Carr Skylark vs Tone King Imperial mk 2?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Ryno1331, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. Ryno1331

    Ryno1331 Member

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    Just in case there's anyone that has experience with them both and could comment. It seems they are both great amps with somewhat similar features that intrugue me.
     
  2. davidespinosa

    davidespinosa Supporting Member

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    @Ryno1331

    I can't speak about sound, but the internals of those amps are very different.
    The Tone King is a PCB amp currently built by Boutique Amp Distribution.
    The Carr is a point-to-point amp, built by Carr.
    Go look up some gut shots, and you'll see.

    So perhaps the Tone King comes up short on construction. But:
    * I love the Tone King cosmetics.
    * Mark Bartel is a great designer (check out his current amps).
    * The Imperial sounds fantastic, although you might consider clipping its bright cap.
    * Reviews are mixed on the Imperial gain channel.

    Carr has several great amps -- people really seem to love the Mercury V.
    So if you want to be a Carr fanboy, you have lots of choices.
     
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  3. Ryno1331

    Ryno1331 Member

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    Thank you. Definitely covered on the Marshall front although well aware of the Merc V reputation. Good to know about the bright cap, I assume similar to on a drri. Makes me wonder about it's ability to take pedals.

    I also wonder about the attenuator in each amp.
     
  4. Conscious pilot

    Conscious pilot Member

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    I have an MK2 but not the Skylark. I do have Merc V. MK 2 sounds great. Attenuator does what it should very well. Takes pedals great. Is bright but can be dialed out. I love the lead channel. I mean, love it but there are many that don’t. You didn’t ask about the Merc v but it is incredible. I think sounds better at 16w vs the 4w. Tons of tones and cosmetics are best I’ve seen. Sound is just explosive with pedals. My favorite amp at the moment. I imagine the Skylark is great too.
     
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  5. Vaibhav Joshi

    Vaibhav Joshi Member

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    Looks like you'are about to make a decision.
    Carr Skylark has nice cleans but because of the headroom & design (5E3), that may be a narrow clean range at low volumes.
    The amp itself is great & the built-in attenuator helps with low volumes but it's only 12 Watts. However, I've read guys playing the band without micing the amp, but maybe not fully clean.
    The presence/ NFB control is great as well & maybe you can dial it in for higher headroom that way.
    A lot of people settle with a Mercury/Skylark combo for life.
    And the amp looks sexy ;)

    I don't have info on Tone King. Good luck.
     
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  6. ur2funky

    ur2funky Supporting Member

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    I've owned both at the same time. You can't go wrong with either.
    - The TK is louder and has two channels, and does the Sultans of Swing tone a tad better. I also love the gain channel, which has different types of gain available depending how you set the mids (5e3 self destructing on whisper volumes or early Marshall tones). It also cleans up with the guitar's volume knob better than most any amp I've owned, which has been many. The MKII is the only version to get, I've owned all 3 versions.
    I've been at a very quiet restaurant gig where the gain channel attenuator was either too loud or too quiet (it clicks to different levels) and I had to use a MIAB pedal in the clean channel, which does work great.
    Also has nice tremolo. Both amps have good reverb.
    - The Skylark is a bit sweeter sounding (less strident highs). Attenuator is better at low volumes than the TK. If you want a lot of bass, not your amp.

    On paper, the TK seems like the amp to get...louder, footswitchable channels and trem. But you can't go wrong with either. To me, the Skylark is an Americana amp...the TK does a little more. A loud rock drummer would overwhelm the Skylark cranked (no clean), the TK would hang and still be sparkly clean too (that's how I liked it, but you can attenuate the channels separately on the MKII).
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  7. Ryno1331

    Ryno1331 Member

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    Very helpful thanks.
     
  8. 67super

    67super Member

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    I wouldn't worry about the TK having a PC board. I have a MK I with the PC board and it's done properly. Heavy duty and easy to service. PC boards get a bad wrap because some manufacturers really go cheap to save a penny.
     
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