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~Vintage sounds from the Fender Twin Reverb!~ ************************************** Having suggested the iconic Vintage Fender Twin Reverb amplifier as a review subject here on Dooyoo some time ago it seems the time is right to review what really is a true classic of the guitar amplification world. Electric guitarists all over the universe will have heard of this super old school tube amp, with many having longed to get their hands on a top notch vintage original. Even though these beauties have been around for a good number of years since their initial release, there is no reason why a well looked after vintage amplifier such as this should not perform well with a little care and attention when plugged into a guitar that will do it justice. I would like to point out that the photo shown here is not the original Fender Twin Reverb for some reason, even though the link given when suggesting this showed an original amp, it seems Dooyoo have listed the amp with a photo of the non vintage and 100% modern Fender 65 re-issue instead (which is still a very nice piece of kit). The classic and beauteous wonder of the amplifier world that is the 100% vintage original Fender Twin Reverb is something that has a wonderful clean sound when used in line with good quality tubes and a little skill. The amp makes use of the built in reverb tray with wondrous effect and the combination of the vintage Fender clean tone and classic overdrive sound give a good deal of depth and strength to the amp even when used on the lower sound settings. ~A true retro classic!~ ***************** With the first Twins having been produced by Fender in 1952 it was a few years before the Twin Reverb came along in 1963, with the black faced version being on sale until 1967. The silver faced version which is the one I have had since the mid 80's, followed on in 1967 and was produced up until 1981 with the one I have being an early 70's model. At the time of purchase the amp was pre owned and came in 100% original condition, with a full set of monstrous 12 inch speakers that give the amp its iconic warm and throaty 'I'm gonna knock down your walls and make your ears bleed kind of sound' when set up with a heap of distortion and the option of a good quality effects pedal (not compulsory as it sounds great just as it is too!). The silver faced version of the amp which I really like, is not as desirable to vintage collectors as the black faced set up for some reason, although I feel the silver face looks rather smart as it sets the amp apart and makes it stand out from the crowd. I also like the silver toned back plate that sits behind the array of control knobs that sit on the top front side of the amp, with their black toned fronts and silver centres. I find the placing of the controls is easy to get to grips with once you get used to fiddling with them to get the right sound settings going, with there being two independent channels, reverb, vibrato, and a push pull master volume switch to allow you to crank up the distortion. ~The old 12 inch... speakers that is!~ **************************** The two 12 inch speakers that come as standard issue on this model give you a powerful 100 watts of sound, allowing the amp to be used in many situations with a good deal of versatility. With the combination of elements used to make up the Twin Reverb, this is one powerful beast when in use, with it being oh so tempting to whack it up a little louder at times, just to see what it can do. I have to say that in a normal house hold setting the turning of the sound controls up a notch to much over 4 will result in some very cross neighbours if you decide to play with the windows open or whilst stood in the conservatory doorway and anything much louder will result in a full on riot (you have been warned, lol). On higher settings you may damage things, walls may shake, objects may shatter, nose bleeds may happen, well that may be a little over the top but you get the idea....this baby is LOUD! ~Bright and clean or down right dirty!~ ****************************** In the words of ex Commodores Lionel Richie......... (although I prefer the version made with Rob Zombie as it kicks more a*ss!) 'Coz she's a brick----house! She's mighty mighty just lettin' it aaaaaall hang out' 'Oh she's a brick----house. The lady's stacked and that's a fact, ain't holding nothing back'. This super heavy weight of the amplification world is stacked to the brim with a clean bright tone and a full on dirty overdrive all at the same time! In all cases with this amp I have found that the bright clean classic sound given out is very warm with a good tone that age has not harmed in any way. Of course with this being a tube amp the sound quality is effected by the state of the tubes and the older they get over time the more you will notice they need replacing. There are a total of 10, yes 10 tubes used in this amp! There are four (6L6GC) output tubes and 6 pre amp tubes ( 4 x 7025/ 12AX7 and 2 x 12AT7) that come as standard with the amp, with the reverb effect being produced with the help of a Hammond built spring reverb tank that gives the amp its fantastic retro sound. When setting the amp up for use I was told to always allow it to warm up before blasting away at full tilt with it and I have continued to follow that advice by turning it on whilst setting up other things before use, which is something I would also do with my more modern 120 watt Vypyr tube modelling amp. Whilst the Twin cannot offer the amount of built in effects that the more modern amp can, it really does have the edge when it comes to it's clean bright retro tone and I simply adore the way the amp gives off that classic warm and fuzzy 'playing from down the end of an empty tunnel' aspect that makes your hair stand on end when the amp is hooked up to an equally classic guitar. ~Have tolex case will travel!