Fender Twin Vs Hot Rod Deville?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by pureoldsound, May 26, 2005.


  1. pureoldsound

    pureoldsound Member

    Messages:
    749
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2004
    Ok I know this might be a no brainer type of question but I want to read the why for it.....
    I’ve owned a couple of Devilles , I recently acquired a 2x12 for a good priced…My thought about these amps has always been that they have a pretty good clean sound, with good amount of headroom, inexpensive…..The bad thing about them is that the OD channel is pretty bad…but nothing a pedal can fix using the clean channel…..I’ve read threads about it and about the Twin reverb….The twin reverb seems to be a better amp although I’ve read post of user complaining about how it does not like pedals (some pedals), other users say that’s impossible…..Now that I have the Deville I am thinking about moving the Deville and get a Twin reverb (at least a silverface one)…..But I don’t want to pass on the Deville just because of a couple of threads.. I want to read about specific comparisons between the two and why one is better than the other…..
     
  2. B Vance

    B Vance Member

    Messages:
    1,978
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Location:
    OHIO
    I am assuming that you are talking about a Hot Rod DeVille with the two 12's in it...

    They are two totally different amps! I am a dedicated Fender amps guy myself and I have played various types of both. There are several down falls for the DeVille.
    1. The gain channel is not too sweet. I have found that the intermediate gain is not too terrible, but Fenders were just not made to produce gain other than the natural gain from turning them up.

    2. Because it has two channels, the tone suffers. Also, because of the production series, the actual production process is a bit poorer than that on the other amps, such as the reissues. That also depends on where the one you have was made.

    There are several downfalls to the Twin also.
    1. It is super heavy. People are switching back to the Deluxe Reverb as opposed to the Twin for portability. Of course that depends alot on how often you are moving it. If you are gigging, it can be quite cumbersome. If it is just sitting on the floor of your room, it's another story.

    2. It doesn't like some pedals. I have found that it takes to more pedals than it hates, but the problem is that in order to get a good balance between pedal and amp power, the amp has to be at like 4 on the volume. That is super loud with this amp!. 85 watts is alot!! It is not a good low volume practice amp. Not to say you couldn't put in some high gain tubes to help gain it up, but you are not going to get much at low volumes.

    The decision is up to you, but they both do things very well. The DeVille is a great practice amp for room volume. The Twin, unquestionably has better tone at any volume, but, like more tube amps, the tone gets sweeter as the volume goes up, and this amp is really loud!!

    What type of style do you play? Keep in mind that the Twin is a pure tone amp. If you are looking for something that does something else, then this is not the amp for you.

    You may want to consider the Custom Twin with the 15". They are difficult to find, but they are a different sounding amp from the typical 2x12". Much different voicing. Also, try the 4x10" DeVille and see if you like that. You need to experience all of the variations of the models as well.

    Good luck!
     
  3. pureoldsound

    pureoldsound Member

    Messages:
    749
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2004
    Thanks for your reply B Vance...Actually I've owned 2 Hot Rod Devilles 410s and 1 Deluxe...So I know what to expect with regards to clean and OD sounds....I don't expect to use the Deville for OD tones as I have a Voodoo amps V-plex 100w for that....I was thinking of using the clean channel and a pedal for some other distortion flavors......BTW the Deville I recently acquired was made in USA.

    I am aware of the loud issue of the twin, I have an attenuator for that if I needed….My concern was with how well it takes pedals….and clean tone vs the Deville…..I read a post about the same comparison stating that the Deville sounds warmer than the twin?

    My plans once I bought the Deville were (or still are) to change tubes with some JJs and change the pre-amp tubes with better ones, and perhaps change the speakers with some Jensens…I don’t expect this amp to sound like a million bucks nor I am considering too much use of the OD channel…If changing the tubes improve the tonal capabilities of the clean channel and since one thing affects the other, in the process helps the OD channel then I’ll be happy…But I don’t expect too much out of it….I always liked the clean channel because I thought it was pretty good and for the price even better…..(BTW is not a budget thing I just thought it was a good deal to pass) …I have a friend who recommended a Super Deluxe or a ‘59 bassman…..I don’t know about the clean headroom of the Super, although is one of the most recorded and used amps ever….but don’t know if it work for what I want……I heard a ’59 RI and it had great OD tone but like I said that is not something I am looking for on these amps…If I get a good OD great if not I am not too worried….
     
