1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Mid-70s Twin Reverb vs Early-70s - Is the MV the only difference?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by itsGiusto, Dec 24, 2020.

  1. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,723
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Have both...love both. I had my '79 partially blackfaced with a bias pot and it sounds as good as my '71 Twin....maybe better. I kept the master volume and do use it on occassion, it doesn't kill the tone much to my ears and allows so more playing options regarding volume.

    All in all, the late '70's are a steal and worth owning.
     
    GibbyTwin, Telecastoff1 and itsGiusto like this.
  2. Zipslack

    Zipslack Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    383
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Earlier SF 100W Twins have a MV. Some "in-between' years had MV with a pull pot for increased gain (100W, also). Later models were ultra-linear (UL) and bumped to 135W with the push-pull MV.

    UL models are typically more "sterile" due to messy lead dress and sprinkling lots if caps to combat oscillation. The 100W with MV are the "gold standard" for clean Fender tone.

    Crank the MV and adjust channel volume to taste. MV helps because you will never crank it to where it starts getting overdrive unless you are playing outdoor concerts.

    NEVER pull the MV pot for the gain boost...it sounds like poo.
     
  3. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    1,239
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Location:
    Blizzardville MN
    Like Milspec, I too have both...a stock '71 Twin and a 1980 UL Twin, all stock except for the speakers. I like them both. I always get a chuckle when I hear how "sterile" the UL Twins are. My '80 UL twin is anything but sterile. In fact, played side-by-side next to my '71 SFTR, it's actually much fuller, and a tad cleaner, but definitely not sterile. I would never part with either one of these amps.
     
  4. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,752
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    Although I’m not a big fan of Twin Reverbs, I’ve played through vintage blackface models, vintage silverface (non-master volume) models, vintage silverface w/master volume models, silverface master volume ultra-linear models and reissue blackface models.

    All have their own little peculiarities and quirks, and all have their strengths and weaknesses...but, besides the ultra linear models, there’s not a 15% difference in sound between any of them...the UL models are quite a different animal, and (IMHO) don’t sound that great—very sterile and harsh.

    One of my favorite amps (besides my beloved, ever-present ‘63-reissue Vibroverb) was my old ‘72 Bassman Ten...silverface, master volume...big, fat, rich tone that is able to get crunchy at lower volumes...excellent amps for gigging, jamming and recording...and totally overlooked because they don’t fit a particular “pedigree.”

    Hogwash.
    Go get the MVSF Twin Reverb.
    Avoid the ultra linear models.
    If it works for you, congratulations...if it doesn’t, sell it and continue your search.
     
    E5RSY likes this.
  5. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,608
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Godzone
    Noone hates the MV per se. The reasons MV models are less revered are mostly nonsensical and some just market availability.

    1. CBS was 'running Fender into the ground' - leads changed to plastic and dress messier and some parts changed like caps and other components - allegedly to worse. That affected perception of guitars and amps.
    2. There's many more of them. CBS cranked up production volume.
    3. Changes were occurring like particle board cabinet sides and glued in baffles.
    4. Because they started blowing speakers the spec changed over time. A lot of 'old skool' guys didn't like the later speakers.
    5. As the 70s went on Fender started to engage in power wars - the amps became bigger and cleaner. Fender engineers saw Marshall success eating into sales. In a complete misread they decided guitarists would appreciate an amp with no breakup but volume like a brick to the temple.

    In reality there's not that much difference between years of Silverface amps. The pedal steel guys I'm told love the 135 with appropriate speakers like JBLs or EVs.

    I blackfaced my VR which was an 80, but the VR was one of the least changed amps. Honestly - you could hardly tell the difference. The 5U4 rectifier was actually preferable to me, I liked the slight greasiness it conferred. Be careful what you wish for.

    My advice would be buy the best-condition Twin regardless of vintage you can afford. Then ensure it's maintained properly and you'll get decades of BIG CLEAN sound.
     
  6. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,723
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I think it was more tradition than reality for players, the newer amps were different than what they were used to so they became viewed as junk. The same happened between Tweed owners and Blackface owners as well. Don't buy legend, buy according to what your ears tell you regardless of era. Fender was building each era of amps to be louder and more clean than the previous....CBS did the same thing, and Leo might have gone down the same road if he still owned the company. In fact, all the things that people seem to hate on (solid state amps, circuit boards, louder and cleaner tones, etc.) were things that Leo was moving towards himself until selling the company. His legacy was likely saved by handing the keys off to CBS.

    Buying amps should be the same as buying shoes....you buy what fits and not for style.
     
    Deed, Telecastoff1 and GibbyTwin like this.
  7. itsGiusto

    itsGiusto Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    710
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2017
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I agree with this in theory, but I also feel like it's sort of important for me to first learn what are great sounds vs non great ones, and to do that, I need to hear and own and play the iconic amps. I mean, before I started paying attention to tone and trying to learn about the history of amps and starting to learn about what some of the great amps were, I thought a lot of amps and pedals sounded good that I now know are not really high-quality sounds. Digital modelling amps, some modern Fenders and Mesas with crappy speakers, etc. I had to cultivate my taste, and that's a large reason why I want to own some of the iconic and greatest amp circuits, so I can learn.
     
  8. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,080
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Location:
    meridianam altum centralis
    Collector value mostly. Since you'll never crank it, you can operate an MV in its better range, and it may not be distinguishable from a non-MV.
     
