Help me understand the different twin reverb methods

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by tesla005, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    You mean, a Twin Reverb is way too much amp for SOME club work. If you want to drive your amp into 90% saturation all the time, every tune, thru the whole tune, all night long, without any pre-amp or pedal assistance - ok, fine, in that case a Twin might be too much amp for small % of the community. For the others, a Twin can do a lot of goodness at reasonable volume levels. A lot of folks prematurely dismiss Twins based on myth and confusion.

    I like early silver faces, and they don't have to be blackfaced. I don't understand that trend either - just get a blackface? Every Twin was popular, sold a lot, and exploited successfully both commercially and at home. Learn to get the most out of an amp for what it is. Man am I glad I got a '70 all original with JBLs before someone modded it - I now know what these ACTUALLY sound like at home and in a band, and how versatile they really are, as designed.
     
  2. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    There's no myth or confusion, and I have played and serviced Twins since the 60's.

    I say "most" club work - you say "some". You're just using semantics to express personal preferences.

    I absolutely disagree with your perception of running a Twin at 90% saturation "all the time, every tune...." being the ONLY case where it's "too much amp", and even then only for a "SMALL" % of the community. In southern California Twins are white elephants in everything but "classic country/Bakersfield sound" backlines, where the bright, thin clean tones of Don Rich, Buck Owens and others are desired.

    But THAT is the small percentage of club work here - in fact it's hard to find. Clubs feature rock bands, alternative, hardcore, and even if modern country is being played the low/mid-volume Twin tone doesn't cut it without pedals - just too thin.

    That's why lower-powered amps like Deluxe Reverbs are FAR more popular for club work (and 100x more practical for home use) - unless you personally LIKE the thin tone, which a small percentage (and among them close to zero% rock, alternative, country rock, modern country and other players.

    Wow, you mention myths and misconceptions and apparently do not understand the technical end. "Blackfacing" a Fender is basically converting it to adjustable bias with minor changes in the phase inverter. VERY few "BF conversions" change every different-spec part in the amp.

    You don't understand it and advise just get a blackface - but have you elver qworked for a vintage dealer - or even bothered to pread a price guide? At the LOW end of excellent condition:

    1968 Silverface Twin Reverb: $1075
    1967 Blackface Twin Re erb: $1950

    ....when an easily-reversible, basic blackface conversion runs about $75.

    So your logic is off by about $875! :lol:

    Like I mentioned, I haven't seen a Twin on a club stage (meaning the local gigging band stages) in over ten years.

    MOST gigging players I know - from Classic/Bakersfield Country to hard rock - have several amps for gigs. And they use the one that gets the OPTIMUM tone at a particular venue (taking into account size, band loudness, type of stage, inside room shape and ceiling height/type, number of butts in seats etc).

    That is using a well-maintained tube amp that is run at about 10-20% below the top of the clean headroom when the guitar controls are normally rolled back 15% or so.

    This allows the player to boost the clean volume *at the guitar* for solos, plus a little more control movement slides the amp into *mild* saturation.

    Tube amps get their best tone this way, which is why most guys have 3-4 gig amps and always take a backup. And the highest output amps seen on club stages are roughy equivalent to Super Reverbs, Pro Reverb, 50 watt JCM800's AC15's (AC30's approach Twin output)

    And a Twin Reverb is just too loud when run at its optimum settings. It's great for huge halls and unmiked outdoor gigs - but you're not going to get optimum tone from a Twin Reverb in a typical bar or club (especially with more and more clubs and bars setting spl limits!)

    I learned "the right amp for the right venue" from Clarence White in 1972 and have used (and taught) it ever since.

    What I see in your post is wishful thinking combined with a preference for thinner - and outdated in most cases - tones.Hey, if YOU like it, more power to you - but your analysis of other players and percentages is valid only in your dreams.There's no sense debating about it as too much personal perception is involved.

    But seriously - think abit about the "myths" and "confusion". They certainly did NOT emanate from me.
     
  3. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    Might have to add Twin Reverb to the no religion no political talk thing. :)

    To be perfectly honest. (not something I'm particularly good at) There was a time when I didn't have a lot if use for a TR either.
    Got my first SFTR in the early 90s, after playing SS Peaveys for several years. I wanted me some of that "tube amp distortion" obviously I bought the wrong amp! That one was kinda thin sounding but a Shred Master set to just boost a little warmed it up.
    That was the first amp I worked on and I tried every mod I could find. Then one day I saw the lower voltages on the schmatics and dropped in a PT out of a very trashed BF Showman. (same as a TR) I didn't even own a volt meter then!
    But that's what warmed up the amp and I stopped using the pedal. By that time it was just blackfaced, other mods were removed, didn't care for um I guess.
    That amp went away 2001 and I had no desire to own another one. But when a 1965 came my way for $500 I've loved them ever since.
     
  4. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    What has been the most popular amp for backlines, for the last 4-5 decades?
    What is the one of the oldest, continuous amp model of all time?
    What amp has the most sales of all time?

