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Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18H 18W Tube Guitar Amp Head  

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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... Read More

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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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Review Snapshot®

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

(based on 21 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (19)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

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    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Reviewed by 21 customers

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5.0

Be like Alex Lifeson - well almost

By 

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. :)

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5.0

Amazing amp!

By 

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.

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4.0

My first tube amp

By 

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.

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5.0

Perfect glassy clean

By 

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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5.0

AWESOME AMP!!!

By 

from Chicago, IL

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

I was a little sceptical at first when I purchased this head that it wouldn't be able to keep up with my band, especially on the clean channel. This thing is LOUD. I have no problems at all with volume. When my band plays large venues it has no problem with volume. The tone is great from this amp. It does get a little noisey with the gain fully cranked but the Boss noise suppressor got rid of the hum. Great amp.

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(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Give this one a try! Just don't use with a G12T-75 speaker

By 

from Dayton, OH

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

I have had this amp now for about 6 months. I first got it to downsize my rig( a Marshall JMP-1, DSL 100, and JCM 900 1960B cab). At the time if Marshall would have sold the DSL 15 head with an FX loop, I most likey would not have even tried this head out. I just tried this out on a whim at the local GC. At first glance it seemed pretty cool with two channels and a boost plus the all important FX loop. I was shocked how cool the blue lights were and , to be honest, that definitely helped on me liking this amp. I have had many of the low wattage amps in the past(Epi Valve JR-stock and modded, Blackstar, Jet City, etc). I just never seemed to find one that I liked. The main reason for that was the power amp stages of most of these heads use EL84 tubes which I haven't been a fan of. Years ago I even had a Mesa DC-3 and it too had EL84's in it and it plagued from the same old tone of all these EL84 amps- Flabby bottom end! So, back to the tubemeister! My first impression was, wow, much better bottom end then any other EL84 based amp. It was still their somewhat but I thought well maybe I can work with it. After getting it home and really trying it out, i paired it with my JCM 900 1960B. I was quite surprised how loud this was in 18 watt mode. It definitely could do the job in a live band situaution. After the short honeymoon stage, this amp never grew on me and I disliked the tone more and more. Not only was the typical EL84 tone annoying me but it just sounded harsh and brittle. I let the amp sit for months and even tried to sell it with no luck. Then recently I got called to duty for a project and the other guitar player only had a Marshall class 5 amp. So, I thought, oh well, the H & K would mix with his tone ok. I since sold my 4x12 so I went to GC and picked up a Egnater tweaker 1x12 with a G12H30. After pairing the Tubemeister up with this cab I was blown away how good this little monster could sound. With that tweaker cab this amp sounds soooooo much better. It lost the harshness and brittleness and the flabby bottom end was just about gone. Our first jam session was awesome. The next week we hooked up I brought a BBE Sonic Maximizer and put it in the loop. I am now in love with this monster of an amp. This little puppy now kicks some major mojo. I love the Celestion G12T-75 speakers with EL34 amps but with the Tubemeister it kills the tone. H & K should put a disclaimer sticker on the amp that reads, "Caution if you want this amp to sound good, Do Not Use A Celestion G12T-75 Equipped Speaker Cab". Oh, and BTW, the Marshall Class 5 with a TC electronic Nova Drive is an awesome pairing as well. The other guitar player had a bunch of different pedals trying to find the right one for his C5 and I loaned him my Nova Drive and I don't think I am going to get it back! Oh yeah, the Tubemeister doesn't need any pedals in front. As a matter of fact the clean sounds are so good that I don't use any effects with it. It has a very warm, swirly, creamy clean tone that is just beautiful(keep in mind I don't care for Findurh or meeesa clean tones). There is sooo much gain on tap with this head that if you need to drive it with extra, you might want to learn how to play first. I am definitely eyeballing the Tubemeister 36 watter for future investment. Not because this isn't loud enough, but just for the added flexibility.

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5.0

The amp I've been searching for

By 

from Seattle Washington

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

The review title may seem a bit trite but in this case, not for me. I am by no way a gifted player. I live in the world of the aggravated hobbyist. I have owned a lotta amps over the years. Either thought owning or borrowing probably every amp there is except Orange (no offense, just never got around to it). This amp sounds beautiful. It has a vast sonic landscape and like I said, is beautiful tonality wise. For my musical leanings its perfect. I grew up with Beatles, Pink Floyd, Mahogany Rush, Deep Purple, Tangerine Dream and Vangelis. It plays/records wonderfully direct or mic'd and no matter what cab you play through, as long as it has celestions it sounds like Hughes & Kettner. I just can't say enough. I think I've said enough.

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5.0

This thing rocks

By 

from Philadelphia , PA

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

I finally got around to purchasing a tube amp that small enough for an apartment yet can rock out on stage and this is it. After researching amps for a year or so I came across this beauty and I was thoroughly impressed. I read dozens of reviews of this amp from all over the internet and they were all in admiration of this product with good reason.This company has a great reputation for making high end amplifiers and this one definitely lived up to the expectation. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing , along with its power soak feature it can adjust to any venue whether it be in the studio, home or stage. It also has 3 channels of all tube power that is an asset to any musicians arsenal. It can be connected to virtually any cab or mixer to suit your needs.

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(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

My favorite amp

By 

from Denton, TX

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

I'm a guitar center employee in the guitar department and I had always seen this hughes and kettner head but never gave it a chance for some strange reason. I had to demo a guitar and I just picked this amp randomly, set the eq flat and slowly turned up the master. I immediately placed an order. Every one I've recommended it to loves it. The EQ is very responsive and boosts very nicely. You don't have to cut out any mids to get a tight bass. The clean can be very versatile depending on how you set the volume, gain, and wattage on the back to reduce headroom. The blue channel is good for anything from a light distortion to a pretty thick crunch. Great for classic rock or Block Party type sounds. The red channel is what sold me. Most lead boosts just make an amp louder and a little gainier. This one is an entirely different distortion. Half way gain already sounds like Rage Against the Machine. I compared it with the Mesa Mini Rec (awesome), the ENGL (pretty cool), and the DV Mark (nice clean), but none trumped this one as far as features and sound; especially for the price. It's dumb loud, drives a 110 - 412 no problem. If you're on the fence, buy it.

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5.0

Righteous Tone!

By 

from Fairfield, CA

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

If you are waffling on whether or not to purchase this - buy it. The tone is absolutely off the charts. I've been playing for about 3 years and finally decided to 'upgrade' from a solid state to a tube amp. I can't even describe how awesome the tone is on this thing, the clean channel has the loveliest warm sound and crunchiness of the lead channel is just incredible. You may not even want to bother with additional effects pedals, it's that good. To top it off it looks like a piece of art, it's just a beautiful device. I also picked up the matching cabinet and footswitch - I highly recommend picking up at least the footswitch, it's a great compliment to this glorious amp.

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