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Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18 18W Tube Guitar Combo Amp  

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Overview

  • 2 Channels
  • 18 Watts
  • FS-2 optional footswitch
Description & Specs
  • MSRP:
    $899.00
  • Your Savings:
    - $200.00
  • Your Price:
    $69900

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Hughes & Kettner

Quality German engineering in a powerful combo amp.

Hughes & Kettner packed all their know-how and over a quarter of a century‘s passion for tube amps into a remarkably compact chassis. Thanks to German engineering, it can go from a roar to a whisper which is perfect for any application: rehearsals, gigs or practice at home. Serving up three different sounds at the touch of a footswitch, the soulful Tube-Meister 18 is the go-to guitar amp for gigging. Its four-step power soak brings the sound of the big stage into small clubs and your own four walls. And courtesy of the built-in Red Box and silent recording capability, you can lay down pro-quality tracks at any time day or night. The TubeMeister 18 Combo offers all the tasty features of the TubeMeister 18 Head plus the shimmer and shine of a digital spring reverb. The Celestion 10˝ speaker was custom designed specifically for the TubeMeister. Housed in a sophisticated Thiele-Small enclosure, it conjures a far bigger sound than anything one might expect from a combo.

Features

  • 2 Channels
  • 18 Watts
  • FS-2 optional footswitch
  • 1 x 10" Celestion custom speaker

Warm tube sound in a convenient easy-to-handle package. Order now!

 

TubeMeister TM18 18W Tube Guitar Combo Amp Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 15-1/2" x 14-3/16" x 10-1/4" (395 x 360 x 260 mm)
  • Weight: 20lb. (9.4 kg)
Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
Hughes & KettnerTubeMeister TM18 18W Tube Guitar Combo Amp
 
3.9

(based on 12 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

70%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (9)
  • Portable (7)
  • Good power output (6)
  • Warm / comfy (6)
  • Excellent sound (5)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Home studio (6)
    • Performances (6)
    • Amateur recording (4)
    • Outdoor events / games (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Experienced (7), Professional musician (3)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Incredibly small footprint, incredibly GIANT sound, BEST. COMBO. EVER.

    Ubiquitous best describes this combo. At home on stage, in a studio, or in your room this amp is light, packed with great technical features yet not skimping on tone.
    Read complete review

    Ubiquitous best describes this combo. At home on stage, in a studio, or in your room this amp is light, packed with great technical features yet not skimping on tone.

    Hughes and Kettner are keenly aware that as a tube amp there are many big boys they're going to be compared to and they deliver. Aside from delivering all the essentials you'd expect from a Tube combo (12AX7, EL84, Celestion, FX loop, Dual Channel, Reverb), the amp includes Hughes and Kettners Red Box technology and Balanced output.

    The amp includes a nice logo inscribed cover for the combo but doesn't include the "optional" FS-2 footswitch. I think this is the only negative thing I can say but will work with any standard TLR footswitch.

    All in All go get yourself a Tubemeister 18 and watch it stand up to Marshall ampheads that cost 3 times as much.
    Time and time again you've heard how tube amps are essential to getting the best sound out of your axe. Well this little german does not dissappoint!

    LOOKS- Out of the box the Tubemeister 18 has clean lines, it's front grill covers a unique 10" Celestion speaker while presenting the Hughes and Kettner logo for all to see. It seems to be channeling a modern VOX amp interpretation.

    Your top view controls are simple and classic, you have two channels both with Master and Gain controls. Both channels share your eq settings Treble, Mid, Bass. You have your standard 1/4" jack, channel select and lead boost buttons and your Power and Standby switches.

    Your back panel is where most of the tech features are clearly laid out. FX loop send and return, Footswitch (Not included), Red Box output, Power soak controls, balanced direct out, footswitch and reverb.

    TECH- while not overburdened with digital effects, the Tubemeister 18 has a nice built in digital reverb. It's pre-amp houses two 12AX7 tubes. It's power amp houses two EL84's. These are tubes that have defined electric guitar sounds from British Classic Rock to your latest super overdriven Death Metal. This is an amp that will be at home on stage, in small get togethers, and in every recording studio of any size, mainly due to the built in Power soak. The tubemeister 18 let's you dial up or down the wattage from 1 to 18 watts so you can push those tubes for lush tones without upsetting the neighbors. Also included is Hughes and Kettners redbox technology which allows you to plug in directly to a mixer for a recording session or PA without sacrificing that tube voicing we all love.
    The Tubemeister 18 combo is solidly built for an amp of this size. The exterior is rugged to handle all the travel you're going to do with this 20lb. terror. The German engineering is clearly visible, from the solid click of the power and standby switches to the smooth feel of the volume and eq controls. The amp's presentation is ice cold cool glowing an electric blue that speaks of the electric tone it's ready to dole out.

