Page 1 of 2
#1
I've owned a Tubemeister 18 head and 1x12 cab for just over a year and I've never managed to settle into it, my ears find the tone brittle and harsh while my fingers never really feel connected to the sound, like I'm fighting the strings.

My previous amp was a Blackstar HT-5 mini stack, it had a couple of decent heavy tones in it but I wanted more versatility, the TM18 covers way more tonal ground but I quickly start hating whatever sound I have dialled in.

I'm not really up for re-tubing the amp, I've listened to enough clips to know that the underlying character is still there and yet quite a few people love these amps.

Has anyone else had a TM18 and decided to move on due to the brittle and unsquishy nature of it's sound and did you find something that satisfied you more?
#2
I tried a tubemeister 18!
And it did sound bad to me.
Like, pretty bad.

If you want versatility for that money you could just get a vypyr tube 60 y' know...
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#3
Every H&K I've ever heard has led me to think that they focused more time on pretty lights than on actually making a good sounding amp. I am not a fan.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#4
H&K are known for having a hi-fi quality. That's probably what you're hearing. They don't sound like what most people want from an amp.
#5
I think it would be worth re-tubing it. And a speaker swap may help, do you know what's in the 1x12?
#6
Quote by Spambot_2
I tried a tubemeister 18!
And it did sound bad to me.
Like, pretty bad.

If you want versatility for that money you could just get a vypyr tube 60 y' know...


I'd love to get a bigger amp, I know it'd probably solve a lot of my tonal anxieties but I'm not gigging (yet) and my house (and neighbours) just can't take the sound pressure
#7
^ hell of a luck they invented the volume control, isn't it!?

Seriously, bigger amps don't sound worse at the same volume of bigger amps, the problem is with big speakers that require a certain amount of energy to be moved and to push air around.
Smaller speakers suffer less from this because they are smaller, but that makes them less bassy, so the way to solve that without raising the volume would be getting a line array of small speakers.

You probably don't wanna do that though...
So, anyway, just get something that sounds good, 'cause it's not gonna sound bad if you turn the volume knob counterclockwise.
The vypyr tube's in particular have all sorts of gimmicks to sound like they're cranked even at low volumes, so that's even less of a problem there.

They are cheap and they are versatile - I'd try one at least.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#8
Quote by 7thString
I think it would be worth re-tubing it. And a speaker swap may help, do you know what's in the 1x12?


I might consider a tube swap but I've listened to a few recordings and the difference is subtle...to be honest these amps sound pretty good in recordings, I can still hear the stuff I don't like but it's way better than the room sound.

The cab has a Celestion V30 in it, I've tried an Orange TT through it and hated it, also tried an OR-15 which was nice but it had a faulty knob, after returning it I never got around to buying another.
#9
I was out off the tubemeisters when I was looking for a new amp last year. Apparently they are hybrids with an op amp somewhere in the signal path. I was looking for a pure valve amp, so plumped for an egnater tweaker 15.

Perhaps it is that op amp that is responsible. Sorry I have nothing more constructive to add.
#10
Yeah I've heard quite a bit about about the op amp, I could believe it contributes to the brittle sound but ultimately I think H&K want it to sound this way. Plenty of guitar effects use solid state without turning the signal into hard edged fuzz.

The tweaker looks sweet but I don't think I'll be able to get my hands on one very easily in the UK, same goes for the Peavey mentioned by Spambot, I'm thinking I might just give up on chasing "the sound" and settle on a nice little combo for the time being.
#11
I'm in the UK. Chesterfield in Derbyshire. GuitarGuitar.com sell them in their stores or online. I tried one out their Epsom store and the mrs bought it for me online for a Christmas present in December.

Easy to get.
#12
wow, i am surprised by the comments on H&K here. usually people really talk up their products, but tbh i never really liked the H&K sound either. my friend had a triamp and everyone talked about how great they were but i just never dug on it.

imo, the brittle tone is pretty much the hallmark of H&K high gain tone.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#13
Yeah I remember the Tri-Amp I tried was pretty harsh as well. I think Offworld hit it on the head: more bells and whistles, less tone.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#14
Man, I wonder what amps you guys are trying lol.... I think H&K amps have great tone. I have a TM 18, TM36, Switchblade 100 head, Switchblade 50 combo, a Triamp MKII, and had a Duotone.

The Switchblade combo is kind of thin, and the head is a little thicker. Other than that, they all sound fantastic. A very warm tone, that's clean and uncompressed. They do nothing to hide your mistakes, but reward good playing with world class tones. They sound fantastic, and I've gotten compliments on my tone far more than ever using my old Peavey Ultra and Mesa Single Rec.

