Thinking of buying another Twin Reverb

dukewellington

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I am going to buy a new amplifier this spring…. I need something with tubes that stays clean a good ways up the dial. The only amp I ever had that I truly loved — loved like a brother and sold in an ill-advised bout of poverty — was a Fender Twin that we were pretty sure dated to around 1971. The tolex was a mess, there was a tatty tear in the grill, and it sounded glorious. It was the magic strat of Fender Twins. Someone else, or several other people, had clearly loved the hell out of that thing, too.

If you were going to buy another one… where would you start? Which circuit, and why would you prefer that? SF drip edged? Mid 70s? 85W, 135W? Ultra linear? Master volume? Rivera? “Custom” ‘68 reissue? I’m trying to get away with spending under $1000, and prefer to finance it. Educate me.

Thanks!
 
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Les H

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As the owner of a '65 Reissue mine just doesn't even come close to my experiences with a 70's silverface.

I don't remember the specific model or year but it was my (ex) father in law's silverface Twin. From what I remember it had a master volume control and push/pull pots. It sounded really really good and that was at a time when everything CBS Silverfaced was bad. So my thoughts were if it sounded that good then the '65 Twin Reverb Reissue should sound amazing since it was based on the blackface circuit. Nope.... The least inspiring amp I own, yes, I still have it because the resale on them isn't/hasn't been good. Buyers' market for sure.
 

Milspec

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Leo continued to push the Twin to be cleaner and more powerful with each version. I know there is a lot of negative chatter regarding the UL versions in the late '70's, but I found them to be killer amps once you make a few changes.

I have owned a '71, a '74, and the latest being a '79 and the it is the last one that has become my favorite. I know that ruffles feathers, but it is true. It was a bit stiff when I purchased it, but my tech did some blackfacing and adding the bias pot so it could be dialed back to blackface specs and the results were great...more warmth yet as glassy as crystal without sounding sterile.

The best part is that all the internet chatter has kept the prices way down on the '77-'80 Twins so they can be a real bargain find. I bought mine from the original owner and it was mint in every way...even included the receipt and all the owners manuals for $650 about 2 years ago...and it had the JBL E120 speakers.

If you like to play clean with a lot of sparkle, the UL Twin is a steal. I still see them pop up around here for around $700.
 

max_twang

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I've only owned one Twin -- a '75 Twin (still do) with the push-pull master volume.

I had it properly serviced when I got it, disconnected the pull boost function,
and changed the resistors in the phase inverter circuit to blackface specs. It
came equipped with four RCA 6L6s (!!!) in good condition and JBL K-120's. I
swapped the speakers out for two Weber Californias without the aluminum
dust caps. That was a big improvement. Then, mojo be damned, I replaced the
rusty hardware and grill cloth, so the thing looks as good as it sounds.

It it a terrific amp. Too heavy to schlep up and down the stairs, so it resides
in my music room. IMO, I don't really need to crank it to sound good. It just
sounds perfect.

I guess my point is don't pass up one with the pull boost function if you come
across one. They usually sell for less $$$ and they are wonderful amps once
serviced and tweaked.
 

Axis29

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How about the Tweed 5F8A 85w High Powered Twin?

As the owner of a '58 high power tweed Twin, I can tell you that clean is not it's strongest point. Harmonic content is the true star.

It is clean, compared to my '59 Bassman Reissue (rewired to 5f6-a specs). It is warm, thick, but even the low volume cleans still have a bit of hair on them. It is NOT like a Twin Reverb. By 6 (halfway) it is dirty and freaking loud.


Some of my favorite tones in guitar stores has been through Twins. Interestingly enough, most of the folks on this site love the early 70's Twins. There seems to be some kinda magic in the amps produced just post the drip edge period. I've eyed a few on Craigslist just because of the experiences I've read about here.
 

roeg

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I am going to buy a new amplifier this spring…. I need something with tubes that stays clean a good ways up the dial. The only amp I ever had that I truly loved — loved like a brother and sold in an ill-advised bout of poverty — was a Fender Twin that we were pretty sure dated to around 1971. The tolex was a mess, there was a tatty tear in the grill, and it sounded glorious. It was the magic strat of Fender Twins. Someone else, or several other people, had clearly loved the hell out of that thing, too.

