I Played The Fender Tone Master Amps Today

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Otis Fine, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. InkStained

    InkStained Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    159
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2013
    Location:
    Ohio
    I absolutely have no doubt these amps sound wonderful. I have six amps, and five of them are Fender. I trust these guys when it comes to tone. They get it right.

    But at $899, $999, I am mentally in tube amp territory. I am looking at the silverface 68 Princetons Fender has, when we're talking that price, or one of the Deluxe Reverb reissues. When you want me to unlimber my wallet for close to $1K, I am thinking tubes.

    That's my problem, but it is a problem.
     
    stevemc and Bones like this.
  2. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,307
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Fullerton CA
    Just FYI, the '68 Custom Princeton is NOT a "silverface reissue". It's closer to a tweed amp. Fender says "Bassman", but it's a tweed Bassman with 6V6 tubes, reverb, vibrato, and one 10" speaker.
     
  3. reckless toboggan

    reckless toboggan Tele-Meister

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    249
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2019
    Location:
    Canada
     
  4. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    659
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Location:
    Hobart, IN
    All this talk of power scaling leaves me somewhat baffled. I have been playing for over 60 years and have never owned, played through or seen an amp without at least a volume (or gain) pot, and most often also a master volume pot. Seems easy enough to just turn them down to play with less volume.

    I play normally at home and never need the amp volume louder than normal TV volume. In fact I often play while listening to the TV. Always sounds just fine to me.
     
    Bill likes this.
  5. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,307
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Fullerton CA
    At one point, master volume controls were the way to go, until interweb taste-makers decided that ONLY power tube distortion was acceptable.
    Folks are now obsessed with getting the exact tone of a cranked tube amp power section (not the pre-amp) at whisper volumes. Hence power-scaling, attenuators, and other attempts. Unfortunately, human ears refuse to cooperate, and hear things at low volumes differently. Which is not say that nothing works, but that tech solutions are a compromise. Whatever works for one individual is just fine, and we are extremely lucky to live in a time where there is more than one solution to any particular problem. Heck, most of the things you can cure with a pill used to be fatal.
     
    Alter likes this.
  6. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    659
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Location:
    Hobart, IN
    Guess part of it is that I never use, or even listen to, OD or distortion. Ever!
     
  7. suthol

    suthol Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,282
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney - Australia
    I've still got my HH IC-100S that I purchased back in 1975 and am still amazed by the clarity and power of it.

    It also features a 100W/50W switch labeled Stage/Studio which for some weird reason mine is the reverse of the label

    After owning half a dozen very decent tube amps it was my first SS amp and I've not desired a tube amp since
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
  8. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,482
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    That's the comparison I want to hear.
     
    Bill likes this.
  9. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,482
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    The Mustang GT100 falls in between, priced at $399.
    If these Tonemasters sell well I think Fender will drop something more in the $599-$699 range.
     
  10. InkStained

    InkStained Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    159
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2013
    Location:
    Ohio
    I knew that, which is why I didn't refer to the 68 as a "reissue."
     
  11. tonezone6

    tonezone6 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    37
    Posts:
    26
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2017
    Location:
    Romania
    I was looking to a Tone King Gremlin because i thought it sounds good in a low volume/apartment context. Then the TMDR was announced and now i cannot decide...
     
  12. DavesPlanet

    DavesPlanet TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    36
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    Location:
    Bangkok
    I don't have a problem with Fender making solid state amps. But I'm disappointed they chose to make them look exactly like (besides the small badge lower right) their cherished tube amps.
     
    Shango66 likes this.
  13. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    50,716
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    I hear the small badge is easily removable, too. ;)
     
  14. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,330
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    Why?
     
    Ironwolf likes this.
  15. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    8,445
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    The only reason to care what they look like is fear you might be fooled by what it sounds like. Don't want to mess with those preconceptions.
     
  16. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,060
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Location:
    Berlin
    Lol
    If it had the look of a kitchen appliance you could hear the digital emulation better. :lol:
     
    unixfish likes this.
  17. Vespa_One

    Vespa_One Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    648
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2017
    Location:
    US
    I measured the Db of the TMTR using. Ironwolf’s method and I had similar results. I also tested the TMTR against 2 Twins at the studio and the TMTR volume was consistent with these amps all the way up the dial. Deafening.

    I used the TMTR on the 12 and 22 watt settings at rehearsal with great results.
    The features of this amp for gigging, recording and home use far outweigh any tone differences if there are any.

    As far as reliability, I’d bet my left nut this amp still works in 20 years.
    Does one really need two nuts anyways?
     
    suthol, VWAmTele, stilwel and 2 others like this.
  18. pugnax

    pugnax TDPRI Member

    Age:
    38
    Posts:
    46
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2019
    Location:
    Chicago
    Not many, true, but it's fun that a lot of Nirvana's tone was an old Twin. Russian Circles is also a very heavy band that plays through a Twin. Agreed that it's not the norm but still fun to listen to some seriously dirty metal-ish tones and think that they came from such an iconic clean amp.

    Less for me. This is the first digital/modeled amp that I've been at all interested in, and it's precisely because it just does one thing very well (presumably, I'll get to play one next week). If I want to fiddle endlessly with models I can do that in the box, but I've always wanted a Twin for a primary amp. I've got a Supro Neptune, which is essentially a single-channel Twin, and I love it. But it's 70 pounds and there's no way I'm going to lug it around, even moving it around the house sucks. I play a lot at night after the kids are asleep using a attenuator/loadbox and an analog cab sim, and it's fine, but the idea of having everything in one, portable amp is super appealing to me. Very seriously thinking about trading the Neptune for a TMTR.

    This seems to be a pretty common gripe, but the Fender crunch is all power amp driven, so an effects loop won't do what you want it to do. Just make use of the headroom, and keep dirt pedals upstream from the temporal effects.

    It's a bit of a nitpick but this isn't a solid state amp. It's not using transistors for signal amplification it's not solid state. These amps are digital signal from the input jack to the DAC right before the speaker. This is very different from an analog (solid state or tube) amp, and (in theory) should result in very little noise and no top tone loss when attenuating power.

    I'm gonna go try one out next week and see how it handles some hot pedals (big clean boost, harmonic percolator, **** overdrive), as well as how it sounds with an A/B/Y into both channels. Very curious and excited about it.
     
    RetroTeleRod and Mexitele Blues like this.
  19. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,330
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    near Arnold's
    Welcome @pugnax and strong first post. Good points throughout. The bold one is intriguing. Are effects loops typically inserted after preamp and before power amp and is that why you raise the point? My amp tech once made the same Fender amps being basically all power amp distortion. Thanks.
     
  20. pugnax

    pugnax TDPRI Member

    Age:
    38
    Posts:
    46
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2019
    Location:
    Chicago
    That's always been my understanding. I've also got an Orange OR15 (which is a special little amp, btw) and having the effects loop on that is invaluable. Basically the signal flow is guitar > preamp > loop > power amp, which means I can get that thicc sludge and then pristine reverb wrapping it. If I dime the master volume though in addition to or instead of the preamp gain, the EL84s start to get all crispy and the reverb tails crunch out as well.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.