Fender Rivera era amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Tone Loco, Jun 30, 2005.


  1. Tone Loco

    Tone Loco Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,929
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    Which Fender amps was he involved with?

    Is there someplace on the web that goes into this level of detail? Other than here...

    For some reason I thought the Prosonic was a "Rivera" but I just learned otherwise. Thanks for the education guys :D
     
  2. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

    Messages:
    2,134
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Super champ and the concert for sure but ZI think he did one of the twins too. I think the red knobed one.

    The super shamps are killer little monsters.
     
  3. Unburst

    Unburst Member

    Messages:
    4,221
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Princeton II and Concert are two he was involved I believe.
     
  4. just ken

    just ken Member

    Messages:
    272
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Location:
    Alaska
    There's a fellow that hangs out at the Fender Discussion Page (Stratopastor) who has assembled an excellent web site dedicated the Princeton Reverb II. But the page has links to articles that discuss the whole range of the Rivera era Fenders:
    http://www.geocities.com/princerev2/

    Enjoy it in good health!

    Ken.
     
  5. Slick51

    Slick51 Colonel Curmudgeon

    Messages:
    503
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    Location:
    Northwest Corner of NC, 5 mi from MerleFest
    The magazine article that describes the who and what.

    The gist of the article is that Rivera was the impetus behind the changes, and some other talented guys designed the specific amps. However, the article also says that Paul 'showed up with a 5 year plan, including schematics and panel drawings' so there was a lot of 'cross-pollenization' LOL!

    HTH
    Slick51

    BTW, I still own the PRII I bought new in '84. Added Mullards, a JBL D120F and mixed to taste. That one is a definite keeper!
     
  6. ducmike

    ducmike Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,662
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Van Alstyne, TX
    www.superchamp.dk . Lots of info. I sold my Superchamp last month and I already regret it.
     
  7. Tone Loco

    Tone Loco Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,929
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    What I got from it was any tube amp with a II after it's name - plus the Concert - was done during his tenure ;) But like you say he wasn't doing the actual designs.

    For that matter maybe Rivera Amplifiers works the same way. Sounds like he has a good business head as well as knowing the technical side - kind of a big picture guy.

    Anyhow thanks, I'll keep my eyes peeled for "II". Sounds like the clean will be the typical Fender and it'll be interesting to hear the OD.
     
  8. tralfax19645

    tralfax19645 Member

    Messages:
    581
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Hi,
    I owned the twin 2(3 different ones)and the concert 2. For the time they were pretty cool. You do get your classic fender on clean on the clean channel, the drive channel sounded good for what it did. Like on a lot of BF fender style high gain amps I have tried, the bass control is almost useless on the drive channel. Mud control would be a better description. I found that running a good EQ through the loop really made a huge difference in the tone.
    For what I have seen them going for they are a steal.
    I am still looking for the tube preamp fended did at the same time.
    I would like to score one if anyone knows of one.
    Dan Torres had a good mod to fatten up the overdive channel as well. Dont know if he still offers it.
    Rob
     
  9. stratopastor

    stratopastor Member

    Messages:
    129
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    NorthEast England
    Tone Loco, these amps are creatures of their time (ie early 80s). I'm not very experienced in listening to other Fender amps but the general opinion _seems_ to be that (a) clean, these DON'T make the classic Fender sound, but they're close and could easily be Blackfaced (b) the distortion effect is Fender trying to compete with Mesa. Like it or hate it, think any AOR act appearing in the Last Days of Vinyl with big hair and jacket sleeves pushed up to the elbows, there's the sound. I don't like it.

    Fortunately these amps feature traditional Fender manufacture, so they're built like tanks, reliable, maintainable, and lend themselves easily to gain/tone mods. Turn them up loud enough and the output valves distort in the classic manner (as opposed to the 'lead' effect which is nasty buzzy preamp distortion, YMMV). Add a speaker with more character (the originals were a bit of a personality-free zone) and there's an amp well worth keeping. The Concert has a reputation for being hard to find 'your' sound - patience is needed as you tweak the knobs. All the others are plug-and-play.

    Hot tip - I just realised this recently - if you can find a Bassman 20 with serial number beginning "F2" this is really a Champ II with a 15" speaker. The Champ II is a small but perfectly formed 18W killer - no-one ever sells these - I would guess a Bassman 20 would be fantastic for guitar, with or without a few basic component changes.

    Paul Rivera had nothing to do with the Red Knob range which followed on, by the way.

    all the best

    SP
     
  10. Slick51

    Slick51 Colonel Curmudgeon

    Messages:
    503
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    Location:
    Northwest Corner of NC, 5 mi from MerleFest
    SP

    Nice to see you here!

    Slick51 (Contributor to your wonderful site on the PRII (the bias mod artwork; Ben H.)

    :dude
     
  11. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

    Messages:
    2,134
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    I am corrected. Sorry, I thought he did the red knobs.

    I still think the Super Champ is a killer little monster of an amp. I found about three of them for sale at Freedom in San Diego once but they wanted big $'s and new what they had. I could have bought one in the 80's for cheap and now they go for like $600 in bad shape.
     
