Fender Super Twin Reverb vs. Twin Reverb / Dual Showman Reverb etc - need help

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by jondom22, Apr 4, 2012.

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  1. jondom22

    jondom22 TDPRI Member

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    Hi - Noobie to the forum over here, although I've read way to many discussions.

    Anyways, I'm looking for a new amp for this punk, noise, experimental group I started playing in, and am looking for something very loud and clean that can keep up with a loud as **** drummer and bassist during gigs that we are not mic'd (aka grimy ****hole DIY punk basements and warehouses).

    Just as a background before anyone tells me to get off their lawn and dismisses me as tone-deaf little bastard, I've been playing jazz, rock, funk, reggae, blues etc. (studied jazz in college) prior, and have been using a SF Deluxe Reverb that was blackfaced (and a couple other mods) years ago by the maginificent amp guru, Bill Caruth (worked on Trey Anastasio's amps, and was the go-to guy for any pros that came through VT including Bill Frisell).

    Anyhoo, I really just want something that is a nice clean yet warm platform for me to through some heavy fuzz and other weird **** in front of.

    From my research, it looks like the Fender Super Twin Reverb is the loudest and cleanest (Fender-made) Tube amp at 180 watts with 6 x 6L6 tubes. They're hard to come by and from what I've heard is that they won't be as easy to maintain as a regular Twin Reverb due to some weird preamp tubes they used and I'm sure some various caps or design issues.

    On the other hand, I was possibly looking to get either a late 70's (i.e. 135 watt version, made from 1977 - 1982?) SF Dual Showman Reverb (same as Twin but in head form), SF Twin Reverb, SF Bassman 135, or find a Quad or Super Six Reverb.

    Ideally I'd like to put whatever I get into a head cab, and power a 4x12.

    What I'm looking for is really how much of a difference in perceived volume and would I get from a 180 watt 6 x 6L6 Super Twin vs. a 135 Watt 4 x 6L6 Twin/Dual Showman/Bassman 135, etc. and the ease of maintenance and finding parts comparing the two.

    thanks in advance for your help
     
  2. Singin' Dave

    Singin' Dave Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds like your looking to win the volume war with your drummer. More power to you, but i suggest investing in a trip to a good audiologist for quality molded ear plugs.

    But I digress. I can't imagine a regular twin reverb will not be loud enough. I'd you are already looking to make it a head, look for a SF Dual Showman Reverb. Same amp already in head form stock. That with a 4x12 loaded with efficient speakers will be silly loud and your drummer is toast (as might be the audience).

    Btw You want a 4 ohm load with that...
     
  3. Ken Wilson

    Ken Wilson Former Member

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    I've had a Super Twin Reverb and now own a 70 Twin Reverb. I found that using the slide switch Boost mode on the Super Twin footswitch created a fair bit of background hiss. One of the best things about the Super Twin Reverb is the Presence control. I miss not having that on the Twin Reverb, but still happier with what I've got now.
     
  4. jondom22

    jondom22 TDPRI Member

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    Yes. seeing an audiologist to get some custom made ear plugs is on my to do list, haha!!

    So what I'm trying to get at is would a Fender Dual Showman Reverb (either 100 or 135 watt) into a 4x12 (let's say V30's) be able to stay clean and totally loud in the mix with the loudest drummer playing some big shells? And be able to handle some dirty fuzz on top?

    Or is my safe bet getting the Super Twin Reverb?

    Anyone recommend those Twin Reverb knockoffs in the tuck n' roll exteriors made by Kustom, Plush, and Earth back in the 70's?

    What about an Ampeg V4?
     
  5. jondom22

    jondom22 TDPRI Member

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    So it seems like you enjoy the Twin Reverb tonewise compared to the Super Twin, but how would you say the difference in volume is?

    At what point would you say a Twin Reverb (or Dual Showman Reverb) begins to break up?
     
  6. garytelecastor

    garytelecastor Poster Extraordinaire

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    Go for the Super.
     
  7. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

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    There's somebody around here who uses an older tube Fender PA head for their amp. Might be something to look into. Also, if you can find any of the old MusicMan bass amps, those do clean very well and are loud but still hold a little warmth. Way louder than any unmiked drummer.
     
  8. jondom22

    jondom22 TDPRI Member

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    Ya, I was thinking about checking out some old Musicman Bass heads, as well as some old Ampeg heads as well. Actually, this guy was going to sell me (but decided to keep) this old "Sam Ash" brand PA head from the 70's that was made by Jess Oliver (the guy from Ampeg). It was a tube power amp (4x6L6 I believe) but solid state preamp, tho I could have ran a preamp in front of it instead.

    You think those Musicman or Ampeg Bass heads do justice to guitars, especially if putting some fuzz and other effects in front, or is it something that would be a little on the sterile side?
     
  9. Toppscore

    Toppscore Banned

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    I have studied them all.
    The Super Twin is not that expensive and not hard to find.
    But, I own both the Showman Reverb Amp Head
    and the Silverface Twin Reverb.

    I'd go Showman all the way. Easy & fun to work on.
    Generally no problem.
    Late 1970s will get you the Ultra Linear models with 135w.
    Put this amp head on top of two 4x12 speaker cabinets and point
    both cabinets at the drummer, just for old times sake :eek:

    Toppscore :cool:
     
  10. jondom22

    jondom22 TDPRI Member

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    Have you owned one before? A/B it against a Twin or Dual Showman?
     
  11. jondom22

    jondom22 TDPRI Member

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    Has anyone ever A/B a Dual Showman Reverb/Twin Reverb against a Super Twin before?

