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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. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Afflicted

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    No, I haven't. Uriah has the same amp as I and he posted about putting a cream in it. He gave it a glowing thumbs up so I took the leap. In looking at the G10 spec sheet, it's a 40 watt, 98 db speaker and here's how Celestion describes it's sound: "blending unmistakable Alnico class with a rich low-end, creamy mid-range and vintage chiming top-end. Springy, warm, revealing and highly expressive". What's not to like? My guess is it's probably a little warmer than the cream.

    The limited edition PRRI's are 15 watts besides having a 12" speaker. I can tell you that the Celestion speaker vastly increased the amount of sound coming out of the PRRI. It's huge and clean and rivals my DRRI.
     
  2. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Hate to be that guy, but you really should play them. 2 very different amps.

    To answer your question..

    I'd go Princeton. You can add an attenuator and get the same type of home lowish volume as the tmtr would offer. In fact, the 10 inch speaker is your friend here. 2 twelves is going to be loud, with more low end thump, regardless of volume.

    You can (and highly recommended) add a 1x12 or 2x12 cab for live use. And you'll mic it.

    I'm pretty sure you'll be more satisfied with the way a real tube amp takes pedals. The Princeton is great for this. That alnico gold will sound great I bet.

    Not knocking the tone master. And it might be better for you. You'll get a more open, bigger, and I think smoother tone. You won't need an attenuator or extension cab. You may not even have to mic it. And you can go direct in anyways, then monitor (I think) with the amp.

    Two good choices. Two really different amps. Apples to oranges. At the end of the day, one is a tube amp and the other is pretending to be. I can hear a difference and so can many others. Some on here will tell you different.

    Again, use YOUR ears.

    Good luck!
     
  3. DimEyeGuitarGuy

    DimEyeGuitarGuy Tele-Meister

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    There is SO much mis-information or just plain wrong information regarding the TMs already in this thread. Maybe it’s just snobbery.

    OP, I do agree with those that say you should play them if you can.

    For me, I cannot recommend the TMs any higher. I own the newer blonde Deluxe.

    I’ve owned, still own some, really nice tube amps. If that’s what you want, buy it. Nothing at all wrong with that. But you should ignore the comments on here that the TM is “a throwaway” or that it is a “pretender”. It most certainly is not. It’s just different. And it’s a fracking good different.

    By the way, the new blonde version has celestion speakers instead of Jensen. I can do legit Princeton or Deluxe tones all day long. It’s a freaking amazing amp.

    Tom
     
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  4. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Tone city
    Toneville
    Toneburg
    Tone-opolis
     
  5. bftfender

    bftfender Poster Extraordinaire

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    Rearranging the gear room..again..1 k or less will get 1 of my, Both sound amazing. Super 6 main (2).jpg 74SFR (2).jpg 74SFR2.jpg Super 6 speak.jpg
     
  6. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Why is it overpriced? Cause I don’t think it’s overpriced at all, and it’s not even on my radar. Is it overpriced cause it’s a thousand bucks and has no tubes? Cause if that’s the reason, it’s a pretty silly one.

    You said it yourself- that power, with that weight, with an attenuator, two twelves, and unique recording capabilities, and great sound on top of all that. Where else can you get that package for $1k? I think if a person likes that sound, it’s totally worth it. My current SS amp sounds better than my tube amps for some applications. And it’s lighter. And it’s more powerful. It was also more expensive than my current favorite tube amp that I own. And you know what? It was worth it. I’d pay it again tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
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  7. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    As far as tone and features , probably not overpriced but IMO the TM are like a lot of other newer SS amps, they probably will not hold their value very well, which may or may not be a concern for the OP.
     
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  8. 5595bassman

    5595bassman Tele-Holic

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    Only time will tell but I really have serious doubt concerning this characteristic from a Tonemaster relying on ICs.
    As someone mentioned they are probably prone to be throwaway once out of order.
     
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  9. IMadeYouReadThis

    IMadeYouReadThis Tele-Meister

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    The PRRI, though PCB based, I would imagine has a significantly higher production cost because of all the analog components, transformers, etc that have to be included to function. The Tone Masters, on the other hand, are computers simulating all the wonderful qualities of a tube amp. The parts cost of the Tone Master circuit should be much cheaper, and any "upgrades" to the circuit are a simple firmware update, not a physical component swap (for instance, Fender said they would offer the bright cap mod and reverb mods from the Blonde for the standard TM). I think Fender makes up a lot of the price with features, neodymium speakers, and solid pine cab, but it's an expensive option compared to other modeling products.

