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Rivera-era Fender amps club

Discussion in 'Amp Owners Clubs' started by JDaveG, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. Manolian

    Manolian Tele-Meister

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    Rivera was involved in Fender amp design 1981-1985. The tube amps he worked on were the Super Champ, Champ II, Princeton Reverb II, Deluxe Reverb II, Twin Reverb II and the Concert :cool:
     
  2. Mountaintwanger

    Mountaintwanger Tele-Meister

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    Thanks Manolian :cool:

    I did a search in the last couple of months and found out mine was made in early Feb, of 84 and it is stock...I love that its ptp!

    I am looking to change the speaker to something a little tighter. It sounds pretty darn good with the stock speaker but at high volume levels it gets just a tad flubby.
     
  3. Manolian

    Manolian Tele-Meister

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    Which model do you own?
     
  4. Mountaintwanger

    Mountaintwanger Tele-Meister

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    :lol: I guess the model name might help!......I have a Fender Concert.......
     
  5. Manolian

    Manolian Tele-Meister

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    Great one, I used to have one I bought new in 1982,regrettably I sold it a few years ago.:(
     
  6. singlecoil

    singlecoil Tele-Meister

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    I've got a 83 Fender Concert 2x10 and a Champ II. Did the Torres mod to the Concert and put 2 10" Red Fangs in it, making this one of the most versatile amps I've owned. The Champ II is a great little amp that is stock except for the speaker. Installed a Weber 10a125. Had a red fang in it temporarily. The Red Fang made it loud enought for gigs if your drummer is not a banger bonehead. Rivera amps are very good amps and great platforms to taylor your tone with PTP wire and very good transformers, perfect for slight mods.
     
  7. kitschking

    kitschking TDPRI Member

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    Super 60 designer info (not Rivera...)



    I have a Guitar Player mag that has a review of the Super 60 combo and states the designer as Mark Wentling. I managed to track him down on the net and he was kind enough to let me have this info...also there is a Youtube interview with him and he names all the amps he designed during his time at Fender..


    Thank you for your email.

    I’d be happy to answer any questions about the Super 60.

    It followed the Champ 12, and The Twin, all made during my time at Fender from 1985 to mid 1989.

    Paul Rivera left Fender prior to the management buyout from CBS by Bill Schultz and team, which occurred in March of 1985. I’m not sure of Paul’s actual departure date, but it may have occurred in late 1984, as there was an exodus of people when CBS put the company on the block for liquidation.

    I designed the tube amps during this period, including a couple models (early 90s) after I left Fender in the summer of 1989 to become a partner in an export distribution company.

    I came to Fender from Music Man, and all of the amp designs from 85 onward were unique from Paul’s designs that were produced prior to that time. Paul actually worked in Fender marketing, and spent much of his time specifying the product designs, while other design engineers in Fender R&D performed the actual product development work. Regardless, Paul always had a hand in the final signoff, and the tweaking of any products produced during his time.

    I arrived just in time to move everything from Fullerton to Brea. Mostly sorting out the offices, and packing boxes, while doing a little work on the Champ 12 in between. The original concept for the Champ 12 came from Bill Hughes, (creator of the Ampeg SVT), but I had to heavily modify it to reduce parts count and cost. It needed to be a bare bones design. Bill left Fender in 85 to try working at Peavey in Mississippi, but he returned about a year or so later to rejoin me in R&D.

    In the first several months immediately after the buyout from CBS, we had a fair number of CBS built chassis, that were Work-In-Process (WIP) units that came out of the CBS factory just prior to the Fullerton shut-down.

    We purchased cabinets locally in Placentia and people in our Brea warehouse set up a small assembly line where they completed some Concerts, and I believe some Deluxes, and Champs. These were Rivera amps, with black faces and numbered knobs. They were sold in 85, maybe some still left in 86, however the chassis’s were actually built back in 84 before CBS closed the Fullerton factory. These amps were sold through our distribution channels to generate cash flow, but I don’t believe that they were ever actually marketed as our formal product line-up. I’m not sure.

    We also scrapped a lot of WIP electronics because we did not have the space to hold all of it. Various amplifier chassis, ARP Chroma Synthesizers, Rhoads Piano parts, etc.

    Paul is a good friend of mine. He actually spent time tutoring me on amp design when I first arrived at Music Man from MXR Innovations back in 1979. However, he had no involvement with any amplifier designs from at least late 1984 onward.

    The red knobs were also the result of a cost cutting effort. The molded knobs were made in Garden Grove and cost about a nickel each ($0.05). The traditional black numbered knobs were about $0.40 each. This could multiply out to a good cost savings on the bigger amps. We were tasked by marketing with coming up with a unique cosmetic look that would differentiate the new Fender amps from the old Fender amps. In part due to the pervasive quality issues of the CBS made stuff.

    No one, and I mean no one could agree on the new look. We built up many prototypes, and eventually ran out of time. Finally the word came down to engineering from marketing that we would use the Fender corporate colors of that time which could be found on the business cards and stationary. Red, Grey, and Black. The knobs naturally ended up being red, and we used grey grill cloth. The first protos were airbrushed in red guitar lacquer and looked pretty good, but the production knobs could never match the painted look, and we finally had to move on.

    I hope that his information is helpful.

    I forgot to mention that the Super 60 itself was a very cost conscious
    product.

