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I finally figure out the '65/'68/Tonemaster Fender amp differences...

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by GearGeek01, Oct 23, 2020.

  1. GearGeek01

    GearGeek01 Tele-Meister

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    I've heard all three of these Fender amp types mentioned in the threads and before tonight I didn't really know which was what and why and what the prices were, country of origin or some such easy to understand differences. I thought maybe this might help someone else so I'm posting it here. This may have been discussed ad nauseam previously, but I've compacted it to a concise and quick to review form here.

    It took a little bit of surfing on this web page:
    https://shop.fender.com/en-US/guitar-amplifiers/

    Then clicking on the radio button for these three styles of amps...
    - American Vintage
    - Tone Master
    - Vintage Modified

    These are the three I am often reading about in the forums.

    Now that I've read it on the Fender page, I got it... pretty simple actually... previous I thought the only difference between "65-somethings" and the "68-somethings" were basically the same PCB (printed circuit board) amps and the country of origin and the black or silver face plate, one made in the USA (the 65s) and one made in Mexico (the 68s)... that is correct about the country of origin but there is more to the differences. The Tone Masters I found out are made in China.

    Here's an easy breakdown of each... (I'm using the Deluxe Reverb for the comparisons)

    Screenshot_1b.jpg

    (Edit/note: as far as I could understand the reverb and tremolo in the Tone Master models are digital reverb and digital tremolo... if someone can substantiate this or disprove it somehow please advise... I'm going off a Premier Guitar review I read on this amp)
    https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/30001-Fender-Tone-Master-Deluxe-Reverb-Review


    What I discovered is that they are doing with their amp line what they do with their guitar line, and they are pricing the items low-to-high accordingly. And, just like with their guitar lines prices, the Mexican items are catching the American items. What I mean is, there is less and less difference between the price of a Mexican Fender and an American Fender.

    Screenshot_2.jpg

    I can understand the Fender amp lines (these three anyways) a bit better after surfing and reading a bit tonight. Probably if you spent enough time reading different threads this information is already known by many. I did not know what the differences were and I'm assuming maybe some other folks didn't know or realize what was what before this.

    I hope this helps others to have an understanding of the differences.


    GearGeek01
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
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  2. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    It's not just price and country of origin, though.

    The '65 Reissue amps are reissues of the AB763 with some mild tweaks to meet modern electrical standards... and PCB construction.

    The '68 series, the Vintage Modified, are tweaked a little bit further away from the vintage circuits. mostly having to do with slightly different eq and negative feedback values.

    The Tonemasters are solid state (or is it modelers? I've not spent any time really researching them).


    They probably all sound kinda sorta similar... But, they will definitely all sound different.
     
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  3. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    As I understand it, Solid state is anything that is not tube technology. Digital is solid state. Therefore, digital modeling amps are solid state.
     
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  4. BelairPlayer

    BelairPlayer Tele-Afflicted

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    You’re not wrong, but when I hear solid state, I think Roland JC-120. When I hear digital I think Line 6. Another way I would distinguish the two terms is that solid state strictly has tone shaping and amplification of the input signal. Digital has signal processing.
     
  5. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I do not subscribe to personal modifications of definitions of reality....whether analog or digital, solid state is solid state.


    https://www.phononic.com/resources/reference-guide/solid-state

    and even more to the point, perhaps, for guitarists....

    https://www.seymourduncan.com/blog/latest-updates/cage-match-tubes-vs-solid-state-modeling


    And...personal, subjective observation, when I hear a JC-120, I hear a bad solid state amp. Ommv....but the Lab Series L5/7/9/11 solid state amps designed by Moog Industries is the only solid state amp...modeler or not...that I care to hear processing a guitar signal. Again...ommv.
     
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  6. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Really? Thanks...
     
  7. BelairPlayer

    BelairPlayer Tele-Afflicted

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    It’s not a personal modification. It’s an acknowledgement of a colloquialism. “Solid state circuit” just means solid state. It may either be analog or digital. “Solid state, digital” may only be digital.
    Colloquially saying, to choose your preference, a Lab is solid state, shouldn’t lead anyone to ask about the sample rate of its d/a converter.
     
