Switchblade 50 review by Hughes & Kettner

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.9 (8 votes)
Hughes & Kettner: Switchblade 50

Price paid: £ 400

Purchased from: E-Bay

Sound — 10
If you love tube sound but wish you had the effects of a tranny amp and the storage functions of your effects unit this this is for you. I play lots of music and teach guitar and this does it all well. I use it with my 1976 Strat and my PRS and through my gt-8 (for effects only). It has a great sound both clean and with various levels of distortion.There is a small amount of distortion on the clean channel at high volumes but it a nice warm sound throughout. If you want brutal thrash it can do it easily and the tubes warmed up are awesome.

Overall Impression — 10
I play rock, metal, blues, prog rock, and acoustic rock and this suits all styles. better cranked up but very good clean and low too. Biggest problem is getting the volume low so I have a volume thingy in the effects loop so I can practice at reasonable volumes. I love this amp and the sound it produces. Excellent just get one now...

Reliability & Durability — 8
Pretty strong looking but my only worry is the midi pedal breaking mid gig as that is the only way to access the presets. The rest is of a strong construction and seems very reliable so far. Bought second hand but so far all has been fine. I know it will need a new set of valves at some point but at the moment they sound great so no need at the moment.

Features — 10
This is a 50 Watt combo with inbuilt effect all controlled from an included midi controller. Think the cost about 900 new The effects are limited but very good in function. This is a valve Amp with digital effects and the mix of both is controlled by the msisi footswict and can store 128 presets.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Tyler Durden
    H&K make awesome amps across the board - I tested one of these before and it can do pretty much anything
    Flying Couch
    I've heard these have some heating issues. I don't care, it's still on my shopping list.
    Divine Crusade
    I haven't really look at Hughes and Kettner for their amps, but more so their footswitches and effects and such. Nevertheless, a solid amp with some nice features.
    I have the head+cab, very versatile indeed. It sounds like a hotrodded Marshall on higher gain, I'm more of a Mesa guy though so I'll be looking into a tube swap... the programmability and four channels are ace though.
    Tip for the reviewer: Lower the channel volume to a minimum so you can turn up the master volume and drive the tubes harder.
    having the channel volume low and master volume as main also lower buzz and hum which this amp model is famous for.