Up for sale, a 1956 Fender Princeton in exceptional condition and in perfect working order. This narrow panel Tweed amp has absolutely stunning and virtually un-ambered original tweed, and is one of the more impressive golden-age Fender amps to come through our shop of late. With its narrow panel configuration, this Princeton is considered the "big box" version, with a cab that's far larger than the single 8" alnico speaker requires, and the resulting sound is deceptively round and rich for the relatively small speaker size.
The circuit couldn't be more simple and pure, with single Volume and Tone knobs and a Class A circuit design, powered by a single 6V6 power tube. The tone is articulate, dynamic and commanding, with the sizzle and churning overdrive of a Champ, but with more tonal range and fuller low end. The top end response is just right, and the amp doesn't get too trebly, making the tone control quite usable for dialing in exactly as much zing and snap as you desire.
The circuit is very original and only serviced as necessary for optimal functionality, retaining the original Triad transformers. The original Stackpole pots, carbon comp resistors, and yellow Astron capacitors are intact, with the Stackpole pots dating to the 47th week of 1955. The power supply caps and smaller electrolytics have been replaced with high quality modern Spragues, and a three-prong power cable has been installed. The tubes include a vintage RCA 6V6 and Sylvania 5Y3 rectifier along with a modern Mullard 12AX7. The speaker is original and a particularly rare alnico Jensen. The speaker has the signature of the Fender employee who wired the circuit on the edge of the frame, and the speaker is also stamped "FE" just north of the magnet, matching the identical stamps on the chassis and tube chart. The tube chart is notable for its well-preserved condition, with perfect corners, handwritten serial number, and "FE" date stamp which translates to May of 1956.
The inside of the cabinet is stamped for Torp's Music Center and Dancing School in St. Paul, Minnesota, presumably the original purchaser of this amp in 1956. Torp's also added a mini badge to the lower face of the amp, and clearly this amp never saw much use at the Music Center, given its stunning cosmetic condition. There is barely any ambering of the original tweed, with only extremely minor edge wear. The faceplate is extremely clean, with all of the white silkscreened font, shiny chrome, and a pair of original chicken head knobs. A new leather handle has been installed.
This amp is a true rarity given its condition, and this particular example has been carefully tested and inspected to ensure originality and ideal functionality.