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90's Fender Deville 4x10 or 90's The Twin

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Dr Anatta, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. Dr Anatta

    Dr Anatta Tele-Meister

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    Trading for an amp, and these are the two choices I've narrowed it down to. Having a hard time deciding.

    Pros and cons:

    Deville -
    sounds great
    only 50 lbs
    needs new grill cloth, current one is ruined
    only 60 watts (want max headroom. No pun intended)

    The Twin -
    plenty of headroom
    tons of flexibility
    Have heard they sound great (haven't been able to try it yet)
    needs new power tubes, possibly preamp tubes, too
    weighs 77 lbs

    Any thoughts or feedback appreciated.
     
  2. Northern Tele

    Northern Tele Tele-Meister

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    I have a 96' 2x12 Deville. I gather the 4x10 is comparable. The Deville is a good pedal platform amp. You have alot of clean to play around with. I have never been outgunned with it. I remember jamming with this guy and he had a Marshall stack and the the Deville tore it apart. Played in a fusion trio,horn bands always performed well.

    It is a gigging amp and shines when you can crank it up. I had the amp completely overhauled a few years ago rewired etc./cheap plastic inputs were replaced by sturdy components and I have not had a problem in years. I've had it since 99 so it has been a reliable amp for a good long time.

    People complain about the drive channels but I find the first drive is somewhat useable but since I use pedals for crunch etc. the drive channel issue is irrelevant.

    Blaringly loud,this amp seems to sum of the pathos of a million working class blutarkys wailing away at Joes Sports Bar for that Sat night piece of glory.

    The downside is that Devilles are as common as dog crap.

    (with US 90's models somewhat higher up the food chain.) They lack the prestige of something like 'The Twin'. The Twin will give you a better quality product overall but whether you are going to be able to utilize all that clean volume will depend. I believe the Twin is 100 watts and heavy-but with the crappy grill cloth on Deville-I'd say go for the Twin.

    Why settle for a lesser product. I have the Deville but am actually on the lookout for A Bassman-life is too short get the Twin and blast it.
     
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  3. DrZero

    DrZero TDPRI Member

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    The Twin is just so clean with so much headroom that unless you only want that really pure tone I would not go with it.

    77lbs is very heavy, and it's an awkward shape, too. People on the bass thread point out how a Ampeg 8x10 cab is easier to move, it's tall, you put a handle on the top and wheels on the bottom and it's like it's own dolly. You just tilt it over and slide it into the bed of your van or truck. Vs. the Twin you are going to deadlift.

    4x10s are awesome. Some of Fenders greatest blues and rock amps are the the Fender Bassman Combo and the Super Reverb, both are 4x10s.

    60 Watts is all the power you will ever need in the modern era, where even small clubs have PA's that they can mic you through. Even with the PA used just for vocals 50 watts is enough for any venue short of Albert Hall. And you *might* be able to turn it up enough to get some of the sweet singing tone that Fender tube amps are all about.

    I would go for the Deville. Grill cloth is easy to replace, and you have a lot of choices so you can do something subtlety unique.
     
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  4. Dr Anatta

    Dr Anatta Tele-Meister

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    Well, at least the two of you agree! :lol:

    I dunno, it's as hard a call as ever. I almost think I'd rather replace a grill cloth, than a set of power tubes, and possibly preamp tubes. The owner of The Twin said they are the original tubes that came in it. I wager that was 94, as that was when they went to the blacks knobs, which is what this amp has.

    The shape isn't too much of an issue - I'll just use it on a hand truck. But Gob forbid if I do a gig that requires loading in up stairs. I've done that quite a few times since 1988.

    Northern Tele - you feel the Deville is a lesser product because they are common and lack prestige? Twin amps of most types (except maybe the Twin II and early vintage Twins) are also quite common.

    DrZero - I want an amp that stays clean. I'm trading the amp I had because it breaks up when I use it at stage volume. Maybe the The Twin is the way to go. But I don't want to spend money on new tubes.
     
  5. Northern Tele

    Northern Tele Tele-Meister

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    I agree that in 99% of gigging applications, 60 watts is more than enough. Although I don't personally feel the Deville is lesser, the resale value is certainly far less and since they've sold millions of them they just seem so plentiful. Kijjiji/Craiglist is always flooded with hot rods of various types.

    I just think since you have an opportunity to get something that is a definite step up you should get the Twin. The Deville will get the job done for sure so maybe just try them out side by side and decide.

