Fender Princeton 5F2 Tube Amplifier (1957)

Fender  Princeton 5F2 Tube Amplifier (1957)
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Item # 9337
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Fender Princeton 5F2 Model Tube Amplifier (1957), made in Fullerton, California, serial # P-01152, tweed fabric covering finish.
Height is 17 in. (43.2 cm.), 18 in. (45.7 cm.) width, and 9 in. (22.9 cm.) in depth at deepest point.

This is a very cool if somewhat worn-in example of a mid-1957 big-box Princeton, which by this point had grown into a rather larger unit than its earlier ancestors. This amp has seen a decent amount of use but remains largely unaltered as Leo intended it except for typical maintenance to keep it running in top condition. The Princeton of this period was still intended as a student amplifier (hence the academic name!) but this model shades into giggable pro territory if the volume is below full rock band levels.

The tube chart in the cabinet is ink-stamped with the code "GF", indicating assembly in June '57. That speaker is the original Oxford date coded to the 14th week of 1957. The transformers are original, stamped NYT 5396 on the PT and 20565 on the OT. The three-tube layout (5Y3,6V6,12AX7) makes for a sweetly overdriven, airier tone that can get very raucous when pushed. All tubes in this amp are vintage, period, or just a bit later if probably not original, tested and running well.

Externally, the tweed covering on this amp is a bit scruffy overall with wear on all edges and some fraying at the seams. The chrome control plate has some light corrosion but is cleaner than many with the graphics largely intact. Internally, the amp is well-preserved, serviced with a new 3-prong cord and typical cap work, cleaning, and biasing. The original leather handle is intact and fully functional, though if the amp is to be gigged regularly a modern replacement might be the way to go. Overall this is a superb amplifier, sweetly purring at low volume and a very hot little number when the twin chicken heads are rolled up! Very Good + Condition.