After developing a fault (which I think could be the filter caps – causing a horrible hum) my Princeton Recording Amp sat dormant for nearly 2 years. It’s not the easiest amp to get repaired anyway, but here in the tropical island of Phuket, it’s even more unlikely. Also the market for a used tube amp, even if I did get it fixed first is almost non-existent, so I’d pretty much accepted that its life was over. I can still sell some parts though, like speaker, tubes etc.
However, the cabinet was a good donor for my Toneblock and the two Celestion 8″ speakers I recently acquired. The Celestions worked great in 2 mini cabs live, but to be honest it still felt like a hassle setting it all up on stage and I played a gig the other night that just left no room for my mini cab in front of me. Looks like my vision of using mini cabs on stage isn’t going to be practical much of the time for the gigs I play.
So, itching to do something I decided to transform the PRA cabinet into the platform for a new ToneBlock 200 2×8 combo. The rest, I hope will become history – at least my future history. It sounds absolutely fantastic and I think I’ve hit upon a setup that just works for me. It still feels like a traditional amp in that it’s a moderate-sized box, behind me on stage, but it’s a 21st century amp capable of sounding current and from the golden age too.
I can’t believe how versatile this amp is with the right pedals (especially the value I get from the Donner pedals). This is what I originally thought about the Toneblock, in that it is a blank canvas for you to sound any way you want to sound. In that regard it really is the best amp you can get. It makes none of your tonal decisions for you.