What’s in the garage?

Recently a student rang me during the holiday season with an urgent guitar-related problem. His old Japanese-made maple acoustic was in desperate need of a new machine head (tuning key). The problem was that he was going on holidays and would not be around when the shops reopened. Could I help? I searched through my oversized inventory of used and not-so-used parts and found a great set of second-hand Grover machines. His guitar now has a smart set of high quality Grovers and he is good to go.

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What’s in the Garage offers up lots of bits and pieces that the guitar player may need, from loaded scratch plates to pick-ups, effects to amplifiers, machine heads to bridge pins. In fact, you never know what you might find in the garage so why not take a look?

FOR SALE: 1977 FENDER PRINCETON REVERB

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From the late 1960’s and throughout the 1970’s, Fender produced a series of amplifiers known as the Silverface Amp series. These amplifiers have often been unfairly underrated, largely due to their connection with the less desirable CBS period of Fender’s colourful history. Quality instruments were still being produced in this period but, at a time when the Fender brand was clearly struggling, the lack of consistency in matters of quality control meant that finding the great ones was not always an easy task. This was not necessarily the case in terms of amplification, however, especially in regard to the Silverface amplifiers. Using similar wiring schematics and valve configurations to their earlier more illustrious cousins, the Brownface and Blackface, the Silverface amps were reliable and robust and had a sound to match. One of Fender’s best amps of this era was the Princeton Reverb.

This 1977 Princeton Reverb is a seriously fine amplifier. It includes the experimental push/pull knob which is absolutely unnecessary and in terms of effect a waste of effort. I suppose you could replace the pot but choosing not to use the option was easy enough for me and I reasoned that the effect was part of the amp’s history even if it was a failure, so I left well enough alone. I have the original 10 inch speaker but replaced it with an Eminence Patriot Li’l Buddy which added great colour and character to that warm Princeton tone. If you attach a 12 inch extension speaker (8 ohm) the amp really sings. (I’m presently using the Little Mark from Markbass which is lightweight and extremely efficient.) The Reverb works beautifully, as does the Tremolo. Apart from a slight tear in the Tolex (upper right – see photos) this amp is in extremely good condition belying the 40 years since it was assembled. Comes with a step down transformer on request.

Price: $1850.00