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Need Some Amp Feedback

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by EllenGtrGrl, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. EllenGtrGrl

    EllenGtrGrl Tele-Holic

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    I'm in a bit of a quandry. I said bye-bye to my Blackstar Silverline 50 last week, due to deciding I didn't want to do the Swiss Army Knife/Jack of All Trades modeling route. I'm gun shy about ordering an amp online (without trying it out first) after getting a Friedman from Sweetwater a couple of years ago, and having it be a dud for me soundwise. So, that left me my local favorite guitar shop for an amp source.

    I paid a visit last Friday with my trusty Britt Daniel Thinline, and tried out a couple of Tonemaster Deluxe Reverbs, and a Bassbreaker 15. I've been reading good things about the Tonemasters. I like their light weight, and while they are modeling amps, they only model ONE specific amp (not umpteen other ones like your typical modeling amp). The Bassbreaker was OK, but I especially liked the sound of the Tonemasters - with the proviso that they don't do dirt without dirt pedals. I was surprised by this, since IMO, while a Deluxe Reverb at full throttle isn't exactly a metal amp (and yes, while I am 57 years old, I still like my metallic guitar sounds, though I have become more eclectic musically as I've gotten older), it can still raunch out pretty well. I figured the light weight of the Tonemaster, and its reliability (no tubes mounted directly to a circuit board [to sale on cost], to cook out the traces over time), were definite pluses in its favor. So, I put a Blonde Tonemaster Reverb on layaway. Besides, I figured, I'd use dirt boxes to get my distorted tones with the amp. Oh yeah, and I liked the power scaling feature, that makes the amp apartment friendly.

    I planned in paying off, and picking up the Tonemaster today after work, but I'm having second thoughts. Normally I like amp that get a bit overdriven, when you crank it up. The Tonemaster only got kind of gritty sounding, and a clean boost pedal used to try and push it into overdrive did nothing. This means, that my dirty sound would basically be the pedal, and that's it - the amp would just basically be acting like a mutant power/PA amp. I'm wondering if I shouldn't just switch over to a Marshall Origin, or a DSL? What are your thoughts on the issue? The Tonemaster is nice and light, has power scaling, but is clean, clean, clean. Higher gain amps do the dirt, but are probably not as reliable.
     
  2. jmp81sc

    jmp81sc Tele-Meister

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    Maybe look at the new Quilter Aviater Cub. Analog SS with three Fendery models- Tweed, Brownface and Blackface. Quilter quality at only $500. Light smaller package.

    I have not played it but the domos look great. I do have the 101 Mini, and it is a great little piece of gear.
     
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  3. King Fan

    King Fan Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Interesting question. Does it matter if your crunch is synthesized inside a pedal or the amp?
     
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  4. BuddyDog

    BuddyDog TDPRI Member

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    I went from a silverface Deluxe Reverb to the blonde Tone master DR and I have no regrets. I do use pedals for overdrive.
     
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  5. CCK1

    CCK1 Tele-Meister

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    Check out the Fender Super-Sonic 22. Clean sounds a LOT like a Deluxe Reverb, and the gain channel has two, cascading gain controls. It is a tube amp, and has way more gain than any Fender amp ever made. Spring reverb, switchable channels, and an effects loop. New, they list for about $1000, but can be found used for way less. Just make sure it includes the footswitch and cable, they aren't real easy to find, or real cheap.
     
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  6. OlRedNeckHippy

    OlRedNeckHippy Friend of Leo's

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    High quality OD pedals might be your answer to get the Tone Master to give you what you're looking for, like Origin Effects or Wampler.
    I recently saved enough bucks to get a Wampler Paisley Drive (OD) and Wampler Ego (Comp). The difference from my old Blues Driver and my Keeley Comp+ is astounding. I'm thrilled. Really, I am. I got what I paid for.
     
  7. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    First off, I concur entirely with your opinion on modeling amps with Umpteen different voices. (with usually not doing ANY of them very well)
    But, to (not) answer your question, I kinda think you're just gonna have to try an amp in the real world to make a good decision. If you go along with this idea, it makes sense to buy "used", rather than "new", so you lose less money if you end up wanting to resell and move it on.
    I've heard nice things about the Tonemasters, but haven't played one myself.
    Good luck....and be sure to post a "NAD" (with pics) when all is said and done. ;)
     
  8. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's

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    I'd just managed to throw away my GAS list and now ^^this^^ is back.
     
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  9. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's

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    Oh...sorry. SS/lightweight with some grit? Try the Quilter. I have a Tone Block 201 that does what you describe (to my ears)...I suspect their combo would do the same.

    Edit: DV Mark also produce some great SS amps. I cannot comment on grittiness as mine (Micro Jazz 60) is specifically meant to be clean, but @Jakedog and @Bluego1 might way in. Do a search of the forums...there have been some discussion inputs about the DV Marks.
     
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  10. StevesBoogie

    StevesBoogie Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Can you head back and try the Tone Master with an overdrive pedal? And play with the attenuation at the same time?

    This is the first thing I'll be doing when appropriate at my local Guitar Center. Very interested in the Tone Master Deluxe. Interestingly, I will be trying a Bassbreaker 15 as well (I think the gain sound on those sound incredible) but they don't have built-in attenuation.

