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  1. #1
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    Twin reverb reissue tube question

    I own a 65 twin reverb re issue and I’m wondering if I can change the tubes to make it so the amp can produce a natural dirty sound instead of its infinite amount of headroom. The amp is loud enough already and I’ve been having trouble getting a good lead sound, I think having a pushed amp and then a pedal on top of that would make for a good lead tone, any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    Quote Originally Posted by Hashwagon View Post
    any thoughts?
    Buy a smaller amp! The twin reverb is a high powered amp that is renowned for clean tones and having loads of clean headroom, changing valves will have little or no effect on this, if you want something that breaks up at lower volumes then the only real answer is a different amp.
    Last edited by PaulD; 02-19-20 at 04:10 AM.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member fakejake's Avatar
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    AFAIR you can remove half of the power tubes for an earlier breakup.

  4. #4
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    It is indeed possible to remove 2 output valves which will half the output power, however this will not have as much effect as you might expect and will only result in a -3dB reduction in sound pressure level. This will of course allow you to turn the volume control up a bit more for more distortion at lower volume levels but ultimately it is still a twin reverb which is well known for being a clean amp.

    It's also important to note that removing 2 of the output valves will change the impedance loading, the amp is designed to run into a 4 ohm load, if you remove 2 valves it should ideally be run into an 8 ohm load to ensure the output transformer is not damaged.

  5. #5
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    Why not put a boost or distortion pedal in front of it....?

  6. #6
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    As already said, the twin is too much amp.

    there is a way... Yellow Jackets!

    with yellow jackets you can use EL 84 power tubes.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member fakejake's Avatar
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    Or: Sell the Twin and get a Deluxe Reverb!

  8. #8
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    Quote Originally Posted by fakejake View Post
    Or: Sell the Twin and get a Deluxe Reverb!
    Exactly! Having the right amp for your needs is an infinitely better option than having the wrong amp and attempting to make it something it isn't!

  9. #9

    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilko View Post
    As already said, the twin is too much amp.

    there is a way... Yellow Jackets!

    with yellow jackets you can use EL 84 power tubes.
    “ In a 100 watt amp like a Twin Reverb or Marshall 100, either two or four Yellow Jackets™ can be used. If only two are used and the other two sockets are left empty, the output is dropped to about 20 watts. With four in place, the amp puts out about 40 watts and takes on a whole new warmth and richness.

    Will they hurt my amp?

    No! Yellow Jacket™ converters are safe for all amplifiers and transformers. As all Yellow Jacket™ Converters internally limit voltage and current they put no extra strain on amplifiers' power and output transformers or internal components. Using the Yellow Jackets™ in higher powered amplifiers actually reduces the strain on the transformers and internal components because it reduces the overall wattage of the system. Furthermore, the heater (or filament) current of the EL84 is lower than that of the 6L6, EL34 or 7591, so the Yellow Jacket™ will reduce the strain on the filament windings of the power transformer as well. ”



    found this info, true ?

  10. #10
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    Quote Originally Posted by garywright View Post
    “ In a 100 watt amp like a Twin Reverb or Marshall 100, either two or four Yellow Jackets™ can be used. If only two are used and the other two sockets are left empty, the output is dropped to about 20 watts. With four in place, the amp puts out about 40 watts and takes on a whole new warmth and richness.

    Will they hurt my amp?

    No! Yellow Jacket™ converters are safe for all amplifiers and transformers. As all Yellow Jacket™ Converters internally limit voltage and current they put no extra strain on amplifiers' power and output transformers or internal components. Using the Yellow Jackets™ in higher powered amplifiers actually reduces the strain on the transformers and internal components because it reduces the overall wattage of the system. Furthermore, the heater (or filament) current of the EL84 is lower than that of the 6L6, EL34 or 7591, so the Yellow Jacket™ will reduce the strain on the filament windings of the power transformer as well. ”



    found this info, true ?
    Firstly a caveat, I have no first hand experience of using them but as someone who builds and repairs valve amplifiers for a living I do have an understanding of what they are and how they work.

