Tone Dexter

I just got one used a few days ago. I'm pleased with how well it works with my big tone and aer compact 60. The compact 60 sounds good to start but the tone Dexter kind of brings some air into the sound. It feels much less compressed.

I haven't seen many gypsy players talk about them. I know Joscho uses one and I think @Scoredog has one. And Christian Miller has done a video on his.

Anyway I just wanted to give some love to it. It's an expensive piece of equipment to buy without hearing.

I haven't gigged with it yet (who knows when that will be!?).



  • Posts: 4,816

    Regarding pro performing players, when you play actual concert halls and have a dedicated sound person all these issues usually aren't a problem. On the other hand John Jorgenson is right there on the home page. It's a great piece of gear in any case, a regular preamp can cost that much.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • ScoredogScoredog Santa Barbara, Ca✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2020 Posts: 879

    John and I have discussed the Tone Dexter and it really is a great piece of gear. Solves a lot of live issues. Deals with feedback very well. I probably should try recording with it to see what happens but I get lazy and just use what i am used to.

  • maxmax SwedenNew
    Posts: 32

    Anybody compared the tonedexter to the nux optima? It’s less than half the price and have the possibility to load third part IR’s..

    also lr baggs Is offering a similar product..

  • Posts: 283

    I'm not crazy about nux being a Chinese product. Plus it doesn't have an XLR input. You need a preamp to capture your own IR.

    I haven't been impressed by the lr baggs demos. That being said I haven't heard either in person. Nux doesn't seem to be easily available either.

  • flacoflaco Shelley Park #151, AJL Quiet and Portable
    Posts: 98

    I'd love to hear some demos. I bought an Ischell setup from someone last year who was using the Dexter with the BigTone. The tone and simplicity was good enough for them to move the Ischell.

  • Posts: 4,816

    I think somebody posted a video fairly recently in another thread where ToneDexter was mentioned saying they both use it and are very happy with it.

    Found it, it was posted by @Jose

    There was one demo video of LR Baggs that I was very impressed by. You could really hear the body element of the sound and that flattop bass was rendered really nicely. The person playing the guitar kept saying "wow!" too. I liked their approach the best. It's using the smartphone app to create a guitar's voice and a lot of features are accessed and edited via app. They claim the smartphone mic will do the job. I would never think so but given their reputation I wouldn't doubt that. It's small footprint is a plus. Another plus, albeit not tested live, is that it will try to read when your guitar will go into a feedback and automatically create a notch filter that's guitar specific.

    With the NUX demos I think I could still hear some of the piezzo quack through the IR model sound. This was on the presets that are built in and created using a piezzo pickup. Couldn't find a demo where somebody created their own IR model. Good thing about it besides the price is they say you can load 3rd party IR models. But as somebody noticed elsewhere it doesn't have a notch filter and they don't mention anywhere if they try to deal with feedback in any way. It's available on Reverb and Amazon, even cheaper on Reverb for $150. All the demos are very favorable. But it could be they got a free sample so it might be biased. Looking at the price vs performance it certainly sounds plenty good.

    ToneDexter is tried and already known to do what it claims so nothing to add. Only drawback might be the size now that these others are out there. And soon enough I'm sure there will be a demo showing how well they all model the same instrument.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • maxmax SwedenNew
    Posts: 32

    The tonedexter looks like a amazing piece of gear,and have gotten solid reviews, would love to try one out.

    With the Nux, lack of preamp may be or may not be a problem. Personally I´m fine with that - I think a lot of players already have some nice preamps to use - and I imagine the IR capturing process isn´t something to be done on a daily basis, once you are set, you are set, at least for a while. But it is for sure a bit more complicated than the dexter.

    Nux also lacks tuner, solo boost, and notch filter, so adding that to the total maybe brings them in the same ballpark.

    But again , I already have a tuner, notchfilter and don´t use a solo boost, so I guess that´s fine too.

