Fender 65 85-Watt Twin Reverb Tube Combo Amp Review

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The '65 Twin Rev Combo Amp from Fender is a modern-day homage to one of the most beloved vintage amplifiers of all-time. The Black Face Twin Reverb tube amplifier was the only amp to seek if you wanted powerful pure sound.

When the re-run came onto the market with all-analog circuitry that matched the originator, it was more than happily met by guitarists worldwide. It delivers impressive sound very true to the original and has been dominating the industry since the mid-nineties.

It is a 2 channel amplifier that has a great build-quality, despite being mass-manufactured. The enclosure weighs far less than the original but is a sturdy durable housing for the internal components. It is made from birch wood and has a black Tolex covering.

The circuitry is well-mounted to help protect the fragile tubes and there are no signs of any shoddy soldering. It has protected corners to help it endure rough-handling on the road. It features tilt-back legs and has a reinforced carry handle for easier maneuverability, making it a road-worthy workhorse.

Racking up 85-watts of peak power over 4 ohms but rivaling a 100-watt option. It is a solid gigging choice. You can mic it up should you prefer or DI. It is suitable for any kind of guitar and brings with it a new lease of life for your ax.

It harbors 4 x 12AX7 and 2 x 12AT7 preamp tubes alongside the Groove Tube 6L6 power output tubes. They are what give it its memorable sound that made the songs of the sixties so iconic. The Black Face based circuitry allows it to ooze tones with a wildly harmonic delivery.

They feed the sound to two fantastic 12-inch Jensen speakers that have an excellent dynamic response and pump the powerful vintage tones to the audience. The Jensen Speakers are notorious for their high-end handling with a sonic quality that many describe as glassy.

They do a great job of dispersing the scooped mid-range harmonics that the Black Face was renowned for. They also help highlight the caliber of the clean channel and give the drives the familiar fat Fender crunch we all know and love.

It is heavy and loud but gives one of the most premium-quality cleans with an impressive over-head. The break-up is non-existent below the 8 mark, which gives it a wide range of genres to compliment. It is great for technical playing and takes a hell of a lot to get any sort of overdrive from.

Dialing in a tone can be a little trickier for a newbie as it offers a greater degree of control than some combo-amps on the market. Don't let that color your judgment though, it has a simple enough layout and thankfully won't take too long to figure out.

The settings are split into two sets with your typical 3 bands EQ, gain, and master volume. As well as the infamous twin reverb you have a bright switch to clarify high-output guitars, tidying up some of the humbuckers' fuzziness.

You can achieve a beautiful tremolo effect with the speed and intensity dials in the vibration set of controls. It has hookups for a dual footswitch set-up to facilitate easy playing. This is another of its main charms, it allows guitarists to get excited about playing with pedals again.

Fender 65 Twin Reverb

Fender 65 Twin Reverb 85 Tube Combo Amp

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Summary

The '65 Twin Reverb is one of the cleanest amps on the market with enough overhead to play at gig-worthy levels without any messy gain characteristics to overshadow its purity. It is exceptionally well-built, harbors matching analog circuitry to the original Black Face unit and provides the same powerful sound synonymous with the era it came from.

It has a vibrato panel which has its own 3 band EQ and can be fully adjusted to reproduce the sixties sweeps that rocked the music industry. It has an uncluttered layout considering it has so many dials to fit on-board. It comes with a 2 button footswitch and can handle your other pedals if you really miss the dirt.

Pros

+ Authentic remake.
+ Analog circuitry.
+ Dual speakers.
+ Twin reverb.
+ Vibrato.
+ Powerful cleans.
+ Foot operation.

Cons

- Not for bedroom use, the tubes require some volume to get the compression to the sweet-spots so you need a large rehearsal space away from anyone you might annoy.

Why We Like It

The '65 is one of the most faithful reproductions out there. More often than not a remake is simply close but no cigar, but this powerhouse does not disappoint.

Just like its progenitor, it has one of the best clean channels any guitarist could want. That is not to say that is doesn't have a great crunch, this amp is versatile and can be used to play pretty much any genre.

The Vibrato panel and tube reverb give it even more flexibility and you can whack in an effects pedal if you want a heavier edge.

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