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Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by TwangerWannabe, Oct 6, 2019.
Yes indeed: good player with a nice and humble attitude, and very good pedagogue too IMO.
I can not find a Tonemaster anywhere close to where I live to try. That kind of makes this a mute point.
Of course..... now the pundits will tell yah... well... your really need THE REAL Components... not just printed circuits because the traces can be " suspect". And... oh well, that is the bath-tub effect AKA on-the-job-component-burn-in failure.
You can not win but as long as you know that components are easier to replace / repair then chips as they get replaced with newer versions.
Case in Point, the Fender Princeton Recording amp. A marvel of an amp, advanced, attenuator, on-board effects, full tube and some solid state for " other things" with a pretty well complete obsolete attenuator system that controls everything else.
The Tone Masters don't have anything going on that even vaguely resembles the situation with the Princeton Recording Amp. And just remember that it is a tube amp with some analog solid state components. Having seen the inside of the Tone Masters it is obviously that replacing any component is a relatively simple task and could be done very quickly. I can't speak to the cost of the components and no doubt it would be significant. But it won't be a boat anchor because of one failed part. I remember well people speculating that the motorized controls on the Fender Cyber Twin would be a disaster in the future. That doesn't seem to have happened, lots of them out there chugging away. But again, that was another analog amp with some DSP for effects. In general it seems most modeling products are pretty robust, I don't hear about a lot of total disaster failures of any of them.
I was not talking about the TM in particular. We were talking about SS versus tubes, the cost and reliability. Hope that makes sense/.
I have been playing tube amplifiers since 1967 or thereabouts. I have had ONE tube degas spontaneously in the last 52 years. And remember, I'm the guy that says that tubes are user replaceable parts. And I had one come apart like that too. It's true , that they don't make them as good as the old RCA,Sylvania,GE,Mullard or even Radio Shack tubes, but generally they are fine.
On the other hand, I have about 8 computers in my garage, that have quit suddenly, due to failure of the CPU chip.
Sorry, misunderstood, and you do make a good point. But from what I've observed that situation with the Princeton Recording amp was an aberration. I'm not seeing tons of SS amps sidelined due to lack of parts availability. The exception would be some of the early SS stuff from the 60's. And I admit that is anecdotal, just based on personal observation. But I ran music stores for many years and we didn't see horrendous reliability issues with the vast majority of SS equipment.
One thing I'm finding amusing is that a lot of critics seem to be suggesting reliability issues with SS front ends and class D amps, suggesting that there are tonal compromises as well, but they almost universally rely upon SS or digital mixers and class D power amps for PA and rave about the tone and clarity.
I think the new technologies in amp design have changed the capabilities and the approaches to generating sound(s) that we like .
So if you think about it. Fender is using a " generic" 200 watt power amp and I bet that if you would scope it, you will find no coloration or coloring of the sound AT ALL. It is just increasing the potential volume at the end of the module.
All the magic happens in the modeling part, and there are guaranteed different chips assigned to different tasks, those chips don't care what sounds they produce... they just have digital instructions to " do something" and do it well, all the time, reliable and consistent. That where we are at the moment. It's the "Tesla" approach.. load the program and execute it. So I would not be surprised that Fender will be able to upload modifications and enhancements that you can or sometimes will have to download to your amp in order to function or stay relevant.
So, embroidering along... I would not be surprised Fender is going to release a SUBSCRIPTION model whereby you will have to buy a subscription to keep your amp humming and running. It's pay as you go and pay for what you want.
Mark my words. And no, I have no connection with Fender or anybody else in that industry but just have a look around in anything in that industry, games, TV's, computers, software, firmware etc. and you know what to expect.
Enjoy the ride.. it won't be free but it will be a hell of a ride.
I'm biased towards quieter amps, so I'd be tempted toward the princeton. Based on on some demos of the tone master though, looks like you can push it to the point of break up tonally and bring the volume back down so that's pretty versatile. I'd honestly be closer to choosing a tonemaster especially having a couple tube amps already. They seem really versatile and practical.
