Fender’s Ivy League Amps – the Prom Queens and the Drop Out

Well, from just the specs, you can compare this 6G10 Harvard model to the more typical 5F10 model:

Fender Amp Field Guide – Fender Harvard Amplifier

And you can find the historical impact differences from Wikipedia, but of course:

Wikipedia – Fender Harvard

I believe the operative phrase for the 6G10 was “Rare as Hen’s Teeth.”

And Groovey Records from The Gear Page pretty much spelled out the badassery of the 5F10:

Listen to about anything from Booker T and the MG’s.
Otis Redding
Sam and Dave
The Blues Brothers
Steve Cropper Played a Harvard in the studio through most of the Sixties.

Listen to “Dock of the Bay” and “I’ve been Loving You Too Long” to hear what a Telecaster and a Harvard Amp can do in the hands of a Master.

So anyway, I come across what I think is the 6G10 and bring it home.


Some nice honest wear on this intact narrow panel tweed cab:


As you can see, it looks like a tweed Princeton up on top and inside – just one 6V6, 2 inputs not three, and so on:


The speaker is a 1959 Jensen P10R, there’s a label on the side of it from Orange County Speakers so I’m guessing they did some work on it, maybe a recone? It sounds sweet and gorgeous when played clean, but still flubs when loud bass comes in, as P10R speakers tend to do. The speaker lead sure looks original, terminating in an RCA and cloth covered and such. I swapped in a Celestion Gold G10 for it later to preserve the original speaker. Anyhow, take a closer look at the label and the date stamped on the cab:


Oddness all around, right? The chassis definitely started life as a 1960 Princeton, since the serial stamp on the chassis is in the P04300-P07000 range (sorry for not giving out the exact number, I’ll keep that to myself in case someone tries to swipe pics and scam someone). So I look at this transformer chart and decide what the heck, I’m going to go ahead and pull the chassis to see what’s there:


If it’s a proper 5F2A Princeton, the iron should be 66079 Power, 265 Output, right? Well, it’s not:


That’s the output transformer. It says 125A2A. The serial dates it to 1960. Makes sense, since there are 1960 Princetons with 125A2A output transformers out there, and both the chassis and the output tranny come from the same year. But wait, it has a partner in crime:


The bottom iron is the power transformer. It says 125P1A. The serial dates it to 1962. I love this power transformer by the way, there was one in my Brownface 6G2 Princeton and it put out the greatest overdrive grind, here’s an example of my old amp:

Anyhow, according to everything I could find, this pairing of 125P1A/125A2A iron was never used in any other Fender amp other than the 6G10 Harvard.

So Holy Crap, it’s a 6G10 Harvard. The last serial on the chassis build is the power tranny from 1962, and thereafter put in a Harvard cab from 1963 – so it’s a 1963 Fender 6G10 Harvard.

How does it sound? Like I said above, played clean it’s gorgeous, and with the Celestion Gold, it can hold together even with some evil overdrive spitting out, especially with the Bowery Tele firing on its ’63 Firebird neck pickup:

Since that clip, I tamed the beast a bit by swapping out the 12AX7 for a 12AV7, a ’57 Sylvania Blackplate 5965 to be exact. Now I have more clean headroom to work with, but still keep the thunder when cranked.

So yeah, a Tweed Princeton with Brownface Princeton iron and a big Harvard cab. Could have been the worst of all worlds but instead it has The Mojo. It’s been a long road since my very first Princeton (and actually one of the first Princetons historically), my old sweet gentle ’52 “TV Tweed” Model 5A2 Princeton:


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