NAD: Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40! I'm blown away!

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Guitarjon, Oct 10, 2019 at 2:18 PM.

  1. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    684
    Likes Received:
    992
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Location:
    Hollandtropolis
    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.

    This amp can do metal very well but for super tight tones it can benefit from a boost as can be seen/heard in the 8-string portion of my demo. It doesn't need it but since a lot of guys are into super tight tones these days I figured I'd mention it.

    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:



    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!
     
  2. Meeotch

    Meeotch SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    174
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Nice man, I've always wanted to try one of these. I owned a Black Spirit for a short amount of time but returned it. Months later a killer deal on a Triamp Mark 3 popped up and I couldn't pass. I've had the Triamp for about a month now and it is nothing short of stellar.

    The high gain channels are damn near perfect. Yes they are hi-fi and polished, but I much prefer them to the Diezel Herbert for example. The built-in noise gate is literally perfect as well. Can't say enough good things about this amp!
     
    Guitarjon likes this.
  3. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    684
    Likes Received:
    992
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Location:
    Hollandtropolis
    Cool! I'd love to know more about the black spirit and tri-amp as they both seem intriguing.

    I'm not really convinced yet by the idea of solid state amps although if I think about it and check out demo's etc it seems like it could sound pretty damn good, just as how good distortion pedals like the BE-OD for example can sound. Does the black spirit really sound like a tube amp? Or do you feel like there still is a difference?

    The tri-amp looks really cool to me. Too bad I won't be able to afford one. I wonder, if you change the power tube settings from 6L6 to EL34, do you notice a big difference?
     
  4. Darchetype

    Darchetype SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    49
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2019
    I had the GM40D and returned it because the Ultra channel was too loose and flubby. It definitely needed an external boost for my taste. But overall the amps sounds all sounded very up front and present and not muffled. It does the HM2 thing quite well.
     
    Guitarjon likes this.
  5. Dineley

    Dineley SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes Received:
    1,103
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Location:
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Great video was some quality guitar porn. Yours was one of the few videos which presented lots of high gain tones that I thought were good. Still semi skeptical of it, but it looks so cool and the feature set is awesome, someday I will try one I'm sure.
     
    Guitarjon likes this.
  6. XPT707FX

    XPT707FX SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    80
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    These amps definitely work on stage, Jeff Waters of Annihilator uses one if I remember correctly
     
    Guitarjon likes this.
  7. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    684
    Likes Received:
    992
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Location:
    Hollandtropolis
    I wouldn't call it 'flubby' but it's a bit more fat than other super tight and aggressive metal heads like the 5150 III or ENGL Fireball.

    Thanks! Why are you still skeptical?

    I think he currently uses a Line 6 Helix live but cool that he also used this amp!
     
  8. Necky379

    Necky379 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,257
    Likes Received:
    210
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    I think the guys from Earth Rot use this amp for that.
     
    Darchetype and Guitarjon like this.
  9. Darchetype

    Darchetype SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    49
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2019
    Im glad you love it though, man. It is a great amp and it's one of the nicest looking amps out there.
     
    Guitarjon likes this.
  10. 777timesgod

    777timesgod Stop reading this...I said stop!

    Messages:
    1,132
    Likes Received:
    280
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    Cyprus, Europe
    I am gasing for one of these badly, I love the features that H&K manages to cram in such a small frame too.
     
    Guitarjon likes this.
  11. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    684
    Likes Received:
    992
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Location:
    Hollandtropolis
    Totally! When I first held it in my hands I was kind of shocked at how small it is. Had the same thing with my mini-Recto.
     
  12. Dineley

    Dineley SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes Received:
    1,103
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Location:
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Sorry skeptical was wrong word choice, I just don't know how it would fit with my gear needs, duplicates a lot of the stuff my Helix does. And I've never gone with a small bottle amp so always cautious after many cautionary tales.

    Also I have read tubes can really make or break some H and K amps so those Tung Sols might be helping yours a fair bit, either way an awesome amp just not sure if I will ever feel I'm in the right position to pull the trigger on one.
     
    Guitarjon likes this.
  13. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    684
    Likes Received:
    992
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Location:
    Hollandtropolis
    I have a lot of experience with EL84 amps and big bottle amps as well. A lot of what people dislike about them has to do with headroom. Small 15w amps are simply not loud enough for big stages etc. I can tell you though that 40w should be enough for a gig. The low-end (which also tends to be a concern for people) on this amp is absolutely HUGE when you need it to be, so that also isn't an issue.
     
    Dineley likes this.
  14. mogar

    mogar SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    96
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Location:
    ND, USA
    Very high quality demo and it honestly sounds awesome for rock/hard rock or pushed cleans, but the high gain sounds have something that doesn't do it for me. Though if I was gonna change things up and do some straight up rock, this would be my pick.
     
  15. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    684
    Likes Received:
    992
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Location:
    Hollandtropolis
    I assume it's the softness/looseness of the low-end? I get that, I mean, I don't mind it at all but I know that a lot of players prefer more aggressive and tight amps for metal. I kinda love both for different reasons. An amp like the GMD40 has a slightly looser low-end than for example an EVH or ENGL but it does make the amp much more versatile. But I do agree that this amp SHINES when it comes to clean, low gain and rock tones. Absolutely amazing in those musical settings!
     
  16. Darchetype

    Darchetype SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    49
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2019
    To get the ultra channel as tight as possible, I literally had the bass knob all the down to zero....so there is plenty of low end if that's what you want or dont mind.

    Yes the cleans, crunch, and lead channel are just amazing and really clear! Id say if they just made it capable of having tighter, and more distortion, this amp could be perfect for absolutely everyone as it covers all grounds. Not to mention the lightweight factor and its flashy looks.

    The amp does run pretty hot temperature wise though!
     
    Guitarjon likes this.
  17. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    684
    Likes Received:
    992
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Location:
    Hollandtropolis
    A simple 'tight' control that cleans up the low end going into the amplifier would do wonders for metal players. Maybe if it also added treble at the same time, like a tilt-eq.

    It gets a little hot but you can still touch it with your hand. It's not too bad really, from my personal experience though.
     
    Darchetype likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.