Other Amps

Fender twin reverb 2

1

So I’ve been looking for a 65 re-issue twin reverb and came across an early 80’s twin reverb 2. Can anybody enlighten me on this amp and how it differs from the 65 RI twin reverb?

2

They are nothing like a real Twin Reverb, and they SUCK!!!!! Run away fast!

4

Also...can you make a good argument for wanting/needing ANY Fender Twin Reverb?

Heavy, loud loud LOUD, and ... often strident-sounding. Or at least let's say the clarity can be brutal.

It's arguable that the same classic blackface tone can be had in a user- and ear-friendlier package.

Unless you really DO need to be THAT loud and THAT clean, and don't get any soundman support.

5

Hey Nick. I recommend you look for an early SF Pro Reverb, also known as the baby Twin. 40 watts which is plenty loud enough for anything short of a stadium gig. The early ones are identical to the few years when it began life as a BF. As usual, the BF's command a higher but unjustified higher price. Mine's a '66 but I got a good deal.

6

Twin Reverb II; that'd be one of those Rivera designed amps. If memory serves, they were designed to compete with Mesa Boogies with various gain stages and internal channel switching. I had a Concert and it weighed a ton, so I can imagine the Twin II must have been two tons; actually it was 75 lbs. A silverface Twin weighed 69 lbs. They are very different amps. I also had the Princeton Reverb II and it always seemed to be wimpy, especially as a jazz amp. The one from that era that I liked and should have kept was the Super Champ, which was more like a Princeton Reverb with two 6V6 power tubes.

Just curious; why a Twin Reverb?

7

Not all Rivera models are bad -- just got a great deal on a Champ II, 12 watts w/ a 10 like Princeton. Master volume not needed or that awful pull pot midrange boost but other than that LOUD in a small package.

8

A Deluxe Reverb would be a whole lot more usable. If you need the sheer volume of a Twin (and they can be brutal) just mike the Deluxe. Of course, a Blackface Twin is an amazing amp---85 watts of clean.

9

I really like the sound of a twin reverb. I love how clean it is. I’m pretty sure I’ve settled on it. I’m hoping to play in a jazz group pretty soon that is about a 15 -20 piece. I want to play along and stay clean. The guitarist they have plays a super reverb. I played the deluxe and while it sounded good, I prefer the sound of 2 speakers. I’ll try a pro though and see how I like it. Any years to avoid on those?

10

Billy, I've heard you mention before to stay away from Fenders post 1980. I'm assuming this coincides with CBS. Is there something specific with the amps that was changed that made them a lot worse? I have to admit I can play through one of the more recent re-issues of just about any of the aforementioned Fender amps and I think they sound pretty good, although admittedly my playing and my "objective/subjective" feel for tone obviously aren't what yours are. My guitar shop has a few of the SF 70's twin reverbs for around 750, whereas they have a couple of the newer 65 RI twin reverbs for about 1-200 more. So even though you aren't real high on the twins, is it your thought that I'd be better off going with the SF 70's models assuming I like the sound just as well? I do like the cheaper price, and I do like the idea of vintage gear. I'm just hoping to pick your brain before I make such a big decision. I just sold my blues jr so now its crunch time to find a good upgrade/replacement! I'd appreciate any advice.

11

A 70's SF will sound much better than a reissue, a Pro Reverb will sound much better than a Twin Reverb. A Deluxe Reverb will sound much better than a Princeton Reverb. Stay away from any of those 80's Fender amps.

12

Cool, thanks. Tonight I’ll head down to Dave’s, plug in to the 70’s SF twins, then plug into a Deluxe Reverb and I’ll hopefully be a little closer to a decision. Appreciate everybody’s input!

13

I really like the sound of a twin reverb. I love how clean it is. I’m pretty sure I’ve settled on it. I’m hoping to play in a jazz group pretty soon that is about a 15 -20 piece. I want to play along and stay clean. The guitarist they have plays a super reverb. I played the deluxe and while it sounded good, I prefer the sound of 2 speakers. I’ll try a pro though and see how I like it. Any years to avoid on those?

– Rockabilly_Nick

I think you should try a SF Pro so you can get the full spectrum from the Deluxe to the Twin. It falls nicely in the middle at 40 watts. It has a pair of 12" like the twin and is very clean, and it will keep up with a 20 piece jazz group. Depending on the amount of volume needed, the deluxe may be just at the limit of its range for staying clean for a group that size. Only you can determine that.

