I think I can. Next, throw in a some extremely useful, high quality, effects. Then, add memory to store a ton of sound presets, and give it all simple, integrated MIDI control. Next, offer a foot controller easy enough for the typical rocker to use just as if it were a common footswitch. You want more? The GrandMeister 36 adds lower-wattage power settings, silent operation, and a built-in, Red Box, cabinet simulated DI.
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With variable power and software control this tube amp seems to promise all things to all guitarists. Does it deliver the goods? The programmable GrandMeister 36 flagship model is now available, and it combines four distinct channels, onboard digital effects, presets and valve amplification with MIDI and iOS control capability. Architecturally, the GM36H is a single—input amplifier with four different, switchable, gain—based, and differently voiced channels, namely Clean, Crunch, Lead and Ultra.
A Boost switch adds a fixed amount of additional gain to each voicing, to give you a total of eight possible sonic starting points.
Gain, which can be turned off, sets the input sensitivity and therefore the saturation level in the preamp. The Gain, Volume and EQ knobs have secondary functions, accessed by depressing the FX Access push button, in controlling the Delay and the modulation effects Chorus, Flange, Phase and Tremelo that make up two of the three onboard digital effect modules, the third being Reverb which has its own level control. The last, which sits in the upper left quadrant, stores the settings of every front—panel control except the Master Volume into the current or selected preset location.
Turning down the Resonance damps the speaker and cabinet resonance to give a looser sound, while turning it up produces a tighter, punchier low end. Although the Resonance and Presence settings can be stored separately in individual presets Preset Mode , the pair can be put into Global Mode together where, as with the Master Volume, they become non—programmable and affect every preset equally. With all four switches out ie. The remaining three switches route those 18W into increasing amounts of resistance to produce 5W, 1W and silence at the speaker output jack.
The GM36H uses a similar concept, if not the technology, in the proprietary Smart Rotary Controls that replace conventional knobs with the exception of the Master Volume on its front panel.
A free iPad app gives the user direct control over more parameters than are accessible via the amp head itself. To store a preset you simply dial up the sound you want and press the Store button, but recalling or selecting one of the presets can only be done via MIDI, which means that a source of programme changes, such as a MIDI—capable floorboard, multi-effects unit or computer is required.
The app enables you to display or edit any preset in either the app memory or the amp memory, switch between the two with the Memory Selector and instantly hear the results of editing the displayed preset through the GM36H. The Compare function not only allows you to check your edit against the original preset, but also shows you any controls where settings have been changed since last time you connected the amp to the app.
You can back up your amp and app preset memory at any time, but reloading an amp backup means you have to overwrite your current in—app presets. The GrandMeister 36 turned out to be a seriously impressive little amplifier in all of its modes, at any volume level, even with the speaker off and the Red Box DI running straight into my console.
The floorboard and app turned out to be a great combination to work with, the app allowing easy editing and the floorboard letting me recall presets without breaking the flow of my playing. Soundwise, the GM36H delivers real bottom—end weight and mid—range punch, even at low volumes.
I could also happily see it replacing my software amp suites for re-amping and recording duties, a scenario in which its sounds could be recalled and controlled from your sequencer. The GrandMeister 36 is priced against some very fine conventional valve—amp heads, and there are also some excellent digital modelling amplifiers around, but you get an awful lot of bang for your buck. If I had to choose a desert—island guitar amp, this could well be it — provided that I could take its floorboard as well!
The Kemper Profiling Amp Powerhead could be worth taking a look at — although that has no valves and costs a fair bit more than the GrandMeister Prices include VAT. Pros Four different channels, from clean to extreme distortion — and all of them sound excellent.
Front—panel controls can be stored and recalled in programmes. All—analogue signal path except for the onboard effects. Valve—based pre- and power amps. Free iPad app for real—time remote control and preset storage. The floorboard or iPad app is essential. Buy PDF version. Previous article Next article. The analogue-summing '3D' effect: what actually is it?
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Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister 36
With variable power and software control this tube amp seems to promise all things to all guitarists. Does it deliver the goods? The programmable GrandMeister 36 flagship model is now available, and it combines four distinct channels, onboard digital effects, presets and valve amplification with MIDI and iOS control capability. Architecturally, the GM36H is a single—input amplifier with four different, switchable, gain—based, and differently voiced channels, namely Clean, Crunch, Lead and Ultra. A Boost switch adds a fixed amount of additional gain to each voicing, to give you a total of eight possible sonic starting points.
Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister 36 amp head review
Four channels. Onboard digital effects. Red Box DI. Noise gate.
Hughes & Kettner GrandMeister 36 Head
Hughes & Kettner Grandmeister 36 Head