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    Black Spirit 200

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    Graham G

    Posts : 33
    Join date : 2017-05-09
    Age : 73
    Location : North West England

    Black Spirit 200

    Post by Graham G on Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:55 pm

    No discussion or opinions yet? Very Happy
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    JonnyNonsense

    Posts : 76
    Join date : 2017-06-19

    Re: Black Spirit 200

    Post by JonnyNonsense on Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:25 am

    *Googles*

    First I'd heard of this. Goddamn Hughes & Kettner and their new amps, are they trying to bankrupt me?!

    Seriously though, this looks cool. It's basically the GM40 with more clean headroom. I'm curious about the sag feature and how it affects the sound.

    200 watts though? That's crazy! Edit: ah, after more investigation I see that its a transistor amp, not valve. Still sounds great though, judging by the videos. I'm guessing 200 watts transistor is not the same as 200 watts valve.
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    Graham G

    Posts : 33
    Join date : 2017-05-09
    Age : 73
    Location : North West England

    Re: Black Spirit 200

    Post by Graham G on Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:42 am

    There are a few launch vids on Y/T which are pretty average,but the most informative one is an hour long run through in the H & K warehouse by that over the top German guy(I think he's german),who (if you can stand the delivery)gives a pretty good in depth dem & for Bordenbert,he makes reference to the difference in the mid voicing from the the GM range.
    In my IMHO it sounds pretty good in places.
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    JonnyNonsense

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    Re: Black Spirit 200

    Post by JonnyNonsense on Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:49 am

    It sounds a lot like the GM40 to me. The crazy german guy said he is going to A/B it with the GM40 when it comes out properly, should be pretty interesting.

    Noticed that it's cheaper than the GM40 too - that will no doubt win H&K some new customers.
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    Graham G

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    Age : 73
    Location : North West England

    Re: Black Spirit 200

    Post by Graham G on Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:48 am

    There's a Thomann ab with a GM40 up now.(short)
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    JonnyNonsense

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    Join date : 2017-06-19

    Re: Black Spirit 200

    Post by JonnyNonsense on Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:11 am

    Had a listen. I thought the GM40 sounded fuller with the heavy guitar sound.
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    bordonbert

    Posts : 1075
    Join date : 2015-01-28
    Age : 98
    Location : Southern England

    Re: Black Spirit 200

    Post by bordonbert on Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:41 am

    Wow.  I have to be honest and admit I knew nothing about this amp until you pointed it out.  (I live in the moment!  Well you have to at my age! Wink  )  It's a bit of a monster isn't it.  The literature from H&K on the design of it, my first port of call as always, isn't at all helpful.  There is a some would say creditable amount of peoplespeak concerning the emptor's ability to emulate the tonal designations of celebrated and illustrious vitruosi with both allacrity and facileness and the credible expedient with which the contrivance obliges this to be practicable.  That's just my way of saying they are doing a great job of actually saying very little with a lot of words used to make it sound like very much!  They really give us no clue, despite all of the pretty diagrams drawn up by some backroom arty, what is actually going on except that there is a little powerful orange box which sheds its powerful orange rays on the rest of the circuitry turning them into sonic platinum.

    On the other hand...  I've listened to the H&K vids on Youtube based on each of the four channels.  For me, they are actually very good.  (How many times have you known me to say that? Laughing  )  I think the idea of choosing a different guitarist to show off the capabilities of each channel is a terrific idea.  It gives each of us, even 'moi', a chance to estimate how well the amp would handle our chosen musical genre.  Clean - as always it's H&K magnificent, Crunch - now we're getting somewhere, Lead - sounds very powerful and is the logical step beyond the Crunch, Ultra - well you know me Embarassed  (but it does it well).

    It looks like another step along the road for H&K, successfully keeping in step with their previous products but bringing in the latest digital advances, but for me it's a small step in sound terms if not in technical ones.  I'm with Jonny when he said "It sounds a lot like the GM40 to me."  It is undeniably better in some aspects than my own GM36 but I'm not sure it is too different to the GM40D vids I've listened to.  In reality we will all need to keep a cool head and try the beast out fully before allowing ourselves to fall in love with it too much.  There may be many more advantages of this amp over its predecessors.  Or then again there may not be.  We have no idea of how fussy the speaker selection is, (no, it isn't obvious at all, even though it is a SS amp speaker sound will still be a big factor), we don't know how well aspects like tone controls now work and what variety and breadth in sound they give us, and we haven't simply heard it live.  Remember this is a recording and they are optimised to show whatever the recorder wants to show.  And they are made at the behest of the Marketing Department.  And we know how they think and behave don't we?  How many times have we fallen in love with the marketing copywriters' description of a piece of gear, then tried it out live to find we couldn't get anything like the same quality sound out of it ourselves?

