I Played The Fender Tone Master Amps Today

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

  1. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    I have the Katana and am so in love with it, I'm satisfied. Then along comes the Katana's younger sweet Mk2 sister. I'm fine with the Mk1, allegidly the best selling amp in its digital combo catagory.
     
  2. Dan Spiffy Neuman

    Dan Spiffy Neuman Tele-Holic

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    Weight and not having to maintain tubes.
     
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  3. pugnax

    pugnax TDPRI Member

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    I had a pretty decent attenuator and cab sim box set up, but I love the simplicity of the TM. The XLR out and the quality of the IRs is an absolute dream for someone like me who mostly gets composing time after the kids are asleep. I did it fine with the three box setup, but now there’s a lot less stuff on the desk and I can easily relocate the whole setup with a lot less fiddling.
     
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  4. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If your framework is "tubes or nothing" then there is no answer that will satisfy you.

    I don't know what you mean by "not based on real life". To me it makes no sense to take an amp intended for loud live work, and then try to throttle it for home use. What's the point? But you may have different priorities, which is perfectly valid.

    In real life, I would say that all of the following are real advantages:

    - great tone and feel
    - At scalable volumes. Very small coffee-house to medium clubs un-mic'd (TMDR) or large stages un-mic'd (TMTR)
    - very light weight (if you actually moving your amp for rehearsals and shows, this is important)
    - XLR out with two selectable (and defeatable) cab sims

    The only way to see these not as advantages is to ignore them. So I really don't understand the question.
     
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  5. anthrotony

    anthrotony Tele-Meister

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    Sorry, I was obviously not clear in what I was looking for.

    'real life' - was just a nod to the fact that out of 25 pages, there's a huge amount of information here, but only a very few posters have real-life experience with the TM amps.

    For me it's not a question of tubes or nothing. 40 yrs of using tube amps and in parallel a few years using a HH SS and a Crate SS amp have confirmed that so far, I have always preferred tubes, but I'm absolutely open to a non-tube amp if the tone and playability are there. When people rave suggesting that it looks, sounds, and feels like it's tube equivalent, it's going to raise expectations - a good thing, unless it's over hyped. I tried out the Katanas a few times and was always disappointed...

    The point of 'throttling' a stage amp for home use is only worthwhile if it sounds and feels the same as if it would at cranked volumes while actually putting out significantly less spl, otherwise I totally agree with you. My attenuator achieves this admirably. I've recorded the HotRod Deville cranked with various levels of attenuation and the recordings show so little difference that it's essentially negligible. More importantly at the volumes I play, pushing 85-90db, I get all the feel and experience I would if I could push the amp without attenuation. SO for me this is a perfect case of scalable volumes with tubes.

    Weight and XLR are serious advantages - I agree,

    So where I live there's very little price difference between the TM and the tube original new, and if they can be found used, they are significantly cheaper. This is why I was wondering if there's any real advantage to going the TM route. From all the audio samples I've heard (not the same as playing through one for sure), the TMs sound superb...

    I hear you. This can be a big plus :)
     
  6. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Running the TM Twin at 5 watts, the tone is indistinguishable to me from running it at the full 85 watts; just quieter. At this level, I have the volume set to 5 and get 95 to 100 dB at one meter. this is the level I like. Most people play twins (unless they are in a huge space) at 3 to 4 on the volume, so it would work well for your intent. You can reduce the sound level further by dropping to the 1 watt setting, but I don't get the sound I'm looking for at that level. I'm sure that is because the two speakers are simply not moving sufficient air. The sound improves somewhat if the volume is increased, but it starts pushing into the area of compression and breakup, not what I am looking for.
     
  7. pugnax

    pugnax TDPRI Member

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    One other potential advantage for this brave new physical-artifact-based-modeling world: noise. I haven’t scientifically tested this, but anecdotally it seems that there’s a lot less interference noise from weird lights/power/WiFi or any other black magic that used to drive me nuts with mysterious hum finding its way into a tube amp. That’s the sort of thing that is only annoying in a studio or quiet setup anyway - typically not a big deal on stage - but still. Thought I’d mention it.
     
