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Fender Tonemaster DR

phil_m

Have you tried turning it off and on again?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,514
The kemper effects are the ones that are horrid.

I know this is off-topic to the original post, but the new Kemper delays and reverbs are definitely not horrid...
 

metropolis_4

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,015
Of course I wasn’t there, but it doesn’t mean I can’t make a common sense observation on the product. It’s not really a secret. Digital amps and processors have had effects loops for many years now. It’s a relatively simple implementation - you bypass the converters when they’re not in use and have them active when using the loop.

I guess what I’m getting at is they have their reasons for not putting a loop in the amp, and those are fine. They don’t need to justify it to anyone, really. I just don’t see that particular one as making a lot of sense.

Isn't that a bit cynical?

You're suggesting there is some secret reason they don't want us to know, so they have their people coming around spreading made-up stories about latency.

If we applied Occam's razor to this, doesn't it seem that choosing to believe that what he/she is telling us is true requires less assumptions to be made than choosing to believe there must be some ulterior motive?
 

jmtaylor22

Member
Messages
1,160
Isn't that a bit cynical?

You're suggesting there is some secret reason they don't want us to know, so they have their people coming around spreading made-up stories about latency.

If we applied Occam's razor to this, doesn't it seem that choosing to believe that what he/she is telling us is true requires less assumptions to be made than choosing to believe there must be some ulterior motive?

Its basic physics and looking at converter latency. Also the fact that is done all over the place. The latency reason for a loop frankly just doesn't hold up to any basic reasoning test. Does an AXE III, Helix, Kemper, <insert any modern modeling device here> have an issue? Most hardware modelers have total latency of less than 4ms.

They might have talked about it, but no way would one more converter for a loop make any discernible difference in reality.
 

phil_m

Have you tried turning it off and on again?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,514
Isn't that a bit cynical?

You're suggesting there is some secret reason they don't want us to know, so they have their people coming around spreading made-up stories about latency.

If we applied Occam's razor to this, doesn't it seem that choosing to believe that what he/she is telling us is true requires less assumptions to be made than choosing to believe there must be some ulterior motive?

Well, I'm an engineer, so I suppose cynicism is one of my burdens to bear... Occam's Razor dictates that the simplest explanation for a phenomenon is usually correct. The explanation given above isn't the simplest. It's actually more convoluted. There's no reason that the mere presence of an effects loop would add latency.

Ironically, the fact this amp doesn't have a loop would have no impact on my decision to use it or not. I hardly ever use effects loops on amp. I haven't missed it on my DRRI. My Bogner Atma has one, but I've only used it a few times. So I'm perfectly fine with Fender simply saying, "Deluxe Reverbs and Twins don't have loops, so we didn't feel these versions needed them."
 

Watt McCo

Member
Messages
12,636
Of course I wasn’t there, but it doesn’t mean I can’t make a common sense observation on the product. It’s not really a secret. Digital amps and processors have had effects loops for many years now. It’s a relatively simple implementation - you bypass the converters when they’re not in use and have them active when using the loop.

I guess what I’m getting at is they have their reasons for not putting a loop in the amp, and those are fine. They don’t need to justify it to anyone, really. I just don’t see that particular one as making a lot of sense.
It makes sense from a "people might use it to fabricate false reasons to claim it doesn't feel like an actual blackface amp", not from a "oh, yeah, we tried it with an effects loop and 6 out of 10 players in a blind test could tell there was a loop due to latency impact."
 

metropolis_4

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,015
Its basic physics and looking at converter latency. Also the fact that is done all over the place. The latency reason for a loop frankly just doesn't hold up to any basic reasoning test. Does an AXE III, Helix, Kemper, <insert any modern modeling device here> have an issue? Most hardware modelers have total latency of less than 4ms.

They might have talked about it, but no way would one more converter for a loop make any discernible difference in reality.
Well, I'm an engineer, so I suppose cynicism is one of my burdens to bear... Occam's Razor dictates that the simplest explanation for a phenomenon is usually correct. The explanation given above isn't the simplest. It's actually more convoluted. There's no reason that the mere presence of an effects loop would add latency.

