Tone King Imperial Mk2 - Worth it or hype?

Tone King Imperial Mk2 - Worth it or hype?

  • Worth it

    Votes: 16 76.2%
  • Hype

    Votes: 5 23.8%

  • Total voters
    21

hallissyc

TDPRI Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Posts
5
Age
37
Location
Temecula, CA
I've been through a tone of amps in the last two years; chasing it but it doesn't wanna be caught, haha. One amp that has continually caught my eye (and ears) is the Tone King Imperial Mk2. I like the way it looks, I like the way it sounds (in videos as I have never heard one in person), and I like that its modeled after a Deluxe (which I think sound phenomenal.
My question is, are they hyped? I have a deal ready at $2100 local pickup, but would I be better off getting a used DRRI and getting an attenuator? Maybe even a cheaper Blues Deluxe or Hotrod Deluxe (which are infinitely more affordable).
What do you guys think? Anyone have good or bad experiences with the TK?
 

getbent

Telefied
Gold Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2006
Posts
47,703
Location
San Benito County, California
I had an original Tone King Imperial. It was the best amp I ever played. I've owned at least 75 amps in my life, lots of black face fenders etc. Hands down, best sounding, most versatile amp I ever played. I think the the MK2 is an improvement on the original.

2100 sounds like a fair price.

I gigged a blues deluxe for 10 years and they are good amps, but not in the same league as the tone king. If you can afford the TK and you are gonna play a lot, go for it. If not, the BD will be fine.
 

TeleTex82

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 4, 2010
Posts
4,551
Location
Out there
That's my dream amp and one I plan on owning. Only reason I haven't pulled the trigger is that the color I want is always back ordered.

The first time I heard one in person I was floored. Great amps.
 

fasthand

Tele-Meister
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Posts
214
Location
Massillon Ohio
I’ve been interested in the Tone King for quite some time as well
I do have a 65 DRRI way too much power at home tamed it after the fact with a Tone King Iron man II mini attenuator works well
With initial cost of amp and attenuator you’re close to the price point your looking at
 

Tim S

Tele-Afflicted
Gold Supporter
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Posts
1,699
Location
Upstate NY
Another Tone King owner here (Sky King). I learned about Tone King amps on this forum & the posters didn’t steer me wrong. If you ever wanted clean Blackface & overdriven Tweed from the same amp that can be played at home-friendly volumes, I don’t think there are really any competitors.
 

Tony65x55

TDPRI Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Posts
11
Location
Oshawa, Ontario
Sorry guys, I'll be the party pooper. I had a Tone King Imperial MkII for almost two years and no matter what I did, I never really found a sound I loved. It was beautifully made though.

I finally traded it for a Carr Rambler. Nice amp but very loud. I'm going to sell it too and just settle for my old Fenders.
 

Gleesonjf

TDPRI Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2009
Posts
43
Location
St Louis, MO
I've got one and it sounds great and the attenuator is the best. I would definitely get another if I lost this one for whatever reason.
 

uriah1

Telefied
Gold Supporter
Joined
Feb 12, 2011
Posts
27,005
Location
Around
Sorry guys, I'll be the party pooper. I had a Tone King Imperial MkII for almost two years and no matter what I did, I never really found a sound I loved. It was beautifully made though.

I finally traded it for a Carr Rambler. Nice amp but very loud. I'm going to sell it too and just settle for my old Fenders.
A friend of mine had same issues with his Carr and let it go
 

vox Phantom

Tele-Holic
Joined
Apr 17, 2010
Posts
583
Age
69
Location
Wynantskill NY
I had the Tone King (Sky King) it was great Amp I did trade
it in for a Louis Electric Gattone. The only reason why I did
that was it was only a 1x12 if the (Sky King) was a 2x12 or
2x10 I would have kept the Amp. The Louis Electric is a 2x10.
 

Askwhy

Tele-Holic
Joined
Dec 18, 2019
Posts
657
Location
Utah
Definitely TK MKII over drri + attenuator as the TK already has a great attenuator plus the equivalent of a second amp at the stomp of a footswitch. Fantastic amp. Best tremolo i have heard if that matters.
If you need more power, i would get the HRD IV (used). Nice upgrades from previous versions and a great sounding amp in its own right.
 

