Fender Princeton Reverb 1970 vs 1980

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by stefanhotrod, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    Can somebody tell me the differences between a 1970s Princeton Reverb circuit and a 1980s Princeton Reverb circuit (besides the push pull option)? Not talking about the later Rivera versions!

    3123D265-E6CD-4BC6-A31D-13DDFF13783D.jpeg
     
  2. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    There's nothing for this specific version on the Ampwares Princeton page.

    I ain't a Princeton expert (just ask anyone :D), but IIRC the 1980-1981 was a 78-79 SF pull-boost circuit and BF cosmetics.

    Our friends at Schematic Heaven have a 78-79 pull-boost schematic here but it doesnt specifiy the circuit.

    Here's Fender's owner's manual for the SF pull-boost. It's, uh..., brief.

    I'm sure someone with more knowledge will contribute, here.
     
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  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I've never seen a pre Rivera BF Princeton Reverb but I owned a Rivera PR II.
    Even the Rivera had the same basic transformers but lacked the tube rectifier.
    If you're thinking of buying it but wondering if it is too different, I'd go for it if it has the tube rectifier.
    Should be simple enough to make it correct if there are some circuit differences.
    Likely needs a service anyhow and you maybe have fewer of these used in Germany.
     
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  4. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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  5. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

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    I have read there are some differences in cabinet material from the early 70's to the late 70's (pine vs MDF) but that is a bit of hearsay right now, as I haven't personally inspected ones from both eras. Other than that (and the obvious pull-boost) the differences should be minor, based on components used.
     
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  6. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Holic

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    I just did a quick comparison, and apart from the pull boost, the only (minor) thing I could see was a thermal protector after the fuse on the later version. Also the dropping resistor between the 2nd and 3rd filter cap is 4.7k on the later version, as opposed to 18k, assuming the drawing is correct.
     
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  7. hdvades

    hdvades Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Never seen one like that.
     
  8. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    Thanks gentlemen!
    Another question:

    9EAD1D85-0808-4CE7-AEDB-44EFD08BB81D.jpeg
    The marked cap is the so called „death cap“, right? Can I simply snip it off to get rid of the unnecessary ground switch?Sorry, but I‘m a caveman when it comes to electronics and I don‘t wanna risk a shock until a european transformator is screwed in ...
     
  9. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Meister

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    Yes indeed, as you're in Europe like me. :)

    Moreover, like me too, you can transform it in an interesting SBY switch ! ;)

    Mine is a late 70s one with "pull for boost" knob and boost pedal facility - it was US an I converted it to Europe standards + some personal mods :

    [​IMG]

    -tbln
     
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  10. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    The only difference on an early Silverface was the change from GZ34 to 5U4 rectifier and a different part number power transformer.

    My 78 had blue Astron moulded caps and white Mallory electro bypass caps and cap can.

    It sounded great, especially with CTS alnico speaker. The cabinet was identical to an earlier one in dimensions but had the glued in baffle.
     
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  11. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

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    A 1970 has a floating speaker baffle vs the dadoed in speaker baffle from 1980. For me this is one of the biggest changes in Fender amps in their march towards sonic mediocrity. The cheapening of the cabinetry rarely gets mentioned in the overall decline of Fender amps from 1967 to 1973. The floating baffle generally has tighter low end response. It's also nice to be able to replace the particle board/MDF baffle with one made with void free Baltic Birch plywood. That is one big sonic upgrade that one can't do on an 80 Princeton Reverb unless you replace the whole cabinet.

    These were made right before the Paul Rivera era. Fender went back to blackface inspired control panels for maybe a year or so from late 80 into 81. Here are some other photos.

    81 Deluxe
    81_Del.jpg

    81 Vibrolux:
    81_Vibro.jpg

    81 Pro Reverb:
    81_Pro.jpg

    81 Twin Reverb
    81_Twin.jpg
     
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