Hughes and kettner swithcblade 50 | Warehouse Guitar Speakers

Hughes and kettner swithcblade 50

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02/21/2019 1:32pm

Hi guys. Long time lurker first time poster here. Hope you all are doing well.

I was wondering if i can get some inputs on upgradin my h&k 50 speaker. It currently has the eminence rockdriver, and I dont like what I get out of it. Too much bass and shrilly highs.

Any suggestions on speakers? Im leaning towards either et90, retro 30 or g12c. All of this options are based on youtube reviews that I watched and think will like.

02/22/2019 10:43am

Welcome :-)
Retro 30 ... nope, G12C ... certainly not!
ET90 ... yes, this would be a good choice ... but ... the ET65 is a better choice, here's why:
The biggest complaint about those amps is that they lack the organic midrange of most classic tube amps (kinda what you said, too) ... and th ET65 is the BOMB when it comes to adding in the totally organic, tubey goodness ... so, that's my recommendation, for sure!

03/07/2019 12:30pm

Hey vaughn. Thanks for the recommendation. How about for a blackstar ht40? I used to have a vet30 on mine but would like to try somethin else. What do you think of the retro30 on the blackstar?

03/02/2019 1:27pm

Hey Vaughn

thanks for the inputs. Quick question though. So I have been listening to online demos on the 2 speakers you mentioned, the ET90 and ET65. For some reason I like the ET90 more. Now I don't know lots about speakers but should I let that influence my decision? Or are you saying that for this particular amp (H&K) the ET65 will be better amongst the 2?

Im buying the retro 30 as well but it will be for my Blackstar ht40. Ive tried athe veteran 30 on a ht20 and I loved it! But again to my ears when the vet 30 and retro 30 was played side by side I liked the retro 30 more. If you have any inputs on this as well it will be appreciated.


03/12/2019 7:53pm

Just to update this thread... I tested my Hughes and Kettner Switchblade 50 with a celestion 70/80 that came with my ht40 and wow was there a difference in sound. The high shrills are still there but my problem with the bass response is gone. It's less muddier now over all since the sound is more balanced. I actually found it hard to put down my guitar.

So yeah I was afraid to invest more money on this amp but now Im pretty confident now that the ET65 would fix most of the problems.

After speakers ill experiment with preamp tubes. Current ones are the stock asian made and I hear changing them would improve the tone...

03/21/2019 6:22am

Careful tube selection per position can have a significant effect on the sound for sure. Along with power tube choices, it may help whatever issues you have with a speaker. I'd make sure the ET65 is broken in first b4 changing tubes. AFAIK, Chinese (Shuguang) 12AX7's aren't bad sounding at all in guitar amps, but generally pretty gainy/noisy/resonant. If you don't go for NOS, I'd try a JJ ECC83MG and maybe a ECC803S in the PI slot (if it uses a tube for the PI). Otherwise, just swapping out one of the stock ECC83 for the ECC83MG might be worth the minor investment.

I think those stock power tubes are Shuguang EL34B. They are a nice sounding EL34 type with a 6L6GC-like low end and shimmery high end. Again, the JJ EL34II (same as EL34B) is considered a bit tighter/clearer/less-fizzy. You might try those on your next power tube swap if you don't go for a different type, i.e. EL34, EL34L, 6CA7, KT77, or a 6L6GC type. The mid-priced Tung Sol '7581A' is a very sturdy and well-reviewed 6L6GC type that should be well-worth the cost: Full, balanced & tight, yet warm & sweet with high headroom -- like a KT66/EL34 cross. They should last years as well. Great if you just want distortion from the preamp, but overdrives smoothly when driven hard.