    I'm not trying to spar with you friend, you seem to have a lot of knowledge to offer. Those of us that play Twins, and have a collection of right-sized amps, can only weigh in with what we've observed. I take one of my Twins out every 6th gig or so on rotation, so I feel I know of what I speak, and I truly feel like I get good tone, after years of working at it. I'm just giving actual practice and experience, and I think I'm not the only TDPRI member who feels the same way, and beyond TDPRI. Without a regulatory commission or federal licensing, I heartily claim that Twins are very useful for club gigs and more. I'd hate to see folks shun them, because of something they read, versus trying them, and deciding for themselves.
     
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  5. Marquee Moon

    Marquee Moon Tele-Meister

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    I played a brownface twin reverb once, and it wasn't so overly loud that it would make you go deaf. Sounded great and had a lovely pitch shifting vibrato. I have heard BF twin reverbs aren't like that.
     
  6. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Very true. I have a white '61 - completely different from a Twin *Reverb*. The electronics and components are completely different.

    Not arguing with you - but canyou clarify those statements? Do you have any concrete proof of those three statements?

    1. Backlines where (and maybe you should define what you mean)? What clubs USE backlines (ones here don't - players supply their own gear). Are you speaking of particular styles? I provided some subdivision of styles vs volume; you haven't really offered any defining terms.

    2. No offense, but could you try this again with some grammar correction? Your meaning is unclear.

    3. Fender has never published sales data for individual models, but per my discussions with Fender Management in the mid 2000's various solid-state models were the largest selling models by far.

    FWIW in the used market, on the Reverb.com website in 2016 the Twin Reverb cracked neither the top 10 amp models in unit sales or gross dollar sales. In 2018 the Twin Reverb isn't in the top 20.

    And in 2016 the Twin Reverb was the FIFTH best selling used Fender amp, preceded by the Princeton Reverb, Champ, Vibro Champ and Deluxe Reverb.

    The comments I made were based on personal observations as a club customer and player, and as an active amp tech since the late 1960's (and responses in this post include information from Fender Sales Management at the time. It would be improper to post their names, but if you have any problems believing that information *you* can PM me for further discussion - obviously I'm not going to give names to everyone.

    But I think it's obvious your "data" is either based on rumor or fabrication.
     
  7. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    If it had reverb it wasn't a brownface (aka blonde) Twin. But those did have that cool vibroto. I'd like to play one of those sometime with the Fender outbourd reverb unit.
     
  8. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    I gave no data. I asked what amp outnumbers all others in backlines, sales, and years in continuous production? These are questions posed to you, who I concede is an expert since the 1960's.
     
  9. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yawn. I think I'll go play my Twin now.
     
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  10. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    One of the things I really like most about my Twin Reverb amps is the fact that they are not thin sounding at all. I plug straight into them, bright switch off (of course) and get that luscious, beefy clean sound that I like....with nothing plugged in between my Teles and the amp. If I want thin biting Don rich sounds, I flip the bright switch on.
    My Vibrolux Reverb amp is totaly different. I cannot plug straight into that amp. It's too thin...drives me crazy. The only way I can get it to thicken up is by inserting lots of EQ between the guitar and amp. Sort of a disappointment for me. But whatever works. That's why my old SF Twins get most of the work. They are very manageable and I am used to them. Just my own .02 cents worth.
     
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  11. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

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    ‘73 Twin owner here it has MV. Love it. Great amps. I have also repaired and demo’d a non-MV ‘71. Also Ultra Linear models. All sounded great. Different speakers seemed to make to biggest difference between them all.

    Once I attended a live gig. About 75 people in a smaller cabaret. The guitarist was playing my ‘73 Twin R. Amp was not mic’d. Finally I was able to be where the audience was. Not 4 four feet in front of it performing with it.

    I was amazed how well it filled the room. It seemed non-directional. Watching the band play, it was as though this thick warm tone was not coming directly from the stage area. It filled every corner of the building somehow maybe like a silk blanket. The amp was clean and warm. It had zero problems cutting theu over top of any other instruments and all the crowd noise.

    It was a real treat to experience that.
     
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  12. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    OK - it sounded like you were making claims in the form of "if you just fill in these blanks it'll prove my point."

    1. As noted, backline data is essentially nonexistent - and irrelevant anyway, since it would be dependent on what styles/venues use backlines. They're almost nonexistent here.

    2. Still not quite sure of your meaning - but if you mean which Fender amp has been continuously in production the longest, it would be the Champ (1948-1982) followed by the non-reverb Princeton (1947-1979). The Twin Reverb was continuously produced from 1963-1982

    3. Reverb.com's model sales figures are a fair representation of the market as a whole. Fender does not officially release unit or dollar volume for individual models, but anecdotal evidence via discussions with former (and at the time, some current) Fender employees consistently notes that the Twin Reverb was never close to Fender's top-selling amp model - even top selling tube amp model. As with most manufacturers the most expensive/top of the line (or close) models are never the big sellers - budget and mid-line products are the highest volume items both in dollar and unit volume.

