Tone King Meteor 2 Questions.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by davebc, Jan 11, 2006.


  1. davebc

    davebc Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    I met and had a great conversation w/ Mark one afternoon some time ago at Lark Street Music.
    We talked guitar tone and really connected, right down to our favorite tones on certain very specific licks.(like Jeff Beck doing Porkpie Hat)
    I have become a huge fan of his amps(but don't own one),,,yet. Nor, do I own a single 12 combo.
    The Meteor 2 samples I heard on the website sound really incredible.
    I know this amp has a blackface/tweed lineage, but the Les Paul/gain channel sounds very, very Allman-esk which I love.
    So, does the gain channel do a convincing Marshall, as well as those other killer tones?
    Also, There seems to be some conflicting info, is this amp point to point?
    Any thoughts and experiences would be appreciated.
    Peace.
     
  2. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,488
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    near Philly
    Very well-made PCB.

    I owned an early Imperial 1x12 (2x6V6) and loved it. The guy does great work!
     
  3. deeval

    deeval Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,956
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    palmdale

    The gain channel on mine doesnt sound Marshall,its more Tweedy and a very nice Fat tweed,It can do Marshall when you use a nice OD pedal like a Zendrve,Or a SOV,Then you can grind pretty close.
    They are PCB but it sounds better then some of my other PTP amps:RoCkIn
     
  4. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,961
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    philadelphia
    The meteor 2 is a super high-end PCB build. Mark uses the thick solder-masked double-sided plated -through -holes PCB type. Also, the switches, pots, all tube sockets, etc. are chassis mounted and neatly hand wired. The parts quality is fantastic. The switches and pots feel very smooth and sturdy with great taper. The cab itself is built wonderfully, flawless joinery and tolex. Everything is just really clean, tight, and right!
    Most importantly, the tones are truly exceptional. I am a picky guy, but this amp is just so juicy sounding- the cleans are very good blackface type, but with better headroom, quieter at idle, more tonal options, and a firmer low end. It also has a more tweakable reverb, that sounds as good as the best stand alone tanks.
    The overdrive is smooth smooth smooth, but still clear and punchy. A real tough balance to get in any amp. There are no harsh overtones, no buzzy fizz, just lots of clear sustain and harmonic feedback when you want it. I would say it has a lot of early marshall (45 or plexi) qualities- the upper mid bark if you dial it in, lots of crunch and a punchy open sound. It does however still have the tweediness thing happening, and the 6v6 creamy aspect. I would say it is a plexi meets tweed deluxe but with a more refined low end, a little more control overall, and reverb if you want it. It is loud though! The overdrive clips on the site are accurate, I get the same type of sound with it using my hamer monaco elite with duncan custom custom and jazz neck pickups.
    I have owned the carr slant6v and rambler, and many other fender or fenderish combos, and this one is miles ahead in features, tone, usefulness, looks, weight... It is not too heavy, not too big, yet it sounds really large and open, has lots of volume, sounds good with pedals. It's a real unique amp.
     
  5. davebc

    davebc Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Thanks guys for the insightful replies. I've learned more so far than all of my searches.
    I currently own a couple of old Matchless's, Victoria's, Fender Custom Shop amps(VK, DP, TM), and my old Marshall.

    No pcb amps for some time now(mostly based on some horrendous experiences way back in the late 70's-80's).
    I'm sure they've come a long way, and the amp does sound incredible.
    Nice to know those smples are accurate(definitely 3-d, harmonically rich and very juicey.
     
  6. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    35,879
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Northern VA
    Tone King Continental (earliest model) owner here. The lead channel on mine is very definitely Marshall-esque with the mid-bite control maxed. The Meteor, though, is voiced in its own unique way.

    And for a visual interlude, some pics you may enjoy of The Man himself custom modding my Continental, etc.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    27,966
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    Granger, IN
    I have a Meteor II head, and 212 cab. Man, that cab is feather light and HUGE sounding. I was worried that the rig wouldnt work well with the classic rock band I play in. Wrong! It works perfectly in the mix, with more than enough clean headroom, and overdrive tone from the Gods!
    The 1st channel particularly sounds way nice in the solo tone dept with the right pedal.
    Best pedals with the amp for my needs (medium gain, touch sensitive, liquidy type tone)...
    1)Hermida ZenDrive
    2)M.I. Audio Blue Boy
    3)Fulltone FD2

    *I use a Klon as well, as a clean boost, and to boost the activated OD pedal from rhythm to lead levels. Works like a charm.

    S.
    j
     
  8. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,616
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2002
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, Marin, Chico, CA
    I agree with TNJ, Matt, and Jon - a big +1 for the Meteor II.

    I hear more Tweed than Marshall too, but if you don't need 'hi-gain', it'll do the job just fine.

    My Meteor has dazzling cleans, great grind, Tremelo to die for, great reverb - it totally works for me.

