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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / The Princeton Reverb II (Rivera era PRII) Conclave

Next 20 Messages   Newest 20 Messages
littleuch
Contributing Member
********

Michigan

Jan 2nd, 2011 11:57 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Shall we? Recently suggested by our own Stratopastor so why not. Searching the archives all I see is scattered conversation and a few PRII-curious posts.

I've had mine for about 10 years, rescued from a harp player's basement. Current config:

No footswitch
Eminence RW&B speaker
Tungsram pre's
JJ 6V6's (my Brimar's recently gave up the ghost)
Recent recap
Long reverb tank

Things it has seen:

Celestion Blue Alnico (absolutlely fabulous)
Weber 12F150 (didn't like it)

Things I'd like to try:

Weber Blue Dog
Celestion Gold Alnico

Gigs:

From outdoor festivals to small clubs. This has been quite the faithful amp and pushes enough volume to be very stage friendly.

I don't use the lead channel, but have messed with it a bit on the home front. I think it's very pedal friendly and get my gain there. I haven't used natural breakup much (usually too loud) but now that it's been recapped seems to have a more natural transition into the grit.


Lastly, I'll link Andrew's page for the PRII curious.

Princeton Reverb II

BBQ Gord

CANADA

Didn't chew kill my bruvah?
Jan 2nd, 2011 08:22 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I bet the Celestion Blue is better than the Gold would be. The Brimars got tired or failed somehow?

littleuch
Contributing Member
********

Michigan

Jan 3rd, 2011 08:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yeah, 5 years of fairly heavy use the Brimars got tired. Tried re-biasing and they just didn't sound right. The JJ's brought it right back to life, although they have a bit of rattle.

I used the Blue for quite a few years of moderate gigging. Never dimed it but pushed it fairly hard. Great overall tone. I tried the RW&B on a whim and liked the results and decided to keep the Blue in a 67 Ampeg Reverberocket II (where it sounds equally spectacular). Recently I acquired a Weber Blue Dog for a Peavey Classic 30 and really like that speaker and think it'd probably be a good one for the PRII as well.

Iversen

Denmark

Jan 3rd, 2011 02:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm the happy owner of two PRIIs that I almost always play in a stereo setup.

One has an Eminence The Tonker, the other an Eminence Red Fang. Right now I don't recall which tubes are in them, but they both have the short reverb tank. I have a footswitch for one of them, but I unplugged it; it sounds a lot better without it.

Just like Littleuch any overdrive I get from pedals because I set the amp to play as clean as possible.

PRII Red Fang, ES-335, FullTone OCD, Shure SM57

Stratopastor
Contributing Member
*****

somewhere in England

I fought the lawn, and the lawn won
Jan 4th, 2011 04:49 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Glad to join the conclave! But let's not have any smoke, be it black or white....

Iversen, nice to see that clip again..

Littleuch, thanks for starting this thread. I hope it grows, and if it does I'll link to it from the PRII site.

I use my PRII in church and in my soul band, again using pedals rather than the 'lead' effect. My amp's mods are...

Jensen C12N reissue speaker (worth it)
NFB switch (not really worth it!)
Fatter tone through bigger blocking cap (meh..)
12AY7 in V1 (good for clean)
screen-grid resistors on 6V6s (must-do)
uprated bias feed resistor (must-do)
Jay Mitchell foam donut speaker dispersion thing (worth it)

Currently using modern Tung-Sol 6V6s, very good IMO.

(edited to add) ... and if I don't yet have your amp's serial number, get it to me and I'll tell you when yours was made. I now have data on over 1/30 of all PRIIs, so the picture's getting clearer all the time.

(This message was last edited by Stratopastor at 04:53 AM, Jan 4th, 2011)

Stratopastor
Contributing Member
*****

somewhere in England

I fought the lawn, and the lawn won
Jan 11th, 2011 01:33 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

By way of giving this thread a bump... does anyone know any blues harp players using a PRII? I've got one contacting me through the PRII website asking how to get more (and I quote) phat-ass crunchyness.

littleuch
Contributing Member
********

Michigan

Jan 11th, 2011 04:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"phat-ass crunchyness"

LOL. Harp players...sheesh.

As I said, I appropriated mine from a harp player I used to gig with. It was in his basement for years, don't know if ever played through it. Probably not since he liked to sever the heads of the audience with a Bassman and Fender Reverb unit. I'm sure a PRII just couldn't get it done to his standards.

Sounds like this guy needs to play with the lead channel some. I'm sure there's a Mississippi saxophone hiding in there somewhere.

Liquid Smoke

USA

Jan 11th, 2011 11:00 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Looks like a lot of you guys have swapped speakers.I'm curious...What was the original speaker in these amps? thanks!

Stratopastor
Contributing Member
*****

somewhere in England

I fought the lawn, and the lawn won
Jan 12th, 2011 03:05 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Liquid Smoke, the standard-issue speaker was a Fender Blue label 12" 8 ohm 50 watt which they sourced initially from Pyle and later from Eminence. The factory upgrade was an EV speaker with a massive magnet and an aluminium centre.

photos of all three on this page

Liquid Smoke

USA

Jan 12th, 2011 09:08 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks Stratopastor,
That's what I was wondering. There is a guy on my local Craigslist selling an aluminum dome, 8ohm, EV Force 12 with Fender label in xlnt condition. He says it's out of a PRII. He's asking $75 and I'm kind of tempted.

