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74 Princeton Reverb Value check?...(NAD!!)

jrsmiles

Member
Messages
627
I have a chance to pick up a 74 SFPR in good cosmetic condition. Tolex looks great, there is some rust on the straps, original speaker. Guy has owned it for 10-12 years, says he's just replaced tubes and the power cord. Says his tech told him it needed a cap job. Not sure if the death cap has been addressed or if it was blackfaced or not. I'm not a PR expert so I don't know what blackfacing entails on these models.

He's asking $650, what do y'all think about that price?
 
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Messages
1,657
$650 is a solid deal. There was a mid-70's Princeton Reverb near me several months ago for exactly $650. I would've bought it if I had fun-money at the time.

If a 3-prong cord has been added, then don't sweat the death cap.

Does he have the old tubes to kick into the deal?

Hit him with $550. If he's firm at $650, I'd still get it.
 

weshunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,375
$650 is a solid deal. There was a mid-70's Princeton Reverb near me several months ago for exactly $650. I would've bought it if I had fun-money at the time.

If a 3-prong cord has been added, then don't sweat the death cap.

Does he have the old tubes to kick into the deal?

Hit him with $550. If he's firm at $650, I'd still get it.
i agree with this 100%
 

Silent Sound

Member
Messages
5,587
Don't worry about blackfacing. That's for the bigger amps. These small amps changed very little. There's as much variation from individual Princeton to Princeton of the same year than you will hear between specific model years. Others will disagree I'm sure, but I've never heard a Princeton in decent shape that I didn't like.

Don't worry about the death cap. It was probably addressed when the 3 prong cord was added. If it wasn't, no biggie. Even if they fail, they should still be safe. The odds of one failing in just the right way as to cause an issue is extremely rare. Even then, it shouldn't kill you. Just might make your hands buzz. It's true, someone has died from an incident like that before, but people have also died from asteroids falling from the sky, so just play the odds. You're car is far more dangerous.

A cap job might be costly. If you're going to gig with it, then it would be a good idea. But if it's just a bedroom player, you can wait until a cap goes bad if you like. That could be a week from now, or it could be in forty years. Who knows. It's a good idea to recap it, but I wouldn't let that stop you from buying the amp.

Play it. If you love it, buy it. If you don't, don't. It's a very desirable amp for a reason. Worst case scenario, you don't like it, and you flip it for around what you paid for it. Maybe even make a little profit!
 

jrsmiles

Member
Messages
627
I got it for $600. Turns out the cord was replaced with another 2 prong lol. But overall the amp is in great shape and looks really nice and clean. The reverb works great, trem sounds good and strong, all the pots sound good, but it breaks up super quick. That's why his tech recommended a cap job. I'm thinking that could also possibly be a tube, but the guy said they ran all the tubes through a tester and they were all good.

I'll experiment a little and swap some stuff in I have lying around, if it doesn't clear up I'll take it to a tech buddy and get him to get it straight. I'll be using this for smaller gigs so I want it up and running 100%.

 

zenas

Member
Messages
8,872
If that amp came with a 2 prong cord I'm thinking it's a little older than 74. Is he speaker baffle screwed or glued in?

At any rate sounds like a good deal. Get some new E-caps in there.
 

Cornholio

Member
Messages
1,621
Congrats! I got one just like it last week. I paid $150 more than you did. You got a great deal. My had a partial recap and had already been converted to 3 prong.

The death cap was still in mine, but I am not too worried about it right now.
 

BrenReg

Member
Messages
196
Congrats on the new amp, and you got a good deal on it. I payed $750 a few months ago for a serviced '76, and I feel I got a good deal.

I agree with the poster above who said don't worry about Blackfacing the amp, becasue there were not really any circuit changes made, other than the rectifier tube.

Mine breaks up right around 5, but it does clean up well on higher volumes with your guitar volume. I have the original speaker in mine, but I think I might try to swap it out to try to get some more headroom.
 
Messages
1,657
Yeah, if the amp is breaking up early, I'd look towards tubes or speaker for the cure. If a capacitor is bad, then it's bad at any volume. In my experience, a bad cap may become more noticeable at louder volumes, as are most circuitry nuances, but it shouldn't contribute to break-up because a bad cap will have a snap, crackle, and pop all of its own.

