Will Fender "Tonemaster" the lineup in 2020...?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by stantheman, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. Rumblur

    Rumblur Tele-Meister

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    Fender is a corp, corps make money. The days of "make stuff for musicians to make music" are as over as musicians making music. IF they had any sense, they would recreate the amps people actually want, as in the Princeton Reverb and Vibrolux Reverb. The DR/TR combo is what people buy because they can't find or afford a PR/VR. But I digress...

    Digital tech of any kind, is a fools bargain. It's worthless in 5 years. Don't believe me? How much is an iphone 4 worth? How about a Cyber Twin? GDEC? Line 6 POD?

    For 90% of hobby players, the TM's will be fine. They won't get used or moved enough to break. And, they're disposable. If you really must buy one, buy the extended warranty so you'll be covered as long as possible.

    I completely expect Fender to pursue the digital path, I expect the next device to be something like a Kemper. Who needs speakers and cabinets these days if you're willing to accept digital amplifier emulation?

    Fender amps are very much like Corvettes... the best ones were made 1963-67. The new ones may be sleeker and lighter but they have no intrinsic value and 100 years from now no one will care or collect them. But the midyears... those are classics forever and will always be coveted as the true voice of the electric guitar.
     
    Rowdyman, Alter, muchxs and 1 other person like this.
  2. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I wonder how small Fender could make it. Would it be the size of some Quilter heads/pedal-board-blocks?
     
  3. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    "Digital tech of any kind, is a fools bargain. It's worthless in 5 years. Don't believe me? How much is an iphone 4 worth? How about a Cyber Twin? GDEC? Line 6 POD?"

    Resale value is a factor, but for me it's a very minor factor. If I have a piece of gear that works well for me, I'm going to keep it. So reliablity and maintenance requirements
    are more important to me than resale value. If it requires zero upkeep and will last for decades then I'm going to get more than my money's worth out of it so I don't care if one day I end up
    giving it away.

    OTOH, I do see your point. There's a lot of gear I can buy on the used market and turn around and sell for the same or better than what I paid. Classic tube amps are in that category. However,
    tube amps require upkeep. The heavier ones cost a lot to ship. On line sellers keep taking bigger and bigger commissions, and lots of buyers are flaky so it can be a pain in the butt. Tube
    amps are particularly difficult to ship compared to guitars because they are both heavy and somewhat fragile. These days I will flip guitars and pedals but really don't want the hassle of
    flipping tube amps. That said, I may well break down and sell a couple of them because I am tired of maintaining four tube amps. These Tonemasters are tempting to me because they
    are light and could make my life a lot easier provided they sound 99% as good as the real McCoy. I will probably will my blackfaced '72 Super Reverb with Alnico CTS speakers to my kid--
    it's my Holy Grail amp and I'll probably keep it forever notwithstanding the inherent hassles.
     
  4. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

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    No business would survive if it's products were not made to make a profit. Fender has always been in the business of making money. Leo Fender wasn't a musician by the way. He was a small businessman who created a big business selling stuff. He had foresight and could tell what musicians needed by going out, meeting them and building things that they requested.

    I don't get your comment "are as over as musicians making music". Is that no longer done in your opinion?

    Musicians have never made lots of money throughout history. They were thought of as entertainment by rich people, but had little value otherwise. No one cared how long it took to master an instrument.
    Patrons of the Arts kept the arts alive by supporting artists of all types. But only a select few actually received help. They couldn't support themselves making music or painting or sculpting. In the old days, if you didn't work, you didn't eat or have a place to live. Most working families couldn't support a dreamer who sat around all day and "created" things. They needed everyone who was physically able to, to work.

    It wasn't until after electricity was invented and then record players, that musicians could try to earn a living making music. Before that, maybe you could make a few pennies busking and/or begging in the town center. Or in some sort of a traveling carnival show.
     
  5. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    O.K., I'm retired now BUT I still drive for an Auto Parts Store and two weeks ago I was delivering parts to a garage in Tewksbury and (voices of the angels) there was an original Ford GT 40 that was in racing condition - in other words everything worked and well at that on this '64/'65...a car worth a million dollars if put on the market today. That said I'd rather have a modern ride with a ragtop and 350 small block.

    Because "vintage" has learnt me that it can be a seriously expensive PITA to maintain "vintage."

    I can also add this: Owning an Auburn Boat Tail Speedster REPRO is much more fun than owning an original 1936. You can go BROKE fast doing "original."
    I'd also prefer a REPRO A.C.COBRA than an original from '65.

    "this is the dawning of the age of the tone master"

    Remember the guys who are in their late 70's now raving how '57 Chevys were The King and that the
    Chevelle was cheap modern junk?:D Or...the real old timers raving about the '36 Ford Coupe when a Hertz Shelby goes roaring by?

    And that's my analogy.
     
  6. Apache Snow

    Apache Snow TDPRI Member

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    Opinions vary.
     
  7. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

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    And if they'd do a Tonemaster version of the Tonemaster would the world spin backwards?
     
  8. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Cool!

    I'll just wait five years. I'll have an abundant supply of Deluxe Reverb cabinets and faceplates from Tonemasters that have "timed out".

    What- what? In Tewksbury?

    Artie T. Demoulas has an original GT40?!!!

    I want the red Mark IV that's in the Henry Ford museum in front of Reagan's limousine.

    :cool: :cool: :cool:
     
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  9. Shango66

    Shango66 Friend of Leo's

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    ^^^This!
    For few years, Quilter have had a range of lightweight heads that cop the blackface vibe.
     
