Twin Reverb Opinion

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Patrick Bateman, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. Patrick Bateman

    Patrick Bateman Member

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    Hey all,

    Just got a 1972 Fender Twin Reverb given to me by my Dad's friend. It has the master volume and all that undesirable stuff, but it doesn't seem to have the push/pull thing. I'm contemplating Blackfacing it. It's a beat up amp, with the grill cloth changed to black, but I can't complain being that it was given to me. It has the original Utah speakers in it, which sound like they're pretty much finished, and it seems to have the original tubes in it. I can't really tell if the tubes are good anymore or not. I have about 400 dollars to my name right now and would like to get the amp blackfaced and get a new set of speakers and tubes. Can anybody give me any recommendations on speakers and tubes? I hear good things about the Weber Californias. What's the word on them? Also, when asking my tech to Blackface my amp, what should I look for to be done?
    And last but not least, is it worth it to do this to this amp? I need a workhorse amp, and it seems like a Twin could be pretty good for me. I tend to use overdrive maybe 30% of the time. But no heavier than say, John Lennon's tone on the rooftop performance.

    Thanks to any who can help me.
     
  2. Bikedude

    Bikedude Gold Supporting Member

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    I would have a tech install a 3 prong plug, re-tube, re-bias, check the caps and resistors, and leave it as is for now if funds are low. Weber Cali's are good, but another lower priced alternative would be Eminence Rajun Cajuns. Turn the master all the way up, and it's like not even there! You can always "blackface" when you have more $$, but I have the exact amp, and it's pretty, pretty good (silverface) as is.
     
  3. ROKY

    ROKY Member

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    Do you like Phil Collins ?
     
  4. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    +1 what bike dude said. Take care of safety and simple maintenance first... Get it back to spec. Play it and see how you like it. Do some reading (search) here, lots of discussion about twins and blackfacing.
     
  5. aflynt

    aflynt Member

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    Yeah. Just get the 3 prong cord installed. Replace filter caps only if necessary. Replace tubes that are bad only. Basically, if it ain't broke don't fix it. I've learned that lesson the hard way. For speakers, I'd get Cannabis Rex. They are light and sound great once broken in. For a Twin, light is good. :)

    -Aaron
     
  6. Patrick Bateman

    Patrick Bateman Member

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    I appreciate all the quick replies! I asked here because I respect you guys' opinions. Thankfully, this Twin Reverb already has the three prong plug installed. So there's no safety issues. I asked about the Weber Californias in particular because a local guy offered me a pair for 100 bucks. He bought them for an amp, never installed them, and sold the amp. But I'm afraid they are the ones with the paper cone, not the aluminum one. They're also ceramics, as opposed to alnicos. What can I expect from those if I were to put them in?
    And, as far as black facing the amp. Are y'all saying it isn't necessary?
    The amp doesn't sound good as is. But obviously that could be a number of things. Is black facing an expensive procedure? I'm friends with an amp tech, and I think he'd give me a pretty good deal on it, but I don't know about the cost of parts.
     
  7. 335guy

    335guy Member

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    I prefer those. I've used Altecs and JBL's with the silver metal dust covers and found the highs to be too strident.

    Generally, no. About $100.00 or less. Depends on how far they go. Some techs think they need to replace the PVC wiring. That would be expensive. Two hours bench time and maybe $10.00 in parts, unless ALL the caps need replacing.
     
  8. aflynt

    aflynt Member

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    It really depends on what you mean by "bad." If it sounds broken (like crackling or buzzing or mushing out) then have a good tech fix whatever's wrong with it. They should sound big, clean and loud in stock form. If there's something else about the sound you don't like (too bright, too clean, too hollow) then consider the speaker change and blackfacing.

    -Aaron
     
  9. Patrick Bateman

    Patrick Bateman Member

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    Do ya like Huey Lewis and the News?
     
  10. Patrick Bateman

    Patrick Bateman Member

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    I guess what I'm trying to do is get it to sound as much like a 1965 Twin Reverb as I possibly can. I played a '66 Twin while recording our first record and I just loved it. And I know for a fact that it was basically stock. I think it had JBL's in it. But the JBLs are incredibly expensive. Mine doesn't sound broken or anything, it just lacks a certain sparkle that the other one had. Does that make sense?
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  11. aflynt

    aflynt Member

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    Yeah. Sparkle sounds like JBLs to me. I've actually found that the Blackface circuit is generally a bit rawer sounding and actually somewhat less sparkly. You might want to try some different speakers. The chrome domes of the JBLs may actually be what you want. Lots of people don't like them because they are often very harsh sounding with overdrive, but if you want sparkle they may be right up your alley.

    I'd still get the tubes and filter caps checked out first, though and evaluate how it sounds once it has a clean bill of health. You never know what your tech may find in there. :)

    -Aaron
     
  12. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    Huey's too black-sounding for me. :p

    Yeah, I'd have it re-tubed and serviced first, even before changing the speakers if it was my amp. I lean more towards the JBL/EVM side of things, but unless you're comparing two amps next to each other, Utahs in good condition can sound great. Do not assume the Utahs are bad until the circuit is up to spec and you have good tubes in it.

