Recently tweed twins have become very prevalent in the guitar playing world with Joe Bonamassa sporting a pair onstage and having Fender build his signature model. Inevitably the debate over low power vs. high power begins. I have never thought about it too much, having owned a couple Victoria low power twins in my day, until I was asked. So I thought I would look it up. Not being a vintage guru I was surprised to find that the low power tweed twins were the precursor to the high power model. I had always thought they were offered concurrently. Digging in deeper I got the scoop on their differences. There were basically three models that we look to today, the 5E8, the 5F8, and the 5F8-A. In 1956 the 5E8 was realized with twin 5U4 rectifier tubes (to give it more headroom and better attack), a dual 5881 power section for 50 watts output, and 2 Jensen P12N speakers aligned diagonally in a smaller cabinet. With the following year came the short lived 5F8 . Developments in better rectification led to a single 5U4 rectifier tube, four 5881 power tubes, larger transformers to put out 80 watts, and the new “mid” control. The final tweed iteration that most covet today is the 5F8-A. Started in 1958 to 1959 the 5F8-A boosted power to 100 watts, went back to a horizontal speaker placement for a bigger box but still used the Jensen P12N speakers (which often failed). Luckily I’ve been able to play the 50 and 100 watt versions in the studio. Both have great cleans, and when cranked the 50 watter gets bluesy while the 100 goes into classic rock territory. I wish I could own them all!!!