Congrats on the score, though! Well worth $600 in good cosmetic shape and original guts!

EDIT: On a personal note, I remember my 1969 Champ had a bad 6V6 in it. I popped in a fresh one and it gave me a couple more ticks of headroom on the volume knob. Additionally, silverface-era speakers are notoriously bad, Fender offered some rare upgraded ones but heavily compromised their "standard issue" brand speakers, which is a big part of the somewhat poor silverface reputation. I had to replace the Oxford in my Champ, and your stock speaker may be on its way out, too. If you have another speaker you can test with this amp, give it a try.
 
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jrsmiles

Member
Messages
627
It's funny that the amp has a two prong cord added, but there is a 3 prong courtesy outlet on the back panel? Maybe the owner lived in an old house and had a two prong installed for convenience? I'll be switching to three prong when I get it serviced.











 

Cornholio

Member
Messages
1,621
I plan on putting a Ramrod or WGS speaker in mine. Those should have more headroom and get the sound of a 12" without modifying the baffle.

I don't get breakup until around 7.5, but I don't have a 7025 in the preamp and some of the caps have been replaced with Spragues.

For the price you paid, I would drop a franklin or two into it - and you would be still ahead as far as value is concerned.
 

zenas

Member
Messages
8,872
I think your right about the two prong cord unless it was built the day the three prong courtesy plugs showed up and the day before the 3 prong cords arrived. (with Fender it could have been)

Get those white 25v-25uf caps changed. If you or your tech wants to test them the best way is to listen to the sound thay make when thay hit the garbage can. (any sound means they're shot) (use an empty tin can just to be sure)

Speaker wise I have an early 65 PR that has a CTS 10" alnico like you'd find in a Super Reverb. It didn't come in the amp but for now it's staying it sounds good to me anyway.
 

skhan007

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,897
What's the 'death cap' ? Is that a filter cap that is known to go faulty on these models?
 

zenas

Member
Messages
8,872
Death cap goes from the ac switch to ground. If it shorts and if the two pong cord is pluged in the right (wrong) way it puts 110ac volts on the chassis. In turn the hot chassis ground goes through the guitar cord through the outside shield and onto your guitar and on some to your strings.

No big deal untill you touch a ground like a mike with your lips.

Now if you really want to have fun plug the mike into another amp or PA with the same problem then plug that into an AC outlet that runs off the other 120 leg in the fuse box. Now when your lips hit the mike you have 220 volts and maybe die.
 

Dawg76

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,430
Great score. Congrats.

I have an SFPR I bought new in 1976. I would get this to an amp tech sooner than later and get the filter cap changed out if its original. A bad cap can may take out other components with it if/when it blows. A filter cap greater than 10-20 years old should be replaced as preventative maintenance. CE Manufacturing make a quality replacement. My SFPR ran trouble free for a VERY long time; had reverb issues easily fixed by changing out the reverb tube:
https://www.kcanostubes.com/content/nos-mullard-cv4024-12at7
 
Messages
1,657
Get those white 25v-25uf caps changed. If you or your tech wants to test them the best way is to listen to the sound thay make when thay hit the garbage can. (any sound means they're shot) (use an empty tin can just to be sure)
+1

Those little white caps are the worst of the bunch.

Looks like you have a Mullard and an RCA in the preamp section... very nice. I'd have the tech test those (and the others). And remember: tell him you want any bad tubes back before he takes possession of the amp. There are many unwholesome techs out there who will snatching good vintage tubes, replace them with new (or used!) modern junk, and then charge you for them as if he's providing a good service... so, just watch out for that.
 

zenas

Member
Messages
8,872
+1

Those little white caps are the worst of the bunch.

Looks like you have a Mullard and an RCA in the preamp section... very nice. I'd have the tech test those (and the others). And remember: tell him you want any bad tubes back before he takes possession of the amp. There are many unwholesome techs out there who will snatching good vintage tubes, replace them with new (or used!) modern junk, and then charge you for them as if he's providing a good service... so, just watch out for that.
I would add get every part back from the tech ! Seems like alot of blackface amps with all the blue tone caps changed these days and those almost never go bad.
 






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