  4. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    31,020
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I love the Deville as is. It is warmer sounding than a twin, with more punch. The Twins to me are very sterile and cold sounding. I LOVE Fenders, but the twin I could never bond with. They almost sound solid state they are so clean. For a different gret Fender, the SRRI or Bassman LTD are just KILLER! Not really "better" than the HR Deville, just a different flavor of the same basic fender killer clean tones. :)
     
  5. pureoldsound

    pureoldsound Member

    Messages:
    749
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2004
    Tag, how clean would a Bassman LTD stay? Also any thoughts on a Blackface bassman or silverface?

    Thanks....
     
  6. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

    Messages:
    13,080
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Location:
    Scotland
    The 'Evil' Twin has a pretty good overdrive channel... at least IMO.

    That's exactly backwards. It's because it only has ONE channel that the tone suffers. It's not a true two-channel amp (let alone three) at all - it's a single-channel amp with switchable modes, which makes it impossible to optimize both of them. I really wish more people would realise this (including Fender and other companies that mis-label their amps), it would save a lot of confusion and misunderstanding. A true two-channel amp (with separate audio paths) can sound just as good as a dedicated single-channel amp, on both channels. IMO this is part of the myth that channel-switching amps don't sound as good as single-channel ones.

    The 'Evil' Twin is a true two-channel amp, BTW.


    The Twin Reverb is a much bigger, clearer and more powerful-sounding amp than the Deville, IMO - some people would say stiff or sterile too (hello Tag ;)). I think it takes some pedals extremely well, especially those that are designed to run independently of the amp, and just do their own thing (eg a Mesa V-Twin), but less so those which are designed to push an already-distorting amp harder (eg those overdrives which are nearly 'clean boosts'). It also has a much nicer reverb than the Deville IMO - it's warmer-sounding, probably because it's tube-driven (the Deville's is solid-state) - and tremolo. And better built, even the reissues.

    Different amps for different tastes. I'd take the Twin every time, FWIW.

    Just my opinion.
     
  7. Marcello

    Marcello Member

    Messages:
    1,633
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal
    have you tried a Traynor YCV40 ? say adios to Fender :D
     
  8. aeolian

    aeolian Member

    Messages:
    6,083
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA.
    The Twin is a much more serious amp. The HR's are cost target amps. The transformers are smaller and everything is designed to cost. The result is that the Twin has a bigger and more solid sound. Of course it's also known for being clean. I had a preCBS back in high school that wouldn't break up for anything although I've heard some do that. A buddy has one that a local guru went though that's as warm as any Super or Deluxe. Amazing amp, but I think a happy accident.

    If you're playing at moderate volumes, the DeVilles can sing, where a Twin is choked off and sterile sounding. But if you need more guts, the Twin can deliver where the DeVille will wimp out.
     
  9. pureoldsound

    pureoldsound Member

    Messages:
    749
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2004
    So at serious high volumes the HR Deville will sound thin....Vs the Twin....Is the twin brighter than the Deville?
     
  10. davebc

    davebc Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Twins are amazing amps! Just listen to Bloomfield live,best Twin tones ever recorded imo.Now ask yourself,where are you going to play that loud?
    Make no mistake about it, Twins are all about clean headroom;and they are loud.If you're playing in small clubs you'll probably be taking someones head off.
    I spent my formative playing years using them,one of the best things I ever did for my chops.
    But,back then the stages were the size of clubs now,and you could crank them until they were breaking up like that old live Bloomfield stuff.
    Not anymore.The decible will hunt you down.
     
