Fender Tonemaster help

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Duster, May 10, 2005.


  1. Duster

    Duster Guest

    I really like this amp except it can have that icepick sound on the high strings . Besides selling anybody have any ideals or experience with this amp.
     
  2. Duster

    Duster Guest

    running thru a 4ohm vibro king ext cab with v30s. on the low setting.
     
  3. Duster

    Duster Guest

    I used a hot cake on my 62 bandmaster sounded like a blanket was thrown over my cab. The tonemaster with the preamp at 4 and the master at 4 1/2 is about the thickest tone Ive had with an amp. the top end sometimes bothers me a little I cant put my treble above 2.
     
  4. davebc

    davebc Member

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    There really is only one way to get this amp,and that's open it up and really let it breath.Then it can really be scarey!
    Duster is dead on with the 4 ohm setting on low.I bought a TM back in the mid 90's,still own it,never use it for exactly that reason,harsh brittle tone in the Gain channel,especially with single coils.I would literally run the treble on 0 to 1.
    The TM has been one of the most unruley amps I've ever owned.Compared to my others it's just a complete and total pain in the ass to eq.,and not worth the frustration,loud as a bastard and EXTREMELY tight sounding as well.It there ever was an amp that BEGGED for reverb.
    I used it with the 2-12 cab,and with the head set on "low" 4 ohms the amp sounds a lot more throaty,but the high end is not sweet.It is a fire breathing dragon though.The Vintage channel imo is a lot more controllable,and much creamier.
    I suppose I could try to tweek with some nos tubes,but it's so much easier to plug into my old DC-30, Vics,Vibro-King,or Marshall.
     
  5. Duster

    Duster Guest

    Unruley is the perfect description. Ilove it one minute and then Iam not sure about it. I talked to Pete Cage about it and he has modded a few especially the trebly ice pick sounds. anybody ever deal with him?
     
  6. EL34

    EL34 Silver Supporting Member

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    You will find no better tech than Pete. He's worked over a few amps for me, and his talents are top tier. He's got a great ear for voicing an amp, and he's pleasant to deal with too. Highly recommended.
     
  7. hipfan

    hipfan Member

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    Pete Cage is the best. I have one of his Corsa amps, and it's a beaut. Also, I've run across a lot of true gentlemen in the world of guitar gear, and Pete is at the top of the heap.

    As for Tonemasters, I used to own one. I loved the tone, but I convinced myself that it was too loud for my situation. I miss that amp. By the way, the clean channel drinks in OD pedals like nobody's business. It's a *very* pedal friendly circuit IMO.
     
  8. Duster

    Duster Guest

    Thanks for the pete cage referrals guys. Been thinking about getting an overdrive pedal and trying the clean side all i have right now is a Luxury drive boost and a volume boost is the last thing I need with this. need to trade it for for an o.d pedal.
     
  9. nateco

    nateco Member

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    I had one for a while.....the clean channel cranked was the only channel i used....I don't miss it......it was so stinking loud...Hiwatt loud.



    Tricks for the tone master....


    It's realy fussy about pre amp tubes...get a bunch and try them out...doesn't have to be NOS..it likes new stuff just as much....I had good luck with EH.


    Bias it as hot as you can.....



    if you use just the clean side...set the master on the dirty side almost off...it will drop out the volume a bit...the dirty channel affects the clean channel when not in use.


    V30 sound great with these amps...too bad v30 are so damn efficiant.


    The single best thing you can do is run a 7 band EQ pedal in the EF loop....the boss and the Cheap dano work great...set them on top of you amp and don't turn them off....made the amp totally usable.
     
  10. hipfan

    hipfan Member

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    Yep, that's the way I did it. When I had my TM, I wasn't as much of a pedal ... um, well, um ... "abuser" as I am now, but I had great success with the lowly ProCo Rat into the clean channel. Absolutely fantastic drive sound.
     
  11. davebc

    davebc Member

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    Amazing,we've ALL shared the same experience and criticisms with the TM.

    If I didn't know my own voice I'd swear I said everything posted.

    I agree about the Vintage channel,much warmer,more useable,loves pedals,,,but I didn't know the trick about turning down the volumes in the gain channel to lower the volume in the Vintage channel.I'll have to try that.

    The reason I haven't experimented with tubes in the TM is that it's SO FRIGGIN LOUD,I'm literally numb after using it.There is no getting a good sound out of this amp at a lower volume that I know about.
    Also,for what I was looking for in tone,I found the 8 and 16 ohm setting useless.The real punch in the balls was at 4 ohms.If I could only dial out some of the harshness I hear.It's just enough to totally piss me off.

