Hughes And Kettner Spirit Series Amplifiers - Summer Gear Slam '21

A trio of tiny heads that are simple, powerful, and impressively loud.


Spirit Nano

Sparkling clean tone that chimes like a glockenspiel. Smoky blues tones with the snarl of a junkyard dog. Lead sounds that wail as seductively as Siren's song. Expansive, enveloping arena rock tones. The malevolent grind of a chainsaw gnawing on heavy metal: Iconic sounds such as these have been giving voice to new modes of musical expression and shaping the sound of entire genres for more than 60 years now. The new Spirit Nano Heads from Hughes & Kettner capture the spirit of each era of legendary guitar sounds in three amps with distinctive personalities: Spirit of Rock, Spirit of Metal, Spirit of Vintage.

Hughes and Kettner
$239

Amp Man Classic

Hughes & Kettner's all-analog Spirit Tone Generator is now available in a compact pedal format. AmpMan Classic´s two distinctive channels each embody an entire era of legendary guitar tones, served up by the built-in 50-watt power amp or the integrated Red Box AE+. With connoisseur tone-shaping capabilities, impressive power and a comprehensive set of professional features in a handsome little box, AmpMan is the go-to solution on stage, at home and in the studio.

Hughes and Kettner
$399

Made in Canada, this two-voice guitar features a chambered Mahogany body, carved Swamp Ash top, 25.5” scale Mahogany neck and Rosewood Fingerboard.

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Gain is fun in all its forms, from overdrive to fuzz, but let’s talk about a great clean tone.


We’re all here for one thing. It’s the singular sound and magic of the stringed instrument called the guitar—and its various offshoots, including the bass. Okay, so maybe it’s more than one thing, but the sentiment remains. Even as I write this, my thoughts fan out and recognize how many incarnations of “guitar” there must be. It’s almost incomprehensible. Gut-string, nylon-string, steel-string, 12-string, 8-string, 10-string, flatwound, brown sound, fuzztone…. It’s almost impossible to catalog completely, so I’ll stop here and let you add your favorites. Still, there’s one thing that I keep coming back to: clean tone.

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A supreme shredder’s signature 6-string dazzles with versatility.

This immaculately built guitar sounds great and can do it all.

The more affordable price is still out of reach for many guitarists

$2,799

Charvel MJ San Dimas SD24 CM
charvel.com

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Charvel’s first Guthrie Govan signature model was released in 2014, after an arduous two-year effort to get the design just right. Since then, the guitar—now in its second edition—has become one of Charvel’s most coveted models. Unfortunately, its $3,699 price keeps the U.S.-made axe out of reach for many.

This year, though, the company released the Made-in-Japan signature MJ San Dimas SD24 CM, which sells for a slightly more manageable $2,799. Needless to say, that’s not cheap. But depending on your priorities, it’s a fair price for a very high quality, pro-level instrument.

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