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Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 36 - 36/18/5/1-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Reviews

5.0 stars based on 9 customer reviews
  • from Maysville, GA April 13, 2017Music Background:
    Pianist, Guitarist, Bassist

    Flawless Combo

    First off:
    Let me say that I have been a musician for 20 years, and a Guitarist for 16 of them. I have never received such amazing service at every step. Derek, at Sweetwater, has been extremely helpful in making sure my order was hassle-free.
    On to this beast of an amp:
    LOUD. This is my first impression. You might scoff at a 36w 1x12 combo of you play death metal and black metal, but think again, because this thing can rattle your windows on 5w mode. That's another great feature on this amp, the power soak function, which allows you push the power section harder, without killing your neighborhood.
    I've only had it a day, but it already has me hooked on the Hughes and Kettner line. If you are like me, and love the sound of Diezel, ENGL, and Bogner, but don't quite have the 4k to drop, give this amp a shot. Hearing is Believing.

  • from Atlanta January 11, 2017

    Great Amp

    This amp is easily the best one I have ever played in terms of clarity and punch for its size. And, for an older guy with bad eyes, I can SEE THE KNOBS ... don't have to go from memory anymore.

  • from Illinois November 18, 2016

    Tubemeister 36

    Jeff I want to thank you so much for sending the Hughes and letter tubemeister 36 and thank you Josh for recommending it. This amplifier is superb. The clean channel is beyond my wildest dreams. That's what I use the most. Crunch and lead channels are also excellent . I just wish my abilities were up to the quality of this amplifier. I'll keep trying. Not as important, but very nice is the amp is cool looking . Listen, if you want a top tier amp,buy this one. You can play it anywhere. The power is adjustable. What more could you ask for. The amp also keeps track of the tubes health automatically. No need to bias when you change tubes. This is one terrific amp. And what can I say about Sweetwater. ALWAYS terrific service. The sales experts are top notch . I have purchased at least 10 different items from Sweetwater and they always give superb service and prices. No need to go anywhere else. I am a customer for life. Thank you Sweetwater. John Steffy

  • from San Angelo, TX November 7, 2016


    I'm a rock guitarist at heart and repertoire that also plays at church. My gigging amp is a Mesa Boogie Mark V (my baby), and although this doesn't match the Mesa in overall tone and flexibility, it comes REALLY DARN CLOSE, and less than half the price! My church purchased this amp 3 weeks ago for use in our southern gospel and contemporary worship services. It's versatile enough for country chicken pickin', and tough enough for modern and classic rock. The variable wattage is easy to use and assign to channels, and the midi programability is ultra simple (BUY THE MIDI FOOTSWITCH). On every wattage setting, the tones are full and thick, the higher gain channels have a true tube overdrive sound built off of the clean channel like its supposed to be, not a processed or over compressed sound at all. I've been playing live rock gigs for 25 years, and I would gig with this amp in a heartbeat. If I didn't have a Mesa (my baby) that is... Highly recommend. Side Note: We first ordered a BlackStar Stage 60 2x12, and we replaced it with this in 2 weeks. This amp blows the BlackStar line out of the water in tone, versatility, and response. This is a real amp for real players.

  • from sudlersville md August 5, 2014Music Background:

    hughes & kettner tubemeister 36

    First of all I cant say enough about sweetwater and their sales and service,.they are a great company to deal with.The amp arrived in perfect shape, took it out of the box , plugged in and was blown awayThe power soak is great, 1watt is great for the bedroom,36 watts will shake the whole house. I cant believe the sounds I can get with my wechter and the triple shot pickups.Gibson traditional and sg sounds great also.

  • from San Diego, CA May 1, 2014Music Background:

    Great Amp

    This is a great sounding amp. The beauty is I can put it on 5 or 1 watt and people aren't telling me to turn it down like my other tube amps. I actually was told to turn it up on the last gig when we were doing the mix. I have always like the sound of the Celestion Vintage 30.

  • from February 10, 2017

    New Amp

    It's a great amp -- perfect for what I need.

  • from Lynnwood, WA August 13, 2014Music Background:

    One year later

    I had my doubts at first. Looks too good to sound great, right? But this amp really does it all and does it well.

    Huge advantages over other amps in its class - nothing else out there really has 1) amazing tube tone, 2) easy channel switching, 3) individual tone controls for both clean and crunch, 4) a problem-free effects loop, 5) outrageously versatile power levels with a real power soak from 36-18-5-1, and 6) a real post-power-tube XLR out for recording or going straight to the board. I did replace the stock tubes with the good stuff from Doug.

    Only two gripes I have are 1) the lead channel is very compressed and grainy, almost too hot without enough girth (I don't use it) and 2) for some reason the tone is best with all the BMT controls up pretty high, like 3-4 o'clock, dunno why but not a big deal.

  • from Twin Cities MN September 24, 2015

    2nd times the charm

    First off props to Sweetwater for quick action when my first unit arrived deader than a door nail. A new one was shipped the next day!

    I bought this model for the features and on the strength of the 'sound' I heard at a live show this summer. There was an H&K on one side of the stage and a Mesa Boogie on the other and I was shocked that I was attracted to the H&K sound song after song.

    The Tubemeister 36 sounded great with my Les Paul - loved the clean channel and the crunch channel right off. The lead channel had a pronounced fizz to it that I had been warned about in other reviews. I quickly ordered a JJ retube kit to replace the Chinese tubes - about $90. The new tubes sound absolutely great! The crunch and lead channel sound smoother, warmer and there's just a hint of that fizz with gain turned way up on the lead channel. Often we make a mod, or swap out pickups and maybe hear a small positive change - these JJ tubes made a huge difference. It's a shame this rather spendy amp doesn't ship with the right tubes. Not cool.

    I also bought the FSM-432 MKIII footswitch which was not cheap but I considered it absolutely essential. The point of getting this amp was to greatly simplify my set up. The MIDI switch allows me to set up my clean, heavy and lead sounds with a push of a button (in any combination of output power) and I have the fourth switch to assigned to my FX processor. So I now plug the guitar into the wah wah and that's it. Two units on the floor rather than an array of stomp boxes that I couldn't keep straight while doing the lead singing, playing rhythm and then doing all the leads too. The one compliant here is that for that kind of money they could have incorporated a tuner into this footswitch, just saying.

    I have yet to do a gig with this amp, but I do not worry about having enough power - this 36 watt amp is strikingly loud. It's a nice sturdy, compact unit but it's not crazy heavy either. Looking forward to getting in front of people with this thing. I believe the simplified set up will make my performances that much better and I'll sound great doing it.

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