    I had an opportunity to get a 90s RI Bassman a few years ago at a very good price and passed on it, now the 90's ones are starting to get up there in price(at least in Canada,the land where everything costs more) so I'm kicking myself.
    Bottom line is that you can get a Deville for cheap any day of the week-not so much for The Twin.
     
  6. Abu Twangy

    Abu Twangy Friend of Leo's

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    That's a hard choice.

    There is a red knob cosmetically decent functional "The Twin" at a local pawn shop for $399. Too bad I don't need the volume and certainly the weight. I see Devilles in the $450-500 range

    I've owned a early SF Twin Reverb and Showman and even in my full-time musician days in the early 70s they were more than I needed.

    The 40 watt difference between The Twin and a 4X10 Deville isn't that much as far as volume is concerned.

    I would go for The Twin if I had a way of moving it comfortably
     
  7. Dr Anatta

    Dr Anatta Tele-Meister

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    Thanks gents. I'll see about trying the Twin. It's at a different location.

    I still have to sell myself on the idea of buying an entire new compliment of tubes. Seeing as how they are the original tubes, I can imagine how the power tubes would still be any good, even though functional. It's possible the preamp tubes can wait. As an amp tech once said to me "Preamp tubes either work, or they don't. If they do, keep 'em."
     
  8. cboutilier

    cboutilier Tele-Afflicted

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    Either one is a good option. You don't need more headroom than a deville offers. I don't care who you are.
     
  9. Stingfan73

    Stingfan73 Tele-Afflicted

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    Deville. New tubes all around on a Twin, and making sure the amp is properly re-biased means perhaps $200-$300 more than planned for an amp you've never heard, and who knows what else needs replacing?

    Truthfully, I'd buy an amp that NEEDS NO REPAIR. I'm sure for the price of whatever these are going for, you can get a different amp that is ready to go. Peavey Classic 30 is supposed to be pretty good, and there are other options too, including a good non-abused Hot Rod Deluxe...
     
  10. dash-riprock

    dash-riprock TDPRI Member

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    I've owned and gigged with both. They both take pedals well. They both are extremely loud and have enough headroom to make blood squirt out of your ears. A lot of people don't like either one even a little. I like them both myself.

    The Twin is more versatile, and represents the whole frequency rainbow well. It has EQ on both channels, with push/pull functions for boost/cut on each knob. Deep, loud bass and clean, crisp highs are there whenever you want them. It has a good usable gain channel that can actually be combined with the clean channel should you ever decide to dirty it up.

    It's also much heavier than the DeVille, and ungodly loud. Even while playing with a full horn section, I never got it past 1.5. That's four 6l6's for you...

    The DeVille is still loud, and its frequencies are more limited than the Twin, but it still has some good tones in there. I'd say it's a little warmer. It's also a bit friendlier up and down stairs.

    It's reverb isn't as strong as the Twin, and it loses bass when you switch to the drive channel, but it approximates the tweed Bassman well.

    I'd go for whatever one is in the best condition.
     
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  11. Dr Anatta

    Dr Anatta Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, wish I could sell the amp I'm trading, for cash instead, but after having tried for a while, I've given up. I really don't mind replacing the grill cloth. That's mainly labor. Tubes, as you pointed out, are another matter. In both cases it's an even trade (not including the tubes that have been mentioned), and no one seems to want a super clean, recently serviced 1979 ultra linear Pro Reverb. I just want to get rid of the thing, I can't make it work for me. So yes, an amp that needs no repair would be great, but doesn't seem likely. The shop that has the Deville had a Hot Rod Deluxe that was in super clean condition, but I was underwhelmed by the sound of it.
     
  12. dash-riprock

    dash-riprock TDPRI Member

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    Just wanted to add, I've spent more money keeping the DeVille going than the Twin, even though it has two 6l6s instead of four...
     
  13. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    if those are the only two choices, I would choose the Twin. If I could wait, I would wait for some other option.
     
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  14. Dr Anatta

    Dr Anatta Tele-Meister

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    Seeing as how the Deville is coming from a shop, that has been around for twenty one years, and is vouched for by someone I know, and the Twin is coming from a private individual, I think I'll go with the Deville. Or ask the shop owner if he can find a Twin of some sort. I could even take the credit for the Pro Reverb, and wait. The shop owner has been hosting the Fort Worth guitar show for fifteen years. I bet he could scare something up. With the Twin, if there's something wrong with it, I'm screwed, it's just a guy from Craigslist. Better to go with a shop with a reputation, and probably some resources.
     
