried everything

    By Jeremy

    from New York, NY

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

    • Excellent Sound
    • Portable

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Home Studio

      Comments about Fender Limited Edition '65 Princeton Reverb 15W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp Bordeaux Reserve:

      I pretty much just play in my home and with friends occasionally, so I am not a professional gigging musician. I was really searching for a simple, classic 15w range amp that wouldn't get the cops called on me from my neighbors every time I wanted to play. For a long time I was using a stock Blues Jr., which for the longest time worked pretty well. However, the reverb wasn't all that great on it and it didn't have great volume control - it was either pretty quiet or super loud. I ended up selling it to a friend and started searching for something possibly better.

      I played everything. I live in NYC and there are music store everywhere that stock a huge range of amps. I was willing to spend money, too. After 10's of trips to all the music stores, this amp ended up being the one that I fell in love with over and over when testing against all the others.

      The wattage was just right. It has AMAZING clean tones. The 12" speaker upgrade gave it much better low-end response. The reverb is incredible. It has vibrato. It took my overdrive pedal incredibly well. It's pretty small in size. The volume knob actually works. Treble and Bass knobs are very responsive. It can be used as an apartment amp for practicing at low volume, or can be pretty loud and gigable and hold its own next to a drum kit.

      Basically, this is the perfect amp at a good price with all of the features I needed and not much more I don't need. It breaks up well around volume 6, which is way too loud for my apartment, so an overdrive pedal was a must. I was comparing it to the a lot of the Supro amps (which someone had reviewed against in a previous post here) and I think this amp is similar in tone, but has reverb - while costing a lot less. So much less, in fact, you could buy a pretty good guitar for the difference.

      If you're looking for a good home amp with amazing clean tones that takes pedals really well, this is it. Put's the Hot Rod/Blues Jr. line to complete shame when you listen side by side.

      (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Decent breakup at a relatively low volume.

      By Guitar Lover

      from New York

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Easy To Use

      Cons

      • Weak

      Best Uses

      • Home Studio

      Comments about Fender Limited Edition '65 Princeton Reverb 15W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp Bordeaux Reserve:

      I purchased this some time ago – when M/F originally made it available with the Bordeaux (wine red) vinyl covering, wheat grille cloth, and 12" speaker.

      There have been no mechanical/electrical issues to date. Flawless construction – a real beauty – and it came with a nice fitted vinyl cover (black).

      The Princeton has nice tone when pushed, and it does not take much to get there – decent breakup at a relatively low volume.

      I would also like to note that this is not my only amp. If I could only have one amp, this would not be it. Let me explain.

      Several items of disappointment include (1) lack of a standby switch. At this price point, it should have one. Everyone knows that having and being able to use the standby function extends tube life. That is a fact. I thought this amp had one – never thought to verify its existence before making the purchase. (2) The amp has very little headroom. Clean volume is sparse, and is marginally acceptable. I expected more. (3) In order to use two external speakers – should one be so inclined – you need to have two 16-ohm speakers. This is limiting. Why Fender did not configure the amp with two inputs that would accommodate two 8-ohm speakers is puzzling – other manufactures do so with similar amps. (4) The stock 12" Jensen speaker (8-ohms) is okay – nothing great. For kicks, I unplugged the internal speaker, and plugged in a recent purchase – a Supro Black Magick 1x12 extension speaker cabinet (purchased from M/F). I cannot emphasize the noticeable difference and improvement in tone – much more muscular and ballsy sounding – exhibiting stellar dynamics that the Jensen lacks. The Jensen speaker has a very small magnet – the cylindrical cover is deceiving. I removed it (friction fitting made it rather easy) and discovered its demure size. Compared to the coconut-sized magnet on the Supro speaker, the magnet on the Jensen speaker is the size of a walnut. I mention this as a point of comparison, not criticism.

      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Hands down, my favorite amp!

      By WildBill

      from Columbia, SC

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Excellent Sound
      • Good Warmth
      • Portable
      • Powerful

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Fender Limited Edition '65 Princeton Reverb 15W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp Bordeaux Reserve:

          Fought the urge to buy this amp for a couple months but when I saw the wine red model with wheat grill cloth I had to pull the trigger. Have not been disappointed. Admittedly, my Strat sounds better (to my ears) through my Blues Jr. III, but my BJ3 has been highly modified, ie caps upgrade, reverb upgrade, and Celestion Alnico Blue speaker. But this amp was really purchased to pair with my Ltd. Edition Gibson ES-335. When I played the Gib through this amp I knew I was hearing Holy Matrimony! I usually modify/ customize all of my gear but this amp is just the way it needs to be right out of the box! Forget about the no standby switch that many gripe about. The tube rectifier negates the need for this. Granted, there is no way to leave the amp on for extended periods of time at reduced power, but this is not a good practice anyway. Tubes get 'cathode poisoning' when left on standby a lot. Although many consider this to be a jazzman's amp, I get some great greasy blues with the help of a couple pedals. I have 4 amps and if I could only have one, this would be it.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Man it's perfect!

          By Erico

          from San Francisco

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Excellent Sound
          • Good Warmth
          • Portable

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Events
            • Home Studio
            • Performances
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about Fender Limited Edition '65 Princeton Reverb 15W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp Bordeaux Reserve:

            So I walked in to Guitar Center and heard someone playing this thing and literally stopped in my tracks to listen. He was playing some sweet blues and jazz riffs. I plugged in as well and ordered on eon the spot. Funny thing is that I love breakup and did not even get a chance to crank it in the store.

