Twin Reverb Opinion

Messages
42
After mulling it over for awhile, I'm going to do what y'all said to do. Get it up to specs as a 1972 Twin before I Blackfacing it. I've bought speakers and I've bought tubes. So what's next? What normally needs updating on these amps? I'm afraid it has sat gathering dust for quite awhile.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,430
the filter (electolytic) caps need to be checked and likely replaced. Under the dog house are 2) 100uf 350dvc, and 3) 20uf 500dvc caps... and on the main board 7) 25uf 25dvc caps... and a 50uf 50dvc in the bias section (near the rectifier diodes). It's $40-50 worth of parts. All can be purchased at places like amplified parts, antique electronics, hoffman amps, or turretnoard.com online. Its about 20-30 minutes of work for a good tech.

nice buy on the webers btw - for new... thats a great deal.

also... blackfacing is primarily two things. Making sure the bias control is true bias vs hum balance, and replacing a handful of resistors in the phase inverter and power section. That handful of resistors that cost $8-12 bucks... it's mostly a labor charge.
 

cratz2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,301
I assure you that if you want a large, robust Fender clean tone, with those Californias, the new power tubes and having the amp running to spec should make you very, very happy and I honestly believe being a Master Volume amp, that I'd not Blackface it at all.

Good luck! Bet your gonna be happy. Great deal on the Californias. Hopefully the paper-domed ones will take overdrive/distortion a bit better than the aluminum-domed ones. If not, buy some Webers a bit more OD-friendly and sell the Californias. I guarantee you you'll get double your money back or close to it.
 

Rockledge

Senior Member
Messages
5,553
If you got a 72 twin with Utahs in it you got the second cousin to the Holy Grail.
I love those old Utahs ( which from what I understand puts me in a minority).
But that amp is a keeper. I wouldn't gig with one, there are much lighter amps that do the same job and are much more reliable, but for sitting around the house playing and particularly for recording twins are hard to beat.
Huge fat tone.

One of the nice things about Twins is that they get nice lower midrange and have a lot of depth to their sound, which means even when you use tone sucking pedals you can still get a pretty fat tone.


Also, although I am not a big Fender fan, one thing Fender has been fairly consistant about is getting good sound from tube amps.
I wouldn't be quick to change anything, I like the silver faced Twins as much as early ones. Silver face Twins were quite popular during the rock era as studio amps. Fender designed amps to have good matching components.
 

DT7

Member
Messages
2,794
Get a set of the blue-molded caps used in most Blackface fenders, if you can. 5 x 0.1uf and 3 x 0.047uf. They really warm up the sound of the amp as compared to the blue-drop Paktron caps. Those, a handful of resistors and the electrolytics and you're in business to do your own Blackface, should you decide to. Skip the kit and get your schematic off the web.
 

cratz2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,301
Yeah, my buddy had one Silverface Twin that came with Utahs... he replaced one with a Weber 12F150 for a while. It wasn't quite as sparkly as the Californias of course, but it sounded absolutely incredible with a good bit of gain. We were using a Barber Direct Drive to compare a couple amps and it was pretty unreal how good it sounded through the Utah/12F150 combo. Radically better than I would have guessed.
 
Messages
42
So, I took the amp to the tech today. He said it's in absolutely phenomenal shape. The speakers are, as I expected, worn out, but the Californias will be put in shortly anyway. He's going to recap it, and put in the tubes I bought. As I stated earlier, I got Winged C power tubes, and Tung Sol preamp tubes. He says the preamp tubes look to be in shockingly good shape, so I think we're going to keep those in, he said maybe he'd put one Tung Sol in the reverb driver just to see how it sounds. But I appreciate everyone posting here! The Twin is well on its way to being in tip top shape. He said I still might like to bring it to Blackface specs just to be able to bias the tubes correctly, so we may do that in the future. The next question I have deals with the cosmetics of the amp. I guess the guy who had it before me changed out the original grille cloth for a black one, and I'm wondering what I could do to change that to the more period correct Silverface grille cloth. How difficult is that, and what goes into it?
 

LarryN

Member
Messages
955
I prefer the SF PI and reverb driver as well as the 1w plate resistors
I agree with this.

