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Is this the pricetag or the amp speaking


janalon

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I had a trancendantal moment at GC the other day. I was playing around with amps, because I am growing weary of the sound of my Peavey Classic 30w. Marshals aren't my thing, Fenders sound too plain and bright, solid state doesn't feel responsive enough.

 

I came across a Budda combo, and decided to give it a try despite the $1300 pricetag. All it had was distortion sound, and everything else sounded like crap. I unplugged and was about to walk away when I saw a Hughes and Kettner Puretone sitting side by side with the Budda.

 

It had the same pricetag, and despite the cost I plugged and played. LET ME TELL YOU, it sounded like heaven- just bare and clean. The growl feature gave it some bite (not quite what I would call OD). It appeared to have an attenuator built right in! Although it was only 25w, it could play might louder than my Peavey. Maybe this is a difference between A/B and pure class A amps. Dunno. It was dynamically responsive, and had great tonal range. I've heard the phrase mentioned here tons of times, but this amp, "spoke to me."

 

Then I faced reality- $1300 for a used 25w combo (retails new at $1900), ungh. So is this the pricetag talking, or is the Puretone all that. Does anyone own a H&K, and can they give me their honest opinion? My price range for an amp was at most $200 plus what I could eBay my classic 30 for, much lower than that pricetag.

 

Suggestions?

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I have been reading through some of my old Guitar Player Magazines recently and remember reading a review on Hughes and Kettner. They have probably evolved since then, but the gist of it was that they were trying to achieve good clean and overdrivin sounds in one amp. Most amps have either one or the other. And it did seem that I rememeber reading that they had different power levels. The reviewer seemed to be real imnpressed with the amp overall. I have never played through or heard one, just trying to pass on what I read. Maybe one of the editors could dig out the review and post it here :)
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Janalon, about two months ago I went out and did a union replacement gig for a guy who needed the night off. I took two instruments, my 57 Strat reissue and a LP custom. The amp was the H&K Puretone like the one you are talking about. I used it all night. From the first set I knew it was a great amp! Sweet clean tone and yes a OD kind of edge was easy to dial in..it was VERY resposive to the pick attack and both the LP and the Strat sounded great with it. With my band I am always on the wireless but his gig I was on the cable so this was a good test of tone. It was a classic and blues type gig. He had it set up to line out to the PA and I could hear it very well on stage too. The band was not terriably loud but very full with miked drums and it came oame over the drums direct on stage! So..yes impressive and again I got to spend a few hours of working with it. I can add that I would not use it with my regular band becasue as loud as it was it would not be useable, I need the Marshall usually. So thumbs up on the little amp. hope that helps you!.....LEE
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The Hughes & Kettner stuff is getting a very good reputation over here in the UK. Probably well worth giving it another go. And yes, they're not cheap.

 

Geoff

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I'd take Ellwood's review seriously. Before reading it I'd simply say go back and listen again.

 

25W can be plenty loud, so don't look at the 25W as a knock.

 

Good amps cost money, toys are cheap. If you need a versatile amp that you can depend on, used or new you'll pay real money for it and not toy money or you'll be regretting it in the long run. I think I paid more for my used Rivera Fandango 55W 2-12 combo. Not that that means anything, but if you like the amp and it sounds like "you" in that way you want it to, then price tag shouldn't stop you. If you want fine Italian food you can't expect to pay McDonald's prices.

 

You can always stick a mic in front of the amp if it isn't loud enough. You can also put it up on a stand or on a chair and the projection changes, as does "rug" or not. Some guys bring 3/4" plywood to put the amp on top of for the reflection.

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Hughes and Kettner make great amps - even Mesa/Boogie acknowledges them in their Stiletto brochure as a worthy alternative to their own product. The price is high - you could almost be into a Dr Z for that amount, or lots of other boutiqiue brands, so if you're ready to spend that kinda cash, ya got more homework to do.
Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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I purchased the Hughes and Kettner TriAmp MK11 signature series about 3 months ago, and I LOVE it! It has 3 preamps, 2 channels each, and really does have a great variety of sounds. It is 100watts, with a 50watt switch. Well worth the money if you can splurge!
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Originally posted by musicalhair:

I'd take Ellwood's review seriously. Before reading it I'd simply say go back and listen again.

 

25W can be plenty loud, so don't look at the 25W as a knock.

 

Good amps cost money, toys are cheap. If you need a versatile amp that you can depend on, used or new you'll pay real money for it and not toy money or you'll be regretting it in the long run. I think I paid more for my used Rivera Fandango 55W 2-12 combo. Not that that means anything, but if you like the amp and it sounds like "you" in that way you want it to, then price tag shouldn't stop you. If you want fine Italian food you can't expect to pay McDonald's prices.

 

You can always stick a mic in front of the amp if it isn't loud enough. You can also put it up on a stand or on a chair and the projection changes, as does "rug" or not. Some guys bring 3/4" plywood to put the amp on top of for the reflection.

Very correct! One caution here, and I did a thread no too long ago on an incident where I replaced another guy for the union, but in this case another small under powered amp that was always run through the PA. The amplifiers had their OWN monitor mix (no vocal)just instruments, SO this setup worked very well UNTILL the instrument monitors went down!!! NOW I cant hear myself playing because of the monitors not working and I can't hear the AMP on stage!! SO!! make sure the amp is powerful enough and has a speaker complement large enough so that in any circumstance it can be heard on stage!!
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