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1946 Fender Woody Princeton Amp & Steel

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by creebobby, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. creebobby

    creebobby TDPRI Member

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    I was thinking about getting this:

    1946 Fender Woody amp - does not work but hasn't been touched.
    Original field coil speaker!
    So early it doesn't even have a fender tag on it (and it doesn't look like one is missing.)

    Comes with the original matching Princeton lap steel which has a rewound pickup.

    Question is:
    what would be a good price for the set?

    My goal would actually be to buy it, take exact measurements/document the construction of the amp, make a schematic, put it back together and resell the set, make some diy repro cabs for myself and share the info. with others.
    i don't think I could afford to keep it for long.

    woodyseta.jpg

    woodysetb.jpg
     
  2. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    How about talk the owner to let you document the amp (as there is practically no documentation on these things) and this amp will gain in notoriety as it will be 'the' example of this model on the internet?
     
  3. creebobby

    creebobby TDPRI Member

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    Good idea. I think he'd be friendly with me taking some more photos and measurements with a ruler, but for sure there'd be no disassembling it without being the owner.
    Still, with careful measurements I could at least replicate the cabinet pretty well.

    BTW, he wants 2500 for the set.
     
  4. milocj

    milocj Friend of Leo's

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    My personal opinion is that the price for the pair isn't unreasonable. A very clean tweed Princeton can bring $1000-1500 depending on which circuit it is and the Woody is pretty much unobtainable due to age and the small numbers made. Figure the lap steel is worth several hundred and the amp isn't priced terribly high.
     
  5. andyfromdenver

    andyfromdenver Friend of Leo's

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    Try $2000

    Offer him "cash money", that seems to work on the TV shows!
     
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  6. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Too bad. Putting out 2k+ to get a picture of the inside (and come on, how hard is it to back out a couple of screws and pull the chassis?), not to talk you out of it as I am curious. :D

    Mind you, that does not give you electrical measurements of the transformer and choke.
     
  7. creebobby

    creebobby TDPRI Member

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    I guess an untouched Fender Woody is the big leagues, and you gotta pay to play:)

    If the power/volume knob is indeed original, then this amp is a unique example as far as I've found - all other Princeton (aka Student Model) Woodies I've seen in photographs have two inputs but no knob.
     
  8. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Now who is to say someone may not have modded it way back when? Would make it not 100% original. Any pictures of early amps by Fender using the same knob? Might be worth a few bucks off.
     
  9. creebobby

    creebobby TDPRI Member

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    Good news!

    I was able to photograph, measure, and even see inside the chassis on the little woody amp.

    I now have all the information I need to make a repro. cab, and maybe with the help of others figure out the schematic.

    I gave the shop a gift of two 'Fender Electric Instrument Co.' screenprints I made, then explained that I couldn't afford to keep the woody if I bought it but wanted to make a replica cabinet, and asked if I could measure and photograph theirs.
    They were more than friendly and even let me use their repair bench.
    Woody woody woody!
     
  10. andyfromdenver

    andyfromdenver Friend of Leo's

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    Cool!

    Is platypus island in GA?
    I want to order a woody style cab too.
    What's your woodworking hx? And would you consider making two and selling one?
    Feel free to pm or I can you :)

    Edit: also, I could wire one up for you, we could do authentic circuit of the day or put in a 5f1 champ.
     
  11. creebobby

    creebobby TDPRI Member

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    Pictures are up!
    I organized all the photos I took and put up a Flickr set with everything!
    Here it is:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/creebobby/sets/72157635000474608/

    I live in Austin.
    My buddy Robert Ashley lives in Athens, though.

    Building the cabs:

    In terms of tools, I have everything I need (except for a routing table) to make some very DIY repros myself. I don't think I could get them good enough to sell with the equipment (and clumsy skills) I have. To be honest, the original is pretty clunky - the final curves were shaped by hand, and none of them match exactly.

    The other route would be to make detailed blueprints and have a run of one dozen or so cabinets made by someone who does this professionally, selling the extras. There's a guy here in Austin that makes awesome lamps that look like old tube radios with reclaimed and exotic wood. He could certainly make them look like art.
    I guess the question is - would I rather replicate the crudeness of the original, or would I rather have a more refined and well-crafted reproduction?

    Schematics and wiring:

    I would need help figuring out the schematic, and even more help getting it built!
    (I solder when I have to, but I'm not any good at it.)
    Hopefully I took good enough pictures of the chassis so that someone can help figure it out using available princeton / champion 800 schematics to fill in the blanks of the DNA.
    Also, the schematic would need to be altered for a modern magnet speaker since field coils aren't readily available, I don't think.
     
