Fender Tone Master Deluxe or 68 Custom Princeton?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by TwangerWannabe, Oct 6, 2019.

Which of these two amps would you prefer?

  1. Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb

    34 vote(s)
    45.3%
  2. Fender 68 Custom Princeton Reverb

    41 vote(s)
    54.7%
  1. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Meister

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    What's you preference of these two? We all know these sound different, but for grins was curious which one you'd be more interested in if you had to decide between one or the other. They both cost the same new?

    The Tone Master Deluxe Reverb is all digital but claims to be a very honest/convincing reproduction of an original Blackface Deluxe, 12" Neo speaker, attenuator that would make this amp even more versatile from home practice to jams and gigs, solid pine cabinet and weighs 10lbs less than the '68 Custom PR. Amp also has a direct out allowing you to go directly into a DAW for recording or to a desk in a live situation.

    The 68 Custom Princeton Reverb is really just a Princeton in name since it's a modified circuit more akin to a Bassman (if my memory serves me correctly, but could be wrong on that one), 10" Celestion speaker. Fender specs say "lightweight pine" for the cabinet with no mention of it being solid), no attenuator, weighs 33lbs, has a killer Tremolo, quicker to overdrive/less clean headroom than the Deluxe (which may or may not be a plus for some).

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    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  2. jgmouton

    jgmouton Tele-Meister

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    I don't buy the huge marketing campaing around the Tone Master series. I tried a TMDR in a shop and did not like what I heard with my Tele. The PR on the other hand sounds great although I prefer the 65 PRRI to the 68.
     
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  3. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    If you live close to a Guitar Center, you can buy them both to try out at home, and return the one you like least within 30 days for a complete refund.
     
  4. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Meister

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    Thank you so much for making that glaringly obvious suggestion apparent.

    My point of starting this thread was just out of curiosity to see what people would prefer hypothetically. A conversation starter. A post for entertainment purposes. I keep forgetting how literal and analytical people can be around these parts. I'm super plenty of people ion this forum live within a reasonable distance from a Guitar Center, but still post threads for fun/conversation.
     
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  5. tele_pathic

    tele_pathic Friend of Leo's

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    So I haven't played a Tone Master amp yet, but I have owned the CPR...briefly. The CPR sounded great, but it would break-up with the volume on 3, which is not loud enough for my needs.

    I like the idea of the lightweight of the TMDR. I can see where this would be a great gigging amp for the lightweight and the durability of a solid state amp.
     
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  6. FredDairy

    FredDairy Friend of Leo's

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    I haven't tried a tone master yet and I'm not sure I buy into all the hype of the marketing surrounding those either.

    I was faced with buying a reissue Princeton a few years ago. I looked at the '65 and '68 RI. The '68 RI was new at the time and I thought I'd go with the tried and true '65 RI.
     
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  7. Rev Hoodoo

    Rev Hoodoo TDPRI Member

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    I've actually owned both, sort of. I had a '68 Princeton Custom for a while and currently own a Tone Master Twin. But I think my experience is relevant. I wanted a Princeton for gigging when they first came out. Having owned the regular '65 Reissue Princeton previously I thought the '68 version would be a good candidate. I did some speaker swaps, tube swaps to NOS, never could get it to sound quite right. There was a brittleness that I found irritating and the overdrive was not natural sounding to me. This is using a '51 Nocaster Relic with stock pickups. A little over 3 weeks ago I got the Tone Master Twin. Well, within minutes of opening it up and setting it up I had classic mid-60's Fender tone. I have not played the Deluxe version yet but I have listened to every clip I could find demoing it and read user reviews. Overall it has all the great characteristics of a great vintage Deluxe. It is a big different in the mids than a Princeton and the bright cap makes it a little crispier. The extra power is a big plus as well as it helps keep the lows together a bit better. A lot of folks opt to install a 12" speaker in Princetons to address this but I've never cared for that personally. To my ears the tone of the Tone Master Deluxe is much more appealing and it has much greater flexibility. And then when you get around to the weight, well, the '68 Custom Princeton weights just 2 pounds less than the Tone Master Twin and it weighs 11 pounds more than the Tone Master Deluxe and the TMDeluxe has a 12" speaker. They're the same price but the TMDeluxe offers a heck of a lot more and sounds great. But as we see here personal preference reigns supreme. But looking at the TMDeluxe, the '68 Custom Princeton and the '65 Princeton RI, I'd rate the '68 version as the least appealing to my ears. Your mileage may vary.
     
