Hughes & Kettner ATTAX 100 Combo
The built-in effects are sensibly curbed – one hesitates to use the word ‘limited’ – to four popular effect types: chorus, flanging, tremolo and delay, plus a separate reverb. Any one of the modulation effects can be used in combination with the reverb and delay, which creates some really versatile sounding combinations. However, if you feel that you still would like to add more effects the amp’s rear panel features FX loop send and returns for connecting external stomp boxes, plus there is also a Line Out for connecting the amp directly to a PA or recording console. The headphone jack feels slightly incongruous, considering that this is a very powerful amplifier but at least the facility is there if you do need to use the headphone socket for a quick backstage tune up or a quiet home practice session (the headphone jack disconnects the combo’s internal speaker).
The combo’s closed-back design gives the Attax 100 a meaty tone with plenty of low-end thump, helped by the versatility of the single 12-inch Rockdriver speaker that was designed in collaboration with former Celestion product development specialist Paul Airey, who now plays a similar role with H&K.
It’s easy to run away with the idea that a valve/tube amp is the only thing that will do, these days but the reality is quite different. Solid state amps are inherently more reliable, cheaper and, importantly, weigh a considerable amount less than tube equivalents and when you get a good one like this, especially for clean sounds or when you are using FX, the delights of tube saturation are neither to everyone’s taste nor even necessary. The Attax 100 is a very usable and practical amplifier for the gigging guitarist who feels that forking out on an expensive tube amplifier is less of a priority than owning an amplifier that is easy to transport, versatile and powerful enough to use in virtually any situation. All four channels offer a very workable choice of tones from sparkling clean, a warm bluesy crunch all the way to searing high-gain overdrive, with the high quality effects helping to add colour and depth to what is already a very flexible package. It’s a great choice for the hard working guitar player.