    I have a buddy who is a forum member, but he usually doesn't stop in the amp section so I'll speak for him until he shows up. He has a Silverface Twin with two Alnico Californias and they sound spec-freakin-tacular! Clean. Not with gain. They sound funky and wonky with any appreciable gain in my opinion. He used to have another MV Silverface Twin with ceramic Californias and they sounded equally awesome. He moved those to a Bandmaster Reverb cab when he sold the second twin. They sounded even bigger in that. At the moment, we have one California and one EVM 12L in that cab and have done some very unscientific comparisons (covering up one or the other speaker with a pillow) and clean, they sound arguably comparable. The Californias have more top end, but both are big, robust sounding speakers. The 12L sounds radically better with gain. I mean, absolutely no comparison.

    The Weber Michigan is their take on the EVM 12L/SRO and I think it is amazing. Not quite as much power handling, but still more than adequate for a Twin and MUCH lighter weight. I'll likely never get another Twin, but that's very likely what I'll put in my next 1x12 Fender amp and I have a 2x12 cab with JBLs. The Michigan just kills!
     
  13. Patrick Bateman

    Patrick Bateman Member

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    This is interesting. Explain a little more about how the California sounds with gain. Is it just terrible? That worries me just a bit. I still want a bit of breakup with the Twin. Some natural amp overdrive. And every once in awhile I'd like to throw a TS-808 in front of it. Would the California suit that at all? I haven't really researched the the Michigan too much. It seems the Michigan is rated at 100 watts while the California is rated at 80 watts. What would that change?
     
  14. Patrick Bateman

    Patrick Bateman Member

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    Any suggestions on tubes?
     
  15. 335guy

    335guy Member

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    Since that amp has a shitload of tubes, going all NOS would be very expensive. But if you could afford it, GE or RCA 6L6GC power tubes. There are pricier ones and less expensive NOS. I've always like Sylvania pre amp tubes, 12AX7's. But for NEW tubes, Loads of guys like Winged C or TAD power tubes, the 6L6GC's. For pre-amp tubes, there's fans of Tung-Sol, JJ, and EH. I tried Ruby power tubes once and didn't care for them. I actually like JJ for new tubes. Not that they always sound best, but they have been the most reliable for me. And they do sound good to my ear. Not NOS good, but still pretty good.
     
  16. DT7

    DT7 Member

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    RCA or GE 12AX7s and the PI 12AT7. For the reverb-driver 12AT7, go with a Phillips/Sylvania JAN. The Silver-face reverb-driver circuit is torturous on tubes, and the P/S JAN is one of the few tubes that can take it. Phillips/Sylvania STR387 or 7581A for power tubes. These are the best NOS, and will cost you a pretty penny. For modern tubes, the Winged-C SEDs 6L6GC are far and away the best power tube. You might try Tung-Sol reissues for the pre-amp 12AX7s...but unless the pre-amp tubes you have are cheezy or shot, I'd leave them alone and just replace the power tubes.

    Black-facing your amp can be fun and rewarding...and cheap (tubes aside), as long as you don't need to replace the transformers. I'd also do all the filter caps. Except for the tubes, you'll be under $100. Including the tubes, I'd say you'd still be within your budget if you replace only the power tubes and do the work yourself. Just be sure you get the amp biased (before turning it on) by somebody who knows what they're doing.
     
  17. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    Like Bikedude said... That's a good year for Silverface Twins
     
  18. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    Kind of hard to explain. And with very minor overdrive, it's not terrible. But with a certain amount, and it's not much, it just sound kind of unnatural. JDL D120s are the same way, but D130s are not. Can't explain it.

    Even mentions it on the website. It does say it's more of an issue with the aluminum domes. Both of my buddy's sets of Californias are aluminum dome as are my JBLs and was my JBL I had in a SF Twin several years back.

    It still scares me enough that I personally wouldn't go for the Californias if I played with much gain. On the other hand, for a big, surfy sound that's bright with a lot of bottom end, drenched in drippy reverb, I don't think you could to any better than the Californias.

    Still, as I said before, I'd absolutely get the amp checked out and serviced and at least the power tubes replaced before making any speaker decisions and any purchases of higher end tubes.
     
  19. charveldan

    charveldan Senior Member

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    I just re-tubed my 70's Silverface UL with Winged =C='s, huge improvement over the Sovteks, also i'm not a fan of JJ tubes, but i have JJ preamp tubes in there now and they sound fantastic.:aok
     
  20. LarryN

    LarryN Member

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    Every single time I've blackfaced a silverface, I liked it LESS, and I've had both types of amps. It doesn't get there for many reasons. The bias adjust conversion is the main thing I like. Get it healthy, good speakers and good sounding tubes and play it. I'm a fan of RCA 7025's and 12AX7's in Fenders. GE's sound good to me, also. I'm with 335guy on power tubes.
     

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