    FWIW, I'm blown away by the sound of these TM amps, especially the Twin against a real tube Twin. If I were to buy a SS amp (and I very well may), the TM Twin has my vote.
     
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  10. StevesBoogie

    StevesBoogie Tele-Holic

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    I can confirm that the used Tone Master Deluxe Reverb (I realize this is not the same as the TM Twin that the OP is interested in) is going for $650-$750 on Craigslist in central NC. I have seen 3 of them at this price over last 4 months or so, and one is still active.

    Thanks to OP for posting this question as I have a similar interest in these amps, but trying real hard to keep my GAS in check.
     
  11. IMadeYouReadThis

    IMadeYouReadThis Tele-Meister

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  12. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted

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    The amp I keep thinking I want is the Fender '68 Custom Vibrolux Reverb 35-watt 2x10" Tube Combo Amp, which is just about another $100 - maybe that should be on your list, too? :) I know it's about 7lbs heavier at 41.8lb s, but it's still fairly compact. I 've always liked the sound of two 10" speakers, and if you ever need the extra power for a venue I'd think that it would be helpful.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
  13. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Also consider: The enormous cost of research and development for something like the TM Twin, compared to something like a PRRI. I still think it’s a wicked fair price for what you get. In my opinion, it’s a much greater value in terms of overall flexibility and capability.
     
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  14. Drew617

    Drew617 Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, I actually like them quite a bit and could accept the argument that R&D makes current price fair enough. They're not worth $1K to me but that only means I'm not the market for them, not that they're overpriced. Can't say that those class D power amps won't be reliable, but can't say that they will be either. That's not a matter of opinion or any agenda. Time and data are required.

    No snark at all here: I kinda look forward to picking up a used TM once they're common and the market for them is closer to saturated. Unless they're scarce for some reason, market should determine value and make it easier to believe that cost/utility are aligned. Feels like a $400-500 used amp to me, but we'll see what actually happens.
     
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  15. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Meister

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    Does Fender do warranty service on them or just replace the amp? Hmmm, that's a clue...
     
  16. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    What speaker upgrade?
     
  17. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    What more time and data are required on class D amps? I’m just curious.

    Because I used a pair of Peavey DPC1000 class D amps to run my subs in 1995-96 and they were awesome. Reliable as anything else that has ever said “Peavey” on it. That was twenty five years ago.

    I’ve been using class D bass gear for well over ten years with no issues. My current favorite amp is analog SS with a class D power section and no modeling. It’s got easily 600 pounding gigs on it without a hiccup.

    Class D is a far more than proven technology.
     
  18. Drew617

    Drew617 Tele-Meister

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    My fault for not making it clearer (no tone on forums) but what I meant was those class D power sections: Fender's implementation in these amplifiers. Didn't intend to argue for or against the class, would be a bit like arguing that tube amplifier technology is reliable or unreliable: Depends on the amp. When they're unreliable it's bad design or some other interaction-failure in the system, not because there's anything fundamentally wrong with vacuum tubes. Fender's track record with A/AB is longer than with class D.
     
  19. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    Anything with a switching power supply is prone to be thrown away once it fails, unless someone is making a replacement switching power supply available as a third party product (no one is for these products). Virtually no one is repairing switching power supplies because they are very complex and essentially proprietary. Not to mention having a digital computer inside. How many people today are repairing computers at the component level? Not that many, especially for a specialty product, and the few who are repairing general purpose computing devices are often being fought by the manufacturers making them. And there is a class-D amp inside. How many people today are repairing class-D amps?. Pretty much no one, other than maybe some manufacturers during the warranty period. So it's pretty much the technology from input to output that is prone to be thrown away when it fails. How about the speakers at least? :D Is Fender still using those non-reconable Jensens?
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
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  20. Vondre

    Vondre TDPRI Member

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    Just going to throw this out there, the Supro Tremoverb. I picked one up after debating between that and a Princeton. I think it sounds great. Give it a look at least
     
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