Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Combo user reviews
- The Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100C is a 100-watt all tube 2 x 12 combo amp with on-board digital stereo effects. The "all-tube" status of the Switchblade 100C has been hotly debated over the years as some believe there's no way Hughes & Kettner can get that much gain with only two 12AX7 preamp tubes. They can and they have--without getting into deep electronics, a 12AX7 tube is actually a dual triode: two tubes in one. The amp gets its 100 watts of power from four EL34 valves. The speakers are Eminence Rockerdriver 60 speakers and complement the amp extremely well. The amp has four channels: Clean, Crunch, Lead, and Ultra. The gain and channel volume are controllable and MIDI-programmable per patch, and each channel has a uniquely-voiced gain boost accessed by turning the gain knob to the maximum. The "boost" LED will illuminate when the boost is engaged on each channel. The amp can go from sparkling, crystal cleans with lush chorus, delay, and reverb, to straight-ahead 70's rock 'n roll, to 80's hair metal, to full-force punishing levels of gain for the heaviest music. The channels all have specific voices to match classic amps: The clean channel emulates the "California" clean sounds, the "Crunch" channel is classic British, the "Lead" channel is British high-gain, and the "Ultra" channel is American high-gain. I'm sure you can figure out what the intent with each channel is.
The Switchblade 100C is fairly simple in its design. There is an input jack for the guitar on the front with the controls (which we'll cover in a few). The rear panel has the remainder of the connections, including an effects loop send and return that is MIDI-programmable for on/off and series/parallel per patch, taps for loudspeaker outputs (the internal speakers are connected to the 16-ohm jack) and there are two 8-ohm jacks, and one 4-ohm jack, and the MIDI connection for the included controller or any compatible MIDI controller. The effects loop also has a +4/-10 control to accommodate pedals or rack gear, although with the on-board effects I can't see needing much more.
The amp has on-board digital effects that are divided into three sections. There is an independent reverb control, an independent delay control that includes delay time and level, and a modulation section that allows you to select between chorus, flanger, and tremolo. The effects are good and are independently configurable and saveable per patch. The great payoff with the MIDI patch capability is that once a patch is saved, the knob positions can be changed but when the patch is recalled the settings will be recalled exactly as they were when the patch was saved, regardless of the current knob position. You can always find the original knob position--just turn the knob until the "Original" blue light illuminates. This will tell you where the knob was when the patch was saved. Saving a preset is as simple as a two-button press on the face of the amp, or one on the amp and one on the foot controller.
The effects are all good--they're not the best reverb, delay, and modulation you'll ever hear, but they'll get the job done without having to carry a ton of extra gear. Each modulation section goes from subtle to extreme before moving on to the next effects section. The amount of different tones you can get with the on-board effects and four different channels can cover virtually any gig. There's also a good amount of overlap in the channels. The clean channel with the gain boost on can deliver a good amount of bluesy crunch, overlapping with the Crunch channel with the gain set low.
The Switchblade 100C is deceptively loud and can deliver the goods in any venue; on its own in a small-to-medium sized venue, or with an extension cab or cabs for a larger venue. I've played this amp by itself, in combination with an extension 2 x 12, or with the internal speakers disconnected and two extension 4 x 12 cabinets connected.
- One of the trademarks of Hughes & Kettner amps is that the controls are extremely sensitive and while you can coax pretty much any tone out of this amp you need to take the time and put in the effort dialing in the specific tones desired. The amp is easy to understand and operate so I'm not sure a manual is needed, but it is available, clear, and concise.
If you can't get a good sound out of this amp, I kind of don't know what to tell you. The amount of functionality, flexibility, and control built into this amp affords the player an almost infinite tonal palette with which to create. I previously owned a Switchblade 100 Head and regretted selling it. Getting the Switchblade 100C cured my seller's remorse and provided me an outstanding amp where all I need is a power cable, guitar cable, and the controller and cable, and I can play any gig.
- I can play any guitar through this amp and get good tones. I mainly play Neal Moser guitars with Dimarzio pickups (Super 3 bridge), but also play similarly-equipped Ibanez RG and S series guitars, as well as Les Pauls. I've never plugged any guitar into this amp that didn't sound phenomenal. That said, this amp, and I've found this to be true of most Hughes & Kettner amps seem to respond more prominently to treble frequencies than others. The amp has an extremely "hi-fi" quality to it--great low-end tightness and great string-to-string separation. The amp has a great mid-range grind and top-end that is full but not too bright or "ice-pick" type. Again, the amp has a wonderful amount of control that allows you to get YOUR tone.