    As with many of these things the answer to your question if it is true is probably "sort of...... maybe..... not quite!" The claim that they put no extra strain on the transformers is the one I find particularly suspect, in the case of the power transformer that is probably correct as the amp will be likely to be drawing less current but in the case of the output transformer the impedance reflected back is likely to be not optimal and could put extra strain on the output transformer. In practice it is probably not going to cause any problems (obviously if they were regularly causing output transformers to fail they would not have a very good reputation!) but to claim that they put less strain on the output transformer is very suspect. The other point I noticed is that they make a point of saying the heater current will be less and put less strain on the filament winding - this is very true but what they don't say is that this reduced load on the filament winding will cause the filament voltage to be higher and this could potentially reduce valve life. One other claim they make on the website is that they operate in class A, this is total bullshit, they are cathode biased but that does not necessarily mean they are class A. Unfortunately class A has developed into something of mythical status and is often used as a marketing term to suggest that it is somehow better than class AB which is what the vast majority of push-pull guitar amps really are, almost all of the amplifiers that are quoted as being examples of class A (Tweed Deluxe 5E3, Vox AC30 etc.) are not true class A (OK class A rant over )

    My personal view of these is that the likes of Fender and Marshall put a lot of time and effort into designing their amps to use a particular type of valve and all of the components in the amp will be optimized to run those particular valves, using different valves is always going to result in something being less than optimal. Of course many people do use them and in reality they are probably not going to cause any significant damage but my advice would always be if you want a cathode biased EL84 amp there are plenty to choose from that were designed to run that way

  11. #11
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    I've used Yellow jackets in my 135 watt UL twin. It got me breakup at reasonable levels, but the sound is less than stellar. A twin uses a SS rectifier and sounds thin already compared to a Super Reverb anyway. Add to that the fizzy sound of EL84s and you a whole other animal.

    It is fun to do, but as mentioned, the right amp for the volume you need is a far better option in many cases.

    I've used the Yellow Jackets in the Twin Reverb, Super Reverb (1966), Hiwatt Custom 50 (1972). Didn't do it very often and have opted for the smaller amps as they sound better.

    Like many before me, I've sold off almost all of by big amps. That 135 watt twin was the first to go. I gig mainly with either Princeton Reverb with a Celestion Blue, or a 1964 Deluxe Reverb. I sometimes use an 18 watt Marshall clone or 1965 Vox Cambridge reverb. The point being, small amps give up the goods.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    I use a Weber Mass Attenuator with my 65 twin reverb reissue with no issues... it works fine, but I prefer a pedal in front to tame it, my current favorites being a Van Weelden Royal Overdrive or Tanabe DUM+ZEN Twin Custom.
    Tone To The Bone!
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  13. #13
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    Pedal in front means your hearing a pedal.

    Yeah you can get a lot different sounds from pedals. At that point the amp matters less and less. Twins are great for that! Too much distortion from an amp softens the sparkle and immediacy of the pedals.

    The right amp meshing well with the right pedal can be magical, too.

    Ah, the tone quest.

  14. #14
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    I've experimented with yellow jackets in both vintage 50watt and a '97 35th anniversary Marshall plexi.
    The breadth and depth of tone lost with the yellow jackets wasn't compensation for earlier, reduced volume overdrive.
    I'm not saying that they have no place, but reported results in smaller wattage amps have been more positive in offering a workable alternative, such as a one or two 6v6gt amp for example.

    My brother has been wedded to his twin reverb for 25 yrs and after much switching and swapping has found 4 or 5 pedals that give him incredible drive tones, from subtle to 'run for cover', if you know what I mean.

    We live in a golden age where pedals are concerned I've no doubt you will find all you need to put your music across.

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member musekatcher's Avatar
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    I tried everything and more. Here's a trick that did work: low efficiency speakers. I went from stock speakers with 99 db sensitivity to 89 db sensitivity. I also shaved 14 pounds in the process. Its very controllable now.

  16. #16
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    Quote Originally Posted by musekatcher View Post
    I tried everything and more. Here's a trick that did work: low efficiency speakers. I went from stock speakers with 99 db sensitivity to 89 db sensitivity. I also shaved 14 pounds in the process. Its very controllable now.
    Out of curiosity which speakers did you use? It is unusual to find 12 inch guitar speakers with sensitivity that low.

    Going from 99 dB to 89 dB speakers would certainly make a big difference, a 10 dB cut will effectively halve the perceived volume level whereas pulling 2 valves and halving the wattage will only result in a 3 dB cut which wouldn't be significantly noticeable. In fact to achieve the same halving of volume by reducing wattage alone you would need to reduce it by a factor of 10 and go from a 100 watt amp to a 10 watt amp.

