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Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by AlbertoMilanese, May 27, 2020.
This local millennial tried to sell me a modeler, preferring his old 80's Peavey solid state amp to it. I told him to kick those things and get a tube amp. He was something of a punk rocker, but ended with with an AC15. I didn't say it to him, but I was like, What the hell is this kid doing? That's not a punk rocker's amp. That amp was way too small and clean for what he was trying to do. Millennials!
I think the issue is and will remain - you're still playing a modelled recording of an analogue device that goes DSP just inboard of the input jack. Then it's DSP all the way through the amp to the power chips railturning on and off at the speaker terminals. Yes you have eq, and modelled reverb and simulated 12AX7/6L6 or. 6V6 breakup. But it's simulation in the preamp.
You can't clip the output section - at all. That's instant death to chips in a phased array. So all the 'breakup' is occurring in the preamp
The 'fizz' I think is like when your jack isn't quite pushed home in the input and you strum your guitar, you then click it home while the strings are ringing, and there's a brief sharp transient from off to on that's not like a natural guitar pluck or pick, and quite grating.
A tube amplifier is a mechanical-thermo-chemical-electrical device. It's always got a 'head of steam' up, the tubes are at 60+% power at idle with no signal, and the signal is analogue all the way from the input jack to the speaker coil. So the moment the signal appears at the grids - the power output goes up exactly like the sine curve of the incoming signal. You hear the whole sound from the instant the pick or fingertip contacts the strings.
The voltage swing at the preamp tubes impacts the power tubes, which interact with the windings of the output transformer which interact with the impedance and spring of the voicecoil and resistance and spring of the spider and cone of the speaker.
It's these couplings that make a tube amp what it is. It is an archaic piece of equipment, like a steam train or piston engined fighter. If you want the Flying Scotsman or a P51 they're a bit inconvenient. However, you can still own a 60-70 year old tube amp for less than a kidney donation. Or modern equivalent.
I have a bandmate with a Katana 50. He likes it because he's a fixed income retiree, it weighs nothing and he's got a bad back. He can walk in with guitar and amp and cables/footswitch in a shoulder bag. He's strictly rhythym, doesn't want to do anything tricky.
It weighs about half my Superchamp and cost 1/4 as much. I reckon it's got a consistent nasal 'nnngggg' sound which is the transient 'chip-on' tone of the platform.
That's what I hear in Tonemaster clips. I think the lack of mass of these amps also impacts them, possibly reducing presence
The problem is in trying to do non-linear processing (compression and clipping, i.e, distortion) using dsp, which produces aliasing. Aliasing screws up the works. Developers say that their modeling is oversampled by this much and that much, but it's still aliasing like mad and people are still hearing it and don't know what it is. It's the nature of trying to model analog with digital. The converters are capable of reproducing what goes in and out, but they only give back what the dsp processing presents to them. How long has this been going on now? 30 years? 40? 50? Dsp programmers are either in denial of the sound characteristics of analog or they are bs'ing everyone. Either way doesn't matter. The sound that comes out tells the truth.
I have a Tonemaster Twin. I think it’s the bees knees.
Sorry to hear most of you hate them.
My lead player has a SFTR that we installed a pair of JBL K120s in. He's in his mid 70s, and while the JBLs sounded glorious, it got to the point he couldn't get it out of the truck without help. We installed Jensen Tornado neos, and he's able to handle it by himself. The sound of our Twins with the Jensen neos is great. The K120s were wonderful, but they're not really missed sonically- the Jensens really kick tookie, soundwise, and we can move 'em by ourselves at our advanced maturity. The Jensen neos are the speakers used in the Tone Master Twin.
I don't hate them at all. I don't think they sound bad either. But I hear a difference.
That doesn't mean it's not a valid or workable or practical choice If you like it that's all that matters.
Aliasing is a solved problem and has been for decades.
I see it just the opposite. These have the ease of use of a tube amp with attenuation and XLR outputs.
Hypothetical, if I was in a touring band, I would probably opt for a TM Twin with a Quilter as a backup just precisely because of weight, maintenance, and ability to DI.
However, even just screwing around the house, I use a Blues Cube Hot because I don’t want to burn through the tubes on my vintage SR and Dr. Z Jetta and because that half watt setting is useful at 4:00 a.m.
A lot of players hate scrolling through menus and aren’t looking for versatility, per se. I remember burning through a lot of creative energy trying to get the right sound on my old Ibanez multi-FX pedalboard back in the 4-track tape days.
If I can turn a few knobs and get the sound I want, then I’m not wasting time and energy.
