Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb Review
Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb Overview
The Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb is a DSP based modeling amplifier created to capture the sound of a Deluxe Reverb tube amp. The amplifier is a 1 speaker combo amp with built in reverb and tremolo just like the classic .
Its easy to use and is versatile enough to meet the needs of many different playing styles but is much lighter than the tube version.
Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb External Hardware
Firstly, the deluxe reverb is a 23 pound open back combo amplifier measuring in at 24" wide, 17" high and 9.3" deep. It is equipped with 1 - 12" Neodymium Jensen speaker in a sturdy pine enclosure.
The enclosure is then finished with black tolex and classic silver grill cloth. Controls on the amplifier are front facing just like the original tube version of the deluxe reverb.
Even the vintage knobs scream old school Fender right down to the jeweled light.
The Foot Switch is easily stored in the back of the amp which is nice. The handle is a pretty common unit, nothing fancy but does contribute to the vintage look. The classic fender logo and labeling really recreates the look of the original very nicely.
The amp is well made over all and would be a good gigging amplifier. This version of the deluxe reverb is also a heck of a lot lighter than the tube version!
Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb Channels and Controls
The Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb is a 2 Channel modeling amplifier with a familiar layout. The "normal" channel includes the standard volume, treble and bass controls and 2 inputs.
Channel two or the "vibrato channel" then kicks it up and adds the reverb and tremolo controls just like the original.
On the rear of the amplifier you will find your power and standby switches. It is awesome to see that they went as far as including a standby switch in order to reproduce the original as a digital amp.
Without tubes there is no need for a standby switch but its on this amp! Further down you will find the variable output control that provides 6 different output options.
The balanced output is a great addition to the amp as it allows you to take the dry signal out, or choose one of two cab sim options. You can select how much output signal is being sent out from the XLR connector!
Really cool feature here! Finally, the foot switch connector allows you to use the included foot switch to toggle reverb and tremolo.
The Fender Tone Master DR is 100 watts of solid state output power and is a loud amplifier! For this amplifier, there is lots of power here.
If you have a decently loud drummer, you will be fine.
This is one powerful amplifier just like the 22 watt tube amp it was created after.
But don’t be afraid of the output power because like we said, it has variable output power settings! This means that you have the choice of 6 different power levels to choose from.
1. Full Power (22 Watts)
2. 12 watts
3. 5 watts
4. 1 watt
5. .5 watts
6. .2 watts
Balanced Line out Performance
The balanced line out on this amplifier just screams versatility. Not only can you use this option to record but you can also send it to front of house.
The option to select between a couple of cab emulations as well is a great feature.
We decided to put the XLR out to the test and record directly into our Direct Audio Workstation (DAW).
In this instance we are using Pro Tools and it sounds great!
One of the issues with modeling amplifiers is the sound you get from the line out.
It can easily be hit or miss and in most cases its a miss! But the Tone Master Deluxe Reverb is a hit for sure!
Fender really did a great job designing this amplifier and did not just throw in a sub par Line Out!
You will enjoy the sounds you can get when recording with the XLR line out.
The Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb comes with whats called a Neodymium speaker.
These speakers are up to 50% lighter than a speaker with a conventional speaker magnet.
Neodymium also possesses powerful magnetic force so there is no loss to performance.
This gives the amp a huge advantage as not only does it sound great thanks to the power of the Neodymium magnet, but its also super light!
And its a Jensen so you know its a well made speaker!
Included Foot Switch
The Tone Master comes with a foot switch to allow you to control the reverb and tremolo effects.
Whats really cool about this is that with the original tube amplifier, controlling the reverb and tremolo were not this easy!
But Fender took care of making this possible with this deluxe reverb! And not only that, the foot switch is still small and light, but also included!
Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb Sound
Beginning with the "Normal" channel and a Fender Nashville telecaster i was already super happy upon my first strum. If you know Fender you also know that the clean sound is a staple in this industry!
And its no surprise that the Fender clean is alive and well in this digital representation of the real thing! The normal channel sounds great and breaks up almost like the real thing!
The "Vibrato" channel just like the normal channel sounds great! The slight difference in sound again, just like the real thing. Although i found the tube amp version to be a bit bright on the vibrato channel, but not so here.
The sound was great and felt like i was playing a tube amp. In fact i couldn't believe it was a digital representation. Break up was easy to do and seemed to happen sooner than the tube amp version.
Turning up the volume produced break up and volume but with a switch of the variable output on the back, the volume was lowered. Couldn't do that with the original!
The reverb and vibrato emulations were quite good! I found the reverb to be a bit over bearing at higher levels but for a digital reverb and tremolo, they aound very good and the foot switch was very handy in control of the effects.
Conclusion And Final Thoughts
There are many great electric guitar amplifiers on the market for under $1000 and the Tone Master Deluxe Reverb is well worth the investment.
The digital representation of the classic deluxe reverb is pretty well spot on! I did notice that the tone master seemed to have more mid range compared to the tube amp of old.
This is not a bad thing at all, the amp sounds great and feels like a tube circuit for sure!
The cleans on the Tone Master are just as amazing as the classic and at times had me forget i was playing a digital amp. DSP programming has come a long way and the Tone Master Deluxe Reverb is the amp to prove it!
The option to adjust the output power is a game changer for this amplifier concept!
One of the hurdles with the original is that if you wanted break up, you got volume with it! But not anymore, it is now easy to get what you want and control the amp with ease!
Good Price Point?
So how does it rank? Quite well actually! Fender recreated this amp based off of a vintage amplifier. and they did it very well! It has some great features and sounds and the output power is on point.
This amp would be great from practice to gigging and more.
This is a new amplifier in Fender’s catalogue but it is sure to be a hit! Anyone who has tried it so far has been stunned by how realistic to the tube circuit it really is!