The amp is common standard with JBL speakers. It's a reliable partner in music and gives an honest sound. Absolutely a wide sound spectrum for a full sound. This amp is absolutely great.
Model Year: 1976
Where Obtained: Friend
Full-tube clean amplifier.
T-Rex - Dr.Swamp
Mesa Boogie V-Twin
Ibanez - TS808 overdrive
Dunlop Q535 Wah pedal
The Fender Twin Reverb is a standard tube amplifier with normal tone controls.
If this amp were 'lost or stolen', I would definitely try as hard as I could to find another one. I prefer it to all the digital solid-state effects-laden swamp water that are so prolific, and I'd probably choose it over those marshalls I spoke of before. After all, I like it a lot and see no reason to change.
Where Obtained: My father, who probably got it from Waterloo Music in Waterloo, Ontario
It is quite a powerful amp for the volume I usually play at, and if I turn it up all the way I'll drown out the drummer if we're in the small practice space we use.
It's all-tube, and the tubes are from the early 70s as well, so it sounds very vintage, at least it does to me.
It is stereo, and it has two different 'effects.' There's one section with two inputs that is simply clean, and it has bass, middle and treble adjustments as well as volume. There is also a revern/vibrato section, again with two inputs and the same controls as the clean sectoion, as well as speed, intensity, and reverb. There is also an overall volume control and 'bright/other' switches for both sections.
I use my Squier Tele and my dad's '73 Telecaster Custom, which both sound superb in it (the '73 is better, but really what'd you expect). I play many different styles, usually grounded in 60s rock (with a bit of country and blues mixed in), but sometimes we play straight blues (Peter Green songs), reggae, or funk. It works well for all of these, and I usually never need to change the settings once I get them right.
It sounds much better than any other amp I've used, save for a few Marshalls at a guitar shop that were far beyond the reaches of my wallet. Because it is about 30 years old, as are the tubes, it occasionally makes some odd noises, but usually only if someone knocks it over (a rare occurance.)
It doesn't distort much at low or even medium volumes, but if you turn it up it's loud and fierce. I play Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground by the White Stripes like that and to me it sounds perfect. To the elderly neighbours, not so much.
There is nothing digital about this amp, and it's very straight forward. Plug it, tune the bass mid and treble how you wish, and go. It takes about half a minute for me to obtain the precise sound I want, and even though I usually keep the setting the same, if we switch from 'Angie' to 'Iron Man' it isn't hard to get it right.
Compared to the other amps I've used a lot, such as another more recent solid-state fender with about 8 zillion digital effects on it, it's as good as gold. The other fender took me 15 minutes just to figure out how to sort through all the effects and get which ones I wanted, and the overall tonality adjustments just weren't as precise.
It weighs about 65 pounds, and it's seen a lot in 30 years. It's been dropped on concrete floors (and roads), been nailed into with a 6 inch nail, and been knocked over a few times, and sat on continuously. It's never been repaired or re-tubed in the last three decades, and it still sounds sweet.
This amp is a work of art. It delivers clean, warm tones that will make you and your guitar sound better than ever, I'm not kidding. I also looked at the Fender Cyber Twin, which seems like a very good amp. It has amp modeling built in and the only reason I didn't purchase it was because I am also going to get the new Digitech GNX4 pedal board which includes amp/guitar/stompbox modeling, so I thought that would be a redundant feature. I wanted an amp that would deliver a very clean, warm sound and this amp delivers that flawlessly. I would buy it again if it were stolen. I can't think of any negatives other than tubes eventually wear out, but the sacrifice is worth it for the tone. To describe this amp in a word, TONE!
Model Year: 2004
Price: $1049.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Guitar Center
'65 Reissue, 2x12 Jensen Speakers. 2 channels, All-tube circuitry, Tube vibrato, Tube spring reverb, Tilt-back legs, 85 Watt amplifier, Weight: 64 lbs. Comes with standard volume, bass, mid, treble controls. Has two channels, normal and vibrato, which have two inputs each. Has a reverb control as well as a speed and intensity control for the vibrato. Also includes an on/off two button foot pedal for reverb and vibrato. Both channels also have a brightness switch.
