Hughes and Kettner Grandmeister 40 questions

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by MetalHex, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. MetalHex

    MetalHex SS.org Regular

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    I've been looking for a more versatile amp. I love that this one has the ability to switch between the built in effects/different channels. My main concern is playing live; I want as few things as possible such as cables, and different pedals and such. But I am pretty sure I want a tube amp (though i havent made up my mind yet, im just narrowing it down). All I need is a clean channel with maybe some delay/chorus, and a crushing lead channel boosted and gated.

    1. How is the high gain tone compared to other amps? What could you compare it to? All I have experience with is my 6505+, and my VK100w. Both with OD in front. I love these crushing gain tones. So how does it compare? I have looked at several videos on youtube, but thats youtube. I want to know from someone that has tried one or own/owned one.

    2. Why is it just 40w? Why not 50 or 100w? Can it hang with the other amps in a loud band practice/live show? (I also have a 100w boss katana combo and that can definitly hang....at least on the 100w setting I havent tried much on the 50w)

    Bonus question: do the majority of small bar type venues have a PA and mic up cabs anyways nowadays?. Because if they do, I may as well just gig with my katana combo and call it a day if they are going to mic it...

    For anyone wondering I will be using this with my 4x12 mesa cab.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  2. LeftOurEyes

    LeftOurEyes SS.org Regular

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    I have not played it, but I was looking at it for awhile and didn't see a lot of good things said about its distortion for metal. Supposedly it can do clean, crunch and rock well, but a lot of metal people said that they didn't like the character of the distortion.

    I would imagine they chose a smaller wattage as to not compete with their more expensive offerings too much, and because there is such a lunchbox craze on amps right now they probably figured more people would want them. I would imagine that 40w is plenty for the distortion, as far as clean headroom they said that that was something that they focused on and improved over the previous 36w version.

    Also amps don't run the actually wattage they state. Like a 50w amp might actually run at say like 42w at peak. So sometimes similar but smaller wattage amps can actually be louder than ones rated higher, so this 40w amp might be louder than one rated at 50w. Trying to determine an amps volume based on watts can be a little deceiving.

    A lot of venues do use PAs now days, but they are not always the best. If it is not a quality PA then you wouldn't probably want to use it for guitar. You would probably also have a hard time jamming with your band for practice unless you also have a good PA for that as well.

    Personally one of the things that made me stop wanting this amp is EL84 power tubes. I have not had a good experience with them for metal at least and at louder volumes. They get shrill and don't stay tight for most amps.

    Tiny cab btw lol. I assume you mean 4x12 mesa cab.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
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  3. MetalHex

    MetalHex SS.org Regular

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    Very helpful post thank you so much.

    Damn I was waiting for someone to say that they werent crazy about the metal tones to take the wind out of my sails. I only have experience with 6l6 tube sound so I really need to try one but I hardly see them in the wild 'round these parts. (Not that I was looking for them until now).

    Oh my...I didn't realize I typed 4x4. It's also good in the snow! Lmao
     
  4. LeftOurEyes

    LeftOurEyes SS.org Regular

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    Turns out that Mesa Boogie makes 4x4 quads now? who knew lol
     
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  5. LeftOurEyes

    LeftOurEyes SS.org Regular

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    I have been curious to try one still as well before I give full judgement. I am not a fan of EL84s but I also believe all of them I have played had 2 of them, this amp has 4. So I have wondered if that would help it not be so thin sounding at higher volumes.
     
  6. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    What's your budget?
     
  7. LeftOurEyes

    LeftOurEyes SS.org Regular

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    I know you want a minimalist type rig, but with an amp like this you'd still need the foot controller to use the amps settings, effects and switch channels. So personally I would just get a decent 50w amp and something like the Line6 HX effects using the 4CM. The only thing that would be different is having 4 cables instead of 1, but you could use color electrical tape on the cables and cable strap them together or just get a snake cable and it would only take you like 10 seconds longer to hook up, have no mess, and have better effects.

    Right now there are Randall Diavlo 45w amps on sale for $319.99 on Reverb. That with the Line 6 pedal you could get for about $850 to 900 new or less used. Just a suggestion.
    https://reverb.com/item/15458699-randall-rd45h-diavlo-guitar-head
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  8. MetalHex

    MetalHex SS.org Regular

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    hypothetically no more than like 12-$1500

    Right now i have a boss gt100 in the 4cm and theres just a rats nest of cables because of the lengths mainly. Even if i were to tidy it up with clips and bands, theres just too much that can go wrong, too many variables. If one cable shits out mid-show, I might cry and possibly poop my pants a little.

    I am aware that with the HandK I would need a foot controller. I wouldnt want to have anything more than that though. If i can save my presets then i could go from a clean chorus to brutal driven tube distortion with one click of a button, without 4cm. As I said this is just one of my options. I also like the invective but it doesnt look as cool and i would still need a seperate mfx pedal (which means more cables).

    Just wondering why did you suggest the Randall Diavlo? Is there something special about it? I honestly dont know anything about it i will have to research it.

    Is there something prohibting someone from changing out el84s and putting in 6l6's? Do they require different things to work properly?
     
  9. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    If you play an electric instrument, you run the risk of cables crapping out. Know how to troubleshoot and bring spares and you're fine.

    Get an amp you like the sound of, get some pedals that work, and set it up. Do you need a searing lead channel, or a pedal that does that?