    This amp in terns of sound does not dissapoint. From lush clean single note runs to chord strumming the clean channel is solid. The lead channel is where this amp earns it's reputation. I personally believe this amp can dial up any distorted tone you can think of, from country, to rock, to rockabilly, to hard rock, to metal and more.
    Know thyself and to thy own self be true.

    The Tubemeister 18 seems it was designed for a musician that knows their sound. If you're just starting out and are looking for an amp that comes full of digital effects and presets this is not a combo for you.

    If you're gigging and doing demo's in a home studio and practicing on the weekends this amp is going to be your best friend! This combo will hang with the big boys while not breaking your back or your bank account.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Full of problems.

    I bought this amp because on paper it had all of the features I wanted. Unfortunately, after returning/exchanging three amps, I gave up on H&K. Long story short, all...Read complete review

    I bought this amp because on paper it had all of the features I wanted. Unfortunately, after returning/exchanging three amps, I gave up on H&K. Long story short, all three of them had a problem where the reverb circuit makes a whistling noise when the reverb is turned up. The reverb is subtle so to get any depth to it it has to be turned up, but when it is, it makes a whistling noise. After going back and forth with H&K and even sending the last amp I received to them, they finally said they couldn't fix it. I also confirmed that not only did the three I received have the problem, but the ones the US distributor had in their warehouse also had the problem.

    And the second amp I received had even bigger problems. The sound would cut in and out.

    Basically, all TM18 combos currently on shelves and in warehouses seem to have this defective whistling reverb problem.

    You can see the problems for yourself. Just look up "tubemeister 18 problems" on youtube.

    Also, when I first noticed the problem I tried contacting H&K directly through their website and was completely ignored. I sent them at least four emails and never got a reply. They only contacted me after I posted a public video on youtube demonstrating the problem.

    Aside from that, it was an ok amp, although nothing really spectacular. Great clean channel, very full and bright, the lead channel was usable although not great, but the boost channel was way too gainy and fizzy. There was no balance between the lead channel and boost. To get a decent crunch sound, the gain on the lead channel had to be turned up all the way, but with the gain up, when you kicked in the boost it was overwhelming - fizz, mush, etc.... I was able to work around that and had the amp not had an unfixable design flaw I would have kept it but as it worked out, the amp I got in its place has turned out to be MUCH better.

    Overall, it looks great on paper. Excellent feature set but the tone was just ok, the reverb was useless due to the unfixable design flaw, and H&K's support was very poor, although to be fair, their US distributor did make an effort to help but ultimately, given the poor product they had to work with, were not able to fix the issue.

    Bottom line, I would not recommend this amp to anyone. There are much better options out there like the Blackstar HT-5 or the HT-20 if you want higher wattage, or one of the Marshall DSL series. I ended up with an HT-5R combo for small, low wattage needs and although it doesn't have the 18 watt or power scaling option, its tone is 1000% better, the reverb is excellent with no strange whistling noises, and overall it's a much better amp. I wish I would have bought this one to begin with but I guess it worked out in the end. Also, because it's only 5 watts, I decided to get an additional amp for my higher wattage needs. Ended up costing me a little more but the amps I got are much better than the H&K and don't have the inherent and unfixable design flaws.

    BTW, this is for the combo. The head doesn't have reverb so if you don't need reverb and like the rest of the features and tone, you'll probably be ok.

    Reviewed by 12 customers

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    (6 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Full of problems.

    By Working musician

    from Florida

    About Me Professional Musician

    Pros

    • Adjustable Wattage
    • Built In Di Output
    • Easy To Use
    • Portable

    Cons

    • Defective Reverb
    • Poor customer service
    • Poor quality control

    Best Uses

      Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18 18W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

      I bought this amp because on paper it had all of the features I wanted. Unfortunately, after returning/exchanging three amps, I gave up on H&K. Long story short, all three of them had a problem where the reverb circuit makes a whistling noise when the reverb is turned up. The reverb is subtle so to get any depth to it it has to be turned up, but when it is, it makes a whistling noise. After going back and forth with H&K and even sending the last amp I received to them, they finally said they couldn't fix it. I also confirmed that not only did the three I received have the problem, but the ones the US distributor had in their warehouse also had the problem.

