Tonemaster/Katana Same tech? Experience with both?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by drumtime, May 14, 2020.

  1. GEECEE

    GEECEE TDPRI Member

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    Disclaimer - I'm not the experienced musician many here are. Just a newb/bedroom player. That said - I like a nice clean Fender sound and have been vacillating between amp choices. Very interested in the TM, DRRI, SS22 and others. There's a pretty popular music store nearby, geared toward gigging guitar players. The place has a very good guitar and amp selection, and the employees are all pretty knowledgeable musicians. I happened to stop in one Friday evening just as they were about to close. There were 5 employees and me. I was checking out the amps and they told me they were going to A/B a TM Twin and a TRRI as soon as they closed, and invited me to stay. One guy did all the playing, another switched between amps, settings stayed the same. The guy playing was good and put those amps through their paces with a variety of bluesy-rock stuff. Tell you what - I'd be guessing to try and tell one from the other. To me they sounded so much alike I couldn't really hear a difference. The employees were surprised and they all preferred the TM, especially the player. Anecdotal I know and YMMV. Just passing along FWIW.
     
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  2. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Holic

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    My 90 year old dad would care to disagree with you.

    My only modeler is a THR-10.

    Every tool has its place. Believing that your solution applies to all is a faulty assumption.
     
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  3. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    Tone is subjective but weight can be more factually thought about. The subjective part of the weight is how often you move your amp and how strong you are/how much you work out.

    The Tonemaster DR is only super light because the DRRI is on the heavy end of the scale for 1x12 combos.
    The Tonemaster TR is super light because the TRRI is on the heavy end of the scale for 2x12 combos.

    What do you compare the Katana 50 MkII to? It's pretty light if you compare it to a DRRI but it's not ultra light compared to 1x10 & 1x12 Tube combos that come in on the lighter end of the scale. (Particularly tube combos that don't have a spring tank and/or tube driven tremolo.)

    The Katana 50 MkII is only 4-5lbs lighter than the 1x10/1x12 tube combos that come in on the lighter end of the scale. Personally 4-5lbs is not a big enough weight difference to matter to me.

    Vox seems to be the only one that consistently produces porky amps. Fender has some that are heavy but some that are lighter.
     
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  4. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    But how many 90 year olds are out gigging or jamming and carrying their amps all over the place all the time?

    If your 90 year old dad wants a tube amp he can probably get you to move it and he can leave it where it is and play it for a long time and enjoy it.

    And again if you can't lift 30lbs (Blues Junior, Marshall Origin, Orange Rocker,etc.. ) you probably aren't carrying 25lbs very far either!

    It's just a weird thing to harp on with modelers, online there is this huge group of people who gig or jam out in a different place every single day, have no one to help them move their stuff, and can't lift 30-35lbs but can carry 25lbs all day long.

    If you switch your guitar from a hard case to a gig bag that will probably save more weight than switching from a mid-weight 1x10/1x12 combo to a 1x10/1x12 modeler. Likewise if you leave your pedal board behind. If you can get by with a PRRI and no pedal board that's less weight than taking a Katana 50 + a pedal board.
     
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  5. Twang-ineer

    Twang-ineer TDPRI Member

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    As such things are usually pretty well guarded, there isn't any direct statement that I can find on the net saying that the two amps share a DSP engine. But if you look at the last 20+ years of Fender Roland collaborations I would suggest it is incredibly likely. COSM and all of the descendants of that technology, including the virtual real modeling stuff has been well documented and Roland has provided many whitepapers over the years for those of us who would want to read such things. As a previous owner of the GA-12, and as someone who has spent a bit of time with the TM Deluxe.... it would totally make sense to me that the product are very closely related. The Katana 50 however is a product designed to a price point and that is great for many applications. But it does not "feel" like a quality amp to me, and I prefer solid state. The production cost on the Fender is probably double the cost of the Katana, at least. Better components in the all important power section overall factor in as well.
     
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  6. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    I think it's probably highly unlikely Fender licensed anything.. they have said they have their own team working on this stuff.

    There existing amps have not sounded like COSM amps.

    "Fender licensed their modeling from Roland" sounds like something a bad salesperson in a retail store would say cause they wanted to make a sale of a Roland product.

    This can likely be solved just by looking inside a TM DR/TR and a Katana.. if they don't have the same chips/similar chips from the same family inside it's highly unlikely anything is licensed because the code would be incompatible.

    The software code is the heart of these amps.. the hardware is likely all off the shelf, cause Fender & Roland don't necessarily have the resources to design & manufacture their own chips of this power level.
     
