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AdamJay
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8th May 2006
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How are the Fender Twin Reverb reissues?

i'm in the market for a Twin Reverb, i keep coming across alot of reissues.

when i was looking a couple months back, i remember being tipped that a pre 70's Twin Reverb is more desirable. but can't remember why?

anyone got any tips on buying a Twin Reverb??

and keep in mind this would be used 70% of the time for Rhodes, and 30% of the time for guitar.
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in the late sixties CBS bought fender and by 67 or so they "improved" most of the amp lines to get rid of that "undesirable tube saturation"

the reissues are based on the pre-cbs era stuff and are supposed to be fairly faithful but I've never played through one
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don't waste your time or money on a reissue or silverfaced Fender amp. the differances are too numerous to mention....I can sum them up by saying "icky".
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thanks guys.

Wes,
if you could divulge more info, aside from "icky" that would be great.
Opinions are great, but i'm looking less for yays and nays and more for whys and whens, if you get my drift?

please school me, guys.
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Hey Adam, do you NEED 100 watts? The twin is overkill for a lot of things, a deluxe reverb is much nicer for recording applications IMHO
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well, of all the amps i've heard a Rhodes through, i prefered the Twin Reverb the most.
and thats mostly why i'm looking to buy once.
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here's what i would do:

first ignore anyone who says your wasting your time unless you buy vintage. I've played real blackfaces that were worn out dogs, played silverfaces that were modded to blackface specs that were beautiful and played reissues that were awesome (with some simple mods)

so, i would just get a reissue on ebay from a good seller. get rid of the OEM speakers and put in a pair of 4 ohm 50 watt WEBER 12F150A. (wire them in series to get 8 ohm load) these are clones of the jensen C12N that came stock in the original twin reverbs.

get some rca silverplate 12ax7 tubes. (rca 7025 would be more accurate but 12ax7's are cheaper)

get a matched quad of svetlana 6l6 powertubes.

this would be just fine to have a beautiful tone just as good as a vintage amp....as long as the new speakers are fully broken in, you spill some beer on it and have the amp in a smoky room.


but if your a tone fiend... then you could go the extra mile and get a power and output transformer to get you that extra push over the sweet spot. i would get mercury magnetics tranny's

and then get a point to point board although some people don't think that really makes a difference on tone but makes the amp way more reliable. you can drop it down the stairs and it will probably sound better.....as long as the tubes survive.

and all this would still be way cheaper than buying a flakey vintage amp.

this amp would last you a lifetime and then some.

just my .02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dj_who
here's what i would do:

so, i would just get a reissue on ebay from a good seller. get rid of the OEM speakers and put in a pair of 4 ohm 50 watt WEBER 12F150A. (wire them in paralell to get 8 ohm load) these are clones of the jensen C12N that came stock in the original twin reverbs.

Do you mean series?
Two 4 ohms in parallel will give you 2 ohms.
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reissue twin

I own a reissue twin. I use it for road work.I think it is a great amp. I own a 1965 twin and there isnt much difference. Go to gc and try one yourself you will be surprised.
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[QUOTE]Do you mean series?
Two 4 ohms in parallel will give you 2 ohms.[QUOTE]


DOH yes i meant to say series....my bad

i'll correct my post, since that could be damaging to an amp.

thanks for the correction. its late i should be in bed....i took ambien.
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not all 70's Twins are bad

It's misinformation that all 70's Twin Reverbs are crap. It's the master volume ones that suck in my opinion. If you get an early 70-72 (I think) then it's a non-master volume circuit which is not too far off from the 60's blackface circuit. If memory serves me correctly all that needs to be done is convert the bias circuit to and adjustable one like in the AB763 circuit...I would have to look at the schematic again. I would also recommend upgrading the poop brown caps to Mallory caps. Put in some decent 6L6's (I prefer the Winged "C" SED or something NOS) and some good preamp tubes and you'll basically have a blackface-sounding amp for much less money. Oh yeah--upgrade the speakers to Weber 12F150's or Weber Californias is you like that JBL sound.

