Tweed Princeton 8 & 10

Tweed Princeton 8,

Tweed Princeton 10

Previous amp projects outlined here have been one-off oddball builds, but this page showcases a pair of killer single ended 5W combos which are fairly faithful to their late 50s Fender roots.

The circuit in question is the Princeton 5F2a - basically a Champ with an added treble-cut Tone control, and a negative feedback circuit. Back in the 50s, Leo Fender was trying to develop amps that would deliver clean loud tone, but the tweed series amps broke up pretty early (a feature that endears them to modern players). The negative feedback circuit somewhat reduces that tendency. My version has it switchable, so the player can choose between polite and rowdy.

The Princeton 8 is more faithful to the original, built in a Champ chassis, and with a vintage Rola ceramic speaker.


And now here's the Princeton 10. As the name suggests, it's in a bigger finger-jointed pine cab, with a 10" speaker. This one is a nice Weber AlNiCo blue pup. Same circuit: 5Y3, 12AX7, 6V6, with beefy transformers and quality components, all hand wired. It's louder and projects better, with more low end than its little brother. You can gig with this in a trio with a polite drummer,but add another instrument & you will have to mic it up.

Players used to modern amps have to learn the mojo of tweed volume control. The amp gets up to max loudness and stays cleanish to about 3 or 4. After that, it doesn't get much louder, it just fattens up with more drive and compression. A guitarist should set it on about 9 and use the guitar controls to vary the sound. In the video, Mike Frost demonstrates this both on slide and in regular tuning. The Tweed Princeton 10 is currently for sale.


Here's the link to the YouTube video of Frosty test-driving the Princeton 10. The guitars are nothing special - a 60s Teisco, and a cheap MIJ Fender copy with weak single coils.