MickM

Poster Extraordinaire
Platinum Supporter
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Posts
6,370
Age
65
Location
A steel guitar engagment.
Sorry guys, I'll be the party pooper. I had a Tone King Imperial MkII for almost two years and no matter what I did, I never really found a sound I loved. It was beautifully made though.

I finally traded it for a Carr Rambler. Nice amp but very loud. I'm going to sell it too and just settle for my old Fenders.
Just curious as to what type of sound you were trying to achieve or dial in?
 

hotdotdog

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2011
Posts
32
Location
glendora ca
I've been through a tone of amps in the last two years; chasing it but it doesn't wanna be caught, haha. One amp that has continually caught my eye (and ears) is the Tone King Imperial Mk2. I like the way it looks, I like the way it sounds (in videos as I have never heard one in person), and I like that its modeled after a Deluxe (which I think sound phenomenal.
My question is, are they hyped? I have a deal ready at $2100 local pickup, but would I be better off getting a used DRRI and getting an attenuator? Maybe even a cheaper Blues Deluxe or Hotrod Deluxe (which are infinitely more affordable).
What do you guys think? Anyone have good or bad experiences with the TK?
No Hype. I owned one and it was glorious. They are quite loud and sound like a Deluxe Reverb except better. Clear definition from all notes. Rich sounding tremolo and the reverb is far better than the DR. I probably shouldn't have sold it but I'm very happy with my Tone King Falcon Grande.
 

RobinsonCustoms

NEW MEMBER!
Joined
Nov 26, 2021
Posts
1
Age
58
Location
Seattle-ish
I've been through a tone of amps in the last two years; chasing it but it doesn't wanna be caught, haha. One amp that has continually caught my eye (and ears) is the Tone King Imperial Mk2. I like the way it looks, I like the way it sounds (in videos as I have never heard one in person), and I like that its modeled after a Deluxe (which I think sound phenomenal.
My question is, are they hyped? I have a deal ready at $2100 local pickup, but would I be better off getting a used DRRI and getting an attenuator? Maybe even a cheaper Blues Deluxe or Hotrod Deluxe (which are infinitely more affordable).
What do you guys think? Anyone have good or bad experiences with the TK?
Try the Carr Mercury V. Your quest will be done
 

telemaster03

Tele-Holic
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Posts
612
Age
60
Location
Wichita, KS
I've had my Imperial Mk II for about a year now, it replaced a DRRI and I couldn't be happier. Much more useable and it's really difficult to get a bad tone out of it. The tremolo is way better than on the DRRI and I'm starting to learn my way around the Tweed lead channel with the attenuator, I switch back and forth for either clean on the rhythm channel or some grit on the lead channel. It's not just me, my band mates prefer the Tone King over pretty much all my other amps, though they think the Dr Z Stang Ray looks cool.

We play classic, honky-tonk country music. Perfect for me, no regrets here.
 

Nicodemus1

Tele-Meister
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Posts
185
Location
Cornville De.
I've been through a tone of amps in the last two years; chasing it but it doesn't wanna be caught, haha. One amp that has continually caught my eye (and ears) is the Tone King Imperial Mk2. I like the way it looks, I like the way it sounds (in videos as I have never heard one in person), and I like that its modeled after a Deluxe (which I think sound phenomenal.
My question is, are they hyped? I have a deal ready at $2100 local pickup, but would I be better off getting a used DRRI and getting an attenuator? Maybe even a cheaper Blues Deluxe or Hotrod Deluxe (which are infinitely more affordable).
What do you guys think? Anyone have good or bad experiences with the TK?
I have a 1993 Imperial and 2 2008 Meteor II's a combo and a head. any TK 2008 or earlier is the way IMO and ear. I purchased a Imperial built by Premiere builders guild. It wasn't the same sounding amplifier as my other 3 TK amps. I sold it to a guy in Baltimore Md. and he ended up selling it as well. Now the guy that builds them today? Well It's not Mark Bartel. I spoke with him once and i did share my experience and he asked for a pic of my 93, which i told him it had 6 gain stages instead of his 5. I
sent a pic of the chassis and Cab. I'd recommend Playing one first or buying a used one. <2008 < If you are near by me, I have 2 beautiful examples I'm parting with. I will not ship.
I'd also recommend RCA 6V6GT black plates and a good nos preamp tube / valve etc. in the important tone spots, V1 ect. RCA / Mullard, Amperex .....
 
Last edited:




Top