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Blackstar Amps ?

schristie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,229
Give me the good the bad and the ugly on Blackstar. Closest dealer is an hour away. I need a "Brit" style combo and the HT 20 & HT 40 have caught my eye.

I did a search and didn't find any results with Blackstar in the title...

As always thanks for all replies!
 

keto

Member
Messages
660
Haven't owned one, played a couple of 20's and 40's in stores. Fairly ripping, actually, and quite nice clean.

Be aware that they get at least some of their clipping from diodes on the gain channel, so it's not a true straight tube path.
 

Cornholio

Member
Messages
1,642
Their support sucks should you have an issue with the amp past the warranty. I mean they could not care any less.
 

harpinon

Member
Messages
8,975
I like the 40. The gain channel is pretty fizzy like a Marshall JCM 800 if you like that sort of thing.
The clean channel is not Fendery, but not warm and buttery like Mesa. Kind of in-between.
The 40 is kind of heavy. Its quite like the Marshall DSL 40 if you ask me. Between the two, I would go with Marshall because of the whole Blackstar support thingy.
 
Messages
74
Purchased the HT20 head after trying the 5w combo. (speaker sucked compared to my custom cabs). Tried everything they had.
Wanted a small tube amp to play/practice at home.


VERY happy with the clean channel and also like the Marshall vibe from the dirty end.
Main guitar amp is a Fender Cyber-twin.

They offered a 3 year extended warrenty, so I e-mailed it in to the UK.
They responded within 1 day saying they are handled through; (can't remember the US distributer) and gave me the new info.

Registered it there and will now hope for the best.

JM
 

jerryfan6

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,407
I thought they sounded sterile. And also seem like they do clean and high gain, with nothing in between. I was not impressed, though I wanted to be.
 

B Money

Member
Messages
6,001
I had an HT5 head, it was a killer little amp. Drove the snot out it at band practice and it would get pretty loud, considering it was only 5watts. For the loud rock band I am in, it was a good sound.
I agree with the guy who says the either do clean or high gain, with not much inbetween.
 

war-knuckles

Member
Messages
575
i picked up an HT-1r combo used for a rediculous price, and was very impressed with it. i mean, the speaker is a straight piece of garbage, but it could drive a 4x12 pretty damn good, and with good speakers (1x12 or 2x12 as well) it sounded damn good. not amazing, but for what it was it was damn good. same goes with the ht-5. a friend has a head thats great for practice.

ive tried the 20 briefly and liked that as well. i think the ht-series are really nice for the price point. cant speak on the 40 tho.
 

whiskeyzulu

Member
Messages
359
I have HT-40 and have had no issues to date. Solid (ie heavy, but casters solved that) and nice cleans. The lead channel smokes at bedroom volumes but live I run pedals in clean channel for dirt.
 

Pete Faragher

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,097
I own a Artisan 15
I love it !!!!!!!
had it about 18 months, not an issue. Just great tone.

Pete
 

67mike

Senior Member
Messages
2,108
I had a HT-5 Head.....it was a great amp for home use. You could probably do a smaller gig with it.

Like many have said.....it has a nice clean channel and the overdrive is GREAT for 80's hair metal.

They make a handwired series....that are ridiculously expensive......but apparently are to die for.
 

Gasp100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,821
I just posted this in the digital forum as this amp is a backup rig / small gig rig for me -- so far so good, technically this rig has more "live" time on it than my AxeFX II as of right now :)
Please note, I'm not sure what's up with the FX Loop -- I can't tell yet if it's not working correct or it just does work differently and putting something into the RETURN ONLY doesn't work. Read below (also did speaker swap and will probably drop in newer/better glass eventually:

I ended up going with a Blackstar HT20 combo. The cleans are really nice actually, there is gobs of gain on the gain side but with it set low it's a nice marshally grind. That ISF is pretty cool, you can hear differences in the frequencies change and it helps to EQ. It comes with a footswitch, seperate volumes for each channel and a very nice Master Volume.
EL34's in the power section which I love, adds a little glassiness but much more girth (IMHO) than a 2-EL84 configuration. It can get very loud but sounds very nice super low volume as well. Emulated out for direct actually sounds okay going direct into a power monitor or board and is seperate from the MV so it can essentially be muted live and the emulate output works - no dedicated volume control for the emulated out though...
It also have an FX loop but for some reason plugging in my AxeFX II into the return only is not getting me any signal out of the amp?
I grabbed the Blackstar plus a Zoom G3 (LOVE this little guy! I'm bringing it to work in the outside pocket of my gigbag and will be shedding during lunch each day ;).
Anyway for this sit in gig I did I used the Blackstar mic'd with the G3 in front giving me overdrive (whatever their version of the Dr. Jekyl / Hyde pedal is?) + Graphic EQ with a slight mid boost and +3dB for solos and then a nice delay. I mic'd up, got a super quick sound check and the guy put a lot of me in the vocal monitors... it sounded awesome up front and they say sounded great in the crowd.
I could DEFINITELY gig with this backup.
I will probably dial in the G3 by itself and actually use that as my main backup for the II. I have another idea for the G3 in my rig but I will start another post on that one.
I should add I pulled the ASW Crossroads out of my Port City and put it in the BlackStar... wow, good fit! Maybe upgrade the glass (not sure what is in there now) and this backup will be banging! Just need to find out about the FX loop.
 

