#1
Hi,
I just bought a new (used) amp, but I'm not satisfied with it at all.

So, the problem is that I hadn't had a chance to try it out by myself; so I did read a lot of material on internet, reviews, watched demos etc.; and after comparing the options, I bought this Hughes&Kettner Triamp MKII.

From the clips I heard and the demos I really liked it's sound; but now I ended up thinking it's just simply terrible after havin tried it for about 2 hours.

The cleans (1A) are really good, but all that has some distortion (from crunch to high gain) has just too much treble...I don't know how to explain it, it just sounds like the EQ are not balanced.
I mean, if I play the B and high E strings, it's just too...fizzy?

I tried to eq in diffrent ways, cutting down all the treble and the mids, setting all on 12 'o clock, turning presence up, turning it down...but I just don't like the sound I get any time I try to play high notes.

May it be that something has to be fixed?
Do I just have to turn the volume up? (so far I tried it at 1/4)
Do I have to invest more time in understanding the amp?
Am I expecting to much from it?

I'm very disappointed by the fact that I didn't get one decent sound out of a 3000 € amp (which is said to be a very good one) and that I'm using it as a power amp to run my pod hd500 throught it....

Any help is appreciated.

P.S: I also tought it may be my pickups...I've got a guitar with Seymour Duncan blackouts)
Last edited by Michele_R at Jan 19, 2014,
#2
i have not had much experiance with H&K but be patient with it. try messing with the eq try other guitars if you have them. dont give up on it. it may even need a retube. if you mess with it and try rolling some tubes in it and still dont like it then it may be time to part ways. just dont give up yet and try before you buy next time.
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#3
my friend had one of these amps for a long time. he loved it, i didn't like it so much. out of the 6 settings on the amp i only really liked 2. i did think it sounded a bit harsh.

that being said i also noticed that matching up a more complimentary speaker cab also went a long way with that amp. i ended up trading him a 4x12 loaded with G12K speakers in it, really helped mellow the sharpness of the amp. i'd imagine a G12T speaker would have a similar effect.

we also changed out the preamp tubes in the amp, put a couple gold pinned 12ax7's in the input tube slot, changed the driver tube of the first amp to a 12AT7, changed the driver tubes of the second amp to ecc803's, and changed one or two of the 12ax7's on the third amp with 7025's.
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#4
^ that.

But maybe it just sounds plain bad.
I didn't have the chance of playing a single H&K in my life, but I didn't like a single sound coming out of it heard on songs and demos.
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#5
Quote by Michele_R
Hi,
I just bought a new (used) amp, but I'm not satisfied with it at all.

So, the problem is that I hadn't had a chance to try it out by myself; so I did read a lot of material on internet, reviews, watched demos etc.; and after comparing the options, I bought this Hughes&Kettner Triamp MKII.

From the clips I heard and the demos I really liked it's sound; but now I ended up thinking it's just simply terrible after havin tried it for about 2 hours.

The cleans (1A) are really good, but all that has some distortion (from crunch to high gain) has just too much treble...I don't know how to explain it, it just sounds like the EQ are not balanced.
I mean, if I play the B and high E strings, it's just too...fizzy?

I tried to eq in diffrent ways, cutting down all the treble and the mids, setting all on 12 'o clock, turning presence up, turning it down...but I just don't like the sound I get any time I try to play high notes.

May it be that something has to be fixed?
Do I just have to turn the volume up? (so far I tried it at 1/4)
Do I have to invest more time in understanding the amp?
Am I expecting to much from it?

I'm very disappointed by the fact that I didn't get one decent sound out of a 3000 € amp (which is said to be a very good one) and that I'm using it as a power amp to run my pod hd500 throught it....

Any help is appreciated.

P.S: I also tought it may be my pickups...I've got a guitar with Seymour Duncan blackouts)


H&K amps in my experience are fairly bright. I saw Rush a number of years ago when Lifeson was using his Signature Triamp and I remember his tone being very bright.

Blackouts are also fairly bright pickups. Pull back the tone knob a bit.

What sort of speakers/cab are you using? It's probably the most important factor here. If you're using really bright speakers like v30s you may want to consider switching to something a little darker to tame the high end.

The fizzyness is fairly normal at low volumes. This happens with most amps, especially at quiet volumes. The louder you get the less you'll hear it. It's also fairly crucial that there's some fizz as it really helps you sit well in a mix.

As far as gear demos go I always find them to be a little deceiving. Youtube really compresses the audio which smooths things over and most amp demos are close mic'd which will only show you what the amp sounds like with a mic on it as opposed to what it will sound like in a room. Trust me when I tell you the difference is HUGE.

Don't pass judgement on it yet. Try a couple other cabs and use the tone knob on your guitar. But really you won't know how good the amp is until you play it loud with a band....
#6
Don't drop a heap of money on an amp you can not try or at least return to where you bought it.

