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  1. #1

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    Just announced. 20lbs, Jensen C10r, attenuates to 0.3, 0.75, 1.5, 3, 6, or the full 12watts. List is $899

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  3. #2

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    ToneMaster series is 100% solid-state / digital FWIW

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by TedBPhx
    Just announced. 20lbs, Jensen C10r, attenuates to 0.3, 0.75, 1.5, 3, 6, or the full 12watts. List is $899
    This strikes me as a real missed opportunity. A better and lighter speaker + more power (with the ability to scale power down to a fraction of a watt) would have been an amazing upgrade over a regular PR. Imagine a PR that weighs 15 lbs instead of 20 and stay clean with a loud band (if you want it to). I'd sell my real PR in a heartbeat for that.

  5. #4

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    I just don't understand the market for this.

    It weighs the same as the Tone Master Deluxe but has 12% the power, so it's not as giggable. So is this for home use? Why not use a real Princeton reverb? They cost the same.

    Is this just for people who prefer the warmth of digital processing over that harsh, sterile sound of tubes?

    If they make a digital champ next, we'll know they've lost their minds.

  6. #5

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    These tweed Sweetwater Princetons with the 12 inch CR speaker are pretty darn great, and they are on sale for under $1K.

    Fender ToneMaster Princeton!-0c603818-edf9-436e-a2a9-e797216a3769-jpgFender ToneMaster Princeton!-fd1793b4-dc9c-4b1e-ae99-0a3b028e42e9-jpg

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    I just don't understand the market for this.

    It weighs the same as the Tone Master Deluxe but has 12% the power, so it's not as giggable. So is this for home use? Why not use a real Princeton reverb? They cost the same.

    Is this just for people who prefer the warmth of digital processing over that harsh, sterile sound of tubes?

    If they make a digital champ next, we'll know they've lost their minds.
    Tone Master is 899, PRRI is 1299. Tone Master is 20lbs, PRRI is 34lbs. Neither of the difference is small... And while I never tried the Tone Master amps, I've read several reports that it sounds quite good and close enough to the originals.

    Besides that - no tube maintenace, scalable power, maybe more reliable too? Tubes can break easily, if you carry your amp a lot.

    That said, for us jazzers there's always the amp Fender never made. Size of a princeton (small 1x12) and the power of a vibrolux (40w)... It would make sense to do this in the digital Tone Master series, a small light 1x12 with lots of headroom that could be also used by musicains who play other genres as a pedal platform. But so far, they've been only replicating historic amps...

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgemg1984
    Tone Master is 899, PRRI is 1299. Tone Master is 20lbs, PRRI is 34lbs. Neither of the difference is small... And while I never tried the Tone Master amps, I've read several reports that it sounds quite good and close enough to the originals.

    Besides that - no tube maintenace, scalable power, maybe more reliable too? Tubes can break easily, if you carry your amp a lot.

    That said, for us jazzers there's always the amp Fender never made. Size of a princeton (small 1x12) and the power of a vibrolux (40w)... It would make sense to do this in the digital Tone Master series, a small light 1x12 with lots of headroom that could be also used by musicains who play other genres as a pedal platform. But so far, they've been only replicating historic amps...
    Several boutique brands make that recipe, but they are pricey. They would also be heavier even than a Princeton because of bigger iron. Having said that, it is perfect for a jazz player. I've been considering ordering that configuration from Fat Jimmy amps in Petaluma.

  9. #8

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    Way better off buying a used Quilter Aviator 1x8” Combo. 100 watts which will cover just about any situation and also has a second channel for other instruments, michrophone, synth, etc.

    Also less $$

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgemg1984
    Tone Master is 899, PRRI is 1299. Tone Master is 20lbs, PRRI is 34lbs. Neither of the difference is small... And while I never tried the Tone Master amps, I've read several reports that it sounds quite good and close enough to the originals.

    Besides that - no tube maintenace, scalable power, maybe more reliable too? Tubes can break easily, if you carry your amp a lot.

