Tone King Sky King Owners

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by chewbaca0, May 11, 2015.

  1. chewbaca0

    chewbaca0 Member

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    I'd like some people who actually own or have tested the Sky King to chime in, worth it? Lots of amps available at this price, what do you say!
     
  2. DiPa

    DiPa Silver Supporting Member

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    I say Yeah. I love my amp, has all the black face tones and more.
    Mark has really done a superb job on his amps.
    The amp is warm, great cleans and is harmonically rich in content.
    You play a chord or single notes and it rings.
    The features and options are useful.
    I had looked around before purchasing and felt Tone King amps were it for me.
    I also love the 20th Anniv Imperial.
     
  3. remocity

    remocity Supporting Member

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    Did you do a search first?
    Lots of info out there.
     
  4. chewbaca0

    chewbaca0 Member

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    Yes


     
  5. mrwhipple

    mrwhipple Supporting Member

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    still love mine as well. both channels are very sweet and the dual attenuators are very usable. dropped in a Scumback H75 in mine and it opened up the clean channel a bit more and brought in a little more dynamic bottom end to it. i found the Creamback a little fluffy in the bass.
     
  6. kbgear

    kbgear Member

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    :agree

    I also really enjoy that the lead channel can go from tweedish to Marshallish, plus I enjoy the warmth and feel of the ultralinear mode. But the clean/pentode mode is worth the price of admission in and of itself, IMHO.
     
  7. CyrilW

    CyrilW Silver Supporting Member

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    May 19, 2008
    Location:
    Naperville, IL
    The Sky King was not even on my radar when I went to the store to buy a new Telecaster. I was trying them out on a Sky King that was in the practice room and getting some of the best grind i've ever heard at a reasonable volume. I ended up leaving with the amp instead of a guitar. The attenuators make it the perfect amp for me, plus it's relatively light and the build quality is amazing.
     
    Chrissy G likes this.
  8. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    This is one of those amps I'd really like to try one day. Mark's amps are always so juicy....
     
  9. Krausewitz

    Krausewitz Member

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    I've had one for a while and, for me, it is great. Absolutely gorgeous cleans (although I'm still unsold on the OD sounds).

    Caveat: I've only tried it at home (bought it as my last band was collapsing), but I'm going out and jamming with a new band on Sunday and will be using the Sky King. I should have a better sense then of how it sounds up at volume.
     
  10. 12-Bluesbrother

    12-Bluesbrother Member

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    I love mine. The clean side is superb. The dirt side: I love it too. You get some nice sounds out of it, if you are carefull with the settings. The ultralinear setting is nice. The powersoaks work well. It is not too heavy for older people.
    Had some trouble with mine, but Mark B was helpfull getting things fixed.
    The SkyKing sounds like a good Fender should sound in 2015 ;-
     
  11. mikendzel

    mikendzel Gold Supporting Member

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    I tried one (along with a Royalist 15) while Mark was repairing my Comet a few weeks ago. It's definitely an improvement on my Comet!

    The Rhythm Channel is as everyone is describing, BF tones with a little more mid content, and with the feel of a Tone King. Riffmeister described it perfectly as "juicy."

    The Lead Channel has the same sort of thing going on as my Comet; more mids, less bass, and more/different gain than the Rhythm Channel. The gain stays pretty tight until about 8-9 on the volume, depending on your pickups; my 57/08's lose definition a little quicker than my Suhr Aldrich. Gain levels, while still staying tight, are just a smidgeon below 1959 Super Lead levels. Definitely Angus level gain with 57/08's.

    Personally I really like the Lead Channel! I would like some more bass in it, provided it was tight bass, but if you keep the bass low on the Rhythm Channel, you don't miss it as much. The bonus is that playing in a band context, the decreased bass keeps your guitar very present without muddying up the mix.