As for years to avoid, I'd say, and this applies to most SF models, the years once they had the Master Volume - almost the mid-70's and even later when they bumped up the watts to around 75 I believe. The early SF's have the same chassis as the '66 & '68 and are significantly cheaper.

Just below the Pro is the Vibrolux Reverb at 35 watts and has 2 x 10"; sort of a 'baby' Pro. a sensational amp that never got the love it deserved. If you can find a same era one of these, give it a play as well.

14

Billy, I've heard you mention before to stay away from Fenders post 1980. I'm assuming this coincides with CBS. Is there something specific with the amps that was changed that made them a lot worse? I have to admit I can play through one of the more recent re-issues of just about any of the aforementioned Fender amps and I think they sound pretty good, although admittedly my playing and my "objective/subjective" feel for tone obviously aren't what yours are. My guitar shop has a few of the SF 70's twin reverbs for around 750, whereas they have a couple of the newer 65 RI twin reverbs for about 1-200 more. So even though you aren't real high on the twins, is it your thought that I'd be better off going with the SF 70's models assuming I like the sound just as well? I do like the cheaper price, and I do like the idea of vintage gear. I'm just hoping to pick your brain before I make such a big decision. I just sold my blues jr so now its crunch time to find a good upgrade/replacement! I'd appreciate any advice.

– Rockabilly_Nick

Post 1980 isn’t CBS, that was back in the mid 60s.

For many, BF Fenders are the definitiom of classic Fender sound. (Many, especially in these circles also love the earlier tweed, brown, and blonde ones too).

Around 67-68, new owner CBS started tweaking the designs and thus the SF were born. In general, these are similar to the coveted BF amps, but a bit cleaner and with a little more sparkle.

These amps are popular because they are cheaper than BF amps, are still PTP wired, some like the sparkly sound, and they can be easily modded to BF specs. As Dave noted, some of the early models actually are BF circuitry in SF clothes.

As time progressed, they are considered to have become worse. 68-69 and you might have a Blackface. Up to 72 and they are easily modded. In 73 or so they added the master volume which is argued to impact tone. Cab quality went down too. Late 70s and they were redesigned with bigger transformers and other features that further impact tone.

1980 began the Rivera era with totally new designs. Not generally well liked, a deviation from past eras, but they have their fans

In short, if you want a SF fender, aim for a 68-72.

15

Yeah thats right CBS was 60's, not sure what I was thinking on the CBS comment. I think I've just got so many fender amps with similar names circulating around my head that its making me a bit crazy. They got a Peavey Delta Blues 115 in at the shop for 450. I know a lot of people here like those. Can anybody with experience with those comment on how good they'd be for loud clean jazz tone? I should state that another requirement is that the amp has reverb and tremolo, which the peavey does.

16

I have a DB15, actually my second. I didn’t think I was using the first one as much as I should have been, and sold it. Then I missed it and realized it wasn’t how often I used it that mattered, it was how much I enjoyed it.

So I got another. It’s a sonically versatile amp with a pretty neutral tone that can be tweaked to the need, and can get plenty clean-loud without straining, or turning spiky and harsh. It doesn’t have quite the sparkle of a BF Fender, and its basic tone has more midrange detail - but you can scoop the mids and push the highs to get close. On the other hand, fuller mids are among the things that are so lovable about it, and I would think conducive to sweet jazz tone.

There’s also a pretty dandy dirt channel, but it shares the eq stack with the clean - and I’ve found that it sounds best (in this case, swampy) with a different eq setup than the clean channel. So unless you just want a boost into overdrive when you switch channels, you shouldn’t think of it as a real channel-switcher.

Also, if you were looking for extra sparkle for antiseptic cleans, it’s a great candidate for a JBL 15 (or Weber California clone) - with aluminum dust cap for the whole brutal clang-clean effect.

17

Of course I'm a big fan of single 15's, having an Executive but you'll never, ever find one of those for the price you mentioned for the Peavey, or even twice that! I was looking at that Peavey model when the Exec became available but it's always been highly rated for its clean jazz tone so for your use Nick, it's a great consideration, along with the SF Fenders.

I'd like to add that with the SF models, the early years Jason mentioned, that while they have a lovely bit more sparkle than the BF's, their tone doesn't get harsh at all. The SF models will give you all the clean jazz tone you're after, just avoid the years we've all mentioned and you'll be fine.

