I Played The Fender Tone Master Amps Today

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

  1. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    For those that want more versatility but want convincing tones, I think the Blackstar Silverline series might be worth a look.
    Blackstar definitely knows how to make good sounding amps and they have some serious digital engineers that have worked
    hard to build an amp that sounds right but uses excellent digital models of traditional components rather than traditional components.

    One of these days I might have to get myself into a shop where I can try the Blackstars Silverlines and Fender Tonemasters side by side.
     
  2. Twang Deluxe

    Twang Deluxe Tele-Meister

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    Yesterday I read that a guy wants to sell his new TMDR because he says that he is not able to get overdriven sounds without pedals at reasonable volumes. Even with the attenuator at 0,5 watts it's too loud for him. What do you think?
     
  3. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The first thing I think is - why didn't he think of that during the return period?

    The second thing I think is - you have to crank a DR to 7+ to get overdriven sounds with vintage single coils. The TMDR speaker is intended for live performance in bands. I dont' know the sensitivity of the neo speaker in it, but it supposed to mimic a Jensen which is 99.4db sensitivity. Loud. I can get nice overdriven tones out of mine on .2w at very loud TV volumes.

    I can rehearse with mine on 5w and not run out of headroom or volume in a loud punk band. I played a loudish show with mine set to 9 on the volume on the 12w setting and was fine - and had to roll my guitar volume back to avoid dominating the mix.

    So if he bought it to get amp overdrive at say quiet conversational levels. And that was the primary usage? Totally the wrong tool. Shoulda got a Yamaha THR10. And even that is hard to keep to quiet conversation levels and sound it's best.
     
  4. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Boogies were created by adding gain stages to Fender amps so they could produce pleasing, creamy distortion. An amp faithfully modeling a DR will suffer the exact same shortcomings. That’s why dirt boxes were invented.
     
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  5. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Duh! You can't get that type of tone from a 12'' speaker at .5 watts. The speaker isn't working hard enough.
     
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  6. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    if I can't play a Sex Pistols gig at cocktail hour volume, it's the amp maker's goddam fault
     
  7. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity

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    That switch will add another 5 grams to the already hefty weight of 29 kg.
    that's exactly the butterfly that breaks someone's back!:twisted:

    lets get digital:lol:
     
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  8. Durtdog

    Durtdog Poster Extraordinaire

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    People who need overdrive at that low volume should play through computers with headphones.
    Amps are not for them.
     
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  9. pondcaster

    pondcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Fwiw, was down at my closest & favorite GC last week returning a bass (since I'd found, of course, a slightly nicer, slightly more $$ one...) and was hoping to try one or both of the tonemasters while I was there waiting. I walked around but didn't see any?

    Ended up asking Marc (manager extraordinaire) if they had seen them or had he played them yet. He said they had not received any yet but he had gone to a show & tell before they were released and was impressed. Said he'd call me when they came in so I could check them out. Own and love a '68 CVR so not interested in buying in the least. In keeping up with this thread (and tech) I thought it would at least give me a reference point. Course it's not at home, in my music room with my gear but better than just guessing from listening to online clips.

    Tl;dr
    Apparently the Tonemasters have not made their way to our little neck of the woods yet. Or so it seems.

    Am heading back down to sparkleburg GC today to return yet another bass (since I'd found, of course, a slightly nicer, slightly more $$ one...) so gonna see if there's any new Used stuff, more specifically any tonemaster amps to check out.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
  10. Otis Fine

    Otis Fine Tele-Holic

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    I dropped into the local GC yesterday for an hour to play a couple used guitars (an HH player telecaster I liked a lot and a G&L fallout tribute I did not). I played them both through a tweed Princeton and a burgundy Princeton that were side by side. Nice amps. Sounded almost identical to me.

    Then I plugged the tele into a tonemaster Deluxe Reverb and a regular Deluxe Reverb that were also side by side. They sounded EXACTLY the same EXCEPT that the tremolo on the tube amp didn't work at all.

    Funny enough, the Tonemaster Twin had no power cord on the back. I wonder if people had been playing it at high volumes.
     
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  11. Kontaktmoi

    Kontaktmoi Tele-Meister

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    Let's make it a little more fun.

    Which is the original 1967 Deluxe Reverb? Is it Amp A or amp B ??

    I think it is clear ( as many of you have been saying already) that Fender amp sounds are ALL OVER THE PLACE. So these amps will sound different. But... you can pick them out if you are familiar with the tone and how they respond to a player's touch, guitar and a myriad of other things. Personally, it's the compression that gives it away for me. Frankly I also feel that the reverb of the new Amp is a little TOO perfect!! Nothing wrong with that .. just different..

     
  12. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I wish the Tonemaster amps were introduced 5-7 years ago. Because I’d be playing through the Tonemaster Deluxe reverb I bought for $350 on CL right now.
     
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  13. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I was practicing a little while ago with my TM twin and my Marshal both running, kicking between 95 and 100dB; enough to sound good with out breaking anything or bringing the gendarmerie.

