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

    60 vote(s)
    46.9%
  2. Fender 68 Custom Princeton Reverb

    68 vote(s)
    53.1%
  1. grant53

    grant53 TDPRI Member

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    Exactly the point. One thing is not another thing. Judge it on its own merits. After you've played one. I can't wait to try one.
     
  2. jageya

    jageya Tele-Holic

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    how do the tmdr and tmtwin differ? I mean for someone who likesl edge of breakup spanky tones for blues.classic rock.Is the twin more for cleaner headroom?
     
  3. Joe K

    Joe K Tele-Holic

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    I played the Twin Tone Master for 90 minutes last night. Wow, really sounds just like playing through a tube amp. If you like edge of breakup at less than mind bending volumes, than no, the Twin is not for you. That is somewhat less true when you change the controls on the back to 22 watt, 12, 5 or 1 (the one watt was the only one that didn't sound good to me) but i'd bet the DR has better normal volume breakup/sustain and compression.

    Since others in this thread asked about the Custom PR, I had two and don't like them. Stick with the blackface Princeton reissue. It's a one trick pony but for playing at home or low volume jam, it's a helluva trick! (My two Custom Princetons each had quality issues, mainly cabinet buzz that their warranty centers could not eliminate. I'm sure there are some good ones but feel life is too short to save a few dollars screwing around with these Silverface reissues.)
     
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  4. mesatone01

    mesatone01 TDPRI Member

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    Manufacturers of Solid State amps have been trying to tell us since the late 60's that they can emulate a tube amp without any luck. Just can't do it. Apples to Oranges !
    As for as my choice of the two mentioned amps I'll take the Princeton.
    My current amp is a Morgan PR-12 with a Weber 12" speaker. It's built on a Princeton circuit, hand wired, point to point, single channel boutique tone monster. No lineout, no FX loop, no CD player or USB port. One volume, one treble, one bass and a reverb knob. The Morgan has Vintage vibe and vintage circuitry with some of the best natural compression I've ever used. Try one , you'll be sold.
     

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  5. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Holic

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    I don't think people are choosing the 68 custom over the 65 prri to save money.. The price isn't a big difference. It's because they are more versatile and/or just sound better to some.

    I haven't had any cabinet rattle issues. My foot switch crapped out tho.
     
  6. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Holic

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    I agree, the tone master is cool, but lacks the liveliness of the real thing. Not all ears are equal, but many of us still need tubes. The tm, while intriguing, is a sonic compromise imo.
     
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  7. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Holic

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    What tweaks? I swapped in a celestion g10 vintage, and I use an eq pedal last in my chain, always on, dropping 200 hz a bit and 400 hz a bit less. I think the eq is critical because I can't turn it off.
     
  8. old_picker

    old_picker Tele-Afflicted

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    Heard a TM Deluxe here last week and I thought it sounded fabulous. I loved how little that thing weighed. Great tone and to me betrer than any DRRI Ive tried over the years. I tried to buy one several times but never quite made it to the car with one.

    Would I buy one? If I had some shows to do ir a tour etc yep Id grab one one and flip it as soon as the shows was done. I would not buy one to keep. The lifespan of these will not be long and chips etc will go out of production. End of life. Nuff said.

    68 PR is a whole nuther animal which cant be compared to the TMDR which is a disposable unit with a short life cycle.
    68 PR is a keeper amp still with a long future. Tonewise completely different. Power also different deluxe amps have more juice. The beauty of the 68PR is that you can drive that 11 watts hard and you are not blowing out peoples ears. You can get that little bloke really singing sweetly.

    My preference is the 68PR no doubt. The Princeton format from brownie to silverface are for me the most useful amps of all time. My favourite Princeton is definitively the Brownie which I would grab over the 68 PR any day. I had one and sold it to buy a brownie deluxe.

    Great amp but I sure miss the Princeton
     
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  9. Rev Hoodoo

    Rev Hoodoo TDPRI Member

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    As far as lifespan, there are tons of well built solid state devices that have extremely long life spans. As far as chips, I've worked in IT for 35 years, owned a business building IBM clones in the early days. I have never, ever had a processor go belly up. Logic boards fail, traces break, power supplies fry, video circuits fail, but CPU's generally are quite reliable and have very long lives. There are tons of old 8086 processors out there chugging away to this day. So even with the chip out of production these computers are still running just fine. The biggest culprit for failure in any of these is heat. And the new Tone Master amps don't generate much heat at all.

    Getting close to the subject at hand, there are also lots and lots of great old solid state guitar amps chugging away. I have a Standel bass amp from 1969 in my rehearsal studio that sounds great and has no issues. That's a half century old solid state amp. I see lots of stuff from that era and on through the 80's that is still performing just like the day it was built. I've seen the interior of a Tone Master Twin. There's not much to fail but it is easily serviceable. Engineering can address reliability regardless of underlying technology. There have been plenty of examples of hugely unreliable tube amps. The devil is in the details.
     
