Fender Silverface Princeton Reverb

Model/Circuit Number: AB868, AB1270, AA1164 
Years of Production:
1968 – 1981
Era: Silverface
Configuration: Combo
Controls: Silver, forward facing w/ blue labels
Knobs: Black skirted w/ chrome center, numbered 1 – 10


  • Front: In, In, Vol, Treb, Bass, Rev, Speed, Intensity – Pilot Lamp
  • Rear: AC Outlet, Ground Sw, Fuse (1A), Power Sw, Speaker Jack, Ex. Speaker Jack, Vibrato Jack


Covering Material

Logo: Grill mounted, raised, chrome & black script
Weight: 31 lbs.

Effects: Reverb, Tremolo
~Watts: 12-15 watts

  • Pre amp: 7025
  • Power: 2 x 6V6GT

Bias: Fixed, Nonadjustable
Rectifier: GZ34 (early) or 5U4GB (70s)

Comments: Fender switched back to the blackface era cosmetics some time in 1980. Princeton Reverbs produced between late 1980 and 1981 have a black control panel and silver sparkle grille cloth. A “Boost” pull switch was added to the Volume control around ’77

13 thoughts on “Fender Silverface Princeton Reverb

  • February 7, 2013 at 7:39 am

    I have a Silverface 69-69 with drip edge, It has been chopped down to just a “head” configuration, needing an external speaker cabinet, which I have paired with a Celestion 70-80. Anyone know how this affects the value?

    • September 8, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      If your amp has bewn chopped and made into a head only, the value of resale is greatly lowered. It retains person value to anyone that wants to achieve that warm tube sound. I have a 75 silverface with an old altec lansing replacement speaker. I love this amp have it since 1980. Will never sell.

      • November 22, 2017 at 10:49 am

        Thanks, thought so re the value. The real important thing is the sound which is great.

  • July 1, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    I have one of these amps .I believe its a 69. I have had it for about 8 years and have yet to figure out what the ground switch on the back does. Any ideas?

    • August 14, 2017 at 9:48 am

      The ground switch was used (I believe) to switch which prong of the old 2 prong cord you would ground through. One side would have less hum than the other, depending. Don’t quote me on that.

      However! Does your amp currently have a 3-prong plug? If not, you should take it to a tech to have that done. The ground switch should be taken out of the circuit and made to be useless. If it does have a 3-prong plug, this has likely been done already.

  • November 11, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Hey, Walter. Rob is exactly right. The ground selector switch lets you connect either conductor from an antique 2-conductor power cord to the chassis of the amp, through a capacitor. This is often called the “death cap,” because if it shorts out, and you just happen to have the ground selected to the “hot” conductor, the amp chassis is now at 120 V. So if you touch the strings on your guitar and something else that is grounded correctly, it completes the circuit – through your body (possibly stopping or fibrilating your heart).

    If the “death cap” is in perfect condition, it isn’t a problem. But as capacitors age (and many of them are 40 or 50 years old by now), it becomes more and more likely that they will either fail open or shorted. I agree with Rob, that the modern safety-minded logic is to remove the death cap (or just disconnect it from one end and leave it retired in place so that the amp “looks” original inside) and then correctly install a modern 3-conductor power cord.

    Of course, this only works if the outlet you are plugging into is wired correctly – which isn’t always the case. Luckily, outlet safety testers are easy to find. Just plug one into the outlet that you plan to use, and it tells you whether or not the outlet is wired correctly – by the response of a couple of LEDs.

  • December 1, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Rob & Gary are both correct. But as an amp tech I highly recommend Rob suggestion of eliminating the Ground switch (and death cap) and installing a 3 pronged power cord.

  • July 3, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Hi there. My 79 speaker is blown and trying to decide what I want to replace with. Will never sell so don’t care about value. Want to go 75 watts and I like a warm sound. I like all genres so want blues to playing something with aggression when I feel the need. Any suggestions?

    • August 15, 2019 at 6:32 am

      Eminence 1058 10″ speaker
      I have a 1967 Princeton Reverb (original) that I purchased sometime in the mid 90’s. It was in seriously poor condition but I got it for a song. Over the years I’ve made a number of updates including (and starting with) changing the plug to 3 pronged. Did this after getting shocked a couple of times. . . .I may be a slow learner. Had to change a couple of resistors because they were damaged / burnt. Replaced with same type (carbon) to match original, and also did a ‘cap job’. The speaker had been replaced long before I purchased the amp with a 12″ fender something really poor. The speaker had been completely painted over with silver paint so identifying it was near impossible but I believe it came from a fender 4 speaker cabinet. I replaced the speaker with an Eminence 1058 10″ speaker. I have be very happy with this speaker. I play jazz and I love the tone. Really nice clear tone. I did my research on the speaker before selecting it. Options including replacing with original (cost prohibitive), original replacement, or something better. Since I know I’m going to keep this amp forever (or till I give it to my grand kids) I elected to go with what I considered a better speaker. I actually try to keep this amp near original but it’s almost as old as me, sometimes we need some minor updates. One last thing. I am an electrical engineer, studied electronics in the early 80’s therefore I fell somewhat qualified to make these updates.

    • September 17, 2020 at 5:56 am

      Hi, I must have tried a dozen of 10″ speakers for my Fender Princeton amp and the only one I was satisfied with is the Celestion G10 Gold. It’s an alnico magnet speaker and once it’s broken in, it sounds fabulous. And it can go down to 80Hz in the lowest register so it does not have a problem at handling the open low E note of the guitar. It’s sounds as big as a 12″ speaker.

  • April 3, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    Hello, I have in the past heard two 1976 Fender Princeton Reverbs that had that nice warm tone which made them both similar sounding. But one sounded more blackface circuit and broke up a little earlier before 5 on the Volume. The other had to be turned up to 4and a half or 5 on the dial volume for it to start to brake up a little. I liked that one better. It had a warmer beefier Silverface cleaner sound. The other one that broke up earlier sounded good but definitely Blackface sounding according to my friend. My question to you is how can two of the same amp and year ( 1976 ) sound different? Is the cleaner one less Blackface sounding Princeton Reverb AB 1270? inside this amp? And the more Blackface sounding one AA 1164? built in that amp? How does it work? Or is it the Tubes, or types of Tubes in the amps that change the sound and circuit? Is this why they sound different. We were comparing sound and playing both amps clean with no effects. Guitar to Amp plugged straight in. I have decided to try and grab a 1976 Princeton Reverb and I want that more clean, Silverface warmth versus Blackface sound. But how do I know which one has that sound without hearing it? I’m probably going to have to snag one on E bay . Thank you, Greg.

  • April 5, 2020 at 10:55 am

    SF Princeton Reverb

    It appears a year has passed since there was a post on this chain so maybe it is no longer active….

    I have a 1969 drip edge SF Princeton Reverb. The chassis code dates to 1969 and the transformer dates to the 51st week of 1968. What I want to bring to your attention is the oddity in the printed tube chart. The circuit is called “AA764”; not “AA1164”. (There is also no rubber stamped two letter date code as one would expect).

    This may have just been an error at the printers when Fender was implementing the transition to silver face . Has anyone else see this code (AA764) on SF PR tube chart?

    • January 13, 2022 at 5:19 am

      Send a note to Jim Campilongo in NYC, he might be able to help you. He’s a master of the telecaster and is a Princeton junkie. If he can’t tell you, his amp tech probably could.



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