Fender’s New Tone Master Pro
In the world of guitarists, we often encounter opinions that label amp modelers as "too artificial" or "cheating." However, it's essential to acknowledge that, for certain players, utilizing one is simply the right decision. The undeniable ease of operation, extensive options that modelers offer, and their sheer compact size compared to other gear are only some of the compelling reasons to embrace them. Fender's latest release, the Tone Master Pro, not only encompasses these advantages but elevates them to a new level.
From searing overdriven to smooth and creamy tones, with the Tone Master Pro, finding what you’re looking for is really as simple as pushing some buttons, learning the interface, and getting weird. From the moment we plugged in, the Tone Master Pro was shockingly simple to use and redefined what we thought was possible from a multi-effects guitar workstation. The array of over a hundred world-class amps and effects offered us an incredible user experience, but it wasn’t just the sound; the full-color touchscreen and wildly easy to use interface made tweaking settings and creating presets a genuinely inspiring experience. And we need to mention the design – it’s a stage-friendly, lightweight gem that looks just as good as it works. Navigating through the settings felt like playing with a physical amp, only this time, the possibilities were limitless.
Connecting the Tone Master Pro to Fender's Control app was a revelation. This app serves as a hub for creating, editing, and sharing personalized presets. The collaborative platform opens doors to an extensive library of tones crafted by other players, facilitating the exchange of tones and ideas online, a feature that’s valuable for almost anyone.
Presets for Everyone
Naturally, we quickly populated our bank with presets we appreciated, crafted by the talented individuals here at Russo Hamilton. Let’s dive in, shall we?
This tone was crafted starting with a Custom Shop Strat, although any guitar will do, of course.
We ran the guitar right into a Bluesmaker stompbox sim, adding a little tone and gain with a reasonably low level setting. From there, the signal went into a boost, and into a ‘65 Super Reverb model. Out of that, some final EQing was done with another stompbox. All of this resulted in a classic, bluesy sounding tone with a dash of reverb for a nice, smooth driven sound that cuts, but not too much.
We started this tone off with a Jazzmaster, right into the Large Hall Reverb sim, and into ‘65 Super Reverb from there. As you can likely guess, there was a lot of reverb, but still not enough, so from there we ran right into a Memory Delay sim to further trippify the tone. The result? A dreamy, wacky world for the more experimental players.
This one began with another Strat, right into Fender’s Royal Tone drive sim, then into the “British Plexi Half Stack”. Out of that, we added a Small Hall Reverb for a touch of glue. This ended up with a straight up the middle, fantastic sounding driven rock tone that you could compare to the real thing, and not know the difference. While toying with this preset, we really enjoyed dialing the gain settings on the amp model for an effect that was similar to the experience of using the actual amp itself.
Spins In Space
This was a personal favorite, a Strat right into the “JC Combo” model, which is a sim of a Roland Jazz Chorus. From there, it was run into a Leslie stompbox- the Rotary Speaker 147, then into the Nebula reverb, and finally to the Large Hall Reverb. With this tone, the natural bite of the strat added a nice coloration to the soaking wet effects that followed.
Out of the Box, Into The… Speaker
Pairing the Tone Master Pro with the FR-10 or FR-12 is an absolute game-changer, as well. These flat-response powered speakers were tailor-made for digital guitar amp modelers, and the thousand-watt power amps through one of these cabinets really does the job when it comes to reproducing the quality sound you’re getting from the Tone Master Pro itself. The visual appeal is also worth noting, adding a touch of nostalgia to the stage without compromising on modern power. Fine-tuning any tone with the 3-band active EQ and high-frequency cut control was a breeze, providing the precision craved by many guitarists.
Overall, playing with this device was an eye-opening experience that showcased the advancements in amp modeling. It was effortlessly easy to use, and the plethora of options it presented proved both inspiring and motivating. Within each preset setting we've crafted here, or any others, there's ample room for improvisation, allowing you to truly make them your own or even use them as a starting point. That's one of the captivating aspects of this new release. Although we invested some time into fine-tuning the sounds, once the presets were created, storing and quickly switching between them was as straightforward as pushing a button.