Tone King Imperial - Should I Buy One?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by ColorBlindJames, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. ColorBlindJames

    ColorBlindJames Supporting Member

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    For the last few weeks, I have been rather obsessed with watching YouTube videos of people playing the Tone King Imperial and the idea of getting one for myself.

    I have never actually played one, but I was planning on driving over to Humbucker Music in Rossville, GA to try some out, along with some other Tone King amps and maybe a few other things.

    I am just a bedroom noodler, so I don't really need an amp for gigging or playing with others or anything like that. My focus is on the Imperial mostly because it has sounded pretty amazing in every video I have watched, but then, so have several other Tone King amps.

    Having not played one yet, I thought I'd ask the folks here who may have played one or who own one what they think before I drive over to test them out in person.

    I am open to suggestion of other Tone King amps to look into or even other amps all together. I am just looking for something that will give me really nice cleans along with a thick, fat OD option for blues/rockish style stuff that will also, preferably, handle pedals well.
     
  2. nicolasrivera

    nicolasrivera Silver Supporting Member

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    Buy one, you will never regret it.
     
  3. rsm

    rsm Member

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    No.

    Um, Yes.

    Definitely maybe. Maybe is my answer.

    :p
     
  4. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    You will need the model with an attenuator to get OD from the amp at bedroom volume level.
     
  5. FreeBlues

    FreeBlues Silver Supporting Member

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    I mostly only use my Imperial at home (mostly) and still think it has the very best clean tone(s) I have ever heard. Contrary to what some may say, it indeed takes OD pedals quite well. I can spend hours just sitting at home jammin' the blues with this amp and a couple pedals.

    If money isn't an object get eh new model with the attenuator, but I'm more than happy with the old standard and a couple pedals.
     
  6. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    The original model has limited singing lead tones unless you play at gigging levels. The clean tone to me sounds better at low volumes and getting a little ragged at gigging volumes. These amps have limited middle with lots of highs and lows so loud cleans tend to fall away.

    When I owned this amp I mostly just used the lead side with the midbite control set lower than 10. This allowed a nice clean tone (more tweed like) yet still gave me the lead side.

    This amp will never sound like a Soldano or true master volume amp. Buy it for the cleans and killer tremolo. The lead side will be too loud for a home player.
     
  7. Kitten Cannon

    Kitten Cannon Member

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    Didn't really read the OP, but yes. I'll just assume you're not a metal player, and if that assumption holds, then YES, you should probably own one of these.
     
  8. LadOfEastPoland

    LadOfEastPoland Member

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    They are insanely overpriced IMO
     
  9. mangoman

    mangoman Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes. The new MKII solves all the past issues for me. Ill own one someday.
     
  10. saltydogg

    saltydogg Rock & Roll Enthusiast Gold Supporting Member

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    I've been thinking about an Imperial recently as well, but after having owned a TK Metropolitan, my presumption is that I will love the clean channel, then with huge optimism, switch to the lead channel and say, "Meh...".

    But I still battle GAS for the Imperial, but my Metro experience holds me back. ymmv.
     
  11. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    If you can turn it up, you might like the lead channel. Here is a clip from a few years ago, I think the lead channel rocks.

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=616231

    .
     
  12. majorminor

    majorminor Silver Supporting Member

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    I think it's been mentioned before but I'd love to see a single channel Imperial with no Iron Man and a switchable bright cap based just around the current clean channel with a discounted price. I would think they would sell sell sell.
     
  13. Kitten Cannon

    Kitten Cannon Member

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    No, they're not.

    Your opinion is wrong.
     
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  14. Skeet skeet!

    Skeet skeet! Member

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    Everything is wrong!

    *cries uncontrollably*
     
  15. Chadjohneto

    Chadjohneto Supporting Member

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    Love my Imperial and think it is priced very well. You can usually pick up a used one for 1300 - 1500. I like the regular version better than the 20th/ver2. I think the lead channel is one of the best parts of this amp. The reverb and trem is killer too. Of course the blackface channel clean is beautiful. It is loud when it gives up the goods on the lead channel, but it is an amplifier too. I own alot of amps, and I would get rid of almost all of them before I would get rid of the Imperial. 2c
     
  16. straightblues

    straightblues Member

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    The times I have heard them in clubs, they sound great.
     
  17. off2kamp

    off2kamp Member

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    If you gig a lot yes. If not I would say no. I don't find them to be a good home players amp. Too loud and the lead channel to me sounds just awful unless you take it to ear splitting volumes with a band. I too think they are over priced.
     
  18. Chadjohneto

    Chadjohneto Supporting Member

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    I would disagree with "ear splitting volumes". It is loud, but just right for it's design. It is great in a band. For home, I will agree that you really don't get the goods unless you have a very understanding wife.
     
  19. Mojoworkin

    Mojoworkin Supporting Member

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    Just right for me. I have an understanding wife - and neighbors.
     
  20. DiPa

    DiPa Silver Supporting Member

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    One of the best sounding Fenderish amps out there to me.
    I particularly love the Imperial 20th Anniv (custom hand wired) and Sky King.
    Both awesome and complement each other.
    Nice cleans you say, you got it with these.
    Thick and fat OD, you got it with these amps.
    Handles pedals nicely.
    I own both and have no thoughts of trading them.
     

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