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Fender Red Knob "The Twin" amp questions.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well the Red Knob amp really caught my eye, and there seem to be some mixed, though mostly positive impressions regarding this amp. I found someone selling one locally for $600, and am going to get over there and try it out when I can. Right now I only personally own a Cube30, and need to use my dad's amp when I need anything bigger.

It comes with a 3-switch pedal and everything else it should come with (manual, etc...), it also has new pots, new input jacks, new fender reverb tank, and new power tubes in it, along with an extra 3 AX7's and 4 6L6GC's. There are some other details, but these are the main components.

It seems to be a very fair price to me, but I've never seen what others have gone for. I'm curious to know if any of you own or have previously owned this amp, and any impressions you might have.

Thanks!
post #2 of 15
1) It's heavy. You wouldn't want to schlep it around too much.
2) It's LOUD. VERY LOUD.
3) That's a good price.
4) Some people don't like it because it's more clinical sounding than the old black face models, meaning you don't get smooth blues distortion out of it. However, because it's so LOUD, you'd have to be in an arena or outside to ever be able to turn it up enough to get tube distortion anyway.
5) It's great if you intend to use it with effects pedals as it's clean sound is clean.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. It seems to be a great amp from what I've read, and this is the first one I've actually come across. I'm really looking forward to trying it out.
post #4 of 15
If mbriant was not clear enough, the red knob twin is LOUD! It really is as loud or louder than he says. It is too much power!

Well, maybe not THAT loud. But you might want to look into used Mesa Boogie offerings. If you want the really, real, authentic Fender sound, you must go vintage ('67-'64 for blackface sound, '63-'60 for "brown" sound, '59 and earlier for tweed -these are very quick guidelines). Another good option is for a "silverface" fender from '68 to around '72.

The Red Knob twin is from the '80s? The tone of Fenders changed a great deal in that time. The most significant difference being the Master Volume control and all of the circuit changes that such a thing entails.

edit: I'm not EXACTLY sure about these things, but I am sure that a lot of things fender changed during the 70's and 80's. And I have heard and played fender amps from all of these eras and the old ones sound significantly better than the ones from the 80's. If I were to get a used "recent vintage" amp, I'm pretty sure it would be a Mesa Boogie.
post #5 of 15
I own a red-knob Super 60, which is a 1x12 amp of the same generation of Fender amps as the red-knob twin, and I used to play fairly regularly with a guy who had a red-knob twin, so I know that they are fairly similar tone-wise. They're decent amps, and definitely loud, and definitely very heavy. So much so that I really came to hate carry it from gig to gig, and I retired it to my rehearsal space, where it is now a permanent fixture. I had some reliability issues with it in the past (the input jacks on this model of amp breaks too easily) so I didn't find it particularly roadworthy, but in the rehearsal space, this isn't so much of an issue.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions. I don't know if all of the red knob's had wheels, but the one I'm considering does, which would certainly be handy for gigs.
If I fall in love with the sound when I check it out, I'm certainly prepared to buy it, considering this is the only one I've seen for sale, and I'm able to pick it up and not spend a fortune on shipping. All of the new parts are also a nice touch. The only negative thing I've heard about this amp is that it uses a pcb.

tjkurita: you mentioned mesa boogies and older fenders. Are there any similarly/cheaper priced ones you could suggest?
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by PYROphonez View Post
tjkurita: you mentioned mesa boogies and older fenders. Are there any similarly/cheaper priced ones you could suggest?
Here is an interesting little combo!

Gbase - Gear Details

I think it is 22 watts which is perfect for small clubs. Any bigger places will probably have a PA where you can mic the amp.

You might also look at a used Deluxe Reverb Reissue. It uses PCB. Not sure how many point to point amps you will find in your price range.

I don't know what kind of music you play, so I can't really comment too well about the kinds of amps you should check out. A lot of people like Vox amps, too. But I've never played a Vox. There are so many different amps! Ampeg, Vox, Orange, Mesa, Fender, Marshall, Peavy, etc. And those are just a few of the larger tube amp manufacturers, there are a million more "boutique" amps and solid state amps.

My personal preference is to get a good-sounding clean amp and use pedals to get the distortion I want. With a lower powered amp you can have the thing at the top of its clean headroom and then boost it with an OD pedal to get some nice power tube distortion. But a lot of people also don't like low power tube distortion (6v6 in a deluxe and princeton and smaller) and prefer higher powered tubes (6L6 as in the Twin). But to overdrive a higher power tube amp, the volume has to be pretty high.

This is all different from pre-amp tube distortion (which most master volume amps use to get low volume distortion). Power tube distortion sounds and plays "bigger," "more organic" and more "more natural/sensitive" to me (the only way I can really describe it). Sometimes pre-amp distortion can give you a "jar of bees" or "buzz saw" kind of distortion. But some people like that, too.

Then again, I am using a Polytone right now! So who am I to judge? The best thing would be to check out the amps for yourself. Guitar center usually has lots of amps where you can mess around.

