Price paid: € 230
Purchased from: Feedback Utrecht
Sound — 8
The clean channel is definitely the reason why I bought this amp. It starts to break up around 12 o'clock and can even get rather crunchy when you push the volume past 2/3 o'clock. I play a modded MIM 2009 Telecaster, usually paired up with a RAT distortion or a Boss SD-1 overdrive. The combined result is amazing: the clean tones are creamy and full or vintage/funky, depending on what EQ settings you are using. When the pedals kick in, this amp makes the guitar scream while still keeping that familiar Tele snap-sound intact. The lead channel on the other hand is far from amazing. It produces a very muddy sound at lower gain levels, and turning the gain knob past 11 o'clock already results in an unclear tone, making chord work close to impossible. I usually completely refrain from using it, preferring stompboxes instead. Needless to say, you'd need godly powers to get proper brutal distortion from this amp. The reverb is of decent quality, although it's barely audible with a distorted tone. You would need an additional reverb pedal when you're seeking church-esque echoes, but it does add a nice touch to the clean tone and certainly does the job for me. If it weren't for the lead channel I would rate the sound a 9 or possibly a 10, but I'm dropping the rating to an eight with a six for the lead channel.
Overall Impression — 9
The country of origin might raise suspicion amongst some of you, but let me assure you that the quality does not justify any bias. There is a good chance that I would buy this amp again if it were stolen, although I would possibly buy a tube amp instead. The clean channel is magnificent and remains the best feature of this amp. At the time I bought it I compared it to a Vox VT50 and a Roland Cube 30X, but the clean tone of the Hughes&Kettner was enough to convince me. If you ever spot it in a store, be sure to try it out: you'll be surprised by its sound quality given that it's fully solid state; I definitely was.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I've owned this amp for little over a year now, and I've noticed several slight issues during this time. My main complaint is that the lead channel once popped loudly and has been producing a soft high-pitched hissing noise ever since, but seeing that I rarely use it I can't say I'm too fussed about it (and it probably was my own fault). Another minor issue is that the mirror control plate on the top of the amp attracts a lot of dust, but it's nothing regular cleaning can't handle. I've used this amp for an outdoors theatre show. It stood there for a couple of hours in the damp afternoon air, yet it still works perfectly. On a side note: I once accidentally spilled a tiny bit of sand over the control knobs, and nothing at all was wrong with them. All in all, this amp is built like a fortress and can withstand quite a bit of abuse.
Features — 9
This amp was made in China back in 2007. It weighs 13kg / 29lbs, is 60W and completely solid state. I play a variety of styles, ranging from classic rock to blues to punk, but I should say that I generally use the clean channel. The amp features two channels: a clean and a lead channel. Other features include: - Digital reverb (adjusts automatically when one switches between clean and lead channel - more for clean, less for lead), - 12" RockDriver Blue Speaker, - Bass, mid and treble controls, - One master volume plus individual volume knob for the lead channel, - Line in and out (for effects loop or PA system), - Footswitch to Switch between lead and clean, - Headphones jack, - A CD/tape input jack at the back. The effects loop is brilliant. I run a Boss Roland Space Echo RE50 through it and it works perfectly. It goes without saying that using any amp with headphones usually lays siege to your tone: the same goes for this amp. I use this amp in my bedroom and also for the occasional gig; it is loud enough for small-sized venues against a drummer and bass guitar, but I would recommend micing it up since the cleans break up at higher volumes.