For this article a short brief about the Silverface Fender Twin Reverb.
Anyone reading this article will know the common remark made about these amps: Leave the Push/Pull knob alone when it comes to increasing power (read distortion) on these amps. The results usually are not too pleasing: Harsh in sound and very trebly.
I have been using the amp for some time now with the stock speakers. Not sure which kind of speakers they are, as the label is gone. They look like an Oxford and another one. Yes two different speakers in one amp! Anyone aware of the habits in the Fender company will know that they used up all parts they had lying around at the time. Both speakers do carry same serial number, this number has been added by Fender, although both speakers are of a different make.
The speakers sound fine, do not want to go into much detail about them here as this article is about the Celestion speakers and the Twin Reverb.
As experiment I tried a speaker cab which carries two 12 inch Celestions: One is a G12H and the other one a G12 vintage 30. Using this cab and guitar being plugged into vibrato channel, while volume is set at about 8, and the master at about 2 while the push/pull is engaged. The result is warm, fuzzy distortion. Nothing like what I heard with the stock speakers. Disengage push/pull, and distortion is still there, but not as full on.
This was a welcome suprise, especially when most people in the know seem to mention do not use the push/pull.
I guess using Celestions on a Silverface Twin Reverb is not quite common, most people do not have a desire to make their Fender amp sound like somekind of Marshall. Well, the sound is not quite Marshall, the Fender characteristics are still there, but the amp does sound different with the Celestions being used.
The good thing about Twin Reverb is that the amp does have a speaker input socket, which means you can use any outside cabinet with whatever speakerset they have. Simply disengage the speakerjack of the internal speakers and plug the speakerlead from your external cab. into the amp’s speaker input socket and hey presto, your speakermodification is done!.
I feel the stock speakers are fine for most sounds, but if you want that fuzzy Californian sound you may want to give the amp a try with any Celestion speaker you have.
Does it make much difference which Celestion you will use?
No not really, the difference will be that any of them will break up at a different point, and the details of the sound will be different, but all of them will give you that warm fuzzy sound I mentioned before.
Will any JBL or Jensen speaker give similar results?
This is what I do not know, as I have not heard any of them, and my feeling is no, because of the common advise to leave the Push/Pull alone.
If you too feel you could improve on the sound of your broken up Silverface Twin, try experimenting with different speakers to see how they behave soundwise.
What kind of Valves?
Again one of those questions which is hard to answer. I use Groove Tubes for various reasons, but they are mainly my amp tech’s reasons rahter than mine. I would like to experiment with various kind of valves, but you will need a few sets of different brands of valves to get a good idea of what each kind of brand can offer soundwise.
Overal the sound of the amp is good, not too bright (That is when I use the older, stock speakers) not too dull.
My opinion is: The tone controls of the Twin are quite active: If your speakers are too dull you can always brighten them up with a different setting from your amp. If your speakers are bright by nature you will end up with a overly bright Twin, which may not be what you always want!
Whatever modification you make to the amp soundwise, there is always a payback. An external speakercabinet is therefore an ideal solution, as you can change the sound on the spot without altering any sounds you already have.
For next article some more insights into the Marshall JCM 900 dual reverb and the Silverface Bassman 135, and how close those two amps can come soundwise.
Enjoy experimenting with your ampsetup and hope to see you here soon again.