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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb

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These Tone Master versions of classic Fender blackface amps look pretty legit. I've yet to play one, but John Bohlinger's video below sounds pretty darn good. Hoping a local store has one of these to try out soon.


Last edited: Oct 07, 2019 10:27:57

It does sound very good. Seems especially useful for the gigging musician (lightweight, low maintenance, loud, IR with line etc.)
The FX sound great also. Top of the line as far as digital emulations go. The reverb seems to kick in a little late, but it's hard to judge.
Caveats: 1. as with all digital modeling until now, the way it sounds to the listener doesn't necessarily translate to the way it interacts with the player in real time. Even with minimal latency, the liveliness and dynamics of tubes are a hard thing to replicate. Getting there, though.
2. It will likely be obsolete in a couple of years, when a newer better digital solution will come, as has been before with previous digital lines. It always does. Even with firmware updates there's a limit to the chips, as opposed to tube amps which still maintain value.
3. No headphone output?
I like that they kept the 'programming' part to a minimum this time( no stupid menus), control is done by classic knobs.

Last edited: Oct 07, 2019 12:52:33

It's almost the same price as the tube model. Whatever

Did you notice that most of these demo video's of Reverb pedals the guitarist is always picking? Not using a pick. Different sound when using a pick.

'Surf Music Lasts Forever'

It sounds beautiful in the video. If priced like the tube versions, it's going to be a tough sell - maybe at half or 2/3 the price they could get people to buy in.

edwardsand wrote:

It sounds beautiful in the video. If priced like the tube versions, it's going to be a tough sell - maybe at half or 2/3 the price they could get people to buy in.

The Tone Master Twin is $450 cheaper than its tube counterpart. So roughly a third cheaper. But it’s got extra bennies that the tube amp doesn’t, like built-in attenuation and an XLR line out.


I hadn't seen all the other added features before posting, as I had watched about half the video to hear how it sounded. Those additional things do add a lot of value, especially the attenuation. Plus it's dual voltage. So I'll have to change my assessment and say it's more reasonably priced (though the Deluxe Reverb version is only $200 cheaper at Sweetwater) and that maybe more guitarists will give it a try.

FWIW, I based my comment on the Fender online shop listings. They list a '68 Custom Deluxe at $1049; they list the Tone Master Deluxe at $899. So, yeah, the TM's a $150 less, but for my money those prices are too close for modeling amp vs. tube amp.

Last edited: Oct 08, 2019 13:00:50

I gigged with my Tonemaster Deluxe Reverb this weekend (twice). It was pretty dang cool.

Lightweight as all get out, the tone was great (Fred Rilla said, "Your tone is always so great....wait, is that the NEW amp?")

I miss some of the harmonic richness of my PRRI and DRRI but nobody but me notices it.

The XLR confused sound guy #1 who ended up just mic'ing it anyway (I'm not going to argue with a sound guy) and sound guy #2 had no problem plugging direct in. I used the Cab Sim #2 (SM57) and it sounded good. More experimenting required here.

Ultimately, I've got to tweak the treble and bass some more, because the frequency response is so even across the range it's changed how my pedals and overall sound are working. (Not a bad thing)

Bottom line, it's equivalent to my tube amps, in a different way. In the studio I would probably still go with my tube amps (more harmonic richness) but this thing rocks bananas when gigging!


Last edited: Oct 13, 2019 20:09:13

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