  8. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    This is true. When I'm running the twin there is 0 interference noise from it. When I add my Origin 50 to the mix (it is set up to wet/dry with the Twin) or run it by itself, there is noise from the other electronic equipment in the area.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
  9. Owenmoney

    Owenmoney Tele-Afflicted

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    I just saw that Fender has a distortion pedal using a real tube. Isn’t it funny, they’re taking tubes out of the amps and now they’re putting them in their pedals. The MTG LA uses a real tube, so now you can buy the tone master and the MTG LA and put a real tube in your signal chain and still be AUTHENTIC Fender. I personally find this hilarious, dump the pedal in the back of the amp and it becomes a real tube amp at half the weight !


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  10. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    If the amp sounds as good as people say, Fender will not drop the price, and people will not be re-selling used ones any time soon. So my guess is it will be quite a while before you can get one for a steal. They seem to be sold out or back-ordered everywhere. My local GC has not had one at all yet, so far as I can tell.

    I am very curious. Theoretically, given its power scaling, light weight, and modern features, the TMDR could potentially replace three of my other amps. If so, then it's well-worth the money (provided it sounds good). Still have not been able to hear on in person yet...
     
  11. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Yes, my guess is that the used amp bulge will be with used amps sold off as TM amps are bought.
     
  12. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    Over several years I have owned, gigged extensively, and enjoyed four Dr Zs, two Morgans, two Fuchs, a DRRI (long time ago), and more recently a 68 Custom Vibrolux Reverb. A few others have come and gone that were less remarkable. I just bought a TMDR and I'm absolutely knocked out by it. I'm not here to try to convince anyone of anything, nor am I here to say that it is necessarily better than any amp I've owned. What I do know is that it sounds and feels GREAT to me, it's a blast to play, and not for a moment have I thought that it's lacking anything compared to a tube amp, especially the Fender examples I have owned and played. The attenuation feature and the XLR out are incredibly useful for my needs. It takes my pedals phenomenally well too.

    If you haven't checked one out, do so, and try to do it with an open mind. Count me as someone who never thought I'd be playing through an amp without tubes.

    As for it lacking "harmonic richness" as compared to a tube amp - maybe if I sat this next to a great tube specimen in a quiet studio, I might hear a difference right away. And I very well may not. I certainly can't make that claim objectively by playing only through my TMDR and arriving at that conclusion. In my experience there becomes a point where that last 5% of subtle difference (whether it be guitars, amps, what have you) disappears when used in real world applications. I want great tone as much as the next person, but I also see amps/guitars/etc as tools to get a job done. But that's just me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
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  13. jbford

    jbford TDPRI Member

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    A nice 1x12 cab with a nice, well made speaker would be 40 percent of the price new.... they would have to put in in a crap box with a crappier speaker to lower the price that much.. and that would probably kill the weight savings which are an important part of this amp concept.
     
  14. jbford

    jbford TDPRI Member

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    I'm one who likes the idea of modeling but HATE scrolling, deep editing and endless tweaking.. I've talked to some friends into Kemper and Fractal for the last few years about wanting a great modeling amp that looked just like an amp... and only used knobs to adjust the tone.... and Fender finally did it. After trying the DRTM I bought one. Great amp.. still love my tube amps and haven't sold them, but this amp is a great sounding amp.
     
  15. jbford

    jbford TDPRI Member

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    Repeating the same thing over and over is why no one takes you serious... really. You hated it from the start and cant' wait to rag on anyone that thinks differently.

    Defend that hill to death. You got this.
     
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  16. jbford

    jbford TDPRI Member

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    If it was done right.. and they all sounded as good as the DR modeling does I'd be all for it...... but I'd expect it to cost more of course because they'd be dumb not to price it at a higher point.. and it would have taken them longer to get everything ready and right..
     
  17. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    Errrrr... Roland Blues Cube? Five years ago?
     
  18. jbford

    jbford TDPRI Member

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    I didn't get that at all and was able to be in a room with a early 70s Twin also... all sounded really good and slightly different. Listening to them from around the corner and not seeing them I forgot which was which after listening for a bit. Out of the three people testing them everyone liked the RI the least. It wasn't bad, just not as good. At least that particular one wasn't.

    I did buy a TMDR after trying it along side a RI. It is a great amp and doesn't sound solid state at all. I'm not selling my tube amps because I love the ones I have. I'm not selling this either though.
     
  19. DimEyeGuitarGuy

    DimEyeGuitarGuy Tele-Meister

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    Not even in the same galaxy as the Tone Masters.
    Period.

    Tom
     
  20. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    I'd agree if the comparison was with the FET-based BC-30/60, but the current generation is well within the same solar system.
     
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