One of Mark Bartel's great creations, the Meteor has two channels, one Blackface style (sounding very much like a '60s Super Reverb), and the other Tweed style, but with an added "mid-bite" control which gives a more British style tone as it is turned up.
The amp is 40 watts at full power, but can be switch to run at 20 watts as well.
This one is in near mint condition, showing only a tiny amount of pulled threading on the handle. The amp is in perfect working order and sounds great. The reverb and tremolo on this amp are both exceptionally good. The original footswitch is included with the amp.
The rhythm channel starts with a classic "blackface" era tonal voicing, familiar to fans of the late 60's Deluxe Reverb or Super Reverb. It gives you the shimmery clean tones and gritty, ringing overdrive that this style of amp is known for, but with a vivid clarity and lush depth which brings out all the harmonics and overtones in your guitar's sound. The unique and effective Mid-Bite control makes the Lead Channel a lot more versatile than you would expect from a channel with only 3 controls. The Mid-Bite control is an exclusive Tone King design feature which does a lot more than simply adjust the midrange level - it completely transforms the overdrive character.
With Mid-Bite fully off, the Lead Channel reacts much like a tweed amp. When played clean, the woody resonance of the cabinet, liveliness of the 5AR4 tube rectifer, and the expressive response of the cathode-biased output stage work together to give you the raw midrange, silky top end, and soft compression that define the vintage tweed sound - perfect for honky tonk or blues rhythm playing with a tele.
As you dig in harder, you'll feel the sweet, round top end begin to develop a stinging bite. Crank it up into the distortion zone, and the tone gets even fatter and thicker. Compression from the cathode-biased output stage softens the pick attack as single notes and chords swell and sustain in endlessly evolving shades of thick, meaty grind.
As you turn up the Mid-Bite control, a midrange peak appears while the bottom end is simultaneously tightened up, which transforms the tone into more of an English-style crunch. The amp develops a tighter feel as single notes really start to sing and sustain, and chords become chunky with a rich array of overtones.
The Meteor includes a reverb circuit which is inspired by the classic standalone reverb units of the 1960s. This circuit has its own 12AX7 tube preamp and 6V6 tube driver, driving a full-size 3-spring pan. A 12AX7 tube driven reverb receiver allows for shaping the sound of the reverb signal with its own reverb tone control.
The tremolo effect can be turned on and off via the footswitch. Although the output tubes of the Meteor are primarily cathode-biased, bias adjustment controls are provided for precisely setting the bias current of each output tube. Bias current is measured by attaching an external ammeter to a set of test jacks, and activating the each tube, in turn, with a bias activation switch. Bias current is set by adjusting a 20-turn trimmer pot with a small screwdriver. The entire biasing procedure can be performed in less than 5 minutes, and does not require disassembly of the amp.
The speaker used in the Meteor is the hemp cone model #1891. This speaker was designed in collaboration with Eminence Speaker Corp. It is a unique speaker, and is unlike any of the standard Eminence models. It combines the sweet, articulate top end of an alnico speaker with the percussive power and warmth of a ceramic magnet speaker. It has a rich, balanced tone which manages to deliver both exceptional clarity and a sweet, musical top end.