Ironically, the fact this amp doesn't have a loop would have no impact on my decision to use it or not. I hardly ever use effects loops on amp. I haven't missed it on my DRRI. My Bogner Atma has one, but I've only used it a few times. So I'm perfectly fine with Fender simply saying, "Deluxe Reverbs and Twins don't have loops, so we didn't feel these versions needed them."

You guys may be right. But if someone from the company, who was involved in the actual process of making this amp comes in here and gives a reason, why should I assume they are lying? What motivation do you believe is driving this intentional deception from Fender? What ulterior motive do you believe is really at play here?

To me, believing "yeah, we tried it, but we felt it didn't work for this specific amp design" seems much more plausible and easier to believe than some conspiracy by Fender to hide the truth from guitarists by spreading false information on the internet o_O


It's not like this is a really important, life or death type of issue.
 

phil_m

Have you tried turning it off and on again?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,514
You guys may be right. But if someone from the company, who was involved in the actual process of making this amp comes in here and gives a reason, why should I assume they are lying? What motivation do you believe is driving this intentional deception from Fender? What ulterior motive do you believe is really at play here?

To me, believing "yeah, we tried it, but we felt it didn't work for this specific amp design" seems much more plausible and easier to believe than some conspiracy by Fender to hide the truth from guitarists by spreading false information on the internet o_O


It's not like this is a really important, life or death type of issue.

I'm not saying he's trying to be deceptive. I just think that the way he's explaining this particular aspect of it doesn't sound correct to me. It could be the sort of thing like @Watt McCo mentioned. If the loop is active, it would definitely add latency, so maybe it's just trying to avoid that happening in any scenario.
 

Watt McCo

Member
Messages
12,636
You guys may be right. But if someone from the company, who was involved in the actual process of making this amp comes in here and gives a reason, why should I assume they are lying? What motivation do you believe is driving this intentional deception from Fender? What ulterior motive do you believe is really at play here?

To me, believing "yeah, we tried it, but we felt it didn't work for this specific amp design" seems much more plausible and easier to believe than some conspiracy by Fender to hide the truth from guitarists by spreading false information on the internet o_O


It's not like this is a really important, life or death type of issue.
I don't really assume he's lying or being deceptive - I do imagine perceived latency is at least one of the reasons they chose to leave it off. But at the same time, if they really did do some testing and adding a loop led to legitimately perceptible increase in latency when controlled for blind testing, then I'd say "well, hire some folks that are better at designing an analog effects loop on a digital product? Because I've used plenty of analog effects loops with other digital products that didn't change a damn thing in terms of feel."
 

Fractal Audio

Member
Messages
1,258
Fender reverb amps never had the reverb in front except for the vibroking. In all those circuits the reverb was after the first 2 gain stages and before the vibrato circuit and phase inverter. I begged for an insertion point in the fender heads to put reverb in the right place. But while I love your work, the spring reverb was not the strong suit of the effects suite. At least not in the ax8 and axe ii. And the spring reverb in those 2 products is not really on par with the best spring reverb pedals and IMO, for a fender reverb amp it's absolutely essential to get the reverb exactly right. Your effects are great though. The kemper effects are the ones that are horrid.
The spring reverb in a fender amp is "effectively" in front because the preamp is essentially linear. Any distortion in a Fender comes from the power amp. Since the preamp is linear putting the reverb before the preamp is the same as putting it after preamp since linear systems are commutative, i.e. x + y = y + x.

Also, our spring reverb algorithm has been updated recently and sounds better than before. I used our Fender '63 Reverb unit as the reference.
 

