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Tone King Galaxy Amp Review

Tone King Galaxy Amp Review

It’s really remarkable just how loud and bass-heavy the Galaxy can get, too. It’s got a lot of low end, even when using the cabinet with the optional legs—which were added to counteract transference of bass frequencies to the floor (a situation that can often spell trouble in a recording session). Even so, I preferred leaving the Bass knob set between 8 and 10 o’clock—I simply couldn’t believe how much low-end power I got without things sounding boomy!

Using a 1978 Greco EG-700 Les Paulstyle 6-string, I was able to make the Galaxy’s Lead channel come alive with a brazen, unbridled tone that was simply flooring. The highs were just as sparkly and harmonically juiced as they were in the Rhythm channel, but with a midrange that snarled like a Rottweiler. There’s a real unique character in the Lead channel’s mid frequencies, and it’s most obvious in the rather bright upper end of its spectrum. It was almost as if there were two midrange frequencies at work—one that had a squishy, chewy character, and another on top that was clear and sharp. And it’s just as apparent in wide-open, AC/DC-esque chords as in lead lines—and with both clean and dirty tones.

Even with the cab’s open back design, palm muting yielded tight, percussive tones, and there was enough gain on tap to enter early-’90s hard-rock territory. To produce that much overdrive, I turned up the Lead channel’s Volume to around 1 o’clock— which was blisteringly loud. That’s where the Ironman attenuator became a big help: It enabled me to lower the volume while also allowing the speakers to breathe and the tone to remain tight and full.

What about reverb and tremolo? The range of the reverb effect is extensive—this thing can get wet—but I preferred keeping the knob just under the 9 o’clock position to retain the note definition I prefer. The tremolo circuit was equally impressive, but I hoped for a slightly slower minimum speed at times.

The Verdict
Tone King’s Galaxy is a tone monster, with deceptively versatile tone lurking within its sparse features and simple control layout. Its touch sensitivity, ample volume, clean Rhythm-channel headroom, and smooth Lead-channel overdrive were a joy to experience. While it’s capable of loud cleans and great tones at lower volumes, the Galaxy loves to be cranked and get dirty. It’s a great choice for blues, rock, and country, but it really hits it out of the park with alt-country tones. In this reviewer’s eyes and ears, it really doesn’t get much better than the Galaxy for vintage Fender and Vox flavors, which really makes the Galaxy ready for just about anything—on this world or any other.

Buy if...
you need killer clean tones reminiscent of blackface Fenders and a lead channel that crunches with the best of ’em.
Skip if...
you prefer more modern tones.

Street $2595 (head), $995 (cab), $1745 (cab w/ attenuator) - Tone King Amplifiers -
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