There will always be those who have never had issues with anything, those that always have issues, and the majority that fall in the middle. Happy that you have been relatively hassle free. I've never really had major issues with tube amps either, but am willing to give the Tone Master a try. Happy though if you have a different opinion or experience.
There are plenty of examples of technology that gets updated and it does't cost the consumer anything. I've never had to pay for an updated, new operating system for my iMac because Apple gives it away. Likewise, firmware updates for various digital devices that I have are always free. I'm also an experienced professional IT person, generally updates of this sort are not paid for. It's another matter for things like Photoshop, but that's not hardware and it is also he way software products have been marketed for a long time - major updates have to be paid for. But in terms of firmware and such for hardware, there may be some rare examples where consumers are required to purchase them but I honestly have never heard of one.
I guess you are not having Microsoft equipment. Windows (apps) are now subscription only. Your Cell phone is effectively leased because you have to pay a monthly or annual fee to keep it working, and the list goes on. My background is sales and consulting at Blue and Red. They live on subscription revenue ( renewals, annuals, upgrades, updates, the lot). Frankly there is nothing wrong with that model BUT it will cost you money to stay up with the neighbors.
Here is an article ( part of it ) in today's financial rags... ON Oracle and their subscription services / revenue...
Re: "The current guidance represents a dollar per share decline over 2018..."
This was actually pre-announced by the company at their investor briefing back on August 2nd. They lowered 2019 earnings guidance due to transaction-related costs from the Red Hat acquisition - over a dollar per share impact, from $13.90 to $12.80. Much of this relates to accounting rules pertaining to software subscription income and that revenue recognition gets deferred over time. Microsoft went through this sort of thing a number of years ago. It can take a few quarters to normalize.
The '68 Custom Princeton Reverb for sure. I have a Super Champ X2 and just bought a EHX Dirt Road Special. The novelity wore off on the EHX fast but for some reason I don't want to return it.
Of course I don't have Microsoft equipment, I've been in tech too long to bother with it. The cell phone is no more leased than land lines were and adjusted for inflation are a lot cheaper. That's nothing new. I used apps and an OS that are free and it all works well. Microsoft business decisions stopped making sense decades ago. But in general for any given subscription option there are always free or one time purchase options that work just as well.
None of that matters because I seriously doubt in the context of guitar amplifiers from Fender that anyone will ever be required to subscribe to paid updates. That's an interesting theory and I see where you're derived it but there's nothing anywhere that suggests the musical industry as a whole is going in that direction.
Not yet... the future will tell. I am thinking that many smaller businesses are seeking and looking for a revenue stream to RETAIN and service ' repeat" customers and GET PAID for it. I would do that but again... that's my ball'o'wax.
Firmware for computer equipment has never in my experience been charged for. Software is another kettle of fish.
Yep, not yet. Remember the old adage? Repeat customers is what it is all about. It's much cheaper to sell to and reach out to existing customer than have to acquire new customers. That has not changed. Anything you buy right now comes with some enticement, credit, credit card, monthly payments, buy one get one 1/2 off... all of that stuff. Soon, you won't be able to buy a car, in fact you would not WANT to buy a car because of the liabilities, the computer aspect, battery life, servicing only by OEM's not in dependent dealers..... all these great new concepts.
It is not going to take long.
So, there is no reason why a $ 1,000.00 amplifier is not going to be offered in some lease / hire / rent agreement by the MFG or representation of a MFG.
In fact, I have a few model helicopters that come with a FBL ( AKA computer ) that must be connected to their website for updates etc as well as for set ups etc. In fact it force-updates the firmware and software when you connect. This reduces the support cost immensely. Now, if you want to use their remote / WIFI versions you have to pay a one time fee.... no reason why that can not change to a subscription model.
Never say never !
Having worked on the engineering side of the digital equipment world since the early 90's I can pretty much guarantee that computer mainboard suppliers, printer manufacturers, scanner manufacturers and other hardware providers are not going to charge to correct problems and bugs. That is what firmware updates are for.
I guess we will find out, right??