So yes the new amp purchased last week is a Hughes & Kettner Statesman 60W 2x12 Dual 6L6 combo.
I wanted an amp since I’m trying to get back to band playing/gigging etc. Also I’ve got fed up with the Line6 POD. It is very good don’t get me wrong but really there is something missing playing through one of those and small hi-fi like speakers, it just doesn’t move the air the right way. Also I found I rarely if ever really used the power and versatility of the POD and relied on a very small number of sounds… honestly probably about 8 at the most.
I had been looking for something valve. The Marshall Haze 40W looked good, the Blackstar HT5 good but probably underpowered if I did get into a band. Ideally I wanted something with separate eqs on the two channels but that starts pushing the cost up.
A couple of bloggers etc. commented on looking an H&K and a local shop recommended them as well. I also looked at the new small Laney 50W stack but the distortion on that was a bit “ringy” for me.
I stumbled over this H&K when looking in the local shop for the EL34 40W combo which was in the running maybe. But this is that amps big brother with bigger cab, separate eq and some other features. It was “shop worn”, i.e it has a few marks and scuffs on it where it’s been bumped so brand new but a little “road worn”… funny for guitars you pay extra for that for this amp I got a discount… ironic!
I tried it out on two occasions and the impression was excellent. It has a very warm crunch tone, it’s very “classic rock” and only at it’s extreme setting gets close to metal. If you are after a real metal rock amp I wouldn’t recommend this, H&K do others like that or the Marshall JVM is a good place to look. The clean channel is ace – very clean for a start unlike some that crunch up too early for me perhaps. It has a “Twang” button (don’t we all?:-)) that adds a Fender flavour to the sound. With my Les Paul on the neck pickup I get a very warm jazzy sound that I’m in love with.
So features is has…
Gain and vol. 3 band eq. A boost button that preshapes the eq, very useful esp to add that extra bit – RHCP going from riff to solo in Can’t Stop it is spot on.
Vol and 3 band eq. Twang button and the boost works on here as well with less effect for me.
Reverb and presence controls.
There are some clever bits hidden around the back. First you can balance the reverb level so more on the dist or the clean channel – handy. Reverb is footswitchable if I get another foot pedal for about £30.
Second master vol. Now this is neat. This is a footswitchable only (no button on the front) boost or cut that is preset on the back and works on both channels. So you set up to have a little lift in vol and use it if say at solo time you just feel you’re getting lost. The advantage is that it is relevant to the position of the channel vol on the front so you don’t have to adjust it once set whether in the bedroom at low vol or on stage the lift is set relevant to that…. Very very clever and useful.
Finally – it sounds great! With my Les Paul my son claims it sounds “awesome” and on the dist channel with the boost in my rendition of YYZ or Spirit of the Radio sounds almost like Alex Lifeson… no wonder he uses H&K amps. I’m glad I looked here rather than the Marshall blindness I had for a while. Due to the knocks I managed to get it for only £600 which was a stonking bargain to boot.