Tried The Tone Master Deluxe Reverb Today

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Kmaxbrady, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. Rev Hoodoo

    Rev Hoodoo TDPRI Member

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    Been playing a Tone Master Twin for 3 weeks now and have yet to find fault with it at all. I've been a working pro for a long time and am old enough to have played '65 Fender Twins when they were new. The amp works well, nails the tone of a vintage '65 Twin (at some of them given they varied a lot back then), is light, has a few options to make gigging easier especially on larger stages, and it resides in a physical package that operates just like the old stuff. If it is overprice a lot of knowledgable people have been fooled because they sell out as soon as they arrive in stock at high volume retailers. Can't remember a mass produce amp that did that before. I've read a ton of critiques on line in various spots on the Internet by people that haven't tried them but sure hate the idea and denigrate and ridicule those that do. My audiences enjoy what I'm doing with the amp. Can a neo magnet speaker be built that sounds enough like a ceramic magnet model so as to be essentially identical sounding? Yeah, it can, I have the proof sitting in my studio. Players seem to not care what puffed up critics in online gear forums who have never touched them have to say. Wonder why? I saw a bunch of discussion about not including an effects loop and how that seems crazy. You mean like the effects loop on the original '65 Twins? Hey, it's there. It's called reverb and tremolo. As far as plots, circuits, waveform analysis, latency or lack thereof, expandability, speaker specifications, none of it matters if you want a light weight, great sounding amp to cover the tone of a '65 Twin. This amp will do that.
     
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  2. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    Well, it's somewhat relevant unless you're operating one one of those business models where you take a small loss on each unit and make up for it in volume... :cool:
     
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  3. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I agree, to a point. Fender choose those particular speakers, or rather joined up with Jensen and exchanged specs. Those proverbial "100 amp models" would be configured to work as best as they can with the Jensen Neo speakers, but that doesn't mean that a given model couldn't have sounded better if it had been coded to work with a different speaker.
     
  4. MrAstro

    MrAstro Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes obviously if you add up the production costs and make a negative margin but people are complaining about Fender making an abnormal profit on this because they think companies should price their products by adding up production costs and adding a small margin. They have no idea what the R&D costs and other fixed costs though - they are guessing what it cost to produce. Nevertheless none of it is relevant.

    A product is worth whatever value someone is willing to pay and they have used product differentiation to good effect so that they don't have a problem differentiating their product from their competitors so they aren't tied to their competitor's pricing.

    Anyway like I've said previously if they have nailed the sound of the original, have made it half the weight, controlled the volume better then on the last two points they have addressed the reasons I have never bought a Twin. I love the sound - I hate the weight and volume. So Fender have done something great here in my opinion. They have made a flexible Twin Reverb that isn't grossly impractical for either home (volume) or gigging (weight).

    True but wasn't the point of using the speakers that they ended up using to reduce weight which aligns with their design brief. That's why they used them.
     
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  5. Owenmoney

    Owenmoney Tele-Afflicted

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    I don’t want to get in an argument here but you asserted your claim that they sound better, and I think it’s great for you that you feel that way, others have stated that they find it coming up short in one way or another. For me, a copy is always lacking something of the original or is somehow different. Since by your account you KNOW what a twin or deluxe should sound like since you’ve owned so many, does that mean they all sounded the same? If they didn’t then any perceived difference could be better or worse in someone else’s opinion as well as yours. Tone ,feel, sound are all perceptions. So again, if you’re happy with it it’s great for you. It doesn’t mean it’s the be all end all for someone else. That is my criteria. It’s up to each listener, player to determine what’s best, or better or worse, lacking or shining for them. I don’t think there is anything wrong with these amps, just that an individuals perception of better or worse determines whether it is actually better or lacking. The lighter weight is a definite plus for a lot of players, so if it sounds good to them that is what matters, other players want the attenuators, which makes it great for them. Some just want a tube amp so it won’t be what they want.
    Different strokes, but you were and are very assertive that they’re better, and for you that’s obviously very true. So please enjoy your amp, don’t let mine or anybody else’s opinion upset you, I’m not upset at all. I don’t have a desire for either of them. I’m just curious about gear.


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  6. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    I wonder if these tone master amps will turn into the most common backline amps for venues and such
     
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  7. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Regarding whether the specific neo 12 used nails the sound of the originals or not, and how Fender accurately replicated the originals or not, I think that some of us are missing the point.

