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Fender Twin Reverb for $599!


surfpup

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So this morning I'm checking out the inventory online at the Guitar Center near my mother-in-laws house (we're visiting).

I often go gear hunting around here. I notice they have a 1976 Twin Reverb marked down to $599! Didn't take me long to get in the car and drive over to check it out.

 

Here's their website pic...

 

576d3800-503a-4a39-b270-38af1b424a11.png

 

Ahhh man... those guitar center guys are idiots. I go in and look around. It's not on the floor. I ask about it, so they go looking at every Fender amp on the floor... Is this it? No. Is this it? No. They have no idea what a Twin Reverb even looks like!

 

Finally a "manager" goes and looks in the back and finds it and wheels it out (at least it has casters). However,the input transformer is dangling by the wires - no biggie, that's an easy fix. They plug it in for me and I then notice there are no power tubes! Doh!. #-o The manager had no idea, so he decides it's "as is" for $599.

 

Now this could be an awesome deal. $80-100 in tubes and you're set. But it could also have a bad output transformer or any number of ills acquired over the last almost 40 years - no way to know really. I decided not to take the chance.

 

Mildly bummed. :(

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I don't know what they are SUPPOSED to go for, but 599 doesn't seem like "marked down" to me.

 

Granted, these are VERY good amps, and worth the upkeep and maintenance required of any tube amp, AND much, MUCH better than the reissues.

 

But besides not knowing if it works, it's good to keep in mind any 70's silver-faced Twin could have a number of mods or changes, been worked on by anyone, and could "need" any number of things to make it right, either stock or modded. So unless it sounds good....

 

599 + 100 in tubes + 100-200 in repairs/biasing is 800-900 bones American. Plus whatever speakers it might have or you might want.

 

But if a Fender Twin Reverb is what you want, it's WELL worth it. I mean, if you actually need/want it to play and it IS something you would be actually USING, you ain't gonna get anything as good for the price. And the reissues do NOT deliver what these do. You would have to start getting into "boutique" for that.

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They go for $800 regularly here. About like a Deluxe Reverb from the same era. They are so heavy that no one want to carry them! So in good working condition (with tubes) $599 is decent. It had no obvious mods - master volume, etc - and I bias my own Fender amps, so that's free. Still, I passed. If they had some tubes to slap in in for me to give it a spin, I might have made an offer.

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They go for $800 regularly here. About like a Deluxe Reverb from the same era. They are so heavy that no one want to carry them! So in good working condition (with tubes) $599 is decent. It had no obvious mods - master volume, etc - and I bias my own Fender amps, so that's free. Still, I passed. If they had some tubes to slap in in for me to give it a spin, I might have made an offer.

8 bills sounds about right- that is, working, sounding good.

 

Of corse, by "mods", I mean that could be anything. Like "Blackfaced", or the bias pot turned into a "proper" bias rather than "balance", or a few cap changes in the tone, etc. Not necessarily Marshalled out or fancy channels or gain stages.

 

But if you bias your own, you probably know all this stuff.

 

So yea, 599 WITHOUT tubes ain't a real bargain, is it? Nevermind not knowing if the thing works or not.

 

Duh.

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The "Good" news is (in my experience), there are a lot of "used" Twin Reverb's, for sale, at any one time.

One just has to look. So, IMHO, you did the right thing, Surfpup, in passing on one that's obviously got

some "issues!" Especially, when dealing with folks that don't seem to have a clue! [tongue][rolleyes]

 

 

CB

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Having owned a silver-face Dual Showman of similar vintage, it's probably a good thing you left the store with your money instead of the amp. My Showman sounded like a constipated dog! I couldn't dump it fast enough.

 

It's said that the early silver-face Twins were the same circuitry as the black-face, but in '76 it was the "other" Twin.

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They are so heavy that no one want to carry them!

Too true. But the one in the pic looks like a MV one...? Should be 135w. I expect it works.

 

A Fender Twin Reverb in the UK is around £900. That about $1370 in your money.

I wish. I'd sell my big Fender for that. I'm thinking of what I see on eBay.

 

Having owned a silver-face Dual Showman of similar vintage, it's probably a good thing you left the store with your money instead of the amp. My Showman sounded like a constipated dog! I couldn't dump it fast enough.

It's said that the early silver-face Twins were the same circuitry as the black-face, but in '76 it was the "other" Twin.

 

Funnily enough....I still have a silver-faced Dual Showman and....it's in a 2 x 12 combo. 135w. I bought it s/h with a blown transformer.

I had an early 70s silver-face Fender Twin years ago too.

 

Wiki article on Fender Twin - "between 1977-1982 an ultra linear output transformer was used, increasing the power to 135 watts".

 

The ultra-linear arrangement did not help the sound at all either...

 

When replacing the transformer the amp expert (D Petersen who wrote the Vox book) asked if I wanted it ultra-linear, triode or pentode, and the circuit was rewired pentode.

He left the MV 'distortion' push/pull as is. It is the worst sounding and most ineffectual 'distortion' I've ever heard but I wanted to leave it alone; never used.

Am proud to say a visiting guitar player who is better than me played through the amp one afternoon and called it the "Rolls-Royce of Fender amps".

 

However my take-to-gig amp now is a later period red-knob Super 60.

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