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

Previous 20 Messages  
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.

FDP Data Goon

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.



Jul 29th, 2019 07:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

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

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.

Contributing Member


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

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



Jul 30th, 2019 06:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

The JC-120 can be modified:

Contributing Member


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

No Facebook in my world. (-:



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.



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

Contributing Member

If irritation occurs

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


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.



Aug 2nd, 2019 02:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

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

@Te 52
Yes, Princetons are fantastic.

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:

However, I haven't heard either of them out-of-the-box sound as Surfy as the Tone Masters:

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)


usa Thumb area Mi

Aug 4th, 2019 06:59 AM   Edit   Profile  

Indeed it's the popularity of Boss Katana and Roland's Blues Cube that is driving the Tone Masters.

Back in the mid-90s a used a Roland JC120 in a Jazz Quartet. A Wonderfull SS amp. If Fender has manufactured the same dependability, the same level of sound quality, in the Tone Masters I see a very successful amp line.

Peegoo has the point on this.

20yrs from now SS amps will probably be the majority of amps rolling off the assembly lines. Technology has finally caught up to the vacuum tube.

If I live to be a 100... 47yrs from now

****If human nature is what it is****

I'll expect to read on forums of the future.

1990s amps are the best SS amps ever built, they are so much better than the amps of 2066, they used original transistors made by XYZ and the cabs were built with XYZ wood and the speakers were the best because of XYZ.

Something to that equivalent

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Aug 4th, 2019 01:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

If amps were cameras, the Katana would be a DSLR with 10 gazillion nested menus and the new Fender Tonemaster would be a point-and-shoot.

Except in this case, the product with more features is a third the price of the simpler, easier-to-use one.

It'll be interesting to see which approach proves more successful in the marketplace.



Aug 20th, 2019 11:46 AM   Edit   Profile  


I ended up ordering the Tone Master Deluxe Reverb. It can be attenuated down from "22W" to 12, 5, 1, .5, .2 watts. This gives me a lot of flexibility to play without shaking the neighbors. The only reservation was that there is no headphone jack but someone suggested getting an inexpensive audio interface.

Hopefully will arrive soon. I'm expecting sometime in September.

Thank you all for your help.

Contributing Member

If irritation occurs

discontinue use.
Aug 20th, 2019 02:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

Cool! What I've heard online--these amps do sound great.

These new Fenders do seem expensive compared to the feature-laden amps of Roland/Boss, but that's because Roland wasn't popular during the heyday of classic rock.

Nostalgia is a powerful and expensive drug.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 04:26 PM, Aug 20th, 2019)

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Aug 20th, 2019 04:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

"The only reservation was that there is no headphone jack but someone suggested getting an inexpensive audio interface."

If you happen to have a small powered mixer with a headphone out, you can use that. The TM's have a XLR out which would go directly to the desk. (See link)

If you're looking to record direct to you computer, you'll need an interface.

something like this - $65 (I own one - works great)

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 06:10 PM, Aug 20th, 2019)

Contributing Member

American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Aug 20th, 2019 06:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

A Deluxe will play just about any gig you ever play. I've lugged around too many Twin Reverb and I vote for the Deluxe.

(This message was last edited by BbendFender at 08:44 PM, Aug 20th, 2019)


Mesa, AZ

Aug 21st, 2019 08:23 AM   Edit   Profile  

^ Except the TM Twin is 9 lbs. lighter than the tubed Deluxe Reverb. At 33 lbs. it is everyman's Twin Reverb.



Aug 22nd, 2019 01:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

Personally, I'm not seeing these amps as relatively expensive. If I buy a tube Reverb Deluxe I'm looking at $1,050 - $2,500 depending on model. Then I need to add an attenuator which could be anywhere from $100 to $800+.

I was able to buy the Tone Master for a LOT less than that. The Blues Cube is $950 plus the foot switch plus tone capsules, etc.

The Quilter was ~$1,275 (though I can still see one in my future).

Had the Tone Master twin been able to attenuate down like the Deluxe it would have been an easy decision but because it didn't I went the TM Deluxe route.

@Mick Reid - Thanks for the suggestion. The vendor who sold me the amp suggested one of these also. Will take another look.

Previous 20 Messages  

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

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