    If you have any dirt pedals definitely bring it to the store you are buying from and try it with your Tone Master.
     
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  11. _MementoMori_

    _MementoMori_ Tele-Holic

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    "Need Some Amp Feedback"

    Crank the guitar, crank the amp, and then just stand super close to it with your hands off the strings.

    You're welcome!
     
  12. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'm not sure I understand. The TMDR gets downright overdriven when you crank it to 8-9 with single coils.

    If it's too loud at that point, just drop the attenuator to 12w setting. You'll get the same dirt at lower volume.

    Still too loud? Drop to 5w setting.

    Maybe the TMDR isn't your thing? No problem.

    Light, loud, SS, versatile, great cleans and great dirt: Roland JC40. My desert island amp for my punk band AND my country band. And while it was still active, my 80s new wave/post-punk cover band.
     
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  13. Chikubi

    Chikubi Tele-Meister

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    It's not clean, clean, clean unless you want it to be. This guy is having no problem getting good dirt from a bone stock TMDR, so if you need more than this then another amp is likely better suited to your needs or you're going to have to rock some pedals.

    Skip to 21:30 to hear the dirt.

     
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  14. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have the Blond TM DR and it's capable of a bit of grunt at reasonable volume with the attenuator all the way down and the volume cranked up. I use an always on compressor with a Joyo Sweet Baby to smack it just a little more when needed. Sounds amazing.
     
  15. EllenGtrGrl

    EllenGtrGrl Tele-Holic

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    I did try dirt pedals - at both the .5 watt, and .2 watt power scaling level. It sounded pretty good - it's just that being a modeling amp, you can't get it clip by increasing the signal into the input via a clean boost/preamp, like you can with an analog amp. Since I've played in heavy rock bands (hard driving alternate rock, to metal [including old school thrash back in the day]), I'm used to having dirt pedals more for adding drive to an amp, and contributing to my distortion, instead of being my only source of distortion. I thought the Tonemaster Deluxe Reverb would snarl like a Deluxe Reverb does a full throttle - does not (I cranked it up to full volume, at the .5 and .2 watt power scaling levels). It gets gritty sounding like a Twin Reverb, or the old Blackface Showman head (which is electronically like a Twin Reverb) I had back in the early 90s.

    I have to think some more about this - I've read some very good points for the Tonemaster Deluxe Reverb, and for other alternatives. Another thought I've had, is possibly getting a Supersonic 22 - Fender's had about 10 years to work the bugs out with that amp.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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  16. EllenGtrGrl

    EllenGtrGrl Tele-Holic

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    Well, I stopped off at the guitar shop after work, and asked about the Fender Supersonic 22, The Marshall DSL 20, and the Marshall Origin 20. I was given good pricing for them, but courtesy of ye olde Covid, nobody knows when they'll be available (ugh!). There was a used Quilter Aviator 12 in the shop, and I asked to try it out. I didn't feel like running home to get my nickel free Britt Daniel Thinline (I have a severe nickel allergy, so all of my guitars get refretted with Jescar EVO Gold hypoallergenic fretwire, and I use Ernie Ball Cobalt strings on my Tele), so despite the risk of the nickel strings causing my dermatitis to flare up, I used a Custom Shop '51 Tele as my test mule (I did wash my hands when I was done, so hopefully the dermatitis will be kept at bay).

    I liked what I heard. The clean channel had nice, and warm cleans (I don't like glassy sounding cleans - it's closet jazz guitarist in me). The drive channel did nice, crunchy and dirty sounds. There is a lot of tone shaping on the amp, so its very easy to go from awful, to "oh yeah! now we're talking!" sounds. I liked what I heard, the Quliter didn't weigh a ton (though examination of the the cabinet when I got home showed that it was pretty substantial). I also got a great price on the. All in all, I'm a happy camper.
     
  17. bcorig

    bcorig Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I can’t stop laughing!! I thought I was the only clever one here!
     
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  18. hepular

    hepular Tele-Holic

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    take an es-150 for best uncontrollable results
     
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  19. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Afflicted

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    Just to be clear.

    The deluxe reverb reissue does not have pcb mounted tube sockets, the tube sockets are handwired with leads to a pcb board. Same goes for the 68' series and the other 65' reissues.

    I couldn't tell if you were referring to the bassbreaker or if you were listing a perceived advantage the tonemaster may have over a drri.
     
  20. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Footswitches are easy to find now, might have to build a cable, they appear to be in shorter supply. But, I've yet to see one for sale without the pedal and cable.

    I'm enjoying a recent acquired SS22. Weighs 40 lb. Speaker weighs about 8.5 lb, so there's room to drop that a few pounds. With the two gain stages, it does in fact approach genuine high gain territory - that's not my style though. I'm using the second channel as a plexi mode, and I use a pedal in front of both channels. Still working on tweaks, speaker swaps, etc.

    But back to the question, I thought the magic of a Tonemaster, was its breakup is supposed to be tube-like? Otherwise, its just another solid state amp, like all the other hundreds Fender has produced over the last 40 years? I have to believe, a pedal in front ought to function the same as with a tube amp - otherwise we've all been had?
     
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