            A few months later the Jensen speaker really broke in. Man this thing sounds great, and the break-up now at volume 5-7 is perfect. I love blues and punk blues, and this thing also takes petals really well. So the cleans are as perfect as a 1x12 will ever get. If you need distortion or breakup under volume 5 you'll need a pedal because there is not a volume that is separate from the master. But that's the beauty of the simplicity of this amp, when you get breakup, it's the real deal. Any natural brightness of Fenders can be dialed down if needed with this amp because it has the 12 speaker. I keep my treble pretty low, also I found that overdrive pedals cut out any over-brighty sounds when engaged.

            I recently plugged it into a fender 4x12 cabinet and it sounds ridiculously full. I am not trying to get more volume, just a more rounded sound. Make sure you check the ohms when doing this.

            This amp is a workhorse, and is great for live or recording. The build quality is great and it feels durable. It all depends on what you need, but if you are in the market for that Fender sound but want reasonable volume levels, this is it.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            What an incredible classic amp

            By Stevie T. the Piano Man

            from Metairie, La

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Excellent Sound
            • Good Warmth
            • Portable

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Home Studio

              Comments about Fender Limited Edition '65 Princeton Reverb 15W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp Bordeaux Reserve:

              This amp has got all of the classic Fender blackface tube goodness in it that we all know and love. Sad that it took me so long before I decided to buy a Fender Princeton reverb after knowing about this amp for quite a while now. That said, I don't think I could have found a better model for my personal playing preferences as the Rolex and grill cloth on this model are gorgeous and the alnico just nails the tone I wanted. Build quality seems fantastic really boutique if you ask me. Trust me, get it,

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              Fantastic sound but shaky quality

              By Collector

              from Philadelphia, PA

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Beautiful
              • Excellent Sound
              • Good Warmth

              Cons

              • Quality

              Best Uses

              • Amateur Recording
              • Home Studio
              • Professional Recording

              Comments about Fender Limited Edition '65 Princeton Reverb 15W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp Bordeaux Reserve:

              From the first note, I absolutely loved the sound of this amp. It has such an organic and balanced sound that complements all of my guitars, including PRS, Strats, Gretsch, and especially my Teles. From 4.5 to 6 on the volume, the amp just blooms and comes alive. I am not as fond of the break up once the volume gets much beyond 7. It is perfect for playing at home and recording.

              Aesthetically, this amp is just gorgeous. Between the sound and seeing the amp, I am just continuously inspired to play more.

              Now to the quality. I played the amp for about two hours when the volume just started to fall off, and then the amp died. I checked the fuse, but it was fine. While doing that I noticed that the power transformer was scorching hot. It was then that I noticed I could smell a burning paint smell, probably from the transformer. I sent the amo back that morning to be replaced. Funny thing is that I had read another's review that had the same experience.

              When the replacement came, I immediately turned it on and played it for 4-5 hours to make sure it wasn't going to melt down like the first, all the while monitoring the transformer temperature. It did not take long to get got. I measured the temp using an IR gun. Within an hour, the temp maxed out just above 140 degrees F. Again I could smell that hot paint smell, though I am not certain whether it is coming from the transformer or from the tolex/glue. Anyway, the temperature remains constant at ~140F. For comparison, I compared this side by side with my 1963 Princeton. The 1963 transformer also gets pretty warm, but it doesn't get much above 130F.

              I have scoured the internet, and I have been unable to find any widespread problem with these reissue transformers, just my own experience and the other person's review. If my first one hadn't melted down immediately, I may not have been as aware and concerned about the temperature of the present one. I hope the first one was just a fluke.

              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Clarification on standby swtich

              By jefender

              from Denver, CO

              About Me Experienced

              Comments about Fender Limited Edition '65 Princeton Reverb 15W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp Bordeaux Reserve:

              I've seen a few comments regarding the lack of the standby switch as a "con" for this amp. I just bought one myself online (haven't yet received it so I can't comment on other pros/cons yet, but....) the lack of standby is not a limitation on this amp and here's why: The PRRI uses a GZ34/5AR4 rectifier tube which has a cathode and the heater filament has to heat the cathode. So there is a slow startup of the rectifier in this case and it very gently provides B+ to the rest of the amp as it starts up. So there's no need for a standby, as the nature of this rectifier tube essentially has it built in.

              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Great Tone and easy on the back

              By Lefty In Philly

              from Mount Laurel, NJ

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Excellent Sound
              • Good Warmth
              • Portable

              Cons

              • No Standby Switch

              Best Uses

              • Amateur Recording
              • Events
              • Home Studio
              • Performances
              • Professional Recording

              Comments about Fender Limited Edition '65 Princeton Reverb 15W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp Bordeaux Reserve:

              This is an excellent choice if you are looking for the "Classic Fender Sound" in a grab and go package. it has surprisingly good headroom for a 15 watt amp. It is pretty much what I expected as I have owned many Fender amps over the past 50 years. I have used this amp at some smaller gigs and rehearsal spaces. The tone is very pleasent and both the Reverb and Tremolo are excellent.

              At it's price point, it is quite expensive! It is nice that it includes a cover and footswitch. It takes pedals nicely. I have had no problems in the 4 plus months that I have owned it.

              For an amp this expensive, Fender should have engineered in a standby switch to preserve the life of the tubes. For that reason and the high price, I have rated this amp as a 4. Otherwise, it is a 5 for its quality, vibe, and tone

              Displaying reviews 1-10

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