- Overall Opinion
- Hughes & Kettner amps have a great reputation for quality of both tone and craftsmanship. I've always had great experiences with my Hughes & Kettner amps and the Switchblade 100C is no exception. As noted in the review title, this very well may be the perfect grab 'n go amp for just about any gig. Obviously, an all-tube 2x12 combo is going to have some heft to it, weighing in at just over 67 pounds, but is still easier than carting around a head, cabinet, and pedal board, along with all of the cables necessary to connect it all. As I noted, I previously had a Switchblade head, regretted selling it, and purchased the Switchblade 100C so now I have the best of both worlds. If anything happened to my Switchblade I would replace it without hesitation. I've tried other combo amps that have on-board effects and none come close to the Switchblade 100C. If it's too heavy and you don't need the stereo capabilities, the 50-watt 1x12 is an excellent alternative. At retail price the amp is still well worth it, but they can also be had on the used market at a steal. Try one and you'll see.
- 100W tube amp (+ 4xEL34 2x12AX7)
4 channels: clean, crunch, lead, ultra
Trimmings equalizer: bass, middle, trebble, presence
master volume (valid for the setting (preset) and to create / adjust the relative volume of a preset to another
Knob gain with extreme position using extra boost
Controls delay time / feedback / v
Modulation: a single volume pot used for chorus, flanger, tremolo (change from one effect to another and increase the effect in the intermediate range.
128 presets accessible by 4 thanks to a MIDI pedal donnat also access the Tap Delay.
External effects loop: series or parallel with the possibility of +10 dB boost
Output 4 or 2x8 or 16ohm
A single guitar input (preamp) with possibility to use the loop as the second entry entry but only amplification.
HP: 2x12 "Eminence rockdriver
- What is best:
Hughes & Kettner sound very rock lamps with its already very thick outer channel Ultra without distortion. in all cases it is deep, wide and clean.
The clean channel is a bit cold but I was wrong with my regular deluxe reverb amp 67 on the subject.
The crunch channel is good but crunch may be a little faster.
The lead channel is really the most expressive.
Programming is very simple. and change can be coupled to the preset potential of an external footswitch (tested positive with a POD XT). For over a year I used no other effect.
The preset switching is very fast and without any delay switch so no problems to use.
This is a super comfortable use (see also below).
The combo gives a good range with very low round and very present.
At power is simply enormous. I've never used more than 4. It grows strong from the outset (see also the cheapest)
What prevails for this amp is simplicity and versatility. It almost happened a while a nickel. Almost .... not quite.
Look at it very well finished, attractive, well balanced.
What is less so:
The weight and size: it is very heavy and has a volume so that my problem for me. It is limited to transportation. Attention to the back (and hands).
The reverb and delay effects are very good and fully usable, but the modulation as proposed and practically unusable (settings are nonexistent and the race one pottard splitters into three effects)
It blows with a gain donf and chorus, it blows a lot. Noise gate to predict.
The power coming very quickly, too quickly. It seems that the knobs are actually a set of positions distributed on the race. CA is not a concern for all settings except for the volume. The potato is right there which makes it difficult to use at low volume. The killer is right there.
Modulation effects + no noise gate that we are past ready at all without hitting one. Given the developments of his successor, I am not alone in sharing these limits. The new baby H & K features these and other developments that I have not tested.
Then there is that other effects may be necessary but right here there is really no limits. Mr. H & K is still a good compressor and it is there.
problems: cable, switches, etc. ...).
Reliability problem of the pedals (many sources of errors.) I also had this trouble but he was replaced very quickly and since it runs at full blast.
I remain very satisfied until I use it mainly
- with my Musicman Luke guitar at its very wide and very precise with my Fender or U.S.. It fully respects the color of the two guitars and the food good value.
It has a very good sustain and is very very accurate. All the nuances of the game are evident (the bread for that matter). We are on a really good lights. Opinion
- Overall Opinion
- very favorable because of all the listed anymore. It's a big baby with a potato and a real hell of a lamp. Too bad few small defects persist and do not really consider it as an all in one.
