My interests have never revolved around the technical stuff that much, but I have always used tube amplifiers, ever since my first tube radio. During my actual career as a guitarist, I have been using a Marshall, Mesa-Boogie, Music Man and lastly Fender. We have gotten along with these just fine and they’ve been put to good use on a lot of busy tours. I have always been seeking just slight distortion, tight basic sound, which I have been modifying and spicing up with pedals and channel changes depending on the song. Since my choice of guitars has been relatively traditional, one could think that my amplifiers have been quite standard as well.
Hehku took me by surprise, blew me away and got me hooked instantly. The connection came through JJS’s bass-player Kid’s friend Markku Penttilä. Markku is known in the band and he suggested we could try Hehku’s out during our comeback-tour. There was nothing wrong with my Fender, but the opportunity seemed so captivating I couldn’t pass it up!
Despite not being super into the machines and tech-part of music, Hehku Nightingale 15’s sound was an instant love-connection. It was clear, snapped beautifully on top, left enough headroom and its high-quality tubular attack were like something I had unknowingly been looking for! The clear and distortion channels were placed after one another, making it possible to switch quickly and dig up a great rock sound-combination: in position three we have clear channel that has a little distortion when you slam the guitar hard and once you redirect to the drive-channel there’s an excellent actual distortion sound to which the drive-adjustment provides a lot of variety in different tones.
The component that halves main state’s triode/pentode switch, the front state’s triode/pentode’s foot pedal switch as well as the drive-channelling switch offer a wide range of ready, usable sounds once you find the right balance between them. Really well functioning and operational in a gig-setting! Despite only having 15W, the headroom and other volume holds well even on our gigs, despite the drummer practically slaughtering his drum kit.
Last but not least, I have to give some extra-credit for the fine finishing on the outer cores of these amplifiers. Hehkus look attractive, even seductive without a forced feeling of retro. It has just the right kind of design for my taste.