Rivera-era Princeton Reverb II?

FF71

Silver Supporting Member
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5,511
Opinions please?

I know that it's hard to tell if something sounds great off youtube specially amps. I just thought, why not get one of these? Seems like the hotrod Princeton that most people would want. More wattage, 12" speaker, reverb and boost. Seems like a Mk. 1 Boogie to me. Why is it that there's not much love with these amps? Is it really that bad? What gives?


 

doc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,132
Short version - one of the last of the turret board handwired amps from Fender, sounds pretty good out of the box, good mod platform. Some aren't that fond of the stock overdrive sound. There are several very long threads here - initially about its slightly bigger brother the Concert. Search for the Concert Mod thread for more info than you want.
 

JeffGT

Silver Supporting Member
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245
great amp, I use the clean channel w/ pedals, underpriced for such a well built amp. I think they''re louder than the original Princeton Reverb
 

Jimmy MAck

Member
Messages
769
I would seriously seriously consider this amp. I've had the Super Champ and now a Concert from that era. If I had found a PR II, I would have that too. The tones are wonderful, and the versatility!!! I am now gigging my Concert, it was overhauled by Andy Fuchs, and it is fantastic.
 

nickelwound

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
402
I have one and it is a nice amp... I use the clean channel with pedal like JeffGT does. Plenty loud enough to jam with friends/band. The boost channel is not really an overdrive channel and sounds fizzy if you use it that way.

The reverb is usuable until about 3 or 4 on the knob and then becomes way to
"boingy". It's built like an old school Fender so its super tough and somewhat light.

I think they go for about $5-600 without the pedal. I like mine.
 

FF71

Silver Supporting Member
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5,511
Does anyone have a foot switch with the amp? Is it like a regular Fender foot switch? What does it do? Engage the reverb? Boost? It's confusing. I think judging by the lay-out of the Princeton II seems like Fender tried to compete with Mesa Boogie (started as a Princeton).
 

vds5000

Member
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2,208
.... Some aren't that fond of the stock overdrive sound...
This is one of the reasons why these amps aren't really talked about much. The gain tones from the O/D channel sound nothing at all like a pushed Princeton Reverb.


Does anyone have a foot switch with the amp? Is it like a regular Fender foot switch? What does it do? Engage the reverb? Boost? It's confusing...
This is another reason why these amps aren't really talked about much. Replacing the footswitch is a royal pain in the a$$. You're better off building your own. The functions of the footswitch are reverb (on/off) and channel switching.

I've owned a Super Champ, a Princeton Reverb II, 2 Deluxe Reverb II's and a Concert II - all from the Rivera Era. The cleans on all these amps are decent. Other than the Super Champ, the gain tones from the rest of them can get harsh and sound absolutely nothing like that typical pushed Fender sound. A speaker change can soften the harshness of the gain channel, but usually at the expense of the clean channel. Here's my personel experience:

Super Champ
- actually great Mesa-like gain tones
- very weak reverb when using the gain channel
- very little bass (due to the small size of the cabinet and the 10" speaker)
- speaker change (Ragin Cajun) did little to improve bass response
- sold it for $700

Princeton Reverb II
- next to the Super Champ, 2nd best gain tones of the Rivera-era Fenders I've owned, but not as nice/organic as a pushed Princeton Reverb
- clean tones and reverb were nice
- speaker change (Eminence Patriot) did little to improve gain tones or lack of bass
- sold it for $700

Deluxe Reverb II
- decent cleans
- decent reverb
- gain tones somewhat harsh
- speaker change (Weber) helped the gain channel and didn't hinder the cleans
- sold 1st one for $850
- sold 2nd one for $800

Concert II
- harsh gain tones
- very lush reverb
- nice cleans
- speaker changed (Eminence RWB) did wonders for the gain channel but at the expense of the clean channel
- sold it for $800
 

FF71

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,511
Now, I can say that I OWN one!!!!

Sweet new amp day!! :)

 
Last edited:

Jimmy MAck

Member
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769
Read Fuzzface's post with interest. Good reviewing technique!

Quote:

"Concert II
- harsh gain tones
- very lush reverb
- nice cleans
- speaker changed (Eminence RWB) did wonders for the gain channel but at the expense of the clean channel
- sold it for $800"

I have a Concert II with the 2 10's. Quite a different experience for me.
Yes Lush Reverb, one of the nicest (on two channels)
I love the OD channel. I have used it as a rich sounding bedroom amp with the OD, it's quite enough for me. At gigs, this amp justs sings and has a BIG sound.

Cleans are nice rich Fender cleans, but fat too.

I have changed one spkr. to a ToneTubby 40/40, the stock Eminence is nice, but a bit too bright with 2 of them, and

I just had it overhauled by Andy Fuchs. Man is it sweet now.
 

doc

Silver Supporting Member
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7,132
I'd say if you had it "overhauled by Fuchs" you have a different amp now.

Congrats fuzzface!
 

Digitalman

Member
Messages
2,057
I have a DR II with a Cannabis Rex in it and I think it's got great sounding cleans. The OD channel never gets used though.
 

Fidel

Member
Messages
165
I have one and love it. It's become my main amp for rehearsals and small gigs. I only use the clean and use pedals for gain; but, the gain channel is not bad. It's very loud for it's size and not too heavy. I changed the speaker to a Celestian Vintage 30 which suits my needs. I sometimes use it with a 2 X 12 cab, and it really shines. It can cover rock, blues, jazz, and country stuff pretty well.

Paid $575 for it. Point to point wired and built tough. I will never sell it. Some people have commented that it does not get the true vintage Princeton sound, but, I could care less about that stuff. It works for me. I also have a Concert II for larger gigs. They cover 90% of my gigs. Great amps that are sleepers.
 

doublescale1

Suhr S-Classic, V60LP's, Soft V neck
Gold Supporting Member
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5,943
I have a PRII that I had cleaned up by Dean Zink here in the Det. area: 3-prong AC Cord, new caps, some solder joints made good again, and he gave a clean bill of health to the home-made footswitch, not too much really but it's all working as Paul Rivera intended now - the orig speaker is sitting in a box and a WGS G12CS is making it sing these days. Like most above, use the clean channel and some good pedals for dirt - it's a great sounding amp for Fender Blackface tone and the larger cab & speaker lets it fill a room much better than the smaller orig PR cab & speaker (I know there is a lot of love for the orig. cab size/10" spkr but I haven't noticed anyone on the dance floor in the bar looking at the amps...) Nice tone from an amp that is easy to get repaired.
 

Creamy

Member
Messages
541
I put a factory broken in, 30 watt Weber 12A125-O in one and live the way it sounds. The cleans with this 20 watt amp are amazing. Stratopastor's site has a wealth of knowledge. Such as regarding how moving the reverb from the side to bottom of the cab has resolved issues some reverbs were having.
 

Jimmy MAck

Member
Messages
769
Sorry to be a pain, but I might have quoted the wrong person! Was reading vds5000's post with interest, and then saw it quoted by Fuzzface.

I wouldn't go with a ToneTubby 40/40 as the only speaker. I didn't care for it alone in my Princeton Reverb. Many spkr's to choose from out there.

I didn't say that I had Andy Fuchs "mod" my amp. He simply did what was necessary to bring it to optimal, and used his knowledge to make sure it is the amp that it can be, and not some other animal.

FWIW
 

FF71

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,511
Ok since were talking about speakers. What kind of 12" speaker would make this great amp a much better amp?
 




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