sizzlemann

Member
Messages
59
I have a HT100 head and love it. I play in a cover band and there doesn't seem to be a sound that I can't dial in pretty closely. No it can't get that exact AC30 sound but when you are playing live, 99% of the people can't tell a difference or don't care.
On it's own, it has a what I call an earthy tone to it. Kind of gritty. But it's very versitile with the 3 channels it provides.

I've never had any issue with it (had it for almost a year now) and I'm using the head about 12 hours (gigs and practice) a week. Tubes are holding up pretty well. I pair it with a Marshall 4x12 Vintage cabinet and it's freaking louder than I need.

All my effects run thorough the effects loop with no issue at all. All effects sound great. It also has it's own reverb that is handy. You can select dark or bright on the back and there is a on/off switch on the floorboard. So I can use the HOF pedal without the other reverb. But I use the amp reverb most of the time.

It's been a great, trusty amp so far. I have absolutely no complaints. I highly recommend this amp to anyone.
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,390
I had an HT-20 combo. Sounded decent, but they come with low-end Celestion speakers that you'll probably want to replace. Nowhere near as loud as most 20 watt amps. Couldn't really hang with my drummer.
 

MetalOctane

Member
Messages
159
I have had an HT-5R head for a year and it has worked great so far. Like others have said, there really isn't a light crunch in this amp as it pretty much jumps from clean to ac/dc medium crunch. (edit: actually you can but it requires cranking the clean channel to 10 or using an od on the clean channel) It excels at 80's-90's hard rock. Initially, I ran it through 2 Blackstar 1x12's but ended up selling those and now use a Marshall 1960A. This little amp likes the G12-75's. However, I must say that I find myself using my 100W DSL 95% of the time even at 2am condo volumes. Take a good look at the Marshall DSL40C or even the 100H, in my opinion they offer more than similar Blackstar offerings.
 

rich-96db

Member
Messages
264
I have had an HT-5R head for a year and it has worked great so far. Like others have said, there really isn't a light crunch in this amp as it pretty much jumps from clean to ac/dc medium crunch. (edit: actually you can but it requires cranking the clean channel to 10 or using an od on the clean channel) It excels at 80's-90's hard rock. Initially, I ran it through 2 Blackstar 1x12's but ended up selling those and now use a Marshall 1960A. This little amp likes the G12-75's. However, I must say that I find myself using my 100W DSL 95% of the time even at 2am condo volumes. Take a good look at the Marshall DSL40C or even the 100H, in my opinion they offer more than similar Blackstar offerings.
I agree with MetalOctane - no light crunch in the HT-5. You can get light crunch with the HT-1 by cranking the gain, but not engaging the overdrive button. I sometimes wish the HT-5 followed that design.
 

HoboMan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
17,960
I like the 40. The gain channel is pretty fizzy like a Marshall JCM 800 if you like that sort of thing.
I went in to try an HT40 with full intent on buying it.
I was looking for a backup for my JCM800.

I can tell you that it DID NOT sound like my JCM800. My JCM800 has no fizz to it and the 40 seemed to be all fizz.
It may have been the speaker but whatever it was I left the store without an amp.

I ended up getting a Budda SD45 and couldn't be happier.
My JCM800 is now the backup amp.
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,390
I went in to try an HT40 with full intent on buying it.
I was looking for a backup for my JCM800.

I can tell you that it DID NOT sound like my JCM800. My JCM800 has no fizz to it and the 40 seemed to be all fizz.
It may have been the speaker but whatever it was I left the store without an amp.

I ended up getting a Budda SD45 and couldn't be happier.
My JCM800 is now the backup amp.
I agree. People say they sound like Marshalls, but I didn't hear that at all.
 






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