Blackstar HT-60 or $500 alternatives?

CelloFingers

Member
Messages
77
I've been testing a Roland Blues Cube Hot, which is a great amp so far, but I fear not loud enough to be my one-and-only amp. Especially if I want loud and *clean* you know? So I see a Blackstar HT-60 Soloist (1x12) 60w el84s that sounds like it has blackface cleans, vox crunch and marshall leads.

Anyone have experience with Blackstar HT-40 or other BS combos that recommend them one way or another? Am I better off with a DSL40, or is the BS actually good?

Looking for a giggable (and rehearsal - non-mic'ed...) amp with HEADROOM for loud cleans, around $500 (if the suggestions are Twin or something, I might as well keep the Blues Cube for now and end up with 2 amps...)

Thanks, fellas!
 

CubanB

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2,148
I'm a fan.. most people here are not. Tube changes and the cab/speaker you run it into help (with every single tube amp ever, Blackstar included)..

They aren't that popular there but yeah. The Blackstar does have great clean headroom. You're best off playing them in person if you can. Both of the amps you listed aren't really TGP's focus.. more Mesas, Soldanos, old school Marshalls or boutique modded variations etc etc.
 

shanesiegle

Silver Supporting Member
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2,750
They have a hybrid preamp that a lot of guys don't click with. I had an ht100 for about a year and it was a good amp but I'm much happier with my current rig. They are good amps and the cleans especially are really nice. It's an el34 amp by the way.
 

AXEL276

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1,224
I believe the Soloist 60 is EL34's. I had one. It is loud. I didn't like the OD chann and I hardly ever used the clean. I also changed the stock speaker and put a Vintage 30 in it and re-tubed.
It's an ok amp I guess if you just use the clean and pedals. It is heavy!
 
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347
doesn't the soloist have only a tone control for the clean channel and the 3 band for the drive channel? Just a tone control on clean channel seems limiting... If 3 band eq affected both channels and tone control on clean was additional variance tweakability that would be different.
 

BrokenRomeo

Silver Supporting Member
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2,242
I had an HT100 for a while, and it was a good amp, but sort of sterile sounding to me...I greatly prefer the DSL amps.
 

CelloFingers

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77
Thanks for the responses, guys.

Any decent combos that are similar volume for around that price? Doesn't have to be EL84s (which I did note in my OP... thanks for confirmation?), but I like a vox/marshall crunch more than a fender/mesa crunch. Maybe that's just the tone stack?

Either way, the Blues Cube Hot is around 32 lbs and doesn't feel heavy, the HT60 Solo is 50lbs so it should be ok, but if people think it's heavy, I take that to mean unbalanced and hard to carry... I might end up with a pair of Roland Cube 80GX or something like that... Got a few more days to decide, taking advantage of Sweetwater financing 3 years (or 4 years for Roland...)
 

shanesiegle

Silver Supporting Member
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2,750
A Budda Sd18 would be a little more but imho is the best tone south of a grand period and holds up to just about anything out there. Voxy cleans and one of the best drive channels on the planet (Dave Friedman helped design it).
 

CelloFingers

Member
Messages
77
A Budda Sd18 would be a little more but imho is the best tone south of a grand period and holds up to just about anything out there. Voxy cleans and one of the best drive channels on the planet (Dave Friedman helped design it).
Just checked on this and it's closer to $2k, this is (price wise) in direct competition with MESA so definitely out of my price range. When I get there someday, I'll keep the brand in mind...
 

vbf

Gold Supporting Member
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4,931
I'm a fan of Blackstars and gigged with an HT-40 for a couple of years with no drama and great results. I actually put the stock speaker back in after having tried a Cannabis Rex. I tend to replace V1 with Mesa's high end preamp tube as it seems to "balance" the tone the way I like it. It's not a significant change but sufficient for my taste. As far as the drive channel, it's one you either like or not. I generally use dirt pedals because I play a wide variety of songs and it's just easier than fiddling with the gain know throughout the set and/or adjusting the guitar's volume knob. That said, I've used the HT-40's dirt channel for 80's rock (Rock You Like a Hurricane-ish tones) and it's passable. The other nice HT-40 feature is the emulated speaker output, which provides for silent recording and/or going to the board if backline volume is an issue but you still want your amp's tone characteristics.
 

