FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FOOTSWITCH INFO (inc possible solution to the clean sound tone suck problem)
MODIFICATIONS (new reliability mod May 2022)
SCHEMATIC, wiring diagram, now with signal path shown
INTERIOR PHOTOS for reference
CAP JOB- important maintenance
VALVES/TUBES - what they do, alternative options
MAGAZINE REVIEWS, 1984 price lists and other stuff
WEBCAM - see what's happening inside my amp right now!
PRIIs For Sale - occasional private ads
SCHEMATICS, LAYOUTS, PARTS LISTS - OTHER AMPS IN FENDER RIVERA-ERA RANGE
Survey - please
2024 - still collecting data!
Sometimes people email me asking if I'm
still doing this; yes, gimme what you got.
Additions, comments and
corrections welcome! If you can see anything wrong here, if
you’d like to add something, if you’d like to suggest a link, or
if you’ve produced a relevant page and would like me to link it,
then please email me at (remove the capital letters) SPAMDEFEATstratopastor@hotmail.com
Asked Questions (OK, I was asked these... once
or twice... some time ago...)
Basic checks and fixes you can do without going inside
diagram for this amp as a .gif file on the screen, or a
download link for a wonderful .pdf file of the schematic, parts
list and wiring diagram - big thanks to Mark Carson
Nice clear .pdf images (requires
Acrobat Reader) of the schematics
of the entire Rivera-era Fender range - big thanks to Mark
Carson and others.
the output valves/tubes
Job: once-every-25-ish-years maintenance job, replacing all
the electrolytic capacitors
Description of each valve's (tube's) role
The Footswitch; what, what not, where, why, maybe why not, how to build one, where to buy one, and how much
you could do. One of these mods deals with the single most common
failure mode. Credit for that belongs to John Philips,
Edinburgh(UK)-based amp tech - on the Fender Discussion
Page he was "Unquiet". On the subject of mods, if you've
found something you'd like to share, email me.
from Guitar Shop Magazine, Jan 1998, looking back at this range of
amps. Thank you, Bob F, for sending me this. Includes a
tribute to designer Ed Jahns and a photo of his signature on the
factory prototype PRII on 2/2/82. You lucky people. Also on this page; Review of
the PRII in UK magazine Guitarist from September 1984; big
thanks to Gordon Trunkfield for sending this in, and (new June
2022) Fender's price list for 1984.
Owner's Manual (about 2Mb) ... this amp is so simple and intuitive to use, the manual's almost a waste of paper. I doubt it's going to tell you anything new. But hey, I was curious to see it, and former PRII-owner Curtis was kind enough to get it scanned in, so here you are.
Options Some folks rave about the results when they
fit an alternative speaker. Can you add to this page for me?
Includes write-up of the Jay Mitchell speaker directivity modifier
for the PRII
Gallery .... a work in progress. SEE a new-in-box
PRII for sale in April 05! SEE a wood-finish PRII, one of a
limited edition from the factory!
found helpful; Tech and Vendors
Antique Electronics Supply
in the US are one of two places you can get a replacement cap can.
I was pleased to get mine from them when I did the cap job in Sep
2010. Go there, and then capacitors / multi-section / FP type, and
scroll down to find their 80/40/30/20 microFarad cap can,
which is a direct replacement for the original, right down to the
way the 4 connections are labelled. You can also get one from Frag' Jan Zuerst in
Germany and Tube
Voc Rock sell current-production valves (tubes) and other accessories. They're in Nottingham, UK, and I recommended them warmly.
Valve Tube Guitar Amps
in North Yorkshire, UK are my nearest supplier of, er,
valves/tubes for guitar amps. Nice guys, as evidenced by their helpful
and informative blog.
found helpful; Info
The Gear Page
is a range of discussion boards; frequented by helpful and
encouraging people, and carefully moderated, so disagreements
don't get out of hand.
Likewise, the Telecaster Discussion Page ReIssued
- is a range of discussion boards; not just about Telecasters;
frequented by helpful and encouraging people, and carefully
The Fender Discussion Page
(FDP) closed at the end of 2019 after 20 years of helpful
discussion and friendly advice. I miss it, and take my hat off to
Chris Greene for running it all that time.