  10. foundjoe

    foundjoe Tele-Holic

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    Rather than make a digital clone why don't they do a lightweight tube amp clone? Use the lighter cabinet and neo speakers with nu tubes and a lighter/smaller chassis. If you could take 20 pounds off a twin and have it still be a tube amp, then you wouldn't have to worry about digital upgrades or reliability or becoming obsolete when the next digital clone comes along.
     
    backporchmusic and jgmouton like this.
  11. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    There are no Nutube power tubes. You would still need a heavy power section for the amp.
     
  12. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    What if you don't want a tube amp? What if the lack of toobz is a plus, not a minus?

    What if you just pick an amp that sounds great, has great feel and has the headroom you need, and then you never give a thought to whether it could be "better" through upgrades? What if you are more self-aware than many here, and realize that most bands live 3-5 years at best? And that many of us have a history of changing amps like changing socks? So a 40 year timeline is irrelevant?

    I do wonder what a true cost of ownership is for 15 years? Even assuming that someone needs to buy two TMDRs in that span, I bet the cost of ownership of the TMDR and the DRRI (which will need multiple retubes if used weekly, along with at trip to the tech to bias, and maybe a cap job) is pretty comparable.

    For me, if I get 5 hard years of gigging out of the TMDR and have to buy another one after that, I'm fine. The tone and other benefits make it worthwhile.
     
  13. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    It might be limited to just me, but I had a rough time with 6V6 performance and longevity, even fairly recently, especially WRT the DR. I gave my '79 DR to a friend earlier this year. He'll probably play it so rarely that it shouldn't be an issue for him.

    Along with the initial bias when new power tubes are installed, some of them should be periodically re-checked, to determine if they've drifted. With the JJ 6V6S, which some don't even consider to be a "real" 6V6, they were pretty unreal (for current production) at not drifting much. But with other current production 6V6s, they don't seem to hold w/o drifting as well.

    Now, my only real 6V6-based amp is a 5E3 derivative, but it obviously runs at lower voltages than a DR, and there's no bias adjustments needed, since it's cathode bias.

    IDK if there's a current production 6V6 (other than the JJ) that will still sound fairly decent after just a year's regular use in a DR (e.g. at least one rehearsal and one gig a week), and I'm guessing that some users are not in a position to try and grab NOS ones. The last ones I had installed in my '79 DR were TADs, and they seemed to be on par with the JJs, with the benefit of sounding more like "real 6V6s." Since the amp saw less and less use, IDK what kind of longevity they'd really have, though. And I heard that no one should count on MIC tubes, or at least 6V6s, to be consistent in quality, from one purchase to the next.

    The bottom line is that I just got tired of having to fool around with that. I also had issues with tube rectifiers dying, but actually dealt with that, specifically in the DR, by going with a Weber Copper Cap.

    So, along with the costs, there's potentially the aggravation. I'm probably more in the minority with this, but if there's a way to avoid it (e.g. a decent non-tube design that I can just play), it's appealing to me.

    I've also got spine/neck/joint issues, so the upper limit for amp weight, for me, is around 25 lbs. It's meaningless to how good it might sound, if I can't move it around.
     
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  14. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Here’s the other thing. Since all these threads seem to go on the tangent of tube vs SS/digital.

    I don’t want a tube amp. Not due to hassle. But because I don’t like how they squash dynamic range. Everyone refers to tube amp “dynamics” but they actually mean “flattening/limiting”. Until you are in maybe Hiwatt or Lonestar category.

    With a good SS amp I get the best of both worlds. Great clean/dirty response to right hand and volume knob. But actual loud/soft dynamic range as well

    The TMDR is a bit of an exception for me. I had moved on from tubes because I want the dynamic range. But the TMDR is so convincing of my beloved DR that I overlook that!
     
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  15. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    Simple: The minute someone makes a change to the fundamental design of a classic amp, someone else will be right along behind them to complain about how inauthentic its toanz are and that they'd never buy one because of this transgression against heritage.
     
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  16. foundjoe

    foundjoe Tele-Holic

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    Part of Fender's objective was to reduce the amp weight, which evidently wasn't sufficient just from creating a digital chassis. I'm just asking why they don't go for weight reduction without making it a digital amp. If you had a choice of a significantly lighter model of a classic amp, it seems like a lot of customers would choose tube instead of digital.
     
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  17. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I don't know. I hear Mustangs were Fender's best selling model.
     
  18. foundjoe

    foundjoe Tele-Holic

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    If you could only replace preamp tubes with nutubes, it could still reduce the weight.
     
  19. foundjoe

    foundjoe Tele-Holic

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    Probably so -- the Tone Masters are aimed at a different market segment than the Mustangs. The Champion series appeared to reach the market who wanted a simple amp with a vintage look. My suggestion is targeted at customers who want a more authentic vintage-styled tube amp that doesn't result in ruptured spines.
     
  20. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Well, I don't know if you can shave all that much off a twin and still have it be a twin. The regular twin cab is already made of pine just like the Tonemaster, swapping two regular speakers for Neos might save 8 or 10 lb at most. The trannies are the trannies. Maybe a thinner, less robust chassis would save weight? I don't see how you save more than 10 or 15 lb of weight, you still have a heavy amp and the purists will all whine about it for sure.

    Vos has tried something similar for the AC30, they have made two versions with a 112 and a lighter speaker - I don't think they sold very well at all, they still weighed 50 lb or something. I think the cabs are all still MDF, though. That's a huge contributor to weight.
     
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