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The Best Replacement Speaker Upgrade For A Fender Twin Reverb

The Best Replacement Speaker Upgrade For A Fender Twin Reverb

Hi Y'all and happy 2019 to ya! Today as I took my daily stride through the Musical Instruments listings on Craigslist I noticed several silver-faced Twin Reverbs at stupidly low prices.  Man ... could it be that the Twin Reverb has become an ultimate sleeper amp?  Maybe so!  My first "big" amp was a twin with the JBL D120F speakers, at the time they were kinda holy-grail level amps, but today folks generally find them too bright, too clean, too heavy, and more than anything else ... too LOUD!  Let's talk about how to fix that.

Vaughn Skow Teenager Fender guitar and amp

Yep, that's me at about 13 with my first Twin ... it weighed a lot more than I did!

Okay, to let's run through some options, speakers for sure ... but first ... if your Twin Reverb is too loud remove the two inner 6L6 Power tubes, it's perfectly safe, and you just cut the RMS power of your amp in half, essentially making it more like a Pro Reverb!  Easy-Peasy :-)

Now on to what you're probably here for: Speaker Options:

A Pair of ET65's:  This is the EASY Answer!  There are literally hundreds of satisfied Twin Reverb owners out there with a pair of ET65s.  They instantly add a warm, organic beauty to a Twin Reverb, while still having plenty of Fender sparkle and chime available when you turn the treble up past about 5.

ET65+Pair+in+Fender+Twin+Reverb


A Pair of G12C/S smooth-cones.  Not only will these make the amp uber-warm ... they look alot like the old orange-basket JBL D120F speakers ... ya just gotta love that!  If your main issue with your Twin is that you wish it wasn't so BRIGHT ... this is the route for you!

G12CS+Pair+in+Fender+Twin+Reverb

A Pair of G12Q's ... okay, but listen here!  This is only if 1) You have pulled a pair of tubes, 2) You really need the amp to sound super-sweet at less than ear-shattering volume levels, and 3) You need to make the amp significantly lighter weight.

So ... if you have met these three criteria, continue reading.  This combination will TOTALLY take you to the tone and feel of a 40-watt Blackface Pro Reverb.  The speakers will add in a nice early compression akin to tube-rectifier sag, and sound vintage in a smokey/woody way ... think more brownface/blackface than silverface.  With only the one pair of 6L6 output tubes, this will urn your Twin from "Always TOO Loud" to "the perfect clubbing amp", plus you will have shed about 10-pounds!  Just remember, if you put all four tubes in her and turn her up, you WILL blow the speakers.


There ya have it ... my 40 years of experience with Twin Reverbs and my 10 years of swapping speakers in them condensed down to one short blog ... hope ya dug it.



Wm Anderson
01/19/2019 11:37am

Another great blog!! At some point I'll have to try one of these combos other than the Jensens in mine.

I was, however, inspired to do a little Saturday searching. Found this on Reverb:
https://reverb.com/item/6465757-fender-silverface-twin-reverb-1974

Been used as a scratching post perhaps??

harpolewill2_52109
10/17/2019 12:19pm

Just got a 1979 silverface twin reverb. Can someone explain how the two G12q's work with pulling out two of the 6L6 tubes but the other options don't. I have almost no knowledge of how the technology works. Only issue I have with the amp is the volume level. Does the two g12q's compare to the two G12c/s. I want the tone of the g12c/s but without the super volume.

Ken Daskilewicz
11/14/2019 9:18pm

Sure, I can explain it -

Twin Reverbs (all of them, all generations) have four power tubes, in a push-pull arrangement (feel free to google that term, but you don't have to :) )

In total, these four power tubes can deliver a max total of about 85 watts (it can vary somewhat), and they "want" to see a total impedance of 4 ohms at the speaker jack (ideally).

So here's the deal: In a push-pull amp with four power tubes (like these), you can OPTIONALLY remove *the two tubes in the middle*, which accomplishes two things:
1. It halves the max power of your power amp (which puts you down around 40-45 watts).
2 It doubles the (ideal) total impedance (meaning: your amp now "wants" a total of 8 ohms on the output jack (ideally)).

So why does this matter? Well -- the speakers you're asking about (the G12q's) are just 20 watt speakers! That means that two of them together (whether they're wired in-series or in-parallel) can only handle a total of around 40 watts before they're at risk of blowing! So you'd better connect them to an amp that will only deliver around 40 watts maximum!

By pulling the two middle tubes, as described above, you are ensuring that your amp will only output around 40 watts (ish) at max. This (hopefully) puts you in the "safe zone" for connecting a pair of 20 watt speakers such as the G12q's.

(Now - if you followed all that - then you might be wondering if you're STILL at risk of blowing these speakers even with the two middle tubes removed. That's a fair question - because, after all, your amp will STILL be capable of delivering 40+ watts, and that's *right at the specified limit* for a pair of these speakers... Well -- I can't really tell you whether there's still some risk :) If the manufacturer says "it's all good" - then maybe it is :) But if you're worried about it - then, maybe just keep your volume at modest levels, and you'll hopefully be alright :) )

Ken Daskilewicz
11/16/2019 11:25am

Sure, I can explain it -

Twin Reverbs (all of them, all generations) have four power tubes, in a push-pull arrangement (feel free to google that term, but you don't have to :) )

In total, these four power tubes can deliver a max total of about 85 watts (it can vary somewhat), and they "want" to see a total impedance of 4 ohms at the speaker jack, ideally.

So here's the deal: In a push-pull amp with four power tubes you can OPTIONALLY remove *the two tubes in the middle*, which accomplishes two things:
1. It halves the max power of your power amp (which puts you down around 40-45 watts).
2 It doubles the (ideal) total impedance (meaning: your amp now "wants" a total of 8 ohms on the output jack (ideally)).

So why does this matter? Well -- the speakers you're asking about (the G12q's) are just 20 watt speakers! That means that two of them together (whether they're wired in-series or in-parallel) can only handle a total of around 40 watts before they're at risk of blowing! So you'd better only connect them to an amp that delivers no more that 40 watts maximum!

By pulling the two middle tubes, as described above, you are ensuring that your amp will only output around 40 watts (ish) at max. This (hopefully) puts you in the "safe zone" for connecting a pair of 20 watt speakers such as the G12q's.

(Now - if you followed all that - then you might be wondering if you're STILL at risk of blowing these speakers even with the two middle tubes removed. That's a fair question - because, after all, your amp will STILL be capable of delivering 40+ watts, and that's right at the "specified limit" for a pair of these speakers... Well, I can't say whether there's still some risk. If the manufacturer says "it's all good" - then maybe it is :) But if you're worried about it - then, maybe just keep your volume at modest levels, and you'll hopefully be alright :) )