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  #1  
Old 07-13-2021, 08:21 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Default I'm tempted (Fender content)...

The latest addition to the Tone Master lineup:



https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...watt-combo-amp

Yeah, I'm still an old tube guy at heart, but it's 30 pounds lighter than my current '65 Super RI, powers down for home practice/band rehearsal/smaller gigs, and I'm not getting any younger; if this one sounds as good as it looks (I'm thinking those Jensen P10R alnicos will go a long way in that department, compared to the neos in the TM Deluxe/Twin) it could well be the last (and only) amp I'll ever need - and if I remove the Tone Master tag, who's to know...

Then again, if Vox ever decides to produce a 30-pound dual-NuTube AC30 all bets are off...
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Old 07-13-2021, 08:52 PM
posternutbag posternutbag is offline
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I have a Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb. I traded in/sold all my valve amps. Does it sound exactly like a Deluxe Reverb? I don’t know, I guess not, but it sounds really good; the attenuation feature is fantastic for practice and small rooms, and it weighs 23lbs.

I think the main issue with these high quality modeling amps that are designed to replicate a single amp is that they have made amps disposable electronics, like TVs and Sony PlayStations. When it breaks, just replace it.
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Old 07-14-2021, 04:09 AM
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If it's anything lime my Blonde Deluxe Reverb, it will sound excellent.

Like mentioned in the first reply, the attenuator is excellent it's also loud enough at full power to keep up with just about anything I'll ever need.

it would have been super cool had they include an effects loop, but I get it, they apparently had the idea to make a Solid State version exact to the Tube version.

it's not a deal breaker for me, the two pedals I use (an MXR chorus and line 6 dd4 delay) all have true bypass.

I do also wonder about the "Disposable" comment above, but, I had a V1 fender mustang for about 10 years that only had one small issue that I was able to repair myself (Power switch fell apart)
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Old 07-14-2021, 05:43 AM
geewhiz geewhiz is offline
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I have the TMDR. Absolutely love it. And I love tube amps too. I've owned and gigged boutique brands and while I won't say the TMs are superior, I will say that they hang right in there with any number of good sounding tube amps I've played.

I don't get too hung up on whether the TMs sound exactly like their Fender tube counterparts. I just think they sound good and they offer a really convenient and functional toolset. I've owned other tube amps that purport to have "great Fender cleans". I never compared those amps side by side to Fenders either.

If it sounds good, it IS good.

These amps are pretty controversial in other forums. While one person's opinion of them is no less legitimate than another person's, I do get the sense that some of those who reject these amps have never played through them, and/or they get a little puffed up about "needing my tube tone". Blindfolded I would bet some of these people wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
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Old 07-14-2021, 05:51 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by posternutbag View Post
I think the main issue with these high quality modeling amps that are designed to replicate a single amp is that they have made amps disposable electronics, like TVs and Sony PlayStations. When it breaks, just replace it.
As an engineering manager I had my company's reliability team in my organization for about 5 years. I also ran engineering for various businesses in my company and had to deal with reliability problems.

Infant mortality aside, the odds are these Tonemaster amps will be running untouched from their manufacture date for decades longer than we will be alive or care to use them. Without high temperatures and high voltage electrolytic capacitors the next failure mode is likely fixable POTs and switches.

Tube amps are repairable and as luck has it, obsolete parts still have a manufacturing base is obscure corners of the world, but for sure they will need to be repaired often.

Personally, a Fender Mustang Micro and a QSC CP8 make a similarly light weight and good sounding solution at 40% the cost. That is my personal solution, but it is classic-vibe free :~(.
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Old 07-14-2021, 06:56 AM
Ray175 Ray175 is offline
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This amp sits a a sweet spot between the Deluxe and Twin Tonemasters. The Deluxe will cover 99% of my clean headroom needs, but there are times where just a little more clean headroom would have been better - but not to the point of buying the TMTR. The Super not only gives that extra headroom, but also its unique 4x10 speaker configuration, pushing lots of air. It’s a little more bulky than the Deluxe, but still remarkably light.
If all 3 models had been available 18 months ago I would have hesitated long and hard between the Super and the Deluxe (which I own) - with the extra headroom, tilt-back legs, bright switch and mid control I may well have gone for the Super..... who knows?
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Old 07-14-2021, 08:02 AM
posternutbag posternutbag is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonfields45 View Post
As an engineering manager I had my company's reliability team in my organization for about 5 years. I also ran engineering for various businesses in my company and had to deal with reliability problems.

Infant mortality aside, the odds are these Tonemaster amps will be running untouched from their manufacture date for decades longer than we will be alive or care to use them. Without high temperatures and high voltage electrolytic capacitors the next failure mode is likely fixable POTs and switches.

Tube amps are repairable and as luck has it, obsolete parts still have a manufacturing base is obscure corners of the world, but for sure they will need to be repaired often.

Personally, a Fender Mustang Micro and a QSC CP8 make a similarly light weight and good sounding solution at 40% the cost. That is my personal solution, but it is classic-vibe free :~(.
This is an interesting post. Thank you. I fully admit that I know next to nothing about electrical engineering. My only experience in the subject is from college physics classes, so that is to say minimal and entirely theoretical. But I would like to know more.