I had a reissue Twin Reverb. It looked nice. The price was right. It was a little 2D sounding and harsh in the treble. I found a '71 Twin Reverb that looked like crap for $400. It put the reissue to shame when played side by side. It had already been blackfaced. I upgraded all the caps, retubed it, and put in new speakers. It's one of the best sounding amps I have ever heard and the one that I use to play in my band.

In summary: 70-72 non master volume Twin Reverb, convert to blackface AB763 circuit (www.ampwares.com/ffg), replace all brown turd caps with Mallory or Orange Drops (not as smooth IMO), buy good tubes and bias properly, replace speakers with Webers. Amazing blackface tone.

Second freebie Fender tip: all Silverface Princeton and Princeton Reverb amps were left untouched by CBS for the most part. Again, upgrade components/tubes/speakers, wash, rinse, rock out, repeat.

Good luck!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan

Second freebie Fender tip: all Silverface Princeton and Princeton Reverb amps were left untouched by CBS for the most part. Again, upgrade components/tubes/speakers, wash, rinse, rock out, repeat.

Good luck!
Brad
As well as the deluxe reverbs from 66-71 or somewhere in there, as long as it has the ab763 circuit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamJay
i'm in the market for a Twin Reverb, i keep coming across alot of reissues.

when i was looking a couple months back, i remember being tipped that a pre 70's Twin Reverb is more desirable. but can't remember why?

anyone got any tips on buying a Twin Reverb??

and keep in mind this would be used 70% of the time for Rhodes, and 30% of the time for guitar.
I don't like them as much as the Traynor counterparts...
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I bought a reissue '65 Super Reverb a while ago and it's a real good amp.

A few to consider:

-The tubes that come with most Fender reissues suck ass, just horrible. Upgrade these first, it'll make a big difference.

-What I learned again and again over the years is that any amp needs to be played/burned in. The thing that makes a lot of 'vintage' amps or guitars so desireable is that they've been played for a few decades and really developed their voice. At least the good ones did and chances are that they were played a lot because they were good to begin with.

That's what the fellow Gearslut probably meant by 'icky'. There's an edge to the sound that will magically morph into desireable combinations of 'twang', 'honk', 'harmonic bloom' and 'punch' over time.

The trick is to find the amps that 'have potential'. Is the amp excellent sounding but a bit 'icky'? You like the basic sound and response but maybe wish for slightly less 'pierce'. I'd say buy the amp then.
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I'll state again that you can take out the two outer valves and the twin is 50watts. Mine is a silverface mid seventies. No mods. I've had very generous offers on it when doing gigs.
I think the variables with these amps are like 1176 and la2a's. You can't buy a Blackface 1969 on ebay with a sonic quality stamp on it.
Never buy an amp without listening to it (unless Dave Gilmour's your uncle and he's doing the shopping).

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"icky" things about reissues:

Transformers. reissues are wound on a plastic bobbin which holds the windings further from the core...bad for bottem end, and overall tone. Originals are wound on paper.

Tubes. this has been mentioned several time so far, but it's the easiest (not cheapest, if you do it right) thing to change about reissues.

Speakers. the stock speakers that come with the reissue are NOTHING like the speakers in a blackface Twin.

The circuit has also been modified, or "improved" in the same manner CBS "improved" the silverface twin. I don't think that the differances between the RI and the original 65 are huge, or as detrimental as the changes CBS made to the silver face, but the two amps are differant electrically nonetheless.

The cabinet and most importantly the baffle of the older amp has had more than 40 years to dry. Just like a vintage guitar that has aged just right, the way the cab dries affects the way it vibrates, and therefore the overall tone of the amp.

I'm not saying the RI is a bad amp, it's not, I just can't see how anyone can compare a RI to an original and keep a straight face. They are two differant animals. The RI will give you the sound of a Twin, but not the soul.

Good luck in the search for an amp!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan
It's misinformation that all 70's Twin Reverbs are crap. It's the master volume ones that suck in my opinion.

