Other Amps

a sad realization

26

Those 135 watt Twins achieved that power rating by using ultra linear output transformers. They sound really sterile and stiff at every volume setting. The best idea is to convert them blackface specs.

27

I guess it's a world wide thing, twins have never been cheaper over here, and there's a lot of them for sale that aren't selling.

I think Fender managed to sell a lot of twins to people who didn't really need them. I recall seeing a lot of silverface twins in the 80's with overdrive or distortion pedals in front of them, or some cheesy Roland or Ibanez multi-effect pedal thingy.

A Pro Reverb is a lot more practical and loud enough for most people (too loud even, in these dB-regulated times...) and a lighter 2X12 - smaller transformers and speaker magnets - but you hardly see them, compared to twins.

I keep thinking someone should manufacture a drop-in power transformer that would easily convert a twin to a 4 X 6V6 amp. I think that could sell. I like the idea of a double Deluxe Reverb.

28

I recall seeing a lot of silverface twins in the 80's with overdrive or distortion pedals in front of them, or some cheesy Roland or Ibanez multi-effect pedal thingy.

Well, that doesn't seem too odd. If you were convinced you needed that headroom - and convinced you had to have Fender tone - a Twin was at least relatively compact, if by no means light. A comparably powered Peavey might have done as well, but there was no cachet in that. And even if by conviction you'd rather have been using a Marshall stack...that might have been too big and unwieldy for transport. With a Twin and some pedals you could cover pretty much anything, and no one in a band or audience would second-guess your amp choice. A Twin was as industry-standard as IBM iron.

It was either a sheer volume or a headroom thing. I played with a guy who gigged a QUAD Reverb, and played louder than God. Got incredible tone from it, best tone I think I've ever heard live from a cranked overpowered Fender. It sang like the birds, but didn't sound fuzzy fizzy or even hard-driven. Pure and clean, I suppose naturally heavily compressed. And loud loud loud.

But if you wanted to play clean a good bit of the time (as I always have), a Twin was inarguably a time-tested Fender way to get enough headroom for any clean excursions, still plenty loud enough well short of the overdrive zone. Then you'd use pedals for a dirt tone - because, short of cranking an amp clear up to dirt, no amps at the time really had a good overdrive channel.

So the choice was kinda a lower-powered amp you could easily overdrive for that tone - but which would give out if you needed to be CLEAN at gig volume - or an overkill amp for tons of headroom, and pedal dirt. Or two amps and a switcher - but I didn’t know anyone who did that.

And I remember going to gigs where guys had Deluxes, and thinking they sounded both flabby in the lows and raspy in the highs. At the prevailing volumes of the day, they seemed neither clean nor satisfyingly crunchy - just overworked.

In that context, 60-85 watt amps seemed to make sense. For awhile I had 130 watts of Peavey tube power through a 12" Black Widow. THAT was clean, crispy, compact - and very heavy.

29

in my first band, our second guitarist had a twin. He plugged his guitar in input one and my Mic in input two. That was a mess. I was the lead singer and played no instruments, in that band.

30

in my first band, our second guitarist had a twin. He plugged his guitar in input one and my Mic in input two. That was a mess. I was the lead singer and played no instruments, in that band.

– Suprdave

Singing thru the second channel in a guitar amp used to be really common. Look at just how many old amps have mike channels. In the '50s and '60s, PA gear was huge, complex, and too expensive for the average garage band.

31

So...you guys don't have people to carry the gear??

32

Real men carry their own gear.

33

Real men carry their own gear.

– Proteus

34

The heaviest thing that I've had the displeasure of hauling up and down stairs and to and from gigs, was an original Army surplus Rhodes piano rig, that was used in a band that I was in, in the early 1980's. Man-oh-man was that thing heavy, but boy was it heavenly sounding! The piano in its case was a two man drag, it had two metal handles, one on each end, and had to be moved/dragged/grunted in 20' intervals. The two speakers, in their cases, were only a few lbs lighter (each) than the piano. I absolutely hated moving that thing, and was glad to see it go, after about 2 and a half years of lugging it around.

I have a 1980 Fender 75 Watt tube combo with a 15"speaker, and a spring reverb pan, it weighs north of 65 lbs. To make matters worse, I stack it on a Fender 4x12" cabinet, of the same era, and play through all 5 speakers. This rig weighs an ungodly number of pounds. It mostly sits in the corner of the music room, gathering dust.

Day was when I dragged that rig up and down stairs, over hill and dell, and never thought twice about it. It was how things were, and we didn't know any difference. We never needed to mic our amps, the raw power of those old rigs stood on their own.

Today I still like the idea of raw power and I'm using a Boss Katana 100 watt 2x12 amplifier. It has a power selector for half a watt, 50 watts and 100 watts, that makes useful for any venue, and it weighs in at 45 lbs. On board effects keeps my gig bag devoid of all but a few select pedals.

I also have a Fender FM 25 DSP, that gets amazingly loud, and it only weighs 23 lbs. It has built-in effects and amp modeling, I've been using it as a lightweight alternative for band practice. So far, it's been able to hang in there for that setting, though having only a single 10" speaker, it doesn't have the depth that I want for gigging.

If I want to go extremely lightweight (sans-amp), I have a Line 6 POD amp modeler, that can very successfully XLR (or 1/4") out to the sound board. Things have definitely changed since 1977, and it's good changes IMO. No more dragging 120 lbs rigs around. The new class D amplifiers have made things even easier, with shoebox sized amp heads, though I prefer class AB for guitar, the class D works great for the bass.

