Achillies Princeton Reverb Amplifier Review

Achillies Princeton Reverb Amplifier Review

The Achillies Princeton Reverb amplifier is an Australian made hand wired amplifier built in Melbourne, Australia.  This is arguably the best sounding Princeton I have ever played.  It sounds rich and warm and responds amazing to your guitars volume control as well as with pedals.

The Princeton Reverb is the most desirable recording amp to date. Mouth watering overdrive and sweet cleans with a touch of vibrato will drive you to have on your most wanted list. It’s no wonder Randall Smith from Mesa Boogie based his MKI on this amp. A Hand wired reproduction based on the AA1164 circuit has been recreated right down to the last component. Focused on commitment to quality to produce the most accurate PR tone, and we have proven to build a true Blackface Princeton Reverb replica throughout. The steel chassis features original pattern stamped ends and correct position component placement including aluminum control panels. Our very own branded Achillies power capacitors for that ultimate tone and stability. Upon building the cabinet, we strictly request (knot free) Radiata pine which provides that perfect balance we need to offer you with the finest amplifier on the market. Constructed with Traditional Dovetail Joinery and wrapped with authentic Fender Black bronco Tolex with the highest attention to detail to match the tone of the amplifier. The aesthetics complemented by the aged grill cloth gives the amp that final touch it needs to call out “vintage tone”.

 

 Princeton Reverb Features:

  • Custom Wound U.S.A Transformers
  • Output Power 15 watts
  • Output Tubes: 2x 6V6
  • Preamp Tubes: 1x 12AT7, 3x 12AX7
  • Rectifier: 1x 5U4
  • Available as
  • Head (8? Speaker Output)
  • Combo 1x Jensen C10R Speaker
  • Combo 1x Jensen C12R Speaker
  • Unloaded (Please note baffle type at checkout)
  • Switchcraft Jacks and Plugs
  • Carling Switches
  • Achillies Caps (Made in Germany)
  • Sprague Orange Drop caps
  • Carbon Comp Resistors (Most Allen Bradley)
  • CTS Potentiometers
  • Aluminum Control Panels
  • Authentic Hand Wired Layout
  • Cloth Covered Solid Core Wire
  • Black Bronco Covering
  • Aged Black/White/Silver grill cloth
  • Pine Cabinet with Birch Ply Backs and Baffle
  • Traditional Dovetail Joinery
  • Proudly Hand Built in Australia

Fender 65 Super Reverb Reissue Guitar Amplifier Review

Fender 65 Super Reverb Reissue Guitar Amplifier Review

I would be so bold as to call the Fender ’65 Super Reverb line of amplifiers the holy grail of clean tones from Fender or any other guitar amp for that matter.  What am I basing this crazy statement on?  I’ve owned so many amps over the years but nothing has come close to the overall warmth, clarity, openness, and body of sound of this amplifier.

Context.

While this isn’t all the amplifiers I’ve owned over the years here’s a quick list of the amps I’ve had that I really liked at the time but I feel the Super Reverb blows them all out of the water.

  • Fender Twin
  • Fender Blues De-ville (2×12)
  • Fender ’65 Deluxe Reverb Reissue
  • Fender ’68 Deluxe Reverb Reissue
  • Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
  • Two-Rock Studio Pro 22 (Head and Box)
  • Two-Rock Studio Pro 35 (Combo)
  • Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue
  • Fender Super-Sonic 60
  • Vox AC-30
  • Laney VC-30

Check out this video review of the Super Reverb Amplifier with both a Stratocaster and Telecaster guitars.

Lots to love about the Fender Super Reverb

There’s a few things to love about the Super-Reverb.  I love the fact it’s not 100 watts so I can take it to gigs and not kill everyone.  If you want a dead clean and loud amplifier the Fender Twin would be the choice for many but I feel it’s a little bit too hard sounding for my ears. I actually preferred the Fender De-Ville 2×12 over a Twin because it was a lot more lush sounding than the twin in my opinion but the Super Reverb is even more lush sounding.  The Super Reverb sports the best Reverb tone I have ever heard and I spend my time living on the Vibrato channel of the amp because of this.