I'm not an H&K fan. My buddy has a Tri-Amp and I'm with gumbi, there were only 1-2 sounds I liked out of that amp.
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#7
What speakers are you using?

I liked the triamp I tried, but I liked the lower gain channels more than the higher gain ones. And H&Ks (in my limited experience) are quite unique-sounding. it's entirely possible you just don't like it (though it's also entirely possible you're using unsuitable speakers or there's something wrong with it).
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#8
Quote by Dave_Mc
What speakers are you using?

I liked the triamp I tried, but I liked the lower gain channels more than the higher gain ones. And H&Ks (in my limited experience) are quite unique-sounding. it's entirely possible you just don't like it (though it's also entirely possible you're using unsuitable speakers or there's something wrong with it).

+311

I'm on my 3rd TriAmp MKII and it's my most-used amp after the inexpensive Bogner Alchemist for gigs. (The 1st 2 were sold to the Bar Mitzvah celebrants. ) It's a tweaker's amp, but very easy to dial, even with all the knobs, compared to say the Mesa Road King II or ENGL SE 670. I love it with Greenbacks or V30s. I use it from Country/Southern Rock to Grampa Rock and it'll do passable Metal (7 strings), very versatile.

Try playing with a more experienced electric guitarist who can help walk you through the amp and guitar knobs.
#9
What tubes are in it? With Groove Tubes my Rebel soundsa little boxy, yeah almost like the EQ is in the wrong plated. With long_plate JJs in there, it really sweetend up. I have long plate EHX tube and iit sounds a little more punchy than the JJ to my ears. Worse comes to worse, you can sell the amp and get something else.
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#10
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
What tubes are in it? With Groove Tubes my Rebel soundsa little boxy, yeah almost like the EQ is in the wrong plated. With long_plate JJs in there, it really sweetend up. I have long plate EHX tube and iit sounds a little more punchy than the JJ to my ears. Worse comes to worse, you can sell the amp and get something else.


Groove Tubes are relabels, aren't they? i think the code can ID with a code on the amp.
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#11
Quote by trashedlostfdup
Groove Tubes are relabels, aren't they? i think the code can ID with a code on the amp.

Yeah usually I think Chinese or Russian. Werent they bought out by Fender or something? Really just a money maker on putting cheap tubes in new amps I always figured. Then they sell you tubes you have to replace.

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Last edited by DeathByDestroyr at Jan 20, 2014,
#12
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
Yeah usually I think Chinese or Russian. Werent they bought out by Fender or something? Really just a money maker on putting cheap tubes in new amps I always figured. Then they sell you tubes you have to replace.

Shady.


+1

i am pretty sure fender owns them as well.

but i think they just use whatever with the tube is. i have switched in the same spot of an amp and a few were much different. there is a code or something on them that you may be able to find the maker.
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#13
OP, maybe you should check a H&K specific forums. maybe some setting suggestions or just other features or something
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#14
Thanks for the advices!

As for buying used, you are right, but the problem is I hadn't got enought cash to go in a store and buy new after trying out 5-10 amps; and I live too far from the seller, so I bought used (paid 1700 euros for head+cab).

As for the cabinet, I've got a 4x12 greenback loaded (it says G12M), this one:


The amp has been retubed just before being sold, and it's very well kept (it looks just like new even being 4 years old). But it may be something broke inside the amp during the transport.

The preamp tubes (? the small ones) are 5x "TAD ecc83 selected" and 1x "TAD 12AX7A-C selected"; and one I can't read the name on.

Ippon, could you share some of the settings you use? Did you have the same problem I seem to have at low volumes?

Anyway, I'll try it out at louder volumes as soon as possible!
#15
true- amps do sound different at low volumes. i was going to suggest a tube change, but your preamp tubes are fairly good. not sovtek 12ax7wa or some fizzy garbage tube that comes stock in a lot of amps.

i would say cut to 50 watts of power, and give special attention to the "prescence" knob. that can have a big effect sometimes. there is no reason that this amp cant sound good, especially since it basically has 6 different voicings. generally i find amps to be too muddy at low volumes, and i have to ADD treble. i think you are lucky in this regard.

i am assuming there is no issue with bass here. 100 watts through a 4x12, you probably have to cut bass in your home!

i would say back the treble down to noon or less, put mids up a bit, and play with the prescence knob. also, adjust the tone on your guitar.

remember - if you have a muddy rig that cant get brighter...you are stuck. you can always take away, you cant add beyond the limits.
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#16
Don't know about the "TAD ecc83" but going by that code my guess would be JJ ECC83S. Good tube.
The TAD 12AX7A-C will be a 7th gen Shuguang, they're cheap crap. Get rid of it.
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#17
I'm no expert, but aren't Greenbacks meant to be fairly bright?
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#18
^ My old Greenbacks have a very broad Mid range with pretty subdued top and low ends.

Quote by Michele_R
...

