Anyone seriously consider one of those Tone Masters?

dukewellington

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I’ve experimented a little bit with modeling amps belonging to friends, and I do have a few modeling pedals (amp-in-a-box) that I bring to gigs as an emergency measure. Those can go directly into the board if something happens to the actual amp, and we can still do the gig, but that’s the only reason I have them.

As far as the Tonemaster stuff goes… I liked some of the tones I got out of the Tonemaster I played, and I like the way he sounds at his gigs sound with it. But I did not like the idea of me playing a Tonemaster, or any other modeling amp. Can’t get past the idea, and anyway the feel is all wrong. So I won’t buy one.
 

Dacious

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I've had a couple of cheap Hayden HG-T 20A amps - the studio mode they have is fantastic. Whichever channel you have cranked - flip the switch and it's now whisper quiet. It also has a line out that mutes the speaker you can use with headphones. That's be my pick for EL84 goodness. They came combo and head.

I.think the newer Orange Rockers as someone mentioned have the same feature.
 

archtop_fjk

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For the OP, Vox did make "modeling" versions of the AC15 and AC30 - these were the Valve Reactor line of amps. I guess they didn't catch on like the tone masters...

https://voxamps.com/product/ac15vr/
https://voxamps.com/product/ac30vr/

AC30VR_Gallery_800x600_1.jpg
 

Jakedog

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Well, an AC30 is a heavy, loud amp. Not great to pack around I wouldn't think? Especially for Apartment livers. 71#
There are far lighter tube amps that have good volume.

I wont consider a Quilter because I have heard them with people I know playing them... who used to play tube amps.

I doubt I will consider a Tonemaster mainly because most of that stuff is WAY overpriced IMHO.
In addition, I don't really trust Fender's SS and even more so Digital gear to be repairable. Some of their past attempts of partially digital amps are now not repairable due to parts not even being available. These are "use until it fails and throw it away" amps. As such they need to be dirt cheap for me to buy in.

My $60 (New) Crate Powerblock is just fine if I want to use a SS amp. I do recognize that that was a superdeal and not realistic comparison though.
Overpriced? How do you figure?

Price a new decent quality pine 212 cab. That’s about 300 bucks.

Quality attenuator? Another $300.

Pair of Celestion Neo creambaxk speakers? $350.

Decent DI/IR thingy? I don’t know, but it’s gotta be a couple hundred bucks.

Then quality modeling software, and all the miscellaneous parts like pots, tolex, switches, jacks, faceplate, etc. A footswitch. Not to mention paying for the R&D that went into creating the programs to begin with.

I think they’re pretty fairly priced when we consider everything that goes in there. I mean sure, Fender buys all the parts at bulk/wholesale prices, but you or I couldn’t, so we have to consider full value. For some folks it’s also worth it to save the weight and cash over buying the tube counterpart.

I don’t want one of these amps, but it’s not fair to make entirely baseless claims about them.
 

Fretting out

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I just quoted what I’ve said about them before

I have the twin and love it

If I were to do it now I’d get the super for sure (it wasn’t released when I got the twin)

Especially since it has an attenuator, although I’ve never used it on the twin

If you played the twin and liked it go for the twin

I play clean and use it as a pedal platform which it’s pretty good for

(About tone master)

It’s a great amp but it is NOT a perfect recreation of a tube amp

It sounds good in it’s own right but....there’s something different that’s hard to put words to, it’s not bad just different in the way it responds

I’d recommend people try them but if someone goes in thinking it’s gonna sound 100% tube they will find it lacking

If you go into it thinking of it as it’s own thing it’s fine
 

chris m.

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So far I prefer my three tube amps to any digital or analog solid state stuff I've tried, at least when it comes to live shows. And I've tried a fair bit-
Helix, Tonemaster, Quilter, Katana and some earlier generation solid state analog stuff like Roland Blues Cube, JC120, old school Yamaha and Ampeg analog amps. For me I put a lot of them in the
"close but no cigar" category.

That said, the day my local tube amp guy stops working on tube amps will be the day I sell them all and live with a non-tube option. I'm hoping that
by the time that day comes I will actually like the non-tube options just as much as tubes. YMMV and all that, but the tone isn't quite there for me (yet).
 

schmee

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Overpriced? How do you figure?

Price a new decent quality pine 212 cab. That’s about 300 bucks.

Quality attenuator? Another $300.

Pair of Celestion Neo creambaxk speakers? $350.

Decent DI/IR thingy? I don’t know, but it’s gotta be a couple hundred bucks.

Then quality modeling software, and all the miscellaneous parts like pots, tolex, switches, jacks, faceplate, etc. A footswitch. Not to mention paying for the R&D that went into creating the programs to begin with.

I think they’re pretty fairly priced when we consider everything that goes in there. I mean sure, Fender buys all the parts at bulk/wholesale prices, but you or I couldn’t, so we have to consider full value. For some folks it’s also worth it to save the weight and cash over buying the tube counterpart.

