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> Yet Another Amp Question :d, Questions, Questions, Questions...
Ajmurrell
post Oct 1 2008, 03:18 AM
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I'll keep it nice and simple, just like my question smile.gif...

I'm now stuck between choosing between two amps...

I will either be going for a Hughes and Kettner Switchblade 50W combo, or a Hiwatt Custom 20 Head.

Now I realise that the price difference is quite big, but if I'm going to buy a decent amp now - I don't want to have to upgrade again in the near future.

I know the Hiwatt has a fantastic clean tone, and great british crunch at volume, and the H&K can pretty much cope with any style... But what would you buy if you could?

If your choice was between an amp with very impressive clean sounds, which you can add a couple of pedals to in order to get your desired tone... Or buy an amp that accomodates for multiple tones built in?

I'm curious as to wether its better to put my money towards an amp that has less features, and colour the sound externally when desired... Or buy a high end "multi-talented" amp.



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Marshmall0wz
post Oct 1 2008, 04:04 AM
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I'm going to be upgrading to an amp that is sort of a all on it's own amp....I personally have found that all the classic great amps have two or three amazing channels. for example....
MARSHALL JCM
MARSHALL PLEXI
BOOGIE LONESTAR
BOOGIE TRIPLE RECTIFIER

I was also once told that when recording in a studio, many bands find the nicest clean tone and then add a $400 overdrive pedal to that tone and mic the amp. If your going to get the Hiwatt then I'd probably buy a handmade, tube overdrive pedal. sry i talk too much haha. hope this helps.

P.S. Those amps are like night and day! haha! what made you interested in them?


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audiopaal
post Oct 1 2008, 06:52 AM
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I'd buy the hughes and kettner, but I guess the other one's a great buy as well smile.gif
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wollace03
post Oct 1 2008, 07:42 AM
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i find the question very interesting as i am kinda in the same situation... i want an amp that has a good clean sound cause i wanna use it with my boss gt-10 - so actually i dont need an amp with 4 channels and lots of stuff. so actually i tend to buy the one with the good clean sound and less features.....
i havn´t checked out the hiwatt yet ..


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MickeM
post Oct 1 2008, 08:15 AM
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I suppose with the Hiwatt 20 you have great cleans up to a certain point where it breaks up - that's the idea. For blues and rock and pub gigs the Hiwatt would be the coolest amp to bring wink.gif

But I'm puzzled with the selections. I'd understand if you put the Hiwatt up against Orange handwired AD and the H&K up against a Marshall JVM or the Orange Rockerverb to name a couple.

And I think a amp connoisseur would take the Hiwatt straight off and no questions asked. Since you're asking in the first place I doubt you're one of those who'd put lots of value to the epithets handwired + tone wink.gif Which makes me doubt it's really for you.
And it's not an amp you'd add cheapo pedals to either so that's going to cost more, and you'd have to start with a reverb. Does the Custom 20 have an effects loop btw?


I already have a Switchblade so I'd go with the Hiwatt here and have two great amps wink.gif


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Noangels
post Oct 1 2008, 08:27 AM
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Hughes and Kettner Blade 100 watt head user here,and have to say its a great amp-from clean to mean

The other guitarist in my band uses a mesa dual rec head that has a nice creamy tone when pushed hard,as does the HnK-Put both amps side to side and the Blade sounds Better.

The mesa has more gain,but when pushed hard it adds fizz to the tone unlike the blade that has amazing gain and still less fizz.

Both great amps,but imo the blade sounds more polished

I would never record with an expensive OD pedal driving the clean section on any of my amps,the tube preamps are a perfect match for the powertube sections on most amps

Another thing to add is if your looking for a decent sounding amp,buy the head version!
The combo versions to me dont have the same sound with their open back 1x12 or 2x12 speakers.When you partner
the head up with a 4x12 cab you get great sound.I think 2x12 isnt enough so if you get the combo version perhaps you should also look at another 2x12 extension cab.
Of course if the amp isnt going to be used with a band when it has to be pushed hard,then a combo would be fine at home played at modest levels.In a band get the Head.4x12 cab and drown out your drummer biggrin.gif


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Scott Gentzen
post Oct 1 2008, 11:01 AM
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As an Epiphone Valve Jr owner, I'm currently more of a fan of keeping it simple and using effects to shape your sound.

