Fender 1979 Twin Reverb Makeover

That old Fender Twin Reverb that I have has been sitting in a corner for years now not being used. It’s a great amp with unbelievable headroom. It is a 1979 after further investigation. I originally thought that it was a 1976 or 1974. Looking up the serial number determined this for me. This site is where I found out the year. Serial Number Lookup

When I pulled out the twin, plugged it in and started playing, I realized that it sure did have a really great sound that was completely different from the Vibrolux and Avatar 45. Nice and clean is what a Twin is for with hardly any breakup at all. The reverb wasn’t working and the power tubes seemed a little weak and it actually only had 2 power tubes in it which I always used to run it with.

I decided that I would spend a little of cash and fix this great amp up.

Here’s what the Final version turned out to be

– Replaced the 2 Vintage 30 Speakers with one WGS G12C/S 75 watt and one Celestion Greenback G12m.
– Replaced the Broken Reverb Tank with a MOD 4AB3C1B
– Put 2 new Power Tubes in – Groove Tubes 6L6-R Rating 4-7
– Pulled the V1 Tube

I also tried running the amp with only 2 power tubes and just one WGS G12C/S

All the amp settings were exactly the same for every video and the guitar volume was on 10 for the entire time for test validity. In each video, the WGS speaker was miced with a Shure SM 57. No eq or compression was used other than a master limiter to boost the volume for the audio tracks.

Amp Settings


Here’s what the Final Version with Reverb sounds like and the V1 tube pulled.

I thought the WGS and Greenback made for a great pair, and I ended up staying with these two speakers. I do think that the Vintage 30’s sounded good, but not for what I wanted in this amp. I also think the Reverb sounds really great as well in this amp.

There are so many choices these days you can make with speakers, that sometimes it’s really hard to make a final decision. I’ll be using the Twin a lot more in future lessons and videos as there is no other amp that can really compare to this amount of clean, tube headroom in my opinion.

John W Tuggle
John W Tuggle

I love teaching the blues and have created numerous training courses and lessons to learn how to play like BB King, Clapton, Duane Allman, and more. Get Started Now

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  1. Hey John

    The amp sounds great in its final form. Just curious why you pulled V1, I’ve done a lot of Fender amp mods but never heard of doing that.


    PS new grill cloth and knobs would cool too…just sayin’

    • Hi David,

      Yeah I like the beat up look. :) This is why. “Deluxe Reverb, Super Reverb, Pro Reverb, Twin Reverb, Vibroverb, Vibrolux are designed so that signal is leaking between the two channels. The amp will play louder at the same volume knob setting when pulling the V1/V2 tube that you’re not using. The stronger signal will push the second gain stage (V4 tube) harder and give you increased sustain, compression and harmonics. This mod does not change the amp’s clean headroom.” Taken from Fender Guru

  2. Oooo … I’ll have to admit being a fan of the Vintage 30s … if I could only have had one, that would have been it. But you did note it wasn’t what you wanted from that amp. Those of us blessed with only one amp though ;-) … I might consider a speaker change for my DRii when I send it in for a reverb revival. Thanks for sharing. Russ

    • Hi Russ. Yes the v30 speaker is nice but too much mids for a twin. I’ve used V30’s for nearly 15 years and I just don’t like them anymore for some reason. Really like the WGS speakers lately as well as the Scumbacks and Eminence.

  3. Hi John,

    I just love these comparison videos you make. You cover the points I really want to hear, unlike most other people on the Web.

    I sure like your final sound.


    • Thanks a lot David! It’s very interesting to see how the sound can change so much.

  4. Sounds great John. I have a late ’70s twin also (135W), I’ll have to try pulling V1.

    Is yours by chance a 135 watt ultra linear twin?


    • Hi Brain,

      Yes that’s a 135 watt Twin. Loud and clean headroom for days as you already know.

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