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Fender "Blackface" Princeton Reverb, 1965

Fender Princeton Reverb, 1965

The Princeton Reverb has been the ideal grab-n-go gigging/studio amp for a variety of styles since its inception in 1964. It's also one of the most recorded guitar amplifiers in the history of popular music. The built-in reverb and tremolo make this amp an extremely versatile package. The amp doesn't weigh much, but it sounds convincing in variety of styles - and fits nicely on small and crowded stages. Did I already mention the now-classic looks? It almost certainly grabs the attention of fellow guitar players.

The sound? Crank the volume up and you'll get the classic Fender Blackface crunch almost synonymous with rock'n'roll - and with a twist on the guitar's volume knob the amp cleans up to a shimmering, sparkly clean tone the Blackface era Fenders are renowned for. Here's a little sound demo with a Fender Nocaster and this very amp dimed.

The Princeton Reverb is a unique Blackface era amp in at least two regards: 1) It retained the cathodyne phase inverter, which is generally considered sweeter sounding than the long tail phase inverter that the other Blackface amps had. 2) It's also the only Blackface amp that didn't switch to the more "choppy" photo-cell tremolo circuit. Instead it has the smoother and more organic bias-vary tremolo that also some of the smaller Brownface era amps (most notably the Princeton 6G2 and Deluxe 6G3) had in the early 60's.

The tube chart states "AA764". Guess what? A Princeton Reverb never had an AA764 circuit - it is actually an AA1164. Reportedly there are several other examples of a Princeton Reverb with an incorrect tube chart. The AA764 tube chart suggests a GZ34/5AR4 rectifier tube should be used. It does work, but bias adjustment might be necessary so you won't cook those delicious 6V6's. The electrolytic caps have been replaced, which is a smart thing to do for an amp this old.

Specifications

Tube configuration

Serial numbers:

Chassis: A 06120
Stamp inside chassis (between bias circuit and mains transformer): TB4365 (1965, week 43)
Stamp inside cabinet bottom: ?B4365 (probably matches with the stamp inside chassis)
Tube chart: OJ (October 1965), Production #6
Mains transformer: 125P1B, 606-5-40, CSA TEST
Output transformer: 125A10B, 606-4-38
Reverb transformer: 125A20B, 606-5-39
Speaker: S-20012-2 137 605 (magnet), 1020-1 (speaker cone)

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