To be honest, I've lately found that good clean sound is good enough. And if it is a good sounding clean amp, you can do whatever you want. As a result, things like headroom and schlepp factor become really important, especially if you are gigging.

Sorry I can't be much more help. Check out Gbase - Home and enter $600 as your top price under an amp search and see what is out there.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjkurita View Post
My personal preference is to get a good-sounding clean amp and use pedals to get the distortion I want. With a lower powered amp you can have the thing at the top of its clean headroom and then boost it with an OD pedal to get some nice power tube distortion. But a lot of people also don't like low power tube distortion (6v6 in a deluxe and princeton and smaller) and prefer higher powered tubes (6L6 as in the Twin). But to overdrive a higher power tube amp, the volume has to be pretty high.

This is all different from pre-amp tube distortion (which most master volume amps use to get low volume distortion). Power tube distortion sounds and plays "bigger," "more organic" and more "more natural/sensitive" to me (the only way I can really describe it). Sometimes pre-amp distortion can give you a "jar of bees" or "buzz saw" kind of distortion. But some people like that, too.

To be honest, I've lately found that good clean sound is good enough. And if it is a good sounding clean amp, you can do whatever you want. As a result, things like headroom and schlepp factor become really important, especially if you are gigging.
Thanks for the suggestions. The clean sound is actually one of the main reasons I was going to check out the red knob. Thanks for showing me that gbase website as well.
Hopefully I'll find some time this week to get around to a couple music stores and check some other amps out as well.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Is it possible for an output switch to not be working properly? I picked it up today for $575, and while it sounds fantastic, I'm worried that the switch isn't functioning the way it should. There is a sound that occurs when switching from hi to low or vice versa, but the volume seems to stay the same. I say this, because putting volume at 10 on hi is still tolerable. Does anyone know what could cause this? Am I missing some piece of vital information?
post #10 of 15
It's been a while since I've looked at that amp, but going from memory I think you have to choose either hi or low before you turn on the amp. The switch does nothing once the amp is on. The low position cuts the power by about 2/3 IIRC. I could be wrong. If it's tolerable at volume 10, then you must be stuck on low or there's something wrong with the amp or switch.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I'll test that out. I'm actually pretty sure it's perfectly fine, but it's hard to tell in the space in my basement. It might have just gotten to a point of indistinguishable difference in the alloted space it was in. I'm going to try using a multi-meter on the bias panel to make sure voltage does go up when switching to hi. That should be the determining factor.
post #12 of 15
If you're in a basement with that amp cranked to 10 at hi output, your head should have exploded unless you had your guitar turned completely down. Is it possible they've got incorrect replacement speakers in it? Again, try turning the amp off, setting it to low, then turning it on and check the volume level. Then turn the amp off, switch to hi, turn it back on and try again. Let us know what you find out.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, they're the original speakers, so it can't be that. I guess I'll try that once more and try the multi-meter tomorrow, which should essentially tell whether or not it's switching properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbriant View Post
If you're in a basement with that amp cranked to 10 at hi output, your head should have exploded unless you had your guitar turned completely down. Is it possible they've got incorrect replacement speakers in it? Again, try turning the amp off, setting it to low, then turning it on and check the volume level. Then turn the amp off, switch to hi, turn it back on and try again. Let us know what you find out.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well I tried it out once more, and have determined that there certainly is a difference, and I had someone say the same thing from the floor above me. The difference on the clean channel is not as big as the channel select, but I couldn't get close to turning up both gain and volume up all the way. That was going to get waaaaaay too loud. I also noticed a difference in tone when on channel select with hi and low, and from what I've read, low 25 watt is a better tone with distortion. I still have to play around with it. The difference in volume seems to come once you really crank it up.
I'm still going to do the multi-meter test, but now I'm almost positive that it's working fine and I'm just paranoid when it comes to buying anything.

My initial impressions are very good overall. I really love the clean tone I get on this.
post #15 of 15

Power!!!

Kids, take it from here: Switching the twin from 100 Watts to 25 Watts does not make it quieter. It just makes "clean" end sooner and results in earlier power amp saturation, but still at ear-piercing volumes.

If you wanna take it easy: Pull the two inner Power Tubes a n d adjust the Output Impedance!!!! The last part ist important. Impedance must be 1/2 what it was before. e.g. you were on 16 Ohms before, now it is 8.

What will you get? Your will get a 60 Watts / 12 Watts switchable amp. You will operate in Master Volumes around 4, even over 5 if you switch it to "Low".

The Red Knob Twin was designed to be loud, cause back then they needed louder amps on stage. You can tame it by pulling the inner tubes. Get good preamp tubes and the amp rocks. Mine has never let me down. Neither has the little bro, Super 60, which I also own. Sounds very different, to me than the twin.

Cheers

Ask for the red knob manual at the fender.com homepage, they will send it to you. It tells you about the tube pulling trick and other things,

red knob man
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