      And the second amp I received had even bigger problems. The sound would cut in and out.

      Basically, all TM18 combos currently on shelves and in warehouses seem to have this defective whistling reverb problem.

      You can see the problems for yourself. Just look up "tubemeister 18 problems" on youtube.

      Also, when I first noticed the problem I tried contacting H&K directly through their website and was completely ignored. I sent them at least four emails and never got a reply. They only contacted me after I posted a public video on youtube demonstrating the problem.

      Aside from that, it was an ok amp, although nothing really spectacular. Great clean channel, very full and bright, the lead channel was usable although not great, but the boost channel was way too gainy and fizzy. There was no balance between the lead channel and boost. To get a decent crunch sound, the gain on the lead channel had to be turned up all the way, but with the gain up, when you kicked in the boost it was overwhelming - fizz, mush, etc.... I was able to work around that and had the amp not had an unfixable design flaw I would have kept it but as it worked out, the amp I got in its place has turned out to be MUCH better.

      Overall, it looks great on paper. Excellent feature set but the tone was just ok, the reverb was useless due to the unfixable design flaw, and H&K's support was very poor, although to be fair, their US distributor did make an effort to help but ultimately, given the poor product they had to work with, were not able to fix the issue.

      Bottom line, I would not recommend this amp to anyone. There are much better options out there like the Blackstar HT-5 or the HT-20 if you want higher wattage, or one of the Marshall DSL series. I ended up with an HT-5R combo for small, low wattage needs and although it doesn't have the 18 watt or power scaling option, its tone is 1000% better, the reverb is excellent with no strange whistling noises, and overall it's a much better amp. I wish I would have bought this one to begin with but I guess it worked out in the end. Also, because it's only 5 watts, I decided to get an additional amp for my higher wattage needs. Ended up costing me a little more but the amps I got are much better than the H&K and don't have the inherent and unfixable design flaws.

      BTW, this is for the combo. The head doesn't have reverb so if you don't need reverb and like the rest of the features and tone, you'll probably be ok.

      Comment on this review

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Tubemeister mania

      By Tele-Tubemeister

      from Sc

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Small And Light
      • Sounds Great
      • Takes Pedals Well

      Cons

      • Can't Handle Lows

      Best Uses

      • Events
      • Home Studio
      • Performances

      Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18 18W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

      I really like the size of this combo and using the direct out has great sound. I returned the combo to get just the head to run into a 2x12 cab. the 10" speaker in this combo is great for the mids and highs, but it isn't made for any lows. Thats my only complaint.

      Comment on this review

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great amplifier

      By alandgail

      from New York, New York

      About Me Professional Musician

      Ask me a question

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Excellent Sound
      • Good Warmth
      • Portable
      • Powerful

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Performances

        Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18 18W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

        This is my first tube amp in twenty years! I travel mostly by subway and taxi, and am an older gent, so portability is paramount for me. 21 pounds of muscular, clear tone. Being a jazz player, I have no use for the overdrive circuit, but the clean channel alone is worth the price.
        Reverb level is light, but sounds great and I only use a little anyway. And this amp looks really cool. I tried a modeling amp, but am happier with one great sounding option.

        Comment on this review

        (7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        If you play jazz stay away!

        By CAP

        from Arizona

        About Me Professional Musician

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use

        Cons

        • Limited Functions
        • Poor Sound Quality
        • Weak

        Best Uses

        • Performances

        Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18 18W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

        I was looking for a nice clean, affordable small tube amp that had enough juice for small jazz gigs. This was not it! I read all of the reviews and thought this would do the trick. WRONG! The head room is so low that unless you play "metal jazz" it is useless. The reverb is the worst and needs to be cranked to even be a bit useful, and even then it sounds horrible. This is not an amp for use with an archtop.