  7. mugen74

    mugen74 Tele-Holic

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    This. An AC15 weighs almost 50 pounds which is ridiculous for a 15 watt amp. I personally wouldn’t have any problem moving it around and gigging with it. It’s the awkward size of it combined with that weight that makes it a no for me, especially again because it’s a 15 watt amp and the AC10 is much easier to move around. The AC15 could easily be sold as a light weight head and I could run it through a cab which would make it less awkward to move around. I’m all for portability and ease of use, but there’s just no way I’d ever use a model of an AC15 or 30 when I can get the AC10. There’s just no reason to settle for a poor facsimile.

    Would I like a 4X12 and a JCM800? Of course, but my DSL20 head and 1X12 cab will do it. And I’ll take that over a modeler any day.



    jh
     
  8. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Holic

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    I agree on many of these points.

    All the hype surrounding the katana, I was incredibly disappointed when I tried one.

    Tone master sounded better to me, as it should for the price, but I have to laugh when people claim they can't hear the difference between that and a drri.

    Yes, funny how every new generation of dsp claims to be closer to the real thing. And it is, closer.
     
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  9. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Holic

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    Who’s harping?

    Weight can be the ultimate deciding factor in some situations. In most other situations, tone is the ultimate deciding factor.

    I currently have my share of tube combos (Tone King, Mesa, Marshall, Fender, etc) and I understand what iron brings to the table. While I don’t see a need to buy a TM for myself right now, who knows what the future holds?

    But I will say, after spending some time playing a TMTR, I’m impressed (and more than a little surprised).

    YMMV
     
  10. speedy mcfeely

    speedy mcfeely Tele-Holic

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    I wouldn’t be surprised if Fender did license some aspects from Roland. That being said; both amps are great. I would totally be in the market if I didn’t use a Helix. I got over the tube amp for gigs thing years ago. I like light and good. My tone is mine, I do t care where it comes from as long as my performance is not hindered. I just want to get my stupid song ideas out to ears. I’m never going to be Gary Moore. No one is ever going to gushing over my stuff. It’s for me. So I use what I like. You can use what you like too! Choices! Woot!
     
  11. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    I was digging in some old files and ran across an example of a recorded amp. It's just some repetitive junk while dialing in an amp (DSL 50) but better than nothing for now. Don't shoot me for the playing. I was going for a very warm and crunchy sound. https://app.box.com/s/ljjmefx46it0tmoa5h66ym3lr6hlcp1p
     
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  12. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Thanks for that!
    That's very cool, as well. There's a nice crisp snap to things, there. And that playing of yours is nothing at all to grouse about, in my book.

    Anyway, to me, the first one still sounds great. I A/B'ed them just now, and I mean, they sound some different yeah but they both sound really good, to me.

    I mean look, I know you're not looking for my approval or anything, nor should you be.
    But I think you have to admit that modelers are extremely relatively convenient.

    To me, the difference that may exist in sound between tubes and modelers (and I'm not even conceding that point, but let's let that be a given for the sake of argument), the convenience factor outweighs that. YMMV ,and that's totally cool
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
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  13. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, I was just going to say this. It happens all the time.
     
  14. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not sure about that - I got rid of an AC15 that sounded great because it was far too heavy. Bought an AC10 that sounded about the same at much less weight. It was a worthwhile trade. So it makes sense that one would ditch a heavy tube amp for a digital amp that sounds about the same.
     
  15. GGardner

    GGardner Friend of Leo's

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    It seems counterintuitive at first, but makes sense if you change what "winning/successful business" looks like. Success doesn't mean you're the last manufacturer standing with 100% market share. It means, "We pay all the bills, turn a profit, and our company continues to thrive."

    Think of distilleries that can count on selling X amount of product each year. That's nice.

    But they could count on selling X + Y if they agreed to sell to another brand that bottles the bourbon, slaps its name on it, and sells it as its own. Or the buyer might blend it with yet another distillery's product and stick their name on it.

    Why would you sell to a competitor? Because you're turning a bigger profit (and probably in your heart of hearts, you believe that at the end of the day, you're smarter than your competitor). Moving product is moving product. Just my two cents.
     
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  16. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    The convenience factor of modelers doesn't hold up for me. An amp like the DSL 50 has a lot of different sounds in it, and all of them sound better to my ears than any modelers I have owned or used or heard. And it's not a major chore for me to grab a head and a small cab to go jam. I don't like the cheapo pcb build quality of these modern tube amps in comparison to the old ones, but some of these multi-channel tube amps do sound decently good and are very versatile. I find this amp to be more versatile and convenient than a modeler because the range of sounds I can pull from it are genuinely usable. When I plug into a modeler I always find myself wanting too much for something better and never getting it.
     
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