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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / Which to Buy? Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb or Twin Reverb

Next 20 Messages  
camber799

USA

Jul 25th, 2019 01:07 PM   Edit   Profile  


Which should I buy? The Deluxe or Twin?

I’m a noob and need some advice on which to choose. I like tube amps but as a new player I’m not locked into either a “tube” or “solid state” mindset. I like that I can get the sound of the tube versions but can dial down the volume. I also like the lower weight of the Tone Masters. Clean sounds and reverb are what attract me to these amps.

Here are some differences which might or might not affect my decision:

* Cost - The difference of $100 between the two is not enough to be a deciding factor in something that I would likely keep for years.
* Size - The Deluxe is smaller which I think could be a benefit.
* Weight - The Deluxe is 23 lbs, the Twin is 33 lbs. I don’t think this is a dealbreaker in regards to the twin but I think the Deluxe has the edge here as well.
* Power - Twin wins here but I’m not certain how much of an advantage this is to me specifically.
* Speakers - Twin has two. Again, not certain how much of an advantage this is to me.
* Levels - Both have “attenuators”. The Deluxe has more flexibility on the lower levels. Deluxe: 0.2w, 0.5w, 1w, 5w, 12w, and 22w.
Twin: 1w, 5w, 12w, 22w, 40w, 85w
Earth Shaking - Twin can do this.

I’m mostly going to play in the house and want lower volumes so as not to traumatize the other members of the family. I’m not sure I’m going to gig but I like the flexibility if sometime down the line someone says “hey, why don’t you join us…”.

Perhaps I’m missing some differences but in going through them I’m leaning towards the Deluxe but I’m curious if I’d be missing out on something key by going with the more “monsterous” amp.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks!


larryguitar19
Contributing Member
*****

South Florida

larryguitar
Jul 25th, 2019 02:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

I seriously recommend you don't do either one and instead pick up a good condition slightly used regular tube version of Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue. You should be able to get on for around $1k or less.

It's the quintessential perfect amp for a new player playing at house level.

And if you want to gig with it the amp will do whatever you want.

Here is a sample of me playing through an off the shelf DRRI with some delay and drive and not a whole lot else.

jamming

(This message was last edited by larryguitar19 at 04:49 PM, Jul 25th, 2019)

Ayns
Contributing Member
**********
**

UK

England's Sloppiest Guitarist
Jul 25th, 2019 02:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hi camber799,

I would also be very interested in these if I had the cash. I haven't listened to any of the online demos yet, but I hear they're very impressive.

I agree that the small price differential is fairly irrelevant, and the size difference.

Weight-wise, 33lbs for the Twin isn't heavy. Most 1 x 12 valve combos weigh more than that, sometimes *way* more, but 23lbs for the Deluxe is super light, and you'd struggle to find a lighter 1 x 12 combo.

Power - both of these are possibly overkill for playing at home , and both should easily be able to handle decent sized gigs if required.

Speakers - I generally prefer a 2 x 12 to a 1 x 12 as they move more air and fill the room better if you're gigging. That said, I use a 1 x 12 combo for gigging most of the time these days.

Ideally I would suggest you try them out if possible, and see what suits you best, particularly weight wise.

There also seems to be a feeling around here that these are quite pricey, particularly in comparison to Boss Katana, Roland Blues Cube and other well regarded SS amps.

Cheers


(This message was last edited by Ayns at 04:50 PM, Jul 25th, 2019)

camber799

USA

Jul 25th, 2019 03:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

@larryguitar19
Thanks for your reply. If I went the tube route the Twin wouldn't be an option (size, weight). I agree and have considered that option but two things have me leaning towards the new amps:
Weight and the included attenuator. They are very light and I can dial the amps down to very low levels. So even if I find one at the same price I have to add the cost of the attenuator.

@Ayns
Thanks, you have an interesting point about moving air. I think with the cost and weight, along with the attenuator, the Twin becomes an option that I wouldn't have considered before.



Ayns
Contributing Member
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UK

England's Sloppiest Guitarist
Jul 25th, 2019 03:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

No problem.

