Kingsley owners.... your input please.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by uncle looie, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. uncle looie

    uncle looie Supporting Member

    Messages:
    872
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I'm really tempted based on the soundclips to order a Deluxe 32 from Kingsley. How accurate a reflection of the amp's general character would you say the soundclips are?
     
  2. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

    Messages:
    4,351
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Those sound clips and the many stellar reviews are soley what I based my purchase on. I am completely satisfied with my D32. In fact, after doing much NOS tube swapping, my D32 sounds significantly better than when I received it with the stock JJs. It's an incredible amp and very versatile - like having several amps in one, when you use the Pentode/Triode switch.
     
  3. uncle looie

    uncle looie Supporting Member

    Messages:
    872
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I really like the sound of those clips and what I've heard from owners of Kingsleys so far, but I've gotten bitten in the rear buying based solely on clips before, so I thought I'd check.
     
  4. tjs

    tjs Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,259
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    In terms of the clean sound, I'd say very accurate. The beautiful shimmering quality, the way the notes sort of "pop" out of the amp, the combination of clarity and warmth - it's all there.

    The one thing the clips don't show, however, is how ballsy this thing can sound when overdriven. Sure, I can get it to do the smooth, quasi-Dumblish thing if I want it to, but it's also capable of some gloriously raunchy sounds. In fact, I would say that the rawer type of OD sound is the amp's natural voice; it takes a bit of work to dial in a good smooth tone (though it is a fine tone indeed), while the mean stuff is just plug and play. A different set of speakers might make the smoother sound easier to achieve, but I'm loving what I've got, so I have no immediate plans to experiment.

    Basically, if you're primarily looking for a Dumble-like smooth OD tone, there are other amps that will give you that sound with less fuss. On the other hand, if you want one of the most gorgeous clean tones known to man, a "Tie Your Mother Down" on crack OD sound, and the ability to get a very good smooth OD tone with a bit of fiddling with the knobs, the D32 is a great amp.
    :RoCkIn
     
  5. billstets

    billstets Member

    Messages:
    892
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    Boston area
    I have a Deluxe 30, and it will be two years this July. I love it to death. I guess the clips are representative, but Simon Jarrett is a great player. His playing has a lot to do with the clips. I can't sound exactly like him, but I can make some really really really great sounds! I've been through a ton of amps, and for the first time since I sold my plexi Marshall back in '89 I am not thinking about amps. I'm done.

    And I know it's not just me. I played an outdoor thing on a fairgrounds stage last September. There were a bunch of guitar amps on the stage. The Kinglsey was just head and shoulders above the rest of the amps that day. It cut through with this big round sound, no matter how loud we got. It was the only time I have ever used it at 30 watts! This one guy's amp **** the bed, so I let him use mine. I was walking around in front of the stage at various distances and he was just cutting through with this huge beautiful tone (great player too), and then when the other guitarist played lead it was just kind of compressed, thin and whimpy sounding. The Kingsley just stood out so much.

    It is tough though, because you can't try the amp out. And everyonoe has different opinions about how stuff sounds. Every guitar player that has heard my Kingsley has been very very impressed, but I'm sure some might prefer a different style sound.

    It's an awesome amp!
     
  6. bobbymack

    bobbymack Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,485
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado
    I've had my D30 for nearly a year now, and it is the finest EL84 amp I've ever played, mainly because of two things: gorgeous cleans and tons of flexibility. The cleans are as good as they get imho, and the amp is extremely flexible and easy to dial in lots of good usable tones, plus its very pedal friendly. The Boost works great too. The amp sounds killer thru a Burt V Front with a Blue and a G12H30 in it...

    I like the amp better than the Bruno UG30 (comparable cleans, but Bruno has no master so some of its best tones are too loud), VHT Super 30, Gibson Goldtone RVH30, Trace Velocette V12R, and BadCat Cub II.

