How about the new Tonemaster amps in BLONDE!!

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by rjtwangs, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. pugnax

    pugnax Tele-Meister

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    In my limited experience, the tonemasters are on the same level (if not a touch ahead?) sonically. But the Kemper/Fractal stuff is infinitely more flexible as far sound palette goes, although the trade off is that the tonemaster looks, feels, and behaves like a Fender blackface amp, and the Kemper/Fractal looks and feels like piece of overly sophisticated HVAC equipment crossed with a high end rice cooker. A time traveler from the 60s could easily operate a tonemaster.


    I actually just picked up a Strymon Iridium that I’m considering replacing my TMTR with. Obviously I’m not playing out with people and probably won’t be for a long time, and 97% of my music time is using the DI out of the TMTR (which rules already, and I’m very curious about the new firmware!) so I’m gonna give the little guy a shot.
     
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  2. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Tele-Holic

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  3. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    You can still download and use Fuse. It's just not supported.

    Yeah, it was a bonehead move by Fender to discontinue support and enhancement. It was a bigger bonehead move by Fender to base Fuse on the proprietary graphics toolbox Microsoft Silverlight. Silverlight development and support stopped, so Fuse development and support stopped, too.

    I've enjoyed a Fender SCX2 for years until its USB interface died, preventing the use of Fuse. Going forward, I'm concentrating on hand-wired amps that can be readily repaired and modified.
     
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  4. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    Cool. Your entire experience is up to you and that's a good thing.
     
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  5. pugnax

    pugnax Tele-Meister

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    I've said this in several threads, but it's worth repeating. Short of total destruction, there is no reason for the bulk of the physical form of the tonemaster amps to ever hit a landfill. Say something happens and you totally brick it somehow, it's garbage, it just won't turn on and Fender refuses to help. Cool, so remove the chassis, order a mojotone kit, build, install, and enjoy your new hardwired tube amp. The cabinet is fantastic quality, and if you wanted you could probably even reuse the chassis, just punch some new holes in there.
     
  6. drumtime

    drumtime Tele-Holic

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    Don't know about them, but Knopfler definitely does - ampless stage on a major tour. All Kemper all the time.
     
  7. ataylor

    ataylor Tele-Meister

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    If positioning the Tone Master amps as a threat to the environment (as opposed to vacuum tubes no less) isn’t jumping the shark in these threads, we’ve got to be pretty close.
     
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  8. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I think so. But people will insist they’re not. After all, we have pages upon pages of posts on this forum full of people saying they can’t tell the difference between a custom shop Tele and a classic vibe. Why should this be any different?
     
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  9. TheOtherNeill

    TheOtherNeill TDPRI Member

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    I think they serve different purposes. Those amps are intended to provide flexibility and replace entire rigs, both existing and future, by providing a sonic one-stop shop. Amps like the TMs are intended to do two, maybe three things well; (1) provide a clean "Fender vintage" tone, (2) provide Fender-like breakup, and (3) provide pedal vehicles with reactions similar to their respective sonic forebears, and to do all of these things in portable, all-in-one packages that also play well with recording gear.

    I don't think I have an issue with the statements that Kemper and Fractal harness significantly more raw computing power, or that they provide greater (perceived) fidelity to a number of amps and effects. But they need to, where the TMs are dedicated to a specific sound.

    On the sound quality of TMs vs their targets: I'm relatively new to playing guitars, but I've been listening to tube amps my whole life, and I get to hear a vintage blackface DR and/or tweed Harvard every week at my guitar lesson. My sense is that my TMDR is about 85% of what the vintage DR is, and upwards of 90% of what the DRRI is. I think the new firmware mods will close those gaps.

    ETA: I agree with Pugnax, above.
     
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  10. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Afflicted

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    Just for the record I fully intended to get a Tonemaster Twin Reverb to replace my 80's Twin Reverb II which seems to be getting heavier all the time for some reason, but the store salesman, who is a friend, and a store customer, a former bandmate, both told me that they were close, but no cigar, so I've waited...
     