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    There is no reason to alter that amp. It is a mighty Twin Reverb, renowned as one of the greatest amps of all time. Can't wack it up to patent pending to get that great pushed Blackface growl 'cause it's a high power, high headroom behemoth and you for sure, ain't playing arenas? You bought a muscle car and drive in school zones and you want to floor it?

    What were you thinking?
    Why didn't you get a Deluxe Reverb or Princeton Reverb you could make angry and howl and growl away with all the natura tube amp overdrive you need?

    'Cause they are not mighty Twin Reverbs with harmonicly rich, bold full sounding, amazingly tactile, shimmering tone that rings like a cathedral bell and grand piano at room filling volume without falling apart, that's why, and it is a good damn reason!!

    So what can you do?

    Don't fret, Uncle Al has some proven strategy's that work.

    First, don't remove tubes, don't put in crappy speakers, don't, DO NOT DETWINALISE IT!! If you don't like it replace it. Sell it and get a Blues or Hot Rod Deluxe. Me? I'd keep it, put in better speakers, ( Weber Silver and Blue alnico 50watt light dope pair works for me), and good tubes.

    Now, SRV and a bazillion others push the front end with a Tube Screamer with Level raised, Drive low and Tone set for full, warm tone, [around noon, halfway], where it sounds right. THIS WORKS! Set your levels and rock out.

    As some have suggested, if you have a specific overdrive sound in mind, that is a lead drive tone, there is a pedal that will sound exactly how you want. The right pedal of your choosing will allow you to retain all the Twins tonality and allow you to switch to a lead tone, with the responce and tone you want. THIS WORKS!!

    Now, when your ol' Uncle Al does it, it's done with a $70 EH Soul Food boost pedal. I can push the front end with the VOL. control to get the level of natural overdrive I want, I adjust the TREBLE to perfectly match the bypassed tone and keep the DRIVE turned down for a natural, transparent boost overdrive tone. It really sounds like my Twin on 10. I can exceed that if I wish by further raising the VOL., add more drive by adding DRIVE to where I'd like, while lowering VOL. to keep overall volume to balanced levels and, if I wish, change the character of the lead tone with the TREBLE. THIS REALLY WORKS!! for me.

    Point is, you have lots of options with pedals that really work and is exactly how most folks do it. It is cheap, easy and effective.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  18. #18

    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question


  19. #19
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    Detwinalise! Great word!

    (oh yeah, love the pull- boost!!!)

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member sonar's Avatar
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    A good (original) BF Twin is a beautiful thing, maybe my favorite BF amp, but Yellow Jackets don't replace that awkward handle and the amps back breaking 85lbs.

    I also agree that the right pedal or pedals with a Twin can be a remarkably great setup. A lot of opinions about other amps being "pedal friendly," but Twin amps are still king in that department.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilko View Post
    Detwinalise! Great word!

    (oh yeah, love the pull- boost!!!)
    Pull Boost not on Reissues, but on Silverface Twins that have this abomination it is always smart to remove it from the circuit, [an easy thing to do], and then rewire the Master Volume as a ppimv. A lot of times that's all you need along with a good pair of speakers to fix up a sf Twin.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member ourmaninthenorth's Avatar
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    I don't know why, but threads of this nature always put me in mind of that "we're gonna need a bigger boat " scene in Jaws.
    Shakespeare walks into a pub, the Landlord says "get out, you're Bard"

  23. #23
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    Quote Originally Posted by ourmaninthenorth View Post
    I don't know why, but threads of this nature always put me in mind of that "we're gonna need a bigger boat " scene in Jaws.
    I think the OP possibly needs a smaller boat, not a bigger one

  24. #24
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    Pull Boost not on Reissues, but on Silverface Twins that have this abomination it is always smart to remove it from the circuit, [an easy thing to do], and then rewire the Master Volume as a ppimv. A lot of times that's all you need along with a good pair of speakers to fix up a sf Twin.
    I was totally kidding about the pull boost. Mine was bypassed. I don't bother with PPIMV, but I did do a variable NFB on mine. New tolex and grill were done at the same time.

  25. #25
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilko View Post
    Pedal in front means your hearing a pedal.