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  10. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Afflicted

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    Eminace Ramrod speaker, (more mids) and the bass resistor bypass mod. (Less bass) I also use JJ power tubes. May be my imagination, but to my ears it stays cleaner with the JJ's, by its slight.
    It sounds good at volume in a band situation and holds up with a restrained drummer with the volume at 3 to 4 which is still pretty clean. I use pedals for my dirt sounds. Saucy box for medium gain Marshall sounds and an old Boss SD-1 either by itself, or pushing the Saucy for leads. .
    .
     
  11. Jimclarke100

    Jimclarke100 Tele-Afflicted

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    While I love reading all these discussions, for me the bottom line is that all you’ll get are opinions.

    My opinion and experience is that the only way to tell what you want really is to go and try them out (preferably as a blind test) and make you own decision. Ok that’s Easy for me to say, as I live only 20 miles away from Andertons, and two other major music shops.

    Admittedly without having tried one yet, but to me the Tonemasters look interesting. I prefer simple - I don’t want multiple options in an amp I just want one good clean(ish) sound; The THR5 I bought for home practice pretty much always sits on the clean or at most crunch setting. I have long wanted to see a modelling or SS amp that does the one thing really well rather than trying to be a jack of all trades and these potentially fit that bill.

    I love my valve amps but in my view their perceived advantages are being whittled away, and the advantages of modern modelling amps are getting to the point they are starting not to make sense.
     
  12. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Holic

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    Of course it's all just opinions! That's what people here looking for. Point taken though.

    I look at the modeling vs tube amp thing like mp3 vs vinyl.

    Mp3 is cheap and super convenient. In fact, it revolutionized the recorded music industry! However, I will occasionally spend $20 or $30 on a vinyl album. It's bulky, limited, crackling,etc. But.. It just sounds more "real." It's simply a better musical experience. That's what's most important to many of us. Especially hobbyists.

    If I were a gigging pro, I'd probably leave my nice guitars and amps at home. Grab a mim Strat or Tele, and a tonemaster or helix etc. That is the balanced approach, and those who do that are fortunate to live in this technological era.

    Solely measuring sound quality, I highly doubt tube amps are going obsolete. They truly sound better. It's a matter of whether you value that enough to deal with the costs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
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  13. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Holic

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    Mine came with groove tubes. I thought those were JJs, no?

    I've been meaning to jumper that bass pot resistor. Just keep putting it aside. Is it different from simply turning down the bass? I leave it on 2 and eq out the rest.
     
  14. Jimclarke100

    Jimclarke100 Tele-Afflicted

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    Like I said I love reading those views and opinions.
    Maybe valve/tube amps won’t go obsolete, but I certainly think we’ll see them going the way of valve amps in HiFi where most will use some form of solid state or modelling, but a number of purists will continue to hold out for real valves. Nothing wrong with that of course it’s a free(ish) world and different views are part of the fun.
    I’m not so much of a purist personally - were someone to come and steal my tube amps (i have three, all of which are home built so not likely to happen!) I almost certainly would replace them with modellers of some sort. If nothing else, I’m fast getting to the point that weight becomes a serious consideration - nice as they are are real Twin or Marshall stack just ain’t viable.
     
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  15. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Afflicted

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    I couldn't get the bass low enough without the jumper. Off is like setting the pot it say, "4". I run it at 2 1/2 with the jumper. I love the little amp though and the mods were worth the effort.
    It takes longer to get the chassis out than it does to do the bypass mod.

    Mine came with Groove Tubes that rattled like crazy. Those came out immediately as they were unusuable.
     
  16. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I didn't vote. This is why:
    I think that it comes down to need and preference.
    If you need all the bells and whistles; if you prefer a lighter weight solution; do you like the sound? The Tone Master series might be a godsend. I have a Super Champ XD that I still love in the right place. Yes, the signal goes through tubes, but most of what you get is the digital voicing. In fact, less coloring by the tubes is better. Bassists have been embracing solid state for a long time because of more power with less heat and weight.
    As to the Princeton, I had an actual early '70s; good amp, to be sure, but it didn't really work for a gigging amp unless I ran it through the two twelves of my Twin.
    So, back to opinion as pertains to your question: apples vs oranges.
    My 2¢.
     
  17. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    After 24hrs. of deliberation, I have concluded that when the Tone Master series proves itself to be dependable, I might have to get one. The potential for application is too great to ignore. This from one who has never owned a solid state amp.
     
  18. duoman

    duoman TDPRI Member

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    I like these Tonemaster amps for all of the "hyped" reasons. But most of all, because I can get a great sound without lugging a heavy amp around. At 69 years old and having played for 55 years, this means a lot and I've ordered a Tonemaster Twin.
     
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  19. tah1962

    tah1962 Friend of Leo's

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    68 CPR for me.
     
  20. jageya

    jageya Tele-Holic

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    They are made for guys like you for sure.
     
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