Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

Chat about Equipment Info
 #6142  by pharewellphish
 Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:32 am
so im finally getting aroundn to geteting a good amp and i gotta know... whats the difference between the different fender twin reverbs.

i found a vintage one from the 70s in a store near me and theyre askinng aroundn 3000

then another store has a new one for rjust 800

and some ootthers have the 65 reissue but i forgot how mucch they werer asking

so whats the difference between all tthose... and is it really a 2000$ difference

 #6144  by wisedyes
 Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:02 am
The reissues sound pretty good, but not quite right, imho. I myself have owned one from the early 70's ( a 1973, I think ), and the late 60's ones sound great, too. Stay away from the 1980's "Red Knob" versions; they have a bad tendency to crap out and sound bad even when they don't.

From what I understand, in the case of the reissue Fender amps, they have gone back to original circuits and design, including original compnents, "as much as possible". And therein lies the rub. A friends newer reissue Deluxe Reverb has circuit boards in it, never find one of those in an original 1960's or 70's amp. Many of the manufacturers of the components are either no longer in business, or the components have changed in materials, and quality of manufacture, etc. So, the reissues do sound very good, and come pretty close to vintage, but just are not quite there. Of course, it really is a very slight difference.

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.
 #6147  by Laytonco
 Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:19 pm
Hey, I don't like to bash anything unless it's deserving. I really think Fender did a good job with the 65 Re-issue Twin Reverb. When you play it all by yourself, you may notice only a slight difference from the originals and that is due to the Circuit Board. I'm not an electrical wiz, but electricity travels through wiring like a car travels down a road. The problem is, whereas the vintage amps' electric signals travelled down 6 lane freeways (point to point wiring) these new amps signals are travellng down bike paths (printed circuit boards). Where you will notice a big difference is your inabiality to "cut through" the band with the newer amps. I am selling my re-issue just for that reason. I get buried with it. Good luck!

 #6149  by strumminsix
 Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:50 pm
Yup, the above post has it right on....

Over the years we've seen:
Twin Reverb
The Twin
"Blackfaced" - sliverface converted
Evil Twin (with an overdrive channel)
1965 Twin Rever Re-Issue
plus much more.

I owned 3 Re-Issues and all 3 had some odd phase oscillation problem. Now maybe they just used crappy tubes in the PI preamp slot but my opinion is that they had a long run with crappy parts.

Going forward... IMO, Twins are an overrated amp. They have one useful feature and that's clean headroom. But to get any sort of flexible tone you need pedals.

Plus more recent reviews from other 'heads' on gear forums is that they are experiencing problems with muddiness when turning up to around 5. Now this is not a problem for all people but come on, that's what Fender Twin is supposed to be good for - loud & clean!

Play a Mesa Boogie Lonestar Classic.

I own one and it is great with tons of features.
+ A true 2 channel amp with selectable wattage by channel.
+ 2 forms of reverb (reg & warm... warm is like studio reverb which is what JG had in his rig)
+ 2 forms of power, tweed and reg (tweed being a few less volts giving a bubbly R&B/jazz/bluesy feel)
+ 2 forms of rectification, tube or diode (tube really makes notes POP! and unique sag)
+ TONE! It has cleans that are beautiful and dimensional. The drive channel can dial in the most beautiful breakup. The FX can be hard bypassed which simplifies the signal chain.

 #6150  by tigerstrat
 Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:41 pm
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.

 #6152  by pharewellphish
 Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:24 pm
thanks for all the help man

so about the new one for 800... it isnt a reissue, what do you think about that one

and so are you saying i should go with the mesa's or that other brand?

i already looked into getting a mesa but some people told me not to and i couldnt find any places that sold them around here... but if they are better than the twins i could afford it... how much better is it?

and for the Traynor Custom Valve.... they still have the really clear sound at the high volume and theyre good too? and where should i look for something like that... would local stores have them or would i have to go to something like ebay

yea man again thanks fdor all trhe help

 #6155  by strumminsix
 Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:53 pm
The Lonestar Classic is an expensive amp. But, it is very high quality. The local shop I go to carries tons of amps from slew of manufacterers (including many high-end botique manufacturers) and the amp tech said the Mesa line is what he sees the least and years latter people are continually happy.

I'd take the time and try it out. If you are paying that kind of dough ($1000+) then I'd say explore all your options.

Be warned, make sure you goto a shop where the people know Mesa amps since the tone stack is not the same as Fender or Marshall.

 #6157  by eyeprod
 Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:02 pm
a classic, vintage tube amp not only looks, sounds, and smells cool, but usually also has good resale value. i've owned a 70's silverface twin, it was great. you should be able to pick one up on ebay for around or under $1000 last time i checked. or check your local craigslist. i just picked up a 71 ampeg v4 all tube 100w head w/reverb for $500 on cl. apparently an awesome, versatile and very loud amp, though not exactly first choice for gd music, they supposedly work great with pedals.

 #6168  by wisedyes
 Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:30 am
Traynors can often be found on EBay; the going price for the YCV40 ( 40 watt 1x12 ) seems to be $350.00-$400.00 used or so. The MUCH MUCH louder YCV80 and the YCVQ80 ( 80 watt 2x12 with all kinds of awesome extra features ) go for around $650.00. Traynor does have a website.

I have seen them at the Guitar Center closest to me, and they are available through Musician's Friend also. Seriously, these are really wonderful amps, and a great deal for the money. Yes, they have lots of clean headroom, just like a Twin, but I think it's a little bit warmer of an amp ( not as icepicky, to my ears ). PLus, the second channel ( and the third on the YCV80's ) is actually useful. Hope you find the tone you are seeking.

 #6169  by tigerstrat
 Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:47 am
The Traynors have a cool vintage look as well. I'm not sure what kind of speaker(s) they are typically loaded with, but that will have a big effect on the mid-to-upper range of clean headroom.

 #6179  by pharewellphish
 Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:26 pm
someone just offered me a new deal on a vintage twin from 78 for a about $700... so is that a good year for the twins, and is that a good deal?

the speakers were replaced by lanseng speakers... anyone know anything about those?
 #6180  by Laytonco
 Fri Jun 09, 2006 3:32 pm
This should be a Silverface Twin and they do run $700- $1,000. I would go older though. I was told that the power transformers steadily increased in power during the 70s making it Nonblackfaceable (hey a new word!). My guitar tech recommended 1974 or eariler to me. I ended up getting a 74 Super Reverb and is is working on it now. He is blackfacing mine is very pleased with it! And I paid $900 for mine.

 #6186  by strumminsix
 Fri Jun 09, 2006 5:27 pm
What I was told, was that the OT (output transformer) of the "blackface" models was of a higher quality and was a very key factor to the well loved tone but sadly too often overlooked when people mod amps.

Check out this link:

 #7583  by bwexler
 Sat Jul 29, 2006 3:28 pm
For the clean tube sound your looking for, check out Carvin's 2 x 12 Vintage, 50w. I love it . Use for performing as well. Great sound, plenty of guts !