And, just to add another opinion to the fray: I had a 1977 silverface Twin Reverb with the master volume, and I kick myself daily for selling it. That amp was ferocious! Yes, it sounded best when you essentially disabled the master volume control (leaving it dimed), and god forbid you tried to use the Pull-For-Distortion feature as anything other than synthetic buzzy/rizzy insect fuzz. But for a loud, clean, testosterone-infusor that bestowed a chest-smacking fatness to every axe played through it, that '77 Twin was beyond reproach. I'd take one again in a heartbeat.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes Kuhnley
The RI will give you the sound of a Twin, but not the soul.
I always thought that providing this part was the player's job. I absolutely love my 1971 Marshall Super Lead but it doesn't make me play any more or less soulful than I would thru a reissue.....YMMV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dj_who
here's what i would do:

first ignore anyone who says your wasting your time unless you buy vintage. I've played real blackfaces that were worn out dogs, played silverfaces that were modded to blackface specs that were beautiful

Exactly. Just buy a nice cheap silverface and spend the $100 to mod it to blackface specs and you're done. Instead of buying a reissue (which are probably great amps as well), you have enough cash left over to buy another 6 space lunchbox to support your *500 series module* habit. Just don't use the distortion feature on the master volume because it's not that good. I had my Quad Reverb put back to blacface specs and enabled the trem and reverb to be used in both channels as well, took out those crappy speakers that were in there and put in some Weber Thames and Californias and the thing sounds killer.
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The blackface (1965) reissues are very good.
DJ-Who knows what he is talking about.
I own Tweed, Brown, Blond and Blackface Fenders and the reissues
can be made to sound as good as any vintage blackface Fender.

Don the tone man Butler knows how to make the reissues sing
if you need that last 5%
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Gaucher
...Just buy a nice cheap silverface and spend the $100 to mod it to blackface specs and you're done.
I used to do a lot of this work because silverface amps were available for very little money in the Pittsburgh area. Silverface twins, super, quads and deluxe amps were also plentiful. A full modification parts list might call not only for the recapping and tube replacement, but also an output transformer. If you're interested in cosmetics, new faceplates and grille could be added. Speaker cabinetry could also be changed; a personal favorite is the marriage of closed back and open back units. The work itself is not difficult, but it does require understanding of and respect for the voltages involved.

I haven't really listened carefully to the reissue printed circuit board amps, but there is really no reason that, with proper tubes and loud speakers, they wouldn't get you 95% of the way towards point-to-point topolgy. Others may disagree, but I thouroughly enjoy my printed circuit board AC30 and AC15 amps.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker
I always thought that providing this part was the player's job. I absolutely love my 1971 Marshall Super Lead but it doesn't make me play any more or less soulful than I would thru a reissue.....YMMV
Good point. There are certainly some old black face fenders that have the mojo going, but I've played silvers that sounded great. Clean, fender tone. I have a 1964 bf bassman head (recapped) I run into a open 2x12 cab that twangs pretty hard. I had a 70s silver twin (in the seventies) which I thought was too loud for clubbing.

But, I do think fender has done a good job on both the Hot rod deluxe and the BF twin reissue. I base this on hearing the amps other players use in some bands I play with. Now that I think about it, the guy did put jbls in his BF twin reissue.

If I were to drop 6 bills on an amp, it'd probadly be the Hot Rod deluxe. 11 bills, I'd look carefully at a Mesa f-50 which I liked. Again, I'm playing mostly clean country, americana stuff.

Long live the never ending guitar amp debate.
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thanks for all the info guys. these were the kind of informative, geek-a-thon replies i was looking for on the subject.

I think i'll grab a slightly used Reissue, found one for $800 that i'm gonna take a look at. Retube and go from there.