35

Well since I started this Unloved Twin Reverb chat, back 40 years ago we carred big Sunn PA cabs, Altec horns, etc. Also a Hammond B-3 but in a Trek II portable case, and Leslie 122. There may have been a huge Bandmaster 2-12 cab. Even then I never had an amp than my Vibrolux that shows How Cool I Was For the Time.

36

So...you guys don't have people to carry the gear??

– Billy Zoom

I did for a while; it didn't last.

We parted for the usual reason- money. I didn't have any and they wanted it.

37

Don't any of you fellas play gigs where ONLY VOCALS are mic'ed? Still quite a bit of that going on around here.... it's why I own a 22W AND A 60W amp.... I prefer the 22W, but sometimes that just don't get it done in a 2-guitar band, with a loud drummer, and a full room....

38

Don't any of you fellas play gigs where ONLY VOCALS are mic'ed? Still quite a bit of that going on around here.... it's why I own a 22W AND A 60W amp.... I prefer the 22W, but sometimes that just don't get it done in a 2-guitar band, with a loud drummer, and a full room....

– ruger9

Sure, but then a twin is still overkill if you want amp breakup. Twin 6L6 Fenders do the job nicely, four is only necessary if you need squeaky clean at that kind of volume.

39

My guitar rig is thankfully smaller than it used to be these days, though the Rackabilly toolbox is ungodly heavy for its size. But that doesn’t mean I’m off the hook. In retrospect, I could have played dumb and said I don’t know anything about PA gear and let the rest of the band figure out our PA, but no, I had to be Mr. Helpful and offered up what has evolved into a sizable PA rig. It’s all on wheels and rolls in and out of the van on a ramp, but it’s still a lot of cubic volume and probably totals up to about 800 lbs. And sometimes, like at one mouse-driven venue in Orange County, I have to bring it all in one shot. Security has been known to stop and search our gear on the way in, but when they see this freight train coming, they usually just step aside and warn the guests to do likewise.

40

When I very first started gigging, I played bass and drove a '67 VW Bug...I stuffed a 2 x 15" Sunn cabinet in the backseat, the Sunn Sorado Bass Head in the front seat, and the Fender Precision bass in its case got slipped into the space between the front seats backs and the back seat with the cabinet (like a slice of cheese between two pieces of bread.

When I stopped gigging, I was carrying two 2 x 15" cabinets, and and Acoustic 301 SS Bass Head and a Rickenbacker Bass...thankfully the band had the use of a van. I sold all that stuff and got myself a "retirement" Les Paul and a Fender Twin Reverb...get this....to "play at home"....lol. I sold the Twin a couple years later and replaced it with a small Peavey Backstage 30....a crap amp, but more than I needed at the time.

41

" I played with a guy who gigged a QUAD Reverb, and played louder than God."

You played with Albert Collins???? ;)

42

So all this talk of twins and supers, thought some of you might fid this interesting...

Tab Benoit: his amps are Cat5s, but they are clones of a twin and a super. He plays the super on 7 for the grind, and the twin on 3 to add back in the clarity lost by cranking the super to 7. The super is running louder than the twin, the twin is just complementing the super.

I've of course heard of guys running 2 amps with different tones to complement each other, but I haven't really heard of guys running one clean and one crunching amp simultaneously, and at different volumes. I knew there was something different about Tab's tone, as I tried to get it for a long time, and couldn't (with a single amp)... "tone is in the fingers" notwithstanding. And the problem was exactly as he described: it was either too clean, or too dirty, could never find the right blend with only one amp.

43

Our gigging P.A., when I started the band were Altec Bass Throw cabs that sat around 3.5 ft tall and then a mid cab about 1.5 ft tall and then a set of horns on top. The entire set up was about 7 ft tall when together and i ran each set with a Crown 300 watt amp, so three of those. Those were fun gigs. I still have one of these

44

Our gigging P.A., when I started the band were Altec Bass Throw cabs that sat around 3.5 ft tall and then a mid cab about 1.5 ft tall and then a set of horns on top. The entire set up was about 7 ft tall when together and i ran each set with a Crown 300 watt amp, so three of those. Those were fun gigs. I still have one of these

– Suprdave

Crown amps are bulletproof. Crown is/was owned by the Amish in Elkhart IN. Their first amp was a 20 watter meant for hospital use, meant to amplify the signal from a heart to enough of a level so that it could be seen on an oscilloscope. Some bright fellow figured out that since it was in audio range it'd be worth checking that aspect out. Worked out pretty well. I've used their gear for years, and never have been disappointed.

45

There was a time in my misspent musical youth when I yearned for more bottom end, so I bought a JBL 15" speaker and mounted it in a Peavy cabinet and used it as an extension, plugged into one of my 2 1972 Twins. NOT ENOUGH! So, I bought 2 heavy duty Gauss 12" speakers and put them in the Twin and sat the amp up on the extension 15". Oh Yeah!!! Played my '71 LP Custom thru it and when I'd hit low note-based chords it felt like your socks were being pulled off. Now, that's some lower end, BUT ... it took 2 of us to put the Twins in my trunk. They went for weighing 74 pounds to almost 90. Ouch!

46

"BUT ... it took 2 of us to put the Twins in my trunk. They went for weighing 74 pounds to almost 90. Ouch! " --- Premansite

In one of my bands, it was no problem finding volunteers who wanted to put the twins in the back of the van.


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