Hughes & Kettner Tube 100
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Hughes & Kettner Tube 100

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Tube 100, Tube Guitar Amp Head from Hughes & Kettner in the Tube 20/50/100 series.


3 user reviews
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Hughes & Kettner Tube 100 tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Hughes & Kettner
  • Model: Tube 100
  • Series: Tube 20/50/100
  • Category: Tube Guitar Amp Heads
  • Added in our database on: 12/10/2004

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Hughes & Kettner Tube 100 user reviews

Average Score:4.7( 4.7/5 based on 3 reviews )
 2 reviews67 %
 1 user review33 %
Watcha9008/03/2003

Watcha90's review

Hughes & Kettner Tube 100
Hughes & Kettner TUBE 100 + AX412 speaker cabinet
I bought this amp secondhand ($1100) a little more than a year ago, the 100W all-tube Tube 100 amp head plus the H&K 4x12 cab.

The all-tube TUBE 100 amp head is equipped with four Ruby EL34 power tubes (manufactured by SVETLANA), which gives it 100W of power. I replaced these four tubes with ELECTRO HARMONIX EL34. It also had three Sovtek 12ax7wa, which I replaced with Electro Harmonix 12ax7EH.
The amp head features two channels, each of which can work in two different modes (A/B mode), an EQ (bass,mid, treble) per channel (two EQs that is), and Presence for both channels. The reverb (with Accutronic springs) is common to both channels.
The effects loop input can be attenuated 10dB to adapt it to all multi-effects and it also features a DRY/WET balance accessible on the front panel of the amp head. The output with speaker simulation is in XLR format and features the circuit of the celebrated RED BOX (a well-made speaker simulator). There are three speaker outputs for different impedances or to use two speakers.

UTILIZATION

Clear user's manual. The amp is rather easy to use and comprehensive.
The EQ is effective and allows you to shape your own sound. This amp is very versatile.
The footswitch allows you to switch channels, change mode and bypass or not the effects loop.
The two channels + the two modes give you access to four very different sounds accessible with your feet.

SOUNDS

It's time for the SOUND now.
On channel 1, in A mode, you get an excellent, very bright clean sound, with a nice warmth and powerful attacks (Fender-like). The sounds are nice and shapeable. In A mode there's no gain, so no distortion.
On channel 1, in B mode, you get a crunch sound the first half of the gain knob's travel and then a moderately distorted tone with the gain cranked all the way up. It is really melodious with effective mids. The EQ does its job all right. It has that really thick tube sound that no solid-state amp can imitate.
On channel 2, in A mode, it produces an AC/DC-like distortion (in terms of the distortion rate) with an awesome tube coloration. Nice lows, quality mids and highs just like they should be (no veiling of the high end, like is often the case with certain amps). Plus the EQ on this channel is very effective.
Channel 2, in B mode, is for real metal sounds. From Van Halen to Slipknot and even death metal. It's mind blowing. The sound is full, round, plump, grating, while preserving the attack and intelligibility of each note. The lows are very present, the mids can be pulled back or brought to the fore thanks to the EQ: The sound recalls a Mesa Boogie, to give you an idea (but the tone is still different).

OVERALL OPINION

A well-equipped and versatile amp head with killer sounds (from pop music to metal). And, on top of that, it's sturdy (it's German).
Not too expensive (especially secondhand).
I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again.
There are surely better amps, that's why I give it 9 out of 10 points. But I'm sure you will understand the difference between my H&K and amps that cost three times as much. Especially considering that owners of Mesa and 5150 amps think that I have an awesome sound with my H&K.
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Eяяаtom04/02/2009

Eяяаtom's review"A nice surprise!"

