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NAD: Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister Deluxe 40

Guitarjon

Member
Messages
1,853
Hey everyone!

It's a new amp day, yaaaay! Got a H&K Tubemeister Deluxe 40!

I already have a Black Spirit 200 and a Grandmeister Deluxe 40. I think both are great, especially the GMD40. It has a great clarity and presence in a mix. Those 2 amps are jampacked with features but the Tubemeister Deluxe series is more stripped down and basic so I really wanted to try one.

The Tubemeister has no effects, just 3 channels. A clean channel with a dedicated 3-band eq, and a gain and master volume control. The crunch and lead channels have a shared eq but with individual gain and master volume controls. All the channels sound great in their own way but I especially loved how the lead channel sounded with my LTD Eclipse with EMG's. So much girth and clarity. These amps have a nice dry edge to the tone that I can really appreciate.

So it's a 40 watt amp with 4 EL84's, plenty of power imho. This thing, just as the GMD40, has a power soak. So you can turn down the wattage or record direct without a load connected. The red box also is supposed to be really good but I haven't tried that yet.

Anyway, here's a little demo/review I made so you can hear how it's sounds and see how it looks etc.


Pretty cool right? Anyone here own a Tubemeister??
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
11,135
Have you compared it to a Tubemeister 18? I briefly owned one of those and found it to be one of the most disappointing amps I ever played. The clean channel sounded fine on its own but it was way too scooped to work well with most dirt pedals. The dirt channel was overly grainy and although it sounded saturated, it lacked sustain, and turning on the boost just added an insane amount of gain that was way over the top. And the digital reverb made a very high pitched whistling noise when turned up. H&K was never able to fix it.

I'm always curious to see how the other Tubemeisters and Grandmeisters compare to the TM18.
 

Guitarjon

Member
Messages
1,853
Have you compared it to a Tubemeister 18? I briefly owned one of those and found it to be one of the most disappointing amps I ever played. The clean channel sounded fine on its own but it was way too scooped to work well with most dirt pedals. The dirt channel was overly grainy and although it sounded saturated, it lacked sustain, and turning on the boost just added an insane amount of gain that was way over the top. And the digital reverb made a very high pitched whistling noise when turned up. H&K was never able to fix it.

I'm always curious to see how the other Tubemeisters and Grandmeisters compare to the TM18.
No I haven't. I only own this one, the GMD40 and BS200. I haven't owned it tried any of the older models. I did hear that the newer Deluxe series got an overhaul with the actual Tri-Amp preamps (improved sound). I guess the tones of these amps aren't for everybody but I honestly like how they sound! But I can't comment on the tone of the older models.

The cleans are pretty balanced to me with a good amount of mids. The crunch sounds are punchy and bright (kind of Marshall-y). The lead channels are pretty balanced and great for rock although the lead channel on the tubemeister seems to work a little bit better for metal. The ultra channels are cool too but quite scooped so they don't work for everything.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
11,135
No I haven't. I only own this one, the GMD40 and BS200. I haven't owned it tried any of the older models. I did hear that the newer Deluxe series got an overhaul with the actual Tri-Amp preamps (improved sound). I guess the tones of these amps aren't for everybody but I honestly like how they sound! But I can't comment on the tone of the older models.

The cleans are pretty balanced to me with a good amount of mids. The crunch sounds are punchy and bright (kind of Marshall-y). The lead channels are pretty balanced and great for rock although the lead channel on the tubemeister seems to work a little bit better for metal. The ultra channels are cool too but quite scooped so they don't work for everything.
Cool. Maybe one of these days I'll give H&K a try again. If they did redesign the preamps on the Deluxe series, that makes it more interesting.
 

Bentayuk

Senior Member
Messages
4,562
@Guitarjon I picked mine up last night. Last week I had the TubeMeister Deluxe 20 and loved it.

Then yesterday I played both the GrandMeister Deluxe 40, which I hated, and then the TubeMeister Deluxe 40, which blew me away.

It’s basically the perfect 3 channel amp head. Great cleans, stunning crunch and ripping lead channel.

Safe to say the TubeMeister Deluxe 40 came home with me. It’s honestly the best amp I’ve played this year!
 

Guitarjon

Member
Messages
1,853
@Guitarjon I picked mine up last night. Last week I had the TubeMeister Deluxe 20 and loved it.

Then yesterday I played both the GrandMeister Deluxe 40, which I hated, and then the TubeMeister Deluxe 40, which blew me away.

It’s basically the perfect 3 channel amp head. Great cleans, stunning crunch and ripping lead channel.

Safe to say the TubeMeister Deluxe 40 came home with me. It’s honestly the best amp I’ve played this year!
Very cool! Enjoy!
 

Pat6969

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,941
@Guitarjon Do you hear a tonal difference from the GMD40 and the TMD40 when comparing the same channels? Clean, crunch and lead?
 

LMNOPotts

Member
Messages
8
Watched your review among a bunch of others... do you or anyone know if the Tubemeister 40 is like the older 18w version that had a solid state op-amp in the preamp? Is this a true tube amp or a hybrid?

I love the sounds from the reviews I've watched but there was a passing mention in an Anderton's review that this wasn't a true tube amp.

...I'll be upgrading soon from a Crate Blue Voodoo 6212 (to probably this) so yeah I guess anything is a step up from that, but was curious if anyone had a firm answer if this is tube or hybrid.
 

Nickolai

Senior Member
Messages
167
TM40 is good enough for Tim Pierce, according to a NAMM H&K interview I remember seeing, of a couple of years ago .... ('natural-sounding overdrive' was his key point) so I'm sure it'll work very well for many. The tones are definitely there, sounds really great to me. Power soak is superb ...just add FX to taste.

I've had a GMD40 for the last year or so that, although I find it very speaker-dependant, does sound great on all channels, and is massively versatile. With the FSM432, it easily does everything well enough without painful setup/tear-down, letting you get on with the playing! The TM40 has the same fundamental tones (GMD just adds the FX/gate?), and with the in-built RedBox, is a very useful live amp.

(Incidentally, GMD40 ...and TM40 ...no delays/glitches at all when switching channels/patches, excellent RedBox out to FOH ...I've decided against the FM3/FC-6 that's available to me next week....)
 

msquared

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
555
@Guitarjon how are you feeling about it six months later? How much use does it get compared to the other amps in your collection?
 

Chronic Fatigue

Senior Member
Messages
177
Have you compared it to a Tubemeister 18? I briefly owned one of those and found it to be one of the most disappointing amps I ever played. The clean channel sounded fine on its own but it was way too scooped to work well with most dirt pedals. The dirt channel was overly grainy and although it sounded saturated, it lacked sustain, and turning on the boost just added an insane amount of gain that was way over the top. And the digital reverb made a very high pitched whistling noise when turned up. H&K was never able to fix it.

I'm always curious to see how the other Tubemeisters and Grandmeisters compare to the TM18.
I have the TM18 and think it's fantastic. Scooped clean channel? Nope. Works fantastically with any drive pedal I put in front of it. The drive channel sounds good, but I only use the clean channel as a pedal platform, because one, it does so well in that fashion, and two, the clean and lead channels share EQ. That's the benefit of the TM36 (now the OP's amp, the 40), both channels have their own EQ.

Also, I don't remember any digital reverb being on the TM18. It certainly isn't on mine.

Edit to add, looks like reverb was on the combo?
 
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