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Anyone compared the Tone King Meteor and Meteor II?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by MikeyG, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    I read all the details on their site. And for that matter, does anyone know how they all compare? And what's this Meteor Plus I've read about?

    What difference in tone does the beefed up Meteor II transformer make?

    I've heard video clips on the Continental, loved it. I've heard the Comet 40B too, loved it as well. Never heard the Meteors.

    How well do these amps take to pedals?? I would assume very well.

    Thanks!

    Mike
     
  2. Patch

    Patch Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey! I want to know too!!!:)
     
  3. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    I had a Meteor, but once I heard the Meteor II, I knew I had to have one.

    I sat for an hour or two (at Flynn Guitars in Evanston) and A/B'ed the amps right next to each other. The Meteor II has an even bigger, fuller, warmer, "rounder", richer (you get the idea...) sound. It is not quite as bright as the first Meteor, but it does not lose *any* of that great Meteor "spank". In other words, just because it doesn't sound as bright as the first Meteor, don't think you're somehow sacrificing that incredible "Twin" spank sound. You're not. It's just a bit easier on the ears--less trebly, I guess.

    The lead channel on the Meteor II is considerably warmer and smoother than the first Meteor amp.

    These things are so, so hard to describe using mere words, but I can tell you that there was no doubt in my mind when I heard the Meteor II that I *had* to have it. And that's very high praise, since the Meteor I also sounded great. It's just that, to my ears, at least, the Meteor II was a big improvement. If there's a better Fender style amp on the planet (including vintage Fenders), I'd sure like to hear it.

    Pedals: These amps are a bit picky. Pedals that sound good with the first Meteor, don't sound as good with the Meteor II--and vice versa. One pedal that sounds great with both, as you might expect, since it was modeled after Fender Bassman amps, is the Menatone Dirty Blonde. It sounds *better*, however, with the Meteor II. In fact, it sounds incredible. ;) Another fantastic pedal with the Meteor II is the Barber Burn Unit. I recently got a Menatone Howie, and I'm eager to check it out with the Meteor II, but I just haven't had a chance yet.

    An example of a bad pedal choice is the Menatone Red Snapper. Put a Red Snapper in front of a Dr. Z Route 66, and it's an incredible combo. Put it in front of a Meteor and it sounds fairly brittle and harsh. So, it's not the pedal per se...it's that particular combination.

    So, it pays to experiment, but I hope that gives you something to go on.

    If you haven't checked out the reviews of the Meteor II at H-C, do so. There's another guy there who has owned both amps, just like I have, and I agree completely with his (very thorough) review. You should be able to find it.

    Cheers,

    Jeff
     
  4. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    Mikey, I haven't a/b'd them, but had a meteor I for a week before returning it. Not so with the Meteor II. The tube zone worked ok with the meteor II, but not as good at the Rambler.
     
  5. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    I recall VaughnC saying the Meteor I was much too bright.

    The pedal thing is a big deal for me, but I have enough of them to find a good match, I'd think.

    What about comparisons to the Continental/Imperial? I heard clips of one of them at Tonefest NYC, and it sounded great.
     
  6. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    Mike,
    I have Lou's Tone King Meteor II rig now.
    It is the sh*t.
    I'm a clean guy...and this thing is the alpha and omega of clean to me.
    The reverb (whisper to full on surf) and trem (an almost brown facial throb :D ) are both on par with any inboard or outboard I've had experience with.
    So much goodness in one head/212cab package!
    You remember Dana's Comet40B (what a fine rig!).
    This new rig is a couple of rungs higher on the ladder.
    No lie...3D swirl at your fingertips.

    I've just done some strat/tele noodling tonite with this beast, and am pretty floored.

    Pedal info will be forthcoming.
    S.
    j
     
  7. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    That was my Imperial. Prolly shoulda hung onto that amp. My TopHats get the nod for live use, but that Imperial is one sweet sounding Fender-esque amp and sounds great recorded.
     
  8. Fingers

    Fingers Member

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    That was easily one of my absolute favorites of that long day last year in NYC. Afterward, the guy who makes Maven Peel & I were raving to each other about how good that amp had sounded. (I thought it was a discontinued model, though).
     
