Upgrades to 66 Princeton Reverb

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by GibsonSGgirl, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. GibsonSGgirl

    GibsonSGgirl Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey all,

    I'm about to start working on what I hope is the final touches to my vintage 66 Princeton Reverb amp.

    I need a new reverb tank I believe because it makes all kinds of noise in the background when I'm not playing.

    I also want a vintage-correct Fender cloth wire for the reverb in-out, and the correct speaker wiring.

    Also, it's never had a cap job that I'm aware of, so I figure I should address this as well. I don't know much about caps whether it's better to replace them with new ones, NOS, or vintage ones. I've seen a few capacitor kits for sale on ebay that are speciically for the vintage Princeton Reverbs. What do you think?

    I've already swapped the original 2-prong cord out with a 3-prong grounded one.

    The only other thing I've noticed is how loud it is; I can barely get it past the '1' on volume and I can't turn my strat or LP up all the way....this is not the case with my 68 Deluxe Reverb...what gives? It does have a replacement, vintage-looking Utah speaker (with Utah in blue script writing)...don't know what was wrong with the original speaker, but I've got that too somewhere...it came with the amp when I bought it 2 years ago.

    Is there anything else you would suggest I do?
     
  2. vibrostrat43

    vibrostrat43 Supporting Member

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    It may not need a reverb tank actually. From my experience the background noise is pretty dependent on the connections and parts in the reverb circuit. I've found this after lots of messing around with the reverb in my Vibrolux, right now it's got a fair amount of noise, but by no means is it noisy.

    However, there was a time when I was just fiddling with parts trying to get different parts in and out quickly in an attempt to hear it before and after each circuit change, and it was pretty noisy...well and one of the rca jacks actually went bad on me (really thought it was a wiring problem because a bad jack is so rare, but that's what it was).

    Once I thought I had it finished I took my time, and got everything in neatly with minimal solder, and minimal heat to the parts and the reverb had almost no noise almost all the way up.

    So really, you may just want to get the ceramic caps out of there first (which are not to pleasant sounding to me anyway), and maybe get some lower noise resistors in unless you're worried about losing the .1% (or however little it is) extra distortion you get from the carbon comps in the reverb section in your reverb tone.

    The reverb cable is actually not cloth covered (at least not on mine anyway), but it's covered in external braided shielding. So if you find some of that, and some male rca jacks you can make your own...other than that I don't know where you'd find that cable already made.

    For electrolytic caps definitely just buy new ones. The brand is not as important as it just being high enough quality that it functions correctly under circuit conditions...F&T is a brand I like a lot if you can get them...Sprague is of course nice, but a little pricey in my opinion...Weber makes some of their own caps which have worked nicely for me so far...probably the best place to go though for all kinds of values that I just found out about is http://www.justradios.com/cart.html. I'm sure others will have brands that are great too, but I've heard Illinois caps are sub par and that you shouldn't use them.

    Since the amp is blackface era, I wouldn't replace any of the signal caps unless they were leaking DC...usually about .25 DC volts through a cap means the cap should be replaced, or if it's a cap going to one of the tone controls and the control makes a scratchy sound when it's turned then that cap needs to be replaced. Good replacements can be found all over the place...for blackface amps the Sozo blues are really nice in my opinion, but good luck getting any at this point...Mallory caps are nice and cheap, and sound juicy to me, with a nice amount of midrange and smoother highs, pretty similar to most other polyester caps...polypropolene caps are brighter, tighter, and have more scooped mids, and most orange drop caps are made of that material, but there are some like the 418p and PS series that are polyester.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  3. GibsonSGgirl

    GibsonSGgirl Silver Supporting Member

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    Oh wow thanks so much Vibrostrat! You've just educated me massively!
     
  4. vibrostrat43

    vibrostrat43 Supporting Member

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    No problem! Probably the most important thing for you though is just getting an honest tech who knows his stuff, and will treat your amp like it was his. Any tech worth his salt should be able to troubleshoot the reverb noise, replace any leaky signal caps, and replace all electrolytic caps fairly quickly.
     

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