NAD: Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb

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NateD81
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NAD: Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb

Post by NateD81 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:59 pm

I bit the bullet and picked up the TMDR. Some background on my experience with Fender amps: I've had everything from a Super Champ X2 to a '65 DRRI, a 68 Custom Vibrolux Reverb and a '68 Custom Prince Reverb - so all modern amps, nothing vintage. I am by no means an expert and don't consider myself a tube-snob, but I certainly have preferred tubes over SS/Digital.

I've mainly been through amps because I've tried to find the perfect amp for my home situation (I live in a condo and have been relegated to the garage). With all the amps I've had, even the Vibrolux, I've been able to make them usable at home in my garage, but it's been rare that I've been able to push any of my amps to the sweet spot. I considered attenuators, but alas, never went that route. I usually could only get to 2-3 on the volume dial.

I just recently sold my 68 Custom Prince Reverb to be able to purchase the TMDR. I liked my CPR, but I still couldn't push that amp to where I wanted without irritating my wife and waking up my 4-year-old. The reason I chose the TMDR is for the attenuation and the fact that (from videos) it sounded like a DRRI. Having the XLR out with the IRs was a huge bonus, too.

Keep in mind, I've had the amp all of 6 hours now but I love it -- I, like many other people writing about their experience with the amp, was listening for things to dislike. I was looking to be let down by the playing experience. I expected it to not "feel" like my tube amps, but this has not my experience. I can honestly say it feels totally natural to me. Again, I'm no expert--I don't own any vintage tube amps, but it really sounds fantastic.

I'm a teacher, working on my masters and my wife teaches and is working on her masters as well so I have had very little time to go try out amps. I had to rely on videos and the feedback from folks on forums and I can say that if you go watch Andy from reverb's video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeDr7u_hwGA) -- this video feels very accurate to me. I've seen some videos where the amp sounds dark, which I was expecting to be my experience, but I was happy to find it to be very versatile; I could get some heavy bass if I wanted, but I could also dial the amp in to be pretty bright if I wanted. The pots feel very responsive, more so than the fender tube amps I've had, to be honest. When I adjust the bass and treble, small changes seem to make a big difference.

The reverb and vibrato sound great. I felt like the reverb dialed up to 10 seemed a bit much--didn't seem to sound great to me, but I never put reverb on 10, anyway so I'm ok with that. What I enjoyed was that the amp is dead silent no matter if the reverb was at 10 or 2 (my Princeton had terrible reverb hum above 3 on the dial). There was no ticking from the vibrato when engaged like on my old DRRI. The amp doesn't have loud hissing when turned up to 5 or 6, the only noise is from my single-coil pickups on my Classic Player 50s Telecaster. Unplug the guitar and the amp is dead quiet.

I didn't play around too much with the IRs but I did quickly try it out and it was pretty awesome being able to load up a bunch of great effects in Logic X and play the amp muted through my headphones and studio monitors I have it sound solid. I'll report back on that as I start to do some recording, but was impressed with the IR on initial impressions.

So, the too long; didn't read verdict is that it's an awesome amp! I mean really, to me, it sounds like my DRRI but with the added benefit of an attenuator and XLR out + IRs. I'm always reading about folks looking for a bedroom amp, deciding between a Princeton or a Deluxe Reverb is a common theme -- my money is on the TMDR. I played all the attenuator levels and was really impressed with how well they work. I may get flamed for a glowing review of the amp, but I'm just trying to give my honest feedback. I'm a work-a-day guy who likes to play at home and record, I don't gig and I have no delusions of making it big, I just want to be inspired by nice tone and this amp does that easily. It sounds like the 65 DRRI, to be honest - but now I can attenuate it down to marriage-saving levels and still love how it sounds. A big win for me and I would recommend giving it a shot.

Finally, I got mine for $800 on Reverb, I literally messaged about 10 different retailers on Reverb asking what the best they could do is and got multiple shops offering 800 to 850, so definitely don't pay the 899 unless you have to.

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daemon
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Re: NAD: Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb

Post by daemon » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:10 am

As a DRRI owner, I've been very curious about this amp, mostly due to the weight and not having to deal with tubes. I watched a couple blind tests on youtube and in both cases, much to my surprise, preferred the DRTM. Glad to hear it's been good so far for you!

