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Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head

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The Switchblade 100 guitar amp head has 4 channels that put the full arsenal of classic tones at your fingertips, from spine-tingling clean and crun...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

The world's first fully programmable all-tube amp with digital FX.

The Switchblade 100 guitar amp head has 4 channels that put the full arsenal of classic tones at your fingertips, from spine-tingling clean and crunch to singing lead and crushing, saturated sound. It seamlessly integrates all-tube preamp and power sections with full programmability, digital FX, and a professional switching system that gives you easy access to the 128 preset slots.

The included FSM 432 MIDI footswitch allows instant switching between presets. Onboard digital effects including reverb, delay, chorus, flanger, and tremolo. Also available in a 12", 50W combo and a 2 x 12", 100W combo (See recommended accessories on this page).

FEATURES
  • 100W
  • 2 - 12AX7 preamp tubes, 4 EL34 power tubes
  • Four channels: Clean, Crunch, Lead, Ultra
  • Digital reverb, delay, modulation effects
  • Full programmability with 128 preset slots
  • FSM 432 MIDI footswitch
  • Parallel/serial selectable FX loops

The dream amp that tube aficionados have been waiting for! Order now.

SPECIFICATIONS
  • 100W
  • 29-1/2"W x 11-1/4"H x 10"D
  • 39 lbs.
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Hughes & KettnerSwitchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head
 
4.6

(based on 32 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (25)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Excellent sound (3)
  • Warm / comfy (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Outdoor events / games (3)
  • Performances (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Woah, siick xD

Well now, it was a stressful ordeal getting this thing up and running down here in Australia but its paid off. Simply put, this thing sounds amazing.
Not as loud as I'd...Read complete review

Well now, it was a stressful ordeal getting this thing up and running down here in Australia but its paid off. Simply put, this thing sounds amazing.
Not as loud as I'd hoped when fully cranked, and there's some nasty feedback happening on the ultra channel without the use of a gate, I guess that's to be expected though. Love the reverb, not much use for the rest of the effects though.
This amp is heavy! But appears good quality, feels great to use and looks great with those glowing tubes behind the grill.
Never owned a tube amp before so my word probably ain't much of a gage, but to me its killer. The master volume is a great feature, I was a little worried I couldn't use this in my house but that's not the case at all, great tones at low volume.
Now as for high volume I had trouble cutting through with my band, its not like it wasn't there but a lot of the sound was getting lost. Probably just need to play around with EQ. Though, tripping balls on 75D made the first experiences with it more sloppy really.. Only just started fine tuning last night.
Now I wouldn't recommend doing what I've done (this is for the Aussies), its gonna run you $500ish to get the transformer swapped out for a 240v, yes you can run on a step down transformer but really the tranny is the way to go. When I first plugged it in on a step down transformer at my local music store a fuse blew, which eneded up being the result of a broken tube. So word to the wise, probably swap out the tubes when you get it, if you get it. Shipping can be a cruel guy.
Pretty impressed with this thing, and even if its not my final amp it inspires me to play it, the most important trait of any musical gear right?

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

amazing when it is working right

I purchased this amp a few months ago and when I got it it just blew me away. This amp just screams, and having the ability to tailor my own lead setting and save...Read complete review

I purchased this amp a few months ago and when I got it it just blew me away. This amp just screams, and having the ability to tailor my own lead setting and save it on a preset makes for soaring lead tones that cut right through the mix. You can get any sound out of this amp, its just so versitile. But then about a week after I got it the midi pedal stoped working. So I had to send it back. When I recieved the new one it worked great...for about 3 days! It was very hard for me not to just smash this amp with frustration. To make this worse it decided to screw up at a show.Right during sound check I go to hit on the distortion and nothing. It was the same exact problem. So I plugged my metal muff in and had a great show anyway. The amp both times was fine its just that footwsitch, its complete junk! But when I got home it worked just fine which really scares cause now I never know when its gonna throw a fit again. I do still recomend this amp because it is all you could ever ask for, I'd just be prepared to send it back a couple times until you get one that works. It is worth it.

Reviewed by 32 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Not Impressed

By TZ5150-05I88

from New Jersey

See all my reviews

Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

This amp sounds Ok at best. The Lead Chanel is Extremely Noisey and sounds kinda muddy. The Clean Chanel sounds the best and the effects on the amp are Ok at best. I personally don't think it's worth it.

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Amazing

By AirConditioning

from Vancouver, BC

Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

I'd always used combo amps before I got this head, but the music I play has gotten louder over the years. This amp is amazingly versatile and can get any sound you want it to. It sounds great too.I recently had a problem where when I turn the power on, the tubes warm up but nothing else happens. I've treated it really well, so I'm not sure if it's just not built very well or what. One thing to watch for sure.

