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Fender twin reverb as a bass head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Wes Whitmore, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I have a old 100W silver faced fender twin reverb/vibrato guitar amp with 2 12s. Besides the extra reverb/vibrato effects, in general, what is the difference between this head and an old bassman specific heads? Could this head be modified to get something close to the old fender bassman?
  2. Gries Amps

    Gries Amps Commercial User

    May 14, 2008
    Mattapoisett, MA
    Owner, Gries Amplification
    Your twin is very similar to a Dual Showman. Have you tried it just as it is? I think whatever cab you run it through will have much more influence on the tone than any mods you might try.
  3. dog1


    Dec 30, 2008
    Yeah, I wouldn't mod the head. Try it through a few bass cabinets and then decide if it is right for you. You won't hurt the head, and may like the results.

    When I use the ROS and run my 4003 in stereo, I put the bridge pup through a Marshall head with a 212 cab. Great in your face punch when combined with the neck pup through a bass rig.
  4. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    That's the key, use bass speakers, not the 12's in the amp. The amp will amplify your bass, but the speakers will crap out long before you reach any real volume.
  5. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Ok, I'll try playing through it. I am packing up stuff today to move into a new house and walked past it, and the question popped into my head. I have a couple of bass cabs that I can try out with it. I'll run a few basses through it as well and see what happens. I just wasn't sure if it was a completely unusable platform. If nothing else, it's free to try...
  6. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    I borrowed a buddys silver faced Twin to use at a gig once when my SVT head needed repair back in the 70's. To me it sounded just about as good in the bar we were playing in. I used it with my Peavey 18" folded horn and diconnected the 12s in the twin and it worked very well. Try it.
  7. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Before I got an Alembic F2-b, I used a Twin Reverb or Dual
    Showman as a head with my speaker boxes. Aside from all
    the heavy lifting, it worked very well. I'm told the F2-b is
    based on the Dual Showman head.
    Again, just unplug the 12's from the combo and plug in the
    bass box or boxes you have. Should sound great.
  8. I agree with disconnecting the 12" speakers. I've had 2 silverface Twins when I was a gui**** and I LOVED them. Hands down my all time favorite guitar amp. But they went bye bye to finance my bass gear when I finally found my true calling.
  9. shastaband

    shastaband Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    I had to do this at a gig in 1973, a Day on the Green Festival type thing. My Bassman head gave up the ghost on our first song. I used the rhythm guitarist's Twin into my Sunn cabinet with two JBL D140s. Sounded great, and we were able to finish the gig. (The guitarist, who wasn't using effects and preferred a clean tone, ran direct into the board.)
  10. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    There is TONS or literature on the specific circuits of these amps available on line (Google is your friend) but given that the twin is a amp very well known for it's high power and clear tone, all you need is a bass cab and it should work fine. Heck, it might even be a good long-term arrangement if you can put it into a head only cab...

    But bass into the open 2x12 will sound weak at any volume, I should think.

    On a related note, I was at a guitar store in Pasadena that had these strange metal bodied basses & guitars, so I had to try one... The store owner didn't have a bass amp per se, so he had me play through a re-issue 4x10 bassman. I have to say, it sounded great! Go figure, given that these amps are mostly used by guitar players...
  11. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    heard good things about your gear dave! please tell me you're building a bass amp?
  12. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I used to have a Twin, and I would occasionally use it for low volume practices. It works but it does have a tremendous mid scoop so forget about knobs being flat ;) And you can't turn it up loud if you use the cab. But it would be similar to the sound of a Bassman head. Not exactly but close enough.
  13. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I was gifted this amp when my grandpa passed away some years ago, and since I haven't actually picked up the guitar yet, I figured I would put it to good use. Whatever I do, it has to be reversable. I don't want to do any perminant mods to this amp. I wouldn't mind putting it into a separate head case though, and storing the rest of the open backed 12 combo. Thanks for the help. I am eager to try it as soon as the dust settles from the move. I have to scrounge up a speakon to 1/4" cable out of our PA tackle box first.
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You won't be able to turn it into an Ampeg, so I wouldn't bother. The Twin is a great design (more for guitar but perfectly acceptable for bass), and the only acceptable mods are to bring it up to Blackface specs and replace speakers with old Altecs ;) Set the knobs to treble and bass at 1, mids at 10, and it's flat and more suitable for bass.
  15. I had a '60 Fender Vibrosonic (combo with a 15 JBL). It was design and intended for pedal steel. It had 6L6s for the power supply, diode rectifier, tube pre and it was clean, clean, clean, dimed.

    I used a Fender Princeton between the guitar and inupt to the Vibrosonic to drive a little distortion. It rocked.

    For Bass, disconnected the JBL and put the 2 outs into 2 Acoustic cabs or 2 Sunn cabs. Both were available to me. It was loud and did gyms, keggers and animal lodges with no problems. The right gear for the time - the "classic" early '70s rock tone.
  16. honestjohnny


    Nov 24, 2006
    My dad used a 60's Silverfaced Bandmaster head with an Acoustic 106 2x15 for years and he never turned it up past 2. Great tone. I have no idea about the wattage.
  17. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    It's worth quite a bit. I'd sell it and buy a bass amp.
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Aw, you can't sell Grandpa's old Twin!
  19. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Nope, can't sell it, or the '64 custom Birdland...

    I did have a few minutes to mess with it tonight. I only had my two BFM onmi10.5s at the new house, and my Spector Kramer Neck-through. It actually sounded really good. Nice and warm and clean. Treble could get pretty hot compared to a dedicated solid state bass amp. Makes sense though. EQ on the treble was very usable though. I could easily dial in way too much sizzle, or non at all. It seemed like it was just loud enough to gig with when I turned it all the way up, but my Spector has a super low output. When almost pegging the preamp and the master, I got the ceiling tiles to vibrate. It took EQ from my bass very well too, and it didn't take much to dial in a good tone. Now this amp hasn't had maintenance in over 15 years or more. The 4 tubes were 973's? It was clean, regardless. I'll try it with the Warwick $$ tomorrow if I can, and also a GK SBX410 when I get it moved over to the new house. Regardless, it's pretty cool to see those tubes glow, and it smells great too.
  20. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    A Byrdland, too? Dude, I would so take up guitar if I were you! Ted Nugent looks at you with envy!

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