The Kingsley ToneBaron is a variable power cathode biased amplifier that takes its inspiration from the Deluxe 30 and Deluxe 32, but adds higher output levels and adds the tonal flexibility of being able to accept a variety of output tube types and combinations. It is a channel switching amplifier that is extremely versatile with tones that are fat and rich.
The ToneBaron comes with four 6L6s or four EL34s, but it can also accept 5881s, KT66s, KT77s, 6V6s or 6550s. There are two pairs of octal sockets in the power amplifier. Each pair has its own on-off switch on the back panel that allows the user to turn each pair off in the middle switch position, allowing the amp to run with only two output tubes for reduced power. For example you could set the amp up with four 6L6s or EL34s (or a combination of two 6L6s and two EL34s), or you could listen to a single pair. Or you could run four 6V6s or a combination of say two 6V6s and two EL34s. Depending on the tube compliment, the output power can be anywhere from 7W (in triode mode) up to 60W(in pentode mode).
The combination of the two switchable preamp channels and tube type versatility make the ToneBaron the most versatile amplifier in the Kingsley product line.
The pre-amplifier section features two completely independent channels - channel 1 for low gain mild break-up through medium gain blues and rock tones to smooth rich sustaining lead tones. The controls on this channel are: gain, volume, treble, middle and bass, as well as bright, mid smooth and gain switches. The mid smooth is a 3-way switch that in positions 2 and 3 rolls off highs as the mid control is raised. This results in a rich, smooth midrange when desired. The gain switch also has three positions, allowing a range of gain levels to accommodate a wide variety of overdrive tastes.
Channel 2 is for clean tones, but can also be set for overdrive if desired. The controls are volume, treble, bass and reverb, as well as bright, EQ lift and gain switches. The clean sounds are airy, dynamic and bell-like with great note definition to rich and warm (great for jazz). But this channel is also very versatile. The EQ lift dis-ables the treble and bass for a very thick, rich and organic tone. In this mode the global tone control, bright switch and gain switch are still active. This mode is great for strats, teles and other bright guitars. The neck pickup of a strat with the EQ lift is a match made in heaven. The gain switch is a 3-way mini-switch that increases the pre-amp gain. This pushes the clean channel into very touch sensitive overdrive. Combined with high volume control levels there is plenty of gain on tap to make this channel double as an overdrive channel. However, the overdrive from this channel is more raw and vintage sounding than channel 1, perfect for classic overdrive tones. The master volume allows these tones to be had at a variety of volume levels. A very natural sounding reverb is the icing on the cake for this channel.
The two pre-amp channels can be run in two ways: in parallel mode each channel operates independently, just as on most amps; in series mode the overdrive channel is routed into the clean channel. On the front panel a mini switch selects parallel or series operation. Series mode offers two advantages: the addition of a simple series effects loop without the addition of gain stages and extra circuitry (this allows the patching in effects such as delay after pre-amp generated overdrive); and secondly, all of the controls of the clean channel are now active when listening to the overdrive channel. This has the effect of producing a very sweet overdrive tone and of enabling the addition of reverb to the overdrive channel. Whether using parallel or series mode, the channels can still be selected on the fly with the supplied footswitch.
On the back panel there is a line out jack and line level control. This allows the patching of effects after the power amp for a wet/dry rig if desired.
The ToneBaron is available as a head, a 1 x 12 combo (with Celestion Classic Lead 80) or as a 2 x 12 combo (various speaker choices available).
A footswitchable variable boost with a level control on the footswitch housing can be added to the channel selector. This variable boost works on the clean channel only, but when in series mode it effectively works on both channels. The circuit taps into the EQ lift feature’s huge boosting ability, but makes the amount of boost variable courtesy of its variable control. Cost: $100