So Guitar center has a used Switchblade 100 head for $630 USD. Frow what i can tell this looks like a pretty good deal, and i really need a good tube amp...i have a spider IV now

does anyone know how good these amps are for metal sound? ive heard good feedback, but i havent heard if they are specifically good for metal or not. the tones i really like are mainly Tool, lamb of god, older in flames, that kind of stuff

The world is grey, the mountains old,
The forge's fire is ashen-cold
I ahd one a while back, and it was good. it was just trying to be the best at everything and not its own amp. thats a killer deal though, and for the tones your looking for, the ultra channel will fit the bill. it may make the the middle two channels worthless but try it out and see. good amp though. I traded mine in for a mark IV :/
if your looking for a half stack you could get a bugera 6262 head. great tone and its 120 watts and $550, ive never played a switchblade
H&K will kill a 6262,,, no contest

the switchblade was kind of H&K's intro to the purely hi-gain amp world. The Triamp can do hi-gain really well,, but it wasn't designed with that sole purpose in mind. For $630 the switchblade will do metal very well.
Ya i figured i would be getting a good deal with this. And i dont have alot of pedals so the footswitch will be nice too

The world is grey, the mountains old,
The forge's fire is ashen-cold
I just got mine. I payed $600 new off the shelf but with out the footswitch. The going price for one on ebay with the switch seems to be about $700 plus about $40 for shipping.

Anyway, so far I will say that I like it. BUT I am not impressed with the stock preamp tubes.
Mine came with TAD ECC83 Selects, with I have heard good things about but I don't like them in this amp. Luckily for me I have a decent collection of current 12ax7's.

I put a Tung-Sol 12ax7 Re-issue in the slot away from the power amp tubes and it makes the clean channel not break up as early and give the ultra channel more bite. I put a Sovtek 12AX7 LPS in the spot closest to the power tubes and it gave it more balls.

I got a reply from H&K about the gain structure of the amp and here it is:

"The information you heard is correct to some extent. In order to reach the extremly high gain that you can have in especially the ULTRA channel you would have to use either an unreasonably high number of preamp tubes or you would have to use special high gain tubes. These high gain tubes however are both very sensitive to microphonics and noise.

The principle of the high gain channels in the Switchblade is derived from the old and classic setup where you have additional gain stages added in front of the amp by using pedals. The solid state stage in the Switchblade simply increase the gain of the preamp stage BEFORE the first preamp tube leaving sound forming to the tube itself. As this tube is now getting a much higher input signal it can deliver high gain sounds that it would not be capable to do without this "assistance"."

As for the guys comment about 4 preamp tubes makes a real tube amp, that is a little bit misguided. I think understanding tube amps is something many people do not take enough time to do. A tube amp dose not have to have any preamp tubes. But there are a number of different usages for preamp tubes in a tube amp. Gain, phase inverter, reverb send/return, and effects send/return are the most common. Since most preamp tubes are usually twin triodes there each one can serve two functions. Then there is the debate about tube vs solid state rectifiers, but that is a different story.

Some people would consider using tubes to serve all of these functions to be a prefect world. It should also be noted that most high gain amps stop at 4 stages of preamp gain, ie two tubes worth.

So a prefect plain old single channel, high gain, non programable tube amp with an effect send, onboard analogue reverb, and a tube phase inverter would have 5 preamp tubes.

Many multi channel amps use different tubes for the gain sections of the different channels. So you can choose different tubes for your clean channel than your, lead channel, ect. Mesa dose this. This is the principle behind the Triamp, they have a completely separate sent of preamp tubes for each channel.

Now back to the Switchblade. The reverb is digital so no tube, the effect send is transformer buffered so no tube. The special knobs mean that they share tubes for gain on all channels. I do not know if the are using one for a phase inverter. I am waiting to hear back on this one.