Tone Master amps. What's going on?

LOSTVENTURE

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I keep reading great reviews about these amps, but when I check out GC, EBay, and Craig's list sites, I see dozens of them already on the "used" list. It bothers me that so many of these recent models are already being let go of. And the bulk of those are the Twin model.
Since I'm in the market for one of these, should I be concerned about this rapid rotation.
I've been dealing with this stuff for over 60 years and I don't remember seeing anything like this before.
 

Fretting out

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Where’s @teletail when we need him

Do your magic :)

Although this thread is a little different


As far as the op

I’ve had my twin for two years now and have had no problems with almost daily use
 

Chicago Slim

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I blame forum talk, for a lot of this. Talk will say, "Why buy a Deluxe, when you can buy a Twin or Super Reverb?". I like all kinds of amp's. I own full Tube, Hybrid, Digital, and see a use for all of them. The shop that I go to, has them set up demo-ing guitars and pedals. If they didn't sound good, they wouldn't use them to sell merchandise. After a year of playing them in the shop, I went back and bought a Blackface, TMDR. It's not the model that get's all the hype. I used my ears, not forum consensus.

I'm still not crazy about either the Jensen or Celestion speakers. I swapped to the Eminence Lil' Texas speaker, that I've used in my main gigging tube amps. It was a game changer. I'm much happier, now.
 

schmee

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They are a popular buzz word right now. I expect that will be short lived. Then people who really like that type of thing will continue liking them. But people buy things based on "what's hot" a lot. Then they sell. I think the number of units of anything for sale does reflect some of reality. Hard to find one used? People probably continue to like them.
 

FenderLover

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They probably work well for many folks, but like your favorite flat screen that looks so good and works so well, it's all non-repairable consumer crap that will get thrown away eventually. It's the perfect era to sell electronics like this to the mp3 generation. The Tone Masters are cheaply made (look inside one) and therefore profitable. There is plenty of room for prices to continue to fall. I still have several tube amps that are from the 50's and 60's. They will be repairable long after I die.
 

saleake

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I have a black Deluxe and a black Twin. I play in a country band where everyone is mic’d through the PA. They are perfect for that. They sound good, they are reliable, and they are easy on my back. I highly recommend them.
 

LOSTVENTURE

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Where’s @teletail when we need him

Do your magic :)

Although this thread is a little different


As far as the op

I’ve had my twin for two years now and have had no problems with almost daily use
Thanks. One of my concerns was if these amps had some type of durability problem, being the first of the species. Most of those reviews are written by players who have barely unboxed the amp.
 

LOSTVENTURE

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They are a popular buzz word right now. I expect that will be short lived. Then people who really like that type of thing will continue liking them. But people buy things based on "what's hot" a lot. Then they sell. I think the number of units of anything for sale does reflect some of reality. Hard to find one used? People probably continue to like them.
That's my thinking also.
 

LOSTVENTURE

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I have a black Deluxe and a black Twin. I play in a country band where everyone is mic’d through the PA. They are perfect for that. They sound good, they are reliable, and they are easy on my back. I highly recommend them.
One reason that I'm looking at this line is because I need the DO capability. Do you find miking to be the better option?
 

jellodog

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If you want an anecdote concerning why some these go up for sale. I sold mine after a few weeks.

I bought a black panel TMDR. I even discussed it with my guitar-loving spouse before ordering one sight unseen. I said "hey, lets try it; we can always sell it if we don't like it - it has the Fender name on the front". This was at the height of the pandemic - so you couldn't just go into a music store and try one here in Canada. I'd always wanted a Deluxe Reverb and I've always love the BF tone, so I ordered the amp online. I was looking for a BF-sounding amp to play for the next few years.

I initially liked it. Apart from the one thing... the Jensen speaker was so bright and harsh that it hurt my ears and triggered a tinitus flare up within seconds. So I ordered a Neo Creamback and transformed it into a Blonde version. No more harshness or tinnitus and a much warmer tone. Great! I loved it for a couple of weeks. I even wrote nice things about it on the internet (TGP).

But then I bought a Quilter Superblock US on a whim the week they were released (hey, they were very affordable!). So I played the Superblock US through the TMDR cab. Wow. The Superblock US sounded crisper, more punchy, more immediate and somehow more focussed; less muddy. Sure the reverb effect wasn't as good, but the core amp tone was somehow better, and more full. There was also greater clarity and separation of notes in chords.

I then plugged an HX Stomp into the power amp of the Quilter (FX return) and played that Helix digital model through the TMDR cab. I played both the Deluxe Reverb HX model as well as the Princeton HX model. They both sounded amazingly good and I swear that I could hear a higher resolution in the modelled amp. I have a theory about that: I feel that Fender used so much proceessing power on the convolution reverb, that there was less CPU left for the core amp model. If that isn't the case, the HX / Helix model sounded clearer, more real and of a higher quality, regardless.

So essentially, the TMDR sounded great; It's a decent amp. They make great workhorses for the gigging musician. I even loved just looking at it and having it in the room. Yes, I enjoyed the TMDR just as long as I didn't play the Fender digital model alongside a much better digital model or a sweeter analog solid state device. And with that, the magic spell was broken.

I realised that I'd rather just keep the Creamback and play the Quilter (or Helix) through that, because they both sounded objectively better to me and had more variety. I put the hated Jensen back into the TMDR and sold immediately. And one of the reasons is that I thought I'd best shift it before Fender brought out their next iteration and / or the perceived value dropped off dramatically.
 
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MilwMark

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Here’s a thought - most people who buy gear are not in it to make music. They are in it to … buy gear.

You might as well ask the same question about tube DRs. Or Les Pauls. Or, gasp . . . Telecasters. There are dozens to hundreds on GC used at all times.
 

sudogeek

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@jellodog: I hear ya.

For the last month, I’ve been using a Tech21 blonde into the effects return of my Quilter 101 into a - believe this - Frontman 15 cab with a Warehouse G8C. Fantastic for practice!

Enough of that derail. We now return you to the Tonemaster discussion already in progress.
 

ReverendRevolver

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They're an overpriced one trick pony when new;
If you're after digital, Axefx, helix, and quilter already beat fender. But alas, they don't say "Fender" or look like a real combo amp that should make that sound.

That's comparing them to other digital amps.

Stacked against tube amps, they're lighter, sound almost as good, but don't handle the same.

No point comparing them to analog SS. Digital simply isn't as prone to a lifespan like that, and we wouldn't know for a decade or 3 if they did now.

So they're occupying a very specific niche riding the price point between better digital (with a steeper learning curve) and the real thing (that's heavier and ostensibly louder to use).
When the newness is exhausted, and different waves of people give them a shot for looks, weight, sound, or perceived superiority due to that logo, the used market grows. More people want one, and people who couldn't justify the cost can take a stab at the used price.

I would totally trade my Peavey Session or Renown for a TM twin in a heartbeat. I already have 2 SS Peaveys I like more than those, and I don't have a cool looking digital fender.
But I wouldn't buy one, as I'm not the target consumer. I like my tubes. I'm not blind to strides Toward copying tube sounds that digital has made, but it's still not the same. And like I said, other amps are better at it than Fender.

If you want one, buy it at a comfortable price knowing the asthetics are a big part of it. I haven't heard horror stories of it eating pets and causing plagues, it's just not as new anymore.
 

BryMelvin

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I haven't gigged with tube amps in over 15 years. I still use them have vintage 60s amps 70s and 80s , But I have Fender Roland and Peavey and Carvin SS amps I gig with when I do still gig. Not worth the headaches damaging tube amps travelling.

I have considered getting that SS super Reverb though,
 




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