  12. stratopastor

    stratopastor Member

    Messages:
    129
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    NorthEast England
    Ben, nice to see you too...
    Ken, thanks for the recommendation!

    off-topic a little - any other single-Fender-amp sites out there? I only know of the Super Champ one, and the excellent

    http://studentweb.eku.edu/justin_holton/

    which is all about the Hot Rod Deluxe, though there's plenty of general amp interest there too.

    When I started the PRII site in 2002 I expected most amps would already have their own site.... duh...
     
  13. tralfax19645

    tralfax19645 Member

    Messages:
    581
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Hi,
    I should have said the clean side comes close to the classic fender sound. I cannot give a % of how close it sounds without specifying which model I was comparing it to,then buying lots of expensive vintage amps,and doing hours of listening tests.
    What I meant in my previous post is you will get in the ballpark of what I would reasonably consider clean fender tone. After all, it IS a fender with a clean channel, isnt it?
    Rob
     
  14. bluesman69

    bluesman69 Member

    Messages:
    346
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    If you like the Super Champ check out the Clubster 25!! I did!!!
    [​IMG]
     
  15. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

    Messages:
    4,831
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2004
    Location:
    Magdalena, NM, US
    I've owned both a Super Champ and a Deluxe Reverb II. They both have excellant clean channels. You can cop a classic Fender clean pretty easily. I'd say the Super Champ had a nicer clean sound. I once read that the SC is really pretty close to a Princeton Reverb (not a PR II) in circuitry, that would explain the great clean channel.

    OD on the SC stunk, IMO. Very buzzy sounding to me. I much preferred the clean goosed by a good pedal.

    The DR II was reversed. The clean was OK, but not as spectacular as the SC's. The OD was much more usable on the DR II. In fact, I ran that amp through the OD channel all the time. Keep the Gain low, the MV high and control the overall volume with the channel Vol control and it yeilded a great hotrodded Fender sound. Still Fender in nature, but with grit and hair sprouting all over as you turned it up more. Sounds best loud!
     
  16. deeval

    deeval Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,927
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    palmdale
    I have owned two concert 2 amps and still have one with the EV speaker and it is a great outdoor giiging amp,The other with a celestain was just as good as any fender amp you could ask for,great overdrive tone with a boost pedal,i didnt use the OD channel that much but it was workable,
    Theses amps are great clean and do the fender BF great on my amps,
    The concerts from what I understand was desgined by the fellow that was the Ampeg desginer for Ampeg,and was on Riveras Team.
    They where sold up till 1987.
     
  17. stratopastor

    stratopastor Member

    Messages:
    129
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    NorthEast England
    Tralfax - I apologise if you thought I was criticising your post! I have never stood a 'classic' Fender next to a Rivera-Fender and if you think the Rivera-era delivers That Clean Tone, or a good % of it, then then I am in no position to disagree! I love my PRII, whatever.

    I collect Rivera-era Fender serial numbers for an amp dating / how-many-did-they-make project and if anyone would like to let me know their amp's serial number I will date it for you. Transformer and/or speaker codes would help. Post it here or email at stratopastor(at)hotmail(dot)com

    best wishes

    SP
     
  18. tralfax19645

    tralfax19645 Member

    Messages:
    581
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Hi,
    Its cool.
    Anyway,do you know how many of the RPG-1 preamps or RPW-1 power amps they made from the same era?
    I am having a very hard time finding any of these.
    If you have the numbers it would give me an idea if i would ever have any chance of find one or the other or perhaps the set.
    Thanks in advance
     
  19. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    20,788
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    I've owned 6 of these beasts:
    3 Superchamps-sound great, very portable, but I found that the lack of a mids knob limited their usefulness in the venues I played, eventually sold all of them.
    2 PRIIs, one with a Kendrick speaker which was good, one with the rare EV SRO which is absolutely killer. I'll never sell it till I'm down to my last 2 or 3 amps (out of the 100s I've owned). The way to fix the buzzy distortion depends on the peculiar way the switching is set up. The pedal and the pull knob do slightly different things, so you actually have 4 sounds. If you leave the knob in, the gain on the lead channels is reduced a lot. Dime the amp at that point and it blossoms into a smooth, harmonically rich, moderate gain machine that sounds (dare I say it) a little like my Fuchs mod. I'd keep the amp for that sound alone, but it also has a killer clean sound, not BF but a bit warmer, like a cross between BF and Mesa clean.
    1 DRII-disappointing, sounds nothing like the SC or the PRII to my ears... It's for sale if you want it :)
     
  20. stratopastor

    stratopastor Member

    Messages:
    129
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    NorthEast England
    Tralfax - sorry, I have nothing at all on the RPG-1 or RPW-1. I know they're contemporaries of this range but you're the first person ever to bring them up with me. For all I know, Fender could have built the front and rear panels as shown in the '83 catalogue, and then called it a day. Sorry again. Try the FDP.

    DrBob - can I have your amps' serial numbers?

    best wishes

    SP
     

Share This Page