Watt McCo

Member
Messages
12,636
Fender reverb amps never had the reverb in front except for the vibroking. In all those circuits the reverb was after the first 2 gain stages and before the vibrato circuit and phase inverter. I begged for an insertion point in the fender heads to put reverb in the right place. But while I love your work, the spring reverb was not the strong suit of the effects suite. At least not in the ax8 and axe ii. And the spring reverb in those 2 products is not really on par with the best spring reverb pedals and IMO, for a fender reverb amp it's absolutely essential to get the reverb exactly right. Your effects are great though. The kemper effects are the ones that are horrid.
You can also easily hear the effect of the design as outlined by @cliffc8488 at domestic-safe volumes using a Princeton Reverb - the poweramp starts to compress enough that the apparent reverb mix increases significantly as you go from 3 to 4 and significantly more so as you get up to 5 and beyond on the volume knob, even as the reverb knob stays set at 2 or 3.
 

stilwel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,670
Engaging a loop incurs something more than zero latency, which means an inconsistent experience (feel) between the two scenarios. We opted for consistency since, as I mentioned before, we placed high value on that criteria.

The tradeoff wasn’t worth it particularly since these amps have historically been used with pedals right into the front to great effect.

BTW, on both of these amps the convolution spring reverb sits appropriately between the preamp and virtual power amp, just like it does in the originals.

Again, we appreciate and invite the discussion. We knew these amps would be heavily scrutinized. I can’t tell you how many hours we spent comparing these amps vs our reference amps in various listening environments and scenarios using all manner of guitars/pickups and pedals. We are confident these are the best representations of these amps and effects available today or we wouldn’t have been comfortable putting those iconic names on the front panel.

We look forward to everyone getting an opportunity to try them first-hand.
 

Watt McCo

Member
Messages
12,636
Engaging a loop incurs something more than zero latency, which means an inconsistent experience (feel) between the two scenarios. We opted for consistency since, as I mentioned before, we placed high value on that criteria.

The tradeoff wasn’t worth it particularly since these amps have historically been used with pedals right into the front to great effect.

BTW, on both of these amps the convolution spring reverb sits appropriately between the preamp and virtual power amp, just like it does in the originals.

Again, we appreciate and invite the discussion. We knew these amps would be heavily scrutinized. I can’t tell you how many hours we spent comparing these amps vs our reference amps in various listening environments and scenarios using all manner of guitars/pickups and pedals. We are confident these are the best representations of these amps and effects available today or we wouldn’t have been comfortable putting those iconic names on the front panel.

We look forward to everyone getting an opportunity to try them first-hand.
For the target market, I think the design choice makes sense. I think the vast majority of the target market probably doesn't spend a lot of time in this particular sub-forum :beer But I think we all wish you a raging success with these amps if for no other reason than so we can see some "Custom" versions in silver-face livery in a few years that have a few more less-traditional additions.
 

stilwel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,670
I don't really assume he's lying or being deceptive - I do imagine perceived latency is at least one of the reasons they chose to leave it off. But at the same time, if they really did do some testing and adding a loop led to legitimately perceptible increase in latency when controlled for blind testing, then I'd say "well, hire some folks that are better at designing an analog effects loop on a digital product? Because I've used plenty of analog effects loops with other digital products that didn't change a damn thing in terms of feel."

It's not as simple as adding an analog effects loop, that indeed would be a no-brainer.
To do it right, that loop needs to be placed between the amp model and the IR. That means coming out of and back into the digital domain.
 

Watt McCo

Member
Messages
12,636
It's not as simple as adding an analog effects loop, that indeed would be a no-brainer.
To do it right, that loop needs to be placed between the amp model and the IR. That means coming out of and back into the digital domain.
Yeah, of course, and then converted to analog, and back to digital -- why I referred to it as an analog loop in an otherwise digital product - just like in Helix, Atomic Amplifire, Kemper, and POD HD500, all of which I've used the loop on with no noticeable change in feel.
 

toasterdude

Member
Messages
2,063
I'm cool with delays and mods before the amp, but not verbs, so I'm ok without the FX Loop but the lack of Verb on both channels reduces its functionality and desirability a lot for me.

I guess those of us that want FX Loops and Verb on both channels are the minority, though. At least Fender thinks so. Unless their plan is to iterate on them and release an updated model in a couple years to re-milk their customer base.

I think the clear #1 hurdle for the Tone Master line's success is that they don't have tubes. The primary poo-poo'ing of these that I've heard in the "real world" is coming from tube fanatics who immediately frown when they hear they aren't tubed. Maybe Fender believes if they add too many changes from the existing DRRI and Twin that these tube fanatics will come in with full "shields-up" and fully close-minded. Time will tell.

