The Fender Twin is an iconic tube amplifier. It is popular because of the characteristically bright clean tones it produces. The amp has been in production since 1952 and has undergone a number of spec upgrades since then. Fender currently reissues various models of the amplifier with modern parts. You can make your own Fender Twin amplifier with salvaged parts. Parts from different versions of the Fender Twin may be compatible, but it's smart to check before investing.
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Things you need
- Fender Twin wiring diagram
- Fender Twin cabinet
- Fender Twin preamp
- Fender Twin power amp
- 2 12-inch speakers
- 8 preamp tubes
- 4 power tubes
- Soldering iron
Make a parts inventory. Decide which model of Fender Twin you want to build. Throughout the years, the Fender Twin spec has changed. For example, during the 1960s Fender Twin amps were issued with tweed cabinets. Later models came with reverb. Different versions have different speakers. There are various current reissues that are based on older models. Consult the spec lists on Fender's website.
Acquire the parts. The best way to get genuine Fender parts is from salvaging them. If you have a broken Fender Twin, salvage all of the working parts. Check the small ads in guitar magazines for spare parts. Guitar amp kit retailers stock the generic parts that you may find in many amps, such as output transformers. For this project to be a true Fender Twin amp, you need to get a Fender Twin cabinet, Fender Twin preamp, Fender Twin power section and two 12-inch speakers. A spring reverb unit will be built in to the preamp of some models. It is significantly easier to build your amp using whole parts such as preamps, rather than attempting to build your own preamp to Fender specifications.
Inspect the parts. Check for any rust or corrosion on the iron components. Check for rips to the speaker material and examine the fuses for discolouration.
Install the power amp. The power amp is housed in the smallest compartment, which is located next to the plug.
Load the preamp. The preamp slots in to the wide compartment at the top of the amplifier. The dials on the front panel must be clearly accessible via the front of the amplifier.
Fit and connect the speakers. Each 12-inch speaker will have a series of holes around the diameter. These holes are where you screw the speaker to the interior of the cabinet.
Connect three main components. Consult the wiring schematic before you commence to ensure that you have all of the components in the correct order. Use new wire to preserve the integrity of the amplifier. Solder the inside terminal of the power supply to the power amp. Solder the power amp to the preamp, then wire the preamp to the speakers.
Load the tubes. The typical Fender Twin has 12 tubes---four in the power section and eight in the preamp section. Install the tubes by slotting them vertically into their housing. Use personal taste to select your tubes. A Fender Twin with upgraded or non-stock tubes is still a Fender Twin. Always make sure you swap like for like in terms of spec and power.
Tips and warnings
- Save time by salvaging damaged whole amps rather than collecting individual parts.
- This amplifier carries a potentially lethal electrical current. Make sure all of the components are safe to install before proceeding.
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