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Fender Supertwin suitable for bass?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by De Teng, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. De Teng

    De Teng

    Oct 27, 2003
    Utrecht, Holland
    While I've been playing for about four years on a hybrid amp, the Peavey T-Max, my guitaristblood began flowing through my veins again. I wanted to score a powerful tube amp, which could handle bassresponses too, with a nice guitar. Searching local sales, I ran into a Fender Supertwin, tubes 4 years ago checked and hardly used ever since. Cosmetically just normal use flaws, but no real problems.


    180W for guitarsound is in fact way too much. But.. talking about bass it ain't a problem to have some power extra, oh yeah... headroom.. uhhuh.

    Anyway.. quality-wise.. has anyone experience with this one and how suitable are the speakers for bass (fivestring) for instance? Other details.. feel free to drop here!

    Likes: one channel amp, plenty of power, looks.
    Dislikes: 2.12" speakers, heavy, ...?

    :bassist: Thanks in advance!
  2. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Does it have an open backed cab? If so, it is only good for practicing w/ a bass. If you can bypass the speakers and send the signal to an efficient bass cab you might be able to do small/medium gigs.
  3. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Well, the internal speakers wouldn't be suitable for playing loud with a bass, the open back cabinet (and their design) will let them tear themselves apart.

    I would "work" with a different cabinet but I'll guess that the output transformer isn't designed to reproduce the low frequencies of an electric bass too well...but maybe I'm wrong.

    The EQ is probably voiced an octave higher than it should be too...

    However, it's all about how it sounds... So, your homework is to plug in your bass and have a go at it and then decide.

    We'll be anxiously awaiting your report!!!

    BTW, Ted Nugent used 4 of these at a time (on top of 2x15 cabinets) back in the late '70s/early '80s. So if the bass use doesn't work out, grab a Gibson Byrdland and have at it!!!
  4. The Super Twin has one of the WORST overdrive tones of all time. It's famous for it. However, when played clean, you have the guitar version of Fender's Studio Bass amp. I think they both use the same output transformer, so low end will not be a problem, but you are going to need a bass cab for it.
  5. And here I thought I was the only person who had ever thought of playing bass through a Super Twin. I actually used to have one of those around 1977 or so, and I did play a bit of bass through it (though I bought it as a guitar amp).

    I agree with PBG--awful overdrive tone, but lots of power and good basic clean tone, and yes, the speakers in the combo aren't much good for bass, especially not for 5 string. If you use just the amp part with a better cab, you could have something kinda nice.
  6. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    Like the other guys say it would work but not with the speakers it has,you'd have to use a bass cabinet.I used a regular Twin as a head when I was getting my SVT retubed back in the 70's with my Cerwin Vega 18" cabinet and it sounded darn good.Almost as good as my SVT.
  7. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    My local Sam Ash store has one sitting alone unloved in the guitar amp section... IIRC, they want a tidy sum for it...
  8. DAcat

    DAcat Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2005
    In the sixties I used to use a twin reverb with 2 external speakers(2x12s)and it was really nice sounding for back then(better than the bassmen)-in addition to using mutiple other Fender amps at the time...Peace...DAcat...:cool:
  9. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    why not just buy my Bassman 135 (100watt all tube) head:smug:
  10. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    He's in Europe and their mains voltage is 230 Vac 50Hz...:meh:
  11. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    damn Europe......:p
  12. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    My schematics show the same transformer for both amps. The Super Twin is kinda nasty even for clean sounds IMHO, but that's somewhat fixable. The cathode follower driver (and other factors) makes the amp seem a bit non-Fendery for guitar even when it's clean, I think. I'd turn it into a head, get a proper bass cab, lose or at least bypass the distortion and reverb (which this one seems not to have) circuits that use the 6C10 compactron, and look at the 5 band EQ frequency centers to see if they need tweaking. The schematics I have show different frequency centers for the Super Twin and the Studio Bass, but they're not radically different.

    The regular Fender guitar tone stack component values work better for lots of guys than the dedicated bass ones, so you might leave those alone at first at least, especially if you still want the amp to work for guitar as well as bass.

    Best of luck if you buy this. The Studio Bass is a pretty cool amp, much cooler than the Super Twin IMO. But unless you have the skills to do all these mods yourself, I'd expect to pay subtantial money to have them done professionally.
  13. De Teng

    De Teng

    Oct 27, 2003
    Utrecht, Holland
    Thanks guys, taking everything in.. I don't think I will take the risks. Especially thanks for the last post, because it has some.. well.. knowledges in it which I hadn't thought of.

    Thinking of swapping my 4.10 to a 2.10 with some locals and then looking for a nice guitarhead which also can be used for bass. I heard that the Laney GH50L should be a great one, but that's another discussion. I'll start that one later on perhaps..

    thanks for saving my ass so far!!!
  14. dalek


    Apr 20, 2009
    yes I know it's a 4 yr old thread! I thought it's better to resurrect it rather than starting a new one...

    having said that, I believe the OP question was about using the Twin "in it's open back combo configuration" for bass. Now my question is:

    Could the stock Super Twin speakers be used in a custom (sealed or ported) 212 bass cab? powered by the very same Super Twin amp

  15. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    Check out the gist of my response in the Xmax thread......... and if you go to all the trouble of building a separate head case & bass cab, why not splurge a little more and buy speakers designed for bass?
  16. dalek


    Apr 20, 2009
    I was wondering why'd you direct me to a Christmas thread ;)
    But still I don't understand!

    I'm actually not sure whether to build a cab and use these speakers or get me a bass cab (with its own speakers). Just wanted to make the most of what I have and save some money...
  17. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Buy a commercially built bass cabinet. It'll be designed for the purpose, you can try before you buy and it'll have resale value. Plus, save the Super Twin cabinet with its speakers for home or low volume practice use.
  18. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Yes, if you like the sound of distortion. Otherwise, no.
  19. Hankthecrank


    Oct 26, 2009
    I used one in the studio and it could keep up with a drummer very well it had fender speaker's that i am sure were made by ev you could hook a small 15" cab. with those 2 twelve's and presto, it does have a tricky eq. but find the sweet spot for your bass and wala.you could also just close the back a little just leaving a small port or put some lighter speaker's in there as well,the possibilitys are endless.
  20. Consensus of this thread:
    No additional mods to the Super Twin.
    Use an enclosed speaker.
    Does not work for gigs?

    I have a SuperTwin Head manufactured by Fender. It is odd and a rarity, however legit Fender merch with low serial #s.
    It is a great bass amp, however it does have speaker distortion with 2 EVM12Ls wired for 4ohms. It is kinda cool, however, from reading this, it sounds like I would have better luck with enclosed speakers. Can someone simply confirm this.

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