  9. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    39,046
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    The early Sf amps through 1970 or so have the floating baffleboards rather than the glued-in baffleboard with a separate girlie board that is attached with Velcro. I much prefer the Floating one-piece baffleboard. An early SFSR amp can easily be blackfaced if that is what one wants....or one can simply leave the power rail as is and add a bias voltage adjustment pot to the bias balancing circuit. The AC668 circuit has mixed Biasing and most people remove the cathode Biasing components.
    MV??? Most people do not care for the Fender MV because the preamp is still a rather clean preamp and therefore there is not a lot of preamp gain to:be had. One can drive the mids at 10 for some heat, and one can easily mod the amp to have two very different channels with one voiced toward the midrange and much hotter than the other...if the ‘other’ channel is left stock.
    Imho, any handwired Fender is better than a reissue of the same model.
     
    Deed, moosie, Telecastoff1 and 2 others like this.
  10. itsGiusto

    itsGiusto Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    710
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2017
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I'm not familiar with the concept of a "power rail", and how it applies to Twin Reverbs. Can you elaborate?
     
  11. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    14,925
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    I think the MV has a bad rep because it changes the tone a lot unless wide open. I dislike it on most anything, especially smaller amps. But on a powerful amp like the Twin, maybe that's good to get it less piercing when MV turned down a bit?

    SF differences are there, but mostly reversible stuff like caps on the tubes and other places to reduce noise in the later amps. Early Twins are cool up to about 71/72 IIRC. Always thought they were way too much for me, but I played outdoors with a provided backline a couple years back and the choice was Twin or Marshall. So I took the Twin and actually liked it in the great outdoors. It didn't seem any less controllable than my usual BMR for outdoors.
     
  12. itsGiusto

    itsGiusto Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    710
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2017
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Do you mean this for just the early SF ones, or the later mid-70s ones too? Do you think it's easily doable to blackface a later one, like a mid-70s MV Twin Reverb, or is it worth it trying to get an early one?

    I'm curious to know what you mean by "cool". I think they changed over to MV starting in 72. I'm not sure when the other changes like PI changes were made, if they were before or around the same time as the MV.
     
  13. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    13,624
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Location:
    Snellman MN
    Without reading the thread I'll answer. :)
    I've got two TRs a real deal 65 blackface and a 76 silverface. Most days I like the SF just a bit better, but it's close that swapping the speakers between the two would change that.
    The MV stays on 10 and never gets pulled, it isn't detrimental to the tone at all. Sometimes I do mess with it but that just reminds me, I don't like master volumes.
    Nice thing about the later 100 watters is the plate voltage is the same as the blackfaces. Not a fan of the low voltage TR silverfaces myself.
    Other nice thing is they're cheap.
     
  14. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,860
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Location:
    Arkansas
    The bottle of wine may not be that expensive, but the cork we sniff runs the price up there.
     
  15. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    39,046
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    Power rail...power supply rail....this is the power supply circuit derived from the B+ voltage off of the rectifier. There are changes to the resistances and therefore voltages along this rail from the BF on through the SF era. This rail supplies voltage to the OT, to all of the plates as well as to the screen grids on the power tubes. To truly black face a SF, this needs to be done,..as well as any changes to take the Phase inverter back to BF specs. Interestingly, one of the changes around that PI that was made in the SF era is a change that many make to BF amps. That concerns the .01MFD coupling to the PI in SF TRs after a certain date. Those SF amps have a .01mfd cap there, and that larger cap passes more mopeds than does the .001mfd cap. Many people like this Warner aspect of SF amps. Fender 5F6A amps and the Marshall’s derived from that amp use a .02mfd. Randall .smith used the .001mfd in the first Boogie amps, but then went to larger caps——.1mfd.
     
  16. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    14,925
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    I mean they were nearly the same as BF, yes 72 was the change I think. Like I posted earlier, there are a ton of 71 on the market for some reason. There is little to be done to make them BF.
    I dont think BF'ing any regular MV Twin would be that tough. But I think they are not just a simple MV like some small amps and more involved in the circuit. Having said that, a turret board is a turret board and the layouts of the early ones are easy to make up. In fact they are very similar to all the other big Fender amps but with 4 power tubes. The late 70's or so and some more things changed though. I think I've seen '71's out there for $600. Hard to beat that.
     
    itsGiusto likes this.
  17. Mexitele Blues

    Mexitele Blues Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    43
    Posts:
    1,619
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2018
    Location:
    Westminster, CO
    Interesting. So it is a lack of pre-PI moped buildup that gives SF amps their distinct tone.
     
  18. itsGiusto

    itsGiusto Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    710
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2017
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I'd love it if I could find those, but I'm just not seeing it. As mentioned earlier in the thread, I'm not seeing a non-MV for anything less than 800, usually 1000. I've seen a couple of MV ones for 600-650, but not many, and then with shipping and sometimes tax they come much higher.
     
  19. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    14,925
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    Yeah, that low not common. But if not in a hurry. $800 is a great price too really. I mean that's a lot of great amp for that much, you can spend more on a new Reissue Princeton!
     
    itsGiusto likes this.
  20. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,723
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nebraska
    The secret to finding the great deals on a Twin comes down to location. Nobody is shipping those boat anchors so you have to be within driving distance and the seller knows that leaves a small market of potential buyers. I picked up my '79 from the original owner in mint condition with a pair of JBL speakers. It even had the original receipt, owners manual, and warranty card. Cost me $700 because it was only 30 minutes away and because it was too heavy for the owner to move around any longer.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.