    Dana
     
  9. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,327
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    On top a mountain of Chocolate Chips
    I do not agree with the Jon (sorry Jon) about the Tone King being Marshall sounding with the midbite cranked. To me with the midbite at it's lowest setting it hints at tweed tones but is still brighter then the Victoria Deluxe and Bassman I owned (I a/b'd these amps trying to duplicate the tweed tone of the Victoria's and I couldn't do it) . While similar it's not exactly it. When the midbite is cranked it definitely has a lot more mids but almost no low end so I have a hard time calling this a Marshall tone. If the lead channel had an eq with bass and treble controls then perhaps I could see it but as it's currently designed sorry no cigar. The lead channel to me sounds exactly like my Victoria Deluxe when I put a treble booster in front of it. The lead channel really pushes the upper midrange when maxing out the midbite control. This can be too much of a good thing as I almost never turn up my midbite control past 10 o'clock. Don't get me wrong Tone Kings are great amps and I own a Continental (with JBL mmm... yummy clean tone) and have owned the Comet. I can tell you for fact my Guytron sounds way closer to an old Marshall then any Tone King.

    Just so you know there are a lot of awesome circuit board amps and my Continental and Guytron are just two examples of someone doing it right. I wouldn't the point to point myth scare you away from an amp that sounds great.
     
  10. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    35,879
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Northern VA
    I agree with you, Harry (and apologies are never needed, from my perspective, for honest and respectful disagreements :) ) about the low end being reduced with the mid-bite cranked. This is why I wrote "Marshall-esque." We may simply have different interpretations as to when a tone is Marshall-esque and when it's not. In any event, certainly, with the mid-bite cranked, the tone is closer to Marshall than to Fender. This statement I'm sticking by 'til the Cowtipper comes home. ;)

    FWIW, on my own Continental, I've substituted a 12DW7 - a split 12AU7/12AX7 preamp tube - for the lead channel's 3rd gain stage. This required rewiring the tube socket to swap which side handles the 3rd gain stage and which the trem send in order to have the 12AU7 apply to the gain stage. The result is superb - the lead channel with the mid-bite on zero is now voiced legitimately like a tweed amp (i.e., not Tweed-esque ;) ), as opposed to "tweed on steroids."
     
  11. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,616
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2002
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, Marin, Chico, CA
    Yeah, I'm with Jon and Harry too re: Midbite

    When you turn the Midbite up, the bass is shelved up, and middle and treble are increased. The Meteor II does get a Marshall-esque sound happening, but in an open back 2x12 cab, it definitely doesn't have that Marshall 'thump' that the 4x12 cab gives you - that extra lower octave.

    Still, when I'm discribing the amp to others, I refer to the Midbite knob as the "Marshall" knob for the gain channel.

    I guess I think it can be pretty Alman-y sounding, but it's not a Marshall.

    Dana
     
  12. KenSea

    KenSea Member

    Messages:
    128
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle
    This is one amp that doesnt get enough attention around here.Great sound!
     
  13. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,961
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    philadelphia
    The meteor 2 is a little different though, from the comet and continental. In contrast to my old comet, the meteor retains more low end and is smoother when overdriven. It is less nasal sounding, more smooth grind when turned up. It is not a dead-ringer for an old marshall (for that I have my aiken invader:) ), but it does sound marshall-esque and occupies the upper-mid grinding area on the gig. I don't think it comes into it's own though until the volume is up half-way, that's when the eq curve starts to sound 'right' with the gain level. The meteor 2 also seems to get more overdriven early on the dial than the comet did.
     
  14. landru64

    landru64 Member

    Messages:
    2,418
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles area
    +1 on all of this.

    mark's got a really smart, elegant approach to design and his customer service is the BEST i've seen in the industry
     
  15. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    35,879
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Northern VA
    I thought I'd add, it is definitely true that the lead channel on the earlier amps, at least, gets pretty nasally with the mid-bite goosed, however, in an ensemble setting, I don't think the bass loss is such a bad thing necessarily with the enhanced mids allowing the tone to cut through the mix pretty well.

    The other thought I'm having is that perhaps one of the reasons folks have different opinions as the relative Marshall-ness of the lead channel is that we may have different Marshalls in mind for our comparisons. For example, for someone who says the lead channel goosed sounds more like tweed, remember, the early Marshall is basically just a tweed Bassman with EL34s!
     
  16. lv

    lv Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,970
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    The lead channel was always designed to shelve bass as the mid-bite knob is turned up - to keep the low end controlled. I think its pretty Marshally, as much as you can get in a 1x12 open back combo, which has a surprising amount of low end. For you MII 1X12 owners, try mismatching the output impedance to 4ohms for maximum creamy and thick tones.

    Still my favorite amp out of all the amp whoring I've done. Versatile, great tone, the best reverb I've ever heard, impeccable build quality, and as others have said, a very elegant design.
     
  17. davebc

    davebc Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Thanks again for the replies.
    The new Meteor series obviously and for good reason has a very loyal following.
    I was considering a used Carr Mercury for the house as most of my amps are very loud. But, there was a used Continental for sale which sounded pretty amazing even though it was plugged into some really lousy cab. The Continental tweeked my interest in the Tone Kings again.
    When I went to the website and heard the new Meteor series I was completely floored.
    I realize it's not an 8 watt Mercury, but the tones were so harmonically rich, creamy and singing that I forgot about the Carr.
    I'm not a high gain player, straight is the way my amps sound best.
    I know, old school dinosaur. But, a cranked up Victoria, Matchless, or Vibro-King is a pretty righteous experience for me.
    The Meteor blew me away in that regard(and I don't own a 6v6 amp) hmm,,,
    Why did Mark discontinue the Continental; and how does it stack up sonically versus the Meteor?
     

Share This Page