~ ********************** As regards to the outer case that holds all the wires, tubes, speakers and electric wizardry that makes up the Twin, I have to say this amp is super solid. The whole thing is built like a brick sh*t house and it weighs a ton when you try to move it about which is the only real down side to it. Thankfully the case has a sturdy set of wheels built into the base which does make things easier when pushing the amp from one side of a room to another in order to set it up. If wanting to cart this beastie around from one place to another when using it to gig with, then anyone who has a Twin Reverb will know that it is a two man (or woman) job to get the amp in and out of a vehicle without ending up with either a hernia or a nasty back problem or both! Happily though the amp does seem to travel quite well with the tubes being intact and in good condition even after a hectic journey by car or van, as long as the amp is well supported or restrained so as not to allow it to knock about in a moving vehicle. ~More than just a pretty silver face!~ ***************************** The silver faced amp reviewed here has a nice smart silver toned front grill which I have found has remained quite neat looking with just a few indents here and there and although it certainly isn't as bright and new as it would have been many moons ago it can be easily dusted off if needed. I would recommend a travel cover if the amp is doing much commuting and the use of one of these will keep it protected from knocks and bumps, as well as dust free when it is not in use. The simple black tolex that covers the top and sides of the case has remained in good condition with no tears and even though it does look aged and weathered it is still in very good shape. The back of the amp is a semi open affair with a simple tolex covered bar across the top and bottom which allows the tubes some air flow and gives access to the back of the amp. It also allows the original foot switch and or some leads etc, to be stored in the back behind the speakers if wanted (if your vintage amp came with a foot switch that is). The amp has as set of silver metal tilt back legs set at either end of the tolex casing, which are there to allow you to set the amp on the tilt when playing on a low stage to an audience, as the sound given out has a better distribution. However I have never been tempted to use these, as the amp is so very heavy and not inexpensive to replace should it become damaged, so the tilting legs have remained as simple silver metal flashes on the sides of the smart black case rather than having much function. The amp I have has 2 x 50 watt speakers making this a 100 watt tube amp with a rich and distinctive tone, with later models such as the 65 re-issue having a slightly lower 85 watt output and whilst the only issue I have had is having to replaces the tubes, I am aware that over time as the amp ages even more there will be a requirement to have it looked by a professional in order to keep in in good shape. This is of course something to think about when considering an amp such as this and it certainly should be factored into any future costings. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, a modern tube amp be it a standard or modelling type that mimics the seductive Fender Twin Reverb clean sound, may be a fair alternative that will also be easier to pick up. ~Fender calling!~ ************* If the classic Fender sound is still calling you then it may be wise to check out the guitar forums and info sites that abound online, as there is plenty of knowledge about these amps that can prove to be very useful if you decide become the proud owner of your very own vintage version. Prices for these amps do vary quite a lot when trying to source one on sale, so you could pay as little as £750 for a well loved basic version, with the more desirable or better looked after amps being priced at as much as double that and in some cases even a little more! Having looked online recently I have found there are a number of amps of varying ages and specs to be found on sale from various sites and sellers with a wide variety of prices being asked. I would say that with the age, condition and history of each and every amplifier being different, each one will come with its own set of future requirements in order to keep it working for future years. Buy the best you can if wanting to have many trouble free years of use and always ask the seller what parts of the amp have been worked on/ or been replaced or repaired as this does effect both the future life span and the value of the amp you buy. I was very lucky that the amp I bought was 100% genuine being in very good condition and I feel that the combination of a caring previous owner and my own careful handling has contributed to the continued useful life span of this wonderful amplifier. ~Rating~ ******* Having the use of an amp such as this one will allow you to create some wonderful classic tones as well as some heavy dark and down right nasty ear blasting ones that will give you whiplash at twenty paces. Whether you are looking for bright and sparkly clean sounds or down and dirty overdrive, the Twin Reverb will always work its magic which is why it gets a full on 5 stars (even though it lacks the abilities of many modern modelling amps), as it would be an insult to rate it with anything less. I really cannot convey what a great amp this is and certainly have not done it justice here in this review, but if this has made you just a little bit tempted to try one of these out then I won't have wasted my time. This amp has THE classic reverb sound and for that alone you really cannot beat it! For fancier effects try a modern modelling amp instead but for vintage tremolo and super bright clean tone the Fender Twin Reverb is hard to beat.
I bought this Fender amp over a year ago for just under £200, and although i have had to send it back to Fender for one problem (a blown fuse), it has been a brilliant amp for me! I find it accompanies my Mexican Fender Telecaster guitar perfectly, and produces a great sound. The 85 watts doesn't sound a lot compared to some amps available to buy, but i find There are many different settings on this amp, and i find the reverb settings the most interesting. They produce a brilliant sound. You can switch between clean and dirty sounds on the amp and the provided footswitch, but i recommend foot pedals or different effects pedals to get the exact sound you are after. The amp can be used for a variety of genres of music, and i play in an indie/rock band with this amp, and it suits perfectly. The only problems i have with the amp is the one time i had to send it back to Fender for a faulty fuse (my amp kept cutting out) and the fact it can produce a slightly fuzzy noise which can sometimes become a nuisance. Overall it is a great amp, loud, good sound, and relatively cheap for what you're getting!!