    I say this because the latest RIs use the C12K RI. For anyone who's really dug into things regarding the Italian-made Jensen speakers vs. the original Chicago-made ones will tell you - despite the RIs maybe being fine speakers in their own respect (or not, say some users), they aren't probably truly representative of what were in the original DRs and TRs.

    So, not only is A/B'ing the TM amps to the RI amps probably a fool's errand, but also expecting Jensen to build Fender some sort of neo equivalent to a speaker that they don't even 100% accurately replicate with their ceramic RI models, is probably a ridiculous expectation.

    ...The more important thing is whether or not the speaker chosen seems to pair well with the amp, as far as sounding acceptably close enough to the original thing. Since the original thing can't be 100% quantified (and even Fender admitted that they used various specimens that they deemed to "represent the best"), I think it's mostly irrelevant to get hung up on what "DSP adjustments" were made with R&D.

    The bottom line is that this will likely require subjective, individual evaluation, to determine if the TM variation actually replicates the sound of the original, as judged by the individual. And, that, in itself, precludes that accurate replication will be subjectively chosen as the most important selling point. For some users, it probably only has to replicate the sounds of the original within some margins, and things become a bit more loose depending on what direct experiences anyone might have with actual specimens of the originals.

    ...Beyond matching the sonics of the original, the TMs also feature lighter weight, no maintenance, adjustable power sections, and DI outs. Some or all of these features may be appealing to some prospective consumers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
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  8. MrAstro

    MrAstro Tele-Afflicted

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    I really want to buy one. I am a major fan of what Fender has tried to do here I'll admit that (because of the weight savings and the volume control).

    but...

    There are two ways of looking at this...

    The first way is how close they got to the original sound.

    No-one (not even me) could say they sound better than the original because they are an emulation - so if the benchmark is to sound like the original then it'll just be a question of how close to the original they got. That is you can't sound more original than the original if you know what I mean.

    The second way is how good does it sound with no reference to the original at all.

    For example, my original valve amps have hums and my DRRI has a ticking noise in the vibrato. It could non-subjectively sound better in that way if they removed those undesirable characteristics.

    One other thing that comes up is reliability. I get that - it worries me regarding serviceability. However there are definite costs to maintain valve amps too. Not just labour costs but also costs to replace tubes periodically - they aren't insubstantial either.
     
  9. Owenmoney

    Owenmoney Tele-Afflicted

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    The real question is what is THE ORIGINAL SOUND. Who can say, we’re they going for the brand new fifties sound or zither mid sixties sound or the wow these tubes are really broken in and sound amazing sound or the reissue sound.
    Also, who can say definitively what sounds better ? It’s all subjective, MilwMark loves his, so do several other guys, and for them it’s great. But is it right for you or someone else ? That is for them to answer. Not me, not you and my opinion that something that’s cloned always misses something, the ticking of the vibrato or the 60 cycle hum or the scratchy pots may be what’s missing. Which may or may not be seen as an improvement. Some people miss the pops and scratches from vinyl albums. Some hate then. It’s all up to the player to determine what’s best for them


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  10. jgmouton

    jgmouton Tele-Meister

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    Yes exactly!
     
  11. MrAstro

    MrAstro Tele-Afflicted

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    Well I drove to Canberra (3 hours each way) and spent the afternoon trying out the Tonemaster Twin. I was fully ready tot buy it or I wouldn't have driven that far.

    In the end despite loving the concept of a light amp with attenuation I was disappointed. It just seemed to lack the punch of my Deville and the tube amps I tried it against at the store and it seemed flat in comparison. The sales assistant tried various tube amps against it and came to the same conclusion. I found the attenuated settings also very unsatisfying - particularly the lower powered settings.

    A good way to describe the difference is if anyone is familiar with thumb picking in Chet Atkins or Tommy Emmanuels style - the boom-chk driving bass had no dynamics/drive/thump compared to a real tube amp like my Deville or a hand wired twin I tried there. It sounded flatter.

    I have no doubt some people will still like the amp but I'm obviously too spoilt and didn't realise it... Maybe it would be better for other styles of guitar playing and for people that want a solid state amp and aren't hoping for it to feel like tube amp.

    If I had to rate it in terms of how close it comes I'd maybe give it a 6/10.
     
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  12. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    How do you know?

