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Hughes Kettner 20th Anniversary Edition Tube Combo

Single 12 inch speaker EL84 powered 20 watt combo amplifier with effects loop

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Powerfull light combo amp that pushes lots of air featured

Sound First time I powered up the Edition Tube 20 I was very please by the sparkley top end and the tight full bass. As I examined the cabinet I realized that this amp has a bass port on the back and boy does it ever put out the low end. Switching to the drive mode practically straightened my hair. This little 20 watt combo is LOUD! What a great distorted sound. It's just about everything you'd expect from a high gain 4x12 but it's packed into a 1x12 combo. Sweet! Did I mention gain? More that you might ever want and the quality is very musical not fizzy or buzzy. Just sweet tube saturation. The clean channel with the stock TAD tubes is reminiscent of a Deluxe Reverb. Clean, full and touch sensitive. Adding a dirt pedal is tone heaven.

Reliability I can't praise the reliability very highly. I had a power tube go very quickly on me and I did not abuse the amp in any way. I simply made music with it. The manual says that no change is needed to the 'high quality tubes' that it comes stock with. I guess they were a little mistaken on that one. A few other users have mentioned the same noise issues I experienced when my tubes failed.

Since finding some suitable replacement tubes the amp has been trouble free. I expect it to stay that way as I believe the problem was strictly a poorly made tube.

Customer Support When I emailed H&K about my issue they were quick to respond and give me the number of the closest authorized service center...4 hours away completely across the state. Not very convenient. I was able to get it to them eventually and still under warranty. I left it with them for a month and they could not find any problem or get it to duplicate the noise issue I experienced. Immediately upon getting it back home and plugging it in it made exactly the same noise that it did before I sent it to the service center for a whole month. I diagnosed the problem and did my own fix. A representative from H&K said he would send me some goodies to make me feel better about the poor service and all the travel. He never did even after sending him back his own e mails several times as reminders.

So what do I think about H&K customer support? Probably a 2 on a scale that goes to 6.

Liked about it At first it sounded better than any tube combo amp I've ever had. Cleans were awesome and the drive channel was from another planet and a groovy planet at that. It's light and easy to carry, looks great and has fabulous bass response.

Didn't like Tube reliability and selection are the issue here. The stock TAD tubes did not last long or sound good when paired with another brand tube. It took along time to find a pair of tubes that allowed the amp to sound acceptable again.

Overall satisfaction:

By Spudman
Dec 01, 2009
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