School Me on Mid 70s SF Twins.

TeleTex82

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I have an opportunity to purchase a DEAD mint mid 70s SF Twin for what I believe is a really good price <$1000. This thing has sat unplayable under its cover for at least 40 years. Has RCA tubes. Not a scratch, nick, or stain. It sounds absolutely beautiful. I don't know much about the mid 70s amps other than they have the push/pull boost. Anything to look out for?

It is way more amp than I will possibly ever need and will likely rarely leave my home. My 12" 65 PRRI is just loud enough for the band I'm in, but I've always wanted a twin. Am I nuts?
 

Lawdawg

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I've had a '74 Twin for about 23 years. It was my first serious tube amp and it still sounds great. I'm totally ignorant about technical stuff and other than making sure everything is in working order from both channels to the trem and reverb I'm not much help. If it hasn't been serviced in over 40 years there's a chance that it will need to be recapped. I could be totally wrong, but I believe capacitors can wear out over time even if the amp isn't getting played much.

You're certainly not nuts, if you can live with the size and weight and massive clean headroom, those mid 70s SF Twins are wonderful amps. Even with a loud band, I seriously doubt you're going to be able to play it loud enough to get any real breakup. Of course, that's what pedals are for and I think SF Twins work great as clean pedal platform amps. Despite what many folks will tell you, the Master Volume is your friend and is one reason why I actually prefer SF Twins with MV over BF Twins or the earlier non-MV Twins.

The push-pull boost on the other hand is absolute garbage, but it doesn't hurt anything unless you activate it.
 

glenlivet

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SF twin is the amp that all other amps are judged by.
Even at very low volumes, they move some air, and will fill the room.
You will need a pedal or two to get some dirt off it. It will stay clean up to some REALLY loud volumes.
Keep the push-pull pushed in, crank it to 10, and never touch it again.
I've had my 76-77 (with the orange cone JBL's) since the mid 90's. Haven't had a single thing done to it. Ever.
If you're not hauling it around, it's the amp to have.

edit: I take that back...I changed the pilot light about 5 years ago.
 
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MuddyWolf

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Dude, do you need an amp that's as heavy as a boat anchor and so loud you can't play it ANYWHERE? Why do you think deluxes are $4k and Twins are $800.
Great amp. But not practical for anything unless you just joined an Allman Brothers tribute band that plays outside in cornfields with no PA support.
 

TeleTex82

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Dude, do you need an amp that's as heavy as a boat anchor and so loud you can't play it ANYWHERE? Why do you think deluxes are $4k and Twins are $800.
Great amp. But not practical for anything unless you just joined an Allman Brothers tribute band that plays outside in cornfields with no PA support.
Get out of here with your sense and logic!
 

Cam

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I disagree with those who say they are too loud. Twin reverbs are never too loud if you use the volume knob. Turn it way down to a whisper and it sounds good. Work your way up for other volume experiments. Crank the volume full and shatter your windows it is too loud to sound good, cuz' you've ruined your hearing and will never hear it correctly after that. They are great amps. Great but heavy. Mid 70's twin reverbs that have 100 watts written on the speaker jack on the back panel are nicer than the later 70's 135 watt ultra linear in my experience although the 135 uls arent that bad. The twin is a clean clear amp. Slap on an overdrive pedal if you want distortion, even at low volumes. Leave the master volume cranked and use the channel volume to your need. The push pull master volume function is pretty useless. Don't pull it out. Get a dolly or make sure the heavy darn thing has casters. Lush reverb and vibrato on these amps! But don't buy it if you can't move it around easily. Grunt-fest!
 
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Masmus

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When Marshall made the most expensive amp it cost to develop (Club n Country) It was made to compete with 70's Twin Reverbs. Wish I'd bought one when they were cheap.
 

dsutton24

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Kids these days! I had one years ago, and no one knew if they would even work if you turned it down below 8.

