H&K triamp MKII vs Orange RV50 vs Koch?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by highlanderman, Mar 4, 2006.


  1. highlanderman

    highlanderman Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Hey guys,

    I'm looking for a 50w tube head - a channel switcher as i need a nice warm clean and OD sound. The problem is there's far too many to try so i'm trying to narrow it down a little bit, so currently i'm looking at the following:
    • Hughes & Kettner Triamp MKII (i know its 100w but its got a 50w switch and a plethora of channels!)
    • Orange RV50 - I've actually played one and found it to be a bit too 'mid'-dy is that makes sense.
    • Koch - don't know much about them but someone told me to check them out, so probably a Multi-tone or twin-tone.
    Oh, and i'm also keen to hear some thoughts on the new Fender Super-Sonic once enough people bought them to give a good review..

    I've been using a H&K Tube 50 combo and its been pretty good but i'd rather go down the head/cab route and think its time to upgrade..

    So, anyone got any thoughts on those amps, or a suggestion of an alternative that i need to check out!? ...oh yea, and i need to be able to find one in the UK!

    I'd really appreciate any advice! Cheers!
     
  2. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

    Messages:
    2,935
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    The Jewel of the Rockies
    No contest.

    I've had the Triamp, and it is a killer amp. Incredible tube sound, very versatile. The Orange is nice, but the HK blows it away as far as versatility. The Koch was not thrilling to me.

    FWIW. I left the triamp because I needed even MORE diversity. Broke my heart to let it go...but I don't have that much cash to keep that and a Zinky SF around.

    EP
     
  3. highlanderman

    highlanderman Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Thanks for the advice. Just out of interest, what sort of cab were you using the triamp with?
     
  4. p.snail

    p.snail Member

    Messages:
    786
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2003
    Location:
    Union, Ky
    I work for a music store here in Cincy. We were a H&K dealer. Emphasis on WERE. We ordered in a Triamp MK1. Customer buys it. It blows up. Right about that time the MK2 comes out. We order the MK2 to replace the amp. It blows up. We ordered in a Duotone. Customer never got the chance to buy it. It fried in the store. H&K sounds great, but are as reliable as a Pinto. Needless to say we are no longer an H&K dealer. I have a Koch now and aside from a tube issue that I had it's about as well made as anything out there and it sounds great. Same with the Orange. Just my $.02
     
  5. the_Chris

    the_Chris It's All Been Done Before Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,673
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    CT
    FWIW, I owned a Triamp Mk 1 for a year, gigged with it in New England weather and it worked great. It had a bit too much going on with the amp, it was extremely loud and as the gain turned up, so did the noise unfortunately so I ended up selling mine.

    I do have some very good memories of that amp though, it was extremely versatile and cut through the band mix like nothing else. When that thing was cranked, it was SCARY :D

    Orange makes a good product, but I haven't tried the new RockerVerb series (maybe I should give them a listen, they do sound interesting). I've never really dug Koch's stuff, so they're the first ones I'd take off the list. Pretty bland sounding amps and harsh to my ears.

    If you want warmth from the H&K Triamp, check out channel 1B (it's darker, warmer and thicker than 1A, which I would describe as a unique bright, glassy sort of tone... great for that pop/funk type jangle). The Triamp was always able to nail a bunch of different Marshall-esque tones, everything from Judas Priest to Queensryche to Joe Walsh to AC/DC.
     
  6. bailnout

    bailnout Member

    Messages:
    741
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I owned both the Duotone and the Triamp and loved them both. No reliablity issues. If I were a rich man I would still have them. The Triamp MKII is one bad mofaux! Channel 3 turned up about halfway to max will just kill ya! Brutally ballsy tone. Channel 1A was one of the best cleans I ever had.

    I've never played that Orange amp you are looking at but I'll be checking out my buddy's Koch Multi-tone 2x12 combo pretty soon. He says that Koch is the shizzle so we'll see.

    I miss my Triamp MKII.
     
  7. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

    Messages:
    2,935
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    The Jewel of the Rockies
    I've known several people with HK equipment, and none of them have complained about reliability. The US distributor was VERY accomodating and answered every one of my questions before and after the sale. Even sent me new lights free of charge when I screwed up taking out the chassis and broke one of those cool lights.

    Used with 3 cabs. Mesa 4x12 and 2x12 v30's, and Marshall 4x12 w/Greenies. Different feels with both. High gain stuff KILLED with the Mesa 4x12. Backed off the gain to tune for the Marshall cab. But keep in mind that the amp was designed for the Greenbacks. With those loose Greens, I loved it for anything classic to 80's.

    EP
     
  8. highlanderman

    highlanderman Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    My experience with the Orange RV50 was that it just seemed to sound really "muddy" - hard to describe but just kinda "flat". Although to be fair that was through an Epiphone LP, with something with better pickups it might sound better. And as far as Koch go, i've never heard one before, not even any sound samples, i was only going by a recommendation from a friend but judging by people's views on the forum it seems you either love it or hate it.. Based on that the triamp might be the way to go.

    You guys think there's anything else i should check out beforehand?
     
  9. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,147
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2002
    Location:
    RDU Area
    Heard the Koch once ....... ONCE . yuck.

