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Fender Deluxe Tone Master


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2 hours ago, rwinking said:

 Is it true that you can’t just swap out speakers in the ToneMaster? I thought I had heard you can’t just throw a cellestion or a Weber in one and they have to be a certain kind.

One thing about the opry using them is that it is probably nice to have consistency. Having a rider saying that you want a fender deluxe at a festival or venue doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to get a good one. I have played enough of them that I can testify that there are a lot of twins and deluxes out there that suck. It may be blasphemy to say this but I have even played twins and deluxes from the 60s that sucked.

A guy in a band I am in is playing through a tonemaster super reverb. He likes it a lot. I never liked supers to begging with but I have to admit that his is really close.

Having played venues that provide Fender DR's, Twins, etc., I can attest to MANY of them that sounded horrible.  Most of those backline amps were 'rode hard and put away wet' as they say.  They looked beat to hell and sounded anemic.  I'd be willing to wager that an aging solid state ToneMaster will likely sound better after tons of gigs.  No tubes to wear out is a major factor in my assumption.  Time will tell.

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  • 2 months later...

I’ve read through this thread and find it to have some really good input about these amps vs the real deal. I’ve only played a TMDR at a store so I’m limited in what I can actually take away from it. I found it to be a good DR “real” or not. That was at store volumes but I did crank it and then have the attenuation down and it sounded good in that situation too considering what was being done with the amp. I have never really been one to use attenuation and I do t think they retain the real sound of a cranked up amp. For practice or a super quiet gig it would be a great amp I think. Where it really shines is moving from gig to gig since it weighs so little and can accommodate an iron fisted sound guy or a sympathetic one that lets the guitarist be free. It will do that while delivering a large percentage of what the real deal will for under $1k. These amps definitely have a practical use.
 

I like BF amps but tweeds are more my style and preference. I like the dirt and dynamics and midrange they offer compared to a BF amp. I also like Brown amps more than BF too. I wonder if they will start to make versions of them? if they do I may have a more critical eye since I have an undeniable bias toward the “ real” deal with those. 

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@zguitar71Like you, I really dig 5e3 circuit amps and would love to own an old Brownface.  Prices have shot up on those vintage rigs however.

As far as a reissue, the Fender Chris Stapleton '62 Princeton comes close...but pricey.

https://www.fender.com/en-US/guitar-amplifiers/vintage-pro-tube/62-princeton-amp-chris-stapleton-edition/8151800000.html

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3 hours ago, zguitar71 said:

I’ve read through this thread and find it to have some really good input about these amps vs the real deal. I’ve only played a TMDR at a store so I’m limited in what I can actually take away from it. I found it to be a good DR “real” or not. That was at store volumes but I did crank it and then have the attenuation down and it sounded good in that situation too considering what was being done with the amp. I have never really been one to use attenuation and I do t think they retain the real sound of a cranked up amp. For practice or a super quiet gig it would be a great amp I think. Where it really shines is moving from gig to gig since it weighs so little and can accommodate an iron fisted sound guy or a sympathetic one that lets the guitarist be free. It will do that while delivering a large percentage of what the real deal will for under $1k. These amps definitely have a practical use.
 

I like BF amps but tweeds are more my style and preference. I like the dirt and dynamics and midrange they offer compared to a BF amp. I also like Brown amps more than BF too. I wonder if they will start to make versions of them? if they do I may have a more critical eye since I have an undeniable bias toward the “ real” deal with those. 

I had gravitated to the Quilter Aviator Cub as it models at 60's Tweed, 62 Blonde, and 65 Blackface.  Which specific models in those years, I have no idea.  I moved away from the amp after awhile.  I found I prefer the Marshall "Clean" over a Fender clean tone and the Marshall sound is more of what I like.  But I think Fender has the right idea, go with a very specific amp and model that.  Don't try to be a jack of all trades yet a master of none like Quilter became as well as all the digital amp manufactures out there.

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4 hours ago, Gitfiddler said:

@zguitar71Like you, I really dig 5e3 circuit amps and would love to own an old Brownface.  Prices have shot up on those vintage rigs however.

As far as a reissue, the Fender Chris Stapleton '62 Princeton comes close...but pricey.

https://www.fender.com/en-US/guitar-amplifiers/vintage-pro-tube/62-princeton-amp-chris-stapleton-edition/8151800000.html

Yeah that price does seam a bit hefty. The vintage stuff is through the roof too. Lil’ Dawg can build a BrF amp with a “12 speaker of your choice for much less than the CS amp. The BrF amp I would love to have is the Deluxe, it’s a beast! Even the big BrF amps are up in price. The Concert like the one I have is about 2.5x as much as I paid for it 3 years ago and it’s so loud it can’t even be used anywhere. 

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2 hours ago, DetroitBlues said:

I had gravitated to the Quilter Aviator Cub as it models at 60's Tweed, 62 Blonde, and 65 Blackface.  Which specific models in those years, I have no idea.  I moved away from the amp after awhile.  I found I prefer the Marshall "Clean" over a Fender clean tone and the Marshall sound is more of what I like.  But I think Fender has the right idea, go with a very specific amp and model that.  Don't try to be a jack of all trades yet a master of none like Quilter became as well as all the digital amp manufactures out there.

The Marshall sound clean is a lot like a tweed clean as long as it’s through an open back cab. The Fender clean sound from the Black Face era is too sterile for me. The tweed amps sound beautiful clean and dirty imo. It’s everything in one amp. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 10/7/2022 at 2:37 PM, DetroitBlues said:

I had gravitated to the Quilter Aviator Cub as it models at 60's Tweed, 62 Blonde, and 65 Blackface.  Which specific models in those years, I have no idea.  I moved away from the amp after awhile.  I found I prefer the Marshall "Clean" over a Fender clean tone and the Marshall sound is more of what I like.  But I think Fender has the right idea, go with a very specific amp and model that.  Don't try to be a jack of all trades yet a master of none like Quilter became as well as all the digital amp manufactures out there.

