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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Fender Tone Master amps

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I tried out the attenuator settings last night and they work great. Even the 1w is very nice, so now I can play a bit after the wife goes to bed. Huzzah! Big Grin

Brownfacing (aesthetically only, still blackface tonally) the blonde Fender Tone Master Twin Reverb is complete! Cool

image

The doofus formerly known as Snorre
Surfysonic on Twitch
Surfysonic on YouTube
World Famous Philistines: 2014 - 2015
https://www.facebook.com/world.famous.philistines/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
K39: 2013 - 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv9JADQ4ukw

I love those white amp knobs on things, even guitars. I guess if you install them correctly (baseline/index at "0" and know, visually, where the sweep is, you don't necessarily NEED the numbers showing, especially if the tone and other settings roughly remain the same...just adjust the volume as needed?

In any case, I like that look. Those blonde Super-Sonic amps use those knobs, and have the numbers printed on the faceplate. My favorite Fender amp look of all time.

I saw a pic online years ago of one of those brown '63 Vibroverb reissues from the 90's (I think it was for sale on Reverb) where someone swapped out those white/cream cupcake knobs (instead of the stock brown). Sacrilege to some, I realize, but it actually looked better, IMO. They "popped" off the dark faceplate and just looked nice with the numbers, writing and dividing lines.

Last edited: Sep 20, 2020 18:35:10

When I installed the cupcake knobs, I made sure all the controls were turned down fully. Then I did my best to ensure the knob marker line was set to the "0" position when tightening the screw on each knob. I may need to tweak them as some of the knobs tend to move slightly when I was tightening the knob screws.

Also helpful is the "5" position marker on the face plate for each knob.

Of course, really, it's all in the ears, too. I don't tend to crank my amps at home so I don't hurt our ears (my wife's, our dogs', or mine).

The doofus formerly known as Snorre
Surfysonic on Twitch
Surfysonic on YouTube
World Famous Philistines: 2014 - 2015
https://www.facebook.com/world.famous.philistines/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
K39: 2013 - 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv9JADQ4ukw

I have been researching which surf amp to buy for a while now. I had a Fender twin back in the eighties and loved it, especially for clean jazz that I fool around with once in a while. But it was just too loud for bedroom use, so I sold it.

I was seriously considering building a Mojotone kit but did a complete 180 and just ordered a Fender Tone Master Twin Reverb based a lot on Drecula's video.

I really preferred the aesthetics of the blonde model, but thought that the Celestion speaker was just a tad too polite. Surfysonic showed it can surf nicely, but I went with the original with the Jensens. I've got a Fender reissue reverb unit, so I should be good to go.

Congrats! I like the Celestion NEO Creamback speakers well enough, but I prefer Jensen speakers as well. The surfy blonde/brownface aesthetics won me over for this amp. I might look into seeing if I can swap out the Celestion NEO Creambacks for a pair of Jensen N-12K neodymium for comparison.

The doofus formerly known as Snorre
Surfysonic on Twitch
Surfysonic on YouTube
World Famous Philistines: 2014 - 2015
https://www.facebook.com/world.famous.philistines/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
K39: 2013 - 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv9JADQ4ukw

Surfysonic wrote:

Congrats! I like the Celestion NEO Creamback speakers well enough, but I prefer Jensen speakers as well. The surfy blonde/brownface aesthetics won me over for this amp. I might look into seeing if I can swap out the Celestion NEO Creambacks for a pair of Jensen N-12K neodymium for comparison.

I get it. I thought of doing the same thing, but the aesthetics aren't important enough to me to spend the money. If I was gigging and wanted to look authentic I would. I think I could live with the Clestions if I had to. Great video, BTW and I love the cupcake knobs.

Last edited: Mar 31, 2021 15:53:20

raylinds wrote:

Surfysonic wrote:

Congrats! I like the Celestion NEO Creamback speakers well enough, but I prefer Jensen speakers as well. The surfy blonde/brownface aesthetics won me over for this amp. I might look into seeing if I can swap out the Celestion NEO Creambacks for a pair of Jensen N-12K neodymium for comparison.

I get it. I thought of doing the same thing, but the aesthetics aren't important enough to me to spend the money. If I was gigging and wanted to look authentic I would. I think I could live with the Clestions if I had to. Great video, BTW and I love the cupcake knobs.

Thanks! I've since tamed the hum from my pedalboard - much quieter now.

The doofus formerly known as Snorre
Surfysonic on Twitch
Surfysonic on YouTube
World Famous Philistines: 2014 - 2015
https://www.facebook.com/world.famous.philistines/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
K39: 2013 - 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv9JADQ4ukw

NAD! My Tone Master Twin Reverb arrived. So far I have only tried it with my Jaguar, and have not spent a lot of time adjusting tone controls, but it sounds amazing! I agonized for months on what amp to get, but this was kind of a no-brainer. I decided on this because of the built in attenuator and ability to record direct in to my DAW.

