Hughes & Kettner promises to “redefine the guitar amp” with feature-rammed Black Spirit 200

German amp giant Hughes & Kettner has announced the Black Spirit 200, with which it hopes to “redefine the guitar amplifier”.

Weighing 8lbs and delivering a 200-watt output, the Black Spirit 200 is the first amp to feature H&K’s mysterious new ‘bionic’ Spirit tech - according to the company, the Spirit Tone Generator recreates the interactions of traditional tube amp circuits in an analogue way for top-notch tone and responsiveness.

Like H&K’s impressive GrandMeister tube line, the Black Spirit 200 packs four channels - clean, crunch, lead and ultra - as well as reverb, delay and modulation effects.

An onboard power amp sagging control is a world-first for an analogue amp, says H&K, allowing players to tweak sag regardless of volume level.

The amp can also be played through any kind of speaker - so, guitar cabs, FRFR systems such as PAs, studio monitors and even hi-fis - while the Red Box DI output is now bolstered by eight cab simulations.

H&K’s Smart Rotary Control ensures every pot setting can be saved and recalled in up to 128 presets using a MIDI footswitch, upped to unlimited presets using the amp’s free iPad app via Bluetooth.

And yes, before you ask, that 200W output can be reduced to 20, 2 or even 0 watts for silent recording. You can jam along to your own tunes via an aux in or Bluetooth, too.

Well, that about wraps up one of the most exhaustive spec lists we’ve encountered on an amp in some time.

The price clocks in with a none-too shabby UK RRP of £879 - that's a couple of hundred less than the GrandMeister. Interesting…

Head over to Hughes & Kettner for more and see below for detailed specs.

Spirit 200 specs

  • Pioneering bionic Spirit Tone Generator faithfully recreates the vivid interactions of traditional tube amp circuits in a strictly analog way
  • 4 channels: Clean, Crunch, Lead, Ultra, which offer all the iconic amp sounds 
  • The world’s first analog amp with true power amp sagging control, adds creaminess at any volume
  • Output power switchable from 200 to 20 and 2 watts without sacrificing your tone
  • All new Red Box AE+ with eight ultra-realistic cabinet emulations
  • Enjoy great tone through any kind of loudspeaker: guitar cabinets, active or passive full range PA speakers, studio or hi-fi speakers
  • Digital on-board effects: Reverb, Delay (with Tap function), Flanger, Phaser, Chorus, Tremolo
  • All controls except Master Volume are fully programmable thanks to Hughes & Kettner’s proprietary Smart Rotary Control technology
  • Save your favorite sound settings in up to 128 presets
  • MIDI In and Thru lets you connect the Hughes & Kettner FSM-432 MK III MIDI board or other MIDI controllers
  • Wireless remote control and unlimited presets with the free App for iPad
  • Bluetooth streaming or stereo mini jack for jamming to playalongs 
  • Headphones out that also serves as a stereo line out
  • Full range automatic switching power supply for worldwide use (100 V to 240 V)
  • Just 3.6 kg / 7.8 lbs. 
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 410 x 155 x 150 mm
Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.

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