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A hand-built and uniquely musical guitar combo.
The Tone King 20W 1x12 Imperial Tube Guitar Combo Amp delivers the authentic sound of the 1950s and 1960s. It has the same raw, slightly unrefined tone and spongy feel of a genuine 40-year old vintage amp. With two preamp channels, reverb, and tremolo, the lightweight (30lbs), low power (20W) Imperial is the ideal small gigging amp.
The rhythm channel really delivers the classic blackface sound, instantly reconizable to fans of the Princeton or Deluxe Reverb, but with a more organic feel, like a really good vintage tweed deluxe. It gives you the shimmery clean tones and gritty, ringing overdrive that this style of amp is known for, but with an improved ability to control the timbre and expression of the notes with your fingering and pick attack.
The unique and effective Mid-Bite control makes the Lead Channel a lot more versatile than you would expect from a channel with only 3 controls. The Mid-Bite control is an exclusive Tone King design feature which does a lot more than simply adjust the midrange level - it completely transforms the overdrive character.
With Mid-Bite fully off, the Lead Channel reacts much like a tweed deluxe. When played clean, the woody resonance of the cabinet, liveliness of the 5AR4 tube rectifer, and the expressive dynamic response of the cathode-biased output stage work together to give you the raw midrange, silky top end, and loose feel of a genuine well-worn tweed deluxe - perfect for honky tonk or blues rhythm playing with a tele.
As you dig in harder, you'll feel the sweet, round top end begin to develop a stinging bite. Crank it up into the distortion zone, and the tone gets even fatter, thicker, and looser. Think tweed deluxe meets vintage Supro. Compression from the cathode-biased output stage softens the pick attack as single notes and chords swell and sustain in endlessly evolving shades of thick, meaty grind.
As you turn up the Mid-Bite control, a midrange peak appears while the bottom end is simultaneously tightened up, which transforms the tone into more of an English-style crunch. The amp develops a tighter feel as single notes really start to sing, and chords become chunky with rich midrange overtones, a lot like an early Marshall.
The Imperial's reverb circuit uses the same 12AT7 driver tube, 12AX7 receiver tube, and long-format 2-spring pan as those classic amps from the 1960s, to give you that same authentic spring reverb sound.
The Imperial uses a vintage tremolo circuit which creates the tremolo effect by modulating the bias current of the output tubes. Compared to other methods (e.g. the opto-coupler method used in the Fender "blackface" era amps), this method creates the most gradual, smoothest, and roundest tremolo effect.
The tremolo effect can be turned on and off via the footswitch.
Enjoy the raw tone and loose feel of this special combo. Order today.
Reviewed by 2 customers
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Comments about Tone King 20W 1x12 Imperial Tube Guitar Combo Amp:
Admittedly, I have no business buying this amp. I'm a mediocre guitar player and I've owned lots of cheap amps, only a few good ones. I know I needed to upgrade my amp; both to capture the tones I need that aren't from my Marshall amp, and to embellish my clumsy performances. It's like buying make up; I need really good makeup. For times when I wanted something less distorted than my Marshall, I was looking at various distortion sounds, various clean sounds. Like Cheap Trick or KISS, it can't always be blowing the doors off. I watched a couple of youtube videos and decided to give this amp a go. The "clean" sound isn't miraculous, but the "distorted a little" sound is perfect. And several other semi-distorted or nearly clean tones are just amazing and perfect. I'm using it to record, and it fills that gap. I don't want to take it to live gigs; but I wonder how I will sound without it. It costs a fortune, but if it weren't for money, you would have 5 of these already. I say, it was worth it.
Comments about Tone King 20W 1x12 Imperial Tube Guitar Combo Amp:
I started playing guitar back in 1958. My first amps were Ampeg, Fender, and a couple of other small tube combo amps. Though the years, I started to use the then new solid state amps. In the 70s and 80s, I went back to using tube amps, for the obvious reasons: I missed the old, warm, tones I got from the early tube amps of my youth. I've bought, used, and still own, a lot of so called 'vintage' and 'reissue' tube amps, and although they are all nice amps, they never really give me the sounds and tones of the tube amps I used when I was a kid back in the 50s.
I've played through a lot of so called 'boutique' amps (Matchless, Dr Z, and others), and I really like them for different reasons, but I could never justify spending the extra money for one. I've been playing mostly through my Carvin Vintage 50 (4x10) and my Fender Blues Delux, and they have always been good enough for me.
Then, one day, I plugged into a Tone King Imperial, and I was blown away! I had to have one, regardless of the price, and I ordered one from MF the next day! Finally; I had found an amp which produced the sounds of the amps I played through in the days of my youth! This is the best amp I've ever owned, and it's a real bargain, regardless of it's price. It produces the great tones of my old Fender Tweed and Blackface amps, and is the most versatile amp I've ever owned. I could go on and on about how great this amp sounds, but the 'advertising' descriptions tell it all. It's even better than advertised! As the ad literature says; it sounds like an old, well worn, vintage tube amp from the 50s. I play a EC signature Strat, an American Strat Special with Texas Special pups, a 62 reissue Strat, a Jazzmaster, a couple of Telecasters, and a couple of Gibson hollow bodies, and they all sound amazing when I play them through this amp. I've never spent so much time playing my guitars as I have since I bought this amp. I still play gigs in mostly small venues, and even though the Imperial is rated at 20 watts, it's got plenty of power and volume for the smaller clubs in which I play. In fact; it's a lot louder than most of the other amps (including my other amps) which have much higher power ratings! If we play in bigger venues, all I have to do is mic it, and it sounds fine. As my nickname suggests, I play mostly blues, and this amp is a dream come true for this old player!
If you're looking for an amp which produces true, vintage, tube amp tones, spend the extra money and buy the Tone King Imperial. You won't be dissapointed! This amp is a bargain at any price!