Anyone else surprised that Fender has not expanded

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by burntfrijoles, May 27, 2021.

  1. Happy Enchilada

    Happy Enchilada Tele-Meister

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    Fender should stick to building great tube amps and leave the "modeling" and "built-in effects" to folks like Line 6 who do it right.

    I play through a 20-year-old POD XT that, once the patches are tweaked, is MUCH easier to use than fiddling about with the settings on a "modeling amp," or tap dancing on a Tech 21 Fly Rig. Plus it's compact and portable and built like a Russian truck. Bought it new eons ago and still use it every day. Plugs direct into any PA board, so if the venue or church you're playing in has a PA, you don't need to lug a big, heavy, backbreaking box full of brittle and expensive glass tubes around.

    Thinking of getting a Tech 21 Power Engine Deuce Deluxe as an "output device," so that I have a good cabinet I can take everywhere - but most real venues have PAs nowadays, and they'd just mic it anyway. The POD has an "output" knob that acts as an attenuator so you can practice at "bedroom volumes," and it's a secret weapon for ambushing dunderheaded sound guys who don't know to turn you up for that solo break. Plus a headphone jack. And you can get one for under a C-note every day.

    Love Fender tube tone, but let's face it - they really don't do the electronic effects modeling thing well. And at the end of the day (I can HEAR the haters typing already), having one single sound is lame when you can have your choice of dozens of great amps, effects, cabinets, etc. in pre-set patches so you can go from sensitive acoustic to death metal at the touch of a button. That's just my thirty-seven cents' worth ...
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
  2. Lynxtrap

    Lynxtrap Tele-Afflicted

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    This is pretty much my take on it as well.
    The way I see it, it would be kind of funny (well more like madness) to develop a digital emulation of all aspect of a DR or TR and then try to make its 100W Class D power stage behave and sound like a power scaled tube amp.

    Anyway, I guess this is of some interest to us tech nerds here, everyone else enjoy your Tone Masters if you like ’em!

    I will try one for sure as soon as I get a chance, out of curiousity. I get pretty decent Fender clean tones out of my old Yamaha G100, 20 year old Line6 Pod, and Amplitube software. But the feel and dynamics are lacking, would be interesting to see if Fender managed to get that down.
    I’m not convinced by the YT demos.
     
  3. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    The irony is that Fender now does modeling really well at the lower end of the price spectrum with their Mustang GTX line of amps, better than comparable Line 6 options and equal to Boss' Katana line. They also do really good tube amps at a lower price than the TM. That's why my opinion of the TM line is that they're a product without a significant market. Too pricey and limited for modeling fans, not a tube amp while being priced close to a tube amp for tube amp fans (plus being made in China is a "No" for many tube snobs).

    Avoid the Headrush FRFR series amps. They have a design flaw that causes them to overheat their circuit board, leading to early failure.

    While the Tech 21 Power Engine is nice, it is a bit pricey. A cheaper "output device" option is a portable PA or karaoke system as long as they aren't too heavy on the bass. Solid state amps with good cleans, like the Peavey Bandit or Roland JC series, also work well.
     
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  4. tfarny

    tfarny Poster Extraordinaire

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    Which is probably why they wouldn't do it. How much money does Fender make from the buying and selling of its 50 year old amps that are still out there competing against its brand new offerings? Zilch. Planned obsolescence is the name of the profit game - it's only stupid if you're the buyer expecting anything with a chip in it to be useful for much longer than a decade.
     
  5. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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    The ICEPower amps are also used by TC Electronic for their line of bass amps. I have seen (some of..) the ICEPower amp modules available on Parts Express as well. I have scanned through a few of the reviews and one mentions that there are some that are identical swap in units for (some) Fender Rumble bass amps too (don't know if that is true or not).

    The TC Electronic bass amps have high input impedance (2M ohm or higher) and like to brag of the MOSFET preamp. It doesn't sound like tubes of course, but does do a big clean sound pretty well (with Gain kept in check). I bought the BAM 200 (the ultra small, ultra basic bass 200w amp [yes, I know, I know.. 'Class D watts']) amp and find it sounds good when paired up with the Joyo AS.

    ICE Power modules page:
    https://icepower.dk/products/amplifier-power-modules/as-series/
    TC Electronic Bass amps page:
    https://www.tcelectronic.com/catalo...y=C-TCELECTRONIC-GUITARANDBASS-BASSAMPLIFIERS
     
  6. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The business of a thing is far, far different from the thing itself. They're 2 different animals. Both merchandising and marketing are not as straight forward as might be imagined. Deciding on the breadth and depth of a product line is a delicate balancing act.
     
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  7. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    [​IMG]
     
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  8. spumwuzzle

    spumwuzzle TDPRI Member

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    Don’t forget “Teen Spirit”…
     
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  9. Les H

    Les H Tele-Holic

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    A tube Twin Reverb will also still sound good at low volumes. They are quite heavy though if that's a deal breaker for you. I bet you wouldn't have to look hard to find a used TR reissue in the $500 range these days.

    Myself, I don't put a lot of faith in the line out feature on hardly any amp to closely resemble what you hear coming from the amp.
     
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  10. MrWiggly

    MrWiggly TDPRI Member

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    Just finished a gig with a Tone Master Deluxe Reverb last week and it was great. Dialed in my basic tone at the sound check and never had to touch it all night long, set up the same way I'd set up a tube Deluxe. I used the XLR out for the sound man and he said it sounded fantastic out front, better than using the Sennheiser he usually has on hand for amps. I got rich, juicy tone all night long and never even had to touch my gain pedal.

    I've also gigged with the Tone Master Twin Reverb and had a similar experience. And the load out at the end of the night was super easy in both cases. I've used the Twin for about 20 months and had nothing but great tube tone out of it the whole time. I just recently got the Deluxe version to see if maybe it would suit me and be even smaller and lighter to cart around and for rehearsals. I love the sound of the Deluxe so much that I sold the Twin for only slightly less than I paid for it. And it sold quickly.

    Can't see anything to not like about these based on my experience. I hear some people carp about the price but they're less than a new Roland JC-120 and about ⅔'s the price of the tube reissues. My only problem right now is the Super Reverb version is calling out to me. But I an resist as the Deluxe is doing a fantastic job as a gigging amp.
     
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