  15. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If that UL Pro Reverb will not yield enough clean volume for you and is truly in proper working order, then I have to ask what speakers are in that Pro Reve b. If the speakers are Oxfords, then that is your proble. You need some higher efficiency speakers. Given comparable efficiency speakers, that UL Pro Reverb will yield more clean volume than the DeVille. The Pro Reverb is better built than either of these amps, and it can be made into. Much more versatile Amp than it is now, but you want clean and it does that.
    IMHO, the amp you have is more valuable than either of the amps you are considering. Some Emi Legend Gb128's or other 100-103db speakers will give you a very loud amp.
    If the Pro Reverb has efficient speakers in it and still will not yield enough clean volume, then something is wrong with the amp, ime. The Decille has more preamp gain and 10 fewer watts.....through the same speakers it will not 'out-clean' the 70 watt UL Pro Reverb.
    Don't let the UL thing turn you off. There are some highly regarded modern boutique amps that go for high dollars that have UL outputs. If the Pro Reverb is healthy and has good, high efficiency speakers yet is not clean enough; you may need a 135 watt UL Tr or Dual Showman Reverb amp. Or.....a Super Twin Reverb that makes 180 watts out of 6 X 6L6's. (8^O
    IF I had a Deville for sale and you wanted to trade that Pro Reverb for it, I would take that deal with a big smile. I'll take handwired and all tube over that inexpensively built Deville with its solid state reverb every day of the week. But....ymmv.
     
  16. Dr Anatta

    Dr Anatta Tele-Meister

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    The UL aspect doesn't turn me off, just so you know. I had a Duncan Convertible some years ago, which is UL, and loved it. Still kick myself for getting rid of it.

    Anyway, it *is* the speakers. They are CTS speakers. I tried some Eminence Cannabis Rex, and it took away what I like about the clean sound. And even with the stock speakers
    or the CR, the OD sounds have never been right. I've used the same three OD boxes for five or more years, and none of them sound right with this amp. I even paid a local amp tech
    (who was an EE with TI, builds his own amps, tube and SS, and is a great player in his on right.) So 800.00 for the amp, another 400.00 for all the amp work, and then 200.00 for speakers. I'm worn out on sinking money into this amp. I'd be willing to wait until this shop owner could locate a twin of some kind, but I'm beyond frustrated with this amp.

    Yeah, you'd think someone would have wanted to buy it. Started it off at 700.00 on CL. Then dropped it to 600.00. Even the offers for trades have been next to nothing. I've since found another amp tech, who isn't as expensive, but does solid work. Maybe he could make the thing more to my liking. Maybe the CR needed more break in time. They only have about 20 hours of playing time on them, and only about half of that is at stage volume.
     
  17. Pcaluaru

    Pcaluaru Tele-Meister

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    I agree with cboutilier 60watts is plenty...for any venue and both are a great choice. I don't think you can go wrong with either one

    I think both amps are going to have their finicky days where you’re going to have to take them to the amp doctor. In reality... if you have gigged on a normal basis you know taking an amp to the tech once in a blue moon is normal. **** happens....

    The Deville and Twin are really close (Functional wise) If you're like everyone else your using a pedal rig...

    To bad that Deville wasn't a ML HRD (Few are on the resale lists) I gig a ML HRDeville (the tone stack is different than a normal Deville, Kind of like Bassman meets Twin) I play in a loud band and I play it at about 3 while using a pedal rig. I retired a 72 twin because the ML HRDeviile just was the better all around amp. Then it would be a no brainer.
     
  18. PumpJockey

    PumpJockey Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Never get rid of a Pro Reverb.

    Never.

    I did and I regret it every time I think about it. Fix it, get it overhauled, put in better speakers, whatever... never get rid of it.
     
  19. connuchar

    connuchar Tele-Meister

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    the choice is easy ,get both ,eye did. eye even put tilt back legs on the 4x10 deville. also there is a mid pot mod that is adding a jumper to the pot that really helps alot. eye think a 12ay7 in v2 helps with the drive channel . the twin [reverb eye'm guessing] needs no mods[at least in my case]
     
  20. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    My thoughts exactly - efficient speakers will make the PR as loud or even louder than the Deville. Get a pair of WGS G12C's or ET65's - both will only cost you $150 and will be night and day difference.
     
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