I run them through a Red Bear 4x12, Mesa oversized 4x12, and a Mesa oversized 2x12. You may have to find the right speakers, as every great amp can be ruined by a cabinet that's not right for it. JJ tubes make a difference as well.

The tone may not be your taste (I don't like Diezel), but it's not bad. As I said I think they sound fantastic...so did Fuel (the first three albums are loaded with Triamp tones), Breaking Benjamin (Duotone and Triamps), 3 Days Grace (Triamps), Stone Sour (Triamp), Rush (Triamp, Zentera, Switchblades), 3 Doors Down, etc.....

2 videos from bands I've been in, and I don't think the tone is weak or thin at all.

Mr Crowley

Rosanna
#15
I agree, H&K amps are pretty meh sounding. The Switchblade was horrid, there was a guy in GC that was trying to sell me on one 6-7 yrs ago and I'd rather play a L6 Spider any day. The Tri- Amp was OK (had a tendency to be harsh/icepicky), but for the price it should be great. The TM5/18 were pretty bad IMO, just a fizzy/fuzzy mess
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#16
Quote by Robbgnarly
I agree, H&K amps are pretty meh sounding. The Switchblade was horrid, there was a guy in GC that was trying to sell me on one 6-7 yrs ago and I'd rather play a L6 Spider any day. The Tri- Amp was OK (had a tendency to be harsh/icepicky), but for the price it should be great. The TM5/18 were pretty bad IMO, just a fizzy/fuzzy mess

Dang! So much harshness about H&K ... I have a TriAmp MK II (my go to), a Duotone, a Coreblade, and a Switchblade 100 212 combo, all very nice to me. I'm not sure if people have actually used them or are just regurgitating stuff here.

I'm waiting for a nicely-priced TubeMeister 36.
#17
Quote by Ippon
Dang! So much harshness about H&K ... I have a TriAmp MK II (my go to), a Duotone, a Coreblade, and a Switchblade 100 212 combo, all very nice to me. I'm not sure if people have actually used them or are just regurgitating stuff here.

I'm waiting for a nicely-priced TubeMeister 36.

I only have experience with the Switchblade, Tri-Amp and Tube Meister 5/18. I have no experience with any of the others .

But they were not my thing
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#18
Quote by Robbgnarly
I only have experience with the Switchblade, Tri-Amp and Tube Meister 5/18. I have no experience with any of the others .

But they were not my thing

That's fair, just as ENGLs aren't for me. I just question what some noobs here mean by thin, harsh, sterile after just listening to clips or playing with one for a day or two.
#19
i really liked the triamp i tried. also the duotone. hated the switchblade. edition tube (which is hybrid ) was not bad.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#20
Quote by Ippon
That's fair, just as ENGLs aren't for me. I just question what some noobs here mean by thin, harsh, sterile after just listening to clips or playing with one for a day or two.

To be honest, I used to hate Marshall amps/tone, I used American voiced amps only. Now every single one of my amps are Marshall or Marshall based

And I am beginning to stop having GAS for Mesa (except the Mark IV).
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#21
Quote by Offworld92
Every H&K I've ever heard has led me to think that they focused more time on pretty lights than on actually making a good sounding amp. I am not a fan.


This.
Just another Sheep in the design of the Almighty Machine.


-GEAR-
Gibson 60s Les Paul Tribute (Sunburst)
1999 Ibanez RG470 (TitaniumIce-MIJ)
Jackson RR3 (Trans-Red)
Peavey 6505+
Podx3
#22
Get a 20 watt Jet City JCA22H. You should be able to find one in the 200-300 range.

It will crap all over the Tubemeister and has a ton of mods that can be done to fit your needs.

It's beyond loud and with an OD pedal will get some very heavy tones. But keep in mind there's only crunch/OD channel so don't expect lot's of cleans.

I'm currently swapping tubes around in mine and it's crazy how much it changes the tone.

Next i'm moving on to some actual mods like the SLO/Predator/Depth/Brown there are quite a few depending on what you like
#23
From what I could get from another discussion with tube guys it seems like the 18 is not a real tube amp, the tubes are more of an enhancement. I asked HK for verification but they refused to dish up the diagram which leads me to believe that they are indeed selling a solid state amp with some minor tone enhancements provided by tubes, something more like the Line 6 tube modeling amp than real tube amp.

I own HK Tubemaster II which has done real well through the years so I do like the sound of that for whatever it is worth.
#24
Quote by diabolical
From what I could get from another discussion with tube guys it seems like the 18 is not a real tube amp, the tubes are more of an enhancement. I asked HK for verification but they refused to dish up the diagram which leads me to believe that they are indeed selling a solid state amp with some minor tone enhancements provided by tubes, something more like the Line 6 tube modeling amp than real tube amp.