18

Hopefully the negative rumors about Rivera-designed Fender amps will keep up. That way I can snap them all up myself dirt cheap before word gets out. I have a pair of Fender Concert II amps and love them. I run them in stereo. There's also a cult following of modders to this amp. Since it's the last point-to-point all-tube amp that Fender ever made, it's fairly easy to maintain, modify and repair compared to the PCB Chinese junk Fender sells today at twice the price.

Rivera designed Fenders have lots more tone shaping abilities like a mid boost and a transparent master volume. They also feature channel switching and an effects loop. Higher wattage Fenders ARE heavy amps due to the huge transformers and extra speakers....but that's true of ANY high wattage tube amp. At any rate in my opinion they are the best kept secret in vintage tube amps.

19

Yeah thats right CBS was 60's, not sure what I was thinking on the CBS comment. I think I've just got so many fender amps with similar names circulating around my head that its making me a bit crazy. They got a Peavey Delta Blues 115 in at the shop for 450. I know a lot of people here like those. Can anybody with experience with those comment on how good they'd be for loud clean jazz tone? I should state that another requirement is that the amp has reverb and tremolo, which the peavey does.

– Rockabilly_Nick

If you only need clean, and you need loud clean and classic sounding reverb and trem, get a silverface twin, pro reverb, super reverb, anything like that - twins in particular are cheap these days. Build quality/component/ease of service wise, the Peavey is a toy in comparison.

20

There may be a day when I want dirty guitar sound again, but I figure I can just pick up any number of pedals for that. Right now for me, “clean” is the bees knees. I plugged into a recent Vibrolux SF amp with the 2 tens. I actually thought that sounded pretty good too. Jeez I’m usually more decisive than this, but I feel like I’m at a point in my playing where I’m ready to make the jump to a “grown up” amp and I just want to make sure I make a good decision, something I’ll be happy with for a long time and hopefully keep my purchase to <$1000.

21

There may be a day when I want dirty guitar sound again, but I figure I can just pick up any number of pedals for that. Right now for me, “clean” is the bees knees. I plugged into a recent Vibrolux SF amp with the 2 tens. I actually thought that sounded pretty good too. Jeez I’m usually more decisive than this, but I feel like I’m at a point in my playing where I’m ready to make the jump to a “grown up” amp and I just want to make sure I make a good decision, something I’ll be happy with for a long time and hopefully keep my purchase to <$1000.

– Rockabilly_Nick

Good reasoning Nick. It would be interesting to be able to play through a vintage, early SF VR and the reissue you mentioned. Either the reissue or an early one like mine are a lot of amp in a reasonable package but the nod for me goes to the vintage one as they're P-P and a better cab. The reissue has the custom channel but I have no experience with that feature. The Sweatwater revue from players just love the reisusue and worth reading. Pick your poison, Nick! Almost anything you read about the vintage one rave about them and frequently mention as the one that got away and that they're sorry they sold it.

What price can you get a new one for?

22

Recent reissue BF twins I see are generally around 900. Post 73 70’s model SF twins are around 800. I don’t see too many 68-72 SF twins show up around here but I can be patient and wait for one. My ampeg V2 has been getting lots of love lately that’s for sure!

23

The Ultra-linear model twins are somethwat of an acquired taste (look for the "135 Watt" marking on the back panel), tough still quality amps. Otherwise, any silverface twin will be a better choice than a "reissue".

24

Cool, thanks. Tonight I’ll head down to Dave’s, plug in to the 70’s SF twins, then plug into a Deluxe Reverb and I’ll hopefully be a little closer to a decision. Appreciate everybody’s input!

– Rockabilly_Nick

For some reason I see a lot of Silver Face amps up for sale. I have had an SFDR and SFPR since the late '90s. Billy has restored both of them for me. Thank You Billy.

25

Yeah, I think I'm probably gonna go with a 70's SF twin. Sounds like the consensus is that even a mid 70's model will still be better than the new 65 reissue. Nice to have such a wealth of knowledge here to get my info from. I usually don't believe much I read on the internet, unless I've read it here. If I can find one without master volume then great, but that probably won't make or break my decision, the actual sound and functionality of the amp notwithstanding of course. Its funny, 15-20 years ago I would have never considered a 70's SF just because it doesn't look "50's". I don't care about that stuff anymore, I just care about tone. Look for a NAD post in the "other amps" thread one of these days!


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