  9. captcrunch55

    captcrunch55 Member

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    i have gigged once with a meteor 1 20w and tried out a meteor 2 40w, 2x12 extensively as well.
    i play in a 6 piece blues band playing 50s chicago blues stuff so it is mainly cleans and semi cleans.

    the amps were played thru a thinline tele loaded with lollar specials and an underwound lollar p90.

    the meteor 1 is certainly brighter than the meteor. but turn down the terble knobs significantly and it sounds more or less like the meteor 2.

    i did not like the meteor lead channel. i thought it was too round and pretty sounding. bear in mind that i was trying to get a tweed clean and broken sound out of it.

    i remember that halfway thru my gig i switched over to a drri instead of the meteor 1 than i was given to try out.
    much better cleans imho.

    that being said, i tried out a meteor 2 and was blown away.

    the cleans were more fender-like, big and dimensional, like how a bf fender should sound. the treble sounds were rounded off slightly which is nice. didnt get to play ard with the treble cap switch.
    one gripe though - i still though that it sounded a tad thin on the bf channel. but then again the volume was at max 3 or 4. (which was already pretty loud for a guitar store)
    the lead channel was glorious. hard to explain but more raw and gritty. this channel sounds much more tweed like than the meteor 1.
    i did feel that it was less easy to get significant cleans out of the tweed channel, but then again just initial impressions. things might be diff if i gigged with it.

    it is safe to say that i am sorely tempted.
    unlike normal bf fenders and tweed fenders where u have to be a bit picky as to the guitars you choose to play them thru, (eg, low powered pups for tweed fenders, muscley pups for bf amps), i am guessing that the range of control for the meteor 2 with bright switches and output voicing switches and the impression of the tone control sweep means that you can use both guitars with low powered 50s pups right up to heavy sounding overwound pups and thru to humbuckers (albeit with tone tweaking)
    so this makes the meteor 2 sort of like an all in one amp for fender cleans and overdrive sounds and the effects that i need, extensive trem and reverb. (i.e. all in one amp for my blues band.)
    i know where my year end bonus is probably gg towards, but the price tag! it REALLY is in the boutique range.

    greg
     
  10. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Fellas -

    I'm on vacation - typing this from a hotel w/ Wifi in Holbrook AZ - just had dinner in Flagstaff - what a beautiful place!

    Anyhow, the bigger transformers for me mean more clean headroon in the BF side of the Meteor II - I LOVE that.

    My Comet 40B is a wonderful amp too. The cleans in it don't have quite as much headroom, and to my ears have less mid-range than the Meteor II. The thing I like most about the Meteor II is the cleans - it sounds more like a BF Pro Reverb than my BF Pro Reverb, and mine sounds GREAT.

    The Gain/ Tweed side on my Meteor II gives up a little easier than my Comet - it's a little softer, mushier gain, but I might have a weak 6V6 that's making that happen. I just brought the Comet to Mark Robinson's in LA and it sure sounded good in his living room, but I've been playing the Meteor II at a cowboy gig in NorCal and it sounds sooooo gooood! 'm using the clean side aomost exclusively - it's a pretty quiet gig. The Comet 40B has a killer Tweed side, but it'd be too loud for this gig.

    So that's my take - bigger iron, more clean headroom. Still, I highly recommend either Comet 40B or Meteor II to anybody wanting Fender type sounds - that's the Fender ballpark, I mean. The Tone Kings do Fender really well - and a lot more too. They have simply solved all my small to medium size room gig problems. And they LOVE guitars - all your axes will sound just like themselves". So will you - but they're not actually that forgiving - you gotta play with some intentionality, the amps won't cover for you. I can make my Tele sound like just about anybody's in the cowboy vein with either TK.

    Peace, play, sleep - Mmmmm

    Dana

    Dana
     
  11. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    The Continental, by contrast, has much smaller, actually Princeton-sized output trannies. At the time, Bartel touted their tone benefits ("transformer saturation") but his views have apparently evolved (which I agree with, the Continental sounds fine but the newer amps sound better).
     
  12. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    Glad you're enjoying it - a bit loud for me as you know, so Mark is building me a 1x12 combo. Imo Cowtipper level cleans with better reverb + trem and more versatility.
     
