Anyone seriously consider one of those Tone Masters?

MrWiggly

TDPRI Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2021
Posts
76
Age
71
Location
Michigan
Funny story. About a year ago I was in the local guitar emporium. There were several pedals that I wanted to test drive. One of the salesmen joined me and hooked up the first pedal. I didn’t pay attention to the amp that he plugged into, but it appeared to be a DRRI. The pedal sounded horrible. Digital, grainy and nasty. OK, on to the next one. Same thing!?!

We both looked at each other. He looked confused and horrified. Then he got the ah ha look, unplugged from the first amp and plugged into the DRRI next to it. Problem solved. I then took a closer look at the first amp. Yep, it was a TMDR. Can’t say that it sold me on Tone Master amps, but, as they say, YMMV.

The Tone Masters get rave reviews for how well they work with pedals. Not sure what was going on there but for you but this is one of their strengths. I’ve owned both the Twin and Deluxe versions and they both sound incredible with my pedals, all of them. A key with the Deluxe is having the bright cap clip firmware installed.
 

darkwaters

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Oct 14, 2012
Posts
2,852
Location
Newfoundland
The Tone Masters get rave reviews for how well they work with pedals. Not sure what was going on there but for you but this is one of their strengths. I’ve owned both the Twin and Deluxe versions and they both sound incredible with my pedals, all of them. A key with the Deluxe is having the bright cap clip firmware installed.
Yep, we were both quite confused. Still, I’ll be sticking with my tube amps for the foreseeable future.
 

Ash Telecaster

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Feb 28, 2008
Posts
3,909
Location
North Ridgeville, Ohio
I have found with my TMSR that brighter ODs like the OCD don't sound great with it. Warmer, more mid rangy ODs like the Walrus ages sound great with it. At least in my humble opinion. That to me is the real difference between a SR and a TMSR. It has to do with the how high frequencies are handled. The tone is warmer over all.

That being said, I am really enjoying my TMSR so any criticism is just recognizing the fact that the TM is its own animal.
 

superjam144

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jan 19, 2020
Posts
1,794
Age
33
Location
EMPIRE STATE
Actually, they are cheaper... Especially in theory! LOL

New DRRI - $1499.99
New TMNDR - $899.99

The other two are similarly comparable.

But, theoretically, in the long run, they would be cheaper as well... No tubes (which has been the greatest point of failure since I've been using tube amps).

SS amps have come a long way... But, i agree they still have a bit to go. But, man folks are getting closer.


-------------------------

I think the biggest factor in acceptance of these sorts of amps (whether Tonemaster, Quilter, Blues Cubes, or the other solutions like the Headrush, mentioned a few posts ago) has to be about deciding what is important... Is the exact tube tone important to you? Or, is 'good enough' good enough?

I play a few really nice tube amps most of the time. I have a certain sense of what these amps do, how they feel, what they sound like, how they respond. When I am playing at home, or in the studio, I love what they do and how they sound. But, on stage... Do those same things really matter? Will the audience know the difference? Will I know the difference?

I'll be honest, on stage, with the rest of the band kicking? I'm not so sure I'll hear it... I may feel it. But, I wager I can get used to it pretty quickly.

A simple argument for me goes like this... At home, or in the studio, I use decent guitar cables. On stage, I use a wireless. I am sure the wireless changes the tone some, I am sure it changes the way the dynamics of my amps and pedals work. But, the absolute convenience of being able to go out into the crowd to check the FOH? Man, that is priceless! The bonus is being able to go interact with the crowd during solos, having fun with, that kinda thing.

It's all about diminishing return. Is it better for me to arrive at a gig, be comfortable and relaxed carrying my gear in (I still don't have roadies! LOL)... Ending up with no back pain for my performance. Or, it is more important for me to squeeze that last ounce of tone and feel out of my rig? Currently, budget also plays a huge part in the formula (for me). Right this very minute, it's about using what I have, which I am quite happy with. But, my back is quickly deteriorating... Weight is quickly becoming more of an issue than it used to be.

I am a guy who will travel with a guitar, and plug into just about anything provided and not think twice about it. Years ago, using other folks rigs used to throw me off, make me nervous, or uncomfortable... It would get into my head and effect how I played. These days, I honestly don't fret. I find I sound like me no matter the rig, for better or for worse. LOL

Yeah but I can get a used Princeton for less than a tone master surely.

I stand corrected though if looking at same models.

Like my blues cube. It's more expensive than a used junior. But I bought it for travel.

I think these amps are excellent and a huge step for technology in general though.

Makes you wonder for sure. I hope tube amps make a comeback though. There's just something amazing about that technology.
 

lmjmitchell

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Posts
549
Location
NC
I played one a few weeks ago.

It sounded pretty good, but not as good as my Quilter or my Helix.
 

Ash Telecaster

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Feb 28, 2008
Posts
3,909
Location
North Ridgeville, Ohio
I played one a few weeks ago.

It sounded pretty good, but not as good as my Quilter or my Helix.

I bought the Quilter tone block first but didn't like it at all and returned it. I do have a POD GO (baby Helix) which I run through a QSC CP8 and that combination is small, lightweight and sounds great. So many tone options it boggles the mind! Gets surprisingly loud too.

I didn't buy the TMSR because it was better. I bought it because I wanted the vibe of a Super Reverb in a weight manageable, volume manageable package. It is a fun amp to own and that's what it's all about for me.

I guess it's all about what you want to get out of it. I'm pretty fortunate to have both.
 
Last edited:

stormsedge

Poster Extraordinaire
Gold Supporter
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Posts
6,495
Location
E. Tennessee, USA
Send me your tube, solid-state and digital amps. I guarantee I can dial each end every one of them up to sound awful.

I have the SAME superpower! Next time superpowers are passed out, I'm waiting in the long line instead of going through the self-serve:lol::lol::lol:.
 




Top