Hughes & Kettner Tube 100
> 100W all-tube amp head: - 4 power tubs: Ruby EL34 (JJ in my case) - 3 preamp tubes: Ruby 12AX7 (JJ ECC83s in my case) > two channels with 2 modes A and B = 4 very distinctive channels - 1 clean and 1 crunch, 2 separate volumes and 1 common EQ - 1 classic distortion and 1 "heavy" distortion with common EQ and volume. On the front panel: > presence control (affects the high frequencies, adds highs and brightness), > reverb control (spring accutronic), > "power amp": general master with watts scale (from minimum to 12 o'clock = 0 -> 2W, from 12 o'clock to 3/4 = 2W -> 25W). On the rear panel: > effects loop with level control (FX-MX, from Dry to Wet), and a "Db" button > XLR output (DI Red Box) > connector for a MSM-1 MIDI module to control the head via MIDI (optional). > 4 tube status indicators > 3 speaker outputs: - 2 x 8 ohms - 1 x 4 ohms - 8 or 16 ohms. The head is rather heavy: 46.2 lbs... What else can you ask for?

UTILIZATION

The manual is comprehensive but not really necessary, the amp head is easy to set up. The settings are effective, generally speaking (especially the master setting), they are very progressive. The result of this precision is that, even when used at low volumes, the sound remains quite usable, at the price of the warmth of the tubes obviously. Switching the preamp tube is not easy, you have to remove the front and rear panels, separate the interior from the chassis. For the power tubes there's just a grille you need to remove and that's that, however you will have to adjust the bias. This amp head is poorly "ventilated" and thus it can get pretty hot, but you can always remove the back panel to let some air in. The three-voice footswitch allows you ton control: - channel 1 or 2 - mode A or B - the activation of the effects loop and/or reverb. Tube preamp test in V1 position: The JJ Ecc83s seemed to be the best, in my opinion, together with the Electro Harmonix, which sound very similar: good overall definition and respect for the amp's nature. Sovtek WA: The sound seems impoverished, a little vintage. Tung Sol Gold: Too much gain, it boosts the amp, but lacks balance! JJECC81: I recently installed this tube in V1 in order to decrease the overall gain of the channels.

SOUNDS

There's a tube inside, so it's warm, dynamic, with presence and reactive to your playing! Sample 1 (http://media.putfile.com/HK-tube-test-1) (Guitar with humbucker & EMG), Sample 2 (http://media.putfile.com/HK-Tube100-test-2) (Guitar with single-coil pickup), Channel 1, A mode, Clean : very proper, clean(!), distinct, twangy, funky! If you bring up the volume, it crunches a bit with heavy attacks. I believe H&K is renowned for its clean sounds. Channel 1, B mode, Crunch: Just as good! With a gain control that allows you to even get some overdrive. It comes close to crunchy Marshall-like sounds, but fatter and rounder, since Marshall prioritizes crisp high mids. I think the amp's biggest strength is when the gain is halfway, especially with single coils. Channel 2, A mode, "classic" distortion/overdrive. Discreet enough and more vintage than modern without being too typical, ideal for classic rock or hard rock. Channel 2, B mode, "heavy" distortion: Mode A with balls, the voicing is different, with more gain, more aggressive, hinting a fuzz, dark, heavy due to the intense lows (excessive compared to mode A). Large enough headroom, but pay attention to the background noise! So, the distortion is relatively modern, but not too much, it's not a Switchblade either. It's perfect for big rock, metal, has a muddy tendency, unlike the incisive sounds of a VHT or even an Engl. It's comparable to the Peavey 5150, knowing that this one has everything you need to get metal sounds with a tighter sound. The Tube 100 favors versatility. If you like that sort of color with a "roots" character and you play metal 90% of the time, go for the 5150. If you are looking for something more comprehensive and with nuances, less predictable as well, the Tube 100 is for you. I use a Tube 100 with a Schecter equipped with a Gibson 498T on the bridge and a SH1 (both splittable) and with a Framus 2X12 in V30.