    The RV50 is very nice... but the triamp is more my cup of tea.... way more versatile....gonna get another some day...
     
  10. bailnout

    bailnout Member

    Messages:
    741
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    You haven't put a price range as one of your criterion so if that is wide open I would suggest you try out the OD-100 or OD-50 from Suhr. You can pop two tubes out of the OD-100 and go one tap lower on the speaker out to get a 50w setup. Been playing mine that way for a week and it sounds f'n killer! Not sure how much luck you'll have finding one in the UK but if you can, go give it a listen. I doubt you would be disappointed.

    I also own a Bogner Ecstasy that so far is very impressive with the number of great tones I can get from it. It not only has a half power switch but also a pentode/triode switch (Old Style/New Style) and a class A/AB switch, all of which can reduce your wattage. The manual says you can go from 100 watts all the way down to 7. Not sure how that math works out but it sure makes it sound like you hav a lot of options there. From my experience though, even if you just cut it down to 50 watts, it's damn loud.

    Another possibility might be an H&K Tube 50 head and a good 4x12 loaded with 25w Greenbacks or V30s. I'm fairly certain the Tube 100 head has a half power switch on it but again, not 100% sure. So that could be an option for you. If you already like your tone with the Tube 50 combo, which really is a great amp, why not just disconnect the internal speaker and run it through a 4x12? That would sound great!

    Then theirs always the 50 watt version of the Marshall JCM800. You can't go wrong there.
     
  11. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

    Messages:
    7,143
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    i'd look into the shiva
     
  12. highlanderman

    highlanderman Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Thanks for the advice, Does the shiva have a good clean and od channel?

    I'll certainly have a look into it, and as far as i know you can pick them up in the UK which is certainly a bonus!
     
  13. highlanderman

    highlanderman Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Yea, did some reading on the Shiva and it looks pretty good, i'll add that to the list.

    Realistically though i think i'm still faced with the original list.
    Triamp MKII - loads of features and its got the half power switch.
    Orange RV50 - Still think it sounded really muddy but the cab had V30's in it so using different speakers might help
    Koch - Has loads of features but it seems folk don't really like the tone of it, and i'd rather tone over features anyway.
    Shiva - Sounds good but i'll have a hard time finding one for cheap in the Uk!

    Finding an amp is definately a love-hate thing for me!
     
  14. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

    Messages:
    2,935
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    The Jewel of the Rockies
    Hmm. You didn't mention anything about price.

    The Triamp is more than worth it, but it aint cheap. HK actually has a few new offerings that are getting good reviews and are around or more versatile (Trilogy and Switchblade). More reasonably priced as well.

    Since HK is good solid German engineering, should be a snap to get one in your neck of the woods, or should I say Peat? ;)

    EP
     
  15. highlanderman

    highlanderman Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Yea peat is more like it!

    I'd have a Trilogy or Duotone head if they did a half power mode on it, but 100watts is way over the top for me and the Triamp MKII's got a 50w switch on it which makes it ideal.

    Choosing an amp makes me nervous cause wherever you look you keep finding more and more options, i'm dreading the thought of starting to find a good speaker/cab combination!
     
  16. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,448
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    >>Choosing an amp makes me nervous<<

    Geez, don't try to buy a car or a house, you'll have a nervous breakdown.

    Amp shopping is easy. Find one you like, and buy it. There is no right or wrong.
     
  17. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

    Messages:
    2,935
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    The Jewel of the Rockies
    Peat makes for a lovely product yes! It has been my downfall on many a night.

    The HK was designed for a cab with Greenbacks (although I think now they offer a V30 cab by popular demand.) The Greens were nice in that I needed very little gain to go a LONG way.

    And don't let 50 watts fool you. It's not that much of a DB change. The good thing is that the HK's master is great. Even at bedroom volumes and 100 watts (ended up liking the tone a bit better at that setting) I still didn't wake up the wife upstairs and got great tone.

    One last thing: I REALLY liked that my tone didn't change as I turned up the master. I've found on most amps that it's night and day from low to high volumes as far as EQ and gain. The Triamp got more defined and tasty at higher volume.

    Damn I miss that amp.
    EP
     
  18. highlanderman

    highlanderman Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Man, i've bought a car on much less information before and not been worried about it at all!!!

    Thanks for the advice EP - i think i'll probably go with the triamp! ..hmm, i'd maybe better get investing in a hot-plate!...
     
  19. bailnout

    bailnout Member

    Messages:
    741
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I think electronpirate was trying to say, and I whole heartedly agree, was that you DO NOT NEED an attenuator with the Triamp. The master volume for the amp as a whole works great. Plus you have a half power switch. At either 50 or 100 you can get great tones at low volumes. Seriously, at bedroom volume, on channel 3B, with no help from any other equipment other than guitar/cable/amp, you can get a singing sustaining lead tone with no problem at all. With the gain on that channel cranked, the master is a little touchy but you can do it. The only reason I would use an attenuator would be to JUST BARELY attenuate in order to make the lower end of the travel of the master work a little more smoothly.

    Damn, I miss that amp too.
     
  20. highlanderman

    highlanderman Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Thanks.. thats even better i guess - i can put the money towards a cab instead as i start my quest for the perfect speaker!
     

Share This Page