My comment was mostly based on my observation that when I was a small child in the 1980s, there were multiple TV repair shops in my town. Now there are none. I assumed this was because flat screen TVs and other electronics were so cheap as to be mostly disposable, but I guess it could also be that modern electronics seldom break. I have had my current flat screen TV since 2007.

So I am legitimately interested in the theoretical and practical aspects relating to the lifespan of valve vs solid state amps.
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Old 07-14-2021, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by posternutbag View Post

So I am legitimately interested in the theoretical and practical aspects relating to the lifespan of valve vs solid state amps.
great question

but in as long as I've been at this (50+ years) the solid state gear was usually the reliable work horse stuff.

Tube amps are GREAT but, tubes need to be replaced, and if you're not a tech (I'm not) and internal biasing is required (in most of the tube amps I've owned), you're looking for a service guy.

then there's moving them... they are always much heavier than a comparable Solid State rig.

I have 4 great tube amps, 3 marshalls, and a fender,.. the tone master hangs right in there with them sound wise.
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Old 07-14-2021, 10:29 AM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
....Then again, if Vox ever decides to produce a 30-pound dual-NuTube AC30 all bets are off...
I’d be standing in that line too! I would sell off everything for the two ultra light weights I would love to own:

An honest to goodness 2x12 AC30 Top Boost
and a real deal Roland JC120

For what I play, that’s all I would ever need! I’ll keep wishing.
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Old 07-14-2021, 11:06 AM
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Very tempting.

Last edited by Song; 07-16-2021 at 02:24 AM. Reason: covet
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Old 07-14-2021, 11:09 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by posternutbag View Post
So I am legitimately interested in the theoretical and practical aspects relating to the lifespan of valve vs solid state amps.
Here is the short list of practical reliability knowledge...

Small beats large. For example PCBs with tiny solder joints beat hand wired with large solder joints. Tubes are big by solid state standards.

Hi temperatures and high voltages are one method used accelerate aging for new product testing. Tubes lose as they are doing the acceleration as part of normal operation.

Temperature cycling is another way to accelerate aging and another hit on tubes, and to a lesser extent older A-B (not switching) solid state amps.

Electrolytic capacitors have almost laughably short specified lifetimes at full temperature and voltage; literally just 1000 hours. However they generally initially fail by shorting, burning out the short, and healing at a lower capacitance. Well designed tube amps can go decades on the factory electrolytics in many cases. Cool running solid state wins big by keeping the temps low.

Other less relevant stuff is avoiding sharp corners under stress and placing pins and pads in fully populated regular arrays. Not relevant to this discussion but that is the last useful rule of thumb for good design I live by :~).

I do love the Tonemaster look. As I often enjoyed the Twin Reverb sitting in House's apartment in that old Sherlock Holmes knock-off TV series. So cool that even TV set designers wanted the look for a character who played piano... The Colbert show must have a small inventory of Twin Reverbs around to spruce up the set when appropriate.
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Old 07-14-2021, 08:06 PM
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Not sure if this video is applicable to that particular amp, but some interesting points.

https://youtu.be/FUabL_KHdNs
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Old 07-15-2021, 02:21 AM
Ray175 Ray175 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickee View Post
I’d be standing in that line too! I would sell off everything for the two ultra light weights I would love to own:

An honest to goodness 2x12 AC30 Top Boost
and a real deal Roland JC120

For what I play, that’s all I would ever need! I’ll keep wishing.
For your AC30 Top Boost dream, my solution is the Quilter Superblock UK into a Toob 12S fitted with Jensen Blackbird 40 AlNiCo. In my mis-spent youth I had a 1964 Top Boost in the 1970s for several years, and to my ears Quilter has nailed that sound, and also offer normal AC30 and convincing Marshall JMP voices pushing a full 25w tube equivalent.. A cab with 2x12" celestion blues would be even closer, but the Jensen Blackbird is close to the Celestion Gold in sound, which suits me.

Last edited by Ray175; 07-15-2021 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 07-15-2021, 11:01 AM
Chickee Chickee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray175 View Post
For your AC30 Top Boost dream, my solution is the Quilter Superblock UK into a Toob 12S fitted with Jensen Blackbird 40 AlNiCo. In my mis-spent youth I had a 1964 Top Boost in the 1970s for several years, and to my ears Quilter has nailed that sound, and also offer normal AC30 and convincing Marshall JMP voices pushing a full 25w tube equivalent.. A cab with 2x12" celestion blues would be even closer, but the Jensen Blackbird is close to the Celestion Gold in sound, which suits me.
Thanks for the insight. Right now I am making due with an AC10c1 hotrodded with Genalex Gold Lion tubes and a Celestion 40watt Creamback speaker. Originally i wanted to install a Celestion Gold speaker, but the cabinet only offers a gross depth of 4.25” for speaker installation. The 10”, 16ohm Greenback and Creamback speakers fit perfectly. At 26lbs. it’s perfect and sounds wonderful.
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Old 07-15-2021, 01:50 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Steve, I think you should go for it. If it doesn't live up to your expectations return it.
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