123
Search
Close this search box.

THE FOUNDER STORY

Company founders (and brothers) Hans and Lothar Stamer began producing their own guitar amps in 1984. While the production space may have been small, their aspirations were not. Soon, the reputation of their products for craftsmanship and performance spread, prompting them to expand operations time and time again.

OUR SPIRIT COMES UP

The ahead-thinking german engineer and the guitar player

When Mr. Hughes, the synonym for the discerning guitar player, and Herr Kettner, the ahead-thinking German engineer, first met, Mr. Hughes was on a tone quest, looking to enrich players’ sonic palette with more soulful means of expression.

A glockenspiel’s chime, the snap and snarl of a junkyard dog, the seductive wail of Siren’s song, the thunderous rush of a passing freight train, the howling of a keening jackal, the malevolent grind of a chainsaw biting into metal – could an amp really be made to do all this? Engineering whiz Herr Kettner had his eyes on a very different prize. Envisaging a compact amp that would deliver fully-formed sounds including effects at the touch of a button, he sought to do what has never been done before. And he wasn’t averse to doing better what has already been done.

So began an impassioned collaboration that continues to this day.

SMART AND FROM THE HEART!

We live in a world of sensory perception — touch, taste, sight, and especially great tone! Hearing is like no other sense. Auditory perceptions are interpreted as information, but they also have a direct and unfiltered influence on our emotions and, by extension, our well-being. Language and music are the speech of the heart, giving voice to our feelings and sharing our emotions. We are all equipped with “algorithms” that tell us immediately if an audio event signals safety, relief, good vibes, trouble ahead, or even danger. We may never fully understand these algorithms, but we never tire of studying them and discovering more about them every day. And the process is even more fascinating when you have made it your career, as we have done, to develop devices that spark audio sensations! The Hughes & Kettner team is made up of many specialists.

German Engineering

Engineers specializing in acoustics, analog and digital electronics, and mechanics work hand in hand, collaborating with technicians, musicians and a musicologist who adapts the tone of every Hughes & Kettner product to suit human auditory physiology. By maintaining a spirited dialog with customers and resellers in more than fifty countries worldwide, we find ourselves continually inspired to come up with new ideas. This steady generation of ideas assures that in the future Hughes & Kettner will continue to provide the guitar amplifiers for your requirements.

OUR PHILOSOPHY – TECHNOLOGY OF TONE

From the very start, our focus has been the needs of our users, who challenged us not to be satisfied with standard solutions. Our mission is to deliver the entire package—high-quality tone and hassle-free setup, all tailored not just to satisfy but to exceed the demands of the modern guitar player.Technology of Tone is what we’ve been about from day one. And since that day, we’ve been living up to our performance promise of making great tone accessible to discerning players. Designed with sophisticated simplicity in mind, our tone-sculpting tools are conduits for inspiration. Plug in, put on unforgettable performances, and relish those magic moments in a guitarist’s life.But great tone is not alchemy or weird science. It’s a capability built on passion and know-how. Even after all the years marked by so many milestone achievements, that passion burns as brightly as ever.