I run a Brian Moore I9.13 through the two inputs on the reverb/vibrato channels. The 9.13 has 3 magnetic pickups in a hum/single/hum config with coil tapping for many combinations. It also has a piezo pickup which is split from the magnetic via a y cable from the guitar. Lastly the I9.13 has a 13 pin synth which I run separately through a Roland Gr-33 to a stereo amp & speakers. The mag and piezo sound great through the Twin Reverb. The Twin Reverb is very clean, with a beautiful range of lows to highs. I can get any kind of clean tone from a nice fat bass to a crystal clear high. This a great amp to insure that you have a pure clean sound with. If distortion or overdrive is your thing, then just put an effect pedal or board in between the guitar and amp. Rest assured, this amp will deliver exactly what you put into it, but in a very pleasing manner to the ear. It is very well suited to blues, jazz and rock styles, again depending on what tone you're looking for. It will not overdrive by itself to any degree that I have noted, so you will need some sort of effects device to achieve this. I previously had a Marshall JTM60 1x12 combo amp, and there is no comparison. The Fender sounds so much fuller and cleaner, it's like listening to a poor quality MP3 on a cheap pair of headphones and then listening to the same song on DVD Audio through a state of the art home stereo system. It's really that striking of a difference. I found it so inspiring the first time I played it that I didn't notice several hours passing by. I haven't really tried this thing at full volume because at half volume with my guitar volume at full it's already too loud for my house and I don't want to have the cops knockin on my door!
This amp is very simple to operate, all analog controls very logically laid out. It's not programmable, so it's just a matter of moving the tone controls around until you're happy and then choosing whether or not to use reverb and vibrato. It's really just a matter of taste.
I have only had it for about a week, so I can't speak to the long term durability. However it is very solidly constructed, no cheap materials were used as far as I can tell. I know of several big recording artists who have used this amp for years, so that must mean something! Steve Howe of Yes uses two of these amps as his complete stage rig, that's good enough for me.
I looked at many tube amps, Reverend, Marshall, Budda, Crate, other Fenders most twin combos were above my price range and I was prepared to buy a 1X12. Then I saw this used one in mint condition so I went for it. For around the same price as most 1X12's I got twice the amp. I wanted a no frills all tube amp to build tone on and grow into as a player. This seems to be it. It's beatiful sounding and the workmanship is USA quality. I don't think Fender could really make this a better amp, it's supposed to be the basic workingman's amp. I'd certainly buy another one but not without shopping around some more because you never know. Hard to wrong with the Twin Reverb.
Where Obtained: Local music shop
What can I say that you don't already know. It's the standard 65 R.I. classic.
I play a mexi-strat with vintage noisless pickups that I put in. Here's my set up: Strat>Ts9 Tube screamer>crappy DOD Wah I plan on replacing>Quik Tune>Twin Reverb. I play blues and rock mostly although this amp is probably a great platform for other styles. The clean tones are a good as they come, add your favorite effects and go to town. I like the reverb and usually play on that channel but when I want super clean I plug into the clean side. With my pickups plugged into the clean side there is very little noise. There's more on the vibrato channel but not bad. This puppy is LOUD with a fair amount of headroom. I don't gig so I won't lead you on but read other reviews.
Very basic and easy to use. I think it would be nice if it were possible to switch the vibrato on and off without the necessary footswitch. I also don't know what the ground switch does and the manual does not say. It is easy to get my desired sound though and the bright switches add/subtact a noticable difference. The standby switch is also handy.
Seems durable. I don't take it many places, it mostly lives in my house. I haven't had any tubes replaced. Since I don't gig yet (I plan on being in a band sooner or later) I can't speak to this but I know it's been a live show mainstay for decades.
Original pre-CBS blackface circa 1965 bought privately from Mike Pachelli, manager of Sam Ash (www.samash.com) in Tampa, FL, and also a well known jazz/fusion musician and television personality in the local area. This used to be one of his "gig" amps and still has his name stenciled in white paint on the back. Dated 1965 by technicians, but could be also be late 1963 or 1964. Has AB763 (i.e. blackface '65) circuitry and Fender Electric Instrument Co. front and back plate markings and original part number stampings that date it to this period. Serial Number A00698. Cabinetry is from '65 Fender Twin Re-issue (original cabinet destroyed by moisture in storage with prior owner). Speakers are Fender Musical Instrument Co., date uncertain, but are post-CBS (and 1966 or later)from markings. Has original tilt-back legs. Has original foot-switch with twin mounted button type switches, one marked VIB and the other marked REV with original wiring to the switches.
