Hughes & Kettner’s latest, the Black Spirit 200, is a rare beast these days – a 200 Watt guitar amp, aimed at those for whose eyes light-up at the combination of high tech and power.
Featuring Clean, Crunch, Lead and Ultra channels, Black Spirit 200 is an all-analogue amplifier offering an intuitive user interface featuring what the maker calls Smart Rotary Control technology, which means the Black Spirit 200’s front panel is fully-programmable, with flexible gain and volume settings for every channel and no shared EQs.
The new ‘bionic Spirit Tone Generator module’ is not only the colourful centrepiece of the amp’s visual display but the heart of the Black Spirit 200’s tonal ingenuity, Hughes & Kettner says, adding that it is a ‘revolutionary piece of circuitry (which) faithfully recreates the physics of a traditional tube amp circuit, delivering world class tone and responsiveness, without the use of a single vacuum tube’.
The Black Spirit 200’s Sagging Control, the first of its kind to be featured on an analogue amplifier, is ‘…the secret weapon for producing new and exciting sounds. Players can use the Sagging Control to level the power amp’s saturation and alter its behaviour at any volume: ‘…accurately reproducing the soft pick response and creamy compression of an overloaded power amp, at any volume’.
Also included in the Black Spirit 200 is the brand new Red Box AE+, featuring eight cabinet emulations, allowing players to dial in their desired tone. In addition, Red Box AE+ provides output for passive full-range cabinets (eg passive stage monitors) and stereo output for active full-range cabinets (studio monitors, hi-fi stereo systems etc) – users can also enjoy the Black Spirit 200’s cabinet emulations through the dedicated headphones out.
Effects include built-in reverb and tap delay, while a clutch of digital modulation essentials, flange, phase, chorus and tremolo, allow for further expression and experimentation. Smart Rotary Control technology enables full programmability of every pot setting, with 128 presets available via any compatible MIDI footswitch. Finally, the Black Spirit 200 allows streaming and remote control via an iPad App.
The Black Spirit’s 200 Watts output, makes it loud enough for the biggest of stages, is, thankfully, tameable for less demanding uses and can be dialled down to 20, 2, or even 0 zero Watts for silent recording and bedroom practice.
Weighing just eight lbs, the Black Spirit 200 is easily transportable and a matching bag for transporting it is also available, as is a rack mounting kit.
The RRP will be £879.