Hughes and Kettner amps - Worth the bucks?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Axemaster, May 17, 2006.


  1. Axemaster

    Axemaster Member

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    I have been looking at the Hughes and Kettner amps online. I have read some reviews but really have not seen any convincing info one way or the other. Anyone have some personal experience with these rigs? Are they really worth the money or am I better off picking up some golden tone vintage instead?

    -Axe
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    I had a Zentera, and it was very fragile...sent back 2X to be fixed, and then I finally gave up and went back to Tube amps...a greaqt sounding amp though...the Marshall 50 sound was Unbelievable!!!! Way better than my old pLEXI'S
     
  3. GuitarGuy510

    GuitarGuy510 Member

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    Hey man,

    I never got to play one myself but my buddy is a tube amp tech and does lots of repair jobs on high-end stuff. His friend brought in a TriAmp Mk II to get retubed (talk about big bucks on a tube job, to get everything redone is REALLY expensive! lol) and he got to play it for a while after he burned in the tubes. He said it was one of the best amps he ever played, and the amount of gear he's seen is crazy so coming from him I would say that means a lot! He also said that the price tag was a bit much though, and that you could find better for a bit cheaper. Go figure!
     
  4. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    I think the TriAmp has lots of tubes to replace, hence the cost.
     
  5. Troy Baer

    Troy Baer Member

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    H&K stuff tends to be murderously expensive new in the U.S. The typical used prices on them are pretty reasonable, though.

    (Disclaimer: I have a H&K Triamp Mk. II head that I picked up used a couple years ago and just love.)
     
  6. bduersch

    bduersch Member

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    I just picked up a used Triamp II a couple of weeks ago, and am really digging it so far... love the versatility, love the tone, and (quite shallowly) think it looks bad-ass. Definitely one of the coolest amps I've owned.

    Then again, for half the price, I really dug the tone & versatility of the Mesa Mark IV, and I really got into the Egnater TOL100 too. :)

    So, considering the used cost of the H&K was so much higher, I'm not sure yet if it's worth it yet... only some serious gigging and recording will tell for sure.

    --B
     
  7. p.snail

    p.snail Supporting Member

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    I've owned a Triamp. Lot's of useable tones, pretty much a pain in the a$$ when it came to replacing tubes. I got rid of it and bought an Engl Savage. The Engl is a similar animal except it sounds about a 100 times better in my opinion. I do agree with most people that say the HK stuff sounds good. It does, but I've had bad reliablity experiences with several of them so I don't really recommend them myself to anyone. Just my $.02
     
  8. Young Angus

    Young Angus Member

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    Awesome snail...i already own a savage so i feel better now :D

    I had some snobbish music shop goose once tell me that H&K stuff was fantastic (which it no doubt is) but that ENGL stuff is cheap crap...this was the same guy who told me that no pedal would work with the komet, that he "knew" the komet after turning each EQ knob on it up and down once, and who said he thought something was wrong with the amp when he couldnt figure out what was going on because he thought he was hearing extra notes coming out of the amp than what he played into it...they're called OVERTONES JACKASS!
     
  9. p.snail

    p.snail Supporting Member

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    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!:D :D

    I know guys just like that. :BEER
     
  10. Axemaster

    Axemaster Member

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    So basically they sound great, better or equal tone can be had for less and they tend to be expensive when they break. Anyone ever gigged out with one of these rigs? I know alot of folks who have good equipment but they never take it anywhere. Does it break because of being moved or does it just wear out tubes and require a refresh every so often?
     
  11. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Those H&K preamps (the "machine" series) were pretty tough-couldn't kill em with a hammer. Don't know about the modern stuff. A used Triamp at about $1k is a pretty good sounding amp to my ears, at least as good as the similarily priced Marshall 6100 or Trace Trident. I'd put it a step or two ahead of the Mk IVs and the TOL100 that I've owned-both of those were 3 channel, one trick ponies (one great sound and two others, OK). I kicked myself for a couple of months for not picking up the MkI that Dave had last year for $900.
     
  12. SFW

    SFW Member

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    I'd hardly call the Mark IV a "one trick poney." I get three great sounds out of mine. Nice BF cleans, Marshallesq crunch (R2) and that Mesa liquid lead tone. I understand that the amp wasn't for you, but don't slag it just because it wasn't "your amp." You can check the clips in my sig. I think I have R2 sounding more than just "ok."

    Back to the topic: I have played a few H&K amps. While the price tag is a bit on the steep side, they have all sounded fantastic. When you think about it, they're not more expensive than a Diezel. I would love to pick up a Triamp one day.
     
  13. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Sorry, didn't mean to step on toes. The problem I've had with both Mk IVs I've owned is that I could set it up to have one great sound at a time, the other two always sounded like compromises. I'm glad you're getting some killer sounds out of yours, but it definitely wasn't as flexible for me as the Triamp. Same with the TOL, not the sound I was looking for and too much in the smooth camp on all 4 channels, but YMMV.
     
  14. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    Yeah, no way I'd call a Mark IV a one trick pony. More like a all tricks pony.
     
  15. bduersch

    bduersch Member

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    Yeah, I happen to find both the Mark IV and TOL100 pretty versatile, but, certainly less versatile (individually) compared to the Triamp II. All 3 of them, to some extent or another, suffer from "shared EQ syndrome", which always seems to lead to some sort of tonal compromise in my experience. (The Mesa Mark III wins a gold metal in this category)

    Here's how my mind is working now... I paid ~$2300 for a used Triamp II. For that same $2300 I could have gotten a Mark IV, a TOL100, and a Radial head switcher. Now that might have been more versatile, but less convenient. So I'm still weighing it out in my mind... is it worth it? Hard to tell yet...

    Anyway, I played the Triamp II at band practice last night... was disappointed because it blended in to the mix a little too well. I'm hoping it just needs a little EQ to make it pop, but frankly, I haven't played an amp that disappeared into the mix like that since I sold my Johnson Millennium 5 years ago.

    --B
     
  16. SFW

    SFW Member

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    I briefly had a Carvin MTS that did the same thing. No matter how loud the amp was, as soon as the bass player and drumer entered the mix... you completely lost the guitar. It was back on eBay before the tubes were cold.
     
  17. jharpersj

    jharpersj Silver Supporting Member

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    I own a triamp MK2, use it out every weekend, it sounds killer, cleans are awesome as are medium and high gain. Way versatile, great efx loop and truly sounds stellar. A apin in the ass to bias ! but if you consider what other high end heads like a Bogner or Diez cost I think its fairly priced for what it is.
     
  18. Legend

    Legend Member

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    The Triamp MKII sits perfectly in the mix for me, using it both with a power trio and 4 peice with keys. Getting lost in the mix is something that has never come to mind with about 3 years of gigging with the amp. I find the presence control to be the most critical control for me on that amp in particular.
     
  19. MuseCafeChris

    MuseCafeChris Senior Member

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    The lead guitar player in the Cult tribute band I'm in plays througha Triamp. There are four songs on our MySpace page if you want to hear it in action.
     

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