Tube Distortion

When you get the Super Reverb up to about 4.5 on the volume control it’s close to breaking up.  Get it past 5 and you’re really starting to get some kick ass tube distortion that sounds amazing.  Having the amp break up at this volume for my sort of music is perfect, I can push it harder with an overdrive pedal and it will sustain for days.  The best thing about this amp to my ear is how clear the notes are even when running an overdrive pedal.  The 10″ speakers have a voicing that I really love especially for pedals.  I have never had an amp with multiple 10″ speakers before and I had no idea what I was missing out on until now.

This video of the Fender ’65 Super Reverb Reissue below gives an in-depth look at both channels of the amplifier as well as how it sounds with different guitars and pedals.

The Size and Weight

This is where things will be divided.  This amplifier is quite large and could be awkward for some people no doubt.  For me, I use a trolley/dolly to get it around whenever I can.  It’s not over the top heavy or awkward like my AC-30 was and it doesn’t feels as heavy as my twin either thankfully.  This amp is slightly lighter than I imagined it would be but if you’re going to get a big amp make sure you can wheel it around to make sure you’re not going to hurt or twist your back.  If I need to walk more than 30 meters, I would usually take my trolley.

Room Size and Power

I wouldn’t recommend this amp to people if you can’t turn it up.  While it sounds great with pedals it sounds even better with pedals from about 4 on the volume control and up.  If you’re playing really small venues/venues you can’t crank it up then I wouldn’t recommend it.  If you take your Hot Rod Deluxe or similar amp to a gig and you’re allowed to let it rip, this is a great choice.   The Fender ’65 Super Reverb is 45 watts so it’s about the same output as a Fender Blues Deluxe or Hot Rod Deluxe amplifier but the 4 speakers gives you a mass of audio that really surprised me.  Take this amp to somewhere you can get it to easily and run it on 4-5 on the volume (or higher) and you’re loving it.

Here are some live tones from a recent gig with the Fender Super-Reverb Guitar Amplifier.

Overall

Tone wise, this is hands down the nicest to my ear of any of the amplifiers I have owned in the past.  The physical size of it is large so that’s one limitation. I would never take it to a gig if I had to climb a flight of stairs for example, I would end up taking my Fender Blues Deluxe reissue for that sort of situation. For gigs that I can wheel the amp inside and are allowed to play loud, it’s the choice hands down.  Having tested and owned so many amps in the past was my basis for comparison when it came to buying this.  I would put this clean tone leagues ahead of anything I can recall from my own collection or anything I have tested in the past.  The amp takes pedals so well too which is a real bonus and like I mentioned the Reverb tones are fantastic.  The built in Tremolo/Vibrato effect is also great for adding a different dimension to your sound.

Fender 65 Deluxe vs Fender 68 Custom Deluxe Reverb Review

Fender 65 Deluxe vs Fender 68 Custom Deluxe Reverb Review

I am the proud new owner of a brand spanking new Fender ’68 Deluxe Reverb amplifier.  These new silver-face amps are quite different to the regular ’65 Deluxe Reverb and not only in cosmetics but design too.  They do both feature the same size cabinet, power rating and selection of tubes, but that’s where it ends.  If you’re a fan of the ’65 deluxe but you wished it broke up earlier or had a little more character, then the ’68 Deluxe Reverb is a perfect choice.

The main differences between them both are:

  • The ’68 Deluxe has a Bassman tone-stack on the custom channel which totally kicks ass and has a fuller and warmer sound in the mids
  • The ’68 has a Celestion G12V70 speaker while the ’65 has a Jesnsen C-12k speaker
  • The ’68 breaks up quite a bit earlier
  • The ’68 also shares the reverb and tremolo on both channels which is awesome
  • The ’68 Deluxe’s reverb sound is not quite as washy as the ’65
  • The ’65 stays cleaner longer
  • The ’65 is a smoother sort of sound
  • The ’68 has more of a raunchy tone
  • The ’68 is made in Mexico while the ’65 is made in the USA
  • The build quality is awesome on both
  • Both totally rock and have their own unique sound
  • The taper on the volume is different.  I found the ’65 get’s louder faster early on.

This video below shows the difference between the two mic’d up with Rode M3 microphones at the same audible volume in the room.

All in all both amplifiers are awesome and it all comes down to personal choice.  I love both of them for different reasons but for me the 68 has more of the sort of Blues tone I really love when it starts to compress and overdrive and it does it at a less ear bleeding level which suits the pub/club gigs I do with my band.

If you have any questions just let me know.