Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 Head
Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 Head

TubeMeister 18 Head, Tube Guitar Amp Head from Hughes & Kettner in the TubeMeister series.

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iamqman 07/12/2011

Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 Head : iamqman's user review

« Nice compact head »

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This is a pint size amp for those needing to get a lot of tone out of a small lunch box size head. This little amp has two channels one dedicated to the cleans one for the distortion. What is great about this amp is the red box feature. I'm not talking about the red box full of blu rays and dvd's at your local shopping mart. I'm talking about a speaker simulated interface that allows you to go direct from the amp into a recording session or the house PA system. This is a great features for those where playing loud can be an issue and you need to silence you loud rocking guitar tones.

Another wonderful feature is the self biasing on the back of the amp. This amp will auto bias you tubes so you don't have to shell out $50 to get it done by some tech down the street. This is great for people and allows you to not skip a beat leaving you amp on someone else bench for a day or two.


Channels 2
Power 18 Watts
Dimensions 356 x 156 x 150 mm
Weight 5 kg

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


The clean on this amp is pretty solid. Nothing to complain about too much. It isn't as sparkly as I would have hoped but it will do. It still is chimy and sweet but not exactly the perfect clean channel.

The distortion channel is pretty good though. The tone is beefy and thick like all the Hughes and Kettner amps have. Having the lead boost kicks up the gain a bit and gets sustaining very well. I really like the tone of this amp and I find it has a similar voicing to the rest of the line of amps.


At new these amps come at around $699, which is a great price for this versatile head. I love the tone from this amp and the many features especially on the back side of this amp. The auto bias and the red box is a very great addition to a very great sounding amplifier.

I would recommend this amp to anyone who needs a good multiple channel amp that can be playing live or direct in to a recording booth. If you need something under $1000 then this is a good one to go for.