This is a vintage 100% ORIGINAL 1957 Fender Princeton 5F2-A amplifier. This fine tweed example is in extremely excellent cosmetic condition and appears to be entirely original. While the tweed Princeton enjoys less popularity than both it’s larger (Deluxe, Twin, Bandmaster, Bassman, etc.) and smaller (Champ) counterparts, it is also clearly the sleeper of the entire tweed line, and is resultantly considered the best value.
Serial Number: P01417
Transformer Code: 50265
Pot Codes: 304 641
Speaker Code: 220 451
The amp is all original. The original tweed exterior is as crisp as they come, with no fading, no stains, no rips, no scuffs, and nothing worth mentioning other then general aging. The original grill cloth is perfect and pristine. The control panel and chassis are brilliant and bright with perfectly intact font and painted designations. The leather handle is in near mint condition, and the miscellaneous hardware is in correspondingly fine shape.
The Tweed Princeton utilizes: (1) 5Y3, (1) 6V6, and (1) 12AX7 original RCA tubes through an original 1 x 8″ Jensen speaker. This low-wattage amp is perfect for recording and really impresses an immense tone upon most microphones.
This example works perfectly and sounds incredible. The Princeton sounds most like a larger Champ with less saturation and a more universal full-range tone. Instead of collapsing upon itself when turned all the way up, like some Champs, it compresses and envelopes in a really great way. When the volume is slightly turned down, the amp achieves a highly accessible and quite remarkable traditional overdrive that most amp manufacturers wish they could harness.
The original Jensen speaker is not fatigued nor does it exhibit any voice-coil distortion. The amp is louder than a Champ, and nicely fills a room. The simple “Volume/Tone” controls enable enough tone sculpt-ability and does not leave you wanting for additional dynamics.
It is slightly odd that the Jensen speaker is approximately 1+ year earlier than the other amplifier components, however, at that point in time it is possible for parts to span larger than normal distances in production dates. There is nothing that indicates the speaker was changed or replaced. There is no evidence that there was ever a tube chart with no indication of glue, fading around where it would have been or residual paper. I believe that after thoroughly inspecting and documenting the amp, it is quite anomalous, and never had a tube chart. Perhaps it is a transitional model produced between the 5F2 and 5F2-A?
As can be seen in several photos to the right, the amplifier power chord end cracked, and while it is mostly intact, was poorly addressed with electrical tape to avoid harm to the user. Otherwise, this amp is a spectacular example and is worthy of the best collections and most particular of studios.