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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. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    You are proposing two very different amps: technology, power/uses, …

    I have tried tubes and top notch SS (Acoustic Image) and I know that for the music I play
    - I prefer tube amps
    - I will never ever need more than about 20-30 watts

    I would go try Princetons, Deluxes and Vibroluxes and pick one of those depending on which I like more as an average of sound, portability and power. In all likelihood, I'd end up buying a used DRRI. Vibroluxes are wonderful – I know well because I have their head+cab cousin – but as a combo they're just past the "a little too heavy" line for my back.

    But I am not you: if you want to vast headroom of a twin, and like the portability and power-scaling capacities of a TM why not? I've tried one and it sounded very good.
     
  2. dickey

    dickey Friend of Leo's

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    Buy a real vintage tube amp, not a reissue, or modeler. They may sound good, but they ain't got the dynamics or touch sensitivity of original.
    That SFSR seems the best buy here.
     
  3. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    Vintage amps are tempting but most of don’t know what we’re getting regarding condition and prior servicing. An idiot like me would have to identify a capable, knowledgeable technician to service the amp.
     
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  4. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have the 12” PRRI Bordeaux with the Jensen P12Q. It’s a great little amp. I swapped out the Jensen with a Celestion G12M Greenback (25 watt) and it really tightened up the tone. I recently swapped the speaker back to the Jensen and that was a mistake. The Celestion is more focused to my ears. (It should be noted that most of the online dealers offered the SE 12” versions with different speakers: MF/GC had the Jensen, Sweetwater had an Eminence CR, Am Musical/nStuff had the Celestion).
    I really am not playing the PRRI much since I got a Tone King Gremlin. The tone is warm and rich plus the built in attenuator is perfect.
    I’ve been debating selling the PRRI to get a Deluxe Reverb Tone Master. The attenuator and recording out just seem to good to pass up, but I still like the PRRI. If I keep the PRRI I will buy an attenuator/load box with cab sim out on it.)
     
  5. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    The only common denominators between those two amps are they are both fairly light combos that put out a BF Fender type of sound - but not really the same sound. What about a Deluxe, Vibrolux, a SuperSonic 22? For $1,000, how about a Ceriatone Prinzetone - it's handwired, and has options you won't find on a Fender Princeton. For a modeling solution at $1000, how about a Strymon Iridium and a good powered cab like the Tech 21 Deuce Deluxe?
    Just not sure how you narrowed it down to those two amps.
     
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  6. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Correct. They build and sell both for a reason. They aren't meant to be interchangeable. Each has merits over the other. So, buy the one you want, after trying both. Heck, you should easily be able to find a GC that has both setup next to each other.
     
  7. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I suppose it comes down to sound. Does the TM really, really sound just as good as tubes? If it does, it is lighter, louder, a little cheaper, and has all the modern electronic conveniences (power scaling, line out, etc). One amp for any occasion. Seems like a good choice.
    As for long term durability and serviceability, it’s so new nobody knows. I don’t know why it would be more susceptible to failure than any other SS amp.
     
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  8. darkwaters

    darkwaters Friend of Leo's

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    I own a PRRI. Wonderful amp.

    I was recently in a guitar shop checking out a couple of pedals. I thought the salesman had plugged into a DRRI. The pedals sounded very synthetic and digital. Nasty. He agreed. Then he got that lightbulb look, unplugged from the first amp and plugged into a DRRI sitting next to it. The pedals both sounded great. "The first amp?", you ask. A Tonemaster Deluxe Reverb.

    upload_2020-10-26_9-26-0.png
     
  9. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    I’m not offended by the idea of the tone master, but it is too much for what it is. You can buy a much better and more versatile tried and true amp modeler and a solid used SS amp for less if thats what you really need.
     
  10. MrCoolGuy

    MrCoolGuy Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Another vote for used tube twin.
     
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  11. Telefan33

    Telefan33 Tele-Meister

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    I'm in the same position. I bought a Fender Super Champ X2 Combo years ago but always wanted a Fender 65 Princeton Reverb Reissue. I bought a Egnater Tweaker on a whim and thought that would be the end all for my amp search for awhile but it just isn't the same as a Fender IMO. I have Electro Harmonix Dirt Road Special and it's cool but I don't think the whole solid state thing is my thing after the novelty wore off. So I'm back to where I started with wanting a 65 Princeton Reverb RI.
     
  12. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Afflicted

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    1++ Used tube Twin
     
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  13. DimEyeGuitarGuy

    DimEyeGuitarGuy Tele-Meister

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    I’d believe he’s referring to the newer blonde model with the Celestion Creamback speaker.
     
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  14. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    There are options from atomic, two notes, strymon for 400 or under. And you can use them anywhere without lugging an amp if you don’t want to. Some used jazz chorus models or a mackie powered 1x12 can be had for 400 or less.

    I’m sure it’s a fine amp, but no amount of marketing is going to make me believe that some one-off fender experiment should command hundreds of dollars more than proven viable options already in existence for some time.

    Now, if I’m going to spend 1000 dollars on a single model of a deluxe... then I’d rather just buy that amp. I mean, I bought a used DRRI locally ten years ago for 400 bucks, and sold it to someone locally 5 years ago for 650. I don’t know what it’s like now, but I’m sure there are enough of them floating around for less than a new tone master.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  15. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Sounds fine to me! i esp. like the swampwater "rock and roll".
     
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  16. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Afflicted

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    re: durability, Princeton is USA made($$$), Tonemasters- some are from Mexico, some from China depending on which model. After wrestling with an old Blues Junior, I moved up to Reissues from CA.
     
  17. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    yep, that's what i'm talking about - a bit more "rock" sounding. and very pretty.

    i have a tone snob buddy who has owned tons of high-end amplifiers. and after all these years, he's settled on the tonemaster twin. he runs a strymon deco and a jhs doublebarrel through it, but he mostly plays it clean. he really is happier with this amp than i've ever seen him.
     
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  18. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    as much as i like the tonemasters, i do agree that they are overpriced.
     
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  19. Telefan33

    Telefan33 Tele-Meister

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    You can get an EHX Dirt Road Special for less than $400 and it’s more cool IMO. Comes with EHX Holy Grail built into it. Don’t be fooled you have to turn it up really loud to get any real dirt so there is a lot of headroom. Rather keep that amp than get a Tone Master because it will probably keep its value unlike the Tone Master.
     
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  20. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    Used tubes

    I bought the George Benson version of the hrd and I think it is great. If it were stolen I would get another hrd and get it modded as per the gb version
     
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