Also, the PI 12AT7 could be worn out, also. Driving the power tubes wears them out quicker. If the 12AX7's are RCA, they should sound very good. You can convert to adjustable bias without doing the rest of the blackface mod. I'm pulling for leaving it silverface, because of my many experiences with the conversion. The blackface mod makes it seem a little more driving in a way, but not in a way that sounds like a real blackface circuit. Something sounds off to me to the voice of the amp, after the conversion. It's hard to describe, but the amp sounds sweeter(?) to me as a silverface. I suspect that it's the PI relaxing a little. I have added older molded blue caps to a few. That sounds nice.
 

rokpunk

Member
Messages
1,819
So, I took the amp to the tech today. He said it's in absolutely phenomenal shape. The speakers are, as I expected, worn out, but the Californias will be put in shortly anyway. He's going to recap it, and put in the tubes I bought. As I stated earlier, I got Winged C power tubes, and Tung Sol preamp tubes. He says the preamp tubes look to be in shockingly good shape, so I think we're going to keep those in, he said maybe he'd put one Tung Sol in the reverb driver just to see how it sounds. But I appreciate everyone posting here! The Twin is well on its way to being in tip top shape. He said I still might like to bring it to Blackface specs just to be able to bias the tubes correctly, so we may do that in the future. The next question I have deals with the cosmetics of the amp. I guess the guy who had it before me changed out the original grille cloth for a black one, and I'm wondering what I could do to change that to the more period correct Silverface grille cloth. How difficult is that, and what goes into it?
it's a shame that they changed the outward appearance of the amp...i'd personally just leave the original sliver/blue grill cloth and the silver face plate. neither of these fixes will do anything to make the amp sound or play any better, so, in my opinion, they are not worth doing, and they may actually devalue the amp more than add value to it. if you need the period correct grill cloth, i know a guy around here (baltimore) who does all my fender amp work, and i know he has spools of the stuff. no idea how much it costs, but it is available. i agree with your tech's idea of blackfacing the amp so that it can be easily biased. i have the same year (1972) and love mine. my only wish is that it was a 1971 so that it would be my birth year. oh well...

btw....if this is a gigging amp, buy a road case for it so that it'll last another 40 years!!!
 

Rumblur

Member
Messages
750
Listen... dont buy into all the ******** you read on here or the rest of the internet. The master volume is NOT a bad thing! Especially on a Twin. Your amp IS NOT BAD! It doesnt need to be changed to 'blackface' to sound good. That's a lot of BS. It probably just needs a good servicing and new speakers.

Also - I doubt it's a 72, as I think the MV or pull boost didnt come out till 1975? I could be wrong. Post the serial number on the back of the chassis and someone will tell you the real date of it.
 

Miles

Member
Messages
3,966
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.
Sounds bad ass just the way it is. If it ain't broke...

I might check the bias and tubes and then...plug in a dirt box and make some noise!

I love twins, just don't need the clean headroom.
 

rokpunk

Member
Messages
1,819
Listen... dont buy into all the ******** you read on here or the rest of the internet. The master volume is NOT a bad thing! Especially on a Twin. Your amp IS NOT BAD! It doesnt need to be changed to 'blackface' to sound good. That's a lot of BS. It probably just needs a good servicing and new speakers.

Also - I doubt it's a 72, as I think the MV or pull boost didnt come out till 1975? I could be wrong. Post the serial number on the back of the chassis and someone will tell you the real date of it.
you certainly don't have to "buy into all the ********", but i can tell you that without a doubt, my '72 silverface sounds much better after i eliminated the master volume and changed out a few caps, etc.

that being said, nobody said that your amp doesn't sound just fine the way it came from the factory. mine was fine stock, but it is better than fine since i did some fairly simple mods to it. plus, now i feel much more familiar with the inner workings of the amp since i did all the work to it.

i suggest the mods. it made a big difference to the tone of my amp. your mileage may, and will, vary.
 

peterock_85

Member
Messages
4
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?
Unless you're playing incredibly loud (like killing small children/animals loud), you're probably not going to be able to get natural amp overdrive from a twin. Or even saturation for that matter. I've got a (mostly) stock '74 SFTR and I start to get a little tube compression at 4-5 on the channel volume (MV at 10), and that's really loud. Generally speaking, JBL/Cali and other high-power/efficient speakers will add definition and clarity, but are probably taking you further away from what you're going for, imo. Fwiw, I just put one D120F in mine and it is significantly louder vs the Oxford it replaced. For my purposes (clean pedal steel) that's a good thing, but for guitars & warmth/overdrive I think you're better off going another route. I've heard V30's are a good match, and WGS Veterans even better. Cheaper too. $70/each new.