    All of my other EL84 amps are now gone except for my Goldtone GA15RV. I'll always have my '69 SFDR (love it), and am really eager to check out the Fuchs ODS I have on order (can't resist, love 6V6s too...). :BEER
     
  7. Jim

    Jim Member

    Messages:
    574
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin,Texas
    Hey Ron:

    I have a D30 on order. What NOS tubes are you using? I want to get ready to make a change when mine arrives.

    Jim
     
  8. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

    Messages:
    4,351
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Hi Jim...

    Well, I've got a D32, which has 2 separate preamps, but after a number of swaps, I've settled on the following...

    V1 - NOS Tesla E83CC - channel 1 (my OD channel)
    V2 - NOS Telefunken - 1st half for channel 1 & 2nd half for channel 2
    V3 - NOS Tesla E83CC - channel 2 (my clean channel)
    Reverb - JJ ECC803S - I never use the reverb though
    PI - NOS Mullard ECC83 - not balanced, per Simon's recommendation
    Rectifier - NOS Mullard GZ34
    Power - matched quad of Polam EL84s

    The Telsa E83CCs are incredible, as are the Polams. I've also got Telams, which are basically the same as the Polams. Before that, I was using Amperex Bugle Boy EL84s, which were much better than the stock JJs.

    If you can find the Polams/Telams - get some, as well as the Teslas - highly recommended. Amperex Bugle Boy 12AX7s are also good in the preamp spots.

    I also tried NOS RCA, JAN GE 12AX7WA, GT-Mullard RIs, but my current choices are by far superior for my tastes. And of course, not all Telefunkens or Amperex are the same - I tried several of each till I found the ones that worked best for the tones I prefer. I have 4 of the Tesla E83CCs and they are all fairly close in tone. I'm using one in my VHT Valvulator 1 buffer and it made a huge difference. I'm saving one for my Zendrive2, whenever it arrives. I'll probably buy more to stock up, since there's not an unlimited supply.

    BTW, I've got another D32 on order, but it's one that will have the split power section, using 2 x EL84s + 2 x 6V6s, with level controls for each pair. Also, the 6V6s can be swapped for EL34s, 6L6s or 5881s! You can also choose to just use a pair of tubes, ie: 6V6s or EL34s or 6L6s or 5881s - incredibly versatile! So I'm going to get a nice NOS pair of each of those babies too! $$$!!!
     
  9. bobbymack

    bobbymack Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,485
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado
    In my D30 I just swapped out Bugle Boys in V1 and V2 for Telefunkens, they add some extra sparkle and character to the cleans especially. Then I swapped out a quad of Mullards for a quad of Philips Holland power tubes which were a pull from a Reinhardt of another GPer, and the thing is really rockin, not that it sounded bad before...

    I have a Mullard CV4004 in the phase inverter and an RCA grey plate in the reverb driver...
     
  10. Jim

    Jim Member

    Messages:
    574
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin,Texas
    Thanks for the detailed information. I am looking forward to receiving the amp. Now I can start collecting some new tubes. Do you have a recommended source like KCA NOS Tubes for example?

    Jim
     
  11. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

    Messages:
    4,351
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    KCA NOS, TubeMonger.com, Terry Kilgore, aka, TubeTramp - terry_kilgore2003@yahoo.com Terry is very knowledgeable and you'll get the best prices and high quality from him.

    Here's a website I found recently...

    http://www.vintagetubeservices.com/

    I haven't talked to him or purchased anything, but he sounds compelling, and I'm definitely going to talk to him about power tubes for my new Kingsley.

    This guy has very good quality tubes too...

    http://hitestguitars.com/

    He doesn't sell the tubes on his site, but you can read about them & call him for details & prices.
     
  12. Jim

    Jim Member

    Messages:
    574
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin,Texas
    Thanks Ron. Ireally appreciate the information.
     
