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How long is a Tonemaster amp designed to last? FACTS ONLY.

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by guildguy516, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Just dialog here, but my main amp, biased hot, is running tubes from the 1950's. I just checked it against three other recently serviced, and retubed amps...and its the quietest. Its also the smoothest. I don't do tube superstition, but if they did in fact design them at that time to last 100,000 hrs, or even 10,000 hrs, well, that's over 3,000 gigs, hard gigs. I'm averaging around a couple dozen a year. Still got 134 years worth of life, or more.
     
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  2. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Fair enough. FWIW, I’ve thrown out four spent tubes over the last twenty years. I do favour NOS tubes, which are spec’ed to last substantially longer than current makes. I think that’s substantially less waste than tossing a TV or amp beyond repair.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
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  3. Alter

    Alter Tele-Meister

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    An important factor is not only the reliability, but also for how long will the company support the product. And Fender doesn't have a good record with its previous digital amps, where support and spare parts were not existent after only a handful of years..

    I trust both tube and analog solid state amps, time tested and reliable. Digital multi effects also. But amps have to put up with lots of heat, vibration and higher voltages, so it's harder on them..
     
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  4. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    They’ve only been available for a short time so who can give you “facts”?
    How long do digital pedals or digital rack effects last?
     
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  5. harpdog

    harpdog Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Here is the fact: Nobody knows.
     
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  6. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    I don't think it matters, really. It costs what it costs to use gear. If it plays out, or not, it costs something per month. You replace it, or repair it. If the TM magic is genuine and popular, they will keep it. Otherwise, it gets replaced with different technology. How many amps has Fender produced over time? Hundreds correct? And we value most of them regardless of age. I don't think the Deluxe buyer in 1971 was thinking "this is the last amp I'll need, and the pinnacle of amp technology". So why think any differently in 1981, 1991, etc.
     
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  7. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    I don't think the appeal of the TM is going to last. It seems designed to entice older combo users to enter the digital market. As units like the Helix improve and offer yet more to the user, at a lower price, these amps will become novelties.
     
  8. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    My Peavey Bandit is over 35 years old. Reverb tank went south a few years ago, but is still 100% repairable today for little cost - I just haven’t bothered to repair the reverb because I don’t use it.
     
  9. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    I bought mine in Jan 2017 when MF was deep discounting them , phasing them out in favor of the new GT series. Now 4 years old, the only problem is a minor scratchy MV control in the 1-2 rotation range that I've lived with for a year...no problem once the MV is set.
     
  10. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    Consider how many people have jumped on that SPARK amp, essentially funding it's start-up costs. But its 1/3 the price (or less) of the TM amps.
     
  11. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    My Bandit 65 is 34 years old although it quit working last year. The Headrush 108 FRFR I bought to replace it quit working after 6 months. I can get the Peavey fixed. The Headrush will probably end up in a landfill near Sweetwater when I send it back for warranty "repair".
     
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  12. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Ha! My reverb tank is pooched. I think an Accutronics replacement is around $50. Easy repair. However, I found that a decent reverb pedal in the loop is just as good, and depending on the pedal, even better.
     
  13. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    The thing is, the TM series were designed for people who don’t WANT all the features that are the strength of DSP amps- they want a simple, familiar interface that weighs less and they don’t have to change tubes. I don’t understand it, but that view has been expressed here many, many times. Fair enough, Fender knows their market.
     
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  14. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    Six months! Isn't that still covered by warranty? How disappointing. FWIW, I think the Bandit makes for a great monitor for a modelling amp, given the 'Power Amp In' jack. It just needs a more neutral sounding speaker. I replaced the blown Sheffield in mine for a Celestion Seventy 80. Even with a 'prehistoric' Line 6 POD XT Live, the difference was remarkable.
     
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  15. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Another thing to consider - It is nice to know you have a product that CAN be repaired, but there is no guarantee there will be someone capable of repairing it 20 years down the road. How many people can repair a clock? How many auto techs can set points or timing in an old car? The knowledge to repair certain items is dying daily. Don't be surprised if 20 years down the road if you will have to repair the amp yourself. And if it were me, I would start stocking up on tubes and filter caps - the affordable availability of which may be in question down the road.
     
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  16. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    I agree. The TM appeals to a dinosaur like me because it looks so familiar. But what of younger generations of players, raised on new tech, comfortable with cursor windows and wanting 100s of amps for the same price or less? I don't think the TM is made for them.
     
  17. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    With my current two amps, I have enough tubes for the player who inherits my amps after I kick...either playing or life.
     
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  18. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    I agree, but be aware that filter caps will dry out on your shelf whether they’re in an amp or not- you really can’t stockpile them.
     
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  19. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    That only works to profit them if you ‘upgrade’ to Tonemaster v2, v3 etc. Just like phones.
     
  20. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    "Unsupported by Fender,..." You get the basic 2-year limited warranty support, just like any other Fender electronic product. What more would one expect ? After, you are on your own. I suspect not many Fender repair shops will have much experience with repairing these amps at the component level. Most more than likely won't fail during the warranty period, and if so they will be repaired at the board level, or totally replaced, and be covered for the balance of the original warranty. The price of the Tonemaster amps is too much, for me, to pay for an item in the same serviceable category is a 55" LED TV that costs half as much (or less).
     
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