Because power wiring did not always include a safety ground in 1965 when this amp was made, the power cord is not polarized and does not include a ground pin or lug. It needed a floating ground and gound switch design to eliminate stray hum from power sources and wiring. In its day, power was often two wire only, neutral and live, in un-polarized sockets with questionable safety grounds. The neutral was (supposed to be) tied to earth and safety ground at the power service panel entrance to the house/building (i.e. at the meter). The ground switch connects a capacitor from the chassis to one or the other side of the AC power, depending on switch position. This provides an audio ground to the neutral (and thus to the earth ground at the service panel) to minimize hum without attaching the chassis to either wire for DC or AC Power purposes, which would be an immediate electric shock hazard. THIS MEANS IT HAS A FLOATING CHASSIS GROUND THAT IS NOT TIED TO THE AC POWER GREEN WIRE SAFETY GROUND. UL (Underwriters Labs) would probably not certify this today. Whilst its design is not an immediate shock hazard, it is, in most circumstances, a riskier design than one that permanently attaches the green-wire safety ground to the chassis. I will probably modify its ground design in some non-destructive way to eliminate the safety risk inherent in this older design. Having said that, one must always beware of safety risks in using vintage equipment with older, floating ground designs mixed in with modern equipment solidly tied to a safety ground. You can find related power safety issues in discussions about grounded strings on electric guitars elsewhere. You should read these also. A good thing to remember is that any electrical power shock you can feel has enough current to potentially kill you. Safety first!!! A new Twin Reverb and a new '65 Re-issue Twin Reverb are almost as expensive as a working "user" condition original, though easier to find. The Showman and JC-120 alternatives are either almost as expensive or, for vintage collectables, as much or more. This rates it as a fantastic value for use and holding its long-term financial value. All said and done, NOTHING with reverb and vibrato makes this sound. This, the mid-'60s Fender Showman are the "holy grail" for tube amps of their kind and the Roland JC-120 for solid state amps of its kind. If you want their sound, you have to get one of them.
Model Year: 1965
Where Obtained: Private sale
This is, except for the rectifier circuit, an all tube amp. It uses a 12AT7 and a pair of 12AX7's in each of two pre-amps. It uses a quad of 6L6's in the PA (power-amp). The amp is more than versatile enough for the clean neck mounted humbucker and split-coil usage it gets for contemporary and jazz type accompaniment, comping, and clean electric styles. It has only reverb and vibrato effects (get real, what else would you need for clean jazz/blues except stereo and chorus?). The reverb is a spring type and the vibrato is tube (valve) and opto-isolator type. It has four inputs, two each for NORMAL and VIBRATO pre-amps. Eacn input pair comprises a 0db and a -6db jack to its respective pre-amp. Each pre-amp has VOLUME, TREBLE, MIDDLE and BASS controls and a bright switch. The VIBRATO input has additional REVERB control for reverb amount, and SPEED and INTENSITY controls for vibrato rate and depth. There is no channel or input switching. This is not a big problem since one can use the VIBRATO input and switch on and off the effects with the foot-switch as desired. Other than effect insertion, basic pre-amp design is identical for both NORMAL and VIBRATO inputs. Has no effects loops, but one can always put switchable effects between the instrument and the input jack. Might be nice if it had stereo and chorus, but this was '65 and stereo was still in its infancy. I think I would use a Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus for those if I needed them. Includes an external speaker jack. It puts out a loud 85 watts, enough to entertain the neighbors inside their houses from inside my house and still have a clean sound. This is enough for any small to moderate indoor venue up to ear hurting sound levels. On the beach with no walls or ceiling and lots of sound absorbing sand, it would need re-inforcement for an area larger than a small bar/pub. This one came with an extra custom modifed Twin Reverb cabinet that subtracts the speakers, i.e. a head cabinet. Anyone thinking Fender Twin Showman head with reverb added here? What more could you want? Two amp configurations! It has a ground switch to switch the chassis signal (i.e. not DC or AC power) ground reference between legs of the AC power. See my general comments about this and safety.
