Transformer question- Twin Reverb

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Jn330, May 13, 2015.

  1. Jn330

    Jn330 Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Location:
    By the beach
    I tried to do a search, got a little bit of information, but not quite what I was looking for. Just curious if anyone has tried this.

    I recently played a friend's 65' Twin and it just sounded way better than my reissue (I knew it wouldn't be apples to apples, but this was like peanut to cantaloupe). He suggested maybe swapping the transformer since it isn't the same as early years. Which I took into consideration and starting researching.

    Now, I understand that I need to get a reissue specific transformer, due to it's wiring and other limitations that would lead to a blown amp.

    Since that is clear, will there be a benefit in tone with this swap? Is it even worth it? I don't want to change it for the sake of changing it, obviously I'd want an upgrade. So if any of you have any knowledge on this, it would be greatly appreciated. I just can't seem to find any info of this being a benefit. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Silent Sound

    Silent Sound Member

    Messages:
    4,211
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Transformers do make a difference, but if the difference between the amps was huge, I'd think the speakers probably had more to do with it than anything else.

    Personally, I wouldn't replace the transformers on that amp. The ones it came with are good enough. If they're not cutting it for you, then I would just get a different amp. Get a more accurate clone if you can't afford an original. But I wouldn't throw a bunch of money upgrading parts on this amp, because you'll likely not ever be truly satisfied, and you definitely won't ever see a return on those investments should you decide to sell the amp.

    From my experience, all the Fender reissues need to sound good is a decent set of speakers and proper bias on the power tubes. They still won't sound like an original, but then again, two originals won't sound exactly like each other either.
     
  3. jay42

    jay42 Member

    Messages:
    6,800
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location:
    Sandy Eggo
    I have experience with this. The first question is, how exactly were you running these amps when you compared them - clean or into distortion? The second question is, how do you normally run your RI? I would be surprised if the answer to the first question was 'clean' but I could be wrong, or your RI may have some other issue like cold bias, crummy tubes, or unknown.

    A pal and I compared his '66 Single Showman to my '83 Concert and a '71 Twin Reverb. After swapping speakers and making sure everything was running well for all three, they all sounded about the same clean. When cranked, the Concert and the TR were less pleasing than the Showman. There was a low-ish level of nasty dissonance. Jack is foremost a keyboard player. He likened it to certain draw bars on a B3 and he demonstrated it for me.

    I rolled the dice on an Allen OT and I am still happy with it. The dissonance is gone. One of the trite phrases is, "Better string to string definition." That sounds like potential BS, but it's real, ime.

    Back to your dilemma...you need to contemplate your needs vs. cost of admission and whether it might be a different difference. Good output transformers are available from a handful of vendors like Mercury Magnetics, Heyboer, Mojotone and Magnetic Components. I don't think Allen has that one, but if he does, it would be a good choice. I'm unsure about the Hammond line...perhaps stay away from it.

    I don't know why you would need an RI specific OT. I just put an MM Woden into an AC30CC. The color code was different, but they provided that. I haven't yet seen an OT done with molex connectors...and I hope Fender hasn't done that. I have seen PT connections with molex connectors and I'm pretty good with that. I'd rather see solder for the OT. I would hate to hear that they changed the footprint. Korg/Vox did that...twerps!

    I can't imagine any reason to change out a Fender power transformer. They are simpler and I believe just as reliable as ever.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
  4. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

    Messages:
    14,567
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Location:
    PNW
    "He suggested maybe swapping the transformer since it isn't the same as early years. Which I took into consideration and starting researching."
    Do you know how to ID the Early ones? I have one I will sell cheap if it's the right one for you. Output transformer right?
     
  5. Jn330

    Jn330 Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Location:
    By the beach
    I'm not sure about why I would need a RI specific OT, but I did read something about it being wired differently and could cause major problems. More research would be necessary here of course.

    We were running the amps clean, and overdriven using my pedal board that I a/b'd. Had both amps at vol 4 bass 5 mid 6 treb 6, reverb/vibrato both at 0. My initial reaction was with the depth of the low end of the old twin vs. mine, it seemed to have so much more. In my amp, I have upgraded the tubes to JJ's, and biased the amp to 38-40ma, I can't remember where in that range, but it is no higher than 40. I also swapped out the original Jensen speakers (c12k I believe) with Eminence Cannabis Rex and Eminence CV-75.

    I'm not running into an issue of diminished quality, I was just surprised at that difference in low end. I'm curious if the ten band eq I have (but stopped using) would help bring more in? Does that answer your questions?

    Anyway, thanks for the responses guys
     
  6. J M Fahey

    J M Fahey Member

    Messages:
    2,162
    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    There are many possible differences between your amps; the transformer may be among them, but difference, if any, would be very small.
    Look at other amp elements if you are worried about it, rather than the OT.

    If it were the sound changing element, it would need to be real crappy/undersized/poorly_wound and none of that applies to an original Fender Twin, no matter when it was made.
     
  7. Figaro

    Figaro Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,680
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Location:
    Sweet Carolina
    Vintage silverface TRs are not that expensive. But get an late 60's early 70's one, not a later 70's.
     
    Jn330 likes this.
  8. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

    Messages:
    6,421
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I didn't see you mention this, did you try his speakers? a speaker cable with a double female is all you need. Then, you would know if it was the speakers or the amp.
    I would want to know this before changing anything in the amp.
     
  9. Jn330

    Jn330 Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Location:
    By the beach
    Damn! This sounds really dumb, but I didn't even think to do that! I feel stupid now but I will do that for sure!

    I'd be really mad if that's all it was, I really am happy with the mixed emi's, it's really just the low end. Everything else I like better about mine. Sounds weird, I know. I'm just really, really picky.
     
  10. Jn330

    Jn330 Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Location:
    By the beach
    This is something I'd love to do after I buy a house and get that out of the way. Im sure the tone difference between mine and that would have a great stereo tone
     
  11. Jn330

    Jn330 Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Location:
    By the beach
    Would having a pcb vs. point to point contribute a lot to this? Not that I'm implying a swap, as that would be ridiculous, just curious.
     
  12. Baxtercat

    Baxtercat Member

    Messages:
    10,277
    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Location:
    just west of Monterey, CA
    No.
    I've owned a half dozen old Twins over the decades, and one newer re-ish. It sounded great too.
    Lots of low-end swat!
    The best was a Twin I installed EVMs in for a while. Too heavy, but a huge sound.
     
  13. zenas

    zenas Member

    Messages:
    5,981
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Speakers can be huge. Highly efficient ones aren't always the best in a Twin Reverb. Reason is simple a TR is a loud amp, put loud speakers in it and you have to turn it down. Sometimes being able to get the volume knob just a little farther to the right makes a big difference in sound.

    Also I used to not like the latter master volume, pull boost 100 watters. Then I got a '77 to flip but ended up keeping it because it sounds good. And that's comparing it to an early 1965 BFTR.
    (don't ask why I have two TRs because I sure don't know)
     

Share This Page