If you were going to buy another one… where would you start? Which circuit, and why would you prefer that? SF drip edged? Mid 70s? 85W, 135W? Ultra linear? Master volume? Rivera? “Custom” ‘68 reissue? I’m trying to get away with spending under $1000, and prefer to finance it. Educate me.

Thanks!
I hear your calling!...i am currently a home player...and have gig'd a fair amount in the past, with different bands.
I can't meet your price point. I have come to love the sound of my '61 Brown Super at home.
Not so scooped as the later BF and SF. Fenders.
Great warm cleans. Loud, Midrange punchy presence.They are overlooked, but not common, so pricey.
I would like to add another one like it...money...looking...Brown early 60's Fenders here are my choice. They are not for everyone, particularly if you are a fan of Blackface or Silverface sound, or if you can even find one that has survived intact.
 
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InstantCoffeeBlue

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A Twin's a Twin's a Twin. It's kinda like, if you've played one, you've played them all, and that's a big part of why they've always been such a staple of backlines. Any of the 85W models will be fine. I don't think there's any particular magic mojo in the early silverface ones, but if I were leaning in one direction, it'd probably look for one made between '68-76. Early seventies is probably the sweet spot in terms of value. I prefer vintage hand wired Fenders when possible, because when serviced, they're incredibly reliable and infinitely serviceable, but that being said I just sold a '65 reissue that was from the early 90s and it sounded great. Never had an issue with it, and I think now that the reissues have been out for, what, 30 years, it's clear that most of the myths circulated on guitar forums for years about the PCB reissues being designed with planned obsolescence in mind are false. Wouldn't shy away from getting a reissue if you find a nice one and the price is right.
 

JustABluesGuy

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A Twin's a Twin's a Twin. It's kinda like, if you've played one, you've played them all, and that's a big part of why they've always been such a staple of backlines. Any of the 85W models will be fine. I don't think there's any particular magic mojo in the early silverface ones, but if I were leaning in one direction, it'd probably look for one made between '68-76. Early seventies is probably the sweet spot in terms of value. I prefer vintage hand wired Fenders when possible, because when serviced, they're incredibly reliable and infinitely serviceable, but that being said I just sold a '65 reissue that was from the early 90s and it sounded great. Never had an issue with it, and I think now that the reissues have been out for, what, 30 years, it's clear that most of the myths circulated on guitar forums for years about the PCB reissues being designed with planned obsolescence in mind are false. Wouldn't shy away from getting a reissue if you find a nice one and the price is right.

The best argument I have heard for avoiding PCBs in favor of hand wired, is that PCBs are more difficult to repair. I haven’t experienced it, but I have heard of some older PCBs being difficult to find.

As far as hand wired sounding “better” than PCBs, that’s just silly.
 

skay

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After the release of Get Back, I imagine the price of a late 60’s Twin has increased somewhat…
 

dreamingtele

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As the owner of a '58 high power tweed Twin, I can tell you that clean is not it's strongest point. Harmonic content is the true star.

It is clean, compared to my '59 Bassman Reissue (rewired to 5f6-a specs). It is warm, thick, but even the low volume cleans still have a bit of hair on them. It is NOT like a Twin Reverb. By 6 (halfway) it is dirty and freaking loud.


Some of my favorite tones in guitar stores has been through Twins. Interestingly enough, most of the folks on this site love the early 70's Twins. There seems to be some kinda magic in the amps produced just post the drip edge period. I've eyed a few on Craigslist just because of the experiences I've read about here.

Maybe I need to get on with some 70’s Twin myself.

Care to share some models/examples I’ll need to look out for?
 