If it has a very good pedal noon (like TC Electronics G System) I think it should do really.
- Preamp-tube containing a 12AX7 and a power amp tube containing 4 EL34.
He has a power of 100W.
Connection-level, there is an input, an effects loop with the possibility to put in series or parallel, midi in and out to control the change of channels.
-Effect modeling, a delay with all its controls, a chorus, a phaser and a tremolo with simplified controls that.
Comprehensive level of technical
- -Very easy to adjust and especially pretty easy to use for backing up patches.
-It is easy to get a good sound with any guitar. Being from the guidance of pre set greatly facilitates the work.
-The manual is very well done and easy to understand.
- In terms of sound is top notch.
Depending on the guitar I use, although we recognize the grain and the sound of the guitar.
I played it with a fender jaguar, a Hamer Californian (if granted), a Washburn Dime.
I managed to have both sounds very jazzy sounds of hardcore questions.
In fact that's why I bought it.
- Overall Opinion
- -I have owned for 9 months and used for 4 weeks.
4 weeks is not much, but it was all the time after sales service. So I went to the store and asked for a refund. The power section has dropped 3 or 4 times. the pedals 1 time.
-What sounds like the most, what I like the least reliable.
"I tried a lot of model before, the fender, peavey, randall, Marshall, other HK.
The price-quality ratio is very disappointing given the reliability of Bouzin.
-Compared to sound, this choice I would do without problems, but given the reliability, now I avoid completely the products in HK.
Compared to the price and reliability I would put almost the lowest note, which is a shame because its very good.
- 100 watt combo amp, tube & 2x12AX7 xEL34 '4 '(the latter two being used for each channel continuously). The Switchblade combo combines for the first time a technology while lamps a multi-purpose.
-HP: 2 x 12 "Eminence ® Rockdriver 60. (Designed specifically and only for this model)
-4 Channels: clean, crunch, lead and ultra.
-Effects: Reverb, Delay (3 settings), MOD FX (Chorus, Flanger, Tremolo)
-Ability to connect HP External: 1x8 ohm, 2x16 ohm, 1x4 ohm, 1x16 ohm.
-Ability to connect external effects in series or parallel, program by screening. + 10 dB and connections "midi".
-Ability to cut the internal effects via a footswitch (not supplied).
With its relatively light weight (30kg) and its small size, it is easily transportable.
Instructions for use, clear and complete (in French).
-Flawless finish and large soliditée.
The settings of the effects are limited, why I give a 9.
- This is a combo amp 100 watts all tube (4 x EL34 and 2 x 12AX7, the latter two are used for each channel), but digital programmable architecture with some built-in effects.
The various programs can be sauvgardés via "midi" of 128 patches.
What can be programmed? Channel (clean, crunch, lead and ultra), the "master volume", the equalization (treble, mid & low), gain, presence, effects (reverb, delay (3 settings) and modfx, ie. chorus, flanger and tremolo, the effects loop and adjustable parallel or series. With all these parameters you can create 128 different sounds. Each sound can be triggered by MIDI footswitch (supplied).
This combo is equipped with speakers: 2 x 12 "Eminence Rockdriver 60.
I bought it because I wanted a portable amp for rehearsals rather than carry around every time my "stack" Marshall and my multi-effects GT-6 + all cables. I have no regrets, because at the volume and the switchblade moves (or "get high" if you prefer). In short, this combo makes me forget my "Marshall stack" rehearsals.
Hyper-programming is simple, once all parameters set to your taste, you choose a no "patch" and you press "store", and it is programmed.
Qualitées and possibilities for sound and the volume I give him a 10.
- Is obtained by this process of programming all digital sounds that we want (the control system and the digital effects are mixed in the global connection by a "similar" so as not to distort the sound tube. The his remains 100% similar): From California clean, clean through the "saturated" to the bluesy crunch, crunch then the "rock" very direct lead to "British" (the closest to the marshall. I also have a Marshall TSL 100 and with the Leader of H & K I manage to create the same sound), to finish at the hyper-saturated channel "ultra" (equiv. to his "Soldano" for fans of heavy metal). By turning the shutter button "gain" is activated a "boost" function, which allows fluid to Solo's endless sustain.
The bass is surprisingly deep for a combo. The mediums are powerful.
