Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 - 18/5/1-watt Tube Head

18/5/1-watt All-tube Guitar Head Amp with 2 Channels, Effects Loop, Built-in Red Box DI, and Power Soak
Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 - 18/5/1-watt Tube Head image 1
Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 - 18/5/1-watt Tube Head image 1
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Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 - 18/5/1-watt Tube Head
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Toneful Tube Amp with a Built-in Power Soak

Discover a new level of amp control with the Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 Head 2-channel guitar amplifier. Far from a one-trick pony, the TubeMeister 18 Head offers on-the-fly flexibility rarely seen in an all-tube amp. Dial in your perfect sound by choosing between 18 watts, 5 watts, 1 watt, or speaker off mode for recording. This all-tube amp delivers big tube tones via EL84 power tubes. Add an effects loop and a Tube Safety Control and you're ready for any gig. Grab the Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 Head guitar amp and start rocking out today!

Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 Tube Head Guitar Amplifier at a Glance:
  • Rich, all-tube tone that's perfect for any gig
  • Keep your amp safe with Tube Safety Control
  • Killer DI tone right from your amp
Rich, all-tube tone that's perfect for any gig

A duet of EL84 power tubes delivers everything from glassy cleans to volcanic-eruption lead tones in the Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 Head. With two channels at your disposal, you'll get every tone you need onstage. Variable power output makes the TubeMeister 18 perfect for live entertainment, studio recording, or playing at home. You can set the power section to push 18 watts, 5 watts, 1 watt, or even no speaker. A footswitchable boost mode re-voices the lead channel to kick in some high-gain mayhem with tons of punch and sustain. Call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer to find out more about the incredibly flexible Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 Head amplifier.

Keep your amp safe with Tube Safety Control

Another cool feature of the TubeMeister 18 Head is the TSC (Tube Safety Control). This amp-saving device constantly monitors your power tubes and adjusts the bias so you get the best sound possible. It also takes failing power tubes out of the circuit to protect your your amp and lets you see the status of your tubes at a glance. The Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 Head guitar amp is a guitarist's best friend.

Killer DI tone right from your amp

The Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 Head amp features the Red Box DI, making it ideal for silent recording or sending to a live mixer. The Redbox DI authentically emulates a miked 4 x 12" cabinet via a balanced line signal. Combine this with the TubeMeister's speaker off mode and you have the perfect studio tool any time of the day or night. Or you can add the DI to a miked cabinet track for larger-than-life sound. Onstage or in the studio, the Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 Head amplifier delivers the tones you want and need.

Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 Tube Head Guitar Amplifier Features:
  • 18 watts of pure guitar tone
  • 2 channels with 3-band EQ, gain, and master volume
  • Variable power output is perfect for recording and onstage with 18-watt, 5-watt, 1-watt, or speaker off modes
  • Powered by a duo of EL84 power tubes and 12AX7 preamp tubes
  • Built-in Redbox DI gives you great tone anywhere
  • Tube Safety Control continually monitors your power tubes and optimizes them for the best tone
  • Effects loop for hooking up your favorite pedals and effects
Take total and complete control of your amp with the TubeMeister 18 Head!

Additional Media

Guitar Amp Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Type Tube
Number of Channels 2
Total Power Variable 18W/5W/1W
EQ 3-band
Number of Tubes 4
Preamp Tubes 2 x 12AX7
Power Tubes 2 x EL84
Inputs 1 x 1/4"
Outputs 1 x 1/4" (speaker), 1 x XLR (DI out)
Effects Loop Yes
Footswitch I/O Yes (optional FS-2)
Height 6.14"
Width 14.02"
Depth 5.90"
Weight 11.02 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number TM18H

Customer Reviews

Based on 16 reviews
Write your review

Amazing, plus a tip

I have the Tubemeister 18 with the matching 1X12 Cab, and I have to say, this is an amazing amp. After the speaker broke in, I get some amazing tones. Crystal clean tones, and some searing leads. HOWEVER, if you get this amp, keep in mind that the clean channel has a lot of headroom and does not compress early on (think of maybe like a Fender blackface amp) so putting drive pedals through the clean channel can lead to sound very shrill sounds, especially if you have anything with a hard clip like an OCD. Just like another reviewer on here, it sounds absolutely amazing if you switch to the Blue channel, put in just a touch of gain (anywhere between 8 and 10 o'clock) and then switch on your drive pedal. The natural compression of the amp when in the blue channel will help roll off some of the shrill highs and beef up a bit of the low end, resulting in some VERY VERY cool sounds. I am using this amp to record a Prog-metal album, and it is performing flawlessly when set up like that. Cheers!

Tips how to use it

Clean channel is great for clean, but cannot be used with any overdrive/fuzz/distortion pedals - it sounds thin and very fizzy. Use those pedals ONLY on lead (blue) channel: set Gain to 8 o'clock, then change volume only by using master button. then it sounds true amazing. Another tip: buy a reverb pedal and put it in the effect loops. it really improves the sound (i use tc electronic's hall of fame).

Just what my Taylor T5 Classic ordered!

Right off the bat, let me thank David M. for his consistent and dependable insights. He knows I am a guitar "wanna be" (play keyboards and bass predominantly), so anything related to a six-string is out of my comfort zone. I only wanted to buy an amp once, as I have learned my lesson the hard way about buying and trading up over time. This amp provides every feature I could ask for, not just for now but in the future should I ever play in front of others. At home in our "music room", it is as others have stated - LOUD! Easy to operate, beautiful sounds both clean and with gain, and certainly a beautiful machine to look at with the blue lights. Using the 112 cab and H&K footswitch to round out the rig. Great addition to my arsenal and again, grateful for David and Sweetwater.
Music background: Classic Rock, Christian Contemporary

Hughes & Kettner

works great especially with my churches mixing board.
Music background: Have played bands from small to large. Played in Londen, Japan and all over the U.S.

First Tube Amp Purchase...

This is my first tube amp purchase and so far I am super pleased. I mated it with 2 H&K 12's and it is loud! I have it in my bedroom but someone could very easy use this setup to perform in front of a decent size crowd. It has super clean tones and can get dirty too!!!
Music background: Beginner / Hobbiest

Sweetwater Advice

Dan Robinson

When I track guitars in the studio, one of the challenges is getting just the right tone. Not only is the TubeMeister 18 one of the greatest-sounding amps I've played through, it's also incredibly practical. The built-in RedBox DI means I can keep the amp right next to me in the control room to tweak without the hassle of mic'ing up a cab, and it really does sound "right!" It's also great for playing live where stage volume is an issue. I also love not having to worry about adjusting or troubleshooting tubes so I can spend more time making music!

Jason Kovach

The Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18 is a top-notch tube amp with great features. I've used mine for both recording and practicing with a band, and I've been nothing but pleased with its performance. With a built in Red Box DI, this is the perfect amp for stage and studio.

Josh Claussen

As a guitar player, the Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18 solves a lot of my problems. This amp is awesome for any application, providing enough volume and gain for live rock leads, but I can get the same tone at incredibly low volumes when I practice in my apartment. The DI is also useful live and when I record, because it sounds incredibly clear and still delivers the natural tube saturation I get when its plugged into a speaker cabinet.

Chris McCown

If you're like me, you're coming across more and more instances where a "silent stage" is required, which doesn't allow you to use your favorite tube amp. The Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister series solves that issue, finally! The Red Box Direct Out is exactly what I was looking for. Now I can get killer tone, footswitchable channels, AND keep the Front of House guys happy at the same time! Everybody wins with these awesome amps!
See also: Amp Heads, Hughes & Kettner, Hughes & Kettner Guitar Amp Heads