Fender ’65 Twin Reverb Amp Review

Not often do you stumble upon a product, or a series of products, that’s so good that the manufacturing company keeps producing it for decades.

Although rare, there are some cases of guitars, different gear and pedals, or guitar amps being built for long periods without any drastic changes of the original idea.

Aside from the Telecaster and Stratocaster, Fender has another line of products that’s been present on the market since the 1950s.

With their long-running amp production, the Fender Twin amp series stands out, with numerous quality-built models manufactured over the years.

Countless guitar heroes we all respect and love today used the Fender Twin series as their biggest allies both on stage and in studios. Here, we will be taking a closer look at the reissue of one of the classic old models.

The Fender ’65 Twin Reverb began its production back in the early 1990s, with Fender expecting to make only a limited number of units. However, the amp did so well that they kept producing it, even to this day. So let’s find out why these amps are so good.


Features

This model is replicating the old amps made back in the 1960s, with just a few new features. The ’65 reissue includes two channels – normal and vibrato.

The power of this amp is 80 watts, and the sound goes through two 8 ohm Jensen C-12K 12-inch speakers which are designed and voiced to highlight the crystal clear high-ends.

In addition, there is also an output for an external speaker, meaning that you can use this one as a classic amp head.

There is also a version called ’65 Twin Custom 15 which has only one 15-inch speaker, although it’s not as common as the regular 2×12-inch model.

Although there are two channels, with two inputs for each of them (1 for higher gain and 2 for slightly lower gain), the ’65 reissue is a completely clean amp with no overdrive.

But this being a tube amp, you’ll be able to get some distortion on higher volumes.

The preamp section features six valves in total ñ four 12AX7s and two 12AT7s which are reserved for the reverb and the vibrato effects.

As for the power amp section, it runs with four classic 6L6 tubes. What’s interesting about the amp is that the back side is open which certainly makes an impact on the speakers and the overall sound.

Going over to the controls, each of the channels has separate knobs and switches. The normal channel has the master volume, the classic 3-band EQ, and a “bright” switch.

This “bright” control comes from the old original models and has its specific purpose ñ volumes lower than 6 lack the overall brightness and this feature helps you get some of that crystal clear sound.

The vibrato channel has the same essential controls ñ volume, treble, middle, bass, and bright switch ñ but it also features the vibrato and reverb effects.

These effects are turned on by a 2-button footswitch that comes with the amp. The spring reverb has one knob only, while the vibrato is tweaked using the “speed” and “intensity” knobs.


Design

The design, just like the other basic features, replicates the old Fender Twin Reverb from the 1960s. The main control panel is black, thus the famous nickname “Blackface” that these and the old ’60s amps are known for.

The tilt-back legs are a pretty nice touch, allowing you to place the amp at an angle. These are located on the sides and can serve as a nice visual touch when the amp is placed the regular way.

It’s built pretty well, but it’s a bit heavy, making it somewhat of a downer if you want to take it on the road with you.


Performance

While there is no distortion or overdrive on this amp, it has some of the best sounds you’ll ever get the chance to hear. Pushing the volume a bit higher, you can get somewhat of an organic distortion.

However, if you do intend to use pedals, you’ll have to plug them straight into one of the input jacks as there is no FX loop on the ’65 Twin Reverb.

Overall, the amp is aimed mainly at those who seek those vintage blues tones, like the well-known “icepick” ear-piercing sounds that the ’60s and the ’70s music fans adore.

Yes, it is possible to have some modern sounds with additional distortion pedals, but it’s not what this amp’s builders really had in mind.

But at the same time, some prog metal guitar players have been using the Twin Reverbs due to its bright clean sounds, even in combination with certain overdrives and distortions, like the legendary Ibanez Tube Screamer.

Although pretty specialized, all the features make it somewhat versatile. The spring reverb is really bright and it certainly does a great job at replicating the effects from the old amps.

The vibrato is also pretty close to one of the old amps and effects units like the legendary Uni-Vibe.

It’s kind of hard to escape the overall brightness in the tone, as it will always be present in some way. Definitely not for the lovers of more mellow and muddy tones.

 


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Conclusion

Some may be disappointed with the lack of certain features, like the fact that there’s no distortion or overdrive, as well as with the lack of an FX loop.

But like we mentioned above, Fender’s main goal with the ’65 Twin Reverb was the vintage tone loving portion of the guitar players. If you’re into the classic 1960s blues, this is probably the amp of your dreams.

Sure, it can do more than just the vintage stuff, but if you’re into modern heavy tones, maybe you should think about getting something else for this price.

Another great thing that should be mentioned is that even though it’s a pretty powerful amp with its 85 watts, the Twin Reverb still gets the good sound on lower volumes without any power attenuation. It’s not something that you stumble upon that often.

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