    I hope this wasn't viewed as an "argument" or a dissing of the Twin Reverb. It was just a clearing up of misconceptions. And the Twin Reverb is a great amp when used in the right situation - I played one for years when outdoor, unmiked festival gigs were popular. But I never used one in a typical club situation as it was not possible to optimize the amp's tone at lower volume levels. And THAT is the key point.
     
  13. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    I thought OP's question was valid and interesting. The responses to date haven't done much to help delineate the differences, aside from the obvious; master volume or none, ultralinear. Rather, we've got posters arguing about whether the Twin is a good amp for gigging, others saying it's dumb to mod them.

    OP, as with all of these things, it's best just to go play through some Twins and see for yourself. I see you are in Greece so I imagine there is added cost and less opportunity to do that. They all sound good, though they all sound different and some better than others. If you find one locally, just try to have an open mind, demo it to see if it excites you, and if it doesn't, move on.

    FWIW, I've owned SF Twins, and have done gigs with SF Twins as backline, and I've sat in on gigs with BF Twins. IMO, they are all great, if in proper working order, though I have liked some better than others. I'm not sure which of the backline amps may have had the UL transformer. IME, they have also been rock solid reliable tube amps with very little issues. They are bold, clean amps, with sparkly Fender cleans. They can produce a powerful low e string response without farting out, which is important to me. Turn any Twin up to 6 and it sounds glorious, moves air like no smaller Fender amp, and has a power to behold that is simply awesome. However it will be so loud that you'll rarely be able to do that, so you'll need some dirt to warm it up at lower volumes. I've been gigging with my 72 with JBLs and using a Lightspeed Overdrive to liven it up at lower volumes. It's a great combo that never leaves me needing more power, though in some rooms at lower volumes it doesn't sound quite as good a smaller amp that is pushed. It is what it is.

    The SF twins have shoddy cab construction and if you have JBLs they will probably be coming apart at the seams.

    Twins are a great value here in the states, their price will continue to rise, and you really can't go wrong having one in your stable. There are so many of them here in the states that you can typically find several listed on any local Craigslist. IMO, $600 for a player grade master volume non-ultralinear SF is a good price, 800 for a clean SF with JBLs, 1000 for a drip edge, $1500 for a blackface are the price points I'd set.

    Legend has it that Junior Brown's rig was two Twins dimed. Great tones!
     
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  14. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    For the OP then...

    When I started looking at vintage Fenders not too many years ago, I was obsessed with finding out every detail, tracking every clue to the date of the amp. It was fun and challenging to look for some of the better listings on eBay and Reverb, where the seller had included gut shots and photos of mfr date codes, serial numbers, etc. Then I'd see if I could date the amp on my own, from the available data. Within a week or two, I could nail the date on most BF/SFs. I was mostly interested in the SFs, because they're so similar to the BFs, without the collector premium. Plus, I didn't want something 'too valuable to fix' as it were.

    I had bought a couple SFs, and then a deal on a luscious 74 Twin for $400 shipped fell apart, essentially because I was being too much of a dick about determining if it was a 74 or perhaps a 73. Really!? Who cares!


    Now all I care about when buying SF amps is this:

    - I avoid the ULs. They sound harsh to me, and while I know enough to work on my earlier amps, I don't understand how to optimize these to sound good. (When I say 'harsh', the 79 I had briefly sounded great compared to something else, but back to back with a 69 Twin, yeah, harsh).

    - The cab must be intact. That's a very low bar, because the cabs are bombproof. But just in case it got dropped off the back of a moving pickup truck... I don't want a replacement cab, or some wracked piece of crap.

    - The transformers must be original. Easy to prove with the readily visible date codes. They're hard to replace, and I *think* the transformers are a good part of the sound I hear. (Now I'm sure someone will dispute that. Whatever.)


    That's it. These days I can decide yes or no on an SF in about ten seconds. Everything else is something I can deal with, without much trouble. You have to figure that over half a century, any number of booger-handed idiots (not unlike myself) have been in your new amp, doing god knows what. But it's all fixable, usually for peanuts if you learn to do your own work. These amps are extremely hard to permanently damage.

    Things like cosmetics, Tolex tears, even the warped/cracked baffle on my 71 Super... really doesn't bother me. Probably if I gigged the Super, I'd strengthen the baffle. But here at home it's a non-issue.


    Yes, the MV / pull boost is crap. Just dime the pot and don't pull it.

    Just buy one.
     
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  15. Marquee Moon

    Marquee Moon Tele-Meister

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    it was brown or white, its hard for me to remember. I do remember though it had that awesome lucy and the sky with diamonds vibrato.
     
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  16. Rayf_Brogan

    Rayf_Brogan Tele-Meister

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    The early MV Twins pulled extra gain out of the reverb circuit. It amounted to nothing special and if you tried to crank the channel volume with low MV settings, you got a muddy mess. Cranked MV and channel volume on 3.5 or 4 was the sweet TR sound everyone loves. Still, not exactly the same as the BF circuit. A little less mid range and compression, but still a fantastic amp until you have to pull it out of a trunk and carry it up stairs.
     
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