Home Tech The Fender Tone Master Pro Is an All-in-One Guitar Studio

The Fender Tone Master Pro Is an All-in-One Guitar Studio

0 comment
Top view of digital amplifier

While enthusiasts are Still busy with tube amps and drooling over effects pedal collections, gigging musicians are in the midst of a digital revolution. Offers from brands like Kemper, Line 6, Fractal audioAnd Neural DSP all allow musicians to digitally model tube amps, with results that are astonishingly close to reality.

These new digital modeling amplifiers are easy to set up, reliable and much lighter and more compact than previous amplifiers. Nowadays the sounds are also remarkable. Unless they’re in the studio, many modern musicians use digital options because of their sounds, and many of those options find their way into hit songs.

Fender has been competing in the digital amplifier space for decades, but the new $1,700 Tone Master Pro, launched late last year, is the first truly professional option we’ve seen in the brand’s recent history. It’s also one of the most intuitive I’ve ever seen. With classic models of iconic amps and effects, a touchscreen, excellent built-in controls and a shocking amount of digital processing power, it’s essentially a portable guitar studio. It also has a four-channel audio interface and hundreds of microphone modeling and cabinet modeling options that can easily compete with the real thing, even in the studio. It’s even pretty great for karaoke.

If I was looking for an all-in-one guitar solution that works in my bedroom as well as on stage, especially when I don’t want to spend forever fumbling around in menu screens, this is the one I’d choose.

Photo: Parker Hall

The new black box

The Tone Master Pro looks virtually identical to most other all-in-one amp/pedalboard solutions I’ve seen. Essentially it’s a black record that should sit in front of you while you play, on the floor or on a desk. A 7-inch touchscreen sits between two silver buttons at the top of the device, flanked at the bottom by 10 pedal switches and accompanying LED screens. It’s all very clean and modern, easy to hide while playing on stage.

One quirky and familiar thing I love is that Fender has included the classic red power light on the back of the unit so you can easily tell it’s on like a “normal” Fender amp. The rest of the back of the Tone Master is a smorgasbord of inputs and outputs unlike anything I’ve ever seen on a guitar amp.

There are stereo outputs in both quarter-inch and XLR; four separate effects sends and returns (two stereo) for using external pedals and effects with the unit; two expression pedal outputs; a microphone/line and instrument input; as well as a footswitch control, 3.5mm auxiliary input, headphone output, MIDI in and out, USB-C and MicroSD. And also Bluetooth. If you need more, you’ll probably need a mixing board or a patchbay.

Back of digital amplifier with the connections and buttons of the ports

Photo: Parker Hall

You may also like