Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: The great Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40!

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    98

    Thumbs up The great Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40!

    Hey guys!

    Until a while ago I wasn't really aware of what Hughes & Kettner was doing. I don't really know why because now that I'm aware of how awesome their amps are I feel like I've been living under a rock! I think it has to do with the rehearsal spaces I used to play in back in the day. I guess I always looked at H&K amps as 'cheap rehearsal amps' which is completely unjustified probably. Or did H&K perhaps get a lot better in recent years?

    Anyhow, so a bunch of guys on this forum and my YT channel recommended this amp to me. It happened so often that I started getting really interested in this amp. When I found one used in great shape for about 700 euros I just had to bite the bullet. The previous owner had put in some Tung Sol EL84's but everything else is stock. No idea what kind of power tubes these normally come with but the Tung Sols sound great!

    This amp has a lot of very impressive features, like the midi and preset capabilities as well as the attenuator and red box DI. The onboard boost is also a very welcome addition as it makes the tonal range even bigger, so impressive! It's also pretty portable and not heavy so I imagine it will do just fine on stage. 40 watts seems like it should be enough! The effects are also pretty decent! The only thing I would do differently is put the modulation effects before the preamp but that's just a personal preference. At least the option to place the FX before or after the preamp would be great...

    The clean channel is absolutely beautiful. It sounds full, pristine and rich, just how I like my clean tones. I love how this channel can be broken up by raising the gain and adding the boost gives this channel some serious crunch mojo. The crunch channel takes over quite nicely and I just love that channel for Marshall-y tones, especially with the boost. This amp can certainly sound Marshall-like but I'd say it sounds a bit more refined, which imho is a good thing!
    The lead channel is just amazing for high gain riffs and leads and I love how the boost adds a bit more bite to the tone. The ultra channel has a LOT of gain, especially with the boost on but with low gain settings it's actually a very useable channel.

    Obviously I had to make a demo of this amp. Since this thing is so versatile I wanted to make sure that a lot of ground was covered. So I did a lot of styles, from clean to very heavy 8-string and everything in between. Also used some of the effects:

    (note: I'm not in any way affiliated with H&K)

    Since this amp is so awesome I'm now very interested in the Tri-Amp as it looks incredible! Does anyone else here have a H&K amp? I'd love to know more about these amps and how you guys like to use them etc. Let's talk H&K!
    Owner and founder of Sonic Drive Studio & social media manager for OwnHammer.

    Facebook.com/sonicdrivestudio
    OwnHammer.com

  2. #2
    Toneologist Synapsys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Portugal, Europe
    Posts
    621

    Default Re: The great Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40!

    Welcome to the club! When you did the whole video on lunchbox I told you should have added this one to the list, and it seems I was not wrong.

    Coupled to a MIDI board this is all a guitar player could want on a small, lightweight, very giggable amp. The effects aren't bad, but I added a Line 6 HX Effects for even more versatility.

    The four amp channels give all kinds of flavours, from pristine Fendery cleans (I find it easy to dial Deluxe Reverb tone out of it) all the way to crushing high gain tones.

    Some find it too hi-fi sounding, and that it lacks character, but to me it suits my needs perfectly. I play from Surf Rock to Death Metal with it, and get praise from the tones I get, either using a 1x12 Line 6 DT25 extension cab or to a PA using the Red Box out ( 99% out the time I play I use it this way).

    If HK added compression to the effects and a tuner and wah simulation on the FSM 432 MkIii board, it would become the end-all valve amp gigging solution.

    Congrats on the find, and rock on!
    Guitars:Gibson LP Trad ('57 Classics), PRS SE CU 24 Flametop (TB5/PGn), Ibanez RG870RWZ (PATB set), Jackson DK2M1H (TB4) & DK2 (TB10/VRn/CRn), LTD MH-1000HS (Pegasus/HRn), ST213A (HRb/STK-S4 m&n) & TE212 (Hot Stack/A2Pn), Dean Cadillac 1980 (59 set) & Old Skull V (TB6/JazzN), Squier VM JM (SJM-1 set);Effects:Korg Pitchblack Poly, Digitech Drop, MXR CAE MC404 & EHX Wailer wahs, L6 HX FX & Stomp, Fender FVP-1, EHX Volume Pedal; Amp & Cab:H&K GM 40 Dlx, L6 DT25 cab;

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: The great Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40!