    That said, for us jazzers there's always the amp Fender never made. Size of a princeton (small 1x12) and the power of a vibrolux (40w)... It would make sense to do this in the digital Tone Master series, a small light 1x12 with lots of headroom that could be also used by musicains who play other genres as a pedal platform. But so far, they've been only replicating historic amps...
    Let's break it down by use case.

    Is this amp for gigging? Sound like what you're describing about tubes is that they're not reliable for gigging, so I imagine you're thinking of the princeton as a gigging amp. If so, the nearest comparison is the Deluxe Tonemaster

    Princeton Tonemaster: 899 20 lbs 12 watts
    Deluxe Tonemaster: 999 23 lbs 100 watts

    Does it make sense to pick an amp that is 12% the power of the Deluxe to save $100 and 3lbs?

    Ok, then is the amp for home use?

    Princeton Tonemaster: 899 20 lbs 12 watts
    Actual Princeton: ~899 used 34lbs 12 watts

    If it's at home and not moving around much, then the weight doesn't make a difference. A 60 lb amp sitting in the corner of a room is not any less convenient to me than if it weighed 10 lbs. Used PPRIs are abundant and easily go for $899 or less. The only differentiation is the tubes vs the digital modeler.


    If Fender designed this as a 100 watt 1x10 with a neo speaker (Jensen tornado?) and it weighed 15 lbs, that would make it different enough from the deluxe to be worth it. I'd seriously consider an amp like that. But the current design just feels like a poorly thought out product. It seems like it was an afterthought to the deluxe and twin reissues and more likely a business decision than a product one. I.e. if they already invested in the tech and can build a new product for incremental revenue in a niche market at a very low marginal cost, why not?

    Not saying this is useless for everyone. Some people might find value in a lightweight modeling amp at home. But that market feels much smaller than the market already occupied by the deluxe tone master.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    I just don't understand the market for this.

    It weighs the same as the Tone Master Deluxe but has 12% the power, so it's not as giggable. So is this for home use? Why not use a real Princeton reverb? They cost the same.

    Is this just for people who prefer the warmth of digital processing over that harsh, sterile sound of tubes?

    If they make a digital champ next, we'll know they've lost their minds.
    They already have made a couple of different "digital Champs". E.g., Champion 20, which includes several different models and is giggable (up to a point), and is really cheap. There's also the Super Champ X2, which I think kind of flunks the test (not enough power, too heavy, but sounds pretty good). Honestly, if the TM PR were 15 lbs and could scale up to the equivalent loudness of, say, Vibrolux Reverb, by real PR would be up for sale right now. But as spec'd the PR does not tempt me. Nor does the TM DR, even though I tried one and thought it sounded great. The Quilter Aviator Cub gets the formula much closer to right IMO (and would be perfect if they could get the weight under 20lbs), as does the Champion 40.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluejaybill
    Several boutique brands make that recipe, but they are pricey. They would also be heavier even than a Princeton because of bigger iron. Having said that, it is perfect for a jazz player. I've been considering ordering that configuration from Fat Jimmy amps in Petaluma.
    True, i was more saying that Fender never dit it - never understood why. I agree, if I had the money, it would probably be the amp I would buy.

  13. #12

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    To throw one more fish into the pot...

    The Tone Master Twin Reverb is only $150 more than the TM Princeton Reverb and the Twin version weighs 33lb, the same as the tube PR.

    If I was looking for a Tone Master, I'd go for the Twin, unless you require something smaller

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    I just don't understand the market for this.

    It weighs the same as the Tone Master Deluxe but has 12% the power, so it's not as giggable. So is this for home use? Why not use a real Princeton reverb? They cost the same.

    Is this just for people who prefer the warmth of digital processing over that harsh, sterile sound of tubes?