    TM positives-the reasons that at least for the time being,the amp is still in my house.
    -You gotta admit,the thing does scream when you can crank it up.
    -IMO the fattest sounding Fender amp ever made,we're talking THICK here!!
    -Mine has the best glassy tone I've ever heard.(very reminicent Duane's tone in the slide solo in "Dreams" on the first album
    -And man,the harmonics really scream out,definitely got the hot rodded Marshall thing going on.
    -If you can crank it,look out!I think that's the only way to really appreciate what this amp is all about.
    -Finally,lest we not forget, Pagey was using one in his backline along side his 100 watt Marshall,and Vox AC 30.
    I evensaw one onstage at the last Clapton show,powering his Leslie.

    That is my complete love/hate relation with the TM.
    It's like being stuck in a BAD relationship!
     
  12. csanford

    csanford Supporting Member

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    Add me to the list. I love the TM, but I do think that it's overly bright sounding. To me, the Fender cab with CL-80s sounds smoother than the V-30s with this amp, so that's one thing you could try. Also, I remember somebody posting some info about a mod which involved adding some NFB to the power amp... makes sense, as it certainly sounds like it has no feeback whatsoever in stock form. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong about this....

    Chris
     
  13. Duster

    Duster Guest

    anybody ever take out 2 tubes and try it?
     
  14. Brian H

    Brian H Member

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    I owned 6 different TM's and toured with two of them for a year and a half in the mid 90's.
    Loved them, but had to tame that 'icepick' thing you spoke of.
    Had them all modded; negitive feedback loop was the answer (thanks to the great Terry Slemmons in Dallas).
    Once Terry did this mod, I was in heaven.
     
  15. VacuumVoodoo

    VacuumVoodoo Member

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    I had a couple TMs in for servicing and repair. My findings are that these amps' output stage is almost always on the threshold of oscillation with a resonant peak somewhere around 3 to 5kHz hence the icepick. The flaw is not in the design itself but in the wiring of the power stage. For some mysterious reason the power tubes' gridstopper resistors are placed on the component board and connected to their corresponding gridpins on tube sockets with some 15 inches of unscreened wire running in a bundle together with B+ and other HV wires.

    As a standard taming procedure I move the gridstopper resistors from the componentboard to the tubesockets and connect them to signal pick-off points in the PI-circuit with screened cable grounded at the tube socket only. I also keep these cables away from the HV wiring. This results in a smooth and stable amp.

    You may want to give it a try.
     
  16. hipfan

    hipfan Member

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    Wow, great info from both V.V. and Brian. Makes me want to re-acquire a Tonemaster just to see how the mods would work out! :D
     
  17. davebc

    davebc Member

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    Why do I feel like Jed Clampett after reading that?
    "Weeeellll dogies"

    Seriously though,Thanks guys,maybe there's hope for these things.I'd love to hear one after the mod.It's bizzare to run an amp with the Treble set at -0-.
     
  18. Duster

    Duster Guest

    Yes guys thanks for the help.
     
  19. davebc

    davebc Member

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    This is all great inside info.Thanks again.I wonder if Bruce Zinky ever pokes is nose in around here.

    My moment of awareness with the TM was the day I flat out cranked it. At that point it I said to myself,"Oh,now I get what this amp is all about,"
    Cranked it's a real beast,a fire breathing dragon.
    Unfortunately, I'm seldom,or never in that situation any more.

    For me,it's a near impossible amp to practice with as they are no useable tones at reasonable volumes.I could just never tame this beast,and I've spent hours and hours trying.It's simple not an amp for lower volume situations.The ice pick thing isn't nearly as bad with a Les Paul as it is with single coils.
    Texas Specials?Don't even bother taking out of the case.

    I've had conversations with guys at the Fender Forum,who just absolutely love the amp,and claim to have found ways to dial in great tones at lower volumes.They may have involved not having the "FAT" switch on.God knows the amp is thick sounding enough to do that.In fact,that's been one of the bizarre sonic characteristics with the TM.It's incredible thick, too thick at times,but still has that harshness in the high frequencies.
    I'd love to hear this amp with the mods mentioned above.Until then I'll be using the Vintage channel.
    It's a killer slide amp ,those harmonics really scream off the fretboard.
     
  20. Duster

    Duster Guest

    Iam finding as long as the band is playing those highs I was complaining about aren't really a problem. I had the amp about a week or so before I could play it with the band. The highs can be a bit painful in that context. Seems as long as I dont take the drive above 4 and the master to 4 1/2 this is thick son of gun not fizzy at all. maybe I wont have to mod this thing after all. at least thats how I feel today. hehe
     

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