zHughes and Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40 Head

zHughes and Kettner Grandmeister Deluxe 40 Head

SOLD - This is factory serviced amplifier that is essentially brand new, unused and carries a full warranty

The H&K Grandmeister Deluxe 40 features:

  • Clean, Crunch, Lead and Ultra channels + Boost
  • 40 watts
  • 1, 5 and 20 watt Power-soak options
  • Latest Red Box Direct output for quick and quiet recording with Ambient Cabinet Emulations
  • On-Board Noise Gate for live performance or recording
  • (4) EL-84 power tubes
  • (3) 12AX7 preamp tubes
  • Serial effects Loop
  • Digital spring-type reverb
  • Shared 3-Band EQ and seperate Master, Presence, and Resonance controls for all channels
  • On-board Delay and Modulation: Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Tremolo with active EQ controls, volume and gain.
  • 1 X 8-16 ohm speaker jack
  • Midi In/Out
  • Unique "TSC" feature for checking tube bias and condition without opening up the amp
  • 17 lbs
  • Soft carrying bag included
  • Designed in Germany and built in China

The H&K GM-40 is the latest addition to the Tubemeister family. It's only slightly larger than it's 20 watt brother, weighs less than 20 pounds and comes with a dizzying array of features. It should be noted that the GM-40 features H&K's new Deluxe Tone Technology which is partly a code name for the amount of effects they crammed into the head, and also a reference to new circuitry inspired by their famous Tri-Mark amp. There are 4 channels: Clean, Crunch, Lead and Ultra plus their nuclear Boost button. This basically starts you off with a complete palette of tube tones for the guitar, no matter what genre you play. The Master Volume, Presence and Resonance controls give you instant shaping of the power amp and The 3-Band EQ proves to be a very responsive tone shaping system.

The EQ band on the GM-40 is also a double agent, acting as controls for the 5 on-board effects. You have access to Tap Delay, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, and Tremolo, complete with tone shaping parameters. You can even save 128 -- yes -- 128 tonal presets onto the amp and recall them at any time. Gain, EQ and effects are all saved to actual pot values thanks to their smart rotary controls. All of this can be done by turning knobs and pushing buttons, but after testing we can see why they created a free app and desgined an incredible MIDI footswitch. It is fairly intuitive but just accessing the vast amount of options with the physical knobs available is a task that requires some time and some flipping through the manual. That being said the GM-40 Remote App is a free download that gives you easy access to all the features of the amp as well as naming and sharing your presets. If you are looking for live performance switching, the MK-III MIDI footswitch is the way to go, and check out our listing for a comprehensive look.

One of the most popular features on the Tubemeister amps is the power-soak control. This lets you play the amp at 40, 20, 5, 1 watt or speaker defeat. Since the days of 100 watt monsters, people have learned just how far a few watts can go which makes this the ideal amp for the modern guitarist. Whether it's 1 watt in the bedroom, 5 watts for a coffee house gig, 20 for practice and 40 for the club, the tone is always going to be in the sweet spot. On top of that, you can turn the speaker off and use the Red Box direct input to do straight-in recording at your desk. The Red Box on the GM-40 is upgraded with a Noise Gate and Ambient Emulations which let's you choose from vintage-modern, small-large and even mic-line simulations.

Clean:  Overall fairly neutral with not a lot of "amp" coloration: You mainly hear the slightly springy low end characteristic of EL-84 tubes and a clear top end that's not overly sharp. The Tubemeister let the essential character of each guitar come through, without a lot of sonic affectations. We got a nice balanced sound out of the amp with the EQ controls all set around noon, with maybe a touch of extra bass for single coil guitars. And while the clean channel does have a master and gain, cranking the gain even with humbuckers does not create great amounts of distortion. It's a mild edgy crunch that's good for rhythm, blues....or rhythm and blues. In short, there is plenty of headroom on the clean side.

Crunch: This channel is quite accurate to it's name and provides a good balance of clean and dirty. You can exaggerate on either end of the spectrum of course but in a fairly flat setting you get a nice bluesy, rock sound that is gritty without losing its musical edge. Humbucker guitars instantly drew a really nice rhythm sound out of the amp: Chords were fat and driving, and even single notes bounced along with attitude. Single coils and P-90's were definitely settled in the "blues" arena, where the clean tone dominated and your pick attack determined where most of the dirt came from. Personally this was our favorite crunch zone, but we tend to gravitate towards clean amp tones.

Lead: With a little more intensity than it's predecessors, the lead channel on the GM-40 ranges from a heavy crunch to some hard hitting and dense distortion tones. In the middle ranges the tonality runs toward the classic rock spectrum with the slight looseness of the EL-84's still coming through. Once you are past 3 o'clock on the gain, the sound tightens up noticeably and the low end becomes more pronounced. At this point the amp takes on a decidedly modern edge with more of a "chunk" factor and a low end thump

Ultra: This channel is new on the GM-40 and serves as your proverbial big guns. It's louder, tighter and more saturated than the previous channels combined. You start off in the metal zone and proceed from there to a Scandinavian paradise full of Norse gods with eye-liner playing flying V's. Or something like that. Anyway it's just massive. Oh yeah and this was all before we even hit the boost button...which should probably come with nuclear launch codes. This is more than just a volume boost, and hitting this switch adds considerable volume and gain. Even with the amp set on mild crunch, hitting the boost button borders on cataclysmic.

The GM-40 is an intriguing amp and we had a lot of fun with it. It takes a little time to understand everything that the knobs and switches can do so we highly encourage investing in the footswitch or at least mastering the free GM Remote App. It's fun, light, flexible and has the ability to dish out pretty convincing classic and modern tones. Plus who doesn't dig the soft blue back-lighting? No matter what kind of guitar player your are, the H&K Grandmeister 40 is a satisfying work horse that offers real tube tone in a sleek package, and an affordable price.

Price: $1169.00
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