63 vibroverb

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After the release of Get Back, I imagine the price of a late 60’s Twin has increased somewhat…

I believe George and John's Twins during the rooftop show were AC568 circuit Twins. Fender used that circuit very briefly in the earliest silverface Twins (I think for about 6 months) before going back to the AB763. They seemed to have less headroom and sounded more compressed and darker. Not necessarily a bad thing, I think they still sounded beautiful.
 

moosie

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Any SF prior to the UL era (76/77) will be fine. I have a 69, and I owned a 74 for a while. Both have the quintessential Twin sound.

If it has a pull boost, just don't pull it. If it has a MV, dime it.
 
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dukewellington

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Excited!

I demoed a reissue yesterday. I wasn’t super impressed but it did stay clean, which is half the battle. I think it will come down to what’s available when I’m buying later this year.
 

Axis29

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Excited!

I demoed a reissue yesterday. I wasn’t super impressed but it did stay clean, which is half the battle. I think it will come down to what’s available when I’m buying later this year.

I honestly would wager that if you replaced the speakers in a newer '65 Reissue, you might just be sittin' pretty... And happy with the tone. I don't think you'd need to spend billions either.

Although, I cannot honestly recall the last time I saw a Twin on Craigslist.... I think I've seen more older ones than newer ones the last few years?
 

Cosmic Cowboy

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For about half a year. I borrowed and gigged a Fender Supersonic Twin 100w. What a great amp. Like a twin, and a bassman together in a mega-headroom amp.
 

moosie

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I just took a quick spin through Reverb, and it seems there are two facts to accept about the current market.

First, no one wants to ship large amps. Even less than they have in the past. Properly packed, it's probably just nerve wracking, nothing more, but still, one can probably count on a bit longer time in transit, which is more opportunity for problems.

Second, the average price for an early 70s SF Twin seems to be around $1300, plus shipping, if offered.

The earlier drip edge models I saw were $1500 - $2k. They have a nicer baffle, and perhaps a circuit that's closer to the AB763 (in some cases identical), but I think the attraction is probably just a 'thing' that people have read on the internet. Used to be blackface, then 'black line', and now drip edge.

There is one early 70s I noticed, seemed fine, for $1100 shipped. I'd want to see more pics first, including transformer codes, to ensure they're original.

It might take forever, but a better local deal might be found on CL, OfferUp, etc. With some reasonable knowledge gained from an afternoon of internet research, the older amps are easy to buy. They're either just fine as is (less the obligatory cap servicing), or they're straightforward to repair. As always, if you want it to be 'perfect', as in already fully serviced, and with pristine cosmetics, expect to pay through the nose.
 

moosie

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I forgot to mention... Guitar Center is a great place to search used / vintage gear. What's more, they'll have it transported from whatever store is selling it, to your local GC, for a very minimal fee ($20 last time I did it). Then for you, it's a local pickup, AND you have 45 days to return it.

The only problem with GC is that their pics and description SUCK. No problem, just call the store. The listing has a phone number for the selling store. They'll often go look at it, while on the phone, and talk you through what they see.

I see a 75 Twin for $1100 listed.
 

Les H

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Although, I cannot honestly recall the last time I saw a Twin on Craigslist.... I think I've seen more older ones than newer ones the last few years?

Right now in the tiny amp world they aren't selling/no value.

I just looked them up and brand new a 65 Reissue Twin new is 1949.99. That's crazy high in my opinion for an amp who's only additional feature is a vibrato circuit. No effects loop, no lead channel, no power scaling. Just big loud cleans, one channel with reverb and vibrato the other channel completely without. $2000 pedal platform amp....

With prices like that you're in Mesa Boogie territory and for that money I'd much rather have a Mesa Fillmore or even their California Tweed.

The last time I had my reissue up for sale and on Craigslist I finally had it down $550 thinking someone would surely offer $500. Not a single bite and shoved it back in the closet. The only other better bargain out there is a used PV Bandit which offers more versatility.

Unfortunately losing companies like PV, Carvin and Crate, Fender has been able to run amuck with their pricing.
 




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