Thinking of getting a Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister...

Mainmark

Member
Messages
20
...how do you like yours. Seems like it has everything I'd want in an amp. Affordable price as well.
 

jlb32

Member
Messages
2,249
The reviews seem mixed but I guess that is up to what you love tonally. Seems many do not like it but you may love it.
 

brian wood

Member
Messages
26
I love mine. I have two Tubemeister 36's. very flexible. Small, light, powerful, great sound. Right now i use one with 2 Kettner 1x12" cabinets....easy to transport, run a line into the board..and beats moving marshall 4x12's. my HK rig is on the left. Ps....my marshalls are great...but the Tubemeister is amazing for the size and price

 

guitarman3001

Senior Member
Messages
12,187
Spend a little more and get a Friedman Runt 20 which I assure you will be ten times the amp the H&K is. The H&K is one of the most frustrating amps I've ever bought. On paper it is perfect. Looking at it, it looks cool as hell. Plug it in, sounds like crap, has problems, all kinds of problems....and even without the problems, still sounds like ****..

I've read that the Grandemeister is completely different but it still comes from the same family. I know we all need to make our own way but if you can use info, even if it is obviously biased info, from others in helping you make your own way, you might be able to avoid those mistakes that others made.
 

brian wood

Member
Messages
26
I tried a Friedman Runt 50 the other day. Price was 1799. It did not offer that much more to get me to switch.

I paid a grand total of 1000 for my two HK Tubemeister 36's..... hell my old JMP 50's sound better than the Friedman....both of my 50 watters are point to point models...one is a 1969' the other a 1972. Both destroy the Friedman. The Friedman is waaaaaay to trebly.
 

guitarman3001

Senior Member
Messages
12,187
I tried a Friedman Runt 50 the other day. Price was 1799. It did not offer that much more to get me to switch.

I paid a grand total of 1000 for my two HK Tubemeister 36's..... hell my old JMP 50's sound better than the Friedman....both of my 50 watters are point to point models...one is a 1969' the other a 1972. Both destroy the Friedman. The Friedman is waaaaaay to trebly.

It's possible there was something wrong with the Friedman. I've read a couple of reports of some of the Runt 50s being way too bright sounding. One guy exchanged his for another one and the new one sounded fine.

I went through three or four Tubemeisters and they all had a bunch of problems. H&K and their US distributor finally got involved and confirmed that the ones they had in their warehouse also had the problems so they arranged with the dealer to get me a refund even though I was past the return date.

And to me they sounded horrible. The clean channel was way too bright and the dirt channel was a grainy mess without enough sustain.

Like I said, they look great on paper but don't have the tones to match, plus they have all kinds of problems.
 

roodog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
282
i have a tubemeister 18, and while its not the perfect amp.. its suitable. I practice with it, and also gig with it in smaller venues ( vs. my Mark V ). It sounds fine to me, and it hangs well with the band ( my only complaint is the head room, 18 watts clean is not all clean, the OD is fine in a band mix ). for the features, and price - you really can't beat it. 18 watts = going for $350 used and 36 watts about $550 -$700 used. now, IF that is your price point = try out the EVH 5150s, i think that a more comparable amp. Or an Orange 30 watt head. Good Luck.
 

jpage

Member
Messages
9,226
I'll prob pick up the new Grandmeister after the holiday craziness is over. I have read GM3k's criticisms here but to be honest, his is the only negative feedback I've heard about them. And the idea of not having to cable up and program an Eventide unit through a Mini Amp Gizmo and a MIDI Moose every time I want to play a tube amp sounds pretty damn cool.

Modeling has definitely spoiled me as far as refusing to make concessions with f/x and/or tap dance around in the middle of a song. Plus it's crazy small. My fear is the el84s, but hopefully H&K figured out how to make an amp with them that doesn't sound like ass at volume.
 

Otto Tune

Member
Messages
3,852
...how do you like yours. Seems like it has everything I'd want in an amp. Affordable price as well.
I have the tubemeister 18 and it's great for cleans. (they need a dimmer for the blue light, jeez!) But the Vox ac15HW has become my #1.
Maybe I'm fickle, every amp is great until I get the craving for the next one.
 

quilsaw

Member
Messages
1,145
I have the 18 and, frankly, it's been a bit of a mixed bag for me. The clean channel is actually pretty good, but it's been harder to dial in the drive channel to my tastes....a common enough problem with lots of production amps, IME. There seems to be very little range of in-between "grind" to be had from either side. My best experience has been using the 5-watt setting, for what its worth...or putting a drive pedal up front, of course.

The advantages though: Size/platform and convenience. It's really useful to have a small head (that comes with a handy soft case), the size of a toaster, that you can take direct (with a built-in RedBox), and that can be power scaled down to 1 watt. I'd love to see those features on lots of other amps.

Anyway, I keep thinking I'll sell it, but haven't because of those advantages. I'd replace it with something like a Suhr Corso, possibly, but would still need some sort of cab sim. One of those with a Torpedo CAB and a small rack for time-based FX would be a lovely solution.
 
