Comparing a Vintage Deluxe Reverb to a Tone King Imperial

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Cody_J, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    Both sound great. I'd be thrilled with either. The Tone King had more bass and is tighter, as others have said. I'd also say that the Tone King has better note separation and sounds a bit "finer" in the treble. That is, it seems a bit more articulate across the spectrum. The Deluxe Reverb doesn't have as much low end, and its EQ is less broad in general. It sounds like it has slightly more mids than the Tone King on that setting, in a really nice way.
     
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  2. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

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    Great comparison, great pickin’, and I too applaud you for minimizing the commentary.

    Both sound great. I’m an old guy, so I’d probably pick the Deluxe, but I’m very impressed with the TK, as I’ve not had much experience with those amps.

    Keep up the great work!
     
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  3. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Great demo. I knew within ten seconds, it's the DR for me. It's got that bite. It's why I have a wall-full of SF amps... The same liveliness that you sometimes hear with an alnico 5 pickup vs something else.

    The TK sounded woofy.

    I doubt it would matter to my overall opinion, but it would be nice to know what speakers we heard. Better yet, use the same speaker.
     
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  4. Groberts

    Groberts Tele-Holic

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    That was one of the best Side-by-side comparison demo's I've seen. I agree the Deluxe has the Mojo. It was more pure and the Toneking sounded a bit more bass heavy. Yet the ToneKing was surprisingly credible at replicating a blackface clean Fender tone. The Fender Deluxe however has more tonal depth and sweetness and purity to my ears. I will say if this was a blind test, I'd probably have a harder time discerning. Nicely done!
     
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  5. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

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    I always find these amp comparisons interesting. For everyone who said amp A or B had more bass or more treble, etc., I wonder how much a subtle tweak of EQ on either amp would make them even closer. A while back I watched a few demos comparing the new Fender Tone Masters with the tube version. Some comments noted differences in the high end. If that person was in the room and moved the treble knob 1/8 inch, then what would they hear?

    I'm not saying any of these amps or better or worse than another one, nor am I suggesting that the demos were poorly done or whatever. It's just that there are an almost infinite number of variables involved when comparing ANY two amps, including two identical amps. Any video demo is only going to provide a broad brush stroke and give you a general, ballpark idea of the two amps' respective tone and capabilities.

    To the OP though, this was a cool and fun demo. I'd take either amp - both sound fantastic!
     
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  6. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Good comparison demo. The biggest difference I heard was what happened when the signal was pushed...the slightly overdriven example. The Tone King’s cathode Biasing yielded an earlier breakup and a bit more compression.
    I like versatility in a single package....the Imperial MKII is a very impressive amp in that respect. With all due respect to the AB763 Fender design, which is a true classic. The Tone King with the addition of the 5E3 preamp in the left channel is in another class of amplification, imho. Bartel gave a nod..or perhaps a bow..of respect to two of Leo Fender’s great designs by incorporating them into a single package. Add the assignable onboard attenuator that is one of the best I have heard, and one has an amp that is very hard to beat, imho.
     
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  7. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Well, I definitely had a favorite between those two. Great demo / overview!
     
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  8. Cody_J

    Cody_J TDPRI Member

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    Wow, thank you everyone for the great responses! I started trying to respond to each post, but I thought that would get too spammy. What would you guys think about an amp comparison where I used a reactive load box and IR's instead of a speaker and mic? That might eliminate some of the variables that a few of you identified so that you can hear more clearly "just" the amps themselves.
     
  9. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If someone is looking for a clean platform with which to run pedals, my nod might go to the DR. If someone wants to plug straight into an amp and use only what the amp provides, the Imp MKII wins with no contest on the basis of versatility, ime. if a person wants to mod the Normal channel of the DR, then the differences are lessened, but I would still take the TK. The Imperial MKII is the most impressive ‘modern’ amp that I have played through. It is simple, but it is very versatile...on its own..no pedals needed.
     
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  10. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Holic

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    ^This^ Tone King’s lead channel is setup to sound like a tweed. But that channel also has a Mid-Bite control that tightens the bottom as it boosts the mids to get you into early Marshall territory.

    So, we need two more videos, please :D
     
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  11. Bob Arbogast

    Bob Arbogast Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The DR sounds clearer to my ears. I'm wondering if that is about the bright cap. Does the TK have one?

    Thanks for the video!
     
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  12. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don’t have my MKII schematic here, but the 20th Anniv Imperial shows a 33pfd bright cap in that right hand channel. . It also shows a larger midrange resistor than the DR uses. That would make for a different midrange...not as scooped as the DR. But then...the midrange cap is smaller. The TK uses a .022mfd while the Fender DR uses a .047mfd. Interestingly, the BF Super Reverb uses a .022 mfd midrange while having a midrange pot. The 18k mid resistor in the TK would equate to running that SR midrange somewhere above halfway but not at 10.
     
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  13. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Great video. Both amps sounded good. I like the Deluxe just a little bit more. Thanks.
     
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  14. Cody_J

    Cody_J TDPRI Member

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    Great suggestion, and you don't have to convince me to play with more amps -- I love vintage amps! Do you have a particular tweed that you would like to hear? There's a decent chance I know someone with one that I can borrow.
     
  15. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I suspect the speakers might play at least a partial role. From the little bit that I read on the web, it sounds like Tone King may have had Eminence design them something that might sound bigger (and better) at lower volumes, assuming the Imperial does indeed have the '33' speaker.
     
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  16. BB

    BB Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree with all the others....great demo, great playing and great amps. I dig the tone of both amps and would love to have a Deluxe some day, but the Tone King (to my ears) is an exceptional amp and another I'd love to have....someday!

    Also dig the guitar! Looks lovely and sounds beautiful. Good stuff!
     
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  17. FrontPU

    FrontPU Tele-Holic

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    I love BF's nicely scooped unboxy clarity, which feels more natural and 3D-ish to my ears.
     
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  18. gypsy jim

    gypsy jim Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Nicely done. Cool playing. Deluxe wins but not by much. (Full disclosure, I own a vintage Deluxe Reverb so my vote shouldn't count as I should recuse myself.)
     
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  19. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Ime, online demos don’t do justice. Cody gives us a great demo within the limitations of the Internet, but experiencing either one of these amps in person is a different world. I have owned and worked on a fair number of DRs, and I appreciate everything about them. For my purposes, IF I wanted or needed an amp of this size and power, there is no doubt in my mind which one I would take. I really like the Imperial MKII amp.
     
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  20. staxman

    staxman Tele-Holic

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    No contest in my book... Deluxe Reverb. Thanks for sharing.
     
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