The Fender Field Guide has (Sep 08) been taken over by www.mojotone.com. It was clearly a labour of love by its originator, Mark of Ampwares. I don't know why it needed to be handed on, but hats off to Mojo for stopping a good thing dying. The navigation was better in the original Ampwares version which has been archived here by another parts firm, The Vintage Sound; on this version there are 'prev' and 'next' links at the bottom of each page which give you a way of going backwards, one amp at a time, to the original Princeton (4 watts!). All the earlier Princetons were developments of each other, but the PRII was a complete redesign. I get the impression that earlier Princetons, with or without reverb, are regarded as classics, but the PRII itself isn't. Indeed, it may never achieve that status because of its more complex circuitry. (All previous Princetons have valve/tube rectifiers, with the resultant 'sag' which many guitarists seek, and they don't have a switchable gain-stage.)
Central has reviews by PRII owners. Some useful tips, but
read carefully as some owners make some factual errors concerning
the amp, and one of the reviews on its PRII page is actually for
the closely-related DRII.
http://www.geofex.com/ for general stuff about valve (tube) tube amps; faq; a useful valve amp debugging page.
Some folks play around with
the component values associated with the tone controls (the tone
stack) - any revelations you'd like to share? There's this cool
free software download called the Duncan Tone
Stack Calculator which graphs the frequency response as you
play with component values. If you change c1 ( c1 on the diagram
within the software, not c1 on the PRII schematic) to 27n (27
nanofarads, 0.027microfarads) you can simulate what happens when
you pull the PRII mid boost switch. You lucky people.
I know of a few other 'single amp' websites and
superchamp.dk was a 'single
amp' site, nicely designed, full of useful info about the Fender
Super Champ - the little brother to the PRII. I hope it comes back
online some time. The page has been archived
by the Wayback Machine here.
Super Champ owners should also
check out Ben
Hickmott's thread on this forum.
The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe had its own wonderful website written by Justin Holton. He has (2009) abandoned that excellent site to the public domain. I and a few others are hosting the contents as an archive - I offer it as a zip file here. Better yet, (Dec 2015) web designer Mark Newcomb has built a new website around Justin's original work. Please do not email me with questions about the Hot Rod Deluxe, as I only know that I once tried and failed to fix one.
I became a Christian when I was 19 (i.e. a long time ago) and God has been consistently faithful and good to me. OK, it isn't directly about the PRII... but 100 years from now, the fact that Jesus found me will matter more than which amplifier I used!
http://www.analogman.com/singblues.htm again, isn't about the PRII but it was recommended to me by PRII owner Jason S. in Milwaukee, USA, and it is funny.
(or lack of it)
It hardly needs saying, but I am in no way associated with Fender or any of the other esteemed companies mentioned in this website.
All trademarks and copyrights are acknowledged – Fender, their amp model names, their schematics, their advertising copy and photos, Rivera, Celestion, Jensen, Eminence, EV, Velcro, Head and Shoulders, and any others I've missed.
Valve (tube) amps develop LETHAL VOLTAGES while running, and store them in charged components EVEN WHILE SWITCHED OFF AND DISCONNECTED FROM THE OUTLET / MAINS SUPPLY. These voltages are MUCH HIGHER than the outlet voltage, and higher than anything you’ll find inside a transistorized amp. If this scares you, good. Inside a chassis, don’t use your fingers to touch anything which isn’t insulated or earthed (grounded). Don’t stick more than one hand in at a time, and keep the other hand well away. Use insulated fine-nose pliers to manipulate components. NEVER, ever, work inside a live amp while holding a connected guitar.If you’re not sure what you’re doing, get local help.
The details in
this whole site are believed accurate but you act on them at
your own risk. I have to disclaim any responsibility for injury,
damage, loss of value or loss of gig due to inoperative
equipment. Opinions are those of the contributors. A lot of
amp-speak is highly subjective and your opinion of
reported 'improvements' may differ.
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