NAD: Fender Tonemaster Deluxe Reverb

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by NateD81, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

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    I'm still waiting for an opportunity to try one of these.
    I'm not amp shopping, and in that price range I'd be replacing my AB165 bassman and building a cab. BUT.
    I'm a tube snob.
    I concede several SS amps, and begrudgingly some hybrids, are absolutely worth owning.

    I have a mental desire to try one of these. Not to get an "Aha!" Moment when I deride them because tube>SS. But because they're in a price range where you can scoop a Bandit, Katana, and a Blues Cube for that amount of $$.
    I need to know if its really worth it. I'm not buying one. Might in a few decades if I have a reason and $$, but only if it sounds right.

    I dont use a pick.
    Dynamics are really important to me. In the same way someone who can only use a pick may falter trying to use 4 fingers to arpeggiate something while using the side of thier thumb for an up-stroke, I physically cant play like I want in some sterile and trashy (looking at you, Crate) sounding SS amps. It's like the dreams where you cant control your body. Ive gotten migraines before trying to jam with ppl and using SS that sucked.
    Very frustrating to me as a player. Not all SS is like that, to that degree.

    But I'm not and never will be in a position where I can buy every $1000 amp that pops up just for kicks. Price is huge.
    Reliability is also huge. Literally just like my newest amp, Supro blues king 12, these TMs are brand new.
    Fender is my all time favorite for guitars and amps, but I've never owned a PCB fender; my dads main amp for ages is a HRdlx. He had to fix a few PCB pieces the width of a pen head because his amp died. Killed by either an A/B box or an arcade kill button my friend had on his PRS. I'm not able to confidently say modern fender competes with old fender. Nobody in thier right mind is going to play a SS fender from the 80s over a Peavey or Roland from the same time, so from what I can see in reviews this is new territory for potential great sounds coming from SS fender, albeit with decades of DSP research propping it up.

    I'll play before making a verdict, because these might be the same used price as a HRdlx in 10 years, and would be more appealing and accessible then, assuming reliability holds.

    But yea, pricing on fenders are always high new, time will tell on these.
     
  2. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

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    Me like!
     
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  3. dalezjc

    dalezjc TDPRI Member

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    So what's a non-dad amp? Enlighten us.
     
  4. dellerton

    dellerton TDPRI Member

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    I've been gigging with my TMDR now (coming from both a DRRi and a PRRI) since they came out. I play in a small bar cover band that also plays: bigger stages, weddings, "silent" stages, "festivals" and other assorted outdoors gigs. This thing has been amazing. To me, it sounds and reacts like the tube versions of the DR ... BUT... the power scaling and the direct out have been a game changer for me as venues keep asking bands to turn down stage volume. I tried a Helix to consolidate, but (and this is my preference), I prefer to use my normal pedals, to look down and see "analog" stuff with knobs, etc. Also, because the TMDR looks and feels just like my old Fender amps, I can quickly adjust it (including clicking the attenuator up or down a notch) very quickly on the fly. "Silent" stages/practices (no amp volume, just out to PA) have been a breeze for me compared to my own struggles with the Helix. Because I am an old analog guy, this is much more intuitive for me. I think, for my needs, Fender hit a homerun on this one. I love it. And the weight difference doesn't hurt (literally) either.
     
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  5. pugnax

    pugnax TDPRI Member

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    Well, it was a witticism, but in my world I'd say that a normal Twin is a pretty good example. Any amp that wants to be loud as hell to sound perfect, and thus is not compatible with sleeping babies in the room next to your amplifier. Or anything that lends itself to too much fiddling or setup complexity, so that music time can mostly be about music and not logistics.
     
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  6. bo

    bo Poster Extraordinaire

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    My only concern on these amps is that eventually amps break and need servicing. Do I take it to an amp tech or computer guy? At what point does Fender issue the "do not repair" order to their repair people? An amp tech can still fix my '73 DR. What about when your Tonemaster turns 47?
     