    We were under great pressure to build a tube amp for minimal cost, as one of
    our leading competitors was Peavey, and Peavey had a very vertical factory.
    Fender only had the SUNN factory which relied on outside vendors for most
    component parts, so our costs were higher right from the start. (An
    identical amplifier could be made and sold for less from Peavey.)

    So the Super 60 could only have the five tubes which was pretty much the
    minimum for a 60 Watt amp with switch-able overdrive. Three of the tubes
    were for the power amp, leaving only two 12AX7s for the preamp with
    switch-able overdrive.

    It was difficult to get consistent performance out of so few parts. So there
    is some variation from unit to unit, and there are also a couple of parts
    that are hand selected at the time of manufacture to compensate for
    tolerances in the VACTROLS, potentiometers, and to a lesser extent the
    tubes. (Not the most ideal engineering design, but a compromise to get by on
    the price.)

    So some Super 60s will work better than others.

    There was also a rack mounting head version of the same amp with a fan and
    and LED level readout, but no speaker.

    The Super 60 speaker was the same as the one used in the Twin of that time.
    It was our design developed together with Eminence. We only had two 12 inch speakers then, the heavy duty (used in the Twin etc.) and a light duty (used in the Champ 12), both from Eminence.

    Best regards, Mark


    Hope this info helps you people!!!
    Cheers!
    Glenn
     
  8. Manolian

    Manolian Tele-Meister

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  9. kitschking

    kitschking TDPRI Member

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  10. Ed Storer

    Ed Storer Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I purchased a 1986 Concert II 2 x10 about 4 years ago. Played it for a while - sounded great, but then I got a tax refund and popped for a 69 Super Reverb. Then I realized that I was getting old and my back was getting weaker and 60-pound amps were just no fun on the stairs.

    I now have a 65 DRRI and two handbuilt single 12 amps running 6V6's AB - loud enough for my needs and loaded with neodymium magnet speakers, they're all nice one-handers at 36 pounds or less.

    The Concert was recently repaired with a new power tranny and Varitrol, so the Drive Channel works properly. I purchased a Pharoah amps footswitch and stereo TRS cable. The tubes are TAD 6L6 GTR's with low hours. There's a cover - black with white Fender script.

    I'm presently using the amp at practice only, just to keep the caps in shape.

    Anybody care to make an offer? It really is a great amp - just more than I need.

    PM me if you're interested. Thanks.
     
  11. AjayTele

    AjayTele Tele-Afflicted

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    After some fairly pathetic and abortive attempts to join this exclusive club, i believe that I am now a genuine member. May I present the Twin Reverb II Head...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I understand that these are not very common. ;)
     
  12. jefcon1

    jefcon1 Tele-Meister

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    Nice! As an owner of a combo Twin Reverb II with 2 JBL E120s I can say I have been tempted on many occasions to take a saw to mine and make it into a head and cabinet. :lol: That is one heavy sucker.
     
  13. AjayTele

    AjayTele Tele-Afflicted

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    That would sure be the truth, the head is a heavy sucker all by itself! :eek:
     
  14. freqdaddy

    freqdaddy TDPRI Member

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    Fender Princeton II for sale

    Hi all, not to be too spammy... but I am just in the process of moving and downsizing little. I have a Princeton Reverb II in good condition, all original with the exception of the bias knob and baising point upgrades.
    I find it to be an excellent recording and gigging amp on par with a Deluxe Reverb. Beautiful PtP wiring and solid wood construction. Feel free to contact me with any decent offers. Solid references available and please PM me for pics, telecon or anything else you might want. I am in Canada .
    Thanks,
    Brian
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2010
  15. strum444

    strum444 NEW MEMBER!

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    Are You Selling this amp???
     
  16. strum444

    strum444 NEW MEMBER!

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    Are You selling this Amp????
     
  17. jefcon1

    jefcon1 Tele-Meister

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    The latest glam-shots of my TRII with JBLs installed:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. meyekel

    meyekel Tele-Holic

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    :eek: Holy crap! Now that's a beast! I bet it sounds great and will take all comers with a small pedalboard.
     
  19. jefcon1

    jefcon1 Tele-Meister

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    A beast, it is. When I was 22, I didn't even know it was heavy, or loud. I used to lug it up a flight of steps like a suitcase and in and out of a VW Rabbit on the weekends. At 44, my last gig cost me 8 weeks of physical therapy. I thought about selling it, but I'm exercising and staying in shape instead.

    And, yes, it loves pedals!
     
  20. JeffVincent

    JeffVincent NEW MEMBER!

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    Proud owner of Twin II head

    Cool site. Got mine new in '85. I had ordered one in early '85 from a music store, put down a deposit, $750 total when it got it. Waited a month and no amp; the store said they were back-ordered ( this was when Fender was being sold). Waited another month, the store called the factory and They were told that it wasn't even built yet. While I was waiting, I came across 2 heads, brand new at another music store; they had been sitting there for over a year. Nobody wanted them. Best part, they wanted $350 for the head. Needless to say, I got my deposit back from store 1 (which just happened to be $350) and snatched it up. Had it since. Love it, although I would like to tweak it. I have been offered twice what I paid for it in recent years, but I would pay 2-3 times more to replace it with a new hand wired all tube amp. Any mods, tube swaps, etc. you have will be greatly appreciated, especially any that can make it sound more "Marshall-y ". ( and don't tell me to go buy a Marshall )
    Thanx
    JeffVincent
     
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