wisedyes wrote:Not trying to plug anyone shamelessly, but do yourself a favor, and before you splurge on a Fender, check out the Traynor Custom Valve series. Canadian made, built like freaking tanks, and if you ask me, more versatile than Fenders while still doing everything a Fender amp will do. they are also usually easy to find for significantly less $$$. Trust me, you will NOT be sorry if you do.
I will support this suggestion. The former Bobby of one of my bands plays a Traynor 40w 1x12 tube combo w/reverb, and it sounds vibrant and warm and amazingly like a BF Fender. He's a smoking soloist as well, and I've heard him rip some amazing crispy-cream lead sounds out of that combo.
Mesas are great amps, but on the very pricey end. I own a 1985 "no"stripe Mark III(60w reverb combo), but favor the sound of my 1968 Dual Showman Reverb head over it, which is the exact same as a Twin chassis in a head.
$3000 is WAY steep for a 70's Twin, even loaded up with the very best speakers and/or tubes & maintenance. You should find one for under a grand, and DSR heads are usually around $650-800.
As far as differences in Twins (or other AB763-circuit Fender amps), many of them can be researched in fine detail in the "dating fender amps by serial code" article that is out there somewhere if you google it. Some people will advise you to get a non-master volume version, which for most models stops in the early 70's around '71-'73, but I'm not sure if that stipulation is specifically geared towards the use of the amp as preamp-only out to a seperate power amp, a la Jerry.