Fender's new Tone Master Series of guitar amps were announced to some excitement at Summer NAMM 2019, as they promised to take the classic Deluxe Reverb and Twin Reverb combos and give them a ruddy good digital makeover.
Sure, everyone was very interested in what electronic wizardry might be going down in the chassis, but the big sell was the weight. With the Tone Series, Fender says you can get the “same tonal perfection” of the tube originals, plus a whole bunch of contemporary features, but with half the weight. Half!?
Now they are officially on the market, you can try one for yourself.
The Tone Master Twin Reverb uses digital processing to model the circuitry and 85-watt power output of an original Twin. The result is "virtually indistinguishable" says Fender.
Famous for its ridiculously high headroom, making it arguably (surely) the greatest amp for clean tones ever made, the tube Fender Twin posed Fender engineers significant challenges in replicating it digitally. Here they have used a high-performance 200-watt digital power amp to recreate the headroom and dynamics of an all-valve Fender twin.
Inside the pine cabinet there are two Jensen N-12K neodymium speakers, while the Tone Master's front panel is pretty much identical to the valve Twin's.
There are some changes on the rear panel – and on both amps – with an output power selector offering five attenuated settings, and an XLR line out with IR cab sims and USB port for contemporary connectivity. The power jewel changes colour depending on which mode you are in: normal operation, warmup, and mute/silent mode.
The Tone Master Twin Reverb ships with two-button footswitch and cover and is priced £999/$999.
The single-speakered Fender Tone Master Deluxe has been similarly refreshed, using the same digital processing tech to model the original's 22-watt circuitry. To do so, Fender used a 100-watt digital power amp. It, too, has a lightweight pine cabinet.
Both make the prospect of gigging with a Fender combo a little less daunting, especially for those who live on the top floor of an apartment complex.
The Tone Master Deluxe Reverb retails for £869/$899 and also comes with two-button footswitch and cover.
See Fender for more details on the series and check out their video demos below.