There's still lots of myths too, over on the Amps forum there are people concerned about the inputs clipping because they're digital - I'm wondering how many of them have digital pedals and don't realize that "problem" is usually misunderstood (especially as those digital pedals tend to be mods/delays/verbs placed after their analog dirt which is what's goosing their gain).


I love when the purista poo poo digital while having 5-6 digital pedals on theie board. I guess 6 A/D D/A processes sound more “organic” than 1.
 

Mark Al

Member
Messages
1,387
I spend about 1.5 hour quality time at GC, playing with both TM DR and Twin, and I A/B the DR with a DRRI side by side (see picture below). Here is the thought that I walked away with:

1. Both the TM DR and the Twin sounds and feels great. They are EVERY freaking bit as good as their tube counter part. It’s not even funny. There is nothing digital about them, the dynamic, the touch sensitivity are all there in spades, when digging in the string, they responds just like the tube amp sitting on the side.
2. The TM DR sounds a bit different than the DRRI, the TM DR is a little warmer while the DRRI has a bit more clarity. However, both sounds good, and I may slightly prefer the warmer tone of TM DR.
3. The twin at 22 watt is not nearly as loud as the DR at 22 watt with the same volume dial. The attenuation has a much more gradual taper on Twin than on the DR, which jumps up quite a bit from the lowest to the second lowest.
4. The Twin sounds glorious, it’s obviously a more versatile amp than the DR, now that it’s volume is tamed. It’s non bright Vib channel is warm and super nice, while switching on the bright, it sounds more similar to the DR. Twin’s break up tone is actually not bad :)

I tried my best to hear or feel the “flatness” from them. Nope, they responds just like a tube amp, when compared side by side with the DRRI, period.

The only problem? Now I want one, damn... ;)
https://imgshare.io/image/Xnw3q
 

Pantalooj

Member
Messages
3,436
This is why i await an all in one model unit from each company-from preamp to speaker-2-12/stereo amp. I may die first though

Don't Line 6 do that ?,or did you mean other than L6 :)

I was waiting for the same thing from Line 6. I can't justify a Helix Floor (on cost and what options I need) but dreamed of a reduced feature set, with Helix modelling quality, in a combo package that sounded like an amp in the room ... for somewhere in the AUD$1,000 - AUD$2000 range ... that didn't weigh more than 20kg.

It's not quite packaged up as a single combo unit, but I realized the other day that HX Stomp + Powercab would give me that. I can see the advantages of having the two separate units, especially if I ever get around to recording, but I would still prefer a single unit that combined those two products ... with a board to stomp on or change snapshots/patches.
 

Gasp100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
24,976
I'm going to have to try these out!

I spend about 1.5 hour quality time at GC, playing with both TM DR and Twin, and I A/B the DR with a DRRI side by side (see picture below). Here is the thought that I walked away with:

1. Both the TM DR and the Twin sounds and feels great. They are EVERY freaking bit as good as their tube counter part. It’s not even funny. There is nothing digital about them, the dynamic, the touch sensitivity are all there in spades, when digging in the string, they responds just like the tube amp sitting on the side.
2. The TM DR sounds a bit different than the DRRI, the TM DR is a little warmer while the DRRI has a bit more clarity. However, both sounds good, and I may slightly prefer the warmer tone of TM DR.
3. The twin at 22 watt is not nearly as loud as the DR at 22 watt with the same volume dial. The attenuation has a much more gradual taper on Twin than on the DR, which jumps up quite a bit from the lowest to the second lowest.
4. The Twin sounds glorious, it’s obviously a more versatile amp than the DR, now that it’s volume is tamed. It’s non bright Vib channel is warm and super nice, while switching on the bright, it sounds more similar to the DR. Twin’s break up tone is actually not bad :)

I tried my best to hear or feel the “flatness” from them. Nope, they responds just like a tube amp, when compared side by side with the DRRI, period.

The only problem? Now I want one, damn... ;)
https://imgshare.io/image/Xnw3q
 




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