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Re: NAD: Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb

Post by Larsongs » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:21 am

I get that GAS has still got you after 6 hours.. Curious how you'll like it after 6 months of regular play...

Or are these just another fad like so many previous SS, Digital, Modeling Amps that won't replace Tube Amps... Time will tell.

I'm reluctant to buy into YouTubes that do A/B comps when their intent is to sell you a particular one. One of the YouTubes I watched for these Amps was so blatantly rigged they weren't even using a comparable model Tube Amp.. And the guy already had the TM Amp meticulously dialed in while he half ass adjusted the a Tube Amp on the fly... Same with Guitar & Pedals.... Not even close to a fair comp....

I hope they are as good as they make out to be. Especially for those spending their hard earned money on them...

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Re: NAD: Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb

Post by parry » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:08 am

Hey! Congrats on the new amp!! I sincerely hope it works out for you. These seem to be popping up on the radar more and more and seem like this could be it.

To my surprise, I'm actually open to these. My optimistic side says, "maybe we've finally arrived" and people can finally have an equal choice, based on their requirements. As a bedroom player who records, as a studio engineer... these have a great deal of flexibility. And to think of a perfectly functioning one of these on a tour - with no tubes?!

But then, I remind myself that these are computer-based.

Our family has two Subarus. The 2003 Legacy wagon that we bought brand new because it was the very best and safest car we could afford for our new family at that time. I've been driving since 2003, that has never caused us major surprise, broken down on us, left us stranded and is still going strong...

then, we have my wife's 2017 Forester. It's barely got 55k on it and that car has caused us major surprises, broken down and left her stranded more times than I'd like to count. It has so much electronic gadgetry, that it's like those old tales from WWII, where pilots would talk about gremlins hidden away, destroying the plane from inside, hahahahahaha... that thing is a GLITCH-machine. Shit will start blinking randomly, the radio does what ever the hell it wants... power this goes... power that goes... that's the computer. We've had the airbags replaced (under warranty) THREE times! Great. Can I take that to my regular mechanic? Hahahahahaha

So much rambling. Sorry. But yeah. I'm genuinely curious about the long-term arch on these as well. I'm sure the sound is "close enough" and would pass the "average music enjoyer in a club" test, but I'm interested in reading what happens to these when they start glitching (unintentionally) and farting after a bunch of re-patching or a circuit board turns to toast; or one has taken a few quick trips down during load-in. That stuff should make for some interesting reading...
Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity.

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wooderson
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Re: NAD: Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb

Post by wooderson » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:56 pm

Digital 'amps' have existed for 20+ years at this point, I think we're well past fretting about glitches and their longevity. People still use their POD 1.0s and Cyber Twin Fenders.

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Re: NAD: Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb

Post by Unicorn Warrior » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:33 am

wooderson wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:56 pm
Digital 'amps' have existed for 20+ years at this point, I think we're well past fretting about glitches and their longevity. People still use their POD 1.0s and Cyber Twin Fenders.
We don’t want to accept this Wooderson. We need the tooobs

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Re: NAD: Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb

Post by parry » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:10 am

wooderson wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:56 pm
Digital 'amps' have existed for 20+ years at this point, I think we're well past fretting about glitches and their longevity. People still use their POD 1.0s and Cyber Twin Fenders.
Uhuh. Well let me tell ya pal - I ain't past it! Sitting in my Subaru...
THE G-G-G-GLITCH-CH-CHING IS DAMN NEAR ALL I THINK ABOUT!! :derp:

:D ;)
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Re: NAD: Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb

Post by Tafarel » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:53 am

Watch/listen to Eric Haugen's review of this amp. He is a guitarist that I respect a great deal and is not 'bought' to give a good review.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Whg4JECoirk

His lessons are great, as well.
"I'm nostalgic for conversations I had yesterday. I've begun reminiscing events before they even occur. I'm reminiscing this right now. I can't go to the bar because I've already looked back on it in my memory, and I didn't have a good time."

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Re: NAD: Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb

Post by apache snow » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:53 pm

I've had my Tone Master Deluxe reverb for a little over a month now. The more I use it the more I like it. I don't care what the nay Sayers say, I didn't buy it for them, I bought it for me and it makes me smile every time I play it. It made me smile over an hour today. It sounds great to me. These are going to be a home run for Fender. They are sold out every where. People are ordering them on line and most of the people who have them love them.

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