AS64 1984
Developed in 1984 and presented for the first time in 1985, the AS 64 was the first Hughes & Kettner creation, and the world‘s first fully programmable guitar amp. It soon went from raising eyebrows to making the Hughes & Kettner brand known around the globe.
Cream Machine 1987
Amp designers got plenty of mileage out of the wildly successful Cream Machine concept over the years. It featured prominently in the Crunch Master (USA: Blues Master), Metal Master (USA: Metal Shredder) and Bass Master (USA: BATT). Professional guitarists, keyboardists and bassists were quick to embrace these amps, and today mint specimens are highly sought-after classics.
ATS-Series 1988
The ATS series was the world’s first pairing of tube preamps with solid- state power amps to be produced on a mass scale, thus foreshadowing the megatrend to come: hybrid amps.
RedBOX 1989
The revolutionary Red Box was the first guitar cabinet emulator the world had ever seen. A resounding success from the moment it hit stores, the name Red Box soon became the generic term worldwide for this new category of product. It’s so pervasive in the USA that it’s used as a verb, as in „I red-boxed my amp.“ The Red Box has evolved constantly over time, with the fifth generation arriving in 2013
FORTRESS 1989
The first Hughes & Kettner offering for bassists,the Fortress came with an innovative preamp featuring a tube-driven input stage and an unprecedented voicing section. Giants of bass like Jack Bruce were ardent Fortress fans.
TUBEMAN 1991
Delivering fat tube-driven tone in a handy, portable format, the Tubeman plugs into the front end of amps and serves up sweet sound direct-to-desk. To this day, it’s many studios’ tone-tool of choice for all kinds of instruments.
ACCESS 1991
The mother of all fully programmable rack mount tube preamps, Access’ three channels, 128 memory slots and integrated Midi looper made it the big daddy of every rack. Its counterpart, the VS250 stereo power amp, sported eight EL84 power tubes
TUBEMAN PLUS 1992
The 19" version of the much loved Tubeman came as a highly welcome addition to the arsenals of rack fans everywhere.
BASSBASE 600 1994
Armed with 1,000 watts of pure RMS output power, a dual-channel tube-driven preamp, the ingenious Varimetric EQ and other pioneering features such as a notch filter, the BassBase 600 raised the bar for what a bass amp can be and do.
TRIAMP 1995
Thirteen tubes and 6 channels in three independent amp structures: the TriAmp was the first to offer every legendary amp sound under one roof – without sacrificing a single iota of tone. Switching from one channel to the next automatically reshapes the power amp’s feedback to match the selected preamp, creating three truly independent amps with very different voicings. .
TUBE SERIES 1997
The Tube Series was the earliest of Hughes & Kettner’s premium-class, affordable all-tube amp lines, and the Tube 100 was the first to offer separately adjustable power tube saturation and volume output.
TUBE ROTOSPHERE 1997
Offering the musical qualities of a classic tube-powered rotary cabinet shoehorned into a foot pedal, the Tube Rotosphere still figures prominently in many a legendary axe-slinger’s live and studio rigs.
EDITION BLONDE 1998
The Edition series’ extraordinary tone made a big splash right from its debut. The Edition One, Edition Surf, Edition Blonde and Edition Silver would go on to become one of the world’s most successful lines of solid-state guitar combos.
TUBEMAN MKII 1999
The second version of the Hughes & Kettner classic came in the popular TubeTools format.
REPLEX 1999
„Wow and flutter at its best!“ Packing the tonal personality of a classic tape delay unit into a pedal format, the Replex remains popular with many professionals to this day.
ZENTERA 2000
Called „the boss of modeling amps“ by Guitar Player Magazine, the Zentera impressively demonstrated what remarkable tones and features can be achieved with digital technology.
TRIAMP MKII 2002
With its stunning visuals, TriAmp MKII raised the bar for design several notches. Since the TriAmp MKII first graced a stage, its trademark blue glow has become a beacon, signaling great tone and outstanding performance.
SWITCHBLADE 2006
This was the world’s first fully programmable analog tube amp. In 2006, the evolutionary advance set into motion by the AS 64 22 years earlier culminated in the Switchblade. Its recipe for success was to replace the potentiometers found on conventional amps with Programmable Resistor Networks. Each of these rotary controls consists of 256 individual resistors and 256 switches, and a memory with the ability to recall every switch’s position. The amp saves every knob’s setting and can recall it at the touch of a button. Only Hughes & 2006 Kettner has mastered the science of SWITCHBLADE of a tube amp without having to turn a knob!
COREBLADE 2009
Widely hailed as the world’s most advanced professional tube amplifier for the touring artist, Coreblade saves sounds straight from the amp to USB, so players can travel with no more than an axe and a stick. And courtesy of TSC™ (Tube Safety Control), it’s peerless when it comes to reliability. Maintenance-free and supremely versatile, Coreblade will shine with stellar tone at every venue. That’s progress in the spirit of rock'n'roll.
TUBEMEISTER 2011
The German-engineered TubeMeister is the result of Mr. Hughes and Herr Kettner‘s 25 year-search for flawless tube tones. With a built in Power Soak and Red Box output, TubeMeister goes from clean to mean and from a roar to a whisper, shaking planks on stage, tingling spines in the studio, and raising goosebumps in the still of night.
GRANDMEISTER 2013
GrandMeister 36 offers all the features that made TubeMeister so successful, plus so much more. Remote controllable in real-time via Midi controller, expression pedals or even your iPad, GrandMeister lets players take control of their tone with presets – store 'em, download 'em from the Web to the amp, and share 'em with friends. And best of all, every glorious Grand- Meister 36 sound is resplendent with analog, all-tube tone.
