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Hughes & Kettner Duotone Combo Amp

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Hughes & Kettner Duotone Combo Amp

Take a look at the surface controls on Hughes & Kettner’s Duotone combo amp. That’s a lot of knobs–14, plus four toggle switches–which can only mean that it’s an amp built for the guitarist’s guitarist. This all-tube animal is for those who need something that goes from ultraclean to hideously dirty and serves up all degrees of grit in between. It’s too much amp for the straightahead, classic jazz-guitar tone set, to be sure. But if you’re the type who’d enjoy nothing more than to waste a perfectly good Friday night endlessly twiddling knobs to develop guitar tones for every conceivable musical situation, read on.

Also available as head unit, the combo version of the two-channel Duotone sizes up just smaller than a Fender Twin, sporting just a single 12-inch Celestion Vintage 30 driver and weighing 60 pounds–easily cartable by vehicle but not something you want to tote for a stretch of city blocks. The preamp section gets power from 12AX7 tubes and offers EQ control over bass mid and high levels on both channels. The overdrive channel has an additional boost toggle control for added high end, plus a knob for dialing in the level of desired gain. Another section of controls adds reverb, presence, effects loop and two master volume knobs, which lets you set two volume levels and toggle between them via the included footswitch. Additionally the footswitch has a button for channel switching and one for the boost feature. The power amp sports two EL34s, which ought to give know-it-alls more than a clue about the Duotone’s overdriven tone.

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