Speaking of classics, ‘Rutgers’ blows away ‘Princeton’, ‘Harvard’, ‘Yale’—in the world of guitar amplifiers

While we have a little lull in RU Classics news…You gotta hand it to de Lisle Guitar Co. of picturesque Zionsville Indiana, just eight miles northwest of Indianapolis. When de Lisle wanted to unleash its monster 23-watt, single 12” speaker hand-wired tube guitar amplifier on an unsuspecting world—an amp that would blow away the traditional market leader in its class, the venerable Fender Princeton Reverb—it providentially christened it….the Rutgers Reverb.

Looks great, except can you get it covered in scarlet Tolex?

Here’s an excerpt from de Lisle’s description: “The Rutgers Reverb is our first vintage inspired amp. An homage to a mid-sixties classic [C’mon, the reference is to the Fender Princeton—Ed.] , the single channel Rutgers Reverb pumps out 23 watts through a 12″ Eminence speaker housed in a solid pine cabinet…To meet the increased power demands, both the power and output transformers have been beefed up….From crystalline cleans to classic crunch, the Rutgers Reverb captures the soul of the past with a few modern twists.”

We asked Jer de Lisle about the origin of his Rutgers Reverb. “Funny thing…a professor at the University of Michigan suggested the name for that amp”, he reported. And, by the way, do you read the classics? “I probably have a better than average collection of Greek and Roman works for an amp builder”, was his gratifying reply.

What’s there not to like? A tip of the hat to de Lisle for an especially inspired and inspiring choice of name for its amp—and New Brunswick guitarists, this is obviously a must-have for your next Court Tavern gig!

The archetype: the Fender Princeton amplifier, first introduced in 1947, here in a 1963 model

Of course, Fender—in addition to its classic  ‘Princeton’ tube amplifier (originally 12 watts)—also produced guitar amps named the ‘Harvard’ (10 watts in its original 1955-1961 incarnation, later revived as a solid-state) and ‘Yale’ (60 watts, but solid-state).

But despite the considerable quirky charm of these vintage amps, the Rutgers comes off simply as more rock and roll.

  A 1959 Fender Harvard 5F10

Ubiquitous vintage: an early 80s  Fender Yale Series II solid state amp

Last glance at the Rutgers Reverb: note the prominence of the  ‘Intensity’ knob

One response to “Speaking of classics, ‘Rutgers’ blows away ‘Princeton’, ‘Harvard’, ‘Yale’—in the world of guitar amplifiers

  1. If only that knob went to 11.

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