OVERALL OPINION

This amp head came out in 1997 (http://img106.imageshack.us/img106/8159/hktube100promojn3.jpg) and hasn't been produced by the brand for some time now (since 2001?). Its price new was around $1050. It was replaced by the Triamp MKI, and then MKII. It's also available in a 50W version: Tube 50 and as combo: Tube 50 & Tube 20 (not to be confused with the 20th Anniversary or the Edition Tube!). I chose this amp because I was looking for an amp head halfway between British (Marshall) and high-gain American (Mesa) sounds, so I chose this German amp! I play rock and even metal (498T on 2B), classic & funky rock (498T split on 1B) and lighter and more atmospheric things (SH-1 on 1A). This amp head was used by French metal band X-Vision, although they switched to the 5150 for their latest album. Listen to their first album to get an idea of what the Tube 100 sounds like (extreme!). You can hear it here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X_R3nbcb-o) and here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFzWSuUMICE&mode=related&search=). The only con is that it lacks precision with fat distortions (an EQ on the loop and appropriate pickups and the problem is solved). Among its pros are its versatility and comprehensiveness (from a nice clean sound to a killer distortion!) a very good value for money (like all H&K products, for that matter), and that it can be used at low volumes. I have some pictures in my profile!
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david5917101/28/2011

david59171's review"I love it"

Hughes & Kettner Tube 100
The all-tube TUBE 100 amp head is equipped with four Ruby EL34 power tubes (manufactured by SVETLANA), which gives it 100W of power. I replaced these four tubes with ELECTRO HARMONIX EL34. It also had three Sovtek 12ax7wa, which I replaced with Electro Harmonix 12ax7EH.
The amp head features two channels, each of which can work in two different modes (A/B mode), an EQ (bass,mid, treble) per channel (two EQs that is), and Presence for both channels. The reverb (with Accutronic springs) is common to both channels.
The effects loop input can be attenuated 10dB to adapt it to all multi-effects and it also features a DRY/WET balance accessible on the front panel of the amp head. The output with speaker simulation is in XLR format and features the circuit of the celebrated RED BOX (a well-made speaker simulator). There are three speaker outputs for different impedances or to use two speakers.
The cabinet is equipped with four Celestion G12F60 speakers (60 Watt each) for a total output power of 240W into 8 Ohms in mono. IN stereo, it's 2 x 120 W into 2 x 4 Ohms. (it's hard to be so detailed... lol!)

UTILIZATION

Very clear manual, easy configuration, but be careful not to push the master of channel 2/B, it really howls!

SOUNDS

It's time for the SOUND now.
On channel 1, in A mode, you get an excellent, very bright clean sound, with a nice warmth and powerful attacks (Fender-like). The sounds are nice and shapeable. In A mode there's no gain, so no distortion.
On channel 1, in B mode, the first half of the gain knob you get a crunch sound and then a moderately distorted tone with the gain cranked all the way up. It is really melodious with effective mids. The EQ does its job all right. It has that really thick tube sound that no solid-state amp can imitate.
On channel 2, in A mode, it produces an AC/DC-like distortion (in terms of the distortion rate) with an awesome tube coloration. Nice lows, quality mids and highs just like they should be (no veiling of the high end, like is often the case with certain amps). Plus the EQ on this channel is very effective.
Channel 2, in B mode, is for real metal sounds. From Van Halen to Slipknot and even death metal. It's mind blowing. The sound is full, round, plump, grating, while preserving the attack and intelligibility of each note. The lows are very present, the mids can be pulled back or brought to the fore thanks to the EQ: The sound recalls a Mesa Boogie, to give you an idea.

OVERALL OPINION

Conclusion
A well-equipped and versatile amp head with killer sounds (from jazz to death metal). And, on top of that, it's sturdy (it's German).
The combo version called Tube50 is also very good, with less compressed lows, due to the absence of a cabinet.
Whatever your style, I recommend you this gear!
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Other names: tube100, tube 100 head, tube 100h

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