If I had to choose I would *probably* go for the Deluxe, but it's a close call.

Progressive Kit

USA

Jul 25th, 2019 03:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

at 33lbs, it is bordering on the weight of my actual deluxe reverb. The twin seems to give you more sound options (the cranked sound of the amp at 5 watts and the ultra clean sound that it is know for at almost infinite volume). I would choose the twin if I had to.

larryguitar19
Contributing Member
*****

South Florida

larryguitar
Jul 25th, 2019 03:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

camber--agree on the Twin. I have the tube version. Love it but it is a monster to lug around.

I see the tube version of the DRRI is 42lbs which is twice the weight of the digital version.

So I do see the argument. I"d have to A/B the Tonemaster to let my ears be the judge.

(This message was last edited by larryguitar19 at 05:46 PM, Jul 25th, 2019)

camber799

USA

Jul 25th, 2019 04:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

@Ayns - Thanks. It's a tough call. But at 33 lbs the TM Twin becomes really useful for someone who is't gigging in a huge venue.

@Progressive Kit - Yes, the DR is ~42 lbs vs 23 for the TMDR and 33 lbs for the TMTR. Both have that attenuation feature where you can crank the amp but turn down the wattage so you can get your sweet spot and turn up or down depending on where you are. The Deluxe version seems to have finer lower wattage options though.

@larryguitar19 - Forgot to thank you for the sample video. Great job and the amp sounds great also. I think the concensus so far is that it's difficult to determine the difference between the solid state and the tube versions. Anderton's did a comparison:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJacQ2CfHwY&t=1010s

However, your earlier post is having me rethinking a Deluxe (with tubes) but the issue of low volume playing is key.

Also, I see some concerns about price but based on what I have heard so far these really are blowing away some of the modeling amps that I was previously interested in. Lastly, I have a Boss GT-100 so I could theoretically turn whatever amp I buy into a modeling amp if I chose to.

I think you all can see my dilemma.

tahitijack
Contributing Member
****

San Clemente, CA

Happy Sunsets, tahitijack
Jul 27th, 2019 02:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

One more suggestion to add to your options. You might look at the Fender GT 100 or a used Mustang III. Both well under the price of the Tone Masters. If you go used I'd buy from GC with their insurance policy to peace of mind of the potential digital failure 4 months from purchase. If you decide to play out later they both would carry you down that road nicely.

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

She hath it all,

& hath no need of thee.
Jul 28th, 2019 03:30 AM   Edit   Profile  

If I had to pick between those two, I'd do the Twin simply for the extra speaker.

It will add presence and assuming there's anything at all lacking from the speaker (haven't heard the ones used or any of the neodymium ones), I'd want a second to give more fill and presence.

Even if I loved the speaker, I'd still want that.

I don't think I'd pay that for one, mind you - I'd just get a JC-120 used and be done with it.

camber799

USA

Jul 29th, 2019 07:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

@tahitijack
Thanks for the input-I'll take another look at those.

@reverendrob
Thanks for the suggestion. I agree on the presence. I think right now I'm somewhat leaning towards the Deluxe simply because with the low power settings (0.2, 0.5, 1w, 5w, 12w, full/22W) it becomes a bedroom amp, practice, and even gig amp (though have a long way to go before that's an issue). It provides a lot of flexibility.

Since this is a Fender forum I limited my question to the Tone Masters but since you mention it I am also considering the JC-120, Blues Cube Artist and Quilter. The JC-120 would require an attenuator though from what I can tell which would put the cost over the ~$1k mark.

