How many of you have had issues with your Tone Masters?

RCinMempho

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jul 8, 2003
Posts
2,488
Location
Maryville, TN
I wonder how consistent they are from amp to amp. That has never been the case with tube amps. If they are indeed consistent, then the Deluxe and Twin sounds may become even more defined as the sound of the ToneMasters rather than the tube models.
 

Wrighty

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 17, 2013
Posts
6,243
Age
68
Location
Essex UK
I think the two weak spots are the tubes themselves and the heat the tubes generate baking the rest of the amp.
Yep, all down to the tubes then! Mind you, if something in a solid state amp gets hot enough to bake everything you’ve really got problems!
 

klasher

Tele-Holic
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Posts
686
Location
Harrisburg, PA
I don’t know what tube amps you use that notoriously crap out, but in 50+ years of playing I’ve ONE amp failure on stage and have seen two more from people I was playing with.

Have owned lots of tube amps. 3 mesas, one mid 60s blackface bandmaster, one silver face Champ (I believe a late 70s?), a hand built amp from Winnie Thomas, plus three modern production era Fenders (HR deluxe, DRRI and a Bassman LTD). All three modern produced Fenders had tube rattle (and yes, even after changing tubes) and the HR deluxe would literally change channels by itself while I was playing. Again, by itself, when I was several feet from the footswitch. None of the other amps I mentioned ever had tube rattle problems at any volume or especially any kind of demon possessed channel switching problems. The silver face champ intermittently gets the sound where it sounds like you're frying an egg (maybe a cap problem?). Had it fixed once and it came back a few years later. It hasn't made that sound recently so I haven't worried about it.
Point is, at least for me, modern day Fender amps suck in terms of build quality. Period. I've heard it said it's due to poor solder connections and the poor way the tubes are attached to whatever it is tubes are attached to. I don't know. I'm not a tech. All I know is I don't want to pay literally a THOUSAND freaking dollars for an amp and have it sound like a tamborine is playing because of tube rattle or have the channels switch and projectile vomit due to demon possession.
So have I seen tube amps fail? Modern day Fenders, yes. Repeatedly. I will never recommend any modern day Fender TUBE amp to anyone. EVER.
However, the TMs are not tube.
And the internal components are completely different.
So it'll be interesting, at least to me, to see how they hold up.
Or I could just go back to Mesas and learn to live with them.
 

teletail

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Posts
4,267
Age
73
Location
West By God Virginia
Have owned lots of tube amps. 3 mesas, one mid 60s blackface bandmaster, one silver face Champ (I believe a late 70s?), a hand built amp from Winnie Thomas, plus three modern production era Fenders (HR deluxe, DRRI and a Bassman LTD). All three modern produced Fenders had tube rattle (and yes, even after changing tubes) and the HR deluxe would literally change channels by itself while I was playing. Again, by itself, when I was several feet from the footswitch. None of the other amps I mentioned ever had tube rattle problems at any volume or especially any kind of demon possessed channel switching problems. The silver face champ intermittently gets the sound where it sounds like you're frying an egg (maybe a cap problem?). Had it fixed once and it came back a few years later. It hasn't made that sound recently so I haven't worried about it.
Point is, at least for me, modern day Fender amps suck in terms of build quality. Period. I've heard it said it's due to poor solder connections and the poor way the tubes are attached to whatever it is tubes are attached to. I don't know. I'm not a tech. All I know is I don't want to pay literally a THOUSAND freaking dollars for an amp and have it sound like a tamborine is playing because of tube rattle or have the channels switch and projectile vomit due to demon possession.
So have I seen tube amps fail? Modern day Fenders, yes. Repeatedly. I will never recommend any modern day Fender TUBE amp to anyone. EVER.
However, the TMs are not tube.
And the internal components are completely different.
So it'll be interesting, at least to me, to see how they hold up.
Or I could just go back to Mesas and learn to live with them.
Doesn’t sound like tube amps are your thing. I’ve never heard of any one having so many issues. It’s really unbelievable.
 

bobio

Friend of Leo's
Gold Supporter
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Posts
2,777
Age
59
Location
Here
I am actually in the process of selling most all of my pedals and my Tone Master Deluxe Reverb.
I have spent the past year comparing the TMDR with pedals to my BOSS Katana and Nextone.
I have just come to a point where I prefer multi-effects amps/modelers to an amp with physical pedals.
Once I sell enough of the pedals and trade in the TMDR, I am going to pick up a BOSS GT-1000.
I plan to incorporate the GT-1000 into my recording rig.

20220721_004831048_iOS.jpg
gt-1000_main.jpg


The TMDR has been a great amp, I have had absolutely no issues with it whatsoever.
My priorities changed and I just don't want to deal with all the moving parts of a pedal board such as the pedals, patch cables, power supplies, switching, etc.

I have only sold 4 pedals so far and I am already more than halfway to funding the GT-1000. Woop Woop 🥳🎉
 
Last edited:

Alathea

TDPRI Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Posts
20
Age
46
Location
Nebraska
L
Always afraid Fender with pull the plug on these, and then parts will be hard to come by. I'm fine with my regular tube amps.
there isn't much for them to pull the plug on, though, unlike the Superchamps or Cyber twins. That said, there is a used Cybertwin in town that still kicks along perfectly, all knobs motors move, etc. TMs make one sound they isn't much to change on them with firmware.
 