    Yeah you can get a lot different sounds from pedals. At that point the amp matters less and less. Twins are great for that! Too much distortion from an amp softens the sparkle and immediacy of the pedals.

    The right amp meshing well with the right pedal can be magical, too.

    Ah, the tone quest.
    I agree with your assessment . I have found out myself with my Marshall's (2555X's) "Too much distortion from an amp softens the sparkle and immediacy of the pedals " To me going back to my Fender days , some pedals worked much better with the Twin versus Marshall .

  26. #26
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    Quote Originally Posted by Sol View Post
    I've experimented with yellow jackets in both vintage 50watt and a '97 35th anniversary Marshall plexi.
    The breadth and depth of tone lost with the yellow jackets wasn't compensation for earlier, reduced volume overdrive.
    I'm not saying that they have no place, but reported results in smaller wattage amps have been more positive in offering a workable alternative, such as a one or two 6v6gt amp for example.

    My brother has been wedded to his twin reverb for 25 yrs and after much switching and swapping has found 4 or 5 pedals that give him incredible drive tones, from subtle to 'run for cover', if you know what I mean.

    We live in a golden age where pedals are concerned I've no doubt you will find all you need to put your music across.
    I thought it useful to clarify points, I and others have made here. Yellow Jackets reduce volume but given that the twin is a loud clean amp it's a question of pushing your preamp into natural overdrive. This is best achieved using pedals designed for just this purpose.

    There are too many to list here, so I'll limit myself only to those I've used when borrowing my brother's silver face Twin.

    1: maxon 0D 820.
    2: Way Huge Red Llama.
    3. Crowther Hotcake 'bluesberry' version.
    4. Boss SD-1 (moded versions by or based on Keeley/ Analogman worth considering but not essential)

    Buy keeping the output high or at max your pushing the twin into that sweet compression/overdrive spot just by overloading the input stage, your then free to bring as much of your pedals drive stage as suits your needs.

    There's one more approach, I'll touch on and this is valve pre amps. One of our favourite venues to play on the UK club circuit was a small intimate venue in Chester that simply couldn't accommodate the volume of my treble boosted Vox AC30 /Les Paul combo at the volume required. I bought one of the first Marshall Blues Breaker pedals, still a favourite but not with a Treble Booster in front.

    After a lot of help and good advice I solved this with a Mesa V Twin pre amp. I put my treble booster in front of the V Twin, instantly giving me the genuine valve overdrive I needed at any volume, and with the help of additional eq was able match the voicing of the Mesa V Twin to my AC30.
    Given that the clean channel on the V Twin is far closer in voicing to a Fender Twin than it is to a Vox I had to mention that this pre amp, if you can find one is an option you might want to consider.

  27. #27
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    It may be worth pointing out that the OP who asked the question currently has 3 posts to their name, two of those were starting threads asking essentially the same question about this amp and the other was asking about an effects pedal that wasn't working. Despite the fact that many people have offered advice at no point has the OP taken any further part in the threads, not even to acknowledge the fact that people have tried to help. Probably not worth bothering to try to help them!

  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulD View Post
    It may be worth pointing out that the OP who asked the question currently has 3 posts to their name, two of those were starting threads asking essentially the same question about this amp and the other was asking about an effects pedal that wasn't working. Despite the fact that many people have offered advice at no point has the OP taken any further part in the threads, not even to acknowledge the fact that people have tried to help. Probably not worth bothering to try to help them!
    I didn't realise, thanks for pointing this out. Like yourself it takes quite some time to craft a reply to an enquiry, there are so many variables to consider.
    However, I prefer to give the benefit of doubt whenever possible. I'm more active on our forum now due to having more time to devote to my favourite forum.

    I've asked for advice on the LPF in the past and due to other pressing commitments, have been unable to respond for many days. Giving the impression that I don't care. This was never the case.

    Let's see if the O. P. gets back, and take it from there?

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Twin reverb reissue tube question

    Yes, agreed. I'm always happy to try to answer questions, offer advice, or debunk myths, particularly when it relates to amps or electronics as that is my area of expertise. However I have noticed this quite a few times recently where people join up to the forum, ask a question and are never heard from again.

    It's a shame because it tends to make me think twice before taking the time to post a reply if the thread starter is a new user with one post.

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