Ippon, could you share some of the settings you use? Did you have the same problem I seem to have at low volumes?

Anyway, I'll try it out at louder volumes as soon as possible!

I don't have the amp with me but as a rough guide for my most used channels:
1A: American clean even at full Gain (doesn't have MV like American vintage amps)
1B: British top end and high Mids. Use the Tight button to control any mushiness. (also, MV works here)
2A: '80s British Rock
2B: British dirt to fat, German version of the Plexi
3A: Beefy
3B: Huge, American-style high gain. Similar flavor to the 2 channel Rectos in carnage mode.

I use the Greenbacks for grampa Rock, the V30s for '80s rock, and K100s when I want to sound huge or downtune/play 7s.

Don't be too concerned about swapping the tubes. Mine are stock and have been fine and remember, there are 9 preamp tubes inside this beast.

I suspect H&Ks aren't as popular as Diezels and Peaveys because of poor Marketing and the German amp-type pricing. I had the ENGL SE 670, another versatile amp and a bit more expensive, but the TriAmp did it better for me. Just make sure not to look at where the knobs are; instead, dial to taste (like the Mesas). It's in the top 5 of my high gainers and 99% are high gain.
#19
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
I'm no expert, but aren't Greenbacks meant to be fairly bright?


i'd have said they were pretty warm and woody (in the mids as ippon said), but with some bite in the top end.

but ippon has tried them with the amp in question so he'll know way more than me.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#20
well since no one else has said anything. 2 hours is hardly enough time to make any real judgment calls. take some time to explore the settings and fine tune the tone you want. if after a couple of solid weeks (at least) of trying you're not happy then it may be a real issue.
#21
IIRC, I had to turn the presence and treble way down on the ones I've played. It EQs kinda similarly to an old Marshall in that regard.
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#22
Quote by monwobobbo
... 2 hours is hardly enough time to make any real judgment calls. take some time to explore the settings and fine tune the tone you want. if after a couple of solid weeks (at least) of trying you're not happy then it may be a real issue.

+311
Quote by mmolteratx
IIRC, I had to turn the presence and treble way down on the ones I've played. It EQs kinda similarly to an old Marshall in that regard.

The high ends are definitely there, easier to remove than add when needed.
#23
Thanks for the advices!

Today I tried to mess around a bit with settings and all, and I got something better than the last time I tried...just one more question, it it normal that I keep having basses around half way, and treble and mids way lower than 1/4 (even at "high" volumes)?

Except for 1A, which so far sounded good at any EQ setting.

Anyway, I'll definitely keep searching for my tone on the amp (I know it must be a beast of an amp once everything is well set), maybe one of these days I'll do my NAD topic

Thanks for all the advices!
#26
They can be a little bright. I usually keep the treble around half, or a little lower. I've never had any problems with it though. I use a Mesa Recto 2x12, and the thing is a beast. Always sounds full, with smooth highs. I get compliments from almost every sound guy I work with.

Here's a small video of one of my old bands, and the solo sounds nice and thick, with an EMG 81 even. I still had the stock tubes in this video, and the other guy is using a Switchblade. Always great tone, that cuts through the mix pleasantly. If it's not working for you, keep playing with it. It's my favorite amp I've ever played.

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#27
nice playing there
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#28
Thank you kindly. That was one of my for-fun, let's get trashed bands. Always a good time, even though we were raw a bit.
#29
You've really got a great tone! I like it a lot, it sounds really "balanced"!

What speakers do you have in the cab? Does it effect the tone (or frequencies) that much?
#30
The knobs are there to use. Don't be afraid to use them. If they're below 9 o'clock, so what? That's why they're there, to give you the range to use. Turn those bitches all the way off if you have to to get a tone you like.

As per 311.

Good luck.

I've never heard an H&K I have liked the sound of.

Have you swapped the preamp tubes yet? It's really important to do if you're not happy with your sound, to see what the amp "should" sound like at optimal tube life.
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#31
I have the Celestion V30's that came with the cabinet still in there. Speakers make a huge impact on tone, as well as the cabinet itself. I brought my head to the store and played it through a few cabs before I picked this one. I have a Red Bear 4x12 that I would play it through. It sounded good, but not as good as the Mesa with this amp. This amp is capable of getting nothing less than awesome tones. I know that Breaking Benjamin used Triamps and Duotones (they were from the same music scene I was, and I used their amps and developed my love for them). Fuel used Triamps on the first album. On the second and third albums they mixed them with Diezel. You can hear the darker sounds and pick which is which.

I've read of people who used JJ's in it, but said they didn't keep the bouncy feel of the amp. Others have said they used JJs and Mullards and they warmed the amp up nicely. I've no idea if they knew what they were talking about without some sort of samples. Here's a link though with a tubemeister, where you can hear the difference.

Tube swap

Keep in mind that while the amp is awesome, it may not be right for you. Some people just don't get along with some amps.