(1 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

beware

By toad-DQvwr

from USA

Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

this amp sucks. ive had it for 3 years and it has been in the shop more than in my rack. do NOT buy this amp. theres been many times i have been playing then the sound goes out with the tubes still glowing. Or times where the lights wouldnt turn on and it sounded like my tubes we blown...they werent. There must be a serious problem with the circut board. Worst investment i have ever made. I recently switched to splawn amps and I am so much happier with it. If you want to quality amp that is dependable....DO NOT BUY THIS AMP especially if you are a touring musician. It might be alright if you play in your room or something, but if you tour and you are using it every night carting it around like a piece of gear STAY AWAY FROM THIS AMP!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great do-it-all amp!

By RaceRevlon

from Southern California

See all my reviews

Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

Being on an ultimate tone quest, I bought the 100-watt head and love the tones that come out of this head. Here's the deal, though--you have to take some time and REALLY tweak this head. The knobs are incredibly sensitive and interactive. Tons of gain on tap and sparkling cleans. I gave 4.5 because the only issue I've had is that one of the power tubes worked its way out of the socket due to heat expansion-I re-seated it and no problem.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Kickin!!!

By GTO 1968

from Chicago Suburbs

See all my reviews

Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

I saw reviews on this head and I'm glad I bought it! For any metal style of player it's pure punch and metal tube sounding! I'm extremely pleased with this head and recommend it to anyone who wants that perfect sound which can be dialed in anyway you like. The effects are very good and can be adjusted to your liking with just a twist of a knob and they all sound awesome. I must admit though unless you want to keep turning your guitars volume knob off you should go and get a noise gate and use it for the high gain channel which does have some noise at high volumes but of course this is a tube head and should be expected! And YES, this head is LOUD! I use it with a Marshall full stack with Celestion T75's and my guitars use EMG 81's and I recommend this head to anyone for any style of music especially metal! So what are you waiting for, go and get one!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Holy Grail Amp Found

By Toxicminds.com

from Ft Lauderdale, FL

See all my reviews

Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

I bought this amp about 2 months ago. I was about to buy another "Industry Standard" tube amp. I went over to a local dealer and they had just received 3 of these. Boy am I glad I waited to pull the trigger. The amp is truely revolutionary combining the best elements of Tube performance, modeling technology and high end onboard programmable effects. Chuck your pedal board. I have been playing Rock,Alt, & Nu-Metal for over 25 years and have tried and or owned most leading name and boutique amps out there. All I can say is this is hands down the best sounding most versitile amp ever built. I don't think most people are even aware of these the first ones were just shipped in May/06. The word will spread quickly. If you are in the market for an amp, you owe it to yourself to demo one before you make a decision.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

amazing when it is working right

By Cory Hoy

from Upper Sandusky Ohio

Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

I purchased this amp a few months ago and when I got it it just blew me away. This amp just screams, and having the ability to tailor my own lead setting and save it on a preset makes for soaring lead tones that cut right through the mix. You can get any sound out of this amp, its just so versitile. But then about a week after I got it the midi pedal stoped working. So I had to send it back. When I recieved the new one it worked great...for about 3 days! It was very hard for me not to just smash this amp with frustration. To make this worse it decided to screw up at a show.Right during sound check I go to hit on the distortion and nothing. It was the same exact problem. So I plugged my metal muff in and had a great show anyway. The amp both times was fine its just that footwsitch, its complete junk! But when I got home it worked just fine which really scares cause now I never know when its gonna throw a fit again. I do still recomend this amp because it is all you could ever ask for, I'd just be prepared to send it back a couple times until you get one that works. It is worth it.

 
5.0

Technology of tone, the art of shredding

By Bane

from Serbia

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Best Sound At Any Volume
  • Excellent Sound
  • Good Warmth
  • High Gain
  • Powerful

Cons

  • None

Best Uses

  • Events
  • Home Studio
  • Performances
  • Professional Recording

Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

This amp can have so much warmth to melt coldest death-metal heart :) can have so much gain and brutal, screaming and roaring sonud that could tear your skin of, acid-melt your flesh, chew your bones and spit it out! Why it CAN? Because it's all in your ear. I read all review's and some say that EQ is problem..I disagree! Only problem is ear. Listen carefully, feel the sound that EQ modify's and you can make any sound you want..from blues, jazz, sofr and hard rock to the top of the piramid of classic high gain - Mesa. Clean ch. is heart touching with chorus, reverb and little delay. Crunch ch. is so fun to play some blues and classic rock. Lead ch. is British metal sound for I. Maiden lovers and perfect for soloing. Ultra ch. is the beast itself..from Slayer, Annihilator to Metallica sound, and whichever other sound you want. I play guitar for 10 years and own this amp for 3 years now, and I'm amazed every time I crank it up. It's worth all the money I spent on it. I highly recomend this amp for any type of musicians..thrust me, YOU WANT REGRET! Cheers!