    Also sounds like you want a 5153 100w.
     
  10. FILTHnFEAR

    FILTHnFEAR I too, know what it's like to lose...

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    With the Invective you'd still need an fx unit, yes, but the amp has midi and a couple power outlets on the back. Unless you're using fx in front of the amp you wouldn't need 4cm, so the fx unit could sit on top of the amp out of the way without a gaggle of chords.

    It's how I have my chorus and delay pedals in the 1st loop now and how I'll do it when I get a multi fx. Imo the amp can get plenty tight enough without a boost so all I have on the floor is my tuner and the amps footswitch with my Decimator and Boss eq in the 2nd loop for the gain channels.

    Works perfect for me so far. At least until I have to learn how to program midi with a multi fx and amp. Haha
     
  11. MetalHex

    MetalHex SS.org Regular

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    If my calculations are correct, with the setup you describe, it requires one cable to the tuner, one to the pedalboard, one to the mfx unit, one to the amp. Thats still 4 cables.

    In a perfect world, i should have one cable to the pedalboard, and one cable to the amp. On that pedalboard would have midi, channel switching, and if it didnt have a tuner with true bypass built in, then i would just use a snark clip on. The amp would have boost/gate/some fx built in so i can switch from one setting to the next with the pedalboard. All of this with 2 cables.

    I think what i just described was a powered kemper lol. Its not a tube amp but checks all the other boxes. If im going to go amp modeller route i would rather go with a powered kemper because with a helix or something i would have to get a seperate power amp.

    But thats why the grandmeister 40 sounds better so far...because i can do all of that with a pedalboard. Except the h&k pedalboard doesnt have a tuner does it? Shit!

    But what i also really want to know is can the h&k lead gain channel hang with a 6505?

    Also can the el84 tubes simply be swapped out with 6l6 tubes or is it not that simple?
     
  12. LeftOurEyes

    LeftOurEyes SS.org Regular

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    No the lead gain cannot hang with a 6505, but it might be good enough, you'd need to try one to see.

    And no you can't just change the tubes. Most amps that are not designed for multiple tubes need at least a new transformer, maybe tube adapters depending on what you're swapping to. I'm sure it could probably be modded but the cost wouldn't be worth it.
     
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  13. slmadsen

    slmadsen SS.org Regular

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    Both me and my coguitarist in Prevail used them. Here's a full concert from 2017 shot with a GoPro.

    I think that the GM40d and easily hang with a 6505 in terms of amounts of gain, but maybe not as crushing as a 6505. It does have a slightly fizzy distortion, but that's the character of HK amps in general, I've heard.

    On my board, I went from the guitar to a tuner, then a Phase 90 (that I later removed) to a Morley Tremonti wah, then to the amp. My midiboard was a Peak FCB4N, so I had one audio cable and one midi cable from the board to the amp. If you make two snakes with that configuration, I'd say you're good to go. For what it's worth, I gigged the amp for two years without cable fails.
     
  14. LeftOurEyes

    LeftOurEyes SS.org Regular

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    If you just had to have this amp because of the features then there is always the option of modding it. Buy it online from a retailer that you can return it if you do not like it. Try it out for awhile and see if you like it. If it is close to what you want but not quite there then get it modded, and if not send it back. You can usually get 15% off musiciansfriend if you talk to them.

    http://www.krusekontrol.com/hugheskettner_mods/grandmeister_3640_mods
     
  15. FILTHnFEAR

    FILTHnFEAR I too, know what it's like to lose...

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    My setup is...guitar>tuner>amp>fx loop send>pedals>fx return. 2 cables in front of the amp, and the other much shorter cables all in and out of the back of the amp.

    I went round and round for the most simple solution and this was it. If you're using lots of fx, some in front and some in the loop I don't think you can avoid 4cm.

    Perhaps someone else can chime in here:

    l've never used a midi capable fx unit before so I'm not sure if I'll have to use 4cm though with something like the Boss DD500. Or if it's just fx loop send>DD500>fx return with the midi cables in place. Do I have to plug in a guitar cable to the unit and go 4cm or can I use an fx unit like I'm using the individual pedals?

    Can anyone confirm that either way?

    Also OP, the hi gain on the H&K is not going to be as aggressive or have the thump that a 6505 has. I own an H&K Tube 100 and have played the Trilogy and Triamp as well. There is plenty of gain on tap, but it's a much smoother, more refined hi gain than a 6505.
     
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  16. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    If you want to use an effects loop of an amp, you're no longer looking at a 2 cable setup. Period.

    If you want guitar-box-amp, you're looking at a helix, AX8, kemper or axe fx into a power amp/cab or powered speaker.
     
  17. MetalHex

    MetalHex SS.org Regular

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    I know its just that either of those setups are going to be $2000 or more. The grandmeister 40 i can get for less than or at $1000 plus whatever for the controller.
     
  18. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    And which will probably nail the tones you want?
     
  19. MetalHex

    MetalHex SS.org Regular

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    Probably peavey because ll i have experience with are peavy amps. But who knows maybe another amp I will like too. Ive never played any other amps
     
  20. FrznTek

    FrznTek SS.org Regular

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    Ola does a pretty good job of showing it off.
    also this.....
    there are other good vids out there as well.
    (Ryan Bruce also just did a demo of the Black Spirit 200)
     
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