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Switchblade!!!!!!

This is a discussion on Switchblade!!!!!! within the Music Man Guitars forums, part of the Gear Talk category; I bought a Hughes and Kettner 100w Switchblade combo off ebay yesterday!!! I am so excited. This is my first ...

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    tm21 is offline Registered User Junior Member
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    Switchblade!!!!!!

    I bought a Hughes and Kettner 100w Switchblade combo off ebay yesterday!!! I am so excited. This is my first tube amp, I was playing on a 15w Vox Pathfinder before. Seems really easy to use (I'm horrible with wires, switches, knobs, electricity, computers etc). I am so stoked for this. It sells brand new for $2099 in Canada. The one I'm getting is only a couple years old, in excellent condition, recently retubed by an H&K specialist and I got it for $900!! Any advice for a first time tube amp owner regarding the care and maintenance of a tube amp?

    What do you guys think of the switchblade? Check out the guitarworld review:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jIhj3jnxeg"]YouTube- Hughes & Kettner Switchblade part 1[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Vpe71_DIO8"]YouTube- Hughes & Kettner Switchblade part 2[/ame]

    Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?

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    take your amp to a tech about once a year for rebiasing and if necessary, new tubes. a bedroom warrior won't need new tubes each year. have fun with your new amp. do you have a power soak or a really big barn?
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    tm21 is offline Registered User Junior Member
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    whats a powersoak

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    David Corrales is offline Registered User Junior Member
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    A powersoak, also called an attenuator, sits between your amp and the speakers to reduce the final volume but allows you to push the volume on the amp itself higher. This is turn induces power tube saturation which works along with your preamp tube saturation to get sweeter distorted tones. Two common examples are the THD hotplate and the Marshall powerbreak.

    Personally I'd check the tubes in the tubes to see their brand, you might want to change them eventually

    Regarding the maintenance, NEVER EVER turn the amp on without having it connected to the speakers (with a proper speaker cable, not a guitar one!). That can blow your transformers and cause other kinds of problems.

    Also, power the amp for at least 1 minute before engaging the standy switch. This allows the tubes to heat up to a proper working temperature or they will receive a nasty voltage shock which reduces their life.

    Forgot to add: Grats on the super deal! Tubes are they way to go at least in my opinion. Myself, I just a landed a $660 Gibson Studio Les Paul

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    tm21 is offline Registered User Junior Member
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    a powersoak sounds really cool. how much do they typically cost? could you recommend a good one thats relatively cheap?

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    I have heard good things about the Dr. Z Airbrake attenuator.

    This amp also allows you to remove 2 of the power tubes. Turning it into a 50 watt amp. You have to remove certain ones though, i.e. both inside, or both outside tubes.
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    Most amps that have half power switches deactivates tubes in order to compensate for the power shift.

    That means shift and change in tone. Getting an attenuator is a much more effective way to preserve your tone and still push the tubes.

    Not familiar with the Switchblade, but most everyone here has already covered most of the bases. Just simple things too. Make sure Power first, then Stdby when turning on, then the reveres when turning off. Don't unplug your instrument while its connected with the STdby on, etc etc.

    Just remember, saturating and pushing the tubes is a very big part of some people's sound. It's very important.
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    meshuggah is offline Registered User Junior Member
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    That's a nice amp. I just bought one yesterday
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    That doesn't look like a combo, it's a half stack. sounds like you got it for a great price good job
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    I have been using a Switchblade head and cab for about 18 months now.

    I love it!

    I had a rack before that frankly used to really annoy me, especially if I wanted to make small adjustments 'on the fly'.

    I find that not only is the Switchblade great soundwise, but it's really easy and simple to use, with the great benefit that you can save patches and recall them really easily with the footswitch.

    The onboard effects may not be very sophisticated, but I find them more than adequate for my needs, and I love the simplicity of the whole thing.

    I didn't know about removing tubes to reduce power. I use a THD Hotplate to keep the volume manageable which works well for me. Not cheap though, especially as you have to buy different ones for different impedance cabs!

    They've got a brilliant little utility on the H&K website. If you click this link...

    Guitar amps by Hughes & Kettner - Products

    then click on 'Demo - Interactive Flash Demo' down towards the bottom of the right hand side of the page, you can 'play' with 8 different patches including tweaking some of the knobs on the 'amp'. Brilliant!
    COME ON YOU IRONS....

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    tm21 is offline Registered User Junior Member
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    hey, the one in the review is a halfstack, but the one i bought is a 100w combo. they both have all the same features.

    bungo you like the switchblade?? can you tell me a bit more about your experience with it? have you had any problems with the footswitch? also, how do you think the switchblade on high gain settings compares to mesa's dual recto?

    the amp should be coming in sometime next week and i couldnt be more excited!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tm21 View Post

    bungo you like the switchblade?? can you tell me a bit more about your experience with it? have you had any problems with the footswitch? also, how do you think the switchblade on high gain settings compares to mesa's dual recto?
    Funnily enough, the only problem I did have was with the footswitch.

    It has a captive lead which fractured very soon after I got it. I contacted the UK distributor who said this had been a common problem with early versions but they had changed the cable to a better quality, higher spec version in later versions.

    They shipped me a new footswitch immediately without even waiting for me to send the failed one back.

    When I get round to it, I am still going to get the new footswith modified so the lead isn't captive and I can then carry a spare for gigs.

    Since then all has been perfect.

    It's a great amp - enjoy it when you get it!
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    tm21 is offline Registered User Junior Member
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    how would you compare the lead and ultra channels on the switchblade to the mesa boogie rectifier? can the H&K compete with mesa in terms of gain?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tm21 View Post
    how would you compare the lead and ultra channels on the switchblade to the mesa boogie rectifier? can the H&K compete with mesa in terms of gain?
    To be honest I'm not personally familiar enough with the Rectifier to make an accurate comparison between that and the Switchblade.

    I don't go too mad with gain anyway. I tend to use the crunch and lead channels mostly for more bluesy tones.
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    meshuggah is offline Registered User Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tm21 View Post
    how would you compare the lead and ultra channels on the switchblade to the mesa boogie rectifier? can the H&K compete with mesa in terms of gain?
    The switchblade got quite a bit more gain than the rectos. People in general take the rectifiers as a hi gain monster, which it is in one way, but in terms of gain mass it can't compete with it's rivals such as Engl (Fireball/Powerball/Savage/Invader/SE), Bogner Uberschall, Peavey (6505/5150/XXX), H&K (Switchblade, Triamp MK1 and MK2) and so on.
    The mesas are most of the times boosted with an overdrive such as maxon 808 or Boss OD-1/SD-1 or any boost or overdrive pedal.

    So... the Switchblade got gain, don't worry
    Last edited by meshuggah; 01-11-2010 at 12:20 PM.
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