Beater Princeton Reverb Barn Find

Discussion in 'Welcome Wagon' started by Kozmo, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. Kozmo

    Kozmo TDPRI Member

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    Okay, it wasn't a barn- it was in the storage area of a music store.

    Hi folks. I'm the guy who's been peeping in the window and putting my ear to the door for a few years now. I finally decided to knock- thanks for letting me in.

    So in the back of a small music store I help out at once in a while I saw what looked like a disassembled princeton reverby thing that somebody gave up on. It had 6 mismatched knobs over an all black spray-painted faceplate, a 12" speaker behind a crookedly applied silverface era grillcloth, a large one-piece back panel that was only open at the top for ventilation, and foam was stapled on every surface inside the cabinet. I'd always wanted a princeton reverby thing and enjoy projects so I contacted the owner of the amp and asked if they wanted to sell it (it had been sitting in the shop for several years) and offered a few hundred dollars. At first they declined but later accepted my offer so I bought the thing, brought it home and started digging.

    Removing all the foam and staples revealed the original "AA764" tube chart and a '65 date code. The transformers also dated to '65, and the chassis dated to early '66. Whoa. I checked all the small tubes in another amp and found a bad one. Reassembled the thing, threw in a good matched pair of JJ 6V6's, fired it up and guess what? It worked. EVERYTHING worked- volume, treble, bass, beautiful 3D reverb, deep tremolo. And it sounded amazing. The one thing I wasn't crazy about was the re-coned 12" Utah- so I threw in one of my original cone JBL K120's. Perfect.

    That was a couple of weeks ago. Since then I took it to an amp-savvy friend who checked voltages and said everything looked surprisingly good (the circuit appears to be original and un-molested). He recommended I install a grounded power cable (done), and replace the filter, bias, and coupling caps (should be here tomorrow). Which brings up the first of many questions I have about this amp- but I'll save it for now.

    Also since then I dangerously gigged with this amp- fifty-something year old caps and all, and it performed beautifully.

    That's all for now. Apologies for the long first post- I'll try to keep it short from here on out.
    And thanks again for letting me in.
     
    Kodiak, nojazzhere, JMac52 and 10 others like this.
  2. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Meister

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    A Fender guy's dream. What a cool story...of course we're gonna need to know how it ends!
     
  3. Deeve

    Deeve Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Happy for you and that amp is back out there, makin' music, like it was built to do.
    Good on ya.
    Peace - Deeve
     
  4. Random1643

    Random1643 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Congrats! Agree that's just the beginning of the story.

    I actually did have a cool Barn Find back around the turn of the century. Much less exciting than your discovery, Kozmo. Bought 2 un-gigged top-o-the-line Yorkville 15" speakers from the mother of a kid who bought all sorts of live sound equipment in high school, and then never quite played. Went off to college and Mom was open to any offer to move that cr*p outa her barn. Paid her $50 each. Had to vacuum the hay and straw off em. I gigged with those speakers, Peavey powered mixer, etc for years. These days I love the convenience, light weight and portability of my Old Guy System, but I miss those big speakers
     
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  5. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Afflicted

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    Pics or it didn't happen.... Congrats btw!
     
  6. Kozmo

    Kozmo TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the responses! Pics to come.

    So my first question is regarding changing/updating the caps. Should I ask that here or start a new thread?
     
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  7. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah nah re starting a new thread...
     
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  8. Kozmo

    Kozmo TDPRI Member

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    Sorry 2 Headed Goat. I'm not sure if you're saying "Yeah" or "nah" regarding starting a new thread. Need to brush up on my tele-speak.
     
  9. Brian J.

    Brian J. Tele-Holic

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    I never find anything good, but I'm glad you did.
     
  10. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wow. We need "barns" like that around here! :D

    Welcome.
     
  11. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The first step takes some discipline. Don't turn the amp on again until the capacitors have been replaced or have tested as good. When an old filter cap shorts internally it often takes the power transformer with it. Service the amp before you use it again.

    The second step is searching TDPRI for posts about Princeton capacitor replacement. It's probablty been discussed, before.

    If you can't find the info you need, browse these two forums and then ask your questions in the one that seems most suitable to you.

    Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum
    Amp Tech Center

    Congratulations on a great find!
     
    Kozmo likes this.
  12. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Welcome to the fold!

    SB
     
  13. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Fake news. No pics. :>)
     
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  14. Jerry_Mountains

    Jerry_Mountains TDPRI Member

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    One of the best amps ever. Amazing find, congrats!

    (We need pics once it returns from the tech)
     
  15. teletimetx

    teletimetx Poster Extraordinaire

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    wonderful story and welcome aboard!

    But, yeah. Pictures. We may have seen photos of hundreds and hundreds of amps - but not yours!
     
  16. Kozmo

    Kozmo TDPRI Member

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    Pics, huh?
    Okay, but she aint much to look at. IMG_4463.JPG IMG_4464.JPG
     
  17. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If you ever want to fancy it up, again, this eBay seller offers repro faceplates. I'm not a customer, just informing.

    BF Princeton faceplates
     
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  18. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    Considering the dog's dinner they made of the faceplate and grill, that back panel looks surprisingly well-done.
     
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  19. Kozmo

    Kozmo TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the link archetype.
    Yeah, I'm on the fence regarding aesthetics. Since I plan on gigging this amp, part of me likes the stealth "what the hell IS that thing?" vibe.
    I'll start with making sure it's road-worthy, then go from there.
     
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  20. Kozmo

    Kozmo TDPRI Member

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    The back panel fits nice, and doesn't effect the sound TOO much, but it requires letting the tubes cool down considerably before stuffing the power cable back there- I think I'll modify or replace it.
     
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