    Quote Originally Posted by Synapsys View Post
    Welcome to the club! When you did the whole video on lunchbox I told you should have added this one to the list, and it seems I was not wrong.

    Coupled to a MIDI board this is all a guitar player could want on a small, lightweight, very giggable amp. The effects aren't bad, but I added a Line 6 HX Effects for even more versatility.

    The four amp channels give all kinds of flavours, from pristine Fendery cleans (I find it easy to dial Deluxe Reverb tone out of it) all the way to crushing high gain tones.

    Some find it too hi-fi sounding, and that it lacks character, but to me it suits my needs perfectly. I play from Surf Rock to Death Metal with it, and get praise from the tones I get, either using a 1x12 Line 6 DT25 extension cab or to a PA using the Red Box out ( 99% out the time I play I use it this way).

    If HK added compression to the effects and a tuner and wah simulation on the FSM 432 MkIii board, it would become the end-all valve amp gigging solution.

    Congrats on the find, and rock on!
    Thanks!
    Haha, I guess you're guilty of inspiring me to get this amp! I do applaud you though because this thing kicks some serious ass! I think you're right about the character of the amps, or at least people's interpretations of it. I think in a blind test the 'results' would be very interesting! In fact, I may do a blind test amp comparison video soon as it could be super interesting!
    Owner and founder of Sonic Drive Studio & social media manager for OwnHammer.

    Facebook.com/sonicdrivestudio
    OwnHammer.com

  4. #4
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    14,618

    Default Re: The great Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40!

    Sounds really nice.
    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

  5. #5
    Toneologist Synapsys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Portugal, Europe
    Posts
    621

    Default Re: The great Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40!

    As a matter of fact it was a surgery on my left ankle, that rendered me unable to carry anything weighing over 44 pounds, that really turned me unto lunchbox amps, coming from a Marshall TSL and living on a third floor with no elevator.

    Orange were the first brand that started the lunchbox thing, but not only I don't love the brand's tones, but they were single channel with no FX loop. A few years later I went to Line6 and the DT25, coupled with POD HD 500. Valve amp using sims as preamps, got near the sound and specs I had on my head, Than H&K started the Tubemeister line, but although multi channels amps, they had a shared EQ, so I passed. Finally they launched the Grandmeister 36, and the concept matched my mindset, even when I found some of the channels voicings to be too aggressive, and I started saving for one. Just when I was about to pull the trigger, the GM 40 Deluxe was launched, and from the first reviews on YT, even with that platform's sound quality issues, I found the tones perfect for my needs. When I got it instead of tne 36, I knew I had a winner! It's been a 3 year journey so far, with no reliability issues, still with the stock valves (which are chinese unbranded ones), and it does everything I could look for in an amp, and the form factor is perfect for me.

    I'm not a tube snob, and been using modellers since the Line6 Bean came out, but even currently owning an HX Stomp, which I use just for recording, the GM40D with the HX Effects using the 4CM (the only other effect I use with the amp are a Digitech Drop and a MXR CAE MC404 wah) is my go-to solution for playing live and in rehearsal.

    One day I may take the plunge and get the TM212 2x12 cab just for kicks, but so far using the DT25 cab or going direct to PA using the Red Box out give me awesome tone with minimal fuss.

    It's not the cheapest lunchbox amp around, nor tne most expensive, but all the versatility and tones inside that little box make it priceless for me.

    Even if it breaks, I'll get another one as a replacement. Singing its praises should have earned me an endorsement already! (Wink, wink, H&K! ).