AS64 1984
Developed in 1984 and presented for the first time in 1985, the AS 64 was the first Hughes & Kettner creation, and the world‘s first fully programmable guitar amp. It soon went from raising eyebrows to making the Hughes & Kettner brand known around the globe.
Cream Machine 1987
Amp designers got plenty of mileage out of the wildly successful Cream Machine concept over the years. It featured prominently in the Crunch Master (USA: Blues Master), Metal Master (USA: Metal Shredder) and Bass Master (USA: BATT). Professional guitarists, keyboardists and bassists were quick to embrace these amps, and today mint specimens are highly sought-after classics.
ATS-Series 1988
The ATS series was the world’s first pairing of tube preamps with solid- state power amps to be produced on a mass scale, thus foreshadowing the megatrend to come: hybrid amps.
RedBOX 1989
The revolutionary Red Box was the first guitar cabinet emulator the world had ever seen. A resounding success from the moment it hit stores, the name Red Box soon became the generic term worldwide for this new category of product. It’s so pervasive in the USA that it’s used as a verb, as in „I red-boxed my amp.“ The Red Box has evolved constantly over time, with the fifth generation arriving in 2013.
FORTRESS 1989
The first Hughes & Kettner offering for bassists,the Fortress came with an innovative preamp featuring a tube-driven input stage and an unprecedented voicing section. Giants of bass like Jack Bruce were ardent Fortress fans.
TUBEMAN 1991
Delivering fat tube-driven tone in a handy, portable format, the Tubeman plugs into the front end of amps and serves up sweet sound direct-to-desk. To this day, it’s many studios’ tone-tool of choice for all kinds of instruments.
ACCESS 1991
The mother of all fully programmable rack mount tube preamps, Access’ three channels, 128 memory slots and integrated Midi looper made it the big daddy of every rack. Its counterpart, the VS250 stereo power amp, sported eight EL84 power tubes
TUBEMAN PLUS 1992
The 19" version of the much loved Tubeman came as a highly welcome addition to the arsenals of rack fans everywhere.
BASSBASE 600 1994
Armed with 1,000 watts of pure RMS output power, a dual-channel tube-driven preamp, the ingenious Varimetric EQ and other pioneering features such as a notch filter, the BassBase 600 raised the bar for what a bass amp can be and do.
TRIAMP 1995
Thirteen tubes and 6 channels in three independent amp structures: the TriAmp was the first to offer every legendary amp sound under one roof – without sacrificing a single iota of tone. Switching from one channel to the next automatically reshapes the power amp’s feedback to match the selected preamp, creating three truly independent amps with very different voicings.
TUBE SERIES 1997
The Tube Series was the earliest of Hughes & Kettner’s premium-class, affordable all-tube amp lines, and the Tube 100 was the first to offer separately adjustable power tube saturation and volume output.
TUBE ROTOSPHERE 1997
Offering the musical qualities of a classic tube-powered rotary cabinet shoehorned into a foot pedal, the Tube Rotosphere still figures prominently in many a legendary axe-slinger’s live and studio rigs.
EDITION BLONDE 1998
The Edition series’ extraordinary tone made a big splash right from its debut. The Edition One, Edition Surf, Edition Blonde and Edition Silver would go on to become one of the world’s most successful lines of solid-state guitar combos.
TUBEMAN MKII 1999
The second version of the Hughes & Kettner classic came in the popular TubeTools format.
REPLEX 1999
„Wow and flutter at its best!“ Packing the tonal personality of a classic tape delay unit into a pedal format, the Replex remains popular with many professionals to this day.
ZENTERA 2000
Called „the boss of modeling amps“ by Guitar Player Magazine, the Zentera impressively demonstrated what remarkable tones and features can be achieved with digital technology.
TRIAMP MKII 2002
With its stunning visuals, TriAmp MKII raised the bar for design several notches. Since the TriAmp MKII first graced a stage, its trademark blue glow has become a beacon, signaling great tone and outstanding performance.
SWITCHBLADE 2006
This was the world’s first fully programmable analog tube amp. In 2006, the evolutionary advance set into motion by the AS 64 22 years earlier culminated in the Switchblade. Its recipe for success was to replace the potentiometers found on conventional amps with Programmable Resistor Networks. Each of these rotary controls consists of 256 individual resistors and 256 switches, and a memory with the ability to recall every switch’s position. The amp saves every knob’s setting and can recall it at the touch of a button. Only Hughes & 2006 Kettner has mastered the science of SWITCHBLADE of a tube amp without having to turn a knob!
COREBLADE 2009
Widely hailed as the world’s most advanced professional tube amplifier for the touring artist, Coreblade saves sounds straight from the amp to USB, so players can travel with no more than an axe and a stick. And courtesy of TSC™ (Tube Safety Control), it’s peerless when it comes to reliability. Maintenance-free and supremely versatile, Coreblade will shine with stellar tone at every venue. That’s progress in the spirit of rock'n'roll.
TUBEMEISTER 2011
The German-engineered TubeMeister is the result of Mr. Hughes and Herr Kettner‘s 25 year-search for flawless tube tones. With a built in Power Soak and Red Box output, TubeMeister goes from clean to mean and from a roar to a whisper, shaking planks on stage, tingling spines in the studio, and raising goosebumps in the still of night.
GRANDMEISTER 2013
GrandMeister 36 offers all the features that made TubeMeister so successful, plus so much more. Remote controllable in real-time via Midi controller, expression pedals or even your iPad, GrandMeister lets players take control of their tone with presets – store 'em, download 'em from the Web to the amp, and share 'em with friends. And best of all, every glorious Grand- Meister 36 sound is resplendent with analog, all-tube tone.