New Amp Day - 1996 Fender Tonemaster with 4*12cab

Simto

Member
Messages
4,458
Hey guys

So, I bought a Suhr SL67 not too long ago which I had been drooling over for more than a year. I just sadly couldn't really bond with it. It was a quality amp, no doubt about it, I just sadly had a different idea of what it would sound like and returned it (Sorry John!)

It honestly left me extremely sad after returning it. I've been depressed for a long time and I've been in a musical slump for a while too but I have some new song ideas I've been working on and needed that medium gain crunch sound.
I needed an amp to tonally fit between my FTR37 and AFD100.

So after that I felt worse and worse about my playing and music in general and had actually started a one month guitar break to sorta regroup.
But then I was looking at youtube and saw an old video of a Japanese band called Sambomaster and saw the Tonemaster behind him. I had honestly all but forgotten that amp and started researching it.
To my luck, there was one for sale here in Denmark for a very good price. It was on the other side of the country so I hopped in my car and drove off to try it.

It was so sick!!!! Seriously, don't let the Fender logo fool you, it absolutely slays! It only took a few chords for me to know I had to have it.

It has that juiciness quality. I don't know how else to explain it, it's just like... It's tight, not muddy but it sorta gives a little bit too. It's not stiff but nice and bright. I don't know how to explain it but I can tell instantly if an amp or pedal has that juicy feel and tone.

The gain channel is very versitile. The gain knob has a very wide sweep so it can go from barely overdriven bluesy or rockabilly drive all the way to Mastodon type gain levels. I honestly don't know how you would need more gain than it has.

I've barely played the clean channel to be honest, I already have the FTR37 for cleans (my all time favourite amp) but the gain channel is exactly what I wanted and why I bought it.

All in all, I'm happy as ****ing **** I bought this amp! I'll make a demo of it very soon since there's not really any proper demos online.

Sorry for the long ass post, here have some pics :)



 

ROKY

Member
Messages
7,217
Simon,, congrats -- this one is still on my list of amps to acquire ,, maybe this year it'll get
to the top of the list .
 

RussB

low rent hobbyist
Messages
11,170
That's a Badass amp! Congrats. Do you know what speakers are in the cab?
 

sickboy79

Member
Messages
13,069
Congrats! One of my favorite Fender amps ever. I've had one for about 14 years. Always puts a smile on my face. Enjoy it!
 

Stormin

Tele's and Plexis
Messages
4,121
I played one of those about 8 years ago. I was absolutely floored by it. Nice score!
 

Simto

Member
Messages
4,458
Simon,, congrats -- this one is still on my list of amps to acquire ,, maybe this year it'll get
to the top of the list .
Cheers man. Seriously, put it up on the list and find one. It's so good!

That's a Badass amp! Congrats. Do you know what speakers are in the cab?
I'm pretty sure it's V30's. The previous owner has gigged it a lot so they're nice and broken in. It sounds amazing!

Congrats! One of my favorite Fender amps ever. I've had one for about 14 years. Always puts a smile on my face. Enjoy it!
Hehe yeah, I've seen you talk about it a lot and I totally get it :)

I played one of those about 8 years ago. I was absolutely floored by it. Nice score!
Thanks man. I felt it was a score too. He even gave me a hardcase he had made for the head. He had a reverb tank he bought for the amp too (matching colours and all) that was pretty sick too, but I need to save money now so I wanted to wait with that one. It sounded really good though. It was like it was made for the amp in a way. I may get it down the line.
 

De Batz

Member
Messages
2,704
I tried one of these out in Mansons in Exeter. They've still got it, in fact, about two years later. Used to belong to John Paul Jones, I believe.

In any case, I thought it had some excellent sounds in there but my experience of it was that it was a bit over-powered and punchy, but I was trying it out through a Marshall 2x12 which I think had G12T-75s, never my favourite speaker. It was, at several volume and gain levels, a bit too gritty and not smooth enough, and I found that to dial out the spitty, gritty stuff I was way at the extremes of the tone controls. I subsequently discovered that this particular one had had the two inside power valves pulled, and I suspect no thought had been given to the impedance setting on the back, which isn't the usual 4/8/16. In retrospect, I can see how I might seriously use it as my main stage amp, but - and it's significant, these days - it was heffing loud.
I'd like to try it again (through a 4x10 or an open 2x12, perhaps) to see if it can finally replace my Heartbreaker, but at £1000 it's not something I could just buy to try. On balance, it had to stay in the shop.
If I had £1000, though...

Your amp looks in great nick, as well. Enjoy it!
 

Simto

Member
Messages
4,458
I tried one of these out in Mansons in Exeter. They've still got it, in fact, about two years later. Used to belong to John Paul Jones, I believe.

In any case, I thought it had some excellent sounds in there but my experience of it was that it was a bit over-powered and punchy, but I was trying it out through a Marshall 2x12 which I think had G12T-75s, never my favourite speaker. It was, at several volume and gain levels, a bit too gritty and not smooth enough, and I found that to dial out the spitty, gritty stuff I was way at the extremes of the tone controls. I subsequently discovered that this particular one had had the two inside power valves pulled, and I suspect no thought had been given to the impedance setting on the back, which isn't the usual 4/8/16. In retrospect, I can see how I might seriously use it as my main stage amp, but - and it's significant, these days - it was heffing loud.
I'd like to try it again (through a 4x10 or an open 2x12, perhaps) to see if it can finally replace my Heartbreaker, but at £1000 it's not something I could just buy to try. On balance, it had to stay in the shop.
If I had £1000, though...

Your amp looks in great nick, as well. Enjoy it!
I really think you should give it another try. It seems like an amp where you need to know how to use it properly before trying it. The Impedence switch on the back is in fact just a 4/8/16 switch. It's not explained very well in the manual. I made a thread two weeks ago or something where John Suhr explained it.
The confusion comes from the low-medium-high labels. That's because it sorta works like a dampening switch when using a 16ohm cab. But it works like a normal 4/8/16 ohm selector too. (I made sure before I bought it because I want to use it with my reactive load which only takes 8ohm)

I'm not sure since I haven't tried it out with any of my other cabs yet, but I think it might be kinda picky when it comes to cabs. The 4*12 I've got for it sounds amazing but I remember trying one out about six or seven years ago with a 2*10 and being pretty bright. The store I used to work in got one with a 2*10 cab and I only had time to try it for about three minutes (very busy store). I remember it being pretty bright, but I didn't really know anything about it other than I've seen a lot of j-rock bands I like play it.

I love the fact that it's bright and punchy, but I think it also has that juicy smoothnes to it. It's kinda behind the punchy power but it's there. The gain channel alone makes it VERY versitile. Give it another go :)

That looks like a killer amp. I want one :D
Thanks! It's sick!
 




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