  13. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    Dana, I thought you're Comet sounded phenomenal, so it this is a step up, I'm impressed.

    I have a Vibroverb clone that meets my Fender cleans jones pretty nicely, but I always love to try new ones out. There are so many I'd like to try: Chicago Blues Box, Fargen (various models), Uncle Spot, Tone King. Many of them have more flexibility than my Vibroverb, but not sure they have better tone.

    This has been a very helpful thread.

    Don't stop now, though, keep the opinions coming!
     
  14. Ras

    Ras Guest

    I really didn't like the meteor 2, the amp seemed too refinded and bland. I loved the first meteor as it had a vintage vibe to it. and the overdrive channel was just like a tweed deluxe. I think mark should rerelease that one.
     
  15. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    Having owned both, I couldn't disagree more. I took my Meteor I to Flynn Guitars in Evanston, and A/B 'ed it with the Meteor II. There was no comparison. It took me maybe 5 minutes of switching back and forth between them to make my mind up that I had to have a Meteor II. The differences were so obvious and so pronounced that it was a no brainer. The Meteor II is even more 3 dimensional, has better note definition and bloom, and it doesn't lose any of the M I's clean spank. The lead channel sounds much better than the original Meteor. It gives a nice, warm break up much sooner without any harsh mids. You can adjust the reverb settings independently. It has a bigger output transformer. It runs quieter. It has a bright/dark switch. And on and on...The Meteor II has everything the original Meteor I has, only better--much better.

    Jeff
     
  16. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    Did you A/B them? Can you be more specific as to "vintage vibe"?
     
  17. mude

    mude Supporting Member

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    Having played the I and II side by side, I am very comfortable in saying that I would get the II.

    Evan.
     
  18. popinvasion

    popinvasion Supporting Member

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    I also prefered the 1
    both were loaded with 6v6's
    when I a/b them
    I wish I could have tried
    the 2 with 6l6's but with
    6v6's I prefered the
    first meteor.
     
  19. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    The Meteor II exudes "vintage vibe." In fact, there's so much that you're bathed in it when you play through it.

    Shrug...

    Jeff
     
  20. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    I vs. II.

    For me, no contest (and I owned a "I" for a time).
    II has it all over the I.
    But, to each his own.
    As a matter of fact, Tone King wins either way here!
    :cool:
    S.
    j

    ps
    Plus, I still really dig my Comet 40a 112 combo.


    *Pedal update...
    I had the chance tonite to really dig in with my Suhr Classic and the beautiful blonde that is my Tone King Meteor II rig.
    I am really liking this amp after having put in a little time.
    I have a few OD pedals, and wanted to give a few of those a spin. Among those I tried: Klon/Barber Tone Pump/CJOD/Zendrive/M.I. Audio Blue Boy/Stampede SOV-1/Fulltone FD2.

    I settled on 3, in this order:
    1)Zendrive
    2)M.I. Audio Blue Boy
    3)Barber Tone Pump


    The Hermida Zendrive once again trumps all pedals (to me) for that D*mble type of mid saturated, touch sensitive overdrive that I really dig. Not too much over the top, and the note definition stay intact with my favorite 9th, 7 flat 9, 11th, 13th, aug and dim chords I love to play. Major barre chords 1st position chords were groovy too! Especially E and A. :D
    Such a nice tone in such a small box.
    I dug the M.I. Audio as well, but it had a bit too much gain with the TK, which some of you may prefer. The Barber Tone Pump also worked really nicely with the Suhr...in fact, it was more of a tie for 2nd than 2nd/3rd place. To get the sound I was after with the Barber, though...I had to step on both buttons, using both channels on the pedal. With the others, one step only. The Clay Jones OD gets honorable mention, and will probably step up in rank as I spend more time with it. I've had the best tones with that pedal out of my Matchless SC30. Unreal...
    Mind you now...this testing was only done through the clean channel of the amp, and using mostly the bridge single coil (VLP60) pup on my Suhr classic. I didnt roll the tone back past 8 at any time. Any bright adjustments were done at the pedal.

    I have a few pedals like the Tone Bone Classic/the Route 66 Overdrive-Compressor pedal/Keeley Time Machine Boost/HAO Rumble Mod/AC Booster...I will give these a go as time permits.


    Jato
     

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