 
5.0

Awesome Head - Great Deal - Fast Ship!!!

By Heath

from Bedford, NH

About Me Novice

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Good Warmth
  • Powerful
  • Sound Great At Any Volume

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Events
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

    I have been playing a long time, but this is my first head/ cabinet combo, and all tube amp. I am so impressed with it at all volume and gain levels. I can play in my living room, literally while the kids watch TV 10 feet away, and crank it (3 it's all relative?!) while they are away

     
    5.0

    Woah, siick xD

    By Jambee

    from Australia

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound
    • Good Warmth

    Cons

    • Difficult to EQ right
    • No foot controller

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Performances

    Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

    Well now, it was a stressful ordeal getting this thing up and running down here in Australia but its paid off. Simply put, this thing sounds amazing.
    Not as loud as I'd hoped when fully cranked, and there's some nasty feedback happening on the ultra channel without the use of a gate, I guess that's to be expected though. Love the reverb, not much use for the rest of the effects though.
    This amp is heavy! But appears good quality, feels great to use and looks great with those glowing tubes behind the grill.
    Never owned a tube amp before so my word probably ain't much of a gage, but to me its killer. The master volume is a great feature, I was a little worried I couldn't use this in my house but that's not the case at all, great tones at low volume.
    Now as for high volume I had trouble cutting through with my band, its not like it wasn't there but a lot of the sound was getting lost. Probably just need to play around with EQ. Though, tripping balls on 75D made the first experiences with it more sloppy really.. Only just started fine tuning last night.
    Now I wouldn't recommend doing what I've done (this is for the Aussies), its gonna run you $500ish to get the transformer swapped out for a 240v, yes you can run on a step down transformer but really the tranny is the way to go. When I first plugged it in on a step down transformer at my local music store a fuse blew, which eneded up being the result of a broken tube. So word to the wise, probably swap out the tubes when you get it, if you get it. Shipping can be a cruel guy.
    Pretty impressed with this thing, and even if its not my final amp it inspires me to play it, the most important trait of any musical gear right?

     
    5.0

    The best sound ever!

    By Jmclean

    from Seattle, WA

    Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

    I've always had very certain guitar tones I wanted that other amps just couldn't quite produce. This amp not only exactly produced the tones I needed (with ease, I might add) but inspired me to create new ones that I hadn't even thought of! I play a Jackson SL2 through the Switchblade into a Basson 2x12 cab, and I couldn't be happier. The only problem is after about 6 months of hard usage, the MIDI footboard is starting to act a little funny (like banking up 2 or 3 when I only press down once). Besides that, though, it's my dream amp. Hands down.

     
    5.0

    Tone for days

    By L17

    from Ohio

    Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

    What a great sounding amp! Really....but the pedal is crap. The cord of the pedal board is wired in. Mine started phantom switching at gigs. I had a friend take out some slack and rewire it but I soon had the same problem. I bought a Midi Moose switcher and haven't had a problem since. Great amp.....crappy pedal

     
    5.0

    Killer amp

    By Lizardneck

    from boise idaho

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

    This is a great amp. Reminds me of a hotrodded OLD Marshall, the good ones, but with modern technology. All channels sound great! Really comes to life at high volumes like a good tube amp should. I chose this over a peavey JSX and I'm glad I did. VERY LOUD! Great product!

    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    H&K Switchblade 100 Head

    By Danny7String

    from Pittsburgh

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

    I am nowhere near famous, but you would never guess that by my soon to be moth-balled rig. I use to lug, and get quite a work out doing so, Mesa's Roadking, Triple Rec, Triaxis, Mark IV and Studio Preamp amps with 2 Simul-Class 90/90 power amps and get this, 4 Recto Stereo 4x12 cabs with 2 Randall CS215 ( 2 x 12 + 15) cabs with a 22 space rack system, plus midi controllers out the butt. Thats a lot of gear to drag out to play for a few hours but I have been through so many amps trying to down size and STILL get my tone. Everytime I would buy something, it would sound great until I tried to gig with it and then I would hate it and start looking for something else. My search is over though with my recent purchase of the H&K Switchblade 100. It gets amazing tone, compariable to a Mesa Dual Rec and plus I can leave my noisy rack system at home and save my back by not lugging all that Mesa gear. I still use 2 of the Recto cabs with the 2 Randalls but now I only have to take one head to get my sound. Now if I can just figure out a way to down size my guitar store on wheels, I'll be a happy man. Just one question, an all tube amp with quality internal effects, what has taken amp companies so long to think of this?