    If they make a digital champ next, we'll know they've lost their minds.
    The Princeton is a darker amp with more sag than a Deluxe. Always a great recording amp. I'd bet there will be a market for it.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgemg1984

    That said, for us jazzers there's always the amp Fender never made. Size of a princeton (small 1x12) and the power of a vibrolux (40w)... It would make sense to do this in the digital Tone Master series, a small light 1x12 with lots of headroom that could be also used by musicains who play other genres as a pedal platform. But so far, they've been only replicating historic amps...
    Aren't you describing the Hot Rod Deluxe? 1x12, 40W... the cabinet may be bigger than what you're wishing for, I suppose

  16. #15

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    On the general topic of what they're putting into a Tone Master... I bet it would not be hard to build a TM Deluxe with a switch in the back that lets you select between tweed/brown/black face. It's just running different code.

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    I just don't understand the market for this.

    It weighs the same as the Tone Master Deluxe but has 12% the power, so it's not as giggable. So is this for home use? Why not use a real Princeton reverb? They cost the same.

    Is this just for people who prefer the warmth of digital processing over that harsh, sterile sound of tubes?

    If they make a digital champ next, we'll know they've lost their minds.
    Deluxes are 22 watt amps

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    Let's break it down by use case.

    Is this amp for gigging? Sound like what you're describing about tubes is that they're not reliable for gigging, so I imagine you're thinking of the princeton as a gigging amp. If so, the nearest comparison is the Deluxe Tonemaster

    Princeton Tonemaster: 899 20 lbs 12 watts
    Deluxe Tonemaster: 999 23 lbs 100 watts

    Does it make sense to pick an amp that is 12% the power of the Deluxe to save $100 and 3lbs?

    Ok, then is the amp for home use?

    Princeton Tonemaster: 899 20 lbs 12 watts
    Actual Princeton: ~899 used 34lbs 12 watts

    If it's at home and not moving around much, then the weight doesn't make a difference. A 60 lb amp sitting in the corner of a room is not any less convenient to me than if it weighed 10 lbs. Used PPRIs are abundant and easily go for $899 or less. The only differentiation is the tubes vs the digital modeler.


    If Fender designed this as a 100 watt 1x10 with a neo speaker (Jensen tornado?) and it weighed 15 lbs, that would make it different enough from the deluxe to be worth it. I'd seriously consider an amp like that. But the current design just feels like a poorly thought out product. It seems like it was an afterthought to the deluxe and twin reissues and more likely a business decision than a product one. I.e. if they already invested in the tech and can build a new product for incremental revenue in a niche market at a very low marginal cost, why not?

    Not saying this is useless for everyone. Some people might find value in a lightweight modeling amp at home. But that market feels much smaller than the market already occupied by the deluxe tone master.
    Well, then it's a different argument. - comparing the Tone Master Princeton to a Deluxe or to a used (not new) PRRI. You said the PRRI and the Princeton Tone Master had the same weight and price. I merely pointed out they don't.

    And I hate to be THAT guy but I have to do one more correction:

    "Princeton Tonemaster: 899 20 lbs 12 watts
    Deluxe Tonemaster: 999 23 lbs 100 watts"

    Thats is not true. From Fender's own website:

    "Princeton Tonemaster: 899 20 lbs 50 watts (simulates 12w tubes)
    Deluxe Tonemaster: 999 23 lbs 100 watts (simulates 22w tubes)"

    So, you save 100 bucks for half the power, not 12%.

    And you're missing another difference - width. The Princeton is smaller, and that may be relevant for some.

    Also, less power is bad for us jazzers (less clean headroom) but it's actually good for almost anyone else - it means you can reach distorted levels at a lower volume, great for a blues or rock bedroom players (Fender couldn't care less what jazzers think).

    I don't think there was any "thought" into the product. They're releasing exact copies of historic Fender amps in a moddeling package, one by one. I asume the ones before had success enough for them to keep going... Educating costumers is very expensive, everyone knows what a Princeton is and the main differences to a Deluxe.

    I would personally never buy a Princeton, Tone Master, PRRI or other. But it's obivous Fender has sold lots of them over the years and why.

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    To throw one more fish into the pot...

    The Tone Master Twin Reverb is only $150 more than the TM Princeton Reverb and the Twin version weighs 33lb, the same as the tube PR.

    If I was looking for a Tone Master, I'd go for the Twin, unless you require something smaller
    Bought the Twin version in Jan of ‘20 right after they came out.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    Let's break it down by use case.

