'78 Princeton Reverb Silverface

A couple years ago I went on a serious Jim Campilongo kick and bought a '78 Princeton reverb Silverface online as a result. This has become my main amp for gigs in NYC that do not have a backline. 

When I bought the amp the gentleman who sold it to me said that there was only one non original part: the speaker. He said that the speaker was from a Hammond organ. The amp still sounded good so I bought it and forgot about that detail. For a clean tone I really couldn't have asked for a better machine. The amp has the push/pull boost option on the volume knob, giving you overdrive quicker with it on. The onboard reverb and tremolo will get you everything from a Pops Staples like rumble to a full on "Gimme Shelter" type vibe. Pushing the amp to OD gives you a really nice natural breakup. There is plenty of clean headroom and the amp started taking pedals really well right after one BIG repair....

About a year into ownership I brought the amp to a gig uptown. The amp is pretty much barely light enough to be mobile on the MTA, but I sucked it up. I was having some problems with the amp, most notably more hum than usual but the tone was still sweet. I gambled I would get away with it for one more gig. Turns out that was a big mistake.

The gig started off fine, I was playing leads for a cover band at an event for Hospital staff party. The amp seemed to be struggling to reach enough volume, but I did the best I could. One of the nurses came up and wanted to play guitar, so the other guitar player set him up with his insanely loud rig and off we went. Thus began my first guitar battle, which I sorely lost and during which my amp pooped out completely. I was working with no volume or pride at all by the end.

I took the defeated rig to the amp doctor, who said it was amazing that most of the amp's parts were original after forty years! The bad new was that every part needed replacing, tremolo, spring reverb, the SPEAKER (from a bass amp he said) even the power cord was 86. I ended up biting the bullet and getting the repair, and the amp is true magic now.

 

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Cancion Franklin