Last edited:

dharkon8

Member
Messages
431
Personally I have never understood the negative feedback about the tubemeister.
I have the 36 and it has been brilliant. Great clean sound, excellent amp drive and works well both live and at home. I mostly play humbucker and P90's through it.
 

Classic09

Member
Messages
2,662
I have the GM36 and it works great for me.

It's doesn't have the character of amps like a Budda but most members on this board are pretty spoilt for amps. For blues or rock, the Budda is the way to go. For versatility, the GM can not beaten.
 

guitarman3001

Senior Member
Messages
12,187
Personally I have never understood the negative feedback about the tubemeister.
I have the 36 and it has been brilliant. Great clean sound, excellent amp drive and works well both live and at home. I mostly play humbucker and P90's through it.

Different strokes. My negatives about it are based on the issues I had with them that even the manufacturer couldn't fix. I also found the clean channel way too bright and the dirt channel was both sterile and grainy at the same time. And without the boost turned on there wasn't enough gain or sustain. With the boost turned on was just way over the top.

For the brief time I had mine, what I ended up doing was running a Joyo AC Tone directly into the amp's FX return, so I basically just bypassed the amp's entire preamp circuit and used the Joyo as my preamp. Then I used pedals for my dirt tones.

I will say though that the built in Redbox was excellent.

Oh, also, to be fair, mine was the combo version and the biggest problem I had with it, and with all three or four that I kept exchanging, was that whenever I turned up the reverb it would make an annoying whistling noise. Like I said above, H&K and their US distributor finally got involved and ended up finding out that all the TM18 combos the distributor tested from their warehouse had the same issue and they couldn't figure out how to fix it.
So, since the head doesn't have reverb, it won't have this issue.

But as for the tone, ultimately it's just different strokes.
 

jpage

Member
Messages
9,226
It's doesn't have the character of amps like a Budda

Huh? No offense intended but this is one of those, "makes sense only on TGP" statements lol.

But as for the tone, ultimately it's just different strokes.

Yeah I feel for you having so many issues--that would definitely turn me off from a company as well. But I'm a whore for cool shiny new things--and a compact tube amp that isn't hopelessly underpowered with integrated RedBox, efx and MIDI is eventually going to be too much for me to resist.
 

Classic09

Member
Messages
2,662
Huh? No offense intended but this is one of those, "makes sense only on TGP" statements lol.
No offence taken as I fully agree with your sentiment. That being said, some of the comments being made by other members are the very reason I made that statement.

I use the GM in my current band as it does exactly what it needs to.

Take from that what you wil.
 

steviecapt

Member
Messages
24
i had a tm18 head unit, i never had a problems with it, it had nice clean tones, but i never liked the lead distortion channel, at home volumes so i sold it,
 

jpage

Member
Messages
9,226
No offence taken as I fully agree with your sentiment. That being said, some of the comments being made by other members are the very reason I made that statement.

I use the GM in my current band as it does exactly what it needs to.

Take from that what you wil.
I'd really love to check out clips of the amp in action with your band
 

duaneflowers

Member
Messages
650
I like my TM18... I agree about the clean channel... it rocks... I'm not so fond of the dirty channel, luckily the clean channel handles pedals extremely well, so I have no need for it.
 

bish0p34

Member
Messages
327
Different strokes. My negatives about it are based on the issues I had with them that even the manufacturer couldn't fix. I also found the clean channel way too bright and the dirt channel was both sterile and grainy at the same time. And without the boost turned on there wasn't enough gain or sustain. With the boost turned on was just way over the top.

For the brief time I had mine, what I ended up doing was running a Joyo AC Tone directly into the amp's FX return, so I basically just bypassed the amp's entire preamp circuit and used the Joyo as my preamp. Then I used pedals for my dirt tones.

I will say though that the built in Redbox was excellent.

Oh, also, to be fair, mine was the combo version and the biggest problem I had with it, and with all three or four that I kept exchanging, was that whenever I turned up the reverb it would make an annoying whistling noise. Like I said above, H&K and their US distributor finally got involved and ended up finding out that all the TM18 combos the distributor tested from their warehouse had the same issue and they couldn't figure out how to fix it.
So, since the head doesn't have reverb, it won't have this issue.

But as for the tone, ultimately it's just different strokes.

The reverb in the combos was a known issue that took a while to get ironed out. The joy of buying the first run of an amp, as so many out there have early adopter issues.

I have a TM18, TM36, and a GM36 (as well as their big heads). I love them. I gig the TM36 and GM36 out often. I always get great tones out of them, and get compliments from people who told me they didn't like H&K amps. They definitely have a refined tone to them. Some people call it sterile, and I can understand it. To me, it's reminiscent of how Yngwie describes the Strat...it doesn't do you any favors, you have to make it happen. YMMV.

Great amps though, and I swear by them. H&K's Facebook support has been great to me in fixing out-of-warranty amps that had issues that were my fault.
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom