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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. gilmourjunkie

    gilmourjunkie TDPRI Member

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    I’d say go play them and see what you think. For me, $1k is a decent chunk of change. I haven’t tried the TM but I was in a similar boat when I was looking for a light combo instead of lugging my PV classic 30 for jazz jams. One night I played a Katana in the store and thought it sounded pretty nice. Bought it and played it quite a bit for about a week before a jazz jam. I took it to the jazz jam and I hated every friggin minute of that rehearsal. I fought with that thing all night. I took the damn thing home and packed it back up in the box to return it. Fortunately a week later I stumbled upon a great deal on a 74 Non-reverb Princeton that weighs 25lbs and still love it. YMMV but that has been my experience. Resale is historically higher with tube amps as well (if that matters to you). Either way good luck in your search!
     
  2. Mascis

    Mascis TDPRI Member

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    Get an attenuator with a DI out and think about going to the gym.

    Seriously, I’m totally bewildered by the amount of people complaining about the weight of a twin reverb. It’s not light but it’s just a standard weight for a 2x12 valve combo. Carrying it to the car is fine if you’re a healthy male under 65, I’ve gigged and rehearsed regularly with mine for the past decade and I’m not exactly Heman.
     
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  3. archiestone

    archiestone TDPRI Member

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  4. archiestone

    archiestone TDPRI Member

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  5. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    A tube Twin Reverb split into a head (Dual Showman) will still be heavy. After using a couple of amps with actual power scaling, I don't want an attenuator or PPIMV. I really just prefer to have all of those parts under the hood, straight from the factory.

    Personally, I just don't like the idea of having to retube a Twin Reverb, since it has a quartet of 6L6s. I like that the TM provides an option to that.

    I put a PPIMV in my BF'ed '79 DR, and absolutely hated it. There's no way I'd ever add it to any of my other BF/SF Fenders.

    As for the DI thing, I'd think it would be a cool option to have, with some gigs. And no need to bother with a mic.
     
  6. IMadeYouReadThis

    IMadeYouReadThis Tele-Meister

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    I hear ya. I borrowed a friend's 100w Katana MKII for rehearsal once, and it was a nightmare. Put it on the clean channel: too bright, too boomy. Put it on the crunch channel: too dirty. Turn down the gain: decent, but a little quiet. Turn up the master to compensate: more distortion. :mad:
     
  7. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've had neck, spine, and joint issues for about the last decade (had my first really bad disk incident in December of 2012). I almost spent this past Monday in bed all day, with my wrists and knuckles exploding with pain.

    The thought of just having to lift a tube Twin Reverb off the ground, momentarily, is bewildering to me. At least right now.
     
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  8. Mascis

    Mascis TDPRI Member

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    Hope you get back to good health soon man. That is a good reason for an amp with weight reduction.

    It just bugs me when people go on about how great amps with weight reduction are simply because they suffer from lazyitis.
     
  9. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Why didn’t I think of that?

    Instead of getting a manageable, liteweight, great sounding tool that does it all, I’ll:

    - chop my too loud amp into separate parts that are slightly lighter individually but heavier overall and require more trips.

    - then to tame my too loud amp I’ll buy yet another expensive and heavy attenuator to make it quieter.

    - in the process I’ll take up more room on stage

    - and likely sound worse in the process

    Thanks for straightening me out!

    Do y’all actually play out? Do you actually keep your stuff at a rehearsal space? Are you in urban areas? Would you feel the same if you had to street park 2-3 blocks from the club, cram your car into a tiny spot not have room between you and the car behind to pull your amp out of the trunk and set it down? Then carry it a couple blocks and up or down a flight or two of stairs to a green room, then back up to stage? And if you do, why do I have the feeling you’re the band that is supposed to get on stage and set up, and torn down and off stage in 10m tops each, but takes 20-30 minimum, cutting into everyone else’s slot?

    I have news for the tube and Twin purists - you have no moral high ground. Your amp sounds no better. Your amp sounds like nothing without you in fact. What you have is a preference. Plain and simple.

    @11 Gauge - I’m sorry you have neck or back issues, arthritis or whatever afflicts your hands. But you shouldn’t feel the need to justify either.