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  7. Askwhy

    Askwhy TDPRI Member

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    Yes! I think this is what guys are missing in the comparisons and price whining. The increased utility due to the fantastic direct out/silent option and power scaling (or whatever you want to call it if you are being pedantic) is the real game changer, along with the reduced weight. All in a package that functions the same as the amp it is based on, which is brilliant for those of us who despise menus.
    Disclaimer: I am not blessed/cursed with golden ears and can usually get a sound i like out of most anything i plug into with a minute of fiddling. I have plugged these in next to the "real" ones and both sound fantastic and no way i could pick reliably in a blind test. I have a TK Imperial II that i adore and use a Palmer to run a DI out that works great with only one quick extra step (no silent option though), but if i were starting over, i would likely grab one of the TMs for a home and gig solution that covers everything from unmiced cranking to stage monitoring to home practice and silent recording with great sound for all of them. Glad the guys are liking theirs!
     
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  8. Askwhy

    Askwhy TDPRI Member

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    Yes your awesome 73 is repairable, but at what cost vs buying a new tonemaster every 12 years (if needed, plenty of SS amps out there still cranking along after many more years than that) I think if you really crunch the numbers, your fears are unwarranted, although you may still have a preference for an old reliable. Nothin wrong with that!
     
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  9. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree that a vintage tube amp has the advantage of being easy to repair....but only if you yourself know how to do so or have access to a good amp tech. I think good amp techs are a dying breed. I happen to have a good one
    in my town-- not just a good one, but a great one. But the day he hangs it up and retires will likely be the day that I sell my tube amps and get something like a TMDR. The two other guys I know of in my area are over an hour's
    drive away from me, and both aren't all that good, frankly. A good amp tech is hard to find!!

    I suppose cars are a bit of an analogy. It's pretty hard to find someone who knows how to rebuild carburetors these days...I don't think the time is too far off where it will be very difficult to find a good mechanic who knows how to rebuild a carburetor or service a manual transmission. We all lament how you can't fix cars yourself anymore, yet on the other hand modern cars (the good ones, anyway) don't need much repair at all.
     
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  10. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, that’s correct - you take it to a "computer guy". :rolleyes:

    Technology evolves. most people can’t fix their cars anymore either, but the advances in features and technology don’t keep people from buying new ones. (I didn’t notice until after I posted this that the previous responder used the car analogy also. Great minds... :D)
     
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  11. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    Not to mention that they don't require the kind of maintenance that they did 50 years ago and, more often than not, will tell you what's wrong just by plugging in.

    We had this go-'round with the motorcycle people. "But I can rebuild a carburetor at the side of the road if I have to!" "Great, but fuel injection has a tiny fraction of the failure rate."
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
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  12. Southpaw Tele

    Southpaw Tele Friend of Leo's

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    I need a Tonemaster Princeton Reverb to be introduced.


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  13. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just my humble opinion, but I don't think a Tonemaster Princeton Reverb makes much sense. Buy the TMDR and use the power scaling when you want it to be softer. That way you can
    get the full volume if needed at a bigger venue. It's like having your cake and eating it, too. Unless your motivation is that you feel that the PR has a significantly
    different voice than a DR does. IMO while a Twin sounds different from a DR sounds different from a PR, they all have a LOT of overlap in their fundamental,
    Fender amp tone goodness, so I feel the TMDR and TM Twin pretty cover the niche pretty darn well.
     
  14. Southpaw Tele

    Southpaw Tele Friend of Leo's

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    I really love the Princeton tone and trem but I get what you’re saying. If they would drop the prices down by about $100-200, I’d buy the Deluxe Reverb TM right now, which is a different issue, of course.


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  15. dellerton

    dellerton TDPRI Member

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    You'll love it. Well worth the money.
     
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  16. DimEyeGuitarGuy

    DimEyeGuitarGuy Tele-Meister

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    I've had my TMTR for a couple months now. I really wish I'd bought the Deluxe instead. Anyone wanna trade?

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
     
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  17. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Can I ask why you wish you had the TMDR over the TMTR?
     
  18. DimEyeGuitarGuy

    DimEyeGuitarGuy Tele-Meister

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    Sure.. I simply desire the little smaller footprint with the lower attenuation. (I live in a townhouse so neighbors)

    Other than that, the Twin is absolutely amazing.

    Tom

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