Huge companies like fender have been around for decades, bringing fantastic products from the world’s most recognizable electric guitar to some of the finest amplifiers ever created. Fender’s glory days as far as amplifiers are concerned is generally considered to be the period between the 50s and the 80s. It was in this time that they really produced groundbreaking tube amplifiers which can be heard in recordings from renowned artists like The Beatles and Eric Clapton.
The Twin series of amplifiers is perhaps one of the most well-known series that Fender ever produced. Introduced in 1952, these amplifiers are even older than the Stratocaster itself, and have been released in a number of different forms over the years. Famous models included the Twin Reverb, the Super Twin, the Twin Reverb II and, the subject of this post, the ‘Red Knob’ Twin.
Released following the Twin Reverb II in 1987, this amplifier has that classic clean twin sound, rich in harmonics and packed full with that sparkly signature tone. Featuring two separate channels (clean and gain) as well as switchable overdrive for the clean channel, this amplifier is perhaps one of the most versatile produced by the company, and was intended to be used in a wide variety of practical applications, including gigging, performances and studio recording.
Another special feature about the Red Knob Twin is that it has selectable power output, meaning that the player is able to change the output power to 25 watts or to the full 100 watts of raw, clean tone. This, along with the two built in speakers and convenient wheel-mounted casing, means that The Twin really is one of the more practical amplifiers for gigs. All tube, they also have plenty of clean headroom, so they work very well for clean blues and jazz, as well as offering plenty of breathing room for effects pedals (which can be placed all before the pre amp, or in the buffered send and return loop.
Sadly, these amplifiers were discontinued in 1994, when the next version of the Twin amplifier series was developed, but the Red Knob holds a place in the heart of many a player, thanks to its sweet tone and great looks. If you ever find one in good condition, it would be well worth the investment!