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Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18H 18W Tube Guitar Amp Head  

Item #: 
1322681180923
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For the TubeMeister 18W Tube Guitar Amp Head, Mr. Hughes and Herr Kettner packed all their know-how and over a quarter of a century˜s passion for tube amps into a remarkably compact chassis. Thanks to... Click To Read More About This Product

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$4990.00
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Overview
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For the TubeMeister 18W Tube Guitar Amp Head, Mr. Hughes and Herr Kettner packed all their know-how and over a quarter of a century˜s passion for tube amps into a remarkably compact chassis. Thanks to German engineering, it can go from a roar to a whisper, shaking the boards on stage, tingling spines in the studio, and raising goose-bumps in the still of night - even during silent recording.

Serving up three different sounds at the touch of a footswitch, the soulful Tube-Meister 18 is the go-to guitar amp for gigging. Its four-step power soak brings the sound of the big stage into small clubs and your own four walls. And courtesy of the built-in Red Box and silent recording capability, you can lay down pro-quality tracks at any time day or night.

Features
  • Warm tube tone with phenomenal dynamic range that sweeps from sparkling clean to throaty crunch
  • Harmonically rich tube distortion and the gain reserves to go from edgy overdrive to soaring lead sounds
  • Re-voices LEAD to summon modern high-gain sound that pairs plenty of punch with endless sustain
  • Passive voicing section tweaked to evoke the best frequency response out of each channel
  • Preamp section sporting two 12AX7 tubes
  • Push-pull power amp that pumps out stage-approved 18 watts
  • Oversized transformers with tons of headroom
  • TSC-protected power amp featuring auto-bias and status LED
  • Footswitch connection enabling remote channel switching and BOOST actuation
  • Serial FX loop for adding effects-flavored spice to the sonic stew
  • Quad-stage power soak with silent recording capability
  • Balanced RED BOX OUT with authentic speaker emulation
Specifications
  • Channels: 2
    Power: 18 watts
    Footswitch/Stageboard: FS-2 optional
    Protective Cover: Softbag included
    Dimensions: 356mm x 156mm x 150mm
    Weight: 5kg
Warranty
MANUFACTURER'S WARRANTY
One year warranty on solid state amps. 2 year warranty on tube amps.


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Pro Coverage gives you added warranty protection for your new gear. Stepping in where the manufacturer's "normal wear and tear" coverage ends, our Pro Coverage program offers you upgraded coverage if your product ever fails Read More.

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  • Extended return period
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  • No lemon guarantee
  • Free transfer of coverage to a new owner
  • Repair costs covered for up to three years from date of purchase
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  • Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Hughes & KettnerTubeMeister TM18H 18W Tube Guitar Amp Head
 
4.9

(based on 27 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (24)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Excellent sound (5)
  • Portable (5)
  • Easy to use (4)
  • Good power output (3)
  • Warm / comfy (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Performances (5)
  • Amateur recording (4)
  • Home studio (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great Amp -- (Jerry Garcia Tone in there)

This amp both looks and sounds great. I play a lot of Jerry Garcia/Grateful Dead music and occasionally gig so I normally use the clean channel with the gain rolled up. I have...Read complete review

This amp both looks and sounds great. I play a lot of Jerry Garcia/Grateful Dead music and occasionally gig so I normally use the clean channel with the gain rolled up. I have this paired with a JBL E-120 in a custom Baltic birch 1x12 cab. Really does a good job of getting into the Jerry Zone (Jerry used modified Fender Twin preamps with McIntosh power amps connected to E-120s for much of his career). The power soak function is really useful: 1 watt at home is plenty loud; 18 watts for gigging in bars is great. I have yet to mic through the PA or use the redbox DI function. The size, weight, and bag make the head highly portable -- which is helpful if you know how heavy an E-120 is! The only marks against the amp from me would be the lack of on-board reverb and the difference in volume between the clean and gain channel. The first problem I solved with a TC Electronics Hall of Fame mini reverb which works well. If you need reverb, factor the cost of a reverb pedal into the purchase price. As for volume discrepancy between channels, it's not really a problem, just a fact to consider. Even when just practicing the full 18 watts is desired to keep up with bass and drums to keep relatively clean tones. As a bonus, the blue led/plexi front just looks cool. I get many compliments whenever out in public with the amp.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

It is pretty, but...

