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Taming the Fender Twin Reverb Amp: From Twin Reverb to Princeton Reverb!

by vaughn skow July 09, 2021 2 min read

Howdy guitar folks and welcome to 2021 and the "new normal" ... but this time we ain't talking at ALL about COVID-19 or lock-downs, or any of that crap ... we're talking about a trend that began a number of years back: SMALLER AMPS!  All throughout the 1950s through the 1980's amps just kept getting bigger and bigger and louder and louder.  But then it all began to change.  Thanks to readily available great PA systems and in-ear monitors, what everyone NOW desires are amps that can sound MASSIVE whilst putting out very little actual volume.  And so it is that vintage Fender Princeton and Deluxe Reverb Amps are VERY desirable and bring top dollar, but the "big dog" or the 1970's, the 100(+) watt Fender Twin Reverb is Waaaaaay under-valued.  Shoot, these days a freaking Chap will often bring more than a Twin from the same era.  What the hecks up with that?  Well, folks just want quiet little amps these days, and a twin ain't neither.

Taming the Fender Twin Reverb Amp: From Twin Reverb to Princeton Reverb!

And so, Fender Twin Reverb Amps are the real STEAL in vintage amps right now!

A quick check of our forum will show many inquiries on how to tame a twin ... and a pair of ET65's goes a long way!  But, what if you want to REALLY tame it, as in bring it to Princeton level?  Folks, it CAN be done!  Here are the things to do in order of easiest do-it-yourself up to most extreme.

1. Pull a pair of tubes. 4-6L6 Fenders can have either the inner OR outer tubes pulled, for an instant half-power conversion.  Yep, your 100-watt twin just became a 50-watt Twin, easy-peasy!

2. Pull a speaker.  Seriously, just yank one out.  The Fender output transformers are notoriously forgiving and can easily handle halving the impedance, and the slight mis-match between the output tubes reflected impedance will just aid in making the amp quieter.

3. Re-bias it for 6V6 output tubes.  This one needs to be done by a tech who knows what they are doing, but since both tubes have the same pin configuration, this is a VERY easy job for a good tech!

So, if you have followed all the above you now have, in essence a 2-channel Princeton Reverb Amp, with tilt-back legs.  And, you have invested about half what the Princeton (single Chanel with OUT tilt-back) goes for these days.  Sure, the Twin is still a little heavier and larger, but with one speaker pulled, it's quite manageable.

One last note: The earlier the Twin, the better it will sound, in particular, I would stay away from the latter 70's/early 80s 135-watt "ultra-linear" models, they need a few OTHER tweaks at the shop to make them sound like a good vintage Fender should!

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