    If my house didn't need $$$$$ in repairs over the last month, I'd DEFINITELY own a Sky King after playing the one at Mark's shop. I had saved up for a Royalist, and a Private Stock PRS build to memorialize my daughter, but the damned house sucked me dry!!!!
     
  12. mikendzel

    mikendzel Gold Supporting Member

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    ALSO: I use a Hot Plate in my Comet now, since our drummer went to Roland V Drums (my ears LOVE them!) and I will say that the Ironman Attenuators in the Sky King are light years better than the Hot Plate! It isn't even fair.
     
  13. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    The rhythm channel has one of the best clean tones I have ever heard...

    I do not care for the lead channel or the attenuators nor do I need trem...don't need them...the rhythm channel and the reverb are delicious and among the best...

    The amp was expensive here in Germany at 2600 euros. Then the price jumped up to about 3100 euros which puts this amp in the waaay waaay overpriced category for me....I would only ever use the rhythm channel and so it has too many features I don't need and would never use...
     
  14. Krausewitz

    Krausewitz Member

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    3,100 euros is absolute MADNESS. I got mine second hand for 1,200 quid!
     
  15. mrwhipple

    mrwhipple Supporting Member

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    the Lead channel is very fluid with a nice bite to it. i really like it in Pentode mode, it has a little more dynamic open sound to it. it's very touch sensitive as you dig into a note.
     
  16. JES1680

    JES1680 Silver Supporting Member

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    Had mine for close to a year now. Clean / rhythm channel are probably THE best cleans I've ever heard and it's fun to play squishy / compressed.

    I recently got a Carr Skylark and the two amps can be very similar with the Carr being more stiff? / blackface, more mid focussed / vintage sounding?? Hard to describe. The King sounds much bigger but the Skylark has a more midrange vintage focus. If I could only have 1 I'd have to give the nod to the King.

    The King however loves hum buckers. LP's 335s etc.. it just sounds great and even better with singles.

    The lead channel on the Skyking while not stellar on it's own really works in a live environment.

    But, i've recently been fortunate enough to acquire a Royalist 45 so I've got my best clean and best dirt. For a guy who really didn't care for Mark's earlier designs he really hit a couple out of the park with the Sky King and Royalist.

    The jury is still out on if I'll keep the Skylark, it's a great amp, but what disturbs me more is that my beloved 74 1987 Marshall gets no play now that I've got the Royalist. Good problems to have :)
     
  17. DiPa

    DiPa Silver Supporting Member

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    Royalist 45 is on my radar for a 3rd acquisition of Tone King Amps.
    Mark builds an amazing line of Amps.
     
  18. kbgear

    kbgear Member

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    Couple of datapoints.

    First is this video on the Sky King. It's in German alas, but more on that in a sec. At 3:45 is a pretty good simple demo of the lead channel, which isn't really a "gain" channel as much as a higher gain rhythm channel that can go from tweedish to marshalish, further tweakable by the pentode/ultralinear switch. Otherwise a sort of meh demo IMHO.



    But if you turn on closed-captioning, then under settings translate them to english, you will be entertained by such captions as "the better expectant mother in poverty". Worth watching just for that, IMHO.

    Also, Mark Bartel has been posting teaser images of a new Falcon-ish amp that has added reverb and v2 of the Ironman. If it also has 6L6s (or could run them)... a mythical monstrous 1-channel Tone King. :)
     
  19. Krausewitz

    Krausewitz Member

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    I can confirm that with a band the Sky King really gets it done. Great treble bite and a mid-range punch (if you smack the strings) in ultralinear. I didn't try the lead channel (it wasn't really appropriate to what we were playing).
     
  20. kbgear

    kbgear Member

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    I can also attest that the (hinged) chassis and wiring layout in a Sky King is amazing. I literally said "Oh, wow..." out loud as I slowly hinged it open.

    I can also neither confirm nor deny that while figuring out some microphonic 6L6s I managed to re-tension the tube retainers too many times and broke one. :oops:
     

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