I'm trying to find an alternate to my Fender Bassbreaker (er... another one as good) but am so far striking out. The cleans on this are smooth and gassy but the lightly...Read complete review

I'm trying to find an alternate to my Fender Bassbreaker (er... another one as good) but am so far striking out. The cleans on this are smooth and gassy but the lightly driven don't come close to useable (for me). It is a hard rock beast though with heavy crunch and devastating distortion but I always had to tweak the EQ a lot when switching between channels - that's a hassle - and I didn't like how the tone muddied up when I rolled of the guitar volume. The Bassbreaker with a Soul Food, Badbooty MXR through the front and delay in the loop creates godly tones from all genres... hard to beat.

Reviewed by 27 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

It is pretty, but...

By Brian

from undisclosed

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18H 18W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

I'm trying to find an alternate to my Fender Bassbreaker (er... another one as good) but am so far striking out. The cleans on this are smooth and gassy but the lightly driven don't come close to useable (for me). It is a hard rock beast though with heavy crunch and devastating distortion but I always had to tweak the EQ a lot when switching between channels - that's a hassle - and I didn't like how the tone muddied up when I rolled of the guitar volume. The Bassbreaker with a Soul Food, Badbooty MXR through the front and delay in the loop creates godly tones from all genres... hard to beat.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Totally awesome. Love this head.

By david

from undisclosed

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Good Warmth
  • Portable
  • Powerful

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18H 18W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

    Great sound that I have been looking for.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great Amp -- (Jerry Garcia Tone in there)

    By Brett

    from Stockton, CA

    About Me Novice

    Pros

    • Excellent Sound
    • Good Warmth
    • Great clean channel
    • Portable
    • Power soak function (1-5-18 watts)

    Cons

    • No on-board reverb

    Best Uses

    • Home jamming
    • Performances

    Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18H 18W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

    This amp both looks and sounds great. I play a lot of Jerry Garcia/Grateful Dead music and occasionally gig so I normally use the clean channel with the gain rolled up. I have this paired with a JBL E-120 in a custom Baltic birch 1x12 cab. Really does a good job of getting into the Jerry Zone (Jerry used modified Fender Twin preamps with McIntosh power amps connected to E-120s for much of his career). The power soak function is really useful: 1 watt at home is plenty loud; 18 watts for gigging in bars is great. I have yet to mic through the PA or use the redbox DI function. The size, weight, and bag make the head highly portable -- which is helpful if you know how heavy an E-120 is! The only marks against the amp from me would be the lack of on-board reverb and the difference in volume between the clean and gain channel. The first problem I solved with a TC Electronics Hall of Fame mini reverb which works well. If you need reverb, factor the cost of a reverb pedal into the purchase price. As for volume discrepancy between channels, it's not really a problem, just a fact to consider. Even when just practicing the full 18 watts is desired to keep up with bass and drums to keep relatively clean tones. As a bonus, the blue led/plexi front just looks cool. I get many compliments whenever out in public with the amp.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    tubemeister

    By bill

    from suring wi.

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound
    • Portable

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio
      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18H 18W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

      great clean tones and plenty of crunch for metal

       
      5.0

      Amazing Amp!

      By TheDanMan

      from Southern California

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Excellent Sound
      • Portable
      • Powerful

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Performances

        Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18H 18W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

        I discovered this amp at my local Guitar Center when I was in high school about 6 years ago and me and my friends would all argue over who would get the amp head even though none of us could afford it. Out of all the amps that GC had in the closed off practice room with all the high end amps, the HK always kept me coming back. It had such a modern high gain overdrive with a lead boost that made it one of my favorite amp distortions I've ever played, and yet retained such a beautifully warm clean channel. I've had it for a few months now and I love every chance I get to play it. It performs so well live, with it's built in cab sim DI that allows me to make the sound man happy, while still running my Marshall cab for my monitor. The power soak option makes it one of the most practical all tube amps, as it can run at 1, 5, and 18 watts. Overall it's been one of the best gear purchases I have ever made.

         
        5.0

        Love the amp, but LOUSY service from GC!!!

        By Disappointed with GC North Houston Store

        from Houston

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound
        • Excellent tone
        • Good Warmth
        • Portable
        • Powerful
        • Value for money

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Home Studio
          • Performances

          Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18H 18W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

          This amp can cover a wide variety of musical tastes and tones. With the power soak feature, it can easily be turned down from 18W (ideal for small clubs or bars) to 5W and even down to 1W for rocking out at home. I love the versatility, and for an amp of it's size the features are fantastic! Equipped wit an effects loop and 2 channels, the only thing missing is a reverb function. All in all, excellent bang for the buck and definitely worth while when paired with the matching H&K 1x12 speaker. Tonal bliss!!!

