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Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 5 - 5-Watt Tube Head with Red Box DI Reviews

4.5 stars based on 10 customer reviews
  • from Woodstock, NY February 23, 2014Music Background:
    Pro musician, hobbyist.

    The Goods

    This amp is in a class by itself. The 12BH7 tube has a sound that is not EL84 or 6v6. Instead it can be either in its own way. A way I find more pleasing to my ear.

    The ability to fine tune the sound puts this amp in a league of its own. At least at this price and wattage.

    It is a great recording amp and the ability to play a tube amp with authentic tube distortion though headphones is a gift.

    I am very happy with this amp. And Sweetwater.

  • from United States January 3, 2014Music Background:
    Student, Amateur Recording and Live Sound Engineer

    Great Amp All Around

    I love this amp! I have to say I was a little bit skeptical when I first ordered it, but not that I have it I love it! You can get pretty much any tone you need between the clean and drive tones, and the dynamic response is incredible. The 5 watts is perfect for home, and if you ever need more, just plug a power amp into the RedBox DI out. Overall I am very satisfied with this amp

  • from Portland Oregon December 18, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Bedroom Bliss

    I bought this amp for use in my back bedroom, mainly to be used at low volumes. Using a reverb pedal and an H&K 12" speaker cab I get great sounding tones at bedroom volumes. I mostly play to Youtube backing tracks. The drive channel provides all the overdrive you can use! Tried my Vox tonelab and love the sound! This little guy loves effects! If you want loud it will do that too! I am very pleased with this high quality piece of gear!

  • from Chino Hills, CA August 6, 2015

    Good Value

    Great head with great tones. Really nice that I don't have to crank this amp to get the sound I'm looking for.

  • from Illinois May 5, 2014Music Background:
    Church: House of Worship

    H&K Tubemeister 5 watt Head

    Great little tube amp head and 5 watts. Great for small to mid venues.
    Not sure yet about "power soak" feature for that overdriven tube sound but it plays well with others (pedals).
    Get different tones by rolling back the volume and tone controls on the guitar. I've tried the multi-board pedals such as Line6 and Boss. I'm pleased with this Tube Head with my pedals.

    Sure, it's not a Fender Bassman but it does the job and does it well.

  • from Baltimore, MD April 14, 2014Music Background:
    Guitar Instructor

    Fantastic amp

    Pros:
    -Great sounding clean and distorted tones.
    -All tube pre-amp and power amp design.
    -Only 5 watts, perfect for small rooms.
    -Very responsive to pick attack and nuance.
    -Can plug directly into mixer, audio interface etc.
    -Small, lightweight and well-built.

    Cons:
    -No footswitch option for turning on the drive channel.
    -The clean channel may be a bit bright for some tastes. Single coil pickups are especially bright. Again, your ears will be the judge.

  • from United States March 7, 2014Music Background:
    Recording/Live sound engineer, Guitarist

    just plain beautiful

    I've had a Classic 50 4x10 since the year they came out. This won't replace that, but that's a little like saying a strat won't replace a paul. They're different beasts, but this little tank (and it IS built like a tank) goes from almost a hi-fi clean to GREAT break-up without the drive engaged. The drive button redistributes the voltages across the tubes to engage preamp distortion... holy cow. At the very bottom end of the gain knob, it's a little distorted, by the time you get to noon, it's in the metal-contender stage. Serious smooth shred comes after that.

    TWO THINGS:
    1) PLAY WITH THE EQ. A LOT. It works very different with/out the drive engaged, and it is a really nice sounding EQ, if not a bit weird to dial with.

    2) Redbox DI is NOT a cabinet, so don't expect it to sound just like a cabinet. It's VERY close, and even VERY usable for small venue work, if you can stand to listen to your rig through a floor wedge instead of having a cab next to you. It sounds pretty good straight into a converter then into a DAW, too. Great for latenight work, but still not as great as a good mic.

    I slaved out the 4x10 on my Peavey to this little thing, and I can't make myself unplug it - it sounds that good. This isn't a thick, fat, muffled tube tone, it's a bit thinner through the mids, and exceedingly crisp if you want, but the EQ can change worlds

    4.5 stars (not 5) ONLY because there's just no excuse to not include an fx loop on ANY amp at this point.

  • from cambridge, OH February 27, 2014Music Background:
    Singer/songwriter. Worship band leader

    Versital tool

    This little head has a lot of different sound capabilities. After playing with it a little while I've been able to achieve really good crunchy rhythm sounds that work great for modern country. Works well with a tube screamer in front of it. The drive channel is articulate and doesn't get fizzy. The red box DI seems to sound good as well. All around great studio performer at a great price. Thanks to Chris Lewis for all the help.

  • from central NY January 6, 2014Music Background:
    guitarist

    Great amp!

    This has become my go-to practice amp, mainly on the strength of the Silent Recording feature. I can run this into my mixer and headphones
    and wail all day without anyone else hearing it. Sound quality is amazing,
    although the Overdrive is a bit hard to control, hence the 4.5 star overall.
    As it is, I run this amp clean and use a Wampler Pinnacle to get all my distortion. It is compact and portable--even comes in a padded carrying bag--so all you need is a mic cable and you can run it into the PA or mixer without needing to bring a cab. You will never know how you got along without this! Buy it now!

  • from Brooklyn, NY, USA May 27, 2013Music Background:
    Guitarist, MONO case endorser/ Cherry Lane Mixing Engineer

    Bang for buck!

    Clean sounds are surprisingly smooth. The gains are crunchy. The EQ works well. Sounds better with a cab, but you probably already know that.

    The redbox technology is also killer, though!
    Great for recording, playing with tones, practicing!

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