  8. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Meister

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    I owned a 65 PRRI that I liked quite much, but I traded it for a tweed princeton 5f2 clone: I only do very intimate gigs, and the 65 PPRI was too loud for my needs.

    That being said, if I had to choose between the 68 CPR and the Tonemaster Deluxe, I would go with the latter:
    - the attenuator would be great for my needs (and should be very transparent, unlike most attenuators on tube amps);
    - I am really curious to spend time with one, because since I bought my little Yamaha THR5 for home practice, I realised how convincing digital modelling amps have become.

    If I did not own my tweed Princeton and my THR5, and was searching for a single do-it-all amp, I would be very tempted by the TM Deluxe indeed.
     
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  9. muscmp

    muscmp Tele-Afflicted

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    easy, 68 custom princeton reverb.

    play music!
     
  10. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Friend of Leo's

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    No need to be rude and sarcastic. Just a polite "thanks but no thanks" would do.
     
  11. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    TMDR. I love the sound I get out of my DRRI, but the amp has a perpetual low-level hiss and the tremolo ticks. The TMDR solves those issues.
     
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  12. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    Sorry, I misunderstood your intent. Can I have a do-over.....Ok: NEITHER, hypothetically.
     
  13. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Meister

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    Thanks, but no thanks.
     
  14. ataylor

    ataylor Tele-Meister

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    I’m in a similar situation, except I’m trying to decide between the Tone Master Deluxe Reverb and the 65 Princeton Reverb.

    I go back and forth. If only there was a Tone Master Princeton Reverb.
     
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  15. gregjhonda

    gregjhonda Tele-Meister

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    I've owned a few vintage Princetons, all the Princeton reissues and currently own this:

    Sweetwater Fender '65 Princeton Reverb 15-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Amp - Lacquered Tweed

    My favorite Princeton for classic tone would be a vintage one with a floppy old speaker. To compare any of these amps you really have to consider the speaker. I kept the Sweetwater Princeton because the tweed appearance is stunning and it comes with a good 12" speaker. So I think you should add this add to your consideration mix.

    If I was starting out now to buy an amp I would have to try out the ToneMaster just to make sure I didn't have buyer's remorse later on. That's a lot of money not to spend and not consider the advantages that the TM has to offer.



     
  16. t-luxe

    t-luxe Tele-Afflicted

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    If was still playing out, I'd go Tonemaster. For home use, I'd go Princeton, but not the '68 Custom. I like the '65 RI better, or grab a vintage Silver Face.
     
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  17. Mexitele Blues

    Mexitele Blues Tele-Holic

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    I voted Princeton. I have not played the Tonemaster as the local GC can't keep them around long enough. But the 68CPR sounds so sweet and the tremolo is to die for.
     
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  18. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    I haven't played the ToneMaster. I already placed my bet on the '68 Princeton, because...tone.
    And it is indeed exactly the same circuit board as the 65, just modified a bit.
    My experience with the XD models says theses new amps are probably fine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  19. Rev Hoodoo

    Rev Hoodoo TDPRI Member

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    The '68 and the '65 models don't sound much alike at all. Different circuits, different speaker. I've owned both and found them quite different. But personal preference is king. I hear players sound fantastic playing amps I personally can't stand to use myself. In the end that's all that matters, find the thing that fits your musical voice and enjoy.
     
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  20. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Meister

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    I gig the 68 CPR with a more efficient speaker. I use it as pedal platform and it's clean enough for what I do. I know many like the 65, but I prefer the 68 after a few minor tweaks.
     
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