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  8. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    IF...You've weaned yourself from the Dirt Box & The Pick - IT DOES NOT MATTER.
    ...and if You have not...
    You're fine Dirt Box pickers.
    So congratulations either way...
     
  9. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I agree a Lab Series is an analog solid state amp. Modeling amps have digital solid state circuits shaping the signal.
     
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  10. BelairPlayer

    BelairPlayer Tele-Afflicted

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    We agree far more than we disagree.
     
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  11. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    Technically yes. But it's not that simple. Today's modelers are a different breed of solid state. The preamp is a digital computer with many transistors switching on/off at very high frequencies, not configured as voltage and current gain devices. With enough transistors configured as switches, a given depth of logic complexity can be provided, such as for representing x/y points of a complex audio signal, where the very rapid on/off switching is filtered to smooth the response. In a different way (pulse width modulation encoding), the class-D power amp in a modeler is also using transistors configured for rapid on/off switching to amplify audio signals, not in a linear sort of way, but in an encoded and filtered way. What it all amounts to is using very high frequency square wave switching that is smoothed by low pass filters to represent and amplify complex audio signals, which is very different technology than traditional audio amplifiers where transistors are used as much simpler voltage and current gain devices. So then a modern modeler has has pros and cons of traditional solid state amplfiers plus the pros and cons of digital solid state, class-D solid state switching amplifiers, and solid state switching power supplies.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
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  12. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Trxx, regardless of what functions these components perform, they are solid state. I am not saying that analog and digital solid state are synonymous but that they are both function in the the solid state domain.
    There is one definite and basic delineation among the three amps mentioned in the first post. Two are tube amps, and one is solid state. The digital modeling functions in the Tonemaster are solid state.

    Fwiw, the first computers were built with tubes. Yes, digital tube technology. So, digital functions are a subset of whatever electronic technology is used...tube or solid state. Solid state has totally supplanted tubes in the digital world due to the size aspect.

    https://www.ece.iastate.edu/the-department/history/history-of-computing/
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  13. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    That is a good distinction actually. No way would a modeler that uses tubes for all it's switching (if that were even possible to run that many tubes!) be considered anything like a traditional tube amp. Technically, it would be a tube computer, which is very different than tube amps as we know them. It's the same situation for older solid state amp tech vs. a computer + class-D + switching power supply.

    It seems to me that we're at a crossroad with amp tech right now with a hard push from big industry toward digital/class-D/switching supply amps. In one hand, these newer tech amps are far more efficient, use far less materials, are much lighter weight, and provide acceptable sound for some people. In the other, it might be a wash in terms of materials use and efficiency, being that these newer amps are essentially disposable in the long term, where traditionally built tube amps will likely be around for a very long tiime due to simplicity and serviceability. And lots of people still prefer the sonics and tactile response of tube amps, as well as the serviceability and potential for modification.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  14. ce24

    ce24 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Only $3 bills difference from the computer Chinese amp to the USA full on tube amp!
    I'll spend the extra 300.
     
  15. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    LOL.
     
  16. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    And I’ll save the $3 bills :). I a/b’d the ToneMaster Deluxe and the 65 Deluxe RI in store and they both sounded amazing. As different as any two of the same model of any tube amp, but both fantastic. Once home or gigging with the ToneMaster, I would quickly forget it is not a tube amp - just becomes a tool to get the job done.

    OR, maybe I’d get the ‘68 Custom PR for roughly the same price of a ToneMaster Deluxe! I like that amp a lot too!
     
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  17. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Holic

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    All that tech talk up there. Two of ‘em is tube. One of ‘em ain’t.
     
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  18. dickey

    dickey Friend of Leo's

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    "The Tone Masters I found out are made in China."
    Well, that just Ky-boshed my GAS for a TM.
     
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