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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King Loudness 11/29/2011

Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 Head : King Loudness's user review

« What an amp! »

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The H&K Tubemeister 18 is a recent model offering from the company that combines KILLER tube tone with a portable package for recording. It has two channels, clean and drive. Each channel has its own gain and master volume controls, but they share a three band EQ section. It's powered by a pair of EL84s delivering 18 watts. There is also an onboard boost for the lead channel and an effects loop as well. Did I mention its small size? This attribute makes it perfect to grab and go as a small amplifier for gigs and recording.


This amp is very British in its general tonal nature. The EQ responds more like a Marshall type amp than a Fender or Mesa Boogie. Having only the single EQ will be a drag for some players, but it is what it is. It's also admittedly not the highest gain amp in the world, but you can get great eighties tones out of it with the gain maxed. I found it fairly easy to dial in and get tones going due to the lack of superfluous features. It sounded great at a variety of volume levels as well, making it a GREAT practice or recording amp.


This amp seems to respond well to a variety of guitars and tonal styles. The clean channel has a nice sparkle that works well with a Strat or Tele for funky or fusion type tones. Using a Gibsongives it a bit more body and girth for jazz and blues tones. The drive channel can do everything from Zeppelin to Ratt with ease. The rig particularly shined for eighties rock using an EVH Wolfgang and EVH 4x12 cab. Using that combined with the gain boost was probably my favourite tone of the day from this amp.


All in all I think this amp is a great addition to the lunchbox heads on the market. It combines great tones with portability and a very reasonable price of $600. It has a variety of purposes and sounds killer to boot! Definitely worth a look for sure!