    What about the 135 watt version of the Showman/Twin vs. the 100 watt versions?

    At what point do these amps start to break up?

    Remember, I want to have enough clean headroom that I can play a very convincing clean open "C" chord with my guitar straight into the amp and be louder than the loudest drummer you've ever played with.
     
  12. Stubee

    Stubee Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I had an early '70s (100W) Dual Showman Reverb with original 2X12 (I played it through a spare 4X10 cab) and it was certainly clean all the way up but I did that maybe once. Incredibly loud amp. I had a similar Twin, same deal.

    Not sure that helps except that they were C-L-E-A-N up top and if there was some break-up I probably couldn't tell. Don't know that would do your big venue/giant drummer thing not for clean but plain old volume w/o further sound reinforcement (PA soundboard etc).

    A MusicMan HD-130 was at least as loud and likely cleaner (2X12 combo).
     
  13. jondom22

    jondom22 TDPRI Member

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    @Toppscore

    Sounds pretty sensible to me, though I've been scurrying around looking for a Super Twin and haven't seen one anywhere on NYC area craigslist. Found a couple on ebay, I might bight on one of them, but i tend to not like buying amps over ebay to be honest cos I can't really see what kind of work I might need to do (having to retube a Super Twin would prob cost me at least $150 plus new fliter caps, etc, etc).

    Re: Dual Showman, you think with 2 4x12 cabs it would kill the drummer? what about 1 in which each side (2x12 speakers) are wired for 4 ohms, and I use both speaker outs at 4ohms each to go into to seperate 4 ohm loads (powering 2 2x12's)?
     
  14. jondom22

    jondom22 TDPRI Member

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    Cool. So a couple of others are now saying a Dual Showman with a 4x10 or 4x12 cab should do the trick (even the 100 watt early 70's versions).

    I guess I just wanna make sure I don't end up buying an amp that just doesn't quite do the trick and spend a lot of time/money fixing her up, especially considering I've been on unemployment for 5 months and have pretty much depleted all my savings.

    Oh, does anyone have a job, haha.
     
  15. jondom22

    jondom22 TDPRI Member

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    Anyone have any opinions on the Red Knob Dual Showman?

    Musicman HD130 doesn't seem too shabby either, but obviously only half of its power is tube and the other half is SS. Plus the heads have no reverb, and no fx loop I believe so wiring in an fx loop would prob be a *****.
     
  16. Ken Wilson

    Ken Wilson Former Member

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    To my ear, the Twin is more refined sounding.

    When the Boost function is set to the off position, it's my understanding that the Super Twin is 100 watts...in other words, equivalent to a Twin. When the Boost is set on to achieve the rated 180 watts, it won't be substantially louder.....Perhaps 15% louder, but with an increase in the noise floor.

    I was never able to turn up either amp loud enough to get it to clip, so I can't tell you much about breakup. I use a Dual Showman cabinet with two 15" JBL's and they're pretty efficient.

    In my mind, a Twin's a more practical choice, and if you want more balls, use more efficient speakers. A Twin will have better resale value when you're done with it, and it'll be a lot easier sell than a Super Twin. Plus, when you do a retube, you're buying more common preamp tubes, and only four 6L6 power tubes instead of six.
     
  17. jondom22

    jondom22 TDPRI Member

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    All good points that are pointing me towards a Twin/Dual Showman.

    Can anyone confirm the whole "boost" thing, in which the amp is rated at 180 only when the boost is activated, and when it isn't its only 100 watts?

    Totally agree with you on resale value, common tubes, and less power tubes. Also seems like the cnventional wisdom is that Twins/Dual Showmans are easier to work with in terms of their design and the schematic is much more well known with most techs.

    In terms of speakers for the cab, I've been using a V30 in my SF Deluxe Reverb (and plugging in a 2x12 cab with V30's) because I think they sound really good when using high gain fuzz action (I originally had a Weber F150 that liked Overdrive Marshal-like sounds, but couldn't take the shoegaze fuzzy buzzyness of my Earthquaker Devices Hoof Fuzz (nor my Zvex Fuzz Factory).

    Any high efficiency speaker recommendations that will be loud and maintain the amps cleaness, but will play very nicely with a ton of fuzz?
     
  18. macaroonie

    macaroonie Friend of Leo's

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    Any high efficiency speaker recommendations that will be loud and maintain the amps cleaness, but will play very nicely with a ton of fuzz?

    Thats got to be a pair of JBL E130's in whatever cab you elect to use. Bombproof , clean and as loud as ####
     
  19. umasstele

    umasstele Tele-Afflicted

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    There is no way a regular twin reverb UL or non UL will not be loud enough man!

    I'd vote on going for a silverface UL twin...easy enough to find, reasonably priced, LOUD

    Rock on, keep us posted
     
  20. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    A Super Twin is less expensive than a regular Twin... if you can find one. Note that there are two different versions, the regular old '75-'76 non reverb Super Twin and the later version with reverb.

    My advice to you... hold out for a Twin Reverb variant. Although for what you want the Super Twin isn't a bad idea. Stick it in a Dual Showman Reverb cabinet. It fits, no problem! Four 75 watt Celesions in parallel will take the power and give you the 4 ohm load you want.

    Its still a heavy and complex amp.

    Just go for a plain vanilla Twin Reverb. They're inexpensive and easy to find. Go for earlier rather than later. '74 seems to be a good year. '74s are everywhere and they're affordable.

    Pretty easy to do on a MV Twin. Presence is usually one knob EQ on the NFB. Re-purpose the MV because most people lose it anyway.
     
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