shanesiegle

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,750
Just checked on this and it's closer to $2k, this is (price wise) in direct competition with MESA so definitely out of my price range. When I get there someday, I'll keep the brand in mind...
I'm assuming you aren't in the U.S. Then?
 

CelloFingers

Member
Messages
77
I'm a fan of Blackstars and gigged with an HT-40 for a couple of years with no drama and great results.
Thanks for this. I like to leave stock speakers and tubes as long as possible to get more familiar with the sound before changing it (so I can know if it's a positive or negative change!) so I'm glad to hear the stock speaker can be ok.

I plan to use mostly clean and pedals, but I would use the dirt channel at very low gain for an edge-of-breakup Blues sound, I won't be playing any metal or chugs at all :)

I've heard people describe it as fizzy and "solid state sounding" but I imagine that's with everything cranked like an idiot? Can't be sure, but as long as I can get some chiming cleans (glassier than solid state like JC120) and some mild bluesy crunch, I'm sold.
 

Rod

Tone is Paramount
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Look into the Egnaters: Rebel, Renegade, etc
This... The Egnaters are very warm and versatile.. Every blackstar I have tried in the HT series is sterile and sort of non musical sounding... Their Series One 45 however is an amazing amp...
 

CelloFingers

Member
Messages
77
Yeah but used they go for $600/$800.
Well, I mentioned I'll be buying from Sweetwater online, and if you're talking used, the Blackstar I'm looking at would be around $300, about the same as an AC15 maybe. So for A LOT more, I could get a boutique amp.

This... The Egnaters are very warm and versatile.. Every blackstar I have tried in the HT series is sterile and sort of non musical sounding... Their Series One 45 however is an amazing amp...
That's probably because in the HT series they are using lower end speakers, they've plainly admitted this, and it's to bring cost down. I can always change out the speaker after breaking it in if I don't like it, that's the real thing that would cause an amp to sound "sterile" if we're honest, the speaker. As for Egnater, I can maybe afford the Tweaker (15w 1x12) but it doesn't look that versatile based on the controls.

Really I think I'd rather a great clean amp that takes pedals well (that's not a Fender Twin because I'd like to lift it into my car sometimes...)
 

shanesiegle

Silver Supporting Member
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2,750
Well, I mentioned I'll be buying from Sweetwater online, and if you're talking used, the Blackstar I'm looking at would be around $300, about the same as an AC15 maybe. So for A LOT more, I could get a boutique amp.



That's probably because in the HT series they are using lower end speakers, they've plainly admitted this, and it's to bring cost down. I can always change out the speaker after breaking it in if I don't like it, that's the real thing that would cause an amp to sound "sterile" if we're honest, the speaker. As for Egnater, I can maybe afford the Tweaker (15w 1x12) but it doesn't look that versatile based on the controls.

Really I think I'd rather a great clean amp that takes pedals well (that's not a Fender Twin because I'd like to lift it into my car sometimes...)
Sorry, missed the sweetwater part.
 
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CelloFingers

Member
Messages
77
Sorry, missed the sweetwater part.
Sorry for being snappy, I really appreciate the suggestions, I'm learning a lot on here - in another thread someone was being real snippy and it must have put me in a mood. Now that I'm reading what I wrote, I see it was not very friendly in tone! Sorry, brother!
 

Rod

Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
22,088
You can buy a used Tweaker 15 or 40 combo for under $500… they are actually the most versatile of all the lower end sub $1000 amps on the market today. The 40 has 2 channels... they also sound great with pedals and they have a good FX loop...
 




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