Re: California and pedals/gain - here's what Weber says:
In general, overdrive (from a pedal or from the amp) will sound somewhat nasally or harsh especially with the aluminum dome. Some players report good results using the California with paper dome and some distortion or overdrive. You will likely hear more higher-frequency distortion noise (especially with the aluminum dome) since this particular speaker does not aid in smoothing out the breakup, like most speakers do. In short, it gives you exactly what you give it. If you are considering the California, and want clean AND overdrive tones, you may want to check out the Ceramic Chicago

DOME DESCRIPTIONS:
Aluminum: Very bright, almost piercing highs akin to vintage JBLs. Good for crystal cleans, but avoid for even slight distortion.

Paper: High end is tonally between the other dome types, more piercing only under heavy pick attack. Good for brighter cleans and slight overdrive.

H dome (screen cloth): Allows the high end to be present but not overbearing. Good for warmer yet articulate cleans, but also moderate overdrive.



 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,430
Also - I doubt it's a 72, as I think the MV or pull boost didnt come out till 1975? I could be wrong. Post the serial number on the back of the chassis and someone will tell you the real date of it.
Master volume happened on twins mid '72. I've owned 72's with and without a MV. I switched my current 72 MV to a PPIMV... took about 30 minutes and cost like 5 dollars in parts... way better results for this particular amp. YMMV.
 
Messages
42
Alright, so the Twin is still in the shop. But like I said, my tech is my buddy, and he's doing it for cheap, so I told him I'm in no hurry. No real updates yet. I scored a sweet road case for it for 50 bucks on Craigslist from some guy who sold a Twin but the buyer didn't want the case with it. So that's sweet.
Now I'm coming back to the grille cloth being black. For some reason, it's really getting to me. Apparently the guy just spray painted the original grille clothe black for some reason. I know. I know. I've been looking into replacing grille cloth but it seems that there is a lot of work involved with stretching it properly and what not. I'm thinking that I'm best off just buying a whole new baffle for it. Is that common?
The one in particular I'm looking at buying is this one.
http://www.mojotone.com/amp-parts/amplifier-cabinet-speaker-baffles/Blackface-Twin-Reverb-Baffle
Will that get me in the general vicinity of a good looking grille?
Are there any better options?
I realize the Mojo Tone one says it's for a Blackface Twin Reverb, but I can't seem to find a Silverface one.
 

Blue Strat

Member
Messages
30,194
Alright, so the Twin is still in the shop. But like I said, my tech is my buddy, and he's doing it for cheap, so I told him I'm in no hurry. No real updates yet. I scored a sweet road case for it for 50 bucks on Craigslist from some guy who sold a Twin but the buyer didn't want the case with it. So that's sweet.
Now I'm coming back to the grille cloth being black. For some reason, it's really getting to me. Apparently the guy just spray painted the original grille clothe black for some reason. I know. I know. I've been looking into replacing grille cloth but it seems that there is a lot of work involved with stretching it properly and what not. I'm thinking that I'm best off just buying a whole new baffle for it. Is that common?
The one in particular I'm looking at buying is this one.
http://www.mojotone.com/amp-parts/amplifier-cabinet-speaker-baffles/Blackface-Twin-Reverb-Baffle
Will that get me in the general vicinity of a good looking grille?
Are there any better options?
I realize the Mojo Tone one says it's for a Blackface Twin Reverb, but I can't seem to find a Silverface one.

This will definitely do the trick and be way better looking than the black grill cloth.
 

levous

Member
Messages
793
Alright, so the Twin is still in the shop. But like I said, my tech is my buddy, and he's doing it for cheap, so I told him I'm in no hurry. No real updates yet. I scored a sweet road case for it for 50 bucks on Craigslist from some guy who sold a Twin but the buyer didn't want the case with it. So that's sweet.
Now I'm coming back to the grille cloth being black. For some reason, it's really getting to me. Apparently the guy just spray painted the original grille clothe black for some reason. I know. I know. I've been looking into replacing grille cloth but it seems that there is a lot of work involved with stretching it properly and what not. I'm thinking that I'm best off just buying a whole new baffle for it. Is that common?
The one in particular I'm looking at buying is this one.
http://www.mojotone.com/amp-parts/amplifier-cabinet-speaker-baffles/Blackface-Twin-Reverb-Baffle
Will that get me in the general vicinity of a good looking grille?
Are there any better options?
I realize the Mojo Tone one says it's for a Blackface Twin Reverb, but I can't seem to find a Silverface one.
Someone gave you the amp, you scored weber Cali's for $25/ea, a friend is n amp tech and fixing it up for cheap... Is this normal for you? You must be a really nice guy owed a lot of favors. Regardless, congrats! It's is and is going to be a sweet amp
 




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