Tone King Imperial mkii vs Princeton 64 custom

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Sinner1980, May 20, 2020.

  1. Sinner1980

    Sinner1980 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    402
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Hi All,

    I’ve decided that I want to invest in a new amp. This time I want to go boutique/custom/handwired/fancy/expensive;)

    I’m looking at the Tone King Imperial mkii and the Fender Princeton 64 (custom shop) initially.

    Was wondering if there’s anyone that has experience with one of these amps or both(even better!) and if you can share your experiences.

    I exclusively play teles and strats and want a great clean sound that can also break up nicely. It also has to take pedals well.

    Style: classic rock, blues, indie
    Usage: 80% home

    Will test both personally of course, just curious to hear your opinions!

    Thanks!
     
    Jared Purdy and getbent like this.
  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    35,328
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    No debate for me....the TK Imperial MKII is much more amp for my purposes. It has a 5E3 preamp in the left channel and a BF AB763 preamp on the right. The attenuator, which is great one imho, is assignable to only the 5E3 channel if desired. The versatility far outstrips that Fender amp. The tube reverb circuit is wonderful. The Bias vary trem is in the solid state domain, but that circuit does not process signal anyway but rather simply wiggles the output tube bias voltage for the effect.
     
  3. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    17,975
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    The North Coast

    Wally knows of which he speaks. I’m not really a fan of Fender amp voicings generally, but to me it would be no contest. I haven’t played the Princeton in question. I’ve never played a Princeton newer than ‘69... and my favorites were the non-reverb models. Especially the Brown ones.

    But the couple of Imperials I’ve played were incredible amps for anybody who enjoys Fender type voicings and wants FAR more options and versatility. And really, being that the Brown models are my favorite of all the Fender amps, I can say without reservation that a good bias vary trem is definitely a thing of beauty.
     
    rjtwangs, Sinner1980, getbent and 3 others like this.
  4. bcorig

    bcorig Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,130
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2018
    Location:
    Chino Hills CA
    Tone King every time.
     
    kafka, Tim S, Sinner1980 and 2 others like this.
  5. pedalcr8z

    pedalcr8z Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    441
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    I owned both, the Tone King is simply in another league as it's basically 2 different amplifiers and sorry to say but the build quality and parts of the handwired Fenders is sub par for the price. Also owned 2 Vibro Kings and quite honestly the guts were literally a rats nest....HOWEVER the Vibro King's tone was to die for. Dr Z nailed the tone with the EZG-50!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
    bcorig, baiff, Sinner1980 and 2 others like this.
  6. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    38,961
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Location:
    San Benito County, California
    I loved mine and I grew into it. The first few years, I used part of it... after a few more... I was just insane with what I could get from it. Mark Bartel... amazing amazing talent. and super nice guy.
     
    Sinner1980, pedalcr8z and Treehouse like this.
  7. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,081
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    I love Princeton Reverbs. I just finished building a PR clone, and I honestly cannot imagine a better sounding amp for me. All that said, the Tone King Mk II is in a different class altogether in terms of versatility. Not only tone-wise, but also considering it has an Iron Man II attenuator -- Tone King for sure.
     
    Sinner1980, pedalcr8z and Treehouse like this.
  8. Treehouse

    Treehouse Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    245
    Joined:
    May 8, 2019
    Location:
    The Woods
    so I guess a blues junior is out of the question?
     
  9. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,081
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    In this video, Bartel explains the various features of the MK II. It is now six years old, but I imagine it's still relevant. If this is in your ballpark, I'd say it's a no-brainer.

     
  10. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    38,961
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Location:
    San Benito County, California
    if you don't have tone king scratch, the blues junior can keep you fed.
     
    bcorig, Wally and Treehouse like this.
  11. Sinner1980

    Sinner1980 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    402
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    So you sold all and got the Dr Z?
     
    pedalcr8z likes this.
  12. EspyHop

    EspyHop Tele-Meister

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    427
    Joined:
    May 28, 2018
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    Dr. Z Z-Lux might be worth a look. It’s 40/20 watts and has a master volume. It can do what you’re looking for and more in 20 watt mode and gives you the flexibility of having more power on tap if you need it.
     
    Sinner1980 and Jakedog like this.
  13. Gleesonjf

    Gleesonjf TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    29
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Location:
    St Louis, MO
    I'd echo what others have said about the Tone King MK2. I got one last year and use it for similar circumstances as you. You won't be disappointed!
     
    bcorig, Tim S and Sinner1980 like this.
  14. pedalcr8z

    pedalcr8z Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    441
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    After the Vibro Kings yes I indeed went to the Dr Z EZG-50 and it was basically a Vibro King on steroids HOWEVER it was far too loud for home use you wanted some form of breakup.
     
  15. Whoa Tele

    Whoa Tele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,272
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Smyrna Ga.
    I've not played either of the amps you're considering but if it's allowed I'd throw the Louis Electric Deltone into the mix if you're looking for versatile Fender typeamp.
     
  16. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    35,328
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    That Deltone does offer a power option, but the two preamps are basically BF preamps...very much like each other but for the effects in one channel....very much like a Deluxe Reverb with a higher power option. I might choose the Deltone over the Fender ‘64 Handwired, but the MKII offers much more versatility since it has two distinctly different preamps as well as that assignable onboard attenuator that is a great attenuator, imho.
     
  17. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,508
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    Hoggtown, KY.
    The Tone King is a far superior amp, but as far as resale, the Fender name goes a long way. :cool:
     
  18. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,481
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    I’m a Fender amp fan. Most of my amps over the years—including my #1/don’t-see-it-being-replaced ‘63 re-issue Vibroverb—are/were Fenders...but...

    I’ve played several models of Tone King amps—different wattages, sizes, etc.—and all of them were spectacular...
    Each of them that I’ve played made me seriously consider culling the herd/guitarsenal and investing in one of them...they were that good.

    If I were to ever buy an expensive boutique amp, a Tone King would definitely be considered (along with a Grammatico, a Dr. Z and a Carr).

    All the used Tone King amps I’ve seen have been fairly pricey—I think (at least in my area) they hold their resale value very well.
     
    Tim S likes this.
  19. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,508
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    Hoggtown, KY.
    Perhaps, but I still see far superior amps on the gear forums languish & Fender, Marshall, Vox, etc. sell based on name recognition alone. :cool:
     
  20. Whoa Tele

    Whoa Tele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,272
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Smyrna Ga.
    I would definitely agree with your observations Wally. The Tone King is remarkable in that it can give you two flavors of Fender. I will say however , that the mid knob on the Deltone adds a lot of variety to my ears and can give faux tweediness depending on how you EQ the amp. The OP does want something that will break up nicely so the TOne King makes more sense as the Deltone gets pretty dang loud before it breaks up.
     
    Wally likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.