    After about a half hour, I noticed a rattling buzz that I couldn't initially locate. By switching the amps on and off individually and just hitting an open E I was able to determine it was coming from the Twin. Not what I wanted, by any means. I started hitting open strings and working around the cabinet front to back trying to locate the buzz and trying to deaden it with my hand. No luck.

    Going around the cab for the second time, on the left side of the cabinet, I accidently bumped the kickback stand. The buzzing stopped. After verifying it was the source of the problem I took a Philips screw driver and gave the mounting/pivot screw a quarter turn. Problem solved, panic alleviated.

    I just wanted to give the haters some temporary good feelings.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
  14. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    This is an important point. They were all over the place because manufacturing back in the bad old good old days, to put it mildly, sucked eggs. The components didn't come out of the factory with anything close to the kind of consistency we get today; they had tolerances that were often fairly large. If one part with an impact on how the amp sounds can be in any of, say, ten actual values, that's ten variations in the finished product at random as they roll off the assembly line. Two parts make a hundred and three make a thousand. Some of those combinations probably sound better than others. Those will be the ones that will end up preserved as digital models for future generations.
     
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  15. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    I finally found a Deluxe Reverb Tone Master locally. I played it for a bit on the lowest wattage setting. I could turn that up to 10 for some breakup, and wow - nice tones, reasonable volume.

    If I were in the market for an amp, I think that would be it; get me an overdrive like a Wampler Clarksdale, and I could live with those tones no problem.

    It was sooo light the bloody thing felt like the handle disconnected when I picked it up. That would be really easy to carry around.
     
  16. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I keep mine at our rehearsal space along with my JC40. I picked up the TMDR because my slide fell behind it. I almost fell over because I had unconsciously shifted my weight to account for the normal weight of that size amp. It really is crazy. My gigbab is a big backpack with a small amp stand, small guitar stand, Ibanez PUE5 (my "pedalboard") and cables. I'm quite sure that backpack weighs more than the amp. Crazy.
     
  17. Voodoo Drivein

    Voodoo Drivein TDPRI Member

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    I tried a Fender twin tone master at the local GC the other day. I didn’t try to compare to another twin I was more interested in seeing if it had a satisfying tube tone to possibly replace my current 66 Vibrolux and Vibrolux custom. I must admit I was sort of underwhelmed. The first thing I noticed was there wasn’t much high-end. I had to turn on the bright switch (which I never do on a Fender amp) and still with the treble almost cranked it just sounded sort of sterile and harsh. The sparkle and beautiful Fender high-end just wasn’t there.

    To me a really good tube amp has a certain harmonic richness which is some combination of warmth, depth, heft, complexity and presence not found in solid-state amps. You can hear the difference, but you can also feel the difference even more. I’ve heard a number of people mention the tone master does not sound as loud (it doesn’t to me) despite db levels being similar but this may have more to do with its lack of harmonic richness. Strangely enough I thought the Fender Champion 50/100 XL sounded warmer and had a more satisfying high end on the Twin setting for a solid state. Of course that was a different speaker but at only $200 might be worth checking out for those wanting a solid state.

    I remember reading an article in the 1970s saying that although solid-state amps do not sound as good as tube amps the technology is getting better and better and soon you won’t be able to tell the difference. Almost 50 years later and they are still saying that. I think if Fender had spent a fraction of the amount that they have on digital development and instead directed towards the design and in-house manufacture of better tubes and speakers (like they have with their custom pickups) they would be way ahead of where they are now. It seems to me the promise of a digital amp is very seductive, like a mirage but unfortunately like a mirage you never seem to get there.
     
  18. Bruce Kiely

    Bruce Kiely Tele-Meister

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    I haven’t played or heard the TMs, but I hesitate to condemn them to the dumpster just because they’re not tube amps. Non-tube amps have produced some pretty memorable live tones over the years ...
    - BB King, Gibson Lab Series
    - John Fogerty, Kustom
    - Albert King, Acoustic
    - Mike Stern, Yamaha

    And yes, I do know the difference between solid state circuitry and digital modelling. Just wanted to make a point ...
     
  19. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I went to motor city guitar a couple weeks ago to play either/both TM amps and they had been sold out for weeks .

    I asked Marty the owner if it was one of the most popular amp launches ever and he said pretty much - “just like the Katana” ! :lol:
     
  20. anthrotony

    anthrotony Tele-Meister

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    Ok, so finally I made it through 25 pages to see what's it all about (last time I did that was on a Katana mega-thread), so I am not opposed to digital even though I am after 40+ years of playing, still a tube snob. Admitted.

    I play through a '98 HotRod Deville and a BassBreaker 15, but both are incredibly loud given that I'm not gigging right now (yeah 45 watts equates to just a few db and loud is loud). So I build a superb attenuator which can lop off 31db with no audible tone or dynamic drop off -- if I still play loud enough, which I do, to push the speakers a lot. I try to stay in the 85-90db range. Tone is tone, however it's produced, and if it's good, that's all I'm looking for.

    So, I realise that most opinions are still not based on real-life, but apart from the weight difference is there any good reason to buy a TM rather than look for a used PR, DR, or Twin with old-fashioned tubes in it?
     
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