    I'm interested, I really do like what I'm hearing, but I still have to be convinced a little more before I would say I would like to own one.  (That and the fact that I have just gone more modern wireless in my Marshall setup once again and it has opened up my sound at the top end which it really benefits from.  Happy bunny doesn't need new carrot at the moment.  albino  )
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    Irocdave12

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    Join date : 2016-08-27
    Location : Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Re: Black Spirit 200

    Post by Irocdave12 on Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:16 pm

    The big to do about this new amp is the supposed top secret magic tone capsule developed by HK after years of research. From my initial impressions I wasn't really impressed. I was aware of a new HK amp coming for a while and kind of had my hopes dashed with a solid state amp in a GM shell and with something that may turn out to be mostly sales gimmick rather than a real advancement in solid state giving more tube like tones. What I did get from the YouTube videos is if you absolutely positively had to have a catch with you and a buddy using a authentic HK amp then the Spirit is the one to use.
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    JonnyNonsense

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    Join date : 2017-06-19

    Re: Black Spirit 200

    Post by JonnyNonsense on Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:14 am

    Sounds pretty tube-like to me.

    I think H&K has done this partly as an answer to all the people who are concerned by the GM40s cover, which heats up. People don't seem to believe that it's safe and H&K actually know what they are doing.

    I wonder if there have been some reliability concerns with the GM40 also. There seem to be a lot of people cropping up on here saying that they are experiencing problems.
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    bordonbert

    Posts : 1075
    Join date : 2015-01-28
    Age : 98
    Location : Southern England

    Re: Black Spirit 200

    Post by bordonbert on Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:59 am

    I know what you mean Jonny but we have to keep a sense of perspective here.  Firstly, look for any other site online where you can get independent technical advice specifically on problems you have with your H&K units.  (Note I said "technical" advice there and that implies good accurate facts based on verifiable results not just discussion about how good they are and such things.)  You won't find too many, (any?)  Hwystar did a great thing creating this place and making it so specific.  Even H&K themselves know of us and give us a healthy respect.  We are getting a few people with tech problems finding us and posting but these are almost all the same range of problems that the GM has had since the GM36 came out, which isn't surprising considering they share the same base circuitry and build qualities.  They are almost like slightly different models of the same unit as far as I can see.  I do think that the GM40D is now having an impact for the better on H&K's sales figures so there are more of these units appearing in the big world.  It's not surprising there are a few more people here with problems and it doesn't necessarily mean that the unit is flawed, (it doesn't mean it isn't of course).  Increase your sales by 3x and what would you expect to see in the fault figures?  Now channel all of those problems into one outlet and how would it look on that site?  I really think, (bear in mind I have worked a long time in electronic design for a number of companies), that H&K units experience a lot less problems in %age terms than other more well known brands such as Marshall and Fender where the advice on fixing them is spread over a plethora of "expert" sites over the internet, (with varying degrees of accuracy).

    And in passing, as to the "heating" problem, just as you implied it isn't!  It never has been.  The predictions from people of massive amounts of heat related failures because the metal top got hot have never happened as we told them they wouldn't.  The work we did here on measuring temperatures inside the compartments of the amp showed there was no problem and that has played out in the faults reported.  In response to those complaints I actually built a cheap shallow unit for the amp to stand on which sealed against its underside and had a pair of fans in it blowing air straight up into the slots of the amp base.  It was a work of art (modest  Embarassed ) and you will still find a thread on that in the Tubemeister forum.  Cooling Discussion  Sadly as it is so beautiful and effective, I no longer use it ever, the amp simply doesn't need it.

    Here is another factor to consider.  I have to say that the original GM36 was often bought by - hhrrmmppphhh - slightly more mature guitarists (I don't just mean "old" I really do mean discerning and knowledgeable.  Rolling Eyes )  I have seen a massive change in the members on this forum and the way they look at discussing and swapping info on their gear in the years I have been here.  Once upon a time,  everyone was looking for more knowledge and they asked questions to hear the answer.  Now they already have the answers because one conversation with someone who has a cool nickname and says "dood" a lot has taught them all there is to know.  And it's unquestionable even in the face of evidence to the contrary.  The way those original members treat their gear is different to the young new guys in the field who are much more "naahhh just try it" and "throw away" as is today's way of looking at things.  As the H&K brand has become more widely known and appealing to the youngsters they have in turn bought into it.  In general (remember I said those two words), at their stage in their flirtation with making music these guys are less knowledgeable and tend to be less restrained in (ab)using their rigs.  They tend to do daft things based on c**p they have read online and they don't know how to put them right afterwards.  (Now repeat what I said after me... "in general", so it won't apply to anyone here who reads this will it?  Wink )  We are all the same.  The things I did with my gear early in my playing career make me shiver on long dark nights nowadays.  Guitars butchered, amps cut and shut, speakers burnt out through stupid setups, shocks through the mic, I wasn't always the paragon of virtue I have become today. Cool

    As to the BS200's ability to sound like a valve amp, (BS200, what a great set of initials  Laughing ), I take a slightly different angle in looking at it.  If I am looking for a valve sound I will buy a valve amp, they are more expensive but lots are available.  If I listen to a SS or modelling amp I only apply one criterion, does it sound good?  I really feel this whole genre of amps should be listened to for their own sake, not just as a cheap way to get into the valve side.  I still have my old Vox Valvetronix AD120VT, (original Blueface, the only ones to have!)  Amongst other great aspects, it models 16 different well known and respected amps.  When I select them, does it sound like I am playing through one of those original amps?  No, not at all!  But the Vox does produce a superb sound which has the basic characteristics of the amps it models so tips its hat to them and is a brilliant sounding unit in its own right.  I can't get rid of it because it is a great sounding amp even though I have a range of other valve amps, even a couple of the ones it models.

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    Re: Black Spirit 200

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