    Is this amp for gigging? Sound like what you're describing about tubes is that they're not reliable for gigging, so I imagine you're thinking of the princeton as a gigging amp. If so, the nearest comparison is the Deluxe Tonemaster

    Princeton Tonemaster: 899 20 lbs 12 watts
    Deluxe Tonemaster: 999 23 lbs 100 watts

    Does it make sense to pick an amp that is 12% the power of the Deluxe to save $100 and 3lbs?
    According to the Fender specs, the TM DR is "100W into 8? (Simulates 22W Tube Amp Performance)" and the TM PR is "50W into 8? (Simulates 12W Tube Amp Performance)". So about half the power (as with the real tube versions), which is not that big difference because of the logarithmic nature of loudness measurement and perception. Just based on the speaker spec's I suspect the volume/headroom differences are similar to those between a PRRI and a DRRI (where a lot of the loudness differences also come from speaker differences).

    So what I really don't get about the TM PR is the speaker. The almost universal opinion about real PR's is that the stock speaker is it's biggest negative. I have a 78 PR with a C10Q rather than a stock C10R. I know from real-world comparisons it's appreciably louder than a stock PR. Even if they left the TM PR at the same power, why not put in a lighter and more efficient speaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    Ok, then is the amp for home use?

    Princeton Tonemaster: 899 20 lbs 12 watts
    Actual Princeton: ~899 used 34lbs 12 watts

    If it's at home and not moving around much, then the weight doesn't make a difference. A 60 lb amp sitting in the corner of a room is not any less convenient to me than if it weighed 10 lbs. Used PPRIs are abundant and easily go for $899 or less. The only differentiation is the tubes vs the digital modeler.
    I think you really have to compare new to new or used to used. There will be used TM PR's soon enough. We don't know what they will cost, but I bet $500-ish is close. Also, to me a 60lb amp (or a 37lb one in the case of my PR) is definitely a lot less convenient to me than a 10 lb amp at home, since I don't have a dedicated music space and have to move amps from room to room if I want to play when family members are home. If a PR is plenty of amp, I see no reason not to get the TM over a real one; it's lighter and cheaper. But where it fails is that many PR users say they wish their PR's were a bit louder (hence all mods we see), and the TM PR does not address that.

    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    If Fender designed this as a 100 watt 1x10 with a neo speaker (Jensen tornado?) and it weighed 15 lbs, that would make it different enough from the deluxe to be worth it. I'd seriously consider an amp like that. But the current design just feels like a poorly thought out product. It seems like it was an afterthought to the deluxe and twin reissues and more likely a business decision than a product one. I.e. if they already invested in the tech and can build a new product for incremental revenue in a niche market at a very low marginal cost, why not?

    Not saying this is useless for everyone. Some people might find value in a lightweight modeling amp at home. But that market feels much smaller than the market already occupied by the deluxe tone master.
    I agree completely with all of that.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    On the general topic of what they're putting into a Tone Master... I bet it would not be hard to build a TM Deluxe with a switch in the back that lets you select between tweed/brown/black face. It's just running different code.
    You mean the Fender Aviator Cub?

  22. #21

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    I don't think we represent a significant part of Fender's target audience, and this thread may be missing Fender's basic strategy. They have a large enough market to be able to sell a lot of amplifiers. They also have a long reputation for quality and an historic lineup of classic amps that were the backbone of the music industry for decades. They can sell multiple models that differ in minor ways because there are enough people who want them all. So the more models they can pump out, the more loyal customers they will either retain or pick up. But they have a lot of competition these days, so they're pushing out everything they think will grab market share from the upstarts.

