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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. drumtime

    drumtime Tele-Holic

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    All good points, and thanks for making them. IMO, what this means is that standardization and serviceability are lagging behind the technology. I doubt that Fender is manufacturing the DSP itself. They buy those somewhere. Class D amps are pretty common, so it might not be unreasonable to think that someday you may be able to swap those out. Same with switching supplies. Maybe not today, but with so much technology heading in this direction, things might change and become more like the computer industry.

    All worth considering.
     
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  2. Average_Joe

    Average_Joe Tele-Holic

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    Different amp than the OP specified, however, I enjoyed That Pedal Shows comparison video for a ToneMaster vs 65 Deluxe Reverb

     
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  3. COOPSTER

    COOPSTER TDPRI Member

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    -------------------
    My 2013 68 CPR with the cheap Celestian ten-thirty (that sounds great) hasn't been turned on in near a month.

    Acquired a TMDR about that same time experience has been very positive.
    - sounds great at low volumes at 5W both tele and strat
    - Sim cab line-out (SM57) w/standby switch is excellent for silent recording later at night
    - tube wear no longer an issue (I can save the CPR for the occasional musical guest)
    - reverb is good at lower levels
    - trem is not as good as 68 CPR (hey, what is?)

    No buyer remorse here, it's now my daily, everyone should have one :twisted:
    amps git.JPG
     
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  4. Socalsupermoto

    Socalsupermoto TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    I went with a mojotone 12" princeton off of reverb. Handwired, light, sounds amazing and was $800. Couldn't be happier.

    on a side note has anyone ever bought a tube princeton or deluxe reverb and regretted it?
     
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  5. Fotheringport

    Fotheringport TDPRI Member

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    I'd personally go for an Award Session Blues Baby 45 amp, maybe a pair with your budget.... If they are good enough for the legendary Jerry
    If I had to choose a pair of amps that gave me versatility, reliability, portability and above all else the sound, I'd choose the British manufactured Award Session Bluesbaby BB combos. If Award Session's are good enough for the legendary Jerry Donahue, who has worked with Stewart Ward for many years developing the famous JD range of preamps, then you'll know Fender amps don't come close.

    https://award-session.com/bluesbaby-complete.php
     
  6. IMadeYouReadThis

    IMadeYouReadThis Tele-Meister

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    Cyber Deluxe was the first amp I ever played through; used it at the practice studio while I saved up for my own amp. That's a complicated little thing when you know nothing about amps... :confused:
     
  7. darrelherbert

    darrelherbert NEW MEMBER! Silver Supporter

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    Tone Master is a great tool for gigging and practicing (I have a TMDR). If you want something to hang on to, tinker with, make your own, and fall in love with go with tubes.
     
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  8. Wharfcreek

    Wharfcreek Tele-Meister

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    I'm an 'old guy'.....and after so many years of this stuf, I now build my own amps! I'm a straight-up 'tube' guy, and I no longer quest for power or volume. To me, it's all about 'tone', and I get what I need from amps in the 4 to 30 watt range without any further need for more power. Because I now do virtually all my work at home, I have 3 basic amps that I rotate around for my needs: 1) an old Tweed 'champ', 2) an old Tweed 'Deluxe', and 3) a Deluxe Reverb. I have pedal boards, delays, distortions, chorus, tremolo, and other odd assortment of 'effects' I can use, but I generally go for just what the amp does along with a slight mix of my delay pedal. That's it! I have people ask me all the time about what amp I would recommend, and my very first target is the Deluxe Reissue amp. No, it's NOT a 'point-to-point' reproduction of the original amp. BUT....... I have both, and frankly, my RI sounds better to me than my old OE version. It's louder, 'cleaner', has more tonal range, and breaks up just as nicely on the top end. AND.....it handles any pedal I can put to it. On the OE side, it breaks up sooner, sounds a bit more 'lame', and is not as 'gutcie' as the RI amp. I blame a lot of this on the OE Oxford speaker. But, trying to keep the amp all original, I leave it in there! But, if you've got $1K or there-abouts to drop on an amp, I'd go find a 'used' RI '65 Deluxe, as nice and as cheap as you can come up with, and you won't be disappoint or lose any money on it like you would if you buy a 'new' anything! BTW, the RI Circuit Board amps are incredibly easy to work on, and they follow the original circuit so you can very easily make any required repairs just like you would in an OE amp. IF you decide on the Princeton amp, in the end I think you'll miss the added SPL (sound pressure level or 'volume') you can get from the Deluxe, as well as the fuller tone you can get from the Deluxe's larger cabinet. Yes, it's less money, and it's 'lighter' to carry around. But, the two are close enough in price these days that, to me, it's just worth it to get the bigger, better amp! You've mentioned 'complexity'..... so the reality here is that any of these old Fender circuit amps are perhaps the most well documented and easily 'fixed' of anything you can buy. Once you get to the mid-'70s Rivera era amps, or any of the Solid State stuff that kind of changes. But, depending on where you're ultimately trying to get with your style of play and needs for an amp, you simply can't go wrong with either the Princeton / Deluxe Reverb RI amps. Just find a clean and proper 'used' one and you'll probably make money on it when you go to sell it.......if you ever do!!
     
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  9. Arfage

    Arfage Tele-Meister

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    I just got a used Dr. Z Prescription ES for well under 1K. Incredible tone, not the hottest of amps but hotter than a twin. I had to get a reverb pedal because it doesn't have one, but it is probably better than my 67 Twin. Might get the Mr. Black Reverb and trem pedal eventually too.
     