I own HK Tubemaster II which has done real well through the years so I do like the sound of that for whatever it is worth.

no at least the L6 is a real tube amp that does modeling, the H&K TM is a straight hybrid
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#25
Quote by Robbgnarly
no at least the L6 is a real tube amp that does modeling, the H&K TM is a straight hybrid

The Bogner Alchemist kills the Line 6 (which isn't hard) that I had for a week. I still have the Alchemist, since it came out.

Also, a Brasilian friend who does Sepultura covers sounds really nice through his Switchblade or TriAmp MK II. Granted, Andreas Kisser's tone is pretty unique.

#26
Quote by Robbgnarly
no at least the L6 is a real tube amp that does modeling, the H&K TM is a straight hybrid


Exactly how is the Line 6 a real tube amp? It feeds a modeling signal (the equivalent of a PodXT I believe) into a tube amp as a phase inverter, then adds one tube to warm the sound up...maybe??? The distortion comes from the digital modeling. The tube is truly an enhancement here.

The Tubemeister 5, 18, and Switchblades add the OpAmp before the tubes. A few other amp makers do the same. It's supposed to hit the tubes harder and drive the gain a little harder, but not getting it's entire distortion signal from something like the L6 amp modelling unit. There's still solid state in the signal, but much different from the Spider Valve

Funny half of the guys who complain it's not true tube hit their amps with a boost pedal, which is essentially the same thing. If the sound of the amp works for you, good. If not, move on. I don't care for Mesa stuff, PRS stuff, Gibson stuff, and a few others. I give them credit for what they are, but they do nothing for me.

I had a Spider Valve, and I frequently sit in with a friend who has one. There is a large difference in the quality of the Tubemeister and Switchblade tone and the Spider Valve to me. It's not nearly as organic, as warm, or as natural.
#27
i tried a 18W model, for a little while, but i left feeling a bit lukewarm. HOWEVER i have heard good tone out of them.

its a personal taste thing (as all around here).

but rob put it best with "But they were not my thing"

i agree with rob personally.

also the market is rough as far as competition goes for those price points.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#28
I should probably say that I do sometimes like the TM18, it's not pure hatred. It's insanely versatile as a practice amp, some of the clean sounds I can get with a delay/mod pedal are gorgeous and some of the heavy sounds are like god's chainsaw, it's just I get bored of the sound really quickly.

When I tried the OR-15 I could instantly feel the difference, I can only describe it as more lively/bouncy, more "give" when I dig in with the pick, it's just generally more interesting to me. It wasn't good at cleans though, I think that was the deciding factor...still tempted to get another one though.
#29
Quote by bish0p3473
Exactly how is the Line 6 a real tube amp? It feeds a modeling signal (the equivalent of a PodXT I believe) into a tube amp as a phase inverter, then adds one tube to warm the sound up...maybe??? The distortion comes from the digital modeling. The tube is truly an enhancement here.

The Tubemeister 5, 18, and Switchblades add the OpAmp before the tubes. A few other amp makers do the same. It's supposed to hit the tubes harder and drive the gain a little harder, but not getting it's entire distortion signal from something like the L6 amp modelling unit. There's still solid state in the signal, but much different from the Spider Valve

Funny half of the guys who complain it's not true tube hit their amps with a boost pedal, which is essentially the same thing. If the sound of the amp works for you, good. If not, move on. I don't care for Mesa stuff, PRS stuff, Gibson stuff, and a few others. I give them credit for what they are, but they do nothing for me.

I had a Spider Valve, and I frequently sit in with a friend who has one. There is a large difference in the quality of the Tubemeister and Switchblade tone and the Spider Valve to me. It's not nearly as organic, as warm, or as natural.

The L6 has 1 preamp tube and a all tube powersection. I would lean to the hybrid side (I had a SV HD100) myself. But I was referring to the DT sorry about the confusion

The difference between pushing the front of an amp with a boost and having op-amps in the signal chain is you can remove the boost, you can not remove the op-amp/clippers with out doing internal mods

Hey different strokes...
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#31
Quote by bish0p3473

Funny half of the guys who complain it's not true tube hit their amps with a boost pedal, which is essentially the same thing. If the sound of the amp works for you, good. If not, move on. I don't care for Mesa stuff, PRS stuff, Gibson stuff, and a few others. I give them credit for what they are, but they do nothing for me.


It is- if that's exactly what's happening in the tubemeister (though I'd also say that with a pedal you have the option of turning it off, and/or picking and choosing to find the one you like best).