Leftee
Contributing Member
**********
**********
**********
**********

VA

The Escalator
Jul 29th, 2019 08:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

You can’t use an attenuator with a solid state amp.

camber799

USA

Jul 30th, 2019 06:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

@Leftee
The JC-120 can be modified:
https://www.facebook.com/tubesound.fi/posts/finally-finished-the-roland-jc-120-new-pots-new-ics-and-a-pretty-usefull-mod-to-/490067857780336/

Leftee
Contributing Member
**********
**********
**********
**********

VA

The Escalator
Jul 30th, 2019 06:31 PM   Edit   Profile  

No Facebook in my world. (-:

Hannah

Сое&ET

Jul 31st, 2019 06:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

My 15 watt tube combo screams louder than the drums and I have never had the desire to sell it and buy something "more powerful" on a rap base. Given that there are 50 W amplifiers nearby and I play both on that and on this with the same pleasure. It turns out that for the home, for the family - a maximum of 15 watts. So, I had one of Fender small tube amps. And I'm still happy with its work.

small tube amps

(This message was last edited by Hannah at 08:53 AM, Aug 7th, 2019)

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jul 31st, 2019 04:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

Any list of "The 12 Best Small/Low Watt Tube Amps" that doesn't include the Princeton gets a raised eyebrow.

Hannah

Сое&ET

Aug 2nd, 2019 05:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

Well, of course I did not write this list, but I agree with you Te 52. But these are the amplifiers that inspire confidence

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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****

If irritation occurs

discontinue use.
Aug 2nd, 2019 05:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

camber799

Sounds to me like you have not been infected with the "amps without tubes are junk" mindset like many many players. Nostalgia is a powerful force that makes us all behave in irrational ways.

Myself included.

It took me years of playing, building guitars and amps, and gigging to realize (1) there are just as many tube amps that are bad as there are good ones, and (2) growing up through the introduction of solid-state amps was enough to permanently scar my brain because most all of them were really terrible compared to the terrible tube amps of the time.

I have a bunch of fine tube amps that sound amazing, but generally I warm those up only when I'm recording. For playing at home and dragging around town, I use an all analog solid state (SS) amp. Modern SS amps sound so close to their tube ancestors it's really a wash.

Another way to think about this is effects pedals: unless you play completely nekkid (guitar, cable, amp), most anything you plug in between your guitar and "pure tube tone" amplificator is SS.

The benefits of a good SS amp over a tube amp include

- Much lighter in weight
- More rugged (no glass, less heat)
- Virtually no maintenance required

All this to say get out to a guitar shop and play these candidates to see if they sound good to you. Bottom line is there is no wrong or right that can be universally applied to gear. Tone is subjective, and only you will know which amp is best for you.

camber799

USA

Aug 2nd, 2019 02:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

@Hannah
Thanks, that's a great list. Will take a look.

@Te 52
Yes, Princetons are fantastic.

@Peegoo
I think you nailed it. I'm new to this so the only SS amps I've known are desirable and while I recognize that tubes are, generally, going to provide better sound, I'm not locked into them. The SS amps are more convenient and do more, providing flexibility. They can be good at low levels also.

Really what I'm looking for is a $1k kick-butt bedroom amp that can do a whole lot more. The solid state amps seem to do that. This isn't to say that down the road I won't purchase a tube amp-it just means that this time around I'm looking for a "Swiss Army" knife approach that can be played softly, preferably also through headphones, but could also be cranked up. I'm also looking for quality.

Currently I'm considering the Quilter Tone Block 202 with BlockDock 12HD, Roland Blues Cube Artist, or one of the new Tone Masters from Fender.

Unfortunately there isn't anywhere close by to audition the former and the latter aren't available yet.

I really like the form factor and features of the Quilter and like that it can serve as an FRFR, allowing it to be a platform for a Kemper or similar. It's light and the people who own Quilter amps love them. Right now this is my first choice from a form-factor and feature-set-perspective.

The Blues Cube Artist is also light, capable and has a lot of great features. There is a great video on YouTube with the Guitarist Tone Lounge crew that dials it in nicely:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwuMEHsUeGU&t=1106s

However, I haven't heard either of them out-of-the-box sound as Surfy as the Tone Masters:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zDxQcEIqiY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEm56y3djz8







Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Aug 3rd, 2019 05:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

If you're looking for a "Swiss Army Knife" amp, the Boss Katana is that in spades. If anything, it's *too* versatile, as in Feature Overload.

(This message was last edited by Te 52 at 03:04 PM, Aug 4th, 2019)

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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / Which to Buy? Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb or Twin Reverb




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