  10. Steely_Ken

    Steely_Ken Tele-Meister

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    Tonemaster all the way. I bought the Twin and then the Deluxe.
    Killer amps. I own a 67 blackface Twin Reverb and 74 Deluxe.
    I like a very clean sound for guitar and pedal steel.
    When the tubes start to lose their edge I replace them, So every year or two.
    Pain in the ass, I sold the Deluxe and have the twin up for sale.
     

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  11. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    Hmmm....
    Good point.

    :)
     
  12. olddawg2

    olddawg2 TDPRI Member

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    Ok... I’ve read some of this. I’m an old guy and have gigged for decades. I just unloaded a pile of vintage gear including a 63 Blonde Tremelux with 2 original cabs among others. The reason. They were one trick ponies and were mostly too loud for the venues I was playing. Unless you are playing VERY large venues a Twin Reverb is just a ridiculous choice. Really any 100 watt tube is a ridiculous choice anymore. There is another thing too. We are living in the era of cheap, good guitars and amps. A few years ago I bought a Bugera V22. It’s 20 watts. It has a MV. It’s a two channel amp. 1x12” combo. The clean channel is like a Deluxe Reverb. The dirty channel is like a hot rodded Model 1973 Marshall. I bought mine from Sweetwater for $249, no tax, free shipping. I use a $125 Webber speaker attenuators that I can turn on and off with a foot switch to make leads “pop”. I was leaving all my vintage gear at home. It was great for a small club. A bigger place or stage you are miked up anyway. The only flaw was the onboard digital Reverb wasn’t that great after about 4 so it want great for surf. Easily fixed with a pedal in the fx loop. I got so tired of people asking me if it was a boutique amp that I took the badge off and put one of the band’s bumper stickers there. It’s also very scalable for “bedroom” use and takes pedals well. Nothing wrong with the stock tubes or speaker either. Don’t buy into the hype that old is always better. Many times it just means restrictive, expensive, and unreliable. I’m also a tech. I repair, design, and build amps. I use the cheap ass Bugera. Remember. Tone is in the hands. A V22 and a couple of pedals is a great choice will fit on the stage, and not drive everyone out of the room.
     
  13. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    It's because this is TRPRI, where a large number of members would still be driving cars m
    Posts like this are a refreshing dose of reality compared to the ridiculous posts that complain about the TM's price, the TM's not being "real" because they lack tubes, the fact that they will last "between 2 and 6 years" and then become a throwaway amp :lol:, or within which border they're made. The TMs are designed to be a viable tool for musicians. If you're a musician hobbyist who spends more time watching gear videos and sitting by yourself in your basement obsessing over the most minute details of tone than you do playing, practicing, or working (and if you do, that's cool - we all enjoy our hobby in our own way), then maybe the TM is not for you. If you're looking for a good sounding practical solution to gigging and recording, check out the TMs. I'll add this - I haven't bothered to do a detailed, side by side comparison so I can't say whether the TM is indistinguishable from a tube DR. But having owned and used MANY tube amps over the years, I can say that the TMs sound and feel as good as many tube amps I've owned and it lacks nothing. If there are any subtle differences between the TMs and a tube amp, the differences won't be noticeable in a live or recorded mix.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
  14. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Afflicted

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    This quote DID NOT come from me. Here are my posts from this thread: #14

    A few years back when I researched Princetons, I heard a few players rave about the matchup with a Celestion Gold. I ended up getting a PRRI SE with a 12" speaker. It's currently loaded with a Celestion Cream alnico which is terrific. The speaker is rated at 90 watts and 100db so there's tons of clean headroom. It also has the most beautiful breakup tone I've gotten yet. I have to use an OD pedal because at 4, it fills our large sanctuary gloriously. It weighs a little more than its original 33lbs but not it's not the big lugg of my DRRI.

    I love tubes obviously, but I've heard from so many die hard tube heads on here that the Tonemasters absolutely nail it and they're never going back. I guess you owe it to yourself to try out the new TM amps. Enjoy the journey!

    and post #79
     
  15. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

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    Just my experience, but unless it's mic'd, my Princeton does not stay clean at a volume that works with my band and we don't play loud.
     
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  16. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    On several of the TM advocate replies list-

    low wt. is at the top.


    What this has to do with the most important thing sound,
    is 00.00

    .
     
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  17. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Likewise, the biggest objection from the anti-TM folks is whether or not there are vacuum tubes in the circuit, which also has nothing to do with how it sounds.
     
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  18. Wharfcreek

    Wharfcreek Tele-Meister

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    Olddawg2, I too have a Bugera as part of my 'arsenal'. I actually have the same V-22, but also the little 5-watt combo, and 2 of the little 5-watt head units! I love those!!

    One question (maybe a stupid one): What is a 'MV' as you've mentioned the V-22 as having? WC
     
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  19. StevesBoogie

    StevesBoogie Tele-Holic

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    Thank you for posting. I've got an itch to get a small tube amp or Tone Master or PRRI but suspect the latter two might be a little too much for my situation. I'd jump all over the Tone King Gremlin but just too much $, even used. I will keep the Bugera V22 on my radar...the reviews on Sweetwater are pretty convincing!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
  20. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    MV=Master Volume. Typically located between the preamp and power amp, so it controls the signal strength at the input of the power section.
     
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