  11. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    31,020
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I had a blackface bassman, a silverface bassman, and a few other vintage Fenders at mandolin brothers side by side. I liked the 57 tweed twin RI more than all of them. Then, sitting right next to that, was a HR Deluxe. Its just as good too, just another take on that same basic fender tone. They are all VERY similar overall. Im not sure of your budget, but you should really try a Bruno Cowtipper or Tweedy pie. A bassman LTD gets pretty loud before it breaks up. NOTHING like a twin reverb though! THATS LOUD! :eek:
     
  12. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    31,020
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I agree it is clearer and more powerful. Not bigger sounding though! I also agree 100% with the reverb. The Devilles is ok, but sounds solid state like. (Probably because it is!) The SRRIs is all tube though, and that amp kills! Try a twin though, lots of guys love them! (like John!) I am just not one of them. They are good sounding amps, just to clean for even me! :eek:
     
  13. pureoldsound

    pureoldsound Member

    Messages:
    749
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2004
    What is the order on the Reverb family:

    Is it Deluxe, Pro, Super, Twin?
     
  14. aeolian

    aeolian Member

    Messages:
    6,083
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA.
    Essentially, the Pro, Super, and Bandmaster are all the same basic amp (except for the reverb) in different cabinet and speaker combinations. The Twin and Showman are the big boys, while the Deluxe is the baby brother. The Vibroluxe kind of fits in between the DR and SR/Pro and works out to be a great size for a lot of small/medium gigs.

    Most times the HR DeVille will thin out when cranked. The HR Deluxe is notorious for this. Sounds great in the store, one of the first things I look for when trying out guitars as you can always find one and quiet, the clean is very nice and predictable. But crank one up on stage and they give up pretty quickly. Becoming pinched and nasal. The DeVilles are more gigworthy but the same thing will happen when the going gets rough.

    As mentioned, a Twin needs this kind of abuse just to get warmed up. But even turned down with a pedal, it will get a bigger sound. If you like that huge low end but don't want to carry a half stack around, a Twin can be a reasonable compromise (at least on trunk space, if not your back :D ).
     
  15. Unburst

    Unburst Member

    Messages:
    4,221
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Not my Twin!

    I have a mid '70's SF Twin with MV (no pull boost) and with the channel volume on 10 it gets plenty crunchy.
     
  16. davebc

    davebc Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    I see BF Twins for sale at very reasonable prices for true vinatge amps,just not the Fender flavor of the month these days.
    The HR Deville I played was thin and harsh sounding,almost like the bias was WAY off.
     
  17. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    31,020
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    New Jersey
    It must have been.

    I have (had) a 65-66 Super reverb, Pro reverb, 70s Vibroluxe and Bassman RI at the same time for months. All very slightly different flavors of the same basic sound. The HR Deville became no thinner than any of them, and can get as loud and clean as all of them. (Actually probably more so.) It has tons of clean headroom. Benson uses it live, as does Robben Trower.

    I put the stock HR Deville against every boutique amp at Ultrasound, and the cleans surpassed EVERY amp there except for the Brunos, and it CAN hang with them as well. This was all in sound proof studios, and played LOUD. I have had my Deville since they were first made, and it has never let me down at home, or in live situations. I have yet to have a single problem with it except for the footswitch at times.
     
  18. davebc

    davebc Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    I'll tell tag,you REALLY got me jonesing for a Bruno.I'm not sure which model,I've got the Fender ground covered covered(Vibro-King,2 Dual-Professionals,Victoria's,Tone Master,even my DC-30)But,there's a Bruno in my future.Sorry to get off topic boys.
     
  19. pureoldsound

    pureoldsound Member

    Messages:
    749
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2004
    They are biased very cold from factory so that may be the reason for such sounds........

    Is there any difference between the Mexico made and the USA made...I think that the ones I owned were made in Mexico...This recent one is made in the US.
     
  20. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

    Messages:
    25,361
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    Has the OD channel on the Deville been improved ...?
    (thought I read this somewhere ...)
     

Share This Page