The dynamic response is exellent. All nuances and harmonics are impeccably rendered.
The effects sound very "similar" is based on the reverb spring reverb.
Saturated sounds are great, fat, rich in harmonics and for all tastes. You are guitarist blues, rock or metal, you will always find a sound you like.
The clean sound is very good but sounds a bit cold (by contribution to my marshall sounding + lens). Fortunately I can program a clean sound with the treble and presence at the most, great for funk. On another patch I program a 'clean' less acute for rock songs. It's a small detail, but for this I give a 9.
For cons, I noticed that you can get a clean lens + using, not the clean channel, but the crunch channel with the "gain" at minimum. There, the clean becomes "fenderien"!
- Overall Opinion
- Until now I am delighted. Here is an amp with a real tube sound. It really is a complete combo, extremely powerful and very rich sonoritées. The multi-effects built is a must. The price is also very interesting.
Frankly, or do you find a combo all tube Fender 1OOw + a + marshall a Soldano, all in one; + a multi-purpose, lice approx. 1500 euro?
PS.: The site of Hughes and Kettner, it is possible to try the Switchblade interactively. (Http://www.hughes-and-kettner.com/products.php?mode=prod&id=112 #)
Another interesting site: http://www.planetguitar.net/tests/hk_switchblade/index.html
There, you click on "hören" and you can hear three different samples of switchblade. (German site)
And another site with a video that explains everything about this combo:
And there, you click down, right, on "here" just above the photo of the guitarist who will be happy to make you a demonstration.
And yet on "You Tube"
Here, a demonstration, but in German! (Part 1):
with the following (part 2): = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvRJoaD8oa4&mode=related&search
Finally, in the final (Part 3): = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYmZYHrqnjE&mode=related&search
Another demonstration (rather jazzy) with other possibilities of his:
- All-tube amp programmable (the first in the world, they insist on it ...) a power of 100 watts. Two 12 hp "MIDI pedal for 32 beaches 4 presets (128) 4." Amps "different, clean, crunch, lead, ultra, reverb, delay and modulation (chorus, flanger and tremolo, but not 3 at a time).
For connectivity, there are in the south (to the pedals), midi through, an effects loop for use online and noon (by the fact-through) and a plug for the fs / 2, a small two-way footswitch to activate or effects loop.
For lamps, we 4EL34, by a "receiver" + two lamps preamp.
Weight level, both HP and we feel a 30kilos (long live the ground floor ...).
At first glance, that the good, the set gives off a feeling of strength, professionalism and aggressiveness, the settings appear to be simple and we only regret the absence of output line (you can do without it but to save stuff without waking up my girlfriend's gonna be really hard now)
- Config very simple, having tested a lot of amps to mod the yamaha horrible I know his name to the very good Valvetronix VOX, there is a breeze thanks to the supplied bracket: it starts with a test has a plant sounds (well not all either because it is a lot 128) and then tries to change them. On this sound, not enough medium, turn the knob, pressing store two seconds, c cooked. Multilingual manual is very good, clear and concise, especially, we get lost in it.
On this side there is the flawless, especially the sounds that comes out right the first time are really well chosen.
- I went through punk, jazz, blues, pop and now instead of metal. I use a yamaha aes 820 with two double di Marzio, it includes a simulator and a single coil phase inverter (well, one of soirte). The clean is crystalline, the crunch is punchy, the lead and sends ultra hard double-coil, the way is more comfortable on the top 3 if not rise too much gain (which has moreover a boost when position we turn back ...). I love the lead well supplied with medium (all its settings) type heavy 80's, I dig the ultra in contrast to a more current very neo, the crunch with more or less gain (blues funk) and clean with a bit of reverb and equalizer to 5 on all knobs (a touch of reverb and it's perfect). For now, no sound ugly, so it was something very polyvallent.
I have not tested in groups, but we'll see it Sunday, just to get some sound ...
- Overall Opinion
- Received this morning in the shop where I work, I hesitated a long time, I was looking for an affordable all-tube MODELLING and was not a priority for me, I just wanted a good heavy distortion and a very clean clean. In my experience, for this price range (€ 1620 for the 2x12 combo 100 watts in 1390 and for 50Watts 1x12 in, why not take advantage of 100??) Was a huge amp. If necessary and after several months of use my opinion changes, I would do an update, but for now it's a little euphoria.