Your link indicates the EV as a factory upgrade and the CL one looks just like the one in the pic.

Were guys happy with this speaker in the PRII?
Any of you guys have one? Power rating?
Other comments?

I apologize for this temporary thread drift :)
Thanks again!

(This message was last edited by Liquid Smoke at 09:14 AM, Jan 12th, 2011)

Stratopastor
Contributing Member
*****

somewhere in England

I fought the lawn, and the lawn won
Jan 12th, 2011 02:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

(so long as it's about the PRII, can it be a "temporary thread drift"?)

LS, that's the one all right. There's some users' experiences on my page as linked above. I've never heard one, nor do I know what the power rating is :-) I'm guessing 'way more than enough for a PRII'...

Working purely on personal prejudice, it looks too much like a PA speaker and that makes me fear it's been designed as such, with a deliberately neutral sound. There was a time when people used that kind of thing in guitar amps but maybe they were sacrificing tone and character for volume.

Maybe someone will come on here and say what a great, soulful tone they have, in which case I won't be in position to argue!



champster

Oceanside/CA

Jan 13th, 2011 02:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Thanks Stratopastor,
That's what I was wondering. There is a guy on my local Craigslist selling an aluminum dome, 8ohm, EV Force 12 with Fender label in xlnt condition. He says it's out of a PRII. He's asking $75 and I'm kind of tempted."

That sounds like mine if you're in the San Diego area.
They are great sounding speakers but they are HEAVY weight wise.

Liquid Smoke

USA

Jan 13th, 2011 07:00 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hey Champster...small world!
I bet that was you...in O'side eh? I'm in Leucadia.
I'm still thinking about it.
Oops, sorry for further thread drift you guys.

Stratopastor
Contributing Member
*****

somewhere in England

I fought the lawn, and the lawn won
Jan 20th, 2011 10:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

just for the sake a thread-bump... little bit of PRII trivia.

I had a guy contact me this week in Germany. He's just bought a PRII from Canada (running it with a separate step-down transformer). The stock speaker dates from Feb 1987 (-seven), only the second one I've heard of. Must have been among the last chassis to have come out of Fullerton, stored until needed, married with a bought-at-the-last-minute-to-save-money speaker, and shipped ... maybe just before the Red Knob range was rolled out.

Anyone know, to the month, when Fender moved into Lake Oswego?

Stratopastor
Contributing Member
*****

somewhere in England

I fought the lawn, and the lawn won
Jan 29th, 2011 03:08 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

This just in from a fellow-owner... don't attempt to wash the grill cloth through while it's still on the frame. The dye comes out of the wood of the frame and stains the grill cloth big time. Purple, apparently.

Iversen

Denmark

Jan 31st, 2011 07:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Ouch! Thanks for the warning; snakeskin on an amp is a semiperverted fantasy of mine, but purple?!

The guy I traded my second PRII from told me he had cleaned the grill cloth in a bath tub with a brush and luke warm soapy water. He said all the dirt came right off and there was no excess dye in water.

I guess it's a good thing I'm such a lazy bastard that I never came around to trying this at home with other Fender amps...

Stratopastor
Contributing Member
*****

somewhere in England

I fought the lawn, and the lawn won
Jan 31st, 2011 12:42 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Actually the poor chap who emailed me has come back to say, he went back to it and just kept going 'till no more dye came out of the wood and eventually rinsed out of the grill cloth too. Sounds like if anyone is thinking of trying it then they should tell the rest of the family that the shower's going to be occupied for a while.

Snakeskin?

Different subject - see elsewhere in this forum for a mod to get more gain by bypassing the tone stack, footswitchable...

... here

Deacon Blues

RIP: Edward Abbey

January 29, 1927 - March 14, 1989
Jan 31st, 2011 04:01 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I owned one several years ago. It was my first attempt at downsizing to an easier to carry amp.
Boy, did I get that wrong! Paul Rivera must have used boat anchors for transformers.
I didn't particularly care for the lead channel, if I'm remembering correctly. The clean was great.

Stratopastor
Contributing Member
*****

United Kingdom

hypnotising chickens since 1955
Mar 9th, 2011 08:02 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

More modification news;

(1) A guy's emailed me to say he's added a switch which halves the capacitance in the mid-boost circuit - he likes the option of having mid-boost, but less fierce. The switch is on an extra plate screwed into the back of the cab.

(2) Last night I clipped out both snubber caps on v1, having read elsewhere that to do so helped get a Rivera Concert closer to some kind of classic Fender sound. It's definitely added something in the top end - maybe it's that 'chime' that people describe when writing about classic Fenders. I wouldn't know.

(3) While I was in there I undid the 'fatter tone' blocking cap mod. It never seemed to do anything.

Different issue - my tone controls don't seem to have as much effect as they used to. What might cause that? (or maybe my ears are on the blink...)

Finally, there are two PRIIs in Eric Clapton's charity garage sale today. Best get on the 'phone quick...

see lot 34 and 35

littleuch
Contributing Member
********

Michigan

Mar 20th, 2011 11:29 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

SP or anyone else, any idea what size tilt back legs would work on the PRII? I think this amp is a 1/2" or so shorter than a deluxe so I presume the same size legs would work. I hate amp stands but I also hate getting the speaker at the back of the knees in tight quarters.

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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / The Princeton Reverb II (Rivera era PRII) Conclave




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