  12. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    Field coils are cheap and readily available on ebay and other places. I would want that as it is going to be part of the original and something unique.
     
  13. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That Model 26....which is known as a 'Princeton' only on an 'informal' basis....is valued a bit above a narrow panel tweed 5F2, which is the most valuable tweed Princeton. Someone is fishing for a hungry fish with some good bait....but it isn't worth what is being asked especially since it doesn't work.
    When an amp doesn't make appropriately loud--even if bad---sounds, one worries about the trannies. When an amp doesn't make any sounds, all bets are off as to how orignal the amp will be by the time one does the repairs.
    A non-original tranny is a big hit on vintage value here with this amp.
    Yes, someone might give that big money and get lucky...or they might give that big money and have a lap steel with a player's grade Md. 26 Woody.
    IF I walk into a shop that has a workbench and they want big money for a dead silent amp, I start backing up quickly. YMMV.....
    As always, caveat emptor.
     
  14. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice job, glad they were so accommodating. Found that ampwares.com now has the schematic of the woody but just a quick look shows me some resistor values that do not match.

    Shame the early Fender Champ did not come with a field coil speaker. Came across a 6 1/2" one. Build the ultimate early R&R practice amp? Use a separate supply for the field coil, crank the amp, and then turn down the voltage to the field coil reducing the output of the speaker to midnight practice levels? Why do I keep thinking of these projects?

    [​IMG]
     
  15. creebobby

    creebobby TDPRI Member

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    Well, one capacitor is leaking and another isn't attached at one end. That might be all the amp needs. Then again, it might not be.
    The shop says since the amp 'hasn't been touched' inside they wanted to leave it to the new owner to decide whether to repair or preserve it as-is. They're willing to repair it for the new owner.
    But as Wally points out, after all repairs needed the amp might not be very original.
    It isn't priced to move quickly, but it serves as some pretty nice mojo for the shop while it lives there.

    Are all three sizes of the Woody called the Model 26?
    I've seen them called:
    Small: No name, student model, or Princeton
    Medium: Model 26, Deluxe
    Large: Pro

    Does anyone have any scans of 46 47 or 48 Fender literature showing or talking about the Woody amps?
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  16. creebobby

    creebobby TDPRI Member

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    Princeton / Champ / Model 26 Schematics

    Here are a few schematics that might be helpful in mapping out this specimen:

    The Woody Princeton schematic that Ampwares provides:

    princetonschematic.jpg

    Also from Ampwares, the 1948 Champion 800:

    champ51cschematic.jpg

    From Leading Tone Seattle, the Deluxe Model 26:

    deluxe26schematic.jpg
     
  17. xMercury69x

    xMercury69x Friend of Leo's

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    Woody? Absolutely!
     
  18. andyfromdenver

    andyfromdenver Friend of Leo's

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    Cool! Yeah I've always wanted the woody cab look, it's so dang classy.
    I personally like the idea of putting a more modern (modern....50's!) circuit in if I were to do one:)
    It seems like the look is most important.
    A 6sj7 champ, from what I've heard is less gain than the 12ax7 champ, but maybe that's desired.
    Lots of guys here can steer you in the right circuit direction, and I'd volunteer to help for fun. Just lemme know.
     
  19. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

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    Cool photo essay of the amp. I can't but wonder if Leo himself built this crude little beast. The cabinet building techniques sure improved a lot once the tweed amps rolled out. Screwed in metal corner brackets? I wonder if Leo had not yet considered finger jointing techniques? Or did he just not have the means to dot it? I suppose Leo was all about lowest cost point at the time. Once he had a portable amp that worked well for Hawaiian guitar, which was hugely popular at the time, and it began to sell, I can only guess he hired some pros who designed a robust cab. Then got some better carpenty tooling and skilled journeymen to pump up the quality and production. Things just kept gettin better and better and more amps sold as a result. Once amps were under control and Leo sorta had a qualified team take care of them, I wonder then if he then had more time to tinker on his next ideas. The Esquire and P-bass!
     
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  20. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    creebobby, I'll admit that I am not the expert in these woodies..... I have one book that calls all 3 Woody amps...the amp in the OP above, the Deluxe and the Pro.... Model 26 amps??? The TEagle and Sprung book refers to these 3 amps as the Princeton---even though there never was a designation by FEnder of this appelation, the Deluxe and the Pro. The Pro and the Deluxe have Model 26 on the chassis as I understand it. THe amp in this thread, which we can call a Princeton since that seems to be a commonly used term for it....does not have any designation on the chassis.......but they are all 3 considered Md. 26...odd, huh?
     
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