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$1,000--Tone Master or Tube?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by IMadeYouReadThis, Oct 25, 2020.

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  1. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    Should probably point this out:

    **Before the firmware upgrade: "Brilliant amp! Best ever! Sounds just like a DRRI! NO complaints whatsoever!"

    **After the firmware upgrade: "They fixed the weak reverb! And now I can actually use drive/fuzz pedals without it getting fizzy and crappy sounding!"

    Hmmm....
     
  2. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    That is another common phenomenon with modelers. They seemingly have the ability to start from sounding just like the real thing and infinitely get more real over time. Zeno of Elea would be proud. Maybe we should call it The Modeler Amp Paradox.
     
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  3. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    This is true. It's sort of like seeing one thread saying "Tone Masters are throwaway digital junk that don't sound like the real thing! Buy a DRRI!". And then you see the next thread on the page: "DRRIs are PCB junk! They won't last! They're not the real thing!"

    Meanwhile, somewhere there's a guy with a Tone Master playing tons of gigs and playing circles around the rest of us.

    :D

    But hey, we guitar players are pretty weird people...
     
  4. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was half joking about my curmudgeon post. I think the sonic differences go beyond EQ. It’s the fizziness and lack of harmonic complexity that I hear. It would be cool to see oscilloscope analysis of the harmonics, actually.

    I also concede that just like for digital photography eventually all but a few die hards will make the switch. I’m sure I will switch eventually, but for me personally the tipping point hasn’t yet been achieved- for any of the digital products. But that’s just me. I’m glad the market drives continuous iterating because in a few more generations I’ll be happy to make the switch and won’t have to worry about tube amp maintenance anymore. Though I’ll keep my Super Reverb forever, just as I’m sure many photographers keep their Leicas even if they don’t gig with them anymore.
     
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  5. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    As was I. I don't hear digital fizz. You do. And we're both right!
     
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  6. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Well. Nobody. Ever. Who played a TMDR said the reverb was weak. Quite the opposite actually. The reverb is beautiful, lush and full. But comes on very fast. Just like several BF/SF DR's I owned. Does that mean the BF/SF ones were not tube amps? That their basic technology platform was inferior?

    Second, a DRRI has a bright cap. So does a SF/BF DR. Fender released a firmware option for the portion of guitar playing public who plays a DR at home on 1 but wants it to sound "great" with ODs at that volume. So they have an option to "clip" your bright cap. Making the TMDR a less authentic copy of an original. Just like a BF/SF DR or a TMDR where someone clips the bright cap.

    Each of those things says a lot about people and what they perceive and perceive themselves wanting, and nothing about either technology platform.
     
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  7. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    More food for thought for the "Tonemasters are disposable" folks:

    - DRRI new list: $1199. GC used seems to have great+ condition used ones listed at $699-809 all day.

    - TMDR new list: $899 (I didn't realize it was that much cheaper). GC used seems to list them $749-799. Tighter band and holding value better overall so far.

    - unlike the Pro Junior they started at $700 and marked down to $600.
     
  8. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    To be fair, there are a LOT more used DRRI floating around. A better comparo would be to choose a similar tube amp introduced at the same time as the TMs.
     
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  9. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Why would a different amp be a better comp?

    If the TMDRs are disposable then the market price for used ones would be negligible. Instead, the used market price appears to be not that far from the price I can get if I negotiate on a new one. Or to overlap with or exceed that price (which I don't get, personally).

    My point is they clearly are not viewed as disposable. They hold their value and hold it better than the tube counterpart at present.
     
  10. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I'm just saying comparisons are trickier than that.
     
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  11. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    What I heard in That Pedal Show's demo is the same as I have heard in every other demo of these amps. The reverb sounds like it is lurking underneath in the background without any detailed real spring texture to the sound, and isn't responding nearly as dynamically as a spring tank does. In other words, a simplified sounding version of the real deal. Maybe you can point out a demo where that isn't the case.
     
  12. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Sorry, I only base my conclusions about amps based on playing them. Watching demos is a waste of time for me. I mean, I do it just for fun but it teaches me next to nothing about the gear. I don't know what it means for reverb to be lurking underneath.

    I did stumble on this video by one of our members which I think is fun. And he happens to "splash" the reverb to get the drip at one point.
     
  13. harpdog

    harpdog Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    My Tone Master Deluxe Reverb Blonde showed up today. It sounds exactly,
    and I mean EXACTLY,
    like none of my other amps.
    Very lush and rich, I like the reverb and trem, “attenuation” works nicely.
    Does it sound like a DRRI? I have no idea and do not care.
    I like what I hear.
     
  14. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    I ran onto this one today. Go to 9 minutes and 40 seconds.



    What I'm hearing there with heavy and fully wet reverb, Fender's digital spring emulation does sound very convincing, much better than any digital pedal I have heard. The differences I am hearing sound like tonality differences in the amps, not so much the reverb. I'm not interested in the amp (I have a Super Reverb and Twin Reverb), but Fender should do a pedal version of that reverb with bias and harmonic tremolo to be used with amps that have fx loops. Better yet would be a pedal that does outboard reverb and amp reverb + bias and harmonic tremolo. To my ears, the Strymon Flint and other pedals that try to do spring reverb sound unconvincing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
  15. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My favorite spring reverb pedal remains the Boss/Fender FRV-1. Sadly discontinued.
     
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  16. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'm not up on all the tremolo and reverb types but is this in the ballpark of what you are looking for? https://shop.fender.com/en-US/effec...re-verb-digital-reverbtremolo/0234541000.html
     
  17. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm loving my Blonde TM DR. I don't have a tube DR to compare it to, but it sits right next to my Supro Saturn 25w 1x12, and they're both just lush amps.
     
  18. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    Have you played through one?
     
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  19. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    Right on the money. While it’s understandable and expected that comparisons will be made between the TM and its tube counterpart (after all, Fender's own marketing suggests they sound the same), I think it’s better to evaluate the amp on its own and not get hung up on the comparisons.

    For example: a few years back I owned a Mesa amp for a while. The clean channel is very often described as having "Fender-like cleans". I didn’t bother to set it up next to a Fender amp and attempt to dial it in exactly. I did, however, like the cleans the amp produced (better than than the dirty sounds in fact).
     
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  20. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Tele-Holic

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    This is the right way to look at the TMs. Or any amp, for that matter.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
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