Princeton 650 review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.4 (30 votes)
Fender: Princeton 650

Price paid: $ 408.09

Purchased from: Digital Village

Sound — 9
I chose a Fender amp because I use Fender (and Fender copy) guitars. My Pacifica (my main guitar) has two single-coils and a humbucker at the bridge - I tend to play using the middle or bridge pick-up. This amp brings out the deeper tones of the single-coils perfectly, and provides a crisper, biting sound at the bridge pick-up. Both channels are very adaptable, and the onboard reverb brings out the best sounds whether you want a deep, resonating clean tone, a squawking, screaming distorted tone or anything inbetween. The clean channel stays totally clean up to level 9 or so, and the distortion can be kept at a very low level to add a gentle, crisp bite to your sound. Depending on your guitar and leads, the amp may hum a little when the volume is up. However, I use shielded jack-leads and the amp is almost silent when not being played.

Overall Impression — 8
I play everything from rock to funk to acoustic-based music and this amp has the diversity to fit with my styles. It is the best amp in its price range that I have ever played (I've been playing intensely for four years). The onboard tuner, the great range of sounds and EQ options are all brilliant, my only real frustration is that the footswitch isn't included!

Reliability & Durability — 8
I have only had this amp for a week, and have played Live with it twice. As a new model I expect it to last for several years without any problems, and will be gigging without a backup. It is strong, sturdy and also small and portable, it will be a tricky amp to damage.

Features — 8
I purchased a Brand New amp (the Dyna-Touch III model is fairly new, as far as I'm aware), and it has all the features one would expect of a 21st Century amplifier: onboard tuner, a selection of effects, two channels with an optional footswitch, and an effects loop (the output of which can also be used as a line-out). The onboard effects are not necessary (although they are useful) and can't quite compete with effects pedals - however, for me they were a desirable feature on the amp in the short-term as my budget does not stretch to include buying hundreds of pedals at the moment. A solid-state combi in the range of 50-80 watts was what I was after, and this 65watt beauty fits the bill perfectly. Loud enough to fill small to medium-sized venues and affordable and portable enough for a small-time musician such as myself, in the grander scale of things the Princeton is a formidable amplifier.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    RE: headphone jack - there is a line out which can be used with headphones, but it doesn't bypass the speaker. Hey, this ain't no practice amp. Also, my review says that I paid 408? (or is that dollars?) - I paid 220 and that's what I wrote.
    Fender's dumping these and Musician's Friend is selling them for $199.99, shipped. Unfortunately, they've received what -- for Musician's Friend customer ratings -- are really scathing reviews: Failures, high noise levels, etc., etc. This seems completely opposite to the reviews here. What gives?
    I don't know why anyone would say this failed them unless there was a horrible manufacturing incident. I've had my Princeton 650 For 2 years and its tremendous.
    this is the best amp ive used so far and its for shows. why would they add a headphone jack to it. it was made to be loud so let it be loud. great review though. ive notice the same exact things and i just bought mine today. i love it.