Hey folks, well.. its’ been a long and fun road down to Tone Nirvana.. am I there yet?? I think that is the question any guitarist is always asking… Personally, I think I have found myself a panacea of great tone.. is it perfect? Of course not.. but I think overall the Tubemeister 18 is an incredible amp, at an incrediable price and will fit almost ANY need most guitarists out there would have.
I have finally completed the “demo” song I promised using the RED BOX only direct out for the guitar parts.. I have posted it to my Soundcloud at http://www.soundcloud.com/peterjcruz and also to my YouTube channel above!!
The guitars were ONLY recorded with the RED BOX out using the Tubemeister. I had the amp sitting on my desk in front of me plugged into my DAW using a HI Impedance mic cable while in SILENT MODE. I did not even have a cabinet attached to the Tubemeister. I could only hear it thru the headphone mix. I only ran a HIGH PASS FILTER to filter out some low end in the mix ( I did this to all channels except the bass drum). I think it fit the bill very nicely… definitely check it out.. WITH or WITHOUT the cabinet.. you have LOTS of options with the Tubemeister.. Here are a few closing thoughts on the amp:
- The “POWER SOAK” option gives you tons of flexibility with the amp. But remember, it dissipates extra “wattage” as heat.. and on SILENT mode with the MASTERS cranked.. the amp gets VERY HOT. So user BEWARE!!
- The Tubemeister IS a TUBE AMP.. and to get a rockin’ tone.. the sound gets sweeter as the MASTERS go UP.. same here!! Don’t be afraid to RAISE your MASTER VOLUME. Push those EL84s. If it’s TOO LOUD.. turn DOWN the POWER SOAK. Set it to 1 watt, or SILENT.. and keep the MASTERS UP.
- Along the same idea.. I noticed with the MASTERS up.. and as the amp got “hotter” I noticed the tons got sweeter and sweeter… so in the future I will probably setup the amp and leave it ON for a while before doing any recording.. Let the heat build up a tad to get some extra “juice” in the sound. The TONE DEFINITELY sounded and felt different from when I hit the Standby switch to much later on…
- The RED BOX OUT is LINE LEVEL. Don’t let the XLR output jack make you think it’s a MIC LEVEL signal. Also, do NOT turn on PHANTOM POWER. It probably wouldn’t be a good thing.
- While H&K sells a footswitch to swap channels and engage the boost on and off, most two button footswitches will do the job. And for a bit less coin too. #justsaying =)
- The LEAD CHANNEL takes boost/distortion pedals very well. I actually found some great lead sounds with a Boss DS1 with the distortion set to 0, and the Level and Tone adjusted to taste.. it TIGHTENED up the amp.. and gave me a VERY percussive lead sound.. especially for palm mutes. Be sure to use a Noise Gate though…
- The amp itself is pretty loud.. especially for an 18 watt amp.. and you can lower it with the POWER SOAK on the BACK. Use that to your advantage!!
- I am planning to use the Tubemeister on my upcoming CD “The Atlantis Suite” and it will get a work out for sure. Cleans, dirtys, uber heavy you name it.. it will be pushed to the limits. Stay tuned for news on the CD.
That’s all I have for now.. stay tuned for some more ramblings.. and stuff from me. =)