    Because doing so would have been idiotic. I often question Fender's decisions, but I never accuse them of being stupid... they're not Gibson.

    How many clone speakers are out there? How many exactly replicate the speaker they're cloning? How many Eminence speakers exactly replicate the speaker they're cloning? I think we can infer that it's quite difficult to exactly replicate a speaker, and Fender was going for an exact replica of these amps.

    Conversely, Fender built a very impressive system to clone the sound of amplifiers, and the speaker is a part of that sound. It's substantially easier to include the speaker in your amp model and adjust the output for the flat response PA style speaker you've chosen than to remove the speaker from the model and then add it back in later in physical speaker design, which is an entirely separate process that's less accurate than DSP.

    The reason behind this particular tangent was that I pointed out that speaker rolling in a TM wasn't going to have the same results as a DRRI because the neo speaker was different than a C12K. This triggered the Fender Defenders to start proclaiming that the neo "nailed the plot" of the C12K, which, as you pointed out, is a bit ridiculous.
     
  13. Owenmoney

    Owenmoney Tele-Afflicted

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    Sorry you didn’t like it, but this proves my point that some people will love it while others find it lacking in some way.
    I



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  14. Kerberos

    Kerberos Tele-Holic

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    It may be just the way everyone is thinking about these Tonemaster Amps. I own a 65 DRRI, even had a orginal 65 DR when I was a kid, it's a great amp. The Tonemaster sounds great too. Instead of calling it a modeling amp, just accept it for what it is, a SS Amp. If it sounds good, does the job, and you like it, get one! I haven't been able to try one out yet, but everything I hear sounds terrific. I even thought the Tonemaster sounded better than the Tube Model in some of these comparisons. I'm in my late 60's, a lighter amp that can deliver that Classic Fender tone, sounds good to me, and sure make my knees happy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
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  15. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    ... two originals don't even sound like each other, and between them you would choose a favorite that might be different than my choice ;)

    I agree with your concept but why even designate it as a SS amp? It's an AMP... period! Tube, SS, Modeler.... who cares. It's an amp that you either like or you don't.
     
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  16. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Definitely gonna have a friend/friendly staff person do a blind A/B on me if ever do check one out. I'm waaaaay too biased toward tube amps to be able to set aside that prejudice to hear 'em both fairly if I know which amp is which.

    That's just me, and just a mild suggestion to others, so no one cheats himself in the tone quest.
     
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  17. Rev Hoodoo

    Rev Hoodoo TDPRI Member

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    I love my Tone Master Twin. I can plug it in and get the tone of a mid-60's Fender tube amp and from there get inspired to play. I don't have to spend endless hours tweaking and editing it to perfection. It's there out of the box, a great working musicians amp. As far as worrying about speaker plots, response curves, latency, all the other great minutia you can get lost in, that's not me. I understand it all, I get those things can be interesting to study. But in the end the whole is more than the sum of the parts. This amp is interchangeable with a classic mid-60's Fender Twin Reverb for a performer. That was the goal in designing it from what I can discern. That's just form the audio and performance perspective. It is also zero maintenance, light weight, and predictable. I have no doubt it will be quite reliable. I've owned and used the original stuff, owned some of it in recent years. The experience of making music, playing guitar through this amp is exactly the same. It's actually a bargain for what it is and what it does.

    I know some people just don't like the idea of that, fair enough. I've owned, played, bought and sold, worked on, repaired tube amps for many decades. Nothing with glowing tubes, transformers and heavier magnet speakers has sounded any better. I frankly did not expect to like it this much or for it to be quite so spot on in terms of tone and use. But it nails it. I'm sure some will disagree. But the market seems to have spoken here already and the majority opinion is quite clear, Fender did what they set out to do.
     
  18. Kerberos

    Kerberos Tele-Holic

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    I'm good with that!
     
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  19. Owenmoney

    Owenmoney Tele-Afflicted

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    That was my point, if two originals sound different how can anyone say conclusively that this is better or worse, it all comes down to who’s playing it and what their ears tell them. It can be the best amp in the world to someone and the worst amp ever to someone else.


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  20. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I've never said the Tone Masters are better than the originals, only that they are a viable option with some desirable features (low weight, power scaling, and DI out) that can and do work for some people, me included. I have found no more sonic or feel difference than I would between two examples of the RI models. The TM more, much more, than meets my requirements.
     
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