What did you do with the Quilter, DB? I've been eyeing that amp recently...

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47 minutes ago, kidsmoke said:

What did you do with the Quilter, DB? I've been eyeing that amp recently...

Sold it.  I think the MicroPro is a better overall amp, but when it comes down to it, the only Fender model I prefer is a Bassman which wasn't on the Aviator Cub.  I've been more keen to be a Marshall style of which Quilter does make a British Aviator Cub amp now.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/26/2022 at 12:29 PM, Gitfiddler said:

Having played venues that provide Fender DR's, Twins, etc., I can attest to MANY of them that sounded horrible.  Most of those backline amps were 'rode hard and put away wet' as they say.  They looked beat to hell and sounded anemic.  I'd be willing to wager that an aging solid state ToneMaster will likely sound better after tons of gigs.  No tubes to wear out is a major factor in my assumption.  Time will tell.

Tubes are a maintenance item, like an oil change for your vehicle. Barring routine maintenance it should be expected that performance would suffer. So a Tone Master will sound superior to what, a tube version that hasn't been serviced since the 70's? Sound superior to a neglected budget built modern tube Deluxe or Twin with ribbon wires connecting the boards and cheaply sourced transformers? You realize that there won't even be a functioning tone master 40 years from now, let alone an anemic one? They are essentially a disposable item. A great deal for Fender and a bad deal for the purchaser because they make them cheaply and guys pay as much for a Tone Master Twin as you can get a handwired SF for. 

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Why would a SS Tonemaster not be working in 40 years?   I have LOTS of SS gear that is 40+ years old and still working just fine.    My first computer, a TI 99/4A is 40 years old and works just fine.  It has ribbon connectors inside.    My Bryston 2B power amp from 1980 is still working perfectly.   The Yamaha tuner works, and the cassette deck works electrically (one of the belts turned to goo.)   I have a solid state Sony receiver from 1973 that needed new power caps, but it works fine now.  That was a cheap fix actually.

People act like solid state gear is designed to die after 10 years.   That's just not reality.

On the other hand,  to restore my Guild amp from 50 years ago will cost almost as much as I paid for it new.   Between the tubes  (7591A,  6GW8, 12AX7s) and the capacitors,  I could easily spend $300 on parts alone.   It cost me $225 to have my 1950s Valco rebuilt and that was in 2009.  Oh yeah, the NOS power tubes got really noisy after about 3 years.   I put in some black glass Ruby Tubes 6V6s and they have been fine since.

I can't say that tubes are inherently superior or inferior to transistors for reliability.  

Of course, 40 years from now,  I won't be worried about any of them.   I seriously doubt I'll be playing any guitar at 110 yr old.

 

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3 hours ago, TalismanRich said:

Why would a SS Tonemaster not be working in 40 years? 

There may be a few in closets and in spare bedrooms but modeling tech has a track record of being antiquated rather quickly. Maybe 10 years. At some point the cost of repair exceeds the value and the item is disposed of. Build and component quality of most modern electronics doesn't lend itself to being a lifetime purchase, your T.I computer notwithstanding. Original Roland CUBE, Johnson MIllenium, for example. Would you spend 200 or 300 dollars to fix an amp that is worth maybe that amount? You already admitted you wouldn't so your obscure Guild amp sits idle. My amp techs charge $75 an hour plus parts the last time I was there. Even the Kemper that was so highly touted by johnny-come-lately five years ago is now worth about a third to a quarter of what they initially costed, if you can find someone who even wants it. If you can find a tech willing to work on it. Boat anchors.

 

 

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Good thing as solid state technology slowly gets closer to tube technology, the previous versions will continue to decline in value.  Unlike the vintage tube amp market, the solid state market is still cheap.

I still say the Peavey Bandit Redstripe was one of the best solid-state Marshall sounding amps out there.  Haven't tried the new and "improved" models yet.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/8/2022 at 2:42 PM, ElNumero said:

So I tried to get the same output and tone in comparing my 65 Deluxe Reissue (sorry Rockabilly I don’t own a real one) to the Tone Master Deluxe. I was using a Fender Strat with Fralin vintage hot pups.  Here are my observations:

Since the Tone Master has a Celestion Neo speaker and the Reissue has a Jensen C12, right off the bat I’m hearing different tones. 
 

The Reissue is louder-for example at 3 I had to have the TM at 4 to achieve comparible volume level.

The Reissue is bassier or to put it another way, the TM sounds thinner so to get them to sound the same I had to roll back the bass on RI to 4 while the TM remained flat at 5.  
 

Once I made these adjustments they started sounding similar and I started cranking both.  At 8, the RI is getting saturated and so seems the TM.  Not identical but close.  My room is too small to dime them.  While NO digital amp is going to replicate a tube amp, the TM can be useful in approximating the sound of the RI.  Therefore I am in agreement with Rockabilly for the most part.  
 

 

Will, do you think it's a keeper and do you like it?  

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19 hours ago, skydog52 said:

Will, do you think it's a keeper and do you like it?  

Oh yes.  I so like it a lot. I would highly recommend it!!

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Our band did a sort of acoustic gig on New Years Eve Eve (the 30th) using two acoustic guitars, snare with brushes/ shaker, piano and bass. They wanted me to still play electric so I borrowed the bass players Tonemaster Deluxe just to get me a little over the acoustics. With it i used a Tech 21 Fly Rig for verb, DDL and a little "grind." Wow! The guy that usually uses this amp was blown away by the sound I had at such a low volume. It truly is a cool SS amp!

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