The Twin is too loud for blah, blah, blah. This is probably the only amp in the history of amps that has a truly useful volume knob. The Twin is a wonderful amp when turned way up. It's a wonderful amp when turned down. It's probably the most versatile amp ever built, it will sound like a Twin at any volume setting.

Twins outside? Nothing, including a Twin is ever enough outside. Maybe if you're doing coffee house singer / songwriter stuff. If you need to get a crowd moving you're going to need a P.A.

They're heavy... Yeah, they're heavy. But, we're living in a time where an 8 pound guitar is considered to be a boat anchor. We used to use my Twin, a Super Six, an old Ampeg PA and homebrew speakers, and a Bassman head and cabinet. Yes, we were obnoxious. But, to be fair, we were loud and obnoxious.

The one I have now is a master volume / pull boost, and it's a wonderful amp. Mine doesn't have the 'pull boost' legend stenciled on the front panel. When it came to me the push pull switch had disintegrated, so the original pot got replaced with a standard pot, and the pull boost wiring removed. I really wouldn't have bothered if the pot didn't need replacing anyway. Just turn that knob all the way up, push it in, and pretend it doesn't exist.

Just buy the silly thing. It's a Twin for goodness' sake!
 

TeleTex82

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Kids these days! I had one years ago, and no one knew if they would even work if you turned it down below 8.

The Twin is too loud for blah, blah, blah. This is probably the only amp in the history of amps that has a truly useful volume knob. The Twin is a wonderful amp when turned way up. It's a wonderful amp when turned down. It's probably the most versatile amp ever built, it will sound like a Twin at any volume setting.

Twins outside? Nothing, including a Twin is ever enough outside. Maybe if you're doing coffee house singer / songwriter stuff. If you need to get a crowd moving you're going to need a P.A.

They're heavy... Yeah, they're heavy. But, we're living in a time where an 8 pound guitar is considered to be a boat anchor. We used to use my Twin, a Super Six, an old Ampeg PA and homebrew speakers, and a Bassman head and cabinet. Yes, we were obnoxious. But, to be fair, we were loud and obnoxious.

The one I have now is a master volume / pull boost, and it's a wonderful amp. Mine doesn't have the 'pull boost' legend stenciled on the front panel. When it came to me the push pull switch had disintegrated, so the original pot got replaced with a standard pot, and the pull boost wiring removed. I really wouldn't have bothered if the pot didn't need replacing anyway. Just turn that knob all the way up, push it in, and pretend it doesn't exist.

Just buy the silly thing. It's a Twin for goodness' sake!
That's the thing that I really love about it, even at low volume the thing just sounds amazing. The reverb and trem are to die for. I'll only be lugging it out of the house once, maybe twice a week. It's got casters. Thank you for enabling me.
 

archetype

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If you have the room for one, a TR is a fabulous amp. I played through one in a living room for years. With volume on 1 or 1 1/2 it has a full, room-filling clean tone. Room-filling is not a synonym for loud. You can get any tone or modulation you want with a pedal.

It doesn't matter that it has more power than you 'think you'll ever use.' Power does more than just get loud and that capacity is what makes a TR do what it does at living room level. At low volume, a TR has authority and definition that a smaller amp can't offer. For the record, I also like smaller amps for what they bring to the party.
 

MuddyWolf

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Yeah everybody here says a twin isn't too loud, master volume, overdrive pedal, blah blah blah.
Yet I NEVER see any one using a sf twin except once in awhile a major label country guy....no not even them. Or plexi front Marshalls either for that matter.
 

Milspec

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If you haven't purchased it already....it is probably gone at that price.

I have a home studio full of amps (Blackface, Tweeds, Browns) yet my favorite is my late '70's Twin that has some blackfacing done along with the addition of a bias adjustment pot.

Why my favorite? Because unlike other amps, you don't have to crank it to find the sweet spot. Truth is, they offer the same great clean platform at 2 as they do at 7....just not as loud. I play mine at 2.5 in my home and the volume is no louder than an old Blues Jr. at the sweet spot.

As you already know, dragging it around is it's only flaw as an amp. I would not go for a Twin as my gigging amp, but they are great for home usage.

