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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Received this guy this morning. It was posted as a '73. By the codes, I think it's actually a '76.

Condition is excellent and the sound is great - trem on this is so much better than the DR. It has the stock Fender speaker so it farts out driving with the amps own drive, but the cleans with a hint of reverb are beautiful.

Will it last - I'll know during practice tomorrow night if it's not enough power.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yup. It looks like the power transformer was replaced at some point, but it is in crazy condition. Sounds pretty sweet too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I got some time in on it last night and this morning. Thus far:

This amp has one of the nicest cleans I've ever played - it has surprising bass response for such a small amp and a 10" speaker. The highs are clear and crisp. Plugging into the low input, it holds together up until 6 without breaking up, but sits on that fine edge where harder attack brings some hair out. The high input starts breaking up around 4.5, and it has noticeably pronounced highs and upper mids. For fun, I tried plugging in the EV SRO 12 I have to see how it would sound - it proved to be way too much speaker for this amp to move, and lost all dynamics and sweetness, becoming bassy and dull...it was a wet blanket.

The on-board effects are Fender - Vintage Fender - great! With one caveat...reverb issue. The gentleman I bough this amp from had some inaccuracies in his ad, as I stated earlier. First, he claimed it was a 1973, but by the codes on the OT and choke, it looks to be a '76. It's non-push/pull, so it's still pretty much the BF circuit, but a little younger than I hoped (in a silly way, I was hoping it would turn out being a '74 - my birth year). I can't go by the code of the PT because it was swapped out at some point for a Fender replacement. The reverb is the other snag - the seller told me it had been sent to a tech to be repaired, as it was making some noise (almost like a 60 cycle hum when you engage it), and that it had been taken care of. Well, it wasn't, because the hum is still there when you engage it. It doesn't increase when you change volume or input - just a static level electrical hum, but enough to pick up in recording, so it will have to be addressed. The trem can receive whatever adjectives you want to throw at it - magical, beautiful, futtering...just the sweetest example of that effect I've ever played. The reverb sounds great as well - it can do the splashy surf thing, but I love it set a hair above 3 to add a little trail and dimension...that's also where it enhances but doesn't get in the way of the trem, which I tend to like at speed 5, intensity 7.

Pedals - yes please! My love affair with the Rockbox Boiling point was coming to an abrupt end - I blame it mostly on the detented gain level pot, which makes it rough to fine tune the gain level you want. While it was a beast with the Dr Z's I've owned, it always seemed to sit somewhere between where I wanted it in a Fender, but never "there". Perhaps it's due to the increased bass and lower mids of the PR over the DR I've been using, but the Boiling Point seems to be a much more suitable od for it. While I've always played it in the up/mid position, the most fun with the Princeton seems to be up/down (bass boosted/symmetrical). This setting lets me get my Charlie Starr wannabee on without cracking windows, pissing off neighbors, and incurring the wrath of the minister of finance and leisure (wife). The other beauty - I can get great drive tones with the BP at pretty much unity with the cleans, setting up a very usable second channel. Ad some comp and slapback, and you can pick chickens to your hearts content...it even sounds good with the TC Flashback, which is probably my least favorite delay for electrics (I typically use that with my acoustic).

Weakness - there has to be some bad with the good, unfortunately. The speaker is the stock Oxfart...a truly deserved nickname. Running the amp up where I want to so that I can play the amp is fairly impossible - the speaker farts out at 7 or higher. Some people like that sound and consider a part of the signature tone of this amp. More power to them - I hate it. Increasing that frustration - my main draw to this type of amp is to able to run the volume wide open and use my guitar knobs and attack to control the drive. That's not gonna happen right now - you get up on the main thinking Crossroads, and get Blazing Saddles instead. I see a speaker change forthcoming.

Due to a desperate need for maintenance, the borrowed DR I've been playing has nil for headroom...the PR beats it right now, even with the Oxfart vs. the boat anchor EV that's in the DR. I recall gigging the Gries 12 I had...and sold :-(...and IIRC, it was fine mic'd up with the band, so this PR should be good to go. I have a practice tonight with my 5-piece cover band, which will serve as a great test of whether or not it'll meet my needs. I hope it does - it's a joy to carry, it sounds amazing, and it definitely has some vintage mojo going...and despite my love of boutique amps, I seem to have a severe case of VFA - Vintage Fender Addiction...watching too much Marty Stuart and Kenny Vaughan doesn't help ;-). If it makes the cut, it'll also be receiving some attention. Apart from the reverb that will be getting fixed regardless, I will be removing the chassis, lovingly storing away the stock cab and Oxfart, and having Mr. Derrick Bell build a slightly over-sized 112 cab for it. I'll also slap an Allen OT20 in there, and spring for some NOS glass.

If it survives the evening, it's gonna be a fun project. ;-)
 

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The reverb hum may be a ground problem. I would check (ring out with an ohm meter) the ground connections on the entire reverb path, from tank case to tank-side connectors to reverb wires to chassis connectors, and possibly inside the chassis if nothing else seems off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It was a cold solder on the reverb pot, Lex. I fixed it, and it sounds amazing.
 
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Received this guy this morning. It was posted as a '73. By the codes, I think it's actually a '76.

Condition is excellent and the sound is great - trem on this is so much better than the DR. It has the stock Fender speaker so it farts out driving with the amps own drive, but the cleans with a hint of reverb are beautiful.

Will it last - I'll know during practice tomorrow night if it's not enough power.

I'm confused, that's not a Dr Z? ;)
 

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If you decide to stay with the 10" speaker, I highly recommend the Eminence Allesandro GA10-SC64. I installed one in my '82 Princeton and have been really happy with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nice. I tried one in a Wooly Coat - great sound.
 
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