Attax 100 review by Hughes & Kettner

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (15 votes)
Hughes & Kettner: Attax 100
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Price paid: € 449.99

Purchased from: local music store

Sound — 8
I mostly use two guitars: A SSS Strat-copy another with EMG X-series humbuckers. Clean: with sc's it sounds very open and dynamic, playing wit the eq's you can get a very warm 3dimensinal sound. With the EMGs it sounds way more compressed but still organic (X-series). I like this chan best with a little chorus and delay. Stays clean till max Vol. 10/10 Chrunch: wow. I really was surprised about this one. Never heard a more authentic crunch on an solid state. It's not a plexi but for this price it beats a few mid-class tube amps, which aren't made for chrunch. I don't use any built-in fx in this chan. 9/10 Lead: also good but in my view the weakest chan. It has enough punch to cut through the mix. With sc's you should cranck gain a little more as with humbuckers. Stays defined. 7/10 Ultra: very good distortion (for me absolutely enough, with sc's I'll turn it up to half) remaines defined. Less mids than lead. 9/10 The in every Drive chan (crunch, lead, ultra) the amp reacts very well to the volume pot, so you can play the ultra chan absolutely clean. The built in (digtal)effects can be set individual per chan: chorus: Really nice chorus sound, especially while using the clean channel. 9/10 flanger: Also a good flanger. I personally like it best in the lead chan. 8.5/10 tremolo: A weak point? I don't use it often, have heard better. 6/10 delay: It's better than most pedals I've used, you can set from 80ms to 1.4s an there is an other knob for intensity. 10/10 reverb: In my view a good reverb, but you can hear that it's digital. 6/10 It's solid state so it sounds also good on low volumes. The EQ is very sensitive. So all in all it's a 8.3 (and in comparison to real big all-tube amps I've used 8 is OK). In my fx-loop I use an EHX Tube Eq which really improves the sound. (to a 9 or 9.somewhat).

Overall Impression — 10
I play nearly everything and this amp suits it. It's just the tone I like, not a famous sound, but my sound and that's what the attax delivers. At gigs it's just miked and I don't have to carry a 412cab. It sounds good when used at home playing. In this price range I haven't found a better on yet. If the sound seems to thin it helps to put it on a higher place (or use an extension cabinet). So for me a perfect ten.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Definitely dependable amp, no tubes to break, no servicing. The footswitch is really sturdy, cable is long enough (if you step on it it doesn't make a sound). I would definetely gig with it. The backplate is ~16mm and so the rest is. So far so good from what I've seen (I didn't open it). No problems so far, made in Germany, definetely better than Matrix.

Features — 9
The new attax series, this on made 2009 - 100w solid state - 4 channel (clean, crunch, lead, ultra) - Channel FX Memory - 4-way footswitch - digital effects section (reverb, delay, mod-fx - closed back combo - serial fx-loop - Headphones input - line in/out - 12'' Celestion Rockdriver Ultra2 - external speaker input (8ohms) - works with piezos The only downside is, that crunch, lead and ultra are sharing their eq-section

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    scorpio2billion
    bastardsodecent wrote: Why would you buy a 100 watt amp if it isn't a tube amp? It seems stupid to me. I hardly feel that, as it isn't a tube amp, that it deserves such a rating- the sound would suck on a high volume, and the initial tone would be masked by all the built in effects.
    Because we don't all treat our gear like diamond ponies, and we don't all want to sound like everyone else. That the only good tone comes from tube amps is marketing baloney of the highest order.
    danielsyte
    Why buying a tube amp to get it overdriven by a solid state pedal like TS9? Solid state amps that are made with quality sound really good, maybe different from some tube amps, and they are not so cheap as one may think. Crap like 10-20W ss amp sound bad, what you'd expect from a 50 amp? For sure they sound bad on high volumes, they always sound bad! For that price (450 ) you can choose for a cheap tube amp, or a great solid state (H&K, Bluemusic, ...) with a great sound on both clean and crunch. Maybe it's not the same as a high-class tube amp, but in my opinion below 1.000 you can't find many tube amps that can sound as good as this one.
    Linkerman
    This is one of the best cheap solid state amps out there, along with the Hiwatt Maxwatt. And the reverb on this amp is not digital sounding at all, while the flanger is pretty mediocre, imo. The tremolo effect is not also as bad as the reviewer describes. For example, you can easily nail that tremolo sound on the end of the song "Rumble" by Link Wray. Somehow, even though the reviewer praised the amp, i feel that this review doesn't make this amp justice. It's strange.
    Grimpond
    its this kind of ignorance and narrow minded nonsense that everyone here seems to share that makes me come here very rarely
    The^Unforgiven
    bastardsodecent wrote: Why would you buy a 100 watt amp if it isn't a tube amp? It seems stupid to me. I hardly feel that, as it isn't a tube amp, that it deserves such a rating- the sound would suck on a high volume, and the initial tone would be masked by all the built in effects.
    Wouldn't really bet my balls on it, but still, it's sort of true - I've had the problem of bad tone on higher volumes on quite many SS amps, while the number of tube amps that do that is quite small. But I've heard a couple of really good SS amps that sound really good when pumped really loud!
    mr pinch
    have to say that the h & k's are the only solid state amp's i have ever liked the distortion on. good cleans too but lack the dynamic range of valves for gigs.
    jjspill16
    I sold an evh3 head after I got the attax head, and far preferred it over the fender, surprisingly
    Guitar Sushi
    I agree with Mr Pinch. Hughes and Kettner also for me have the only "good" distortion I've ever heard on a solid state.
    acrocephalus
    Does it sound good at low volumes? I need a good SS for home practicing but also to play on small-mid venues. I don't really care about the effects, as i use an external processor.
    andy.T
    SS state amps like the H&K Attax 100 sound good at low volumes. Tube amps are more muffled in sound when you play it at home and when it`s begin to sound great your neighbour knock the door. The latest Attax 100 is over 3 years old. Is this amp at time one of the best SS amps or is there another newer amp from other companies with the same features? I am thinking to buy the Attax 100 bec the clean and the crunch is very nice in both situations at home and on small gigs. So I will trade my H&K Statesman EL 34 Head bec its sounds great but it is impossible to get a real good tone by home and practise at low volume. Had someone here play the H&K Attax 100 many times at gigs and can give some information about this? The german guitar players here by me only accept tube amps but I think this is in my opinion out of time..
    jjspill16
    @Andy.t I have an attax 100, however the head, not the combo, but similar. Played it for two years, sharing stages with the likes of skid row, the treatment, those kinda size shows. Have to say for me, sounded great, even pushed. Records really well too. Solid, well made, think it's fantastic. The reason I have it for sale now? Have a blackstar endorsement and a series 1 200w, so.... Space and I won't use it again I don't think.
    IYanoplathizoI
    Why would you buy a 100 watt amp if it isn't a tube amp? It seems stupid to me. I hardly feel that, as it isn't a tube amp, that it deserves such a rating- the sound would suck on a high volume, and the initial tone would be masked by all the built in effects.
    Tubes give a 'smoother' 'warmer' sound: if that is how you wish to describe it. Some people prefer a 'clipped' sound, offered by SS. opinions ya see?
    bastardsodecent
    Why would you buy a 100 watt amp if it isn't a tube amp? It seems stupid to me. I hardly feel that, as it isn't a tube amp, that it deserves such a rating- the sound would suck on a high volume, and the initial tone would be masked by all the built in effects.