     
    5.0

    Great Amp, covers all bases

    By codeorama-xtMlc

    from Virginia

    Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

    I have previously owned a peavey 5150, Marshall jcm900 and Mesa Dual Recto. The switchblade is something that none of them were, versatile. I play in a cover band and I need a variety of tones and the switchblade delivers. The fact that it is midi programmable and comes with the footswitch is icing on the cake. The effects are very usable and the amp is easy to program. But that is just a side note. The bottom line is that the amp just plain rocks out. The clean tone is clean. The crunch does The Black Crowes, Stones etc... very well, the Ultra channel is pure nu-metal, but where the amp is best is the lead channel. The lead channel is straight up awesome.Then only negative I can mention is that the lead and ultra channels are noisy, so buy an ISP decimator and put it in the loop.

     
    5.0

    Hughes and Kettner the best

    By JesterRace

    from Ohio

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

    Retubed this thing new power tubes and new preamp tubes and I am blown away, before I did the retube wasn't very happy, but now it's a new beast! Amazing tone versatility, and great built in effects. Don't even need an isp decimator or noise gate Just plug in and play. Finally a company made a versatile amp with awesome tone!!!

     
    5.0

    Finally An Amp Co. Gets It

    By Toxicminds.com

    from Ft Lauderdale, FL

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

    I have been playing Rock Guitar professionally for over 20 years and it seems all the high end versions of Marshall, Mesa, other botique etc... had their strong points & weak points. Finally an amp that brings together all the features any player could want. A tube amp with DSP and the versatility that guitarists everywhere dream of. 12ax7 pres, EL34 power,True valve warmth combined with High quality DSP, Delay, Chorus, Flang, Reverb, Tremolo, Fully (easily) programmable 128 possible pre-sets. all effects can be used simultaneously. I demo'd about 30 amps & annoyed several Music Store employees before deciding on this amp. The decision wasn't even close. Nothing compares. Great clean channel, All gain channels have punch, biting fat, yet cutting low end.No muddiness at all. Ultra channel is Modern Metal guitarist's Nirvana. Sell your stock in Mesa or Marshall. Bow down to the new ruler of rock guitar amps.

     
    5.0

    Best Amp in it's class

    By Anonymous

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

    I've owned this head for about 3 months now. The sound is awesome on all 4 channels. I have a Fender Strat and a couple Les Pauls (one with EMGs) and the sound from all the guitars is superb. My only criticism is the effects are okay- not great, not terrible. Effects aside, I don't believe there is a more versitile amp out there. There is no longer a reason to pay over a grand for a head that only does one type of sound very well cough Marshall/Mesa cough.

    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Switchblade Head

    By paesano

    from fort hood, texas

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

    I've had this amp for several months now and I won't buy another. The cleans are nice and clear, the crunch channel has a ton of punch, and the lead/ultra channels have tons of gain. The tone is incredible. I'm playing a Schecter with a Dimarzio Super Distortion with a crappy Kustom Quad Jr. Cabinet and the sound blows me away. I've played the Mesa Dual, the Peavey 6505, the Peavey 3120, I liked this amp the best. The effects kind of suck. They're just kind of there. The midi cable on the pedal is shoddy as well, I have to mess with it to get the pedal to come on but the midi capability is great, I run a midi cable out of the amp into my rack mounted effects box and I can assign presets on my effects unit to match the presets on the amp and literally got rid of my pedal board. I'm incredibly happy with this amp!

     
    5.0

    My Marshall Is Now In Mothballs!

    By Switchblade Believer

    from The Desert Southwest

    Comments about Hughes & Kettner Switchblade 100 Guitar Amp Head:

    I was a Marshall snob. But after listening to the reviews and hearing the Thomas Blug demo at the H&K website, I decided to take a gamble ... and WON! What an amp!! A BOSS Noise Gate eliminated all the high-gain hiss on the "Crunch" and "Lead" channels, without altering the sound. I can make the "Clean" channel sound exactly like my Fender Deluxe Reverb!I'm not gonna' gush with paragraphs of praise, but I liked this amp so much, I purchased both 4x12 cabinets - the angled cabinet and the flat grill cabinet ... AND ... I purchased the 100 watt Switchblade 2 x 12 "Combo" amp for those smaller venues. I voted with my cash!!

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