    According to Reverb sales data, Fender has 6 of the top selling 20 amps in the US in 2022. Boss and Orange have 3 each, and Marshall and Yamaha each have 2 on the list:

    1. Positive Grid Spark 40
    2. Boss Katana-50
    3. Yamaha THR10II
    4. Orange Micro Dark
    5. Yamaha THR30II
    6. Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb
    7. Fender Rumble 40 V3
    8. Orange MT20 Micro Terror
    9. Marshall DSL40CR
    10. PRS Mark Tremonti MT15
    11. Vox AC15C1
    12. Fender '65 Reissue Deluxe Reverb
    13. Fender Rumble 100
    14. Fender Mustang LT25
    15. Boss Katana-100 MKII
    16. Orange Super Crush 100
    17. Marshall Studio Vintage SV20H MKII
    18. Fender Blues Junior III
    19. Kemper Profiler Head
    20. Boss KTN-Mini


    They've kinda cornered the market on big combos. And I suspect they're bringing out the TMs and other digital products to lure buyers of those little digital amps on that list to a "real Fender".

    Size still matters, whether the preference is for bigger or smaller. Wide body combos are the only consideration for some, and they'll take the bigger of any two amps because they want it. Many prefer the sound of a larger cab and bigger speakers, even though some are listening with their eyes and/or egos. Got big, heavy, tubey Twins if you want 'em. Want a Twin-sized combo with the power but not the weight? Get a TM. Want tubes in a smaller box that'll handle small gigs? Buy a PRRI. Need more power in a smaller box? etc etc etc - Fender's got it. Don't go look at those lesser brands!

    Fender's not interested in the Henriksen / DVM guitar amp market because there aren't enough of us to matter to them (although Quilter may be getting their attention). Jazz guitarists benefit from the plethora of amp options available today - but there's a reason you never see an ad for a Fender amp that features a jazz player. So let's be glad for what we have but not lose sight of the fact that they couldn't care less about our segment of the market.

  23. #22

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    Walmart and McDonalds sell the most as well!

  24. #23

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    Looking at the the top 5, very little or nothing said on this Forum. Any experience on Positive Grid, for example? Is there a parallel universe we're unaware of?

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgemg1984
    Well, then it's a different argument. - comparing the Tone Master Princeton to a Deluxe or to a used (not new) PRRI. You said the PRRI and the Princeton Tone Master had the same weight and price. I merely pointed out they don't.
    Never said the PRRI and tone master PR had the same weight bro.


    Quote Originally Posted by jorgemg1984
    And I hate to be THAT guy but I have to do one more correction:

    "Princeton Tonemaster: 899 20 lbs 12 watts
    Deluxe Tonemaster: 999 23 lbs 100 watts"

    Thats is not true. From Fender's own website:

    "Princeton Tonemaster: 899 20 lbs 50 watts (simulates 12w tubes)
    Deluxe Tonemaster: 999 23 lbs 100 watts (simulates 22w tubes)"
    Thanks for clarifying that. I didn't do any research, just went off the info the OP provided wrt "12 watts".

    Quote Originally Posted by jorgemg1984
    Also, less power is bad for us jazzers (less clean headroom) but it's actually good for almost anyone else - it means you can reach distorted levels at a lower volume, great for a blues or rock bedroom players (Fender couldn't care less what jazzers think).
    Do you understand the concept of a digital amp? The signal amplification is clean, like turning up the knobs on your computer speakers. Everything about the sound is implemented in software. Any "distortion" is caused by signal processing algorithm: literally a computer function operating on bits of discrete numeric data. A 100w digital guitar amp and a 50w digital guitar amp will product the exact same sound at a simulated 1w.

  26. #25

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    I understandt the concept of a digital amp and I understand they could have made a very different product. It might not have been clear, but I agree with you - I wish they had released a very different product.

    But it still seems clear what Fender pretends - and I'll say it again: educating consumers is very expensive for a company. It's much easier to provide a product everyone already knows. I have no numbers, but I bet Fender has been very successful with their Tone Master series. You don't think the market is there. I bet it is - even if it doesn't make much sense for uss, jazzers.

    As someone pointed above, given price, weight, and the built-in attenuator the Twin Tone master is probably the best buy and will provide most sounds from a Princeton up to a Twin. By your "logic" they could probably have stopped there, but if they keep going it's because they're selling (and I bet a lot) of all their Tone Master models.

    Not disagreeing with you, just trying to make sense of what Fender is thinking.