    BTW, I'm also on the H&K user forums, both in Facebook and on Forumotion, and the consensus is that swapping valves for branded ones doesn't have any major impact on the tones, unlike the GM36, which seems to benefit from it.
    Last edited by Synapsys; 10-11-2019 at 09:21 AM.
    Guitars:Gibson LP Trad ('57 Classics), PRS SE CU 24 Flametop (TB5/PGn), Ibanez RG870RWZ (PATB set), Jackson DK2M1H (TB4) & DK2 (TB10/VRn/CRn), LTD MH-1000HS (Pegasus/HRn), ST213A (HRb/STK-S4 m&n) & TE212 (Hot Stack/A2Pn), Dean Cadillac 1980 (59 set) & Old Skull V (TB6/JazzN), Squier VM JM (SJM-1 set);Effects:Korg Pitchblack Poly, Digitech Drop, MXR CAE MC404 & EHX Wailer wahs, L6 HX FX & Stomp, Fender FVP-1, EHX Volume Pedal; Amp & Cab:H&K GM 40 Dlx, L6 DT25 cab;

  6. #6
    I poop in my KISS diapers while I cry that they are mean to me Aceman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    I came from outer space - that's how I know your name!
    Age
    52
    Posts
    34,682

    Default Re: The great Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40!

    I have a first gen Tubemeister 18. I love it! Honestly, I play it at home a lot more than my Mesa Stiletto. The thing has amazing range and flexibility.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: The great Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    I have a first gen Tubemeister 18. I love it! Honestly, I play it at home a lot more than my Mesa Stiletto. The thing has amazing range and flexibility.
    I have never tried one of the tubemeister amps. How do you think does their sound differ from the grandmeister?
    Owner and founder of Sonic Drive Studio & social media manager for OwnHammer.

    Facebook.com/sonicdrivestudio
    OwnHammer.com

  8. #8
    I poop in my KISS diapers while I cry that they are mean to me Aceman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    I came from outer space - that's how I know your name!
    Age
    52
    Posts
    34,682

    Default Re: The great Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40!

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarjon View Post
    I have never tried one of the tubemeister amps. How do you think does their sound differ from the grandmeister?
    No idea. Never listened to a Grand
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: The great Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    No idea. Never listened to a Grand
    Alright, can the tubemeister amps do high gain tones well? The GMD40 has a slightly loose or fat bottom end so it's not as tight or aggressive as an ENGL or EVH for example. I'm just wondering if the Tubemeisters are similarly voiced in that regard mainly.
    Owner and founder of Sonic Drive Studio & social media manager for OwnHammer.

    Facebook.com/sonicdrivestudio
    OwnHammer.com

  10. #10
    Toneologist Synapsys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Portugal, Europe
    Posts
    621

    Default Re: The great Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40!

    The Tubemester 36 has a gainier third channel, but is more of a Marshall 80's lead tone, not über tight in the lows.

    The EQ structure of the GM depends largely on the interaction between the channels EQ and the master settings, presence and resonance.

    My tones can vary from tight modern high gain tones to more vintage flubbier tones.
    Guitars:Gibson LP Trad ('57 Classics), PRS SE CU 24 Flametop (TB5/PGn), Ibanez RG870RWZ (PATB set), Jackson DK2M1H (TB4) & DK2 (TB10/VRn/CRn), LTD MH-1000HS (Pegasus/HRn), ST213A (HRb/STK-S4 m&n) & TE212 (Hot Stack/A2Pn), Dean Cadillac 1980 (59 set) & Old Skull V (TB6/JazzN), Squier VM JM (SJM-1 set);Effects:Korg Pitchblack Poly, Digitech Drop, MXR CAE MC404 & EHX Wailer wahs, L6 HX FX & Stomp, Fender FVP-1, EHX Volume Pedal; Amp & Cab:H&K GM 40 Dlx, L6 DT25 cab;

  11. #11
    I poop in my KISS diapers while I cry that they are mean to me Aceman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    I came from outer space - that's how I know your name!
    Age
    52
    Posts
    34,682

    Default Re: The great Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40!

    I'd agree the 128 is similar. It has two channels with a boost.

    And of course, an OD of choice into the front will fix that right up. And give you another channel...
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

  12. #12
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Rex_Rocker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    1,871

    Default Re: The great Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40!

    Man, really like your amp demos. That amp sounds killer.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: The great Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    Man, really like your amp demos. That amp sounds killer.
    Thank you very much!
    Owner and founder of Sonic Drive Studio & social media manager for OwnHammer.

    Facebook.com/sonicdrivestudio
    OwnHammer.com

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •