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Would You Buy a '66 PR w/ Changed Transformers?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by MXLBRY, Mar 6, 2020.

  1. MXLBRY

    MXLBRY Tele-Meister

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    Found one locally, but the output and power transformer have been replaced with what I believe to be Mercury Magnetics transformers. Amp sounds great, just don't want to lose money on it or get screwed on it.

    I'm a player, not looking for a museum piece. If anyone has another lead on a good Princeton Reverb, let me know too. Thanks!
     
  2. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    if the price is right
     
  3. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Those replacement transformers are very good, aren't they? I've heard good things about them. I don't see how this could be a negative.
     
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  4. MXLBRY

    MXLBRY Tele-Meister

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    Price is at $2200. I don't see the prices on Princetons coming down anytime soon, could be wrong.
     
  5. MXLBRY

    MXLBRY Tele-Meister

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    I guess I just don't want to be stuck with this amp in case it doesn't work out for me. That's my main question about changed transformers.
     
  6. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Too much. That'd slightly less than mint original price. Plus there's undoubtedly other changes.
     
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  7. MXLBRY

    MXLBRY Tele-Meister

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    I'm also buying it from the flagship vintage store here in town, not worried about other mods. Looks like the current market for blackface PR's is almost near $3k now according to Reverb and eBay.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
  8. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    Not for $2200.
     
  9. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    At first I would have suggested a pass, but then you wrote that they were mercury transformers.....I wouldn't even consider that a negative now. I have those transformers in my Fralin VVT and they are outstanding, every bit as good as original and likely better.

    Does it hurt the Princeton's value? As a collectible, it does, but as a player it doesn't detract one damn bit in my view.
     
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  10. 39martind18

    39martind18 Friend of Leo's

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    What Milspec said!
     
  11. Wobbles

    Wobbles Tele-Meister

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    Do the old, removed transformers come with it? It is possible to have them repaired. That would be much better.
     
  12. tubedood

    tubedood Tele-Holic

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    I remember living in the mid 1990's as a 20 something year old in Connecticut and seeing a Blackface 1965-66ish Princeton Reverb being sold at a popular place named Daddy's Junky Music. Cool store to me back then!
    They were asking $199.00, due to it not working. I was just learning how to service a tube amplifier in those years and I was sure I could get it up and running.

    Buuuut like always I didn't have that kinda money at the time. I always regret not picking it up.
    Now I feel if something sparks your interest, and you have the means to get it... Get It.
    That price is kinda steep, but Mercury transformers are regarded as being pretty darn good.
    Life is too short to not take a chance on things that we are liking. But do look around and see what other similar deals you can find. Do get what puts a smile on your face.
     
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  13. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    He’s in Nashville. So the price is not unusual. Everything sells at an absolute premium in that town.

    As far as whether I’d buy something modded or repaired, that’s probably the only way I’d buy it. I’m a player, I have no interest in collecting. If I’m going to buy vintage (not likely) I’d prefer it be more affordable, and already screwed up. Cause I’m gonna beat the piss out of it anyhow. I’m not hard on my gear, and I don’t mistreat it, but I need it for work and I certainly don’t baby it. A guitar or an amp is tool. Just a tool.

    As long as price reflects condition, and it was what I wanted, I’d be fine with it.
     
  14. MXLBRY

    MXLBRY Tele-Meister

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    I'm a player as well, so that's the most important thing on my mind (a tool)!
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2020
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  15. ocduff

    ocduff Tele-Meister

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    It’s hard to advise you on how to spend your $$$.

    In this case, if you want a player, you could buy a used reissue or a used clone and not lose a cent I’d you decide to sell.

    Here the price seems retail and there’s $200 worth of transformer there and, if you ask me, -$900 deduction in value for BOTH transformers being non-original.

    That’s no big deal - these amps are old. Nothing wrong with changed parts. And it may sound KILLER. But that is subjective - and regardless you have to deduct the value of the non-original parts.

    There is some exponential equation in vintage amp world where it gets to be diminishing returns. I’ve seen $5000 Bassmans where NOTHING is original besides the actual chassis. If you get real, the value of such an amp is the value of the chassis ($800) and the used value of the rest of the parts ($800).

    My math may be off but you get the idea. When buying vintage amps originality is the value of them, regardless of whether you care about that. The guy you sell it to will care.
     
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  16. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    The other part of the equation is what else can you buy for $2200?

    Or said another way: How much extra are you willing to pay just to have that BF Princeton Reverb?

    I don't have any answers for those questions, but you might want to think about it. There are other boutique amps out there, built by hand, no PCB board that might sound just as good to you, and you wouldn't be worrying over replacement parts, etc. Trouble with that approach is that only time will tell if those values hold.

    Also, I have no idea how old you are or how long you think you might hang on to any particular piece of equipment. I buy to hold on to, not to flip, so yeah, I'm careful on the front end, but if I've owned something for 20 years and used it well, I'm not quite as concerned about resale. You may have your own approach and thats just as it should be.
     
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  17. Strum und Twang

    Strum und Twang Tele-Meister

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    This amp sounds like mine - a 66 with Mercury Magnetic transformers. I absolutely love mine and gig with it exclusively. But... I paid considerably less (a few years ago, granted) as so much was no longer stock, and I could purchase it as a player’s amp without fear of losing money.
     
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  18. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

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    If it were me, I would keep looking. Since you say you are a player, maybe you don't need to cough up the extra coin for a BF PR. SF PRs sound pretty darn good too. $2200 for a vintage PR with non-vintage transformers (even if they are excellent replacements) seems like a lot of money.

    With that said, I don't know what BF PRs ACTUALLY sell for. I got my SF PR (drip edge, black line, blue molded caps, etc...) for about $1000 USD, but I got a deal, and that was a couple of years ago.
     
  19. Chipss36

    Chipss36 Tele-Meister

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    Nope!!! way to much for a pr with changed transformers, and if they have been changed what else has?
    Many techs replace the Original blue molded caps, and then sell them $20 a pop, look on eBay right now, many exist...sad but true.
    Power supply caps are one thing but transformers and coupling cap replacement happens because people
    Make money doing so, more often than not.
    I have a Sencore capacitor analyzer, out of 100’s of blue molded caps I have only ever found one with a slight esr issue, but still had zero leakage at rated voltage....
    This amp has been hacked, it’s simply not worth 2k! Keep looking.
     
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  20. Lamar Fandango

    Lamar Fandango TDPRI Member

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    The original transformers are the heart and soul of the amp. I tried different OTs on my '69 PR, and they all sounded different. They weren't bad at all, but with updated trannies it's no longer worth the ultra premium vintage price. If you're going to run newer trannies, you might be better off buying a newer hand-built clone.
     
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