Doorknocker, are you saying your reissue didnt require new speakers but rather the stock speakers just needed to be burned in? Any suggestions for rapid burning in? Perhaps recording a non amplified Rhodes signal, and playing it back into the amplifier, amp placed in an isolation box - and just putting the recorded file (15 minutes long or so) on repeat through the amp - for a week or so? Or would it be a better idea to just seak out a different (maybe used but great condition) pair of speakers?
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Life long guitar player, played through and owned a bazillion amps, including pre-CBS twin, post CBS twin and RI twins.
The reissue Twins are a good sounding / faithful to the original concept amp.
(not true for some of the other reissues for sure).
It all depends on what your application is. Very loud powerful amps, and they dont start burning until they're turned up a bit, so if you dont need something that'll take your socks off, try something else.
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One thing I heard, is that the reissue Twin Reverb does'nt have a real spring reverb, that is a digital reverb instead (probably 5% of the cost). I checked Fenders homepage and it does'nt say, just reverb. That probably gives you a hint, they would probably use marketing slur like "real vintage spring reverb" or something.

Does anyone know if that's true?
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twin

It has real spring reverb.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordnielson
I'll state again that you can take out the two outer valves and the twin is 50watts. Mine is a silverface mid seventies. No mods. I've had very generous offers on it when doing gigs.
I think the variables with these amps are like 1176 and la2a's. You can't buy a Blackface 1969 on ebay with a sonic quality stamp on it.
Never buy an amp without listening to it (unless Dave Gilmour's your uncle and he's doing the shopping).

The Lord
If you aren't afraid to tinker with tube amps then you can take any "okay" sounding amp and make it sound much better by doing simple upgrades to tubes, speakers, filter caps, and signal caps. If you had a room full of 1967 Twin Reverbs that would be the difference between all of them right there. You never know an amps history. Maybe it was never played. Maybe it was gigged with every day. Maybe one has NOS GE tubes whereas another has Groove Tubes. If you don't have a clue how to work on tube amps then sure, buy the best sounding one you find. If you know your way around amps then just get the cheapest example you find and polish it into a gem.

Brad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes Kuhnley
"icky" things about reissues:

Transformers. reissues are wound on a plastic bobbin which holds the windings further from the core...bad for bottem end, and overall tone. Originals are wound on paper.

Tubes. this has been mentioned several time so far, but it's the easiest (not cheapest, if you do it right) thing to change about reissues.

Speakers. the stock speakers that come with the reissue are NOTHING like the speakers in a blackface Twin.

The circuit has also been modified, or "improved" in the same manner CBS "improved" the silverface twin. I don't think that the differances between the RI and the original 65 are huge, or as detrimental as the changes CBS made to the silver face, but the two amps are differant electrically nonetheless.

The cabinet and most importantly the baffle of the older amp has had more than 40 years to dry. Just like a vintage guitar that has aged just right, the way the cab dries affects the way it vibrates, and therefore the overall tone of the amp.

I'm not saying the RI is a bad amp, it's not, I just can't see how anyone can compare a RI to an original and keep a straight face. They are two differant animals. The RI will give you the sound of a Twin, but not the soul.

Good luck in the search for an amp!
Wes is dead on with each of these points....especially the baffle! The one thing I'll give the new reissues is that there is a plywood baffle, whereas the 70's amps used an MDF baffle (sucks!). The cabinets made in the 60's had nice joints, whearas the ones in the 70's, although still pine, just had a lousy butt joint. Be sure to pick your Silverface amp up from the bottom and not by the handle!

Brad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamJay
I think i'll grab a slightly used Reissue, found one for $800 that i'm gonna take a look at. Retube and go from there.
Unless prices have doubled in the last 2 years...that seems steep. Couldn't you get a new one for a little more than that price? I bought my Silverface for $400! and the reissue I had sold for $550. I would think $650 would be about right.

Brad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan
Unless prices have doubled in the last 2 years...that seems steep. Couldn't you get a new one for a little more than that price? I bought my Silverface for $400! and the reissue I had sold for $550. I would think $650 would be about right.

Brad
i guess prices have gone up quite a bit.

the new ones are $1100 street. $800 for a second hand reissue seems to be the norm.
$750-$900 for a 70's model, and $1200 and up for a late 60's model.
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