    Sheesh.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
  10. HootOwlDude

    HootOwlDude TDPRI Member

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    Not sure if this helps, but if I had a grand to spend I would look for a tube amp like a Princeton, Twin, or a Blues Deluxe for playing in a band context and another, probably solid-state amp for playing at “bedroom” sort of levels. I have limited experience with tube amps, but my 40-watt Carlsbro Fatboy (a tube amp—a Vox-ish AC-30-ish affair) sounds wonderful if I can crank it, as in jamming with a band. It sounds killer clean or dirty. However, it is disappointing when trying to play around at home when I can’t get loud, which is how I usually play, and in fact have solely played for years now. At home I run my pedalboard with a looper in stereo out to my Vox Pathfinder 15R and my Marshall AS50R—an acoustic amp. This setup often gets louder than “bedroom” levels, but I can play anything through it (the Marshall won’t snuff an electric, if you EQ it mindfully, and it digs bass guitar actually) and it sounds pure and clean, and all the pedals I run before these amps are rendered wonderfully. I record the loop jams I make with this setup and they sound just like when I created them when I listen on my stereo, computer, or in my car. If I jammed with a band tonight, though, I’d take the Fatboy. It shines when cranked. It is warm, bloomy, and just has that compressy, nice tube character. So, instead of looking for an amp to cover all bases, I’d suggest maybe getting two, a solid state or digital thing for bedroom stuff (like that Vox you said you have now, which I think isn’t tube??—maybe just keep it for that) and throw down for a Fender tube amp of your choice with whatever you have left over. I find solid state amps more reliable to coax sounds I want—with pedals, mind you—at lower volume levels. That cheap Vox 15R Pathfinder has amazed me for 20 years now—and it spent a solid three of those years in a shed next to the lawn mower! It was like $99. All this said, my experience with tube amps is sort of limited. If I had the money and lived out in the country, with no neighbors nearby, I’d probably buy the ‘65 reissue Twin just because I’ve always wanted a big Fender amp.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
  11. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Meister

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    Pretty easy and inexpensive to have a tech rewire a pcb board Princeton Reissue. It's a pretty basic circuit. Also there are companies out there like Mojotone that will sell you a hanfwired kit all the way from do it yourself to complete and ready to plug in. I had my Fender Princeton reissue handwired and the PCB board removed. Now it's more sturdy for travel and gigging and easier to work on should it need maintenance.
     
  12. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I'm this...

    | - |

    close to getting a Twin Reverb!!
    (tube)


    .
     
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  13. ataylor

    ataylor Tele-Meister

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    The tube reissues are also copies, as are Fender’s hand-wired amps, as are meticulous boutique or DIY homages, as are tone profiles or models in a digital amp.

    Fender stopped making mid-60s amps when the mid-60s ended. Full stop. End of story. Everything else made since then that has tried to approximate those amps in any way — physical or digital — has been and always will be a facsimile.

    I’m not sure there’s anything wrong with that. This means there’s a mid-60s Fender sound out there for lots of folks, available in lots of ways — physical and digital — at lots of different price points, almost all of which don’t require purchasing and meticulously maintaining an actual closet-classic mid-60s Fender combo.

    I’m down with copies. I’d play my Baja Tele — which you’ll note is a less-than-meticulous facsimile of an early 50s classic — through a good copy of a mid-60s Fender combo anytime and be happy as can be.
     
  14. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    PODs and Katanas and their ilk have this weird phenomenon where they sound good by themselves or recorded, but disappear in a live gig situation. I’m not sure exactly why, but I’ve personally experienced it. That’s one test I would want to give to a TM amp- confirm that it holds it own in a live mix like the true tube versions.
     
  15. Mascis

    Mascis TDPRI Member

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    Do it. An electric guitar plugged into a twin reverb is simply the definition of the sound of an electric guitar.
     
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  16. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The single best electric guitar sound I’ve ever heard live came from a Pod. Guy was playing an old Ric 12. Chimey, full, dynamic. In and out of edge to breakup to clean.

    Two backline amps on stage that everyone had to use. I excitedly asked him after his set which he used. He grinned and pointed to ... his first Gen Pod on the floor. Said he’d be happy to let me use it and dial it in. I chickened out.

    I’ve used a Katana no problem in my feisty punk band. They have tons of mids.

    I used to run into the “lost in the mix” thing but I don’t anymore. Not sure why.
     
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  17. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I’ve never played an outdoor festival where we weren’t mic’d and monitored and would have gotten shut down with a cranked Twin.

    Unless I could play one cranked like that every time, you couldn’t pay me to take one. I’d sound better direct to board with a Sansamp pedal.

    Doesn’t mean your amp doesn’t work for you.
     
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  18. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    You donut hv to crank a Twin
    Sounds great at most volumes!
     
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  19. jitensha

    jitensha Tele-Holic

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    I'd say get the PRRI; I'm not sold on the Tonemaster series. Idk, call me a luddite. I get that modelling amps are getting really great and these use some super light speaker so you 4 year old can now roadie for you. But it's still a modelling amp dressed up as a one of the most classic tube circuits ever. Just get the real thing. Plus actual analogue electronics have weird nuances and idiosyncrasies - artifacts- that creep into the tone, that make each one slightly unique. I like that about analogue systems. It maybe outside your price range but I recently bought a 68 custom deluxe reverb, after years of being a british amp guy, and I really love it. Its may be the perfect club sized amp I think. I think Fender's blackface and silverface re-issues are some of their best amps in years.
     
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  20. Drew617

    Drew617 Tele-Meister

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    Yep. Counterintuitively I think, a Twin can be a much better bedroom amp than some 5-15 watters. Aside from the size it's a very good one.
     
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