I don’t want one of these amps, but it’s not fair to make entirely baseless claims about them.
I guess that's fair. Although you can bet Fender pays probably a third of those prices. I'm just thinking in terms of the time to make a tube amp, transformers $, tubes $ etc.
 

chris m.

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The price of the materials needed to make something does not determine what it is worth on the open market.
Sometimes there is a correlation, but for most things requiring craftsmanship and/or engineering it is a fairly weak
correlation. The most important factor is what people are willing to pay.

Frido Kahlo's self portrait below probably cost about $20 or less in materials to create. Many hours of labor, of course....



upload_2021-11-17_14-34-21.png
 

saleake

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I bought the black TM Deluxe in 2020 and gigged it a for about a year. In July 2021, I bought a clean used TM Twin and I’ve been gigging that. I set the attenuator for 22 watts so it’s like a Deluxe with a mid control, bright switch, and two speakers. I still have the Deluxe, and gigged with it last weekend in a smaller venue. I highly recommend them.
 

Ash Telecaster

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I have written my opinion on this topic many times now but I think that is the value of these forums, you can hear a multitude of opinions and ideas and look at the consensus, etc.

So, doing my part...

I bought the TMSR. I bought it because I always wanted a SR but could never justify it mostly due to its weight but also because the nominal volume is louder than most the situations where I would want to use it which would be blues/motown style gigs.

The TMSR is a fun amp. Is it a perfect representation of a SR? No, but it's close enough. I have fun playing it and it is 36lbs, and volume controllable. So, for me, it is a win.

You can practice on this thing. It is also capable of very high volume levels. I personally wouldnt use for harder music styles but you could if you needed too.
 

JL_LI

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I have nothing against Tone Master or solid state in general. But why? I have a perfectly good Mesa Boogie Express 5:25 and no need for another amp. I use an equalizer and a delay pedal with it and don’t need anything else. I don’t even use the spring reverb in the amp. So why would a Tone Master make any sense for me?
 

SneakyPup

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I would consider one if I was playing gigs, because I don't want to lug heavy amps any more. And with all the variations in venues, if it doesn't sound as good as a tube amp the difference would go unnoticed. But for home or studio don't dump the tube amp.
 

Maguchi

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I gotta admit....they got me thinking.

I have an AC30 head/cab that I love but it's just kinda sitting. I fear the time when I show up with an amp that can't cut it but for the most part I don't need AC30 power.

Wife doesn't budget for more than 1 amp (haha - not really) but I live in an apartment so space is limited.

Thinking about one of those Tonemaster Twins in Blonde.

Anyone else go there?

One of my main things is that the AC30 breaks up so nice. Not sure if I can get there with the Twin even with the attenuator thing.
Tried the tonemasters, they're OK but feel a little different reacting to my fingers and the sound is not as good in a side by side A to B comparison. I use a handcart for my amp, guitar and pedalboard, so 20 lbs. is not enough weight savings for the compromise in sound.

BFPR&5E3.jpg
 
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Chiogtr4x

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I have written my opinion on this topic many times now but I think that is the value of these forums, you can hear a multitude of opinions and ideas and look at the consensus, etc.

So, doing my part...

I bought the TMSR. I bought it because I always wanted a SR but could never justify it mostly due to its weight but also because the nominal volume is louder than most the situations where I would want to use it which would be blues/motown style gigs.

The TMSR is a fun amp. Is it a perfect representation of a SR? No, but it's close enough. I have fun playing it and it is 36lbs, and volume controllable. So, for me, it is a win.

You can practice on this thing. It is also capable of very high volume levels. I personally wouldnt use for harder music styles but you could if you needed too.

Good comments!

Just my musings:

I don't have the $$, room, or gig situation for a TMSR ( but have friends who have vintage Supers, and I love playing through them)

but I'd probably love the Tone
Master for a few reasons:

- love the attraction of a 36 lb. 4X10" amp that sounds like a Fender

- the attenuator power options

- and mainly the approximation to that of a BF/SF Clean toned Fender amp with Reverb and Tremolo

I personally am in the 'close is good enough for me!' camp, because honestly, I think I always used to run my own BF and SF Fenders ( when I owned them) under their real tube-powered potential- preferring to run them at a clean, moderate volume, and using OD pedals.

I feel like even with my tube amps, I never really heard what others hear the nuance of cranked power tubes - enough to notice a difference between a Tone Master and the real deal.
I've never heard a Tone Master in person. Maybe I'd notice a huge difference? ( but don't think so)

Over the Summer, our band did a 'big gig' with backline supplied, and the stage had a Twin Reverb.
I was hoping it was gonna be a TMTR, but it was a tube '65 TRRI- Sounded great but was hoping for the other.
If I hit the Lotto, I'd probably still get the TM Super ( bad back).- and a house for it!
 




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