My hesitation was that I am a tube snob, but after playing this I find it extremely hard to believe that this thing doesn't have tubes.
image

Congrats again! I'm glad you're enjoying the Tone Master! How does the Jensen Neodymium speakers compare with other Jensen speakers?

The doofus formerly known as Snorre
Surfysonic on Twitch
Surfysonic on YouTube
World Famous Philistines: 2014 - 2015
https://www.facebook.com/world.famous.philistines/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
K39: 2013 - 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv9JADQ4ukw

Nice work getting the tm twin! I’ve had the deluxe for a couple months now and use it all the time at home, it’s done a couple gigs and sounds great with the band. It’s worth checking out the firmware updates on fenders website, super easy to do and improved the reverb

raylinds wrote:

NAD! My Tone Master Twin Reverb arrived. So far I have only tried it with my Jaguar, and have not spent a lot of time adjusting tone controls, but it sounds amazing! I agonized for months on what amp to get, but this was kind of a no-brainer. I decided on this because of the built in attenuator and ability to record direct in to my DAW.

My hesitation was that I am a tube snob, but after playing this I find it extremely hard to believe that this thing doesn't have tubes.
image

Did you decide it's a keeper? I also went with the old version for the Jensens and because I would never use the internal reverb. But I find that these amps don't really drip with the 6g15, or at least not anywhere near a real Twin. I kinda think they're dark compared to a Twin. I'm wondering if it's just the speakers or what. Do you notice the same thing? I can coax more drip by plugging into a dirt pedal and just adding a touch of overdrive, but these amps don't particularly take drive pedals well either. Really fizzy, even at low gain settings.

I'm probably going to sell mine since I can't return it because it was a discounted model at GC. I didn't expect such a dark tone with the outboard reverb tho. By most people's standards, I imagine these definitely get brighter than they would need but I like Twins because of their bright, yet rounded highs. I'm tempted to swap speakers, but I've read that they are glued to the baffle so it voids the warranty and that different speakers don't help much anyway. Other surf guys I've talked to say they have the same issue but they all use tube screamers to get the drip, with the sacrifice of losing low end which is not what I want either.

Last edited: Apr 13, 2021 13:17:14

Are the speakers really glued to the baffle? Why would they design it that way? I'm surprised to hear it doesn't drip well. Honestly, couldn't an EQ pedal correct this issue?

Guitar player for The Driptones surf band.
https://www.driptones.com/

Last edited: Apr 13, 2021 14:58:14

Funny how some amps get ignored regarding this kinda frankenstein recreation. Dual Showmans? Bandmaster? Or that blonde 6g6b....i never worked out why that amp is raved about apart from being used by Brian Setzer. Maybe Townshend and George Harrison but it's hardly an amp that they're famous for

Yeah, I really don't know what Fender was thinking about making the speakers unswappable without warranty voiding. I haven't confirmed they are actually glued. I've read a couple guys saying they were and yet others saying they've swapped speakers without issue. But it's possible they swapped entire baffles or someone is lying. Fender responded to me that they would in fact know if speakers would have been changed by looking at the baffle.

But back to the drip issue... Yes, an EQ does seem to help a bit with drip, but at the expense of having really shrill notes on the top strings. I noticed the unwound g being the biggest culprit at this. I'm already using a bright guitar into the bright channel with a fairly bright reverb tone setting.

BUT..

Of all the stuff I owned and tried tonight, the best solution I have going right now is using the Boss CS2 compressor. Seriously. I don't know why I didn't think of trying it sooner. The CS2 has always been one of my favorite tone enhancers anyway, at least with single coils. I never really used it as a comp (meaning not dialed in to squish), but just as something to add a nice focus and sparkle which it does really well in a blues or country context. But seeing how it makes the tank respond, I gotta say this is really nice for surf as well. I know, sacrilege.

It's actually a really nice comp, and I've always liked that it doesn't really color your tone much, other than in a good way. With the sustain up a bit and the attack maxed, it seems to boost that particular frequency that makes it drip REALLY well. Plus there's the added benefit of sustain if you want or need it. I'm actually really happy with the tone I'm getting now. I'll just kick this on when I want either extra volume or playing parts where I'm palm muting individual notes. I can't say I would try any other compressor unless it has a clean blend or something. This particular comp doesn't behave like any other comp I've ever played so I have no clue how others would work in a surf setting. Once upon a time the CS2 was my desert island pedal and it's like I've been reunited with an old friend to tackle a problem successfully.

Last edited: Apr 14, 2021 07:35:24

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