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Hughes & Kettner tubemeister 18


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HI, Im in the market for a new amp. My marshall AVT 150 died the other day at practice, Im not too bummed about that though. I am currently having it repaired so that I can sell it, not sure if I want to sell the head and keep the cab to use or just sell the stack. I have wanted to sell it for some time now. Our band is moving away from covers and toward originals (alt rock with some delta blues influence), and Id like something that will fit our sound and be less....generic sounding.


I have been looking at the Vox night train 50, and the Blackstar 50. My basic requirements are at least 2 footswitchable channels, I need to be able to go from a clean sound to a fairly gain-y driven channel, and I dont like distortion pedals. I would be open to some sort of overdrive pedal that pushed the amp instead of a digital sounding distortion pedal. Every amp I have had has either been solid state or hybrid (the AVT), and Id really like to try a higher end sounding tube amp.


I have not been able to play either the vox or the blackstar in person, I listened to some reviews and it seems like the blackstar is pretty marshall-y, it also has a "digital reverb" and it has a tone shaping knob that changes it from brit sounding to US sounding. I really dont like the last 2 features mentioned there, I assume they will sound digital/solid state=ish.


The vox on the other hand is more of a simple tube amp, 2 channels, no reverb but Ill take no reverb over digital reverb. The vox is 100$ more thought.



Anyway, I went to the local guitar center to try some of these amps. In typical guitar center fashion they had neither, they did have a jet city 333 head that I tried but it was broken. An employee directed me to 2 amps, an orange tiny terror and an Hughes and Kettner tubemeister 18. I had no intentions of playing either because it appeared that neither had multiple channels, but while leaving the employee mentioned that the H&K had 2 channels. I didnt have time to test it out but after looking at reviews it seems to sound very good. It also does not have a reverb, I would probably have to purchase a reverb pedal, and will also be running a wah and tuner pedal also. Neither of these pedals are true bypass, will this negate the hi fi sound of the h&k? Is it worth it to buy this kind of amp to just run analog pedals in front of it? Also, can I use the AVT cab for this head? I know the avt cab isnt exactly high end, maybe I should just sell it with the AVT head... Which brings me to my question, is this amp overkill for me? I know h&k is a boutique amp company, and Im sure they are higher quality than vox or blackstar. I just havent heard much about these. Sorry for the long post, I appreciate any advise.


Thanks for the help

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H&K's are pretty road worthy amps,the Tubemeister was recently reviewed and got some very positive nods from Guitar Player.


It could easily fit well with most of your needs depending on how loud you guys will be (not sure if 18 watts will compete with a bass player using an SVT! Personally, I like to have a bit of grease myself, so reverb helps to seal the deal for me.


I don't really dig the way the Orange amps sound (that's just me though, you're tastes are probably different.)


Lots of players LOVE their Blackstars tho.. so don't rule that one out. Good luck!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Go back to GC and plug it in and see for yourself. The demo by Premier Guitar on Youtube is very impressive. Lots of detail for both crunch and clean. You could probably keep the cab you have now if you are happy. The Vox 50 watter is great also but, I don't know how easy they are to come by.

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