So, call who-ever you need to and buy that sucker, get it serviced, and join the happy crowd of Twin players.
 

chris m.

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Whatever happened to band mates helping each other with load in and load out? We used to help each other with Fender Rhodes, half stacks, Leslie speakers, big PA speakers, etc. A Twin is heavy for one guy, but no big deal for two. Removable casters help a lot, too.
 

TeleTex82

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Whatever happened to band mates helping each other with load in and load out? We used to help each other with Fender Rhodes, half stacks, Leslie speakers, big PA speakers, etc. A Twin is heavy for one guy, but no big deal for two. Removable casters help a lot, too.
It's got casters, and lifting it isn't a huge deal. I'm 6'5 225 lbs, if I can't lift 70 lbs then I need a gym membership not an amp. My concern with owning a twin has always been the notion that you can't get them sounding good at reasonable volumes, which appears to be a misconception.
 

Stedgett

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Whatever happened to band mates helping each other with load in and load out? We used to help each other with Fender Rhodes, half stacks, Leslie speakers, big PA speakers, etc. A Twin is heavy for one guy, but no big deal for two. Removable casters help a lot, too.
We still try to help each other but some of us have gotten older than dirt and risk of injury increases. :). The lightweight amps are just that. This is an amazing amp and quite a find in my book, especially the condition, if as described. It is worth the bucks to have it checked out. Absolutely get a grounded power cord, replace the caps if needed and make sure to replace everything with a close as original as you can. Is it heavy, yes; is it loud, yes; if you cranked it, folks would have to peel themselves off the back wall. However, as others said, you don't need to crank it. Dirt pedal is a must if you play that kind of music. A decent attenuator may be in order. Leo designed them to stay clean and they are. Bottom line, if you do not like it and it is in stated condition, you can resell at a nice profit. Lightweight digital amps are just that, they are not designed to be repaired, only replaced and if under any warranty, chances are they will replace it rather than repair it. That said, you have the opportunity to buy this gem, then by all means do in my opinion. Have fun and enjoy!
 

Wally

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It's got casters, and lifting it isn't a huge deal. I'm 6'5 225 lbs, if I can't lift 70 lbs then I need a gym membership not an amp. My concern with owning a twin has always been the notion that you can't get them sounding good at reasonable volumes, which appears to be a misconception.

the secret to a BF/SF amp is to understand the relationship of the volume and tone controls. The amp should sound glorious with the volume and tones set at ‘5’. If you have an opportunity/need for more volume, then moderate the tones..especially the treble and bass. If you need low volume below 5, then push the tones above 5 to maintain richness and presence. The Middle tone control can be run at any setting at any volume. The amp can be modded to have two very distinct channels. I see no reason to maintain two channels that are voiced exactly alike.
Mid 70's twin reverbs that have 100 watts written on the speaker jack on the back panel are nicer than the later 70's 185 watt ultra linear in my experience although the 185 uls arent that bad.
The ultralinear Twin Reverb is a 135 watt amp. There are two Twin amps that are 180 watts…the Super Twin and the Super Twin Reverb, which run 6 x 6L6s and yield the best SRV tones I have heard from a stock Fender.

It's got casters, and lifting it isn't a huge deal. I'm 6'5 225 lbs, if I can't lift 70 lbs then I need a gym membership not an amp. My concern with owning a twin has always been the notion that you can't get them sounding good at reasonable volumes, which appears to be a misconception.
Good luck with the SFTR, TeleTex82. I have a feeling you are going to buy this amp. One should always be wary of claims of ‘service’. I would be wanting to pull the chassis and view what has been done unless there is a detailed receipt for the service. If they don’t want to let You look at that aspect and/or can’t produce a record of what has been done, then imho you start offering no more than $750….because it is likely that the amp will need to be recapped. Also, the AC wiring will need to be modified to best and safest wiring. One should always have a newly acquired used amp evaluated by a tech so you know what one has bought and how it is running.…Biasing, voltages, etc.
 




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