  11. TheOtherNeill

    TheOtherNeill TDPRI Member

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    I can hear a difference, but I'm not by any stretch a gig-worthy musician and likely never will be, so it was close enough for me. Also, the upcoming update removing the brightness cap from the reverb/trem channel will make it a better amp, as that channel was noticeably darker.

    It's definitely worth trying one to see what you think--and the newer models with the updated firmware might be a better place to start. I think they are better than simply "close, but no cigar," but I recognize that we're discussing this on a forum dedicated to parsing and debating razor-thin technical and aesthetic distinctions until friends', significant others', and innocent bystanders' eyes roll like slot machine reels and then bleed. It's your music: if you feel about your amp's tone the same way Neil Young feels about his, the amp you have might truly be the only one for you. And although this is the internet, and I should be offended and my masculinity threatened by a random guy's/gal's contrary preference, I can (probably) let this one slide...
     
  12. BWoods

    BWoods TDPRI Member

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    Hello all - I have been reading the tdpri forums for years and have got a lot of great info. I have finally decided to create an account to chime in with my experience with the TMDR.

    Just a little background - I love tube amps and have owned many and still own several.

    So I have owned a TMDR shortly after they were available and honestly haven't been that impressed. It sounded stiff and unpleasantly mid range heavy anytime I really wanted to dig in to get some growl. It sounded good when playing clean but just didn't sound good when driving the amp into breakup. I was always suspect of the speaker and hoped it just needed to be broke in. It got a little better over time but was about ready to kick it to the curb before trying a speaker swap just to see if it was the speaker.

    I swapped the speaker out about two months ago and I love it more every day I play it. I put in an Eminence Alessandro GA-SC64 and the amp instantly came to life with extra pleasing breakup.

    I really doubt that the Jensen Neo speaker that came with my amp was typical. I think it had to be an outlier or defect. Anyways I am really glad I put in the GA-SC64 and am not really concerned with it being rated at only 40 watts. I never play the TMDR past the 5 watt setting on the control labeled attenuator and usually play on the two lower wattage settings for home use.

    It would be interesting to know how hard I could push the GA-SC64 at the 22 watt setting on the attenuator before damaging the GA-SC64. If anyone has any input I would be really interested to hear what you have to say.

    As for the changes to the Blond, I think I would like the mod to the Reverb control. The slope of taper is pretty steep and really could use some additional range in the controls at the lower levels. Not so sure if I would want the bright cap mod or not.

    It would be great as modifications are introduced if there was a Tone Master editor where you could select which mods you wanted to make. I think having the ability to select mods would put the Tone Master into a completely new class. I hope Fender hears this.
     
  13. ronzhd

    ronzhd Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Show me tweed or ...yawn
     
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  14. TheOtherNeill

    TheOtherNeill TDPRI Member

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    Hey, welcome! I'm glad your mod/swap made it a better amp for you. As to this last point, I understand Fender will make the proposed firmware mods available separately or together, and also will provide the original firmware if you want a "reset."
     
  15. pugnax

    pugnax Tele-Meister

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    IIRC, it took about 2-3 hours of sending a loop of chunky chord progressions and some perpetual motion excercises at the full 85w through the TMTR in the closet with a mattress on the door for the speakers to really loosen up. After that, they’ve sounded quite nice at low volume.
     
  16. Guitarpope

    Guitarpope TDPRI Member

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    Another ho hum computer throw away amp that's second rate. Played a Tonemaster Deluxe right next to a DRRI. Not even close


    You all are easy to please. I guess the price is right.:confused::rolleyes:
     
  17. ataylor

    ataylor Tele-Meister

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    In my very limited experience and based on reviews, there's no low-level hum or hiss from these amps. I think that would be useful for recording.
     
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  18. drail

    drail Tele-Meister

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    I see the new firmware is out for the tonemaster amps, what type of usb cable do you need for this update?
     
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  19. stilwel

    stilwel TDPRI Member

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    USB Micro on the amp end and most likely USB-A on the other, unless you have a newer Mac which is USB-C.

    Get at 'em!
     
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  20. drail

    drail Tele-Meister

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    Thank's for the info, will do the update soon.
     
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