But H&K haven't released a schematic. And certainly some of their other amps whose schematics I've seen would suggest there's more SS stuff than that going on.

I know it's not fair to compare different companies, but Blackstar for example swore blind that the tubes in the HT5 were doing all the heavy lifting and then reverse-engineered (and real) schematics started appearing.

I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#32
I would like to try a 36 though could as well as the triamp. I may like them better. I am not damning the brand. From one amp. But the tm 18 wasn't for me.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#33
I've wanted a Switchblade for quite some time, I think it does really well for aggressive metal tones with a thick guitar like ESP/Les Paul.

I believe I was referring to one of the smaller Tonemeisters, one of the amps that did 4 channels or so on 2 preamp tubes and something seemed fishy, I think the 5 watter??? Some time has passed and granps can't quite remember which one.
Last edited by diabolical at May 17, 2014,
#34
Quote by trashedlostfdup
I would like to try a 36 though could as well as the triamp. I may like them better. I am not damning the brand. From one amp. But the tm 18 wasn't for me.


Oh yeah, I mean the H&Ks I have liked I liked a lot.

But I'm not going to take their word for it that their TM amps either are all-tube (which was the original claim by H&K, far as I'm aware, apparently that's not true now which i suspected from the start ) or that if they're not that they're "tube in the important places". As I said, they have form with them being pretty much hybrids.

http://www.freeinfosociety.com/electronics/schemview.php?id=2288

At very least that one seems to have an op-amp as the first stage your guitar signal hits. It has a bunch of diodes and FETs there too, but what they're actually doing is kind of beyond me.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#35
I've got a H&K Statesman Dual EL84 112 combo, which I guess is similar to the Tubemeister 15 with a couple of add-ons.

It is certainly a very bright amp, but it is a question of horses for courses. I'm looking for clean sounds with acoustic guitar-like overtones and it works fine for that. Before that I had a Peavey Classic 30 and a early model Blues Deluxe. Neither of them did it for me because they were too warm sounding with the kind of pickups I like and wouldn't yield that tonal complexity I was looking for.

What works for me because it gives a complex thick sound is to set the (H&K) amp bright (bass 5, mid 4, treble 6 or thereabouts) and wind most of the treble off at the guitar. This seems to work with just about any kind of pickup from SC strat to P100s (these ain't easy to get sounding good), with a lot of latitude for altering the tone at the guitar. It also has the advantage of eliminating most of the rf noise. The only problem I have with it is that the T-Rex Reverb makes strange warbling noises in my music room if it is last in the chain, so I have to put a buffer between it and the amp.
#37
^i usually like orange products quite a bit, but i was very underwhelmed with the OR15 i tried. i was so underwhelmed i am suspecting there might have been something wrong with it.

love my OR50H though

Quote by Ippon
Dang! So much harshness about H&K ... I have a TriAmp MK II (my go to), a Duotone, a Coreblade, and a Switchblade 100 212 combo, all very nice to me. I'm not sure if people have actually used them or are just regurgitating stuff here.


i am a bit surprised too, usually they get nothing but good press on this forum. my personal opinion of the triamp was way in the minority.

while i never liked the triamp myself i must concede that it still is a good amp, just not my personal preference.

i have not tried another H&K either, the triamp is the only one i have played.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at May 18, 2014,
#38
Well I ended up buying an OR15 today, spent a few hours with it and I'm sure I made the right choice. It might not do crazy shimmering cleans like the TM18 but it's just so much more satisfying in general, TM18 is going on ebay pretty soon.
#39
Quote by WDeranged
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEFzcEkKRfc

Having experienced both amps, this video is a pretty good example. The TM18 sounds OK at first but after a few bars you can hear the lack of definition and not so lively sound.


Having the TM18, I didn't think this video was a totally accurate representation of my experiences. I don't think the cab used here was the best fit for the TM. Cabs and speakers make a huge impact. The Mesa cabs I use don't lack definition like the guy in this video got with the Orange. YMMV.
#40
Quote by bish0p3473
Having the TM18, I didn't think this video was a totally accurate representation of my experiences. I don't think the cab used here was the best fit for the TM. Cabs and speakers make a huge impact. The Mesa cabs I use don't lack definition like the guy in this video got with the Orange. YMMV.


I'd agree that I could tweak a better sound from the TM18 than he got in the video but I can say for sure that dialling in a good sound on the OR15 is easier. In fact, randomly sweeping the OR15's tone controls will always give me a sound I can use in one way or another.

Even so it's a matter of taste, I can get some truly evil sounding distortions from the TM18 but they fatigue me whereas the OR15 just sounds like the songs I love
Page 1 of 2