You dial in a sound you like in your software amp, save it as a track template, and never have to touch it again. Easier than getting the amp out and setting it up into your daw.
This exactly! And also the same Youtubers/influencers who said the modeler was better than everything never use it when playing on stage/studio...
I understand that, but that’s not something for everyone.
I’d much rather plug my MicroCube directly into the interface and use knobs to dial in exactly what I want.
I have both a 68 Custom Deluxe Reverb Reissue and a Tone Master Deluxe Reverb.
The tube version is the best amp I’ve had for a long time, but I found a TM at a discount and jumped on it.
The tubes sound better of course, but the TM sounds pretty awesome in it’s own right.
I hope to keep them both!
and I don’t even have Spotify!
I have 6 tube amps, 2 solid state amps and a THR-10 as my only modeler. Why so many? Because each one offers something unique. I think many here feel the same way about their amps.
The Tone Masters also do their own thing. No, they do not sound the exact same as their tube counterparts. Most would agree that the tubed originals sound better, but a few actually like the sound of the TMs better (mostly for their consistency).
Some amps are best for recording, some are best for one-person performances and others sit best in a band mix.
I hope people here aren’t dismissing TMs for every possible purpose. I think they have their place and some people are willing to pay the asking price for them.
Re: navigating menus... I’ve worked in the tech field for over 30 years. When I want to make music, I want to escape the minutiae of technology, plug-in and go. I don’t pretend this feeling is the majority — but there are some like me.
People are going to feel the way they do. If people don’t find the TMs worth it, Fender will stop selling them. They are in business to make money, not create mind-share at a loss.
True, that's what i said in one thread when it was first released, many thought that the price was ok just because it weight less than the original, to me it was and is still too expensive and i use only solid state amps, i'm not a tube snob...
I'm getting older, now, but I seem how to know how to shape my sound'( very simple/basic) with just about anything that has a decent clean tone ( albeit in a 'clean Fender' direction) I'll figure out how to dirty it up.
And between the gigs and types of music I play, tube vs. SS just does not matter ( it used to, but things change- I think it was more the ' blues band culture' I used to be in). I just want good sound, cheap, lightweight- on everything, not just amps, Ha!
As for these Tonemaster discussion, threads, I guess maybe it depends on the participants?
This thread skews more towards 'too expensive and 'one-trick pony modeler' and 'SS fizzy'
But a few months ago it was ' great Twin Reverb at less than half the weight' and ' these aren't too expensive, Fender got it right' or ' like the focus on modeling one specific amp, rather than compromised models of 10.'
All paraphrasing here, I like the conversation, what folks expect or don't...
Just saying the TM's are too expensive f for me, but I'd probably love the TM DR!
While I’m here I should say the Yammie THR kit I have (both small and large) is superb.
I’ve still got my vintage and vintage style tube amps and I love em...some I’ve had since I was a teenager.
But I realise it’s mostly an emotional level attachment and maybe that’s enough to keep them and yes they do get used a bit
But I ain’t gigging these days unfortunately and the Yammie THR stuff is what I’m using day to say and for recording. Even when I was gigging over recent years everything has got so ridiculously quiet on stage what’s the actual point of a vintage Vox ac30 there?
It’s Like having a great modern car for practical purposes and still having lovely vintage Cars in the garage that only come out when conditions are right. You want them still there but it’s all about The emotions. Emotions matter in music but I totally forget I’m playing through a modeller these days.
...unless you're just an old dog opposed to learning new tricks.
I do find it amusing when people assume that any amount of DSP control automatically turns an amp's control panel into the flight deck of the Space Shuttle. As I said when these came out, a simple switch on the back for "TWEED/BLACKFACE" sounds would have gone a long way to justify the $1K cost without confusing the oldsters. But, then Fender wouldn't be able to sell us the 5e3 version in another year.
The twin reverb version $500 cheaper than the one trick pony tube amp it replicates. If you include the attenuator its about $700-$800 cheaper.
I have one so I'm probably a little biased, but I really like my Twin Reverb Tone Master. I've mostly played Twin Reverbs in rehearsal rooms and really like the clean sound but they were absurdly loud, heavy, or had issues (like the reverb not working). The Tonemaster does a good job at eliminating those issues.
...unless you're just an old dog opposed to learning new tricks.
I do find it amusing when people assume that any amount of DSP control automatically turns an amp's control panel into the flight deck of the Space Shuttle. As I said when these came out, a simple switch on the back for "TWEED/BLACKFACE" sounds would have gone a long way to justify the $1K cost without confusing the oldsters. But, then Fender wouldn't be able to sell use the 5e3 version in another year.