  13. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

    Messages:
    30,023
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Sterling, VA (not far from Washington DC)
    Several of my customers have tried the Telam/Polam EL84s AND the NOS Tesla EL84s are preferred the latter. I'm just pointing out that there is no BEST solution, personal preference is king.:AOK
     
  14. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

    Messages:
    4,351
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Agreed 100%!
     
  15. uncle looie

    uncle looie Supporting Member

    Messages:
    872
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I'm really jonesin' for the Deluxe 32. The clips sound like exactly what I'm looking for... that perfect blend between smooth and hairy. Not too compressed, but not too loose, and evenly balanced tonally.
     
  16. shood

    shood Member

    Messages:
    570
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I am also seriously considering pulling the trigger on a Deluxe 32 - love the soundclips: the cleans, mild break-ups, and lead tones are phenomenal, just what I am looking for.

    A couple of issues people might be able to chime in on:

    Can this amp also be dialed-in for a classic rock rythm sound (I don't hear this on the clips)? Say a nice crunch, I definitely do not need (or want) a heavily distorted rythm sound.

    Has anyone used their Kingsley with an attenuator? It appears to be an amp that excels when you get your overdrive from the power section, and often times I would need to do this at a reduced volume level (I only ask because their is a lot of recent talk about OT damage from attenuators, at least with respect to some amps like Fuchs, etc.)

    What speakers/configurations do owners recommend?

    Laslty, I would love input from anyone who has opted for the vibrato option.

    Thanks,

    Sean
     
  17. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

    Messages:
    4,351
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Absolutely! He does have some clips like that on the site. You can get a harder crunch in Pentode mode and a creamier, juicier crunch in Triode mode, but it's all there for sure.

    I've used it with a Weber MASS (50W) and it works well. Of course, with more attenuation the tone is altered somewhat - no so bad, just different. There's also an EQ defeat switch which removes the EQ circuit, and that gives you beautiful power amp OD.

    I've got the following, which are all excellent... Fane AXA12, Two Rock 12-65, Ragin Cajun (10"), Weber Alnico California (10"), Scholz. Celestion G12H30s and Celestion Alnico Blues are also great, and I'm planning to get the new Celestion Alnico Gold G12 in July when it comes out.

    I don't have the vibrato so I can't comment on that.
     
  18. bobbymack

    bobbymack Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,485
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hey shood,

    I do alot of rhythm work in a classic rock cover band, and I believe my D30 is perfect for that kind of tone, everything from Gin Blossoms jangle to Allmans crunch. I'm a Les Paul player and use the volume knob alot for extra dirt, but that's because I set the amp up on the edge...

    The amp is super flexible tonally, and it's very easy to dial in what you're looking for imho. I doubt you'll need attenuation, because mine has a half power switch which bypasses 2 of the EL84s, as well as a pentode / triode switch. I run mine on half power pentode for most indoor club gigs, but you could get it down to about 7 or 8 watts with the half power / triode settings...just ask Simon which of those are stock, I think one of those switches was an upgrade.

    I run mine thru an antique pine Burt 2x12 loaded with a Blue and a G12H30, and it sounds really big. I get lots of compliments on the tone. In my 1x12 I run a G12H30, though I'm gonna try an Emi Red White & Blue.

    Finally -- if you are a single coil player, you'll like the EQ bypass switch alot, very fat and D*mbly. But it's a bit too fat and muddy with humbuckers. Simon has sent me a fairly easy mod to thin the EQ bypass tone out some, but I haven't gotten around to doing it yet. Stock, he generally voices the amps for strats. If you play humbucker guitars, ask him to voice the EQ bypass circuit that way. I wish I had known that when I ordered (you can buy me a beer later :D), but the amp is chock full of great tones even without the eq bypass option being real usable for me...I will say as a humbucker player that it is the best overall EL84 amp I've ever played, and has alot of headroom (especially in the clean channel) which is tough for alot of EL84 amps to say...
     
  19. shood

    shood Member

    Messages:
    570
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Macaroni & bobbymac, thank you very much for your input, I may have to just go for it...
     

Share This Page