TwangerWannabe

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Posts
1,094
Location
West Coast
Not that its the same thing, but I've had a Yamaha THR10 since it was released in 2011 and it's still flawless. Only thing I had to do was replace the power cable because my dog chewed through the wires. Aside from that it still works and sounds as good as it did when I bought it.
 

TwangerWannabe

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Posts
1,094
Location
West Coast
Damn. After years of debating between the TMDR and TMTR I ended up pulling the trigger on a TMDR. Got it new with 15% off, and its at the store waiting to be picked up...

...Then I find out that they will be releasing a TMPR! Now the dilemma is should I wait for the TMPR or just pick up the TMDR? I've owned a few silverface Princetons from the 70's and played in bands with them and they are fabulous sounding amps. Even had one modded by MUCHXS. Wish I hadn't found out about the TMPR.
 

Dismalhead

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Feb 16, 2014
Posts
10,028
Age
59
Location
Antelope, California
OK, so out of three pages of positive posts, there's been one dud with issues. Not too bad. With all the negative things I've heard I'm pretty surprised.

I've been thinking my next amp was going to be a DRRI, but maybe I should get a Tonemaster instead. The one thing that has always bothered me about the series though is that the prices are pretty high for SS. It's kinda like "why get a SS when I could spend a hundred and fifty more and get a reissue?"
 

TwangerWannabe

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Posts
1,094
Location
West Coast
OK, so out of three pages of positive posts, there's been one dud with issues. Not too bad. With all the negative things I've heard I'm pretty surprised.

I've been thinking my next amp was going to be a DRRI, but maybe I should get a Tonemaster instead. The one thing that has always bothered me about the series though is that the prices are pretty high for SS. It's kinda like "why get a SS when I could spend a hundred and fifty more and get a reissue?"
Power scaling, lighter weight, direct out for recording or going to FOH, consistency from one to another, possibly easier to maintain (but only time will tell about that one), and the ability to very easily flash a firmware update for things like installing or removing the "bright cap mod".

I'd say all those are fairly valid reasons to justify the price, but for others those reasons may not be worth it.
 

goonie

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Dec 20, 2011
Posts
2,789
Location
Australia
I'll never have an issue with one. The whole 'build an SS amp that looks exactly like a tube amp so old guys with bad backs who are a little freaked out by true modelers can pretend they're playing the real thing' marketing strategy seems incredibly cynical to me. But hey it worked and people are buying multiple TMs when Fender could easily put them all in the one box!
 

39martind18

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Posts
4,147
Age
72
Location
Spring TX
It's really odd- when I turn my TMDR on, it's dead quiet, but when I plug my guitar in, it starts making the most awful skreeks, squawks and blatts... it's funny that it only happens when I'm playing... Oh, wait...

Seriously, I've been gigging it for nearly two years with absolutely no hiccups. I alternate between the TMDR and my 79 Vibrolux Reverb, and really love 'em both.
 

Milspec

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Posts
8,319
Location
Nebraska
I'll never have an issue with one. The whole 'build an SS amp that looks exactly like a tube amp so old guys with bad backs who are a little freaked out by true modelers can pretend they're playing the real thing' marketing strategy seems incredibly cynical to me. But hey it worked and people are buying multiple TMs when Fender could easily put them all in the one box!
I think that might be a bit harsh.

The biggest problem with modelers has always been that they don't look like an amp....at least not what most would call an amp. By putting it into a well constructed dead on copy of their emulated amp, they solved the biggest problem. The lightweight aspect is great, the power scaling is very useful, and let's face it, they do sound like the "real" thing so the ears don't give a rip.

Sure, it is a marketing move, but a good one. I own the TM Deluxe and although I am in the process of selling it, I still found it to be a good sounding amp and well crafted design. I just don't need another amp that does what I already have.
 

Milspec

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Posts
8,319
Location
Nebraska
Many love them, many hate on them. But I'm wondering (and of course it's purely anecdotal), but how many of you have had major issues with your Fender Tone Masters? How many have bought one and it's crapped out/died on you during a gig, at home just jamming a way, at rehearsal, etc.?

I ask beaus so many here seem to trash these amps nay saying they aren't reliable, will breakdown, haven't been proven yet, etc.? Yes, a traditional tube amp is MUCH more serviceable and easy to fix (if you actually have a reputable and reliable amp tech in your area, which is a dying ar in itself), but we all know that tube amps are notorious for crapping out at the the most importune time, and we can argue that we put up with these somewhat fickle amps because of how good they can sound.

I'm not trashing on the Tone Master, and in fact considering buying one. I'm not a tube amp snob, and don't thing that a modeling amp is beneath me. I've owned a few amps worked on and modded by MUCHXS (not sure if he's even around here anymore) and love my tube amps, but don't won them anymore and jsut looking for something to fill a void. No longer own an actual amp. Been working and in grad school the last 2 years and getting back into playing electric regularly (been playing acoustic almost exclusively for the last couple years) and just want something to mess around with at home, record with and take to the rare jam with some friends.
You pretty much described the ideal situation for the TM amps.
 




Top