Hughes & Kettner unveils the Black Spirit 200 Floor pedalboard amplifier

(Image credit: Hughes & Kettner)

Hughes & Kettner has taken the Black Spirit 200 solid-state head, revised it with a number of cool new features and crammed it into a pedalboard-sized floor-based guitar amplifier .

Like the amp head and combo in the "bionic" Spirit series, the Black Spirit 200 Floor is designed to combine analogue amp tone with digital processing and has a whole host of smart features. Our review of of the lightweight, feature-stacked Black Spirit 200 said "Solid-state never sounded so good," and to have this in a floor-based unit could be a game-changer.

It's not as though the Black Spirit 200 head was not portable, but this, encased in a metal enclosure yet weighing in at just over 4kg, is something you can throw in a rucksack and head to your rehearsal or gig.

The Black Spirit Floor's design incorporates H&K's FSM-432 controller in its design and has with Direct 7 mode you can easily choose from seven programmable presets – one for each footswitch. Use the unit as a normal four-channel amp or amass a variety of presets and use it much like a floor-based multi-effects/amp modeller. It comes with 128 presets. 

Elsewhere, it is very similar to the Black Spirit 200. (Though you don't need to buy the external footswitch.) Tone-wise, it should be identical – albeit with more options. 

There are four analogue channels: clean, crunch, lead and ultra. Other controls are the same, and can be saved to the amp's presets. You'll also find reverb, delay and modulation, plus an onboard boost, noise gate and Sagging control to help mimic valve amplifier dynamics. 

Among the features added to the Black Spirit 200 Floor include two programmable true bypass pre-loops, which allow you to connect your pedals without stepping on your tone, and you can bring them into your signal when needed. 

There is an adjustable "Monitor In" input so you can import the front-of-house monitor mix – or any external audio – and blend it with your guitar's signal. This can then be send to headphones or monitors, which could be handy for recording or live playing, or even as a practice tool.

You can also connect it to the PA or in-ear monitors via the Red Box AE/DI. There's also Bluetooth connectivity for the accompanying app (iOS, Android).

The Black Spirit 200 Floor is available now, priced $899 (£800, $1,000 approx).

See Hughes & Kettner for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.

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