I use this with a Guild Crossroads CR01 (not the Slash twin-neck, but an extremely scarce older semi-hollow body acoustic/electric) and a Heritage Johnny Smith hollow-body archtop. It has low-level hiss typical of the older capacitors and all the carbon in the pots and resistors in amps of this vintage. It is perfectly clean of hum and instruments with properly shielded wiring create no hum. It makes a clean, smooth, tube type jazz sound. It doesn't start to overdrive until it's so loud it hurts (about 8 on the volume dial). Even then, it is more a crunch that one associates with blues. If you want Marshall quality overdrive and distortion, don't look here. Instead, get a Marshall and be happy. There are circuit modifications available add a switch that can switch out two of the output tubes and one speaker. This allows a blues crunch overdrive at lower, usable volume levels. This amp would also excel at the vintage '65 clean electric guitar Ventures/Surfer/Rock sounds. You will never realistically use the reverb above 3 on its dial and the vibrato above 4 on its intensity dial unless you want some exagerated effects (make fun of surfers, beach music and the Ventures?) The speakers in mine have enormous ceramic magnets and have more bass and smoother treble than the original JBLs from this period. Although the JBLs are more desirable for collectability and by some period purists, I like the higher bass content in these. Remember, in '65, bass in recordings and live performances was not what it is today. What else can I say? I have not heard anything that makes this clean jazz sound any better. If you want to hear one skillfully used, Gerald Ross made an exemplary Jazz recording titled "Romance & Adventure" of his Heritage Johnny Smith plugged in to his '65 Re-issue Fender Twin Reverb. This recording has no "studio magic" and what-you-hear is what-it-sounds-like. You can sample his recording (better yet, e-mail him and buy it) at http://www.geocities.com/geraldguitar/ If that link fails, he is at the University of Michigan and you can find him or samples elsewhere on the internet. Kent Sonenberg of Legends Guitars (http://www.legendsguitars.com) facilitated finding this one (he doesn't sell amps) through one of his contacts. His first choice for this type amp is a mid '60s Fender Showman Head with 1x15 bottom or Fender Twin Showman Head with 2x15 bottom and this one is a second choice. I see the Showman as a good second-choice tube alternative because it has no reverb. My instructor, Michael Florio, a local Tampa musician and studio teacher (http://www.vionline.com/florio), recommends a Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus as a good solid state clean jazz amp (but add stereo chorus, stereo to the reverb and subtract vibrato). I prefer the vibrato/reverb combination (stereo and chorus would be nice, but are not as important to me. I may eventually get a JC-120 just to get one with chorus. Nothing else its class has both the classic reverb and vibrato built in. You might try a '65 re-issue as an close alternative. Even though it has the identical circuit design (except for safety grounding and the ground switch) the circuit board that replaces the point-to-point wiring, modern resistors, pots and capacitors, and the speakers make it sound a little different and have less hiss.
Simplicity is its outstanding virtue. It takes no fiddling at all to adjust its sound. The controls have plenty of range, from sensible to the totally ridiculous (like reverb above 5 and vibrato intensity above 6!). Treble, Middle and Bass all do as expected with plenty of range.
Never a problem. Nevertheless, tubes are tubes and electronics are electronics. If you have to gig fail-safe, arrange for a backup of some kind. Spare tubes would be good to have. PA (power amplifier, i.e. the 6L6's) tubes should ideally get replaced as pairs (1&4 or 2&3) to avoid circuit imbalance. Grid bias on the PA tubes should always be set (if it is adjustable) as soon as possible after a tube replacement. Tube filaments can go at any time. The standby switch was put there for a reason. It avoids switching the filaments on and off (hard on the filaments) and keeps the tubes from continuous high voltage presence (softens them over time) when not in use. Using the power and standby switches properly will avoid premature tube demise. In a pinch, you can steal from one pre-amp to tube the other, as long as you don't need both pre-amps at the same time. The VIBRATO pre-amp can be used clean, so it will work for one instrument if you have the foot switch to switch the VIBRATO and REVERB in and out. A 36-year-old amp has 36-year-old parts and eventually, one of them will just get too tired to go on. This is a heavy amp and you won't want to lug it far without wheels underneath. Mine is lighter because of the modern cabinet. The original cabinets are even heavier. I never needed any customer support. I assume it is out of warranty. They claim to be able to supply a schematic and other diagrams. I've not tried that yet. I service all my own electronics. I started building my own communications receivers and transmitters using tubes and pont-to-point wiring at age 9 in 1961 using WWII surplus equipment. If I didn't have this knowledge, I would be VERY CAREFUL who I let work on this, especially something this age and value. There are lots of "cowboys" out there that talk well but have little knowledge and don't know when they are out of their depth.
Theres not a negative thing I can say about it, the reissues are great too, but the real love is in a origanal.
Model Year: 1976
Where Obtained: Inheritance
Reverb and Vibrato, classic tube sounds!
If you find one in good condition, you cant get much sweeter!
Complicated but worth the trouble!
Why would you want to beat up something worth so much!
My vehicle of choice. I use a 4-12 with mine and the deep is so deep. Highs are crispy enough for anyone or any style. Add PREMIUM effect pedals and you're good to go. The reverb is lush!
WARNING: NEVER HOOK A SPEAKER CABINET TO ANY AMP BEFORE MAKING SURE YOUR OHMS MATCH! THIS CAN BE LETHAL TO YOUR AMP.
Where Obtained: gift from father
2 channels. 1 has vol-tr-mid-bass. 2 has vol-tr-mid-bass-rev-trem, speed-trem, depth. Master volume for both. Ext spr/line out/stnby onback
Rich with tube tone. Hard to beat
Nothing complicated, straight-forward, easy to reach knobs with easy to see numbers
I say very good to excellent because of tube replacement. It cost about $100 to retube it every 2 or 3 years, depending on the user