        Comment on this review

        (5 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Almost, but I'd get the Egnator

        By TempleTantrum

        from Berryville, VA

        About Me Experienced

        Ask me a question

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Good Warmth
        • Portable
        • Powerful

        Cons

        • No Bright Switches
        • Poor Sound Quality
        • Same Eq For Both Channels

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Events
        • Home Studio
        • Performances
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18 18W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

        I really wanted the new mini-Mesa but besides the cost, I'm disabled and only wanted to lug around 1 piece of 20lbs or less. I ALMOST got the Egnator for it's sound options, but no dedicated footswitchable gain channel. So I got this, "sound" unseen for it's features.

        Clean channel, despite lack of a bright switch, can be very beautiful when eq'd properly. The gain channel is useless for me. WAY too much midrange/bass. With no separate eq, one channel changes the other's sound. With the gain at noon, the sound is livable, but when you kick in the boost, the fixed amount makes your ears bleed! Only when gain is maxed out can you use the boost to produce a usable amount of db addition. However, it's at this point that unless you scoop the eq like crazy, you're "thick as a brick", which is not my sound.

        Ultimately, I'm using an AMT Series II Mesa Boogie as a pre-amp pedal into the effects return to utlize it's brighter sound. It also has a clean level and boost to help out. I also use a Lovepedal Superlead for Marshall tones. A Seymour Duncan pickup boost at the front of pedal chain gives me lead boost.

        All this pedal fuss could have been applied to an Egnator with many more options for tone adjustments.

        Comment on this review

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Great Clean Tone

        By machrist

        from Colorado Springs, CO

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18 18W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

              I was looking for a tube amp that had a warm, clear tone and was compact. Also I was trying to spend $1000 or less. This amp definitely lived up to my expectations. I play a Les Paul with an HD 500 for all my effects and I love the tone I'm getting from this amp. The clean tone especially sounds amazing. The dirty channel sounds a little muffled without the boost on, so I just decided to use the distortion effects from the HD 500 instead. It is plenty loud especially if you are miking the amp and only using the amp for sound and monitor. I am very happy with the amp thus far.

              Comment on this review

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Compact Sound

              By Oinkus

              from VA

              About Me Experienced

              Ask me a question

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Excellent Sound
              • Good Warmth
              • Portable
              • Powerful

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Events
                • Home Studio
                • Performances

                Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18 18W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                This is a decent amp that won't break your wallet.The power soak options allow for a broad range of sounds.The clean channel with reverb is quite good.Seems to have some bleed over from the dirty channel that becomes most apparent when you add pedals to your chain.Doesn't play too well with my Decimator noise reduction , causing some fizzy sounds when you hold a note for a long time.All in all I like it but have yet to try it in a group setting.You will need to mike it or use the direct out to the P.A.or both depending on how much volume you need. I don't like the lack of an extension speaker output, would like to have a 1x12" speaker IN ADDITION to the 10" onboard one.

                Comment on this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                great sounding amp

                By Mexicali blues

                from New Hampshire

                About Me Experienced

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Excellent Sound
                • Good Warmth
                • Light wieght
                • Portable
                • Powerful

                Cons

                • None Yet

                Best Uses

                • Events
                • Home Studio
                • Performances

                Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18 18W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                love this amp it just makes you want to keep playing. has a wide range of tones and that special tube warmth very creamy , Ice creamy smooth

                Comment on this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great portable amp!!!

                By Player2001

                from Indiana

                About Me Experienced

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Excellent Sound
                • Good Warmth
                • Portable
                • Powerful

                Cons

                • None

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Home Studio

                Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18 18W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                I cant believe how loud this amp is when set to 18 watts. This amp is plenty loud enough for small venues and is loud enough to compete with the drums and pa. The spring reverb is a nice addition to the combo

                Comment on this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                So Far So Good

                By Coot Doctor

                from GA.

                About Me Experienced

                Pros

                • Best I have owned
                • Easy To Use
                • Excellent Sound
                • Good Warmth
                • Portable
                • Powerful
                • So far Very clean

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Amateur Recording
                  • Home Studio
                  • Jammin

                  Comments about Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister TM18 18W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                  Very clean, and gets grungy too. Any sound you want is in there. Really lets your instrument tone and feel come out. Fender sounds like a Fender, Gibson a Gibson with P90's or Buckers.Powerful enough, bought the FS2 and makes it more versatile. Reverb OK but not Fabulous. Now I need a new delay. Love it.

                  Comment on this review

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