Tone King Imperial vs Victoria Golden Melody

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by mary04, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. mary04

    mary04 Supporting Member

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    Hello!
    I`ve owned the TK imperial for one week now, and I have to say it`s a mighty fine amplifier. Very impressive indeed! For my taste I`ve found my favourite tones on the Rhytm channel. It`s outstanding!

    Yesterday I suddenly was offered a trade for a Victoria Golden Melody 2x12 combo. I don`t get the chance to try it first, and I don`t know what do do. The GM is a much more expensive amps (at least over here in Europe), and all reviews on it is just one big happy adventure.

    The TK Imperial is a very nice sounding amplifier, and I can`t possible imagine that anything will sound any better in the Fender camp. A bit different maybe, but not better.

    Then again the GM is a 2x12, while the TKI is a 1x12. Further the GM is rated 40 watts, while the TKI is only 20watt (but it is 20 extremly loud watts). Finally all raves about how extremly well the GM take overdrivepedals- as does the TKI.

    Any of you TGPèr have tried both? How do they compare to each other?
    Any reason I should accept the trade offer?

    All replies will be much appreciated!

    Cheers
    Mary!
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
  2. ES330

    ES330 Supporting Member

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    I gave up on 2x12 combos due to weight
    just something to consider...
     
  3. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    GM is a much bigger, heavier, louder amp. Also not as mid-scooped as the Imperial.
     
  4. remocity

    remocity Supporting Member

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    Mary,
    They're both really great amps.........the Victoria is just much bigger sounding.
    If you have any volume issues at all when gigging the TK and you have a hand cart........trade for the GM.
    They sound better and better as they break in and have big round cleans.....if that's what your looking for.
     
  5. mary04

    mary04 Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys!
    Weight is no issue, but volum is. We mostly play in pubs and small places, and our soundman always nag about me and the other guitarist being to loud on stage (but the drummer can hit the drums as hard as he want!! Go figure!!)

    Hopefully the GM also sound nice on a low volum?
     
  6. Ogre

    Ogre Supporting Member

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    If the GM is a more expensive amp, you might want to know why the other person is so willing to trade down.
     
  7. davebc

    davebc Member

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    They are very different animals!
    Personally Id be ALL over that GM! In a heartbeat!
    In fact I would do it so fast Id be in the car and gone before he changed his mind.
    But I agree, why is someone willing to trade down like that.
     
  8. RJLII

    RJLII Member

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    The GM is a VERY fine amplifier. It sounds great at all volumes. The tremolo is the best in the business. It's also a single channel 6L6 amp as compared to the Imperial's 2 channel 6V6 design. The GM has pretty high clean headroom so if you rely on power tube distortion your sound guy will continue to bitch. It takes pedals well.

    I agree with davebc, no contest in my book. The GM is great amp, albeit less flexible that the Tone King. That said, it may not be the best tool for your situation due to the volume issues. Play the thing first and then decide.
     
  9. btdvox

    btdvox Supporting Member

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    I'd go with the Victoria. Mark Baier is a super nice guy and super responsive, both himself and his amps are:)

    I have a Victoria Victoriette that I adore.
     
  10. In Absentia

    In Absentia Member

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    That Golden Melody is my gold standard of warm, beautiful, clean tone
     
  11. btdvox

    btdvox Supporting Member

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    BTW, The Silver Sonic is a 20W version of the Golden Melody. You should check that out.
     
  12. mary04

    mary04 Supporting Member

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    Once again - Thank you guys!
    Seems like everybody is leaning towards the GM. I`ve mailed the other guy that I`m willing to trade. Let`s see if he still is up to it!
     
  13. davebc

    davebc Member

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    Seems too good to be true, unless the guy is some kind of insane Tone King fanatic.
    Or maybe just cluless, The GM tips the scales at 3k$$
    Doesn't make sense.
     
  14. mary04

    mary04 Supporting Member

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    Well, talked to him again tonight, and he`s still up for the trade. But he told me there`s something wrong with the vibrato/tremolo on the GM. When turning the intense knob on the vibrato section, a crakling noise appears through the speakers. He also find the vibrato not to sound very good. Something is wrong with the vibrato he said. The vibrato on the GM is driven by three 12ax7`s, and I`ve asked the tech guys on the amps & cabs tech section what could cause this. We`ll see!
     
  15. davebc

    davebc Member

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    Im sure it's something simple, nothing a quick call to Mark @ Victoria can't solve, probably right over the phone.
     
  16. Birdseye

    Birdseye Member

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    Man, I think it is a tough call. Sure, the Victoria is worth more, but if it's not the amp you want, and you like the TK, what are you going to do, sell it and find another Imperial? That TK has as good a vibrato as I have played, and a great reverb too. It is lightweight and has volume levels that will cover most gigs. I use mine on the rhythm channel for smaller venues, but the lead channel has a world of great tones on tap when you get to bigger stages and can use the volume. I usually use one channel or the other for the whole gig depending on the size of the venue. Never use the foot switch at all.

    I've owned many Victorias, but never a GM. They are cool amps too. The victorilux is a real sweet amp. But the Imperial is a keeper. If you dig the blackface tones, Vicky is not known for that, more tweed focused. I'd be real hesitant if you can't play it first to hear what you are getting into. Tone is what you are after, don't be tempted by the money value. Are you not satisfied now? Really....you need to change?
     
  17. davebc

    davebc Member

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    While Victoria is primarily known for tweeds, the GM is a bit of a departure, Mark describes it as a combination of Brown Concert, Blackface Super, Tweed Bassman.
    Definitely has the blackface thing going from in his demos.
     
  18. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder Gold Supporting Member

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    I spent some time with Mark playing through one soon after they first came out.
    That sound will always be in my head.
    The tremelo was an experience in itself, other worldly sort of.
     
  19. davebc

    davebc Member

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    Does the GM break up?
    Tough to tell from marks demos.
     
  20. JDutch

    JDutch Supporting Member

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    My vote is for the Golden Melody. One of my all-time favorite amps is the Victoria 45410 Bassman clone, which sound absolutely amazing, and the Golden Melody utilizes the same circuit, but adds reverb and trem.

    Although I've never tried the Tone King Imperial, I've owned and subsequently sold a Tone Metropolitan. The rythme channel has one of the best clean tones I've ever heard, but the lead channel wasn't quite there, and the attentuator simply doesn't work as advertised.

    Plus, in terms of future maintenance costs, I'll take a point-to-point handwired amp over a circuit board any day. Tone King's amps are very, very sturdy and reliable, but you never know what's going to happen down the road. Maybe someone else more knowledgeable than me can weigh-in, but what happens if the guy at Tone King isn't making amps anymore, and there's a problem with the circuit board? Can someone repair a circuit board or make you a new one?
     

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