    Anyway, I ordered a Nux optima few days back and I´ll have it tomorrow - cost was 185 Euro (tonedexter is 505 Euros) cheap enough to take a gamble, I´m really curious about IR for this style of mucic/guitars.

    If OP think it´s ok given that this thread was about the tonedexter and not the optima, I can maybe post a soundclip in a few days..?

  • BillDaCostaWilliamsBillDaCostaWilliams Barreiro, Portugal✭✭✭ Mateos, Altamira M01F, Huttl
    Posts: 642

    Look forward to hearing how it works for you.

    The  built-in flat-top acoustic guitar profiles sound impressive in this video:

  • Posts: 283

    Post away!

  • maxmax SwedenNew
    Posts: 32

    I`ve been playing with the Nux optima a couple of hours now.

    It´s a solid little piece of gear, feels sturdy and no worries taking it to a ( future) gig.

    The included IR´s is useless for this style of music, no surprise there, So you really need to create your own.

    Process goes like this: Connect your guitar ( piezo) to input. Insert a mic preamp with condenser mic into Nux return loop. Fire the thing up with left footswitch depressed. Adjust levels, Nux does not have any way of adjusting input level, so one must match the output of the piezo to the output of the mic preamp - Nux have a small screen showing input levels. Capturing takes 10 seconds, no more or less. If You like what you hear- save it, if not, redo the capturing.

    It´s not rocket science, but it takes some effort. I have just done two sessions ( maybe 20 min total) and I´m happy enough to go and gig with it. It really works, and I´m really impressed. I still feel I can get better results with more careful placement of mic, gain staging and room adjustment. And I´m curious to see (hear) how big the difference is with different preamps, mics etc.

    I guess there is a bit of a learning curve to get really good IR´s, So I might get back to that once I have more time with this little machine. Also I think it´s easier to be two persons doing the capturing, one playing and one doing the rest. But it´s still no problem to do it by yourself, although looking at youtube clips, looks even easier and more controllable thing to do on the Tonedexter,

    I have still only tested the Nux at home, no rehersal yet. And in times of Covid, sorry to say, obviously no gigs.

    Major improvement in sound in my amp (roland ac 60) feels like I also can play louder with the Nux. it´s also really nice to be able to hook it up to a DAW and play in front of monitors, it does not feed back at all. Recorded the clip with headphones, but might just as well have used the monitors, So thats promisin for the PA system as well, but will try that next week.

    Attached mp3 have 3 shorts phrases - First one being guitar piezo directly into DAW - then the Nux - piezo - nux etc..0

    Last 2 clips might distort a bit, sorry about that, but no time to redo.

    Signal is like this: Homebuilt guitar - Ehrlund piezo into Ehrlund preamp - Nux optima - UAD apollo - Pro Tools.

    I added a bit of reverb just to make the sound somewhat more listenable ( remeber this is a gizmo for loud live use)

    The IR i did with a violet dolly condenser into a Audient ASP 880 preamp - Ehrlund piezo on guitar.

    So far, what I do like about the Nux: price is good, I´m impressed with the IR thing, it works. The onboard preamp and eq is fantastic, it reallly does a great job. warm and big. Fx loop is nice ( placed a tuner there, works great.) small footprint.

    What I don´t like: It has a reverb, I´d rather would have had something else in place of the knob -input adjust or something. the reverb itself is kind of ok, but nothing special, and who wants reverb in this style of music?

    Footswitches controls preset/ IR and preamp - it´s a bit fiddly and I keep changing between modes and not find my way back. Preset managing is not obvious, I did struggle a bit to be fair.

    For the IR capturing I´ve done so far I can hear my room in the IR - that´s not something I like to hear, but I´m not certain it´s possible to do a IR and not get the roomsound to be present in the IR.

    In total: IR´s seams to be the way to be able to play loud with a somewhat decent sound, and while the Nux sounds promising I will not hesitate to buy the Tonedexter if the Nux is not up for the job.. It´s still cheap given the improvement in live sound I think this technology delivers - I´m superinspired to go out and gig and find out how it performs in real life - but impressed at the moment I am..

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