This comes mostly from my tendency to get really distracted by features when I should be playing and practicing. I spend too much time messing with the amp's volume and the settings on my distortion pedal as it is. I'd never get anything done if I had an amp that could do anything.


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OrganisedConfusi...
post Oct 1 2008, 12:24 PM
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I'd prefer the H and K amp as they make some great amps.


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Ajmurrell
post Oct 1 2008, 12:47 PM
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Heh, yeah I know how bizarre the question is in terms of how the amps are so far off each other.

I guess the question is a bit more complex as it kinda reflects where I want to go with playing the guitar. I've been playing for close to 7 years now, and for the past couple of years my playing has been reasonably static in relation to progression.

I tried a hand wired unknown tube combo a few months back and was so impressed with the clarity and the voice of the tone, and ultimately it was the biggest joy to play. I know I'm dangerously close to sounding like those kids you see on youtube, with a VERY expensive guitar and a VERY expensive amp that you can tell were just bought because they were expensive and well known, rather than a precise choice made by a developing muscian (if you know what I mean?)

But I'm genuinely into the idea of the Hiwatt, above the idea of the H&K. My favourite muscian beyond all is that of david gilmour and pink floyd, closely followed by Mark Knopfler and that era of music. Beyond everything else I'd love a truely joyous clean tone.

As for good quality effects to put infront of it, I already have a BK Tube driver and a demeter compulator. If I was to go for the Hiwatt style I'd probably put a Skreddy Mayo infront of it which is a Biff Muff clone (using old transistors to emulate that infamous ram's head style of tone) for when I wanted to get a distorted tone.

Alternatively, I also have a lot of fun with the 80's era of guitar, from EVH to Bettencourt. But the quality in the tone doesn't need to be as high for that type of playing as I really just play that style of music for fun and technique development from time to time. Plus I do have a GT-8 which I could happily use as a second amp for this style of sound.

Ultimately I guess I just need to decide which path of tone to go down.

This post has been edited by Ajmurrell: Oct 1 2008, 12:50 PM


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MickeM
post Oct 1 2008, 01:08 PM
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Sounds to me Hiwatt is the way to go. And with a Handwired quality amp I think some day your grandchildren will have use of it too and experience the same great sound laugh.gif


Edit: They also have a 7 watter incase you're only going to bedroom play

This post has been edited by MickeM: Oct 1 2008, 01:09 PM


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Nihil Kei
post Oct 1 2008, 01:11 PM
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I really really love the clean sound of the Hiwatt. probably the purest I've ever heard.
If you want to bring it a crunch tone, you can think about this great ( really GREAT ) pedal :
"http://www.orion-fx.com/elektro-booster.php?language=en".
(hum, in fact ther's is a gain and master control on the hiwatt head dry.gif )


anyway, just for information,we've been using it on tube and transistor amps. more gain, beautiful and warm crunch, to light vintage saturation. really indispensable with tube amps. It was really working on a Hiwatt 50.
but it's not a cheap pedal. about 150 euros

About H&K, I ve never played with one of their tube amp, but I've been using the tour reverb 80w (transistor combo) since 1998. I've faith in it, it is solid, resistant, thousands of settings allow it to suit to all style ( Nowadays it's getting closed to death, but It has had a really hard life ).


but the switchblade is definitely an awesome combo. All in one, storable presets, effects inside, multi channel. great sounds, clean, crunch, disto...just one pedal at your foot...and really cheaper than the hiwatt.

I would choose the H&K.for sure !
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Oct 1 2008, 06:30 PM
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I would go for the quantity here and choose Switchblade. Someday you will want to gig or play rehearsals with it, and 50W combo will mean a lot in those situations.

This post has been edited by Ivan Milenkovic: Oct 1 2008, 06:30 PM


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