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Be like Alex Lifeson - well almost

          By DAVID

          from Atlanta Ga

          Site Member

          Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18H 18W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

          The Tubmeister 18 is a little wonder. It has all the bells and whistles except for reverb; not a problem with a great FX loop in back. I play at small studio levels on the 5 watt setting which sounds great. The clean channel is very nice, but don't expect fender like. Crunch channel is perfect for blues and classic rock. Boost channel launches you into whatever hard metal you want to play. I turn (down) the treble and 3 o'clock my mids and bass, this takes out the fizziness in the crunch setting and boost. It sounds great matched with a 1x12 with vintage 30s. I recommend any footswitch so you have hands free operation. This amp will play all styles and is very versatile. The lady's like the cool blue light. :)

          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Amazing amp!

          By Matt

          from Port Washington, NY

          Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18H 18W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

          This is by far my favorite music purchase ever. Just for some background: I've been playing 32 years and have played for 13 years in a gigging power trio. My other amps include a late 70s Fender Champ, Marshall Vintage Modern 50 watt combo, and a '65 Fender Twin Reissue. My primary guitar is a 1958 Tom Murphy-aged Gibson Les Paul reissue and I also have 2 Fender American Standard strats, a Gibson SG Standard, and a few other guitars. Like a lot of others I've always loved the sound of low wattage amps. My Fender Champ is phenomenal with a tubescreamer, Rat, Fulltone OCD, etc. in front of it. Practically, however, I play in a rock band with a very heavy-handed drummer (Bonham-style) and most of the venues we play have indifferent soundmen and stage sound isn't that reliable. I thought 18 watts would be too little but the H&K Tubemeister 18 is very loud and can absolutely hold it's own. This is one amazing sounding amplifier with excellent clean sounds, a terrific distortion channel, and a great boost for soloing. One of the advantages to the lower wattage is it fills a smaller stage space perfectly: my guitar is not too loud but very articulate. You can hear subleties such as your guitar tone controls and different pick up combinations better than a 50 or 100 watt amp. Generally I use a VHT Pittbull 50 CL head at our rehearsal studio but I've found that the Tubemeister is much more useable. The clean sound is great but if you're looking for a lot of headroom (jazz, country, etc) be aware the amp breaks up at around 12 noon on the gain. This is probably not the amp for that kind of application. For everything else, this is just a fantastic all around amp. I've bought tons of equipment over the years but this is my favorite purchase. It seems to be solidly built and at 11 lbs, it's a game changer as far as gigging. For anyone who thinks that an 18 watt amp is not loud enough to compete with a live band, I would suggest giving this a shot. Believe me, I'm pretty sure my drummer is louder and heavier than yours so I was skeptical...now I'm a believer.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          My first tube amp

          By Robert Sterling

          from Mount Pleasant, SC

          Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18H 18W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

          I have only been playing guitar for 7 years and consider myself still a beginner. I work a full time job and if I am lucky, get 1 hour of practice in a day. Since I focus on classic rock, I wanted that tone from the 60's and 70's. I wanted a Marshall amp all my life. I finally get into the position to buy whatever I want and what did I buy? A H&K TubeMeister 18! I had decided months ago that my first tube amp would be a Marshall DSL15H and a 2x12 cabinet. However, when it came time to actually make the purchase, I had to make an honest comparison between the DSL15H and the TubeMeister 18. Once I knew I could get the same (or better) classic rock tone with the H&K as with the Marshall and then consider the extras that H&K has that the Marshall did not, my choice was pretty easy. I practice in a very small room in my house, so a giant stack was out of the question. I am running this amp through the H&K 2x12 cabinet and I have MORE THAN ENOUGH power to deal with. This amp is so versatile, you can make it sound just about anyway you want. The only reason I did not give it 5 stars is because it is made in China. I was hoping it would be German-made and not just German designed.

           
          5.0

          Perfect glassy clean

          By Dennis Breitkreutz

          from Chesapeake Virginia

          Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18H 18W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

          This amp has the most pure, glassy, clean sound I've heard from an amp. I've been playing guitar for about 15 years, so I have a little experience. I am not biased to any brand, or style of music, because I love it all. (as long as it is real music) but this amp has the perfect sound to be the whole base to any guitarist's rig. The clean sound and responsive eq allows you to play anything you want. You can hear every single note with brilliant definition, allowing you be, and sound, the best you can. And you may be thinking, what about distortion? Oh it has great crunchy modern distortion, but I mostly like to use my ibanez tube screamer or proco rat for classic vintage distortion. This amp takes any pedal you want unbelievably well. It's like they made effect pedals to work with this amp. I love my tubemeister so much. I use it for Christian worship mostly, but i play anything I can hear or get music to, so from personal experience, this amp will handle anything.

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