Goodbye Princeton Chorus amplifier. You were a good friend.

A couple of nights ago, I sold my old Fender Princeton Chorus amp to someone who refurbs old amps – and this amp did need refurbishing. But still…It was one of the last-remaining remnants of the once-mighty empire that was The Corrupt Senators. Sure, it’ll live on, and perhaps experience more glory, but it’s future will forever be out of my sight. I’ll miss that amp.

My Fender Princeton Chorus collecting dust in my basement circa 2020

In 1996, I went to Guitar Center with my mom, giving her explicit instructions to not haggle with the salesperson (because I wanted to do the haggling). Needless to say, I paid sticker price and probably extra for a cable: $450. I loved the chorus effect – a direct countermeasure to the Marshall JCM 800 stack I used the previous year. In hindsight, the Marshall stack was about 1,000,000x better than the Princeton Chorus, but…oh to be young again! To its credit, the Princeton Chorus shipped with a neat, Fender-branded, footswitch to go from clean-to-crunch! The crunch was more like a coughing mouse than a gutteral reaction to a bouncer punching you in the stomach. But still I appreciated the sound, preferring it in the moment to the immense wall of crashing waves that would pour from my Marshall stack. Plus, it was portable! It was simple to move, by comparison, and could be set up quicker (1 smaller, solid state thing vs the 2-piece-and-many-cabled-and-HEAVY Marshall stack). I ended up later bringing the Princeton Chorus to college, and it anchored my guitar for many many gigs over the years in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been focused on piano and acoustic/classical guitar, and I’ve recently felt the need to downsize stuff, more generally. I don’t think I’ll miss using the amp, because I rarely used it, but I will miss seeing it – I feel a strong connection to the amp it was, not the amp it is, very much like the way I fondly remember moments in my life but don’t seek to re-live them (you can’t). So I gave the amp a hug, let it know how much I appreciated it, and sent it off to college to build new friendships and experiences – Its fate now lies in the hands of the Guitar Gods.