PRS custom 20 vs fender PRRI

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by jjhookemup, Sep 8, 2021.

  1. jjhookemup

    jjhookemup Gearoholic

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2018
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    175
    Need some advice on how these compare. I currently have a custom 20 that I set up pretty nice with choice tubes and a celestion EVH greenback. Really love it. I have it to where it has a nice punchy clean, almost like a fender bf type, but not quite. So I’ve always wanted a PR… beautiful punchy clean tones and a magic in the tone I hear a lot about. So I’m thinking about selling the custom 20 for one with a 12” greenback. What do any of y’all think about this who has played both? Thanks
     
    John F likes this.
  2. jjhookemup

    jjhookemup Gearoholic

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2018
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    175
    I forgot to mention that I’ve always loved the fender clean tones…is it worth it?
     
  3. John F

    John F New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2020
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    96
    I have both the PRS Custom 20 combo and the 65 Princeton Reverb Reissue, and both amps are stock. I love the PRS amp, but my Princeton is my favorite. I play only around the house, and I tend to spend the most time with a clean setting. I have many pedals that work very well with both amps: KTR, King of Tone, OCD, Rat, Plimsol, Tumnus Deluxe, D&M Drive, EP Booster, SL Drive, Bonsai and Muffuletta. I mention the pedals because you may have some/all and know what you like.

    I play Gibson Les Paul, Fender Strat (SSS), Collings I-35 Deluxe, Fender Tele, PRS Silver Sky, PRS Custom 24 and PRS McCarty 594 and both amps like all these guitars. None have P90s, all the pickups are stock.

    I love the spring reverb in the Princeton, and the tremolo too, but the reverb really pushes my buttons like nothing else I’ve ever played through. I bought a Boss ‘63 Fender Reverb pedal to use with the PRS amp because the PRS spring reverb is too transparent for my taste. The pedal is on all the time with the internal reverb off when I use the PRS amp, except when I use the drive channel I turn both off. The pedal does a good job of sounding like the Princeton spring reverb, but it is not a direct match. It is said that the 68 silver face Princeton Reverb takes pedals better than the 65 because it has less negative feedback and breaks into overdrive easier. I prefer the 65 black face and think it takes pedals just fine.

    I’ll never part with my Princeton, unless it is to replace it with the 64 hand wired version.
     
    #3 John F, Sep 9, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2021
    dogrocketp and jjhookemup like this.
  4. jjhookemup

    jjhookemup Gearoholic

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2018
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    175
    Nice to know about the pedals because I’m a pedal junkie. I love swapping out for different flavors. Yeah, the custom takes em’ great…I was curious about if the PR did.
    About the reverb, I swapped a couple different tubes in mine and found a 5751 increased the reverb a bit better than the 12at7 the amp comes with.
    I’m just a hobby player too so I really don’t need a bigger amp like the “20”, but I did tame the loudness with a speaker change and some 5751’s in the right spots. I just don’t want to regret it if I sell it, but I’ve been wanting a PR for a couple years. If I can use pedals like I do close to same with the PR…it might be worth it.
     
    #4 jjhookemup, Sep 9, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2021
    John F likes this.
  5. John F

    John F New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2020
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    96
    There is something to be said for the Custom 20 though, the Master Volumes make the amp great. The Princeton has to be turned up loud to get the valves to cook. Pedals give it crunch or distortion, which is different from the valves cooking. I can’t turn up the amp in my house unless I’m home alone. I like to set the clean channel on the edge of break-up on the PRS amp, which I can do by cranking the preamp volume up and the master volume down. This keeps the volume low enough to allow me to play without the windows rattling in the house. The volume pot on the guitar cleans up the channel really well and makes the Custom 20 a joy.

    Both amps have their good points, but the spring reverb on the Princeton is really spectacular IMHO.
     
    jjhookemup likes this.
  6. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    3,775
    I have a Custom 50. Have tried a few Princetons, never owned one. Speaking in general terms about the Customs vs a lower watt, 60’s era Fender circuit, the Custom is more versatile for pedals. That sparkly, bass-rich Fender sound needs a certain pedal voice to match it. Get the Princeton, keep the Custom!
     
    jjhookemup and John F like this.
  7. Em7

    Em7 deus ex machina

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    877
    If given the choice between an amp based on a Tweed circuit (e.g., Custom 20) and a Blackface (BF) circuit, I will choose the Tweed circuit-based amp every time. A BF derives its tone by squeezing the midrange out of the signal. Leo and company did that to keep the amp as clean as possible with tube circuitry built on a budget (Leo was very frugal). The reason why a Tube Screamer or clone sounds so good through a BF amp is because it has a huge midrange hump. In fact, any distortion pedal that does not have a midrange hump sounds like broken glass through a BF amp.
     
  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    26,953
    Likes Received:
    30,010
    Seconded.

    The phrase, "takes pedals well," of course, means different things to different folks. It's always going to depend on the pedal and the amp to a degree, but yes, the black panel Fenders benefit from a pedal with a mid-bump, something in the tube screamer direction. A Klon also sounds good with a '65-era Fender, if you want something a bit less obvious.

    Then, too, an overdrive is really meant to overdrive the amp a bit. It's easier to do that on a Tweed amp. I find my Tweed style amp easier to use pedals with than my black panel style amp. And since Tweed circuits break up a little more easily from guitar volume and picking changes, where a black panel amp needs a ton of volume, yeah. Give me the Tweed any day of the week.

    Bonus: Put a V-Shape into an EQ pedal with the Custom 20, and instant black panel tones on the cheap.
     
    shimmilou, dogrocketp, John F and 2 others like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice