The Hughes & Kettner Coreblade is quite unashamedly one thing: a metal amp. You can tell by looking at it [‘hell, you can tell by simply picking it up’ – Peter’s spine]and you can definitely tell when you plug in. An amp that can garner the approval of Annihilator’s Jeff Waters is nothing to be grunted at. So what’s under the hood of this metal-spewing monster?
The 100 watt Coreblade head packs a quartet of EL34 power tubes, known for their warm sound and open attack. Oh but if you’re more into the steely, punchy, tight vibe of 6L6CG power tubes, the Coreblade can hang with those too. The preamp section includes three 12AX7s and four modes – Clean, Drive, Ultra I and Ultra II – selectable via a 4-way rotary switch over on the far right. Travelling right to left, there’s a Boost switch then Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Resonance (for fine-tuning low end), Presence (for the high end) and Volume controls.