1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Blackstar Amp Club

Discussion in 'Amp Owners Clubs' started by tjk3052, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. Jaymann

    Jaymann TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    60
    Joined:
    May 2, 2013
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
  2. Duffy

    Duffy Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    783
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Location:
    South Williamsport, Pa, USA




    I just bought a new HT-5RH head about a week ago and have it hooked up to my Avatar vintage style two by twelve cab loaded with twin Eminence "Swamp Thang" super sensitive speakers.


    I really, really dig this rig. It sounds so good. Even the simple clean channel sounds great, very three dimensional surprisingly so. The drive channel is awesome and produces some great sounds with my various guitars.


    Two guitars that have stood out are my PRS SE Custom 24 that sounds powerful but very smooth and mellow with the humbuckers in it - just a smooth beautiful overdrive. Also my older Fender Lonestar Strat with the "Pearly Gates" full sized humbucker bridge pickup and two "Texas Special" single coils, sounds really good. All of the pickup settings sound great and it is a fairly hot guitar. It interacts with the HT5-RH and the cab really well, definitely a class act when it comes to tones.


    I'm still trying out some of my other guitars and my Gibson SG STandard with the 490/498 pickup set also sounds really good, including on the clean channel. That clean channel really has surprised me with its simplicity but great sound.


    This is a great amp for playing around the house and at night with some reasonably high gain, at a level just above conversational. It lets me do late night/early morning playing without waking up my fiancée, and it can be turned down even further and still produce a very satisfying saturated sound. It is a great amp for the "stay at home" player that often plays at night, etc.


    I live in a rural area in an old awesome farmhouse, so none of the neighbors are very close, but I think the amp would do well in an apartment, especially for daytime playing when the noise of the World is in full swing. At night it would have to be reigned in in many situations though, I suppose, but it sounds great at conversational levels of loudness.


    What a great amp. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a very home friendly amp that will produce great overdrive sounds without disturbing others. Plus when the time is right it can be cranked up to sound relatively loud with screaming gain, but still not ridiculously loud or earth shakingly loud.


    This amp could be the solution to a lot of guys search for an amp that is just right for at home playing. It definitely put a smile on my face the first time I played it, which was here at home. It is definitely one of the best amp purchases I have made over my many years of playing. None of my other small amps sound anywhere near as good as this amp, and it is really a good looking amp head and matches my black cab with gold piping and a bluesbreaker type top panel and lower black grill, trimmed with gold piping.


    I have the head right at arms length in my playing area so I can just reach over and adjust the controls, turn it on and off, etc. The cabinet is on a specially built heavy duty shelf that I have another cab and amp on, along the wall, at head level. This rig works out very well.


    I can't wait to try out my Gibson LP Studio with Burstbucker Pro's with it. I have a feeling that they are going to hit the spot.
     
  3. pete-strych

    pete-strych Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    960
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    I want to hear from Blackstar HT-50 Head owners. Can it convincingly do that vintage Plexi sound (circa 1967-68?)???
    Does the clean channel CRANKED, have that huge glassy tone? Is the crunch & solo sound sweet yet with clear notes like classic AC/DC?
    Can you get that hot rodded sound like early VH?
    The YouTube Video with Chappers & Captain Lee is pretty informative & entertaining & represents the amp pretty well, along with the NeoGeo French dude demo shedding to early Deep Purple. I have an HT-1RH for recording & practice etc., which is great, so I like their build quality & features overall. I've heard a few demos, & it sounds pretty rockin', but can it fill my Plexi jones with the right setup? I play Celestion Vintage 30 speakers, have 2 pro pedalboards, & my guitars all have high end pickup upgrades & vintage Tone Caps installed. Can the Blackstar HT-50 work, without dropping $2000-$4000 on a Plexi clone like a Suhr, Friedman, metropolis?
     
  4. ce24

    ce24 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,792
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Idahoastan
    I'm in with an HT20. What a great sounding amp. I must say that I had to ceate a settings chart for my various guitars. each one had to be very specifically set up to get the best tone w/o fizzines in the OD channel....but so what It really delivers for each of my guitars with great and varied tones.


    cheers ce24
     
  5. Duffy

    Duffy Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    783
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Location:
    South Williamsport, Pa, USA




    You might want to try an Eminence Swamp Thang 16 ohm speaker. It sounds really good with tight low end but lots of bass, just not muddy; really great mids and treble. It is very sensitive, like approx. 104dB, which means that it is a "lot" louder than the stock speaker. But the tone is fabulous, to my ear at least. I am using a two by twelve with these along with my HT5-RH head.
     
  6. DaveCCF

    DaveCCF Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    148
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Location:
    Ava, MO
    Haven't had much of a chance with mine yet as I live in an apartment, but a friend is going to house it for me and I can try it out at his place. I 'll try to get back with some more info on it. Amazingly, the low-volume stuff is quite nice. Very unusual for a tube amp. I got the half stack with a HT412 and I might just swap speakers out as these are bottom of the line Celestion. I keep hearing about Swamp Thangs so there must be something to it. I actually have a few of them. Was debating pairing them with Cannabis Rex.
     
  7. Duffy

    Duffy Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    783
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Location:
    South Williamsport, Pa, USA




    When you put in that EH power tube did you re-bias the amp? I can't figure out if it is necessary or not and I don't want to blow up my nice new amp. Some say to bias it and others say that it is not required. Blackstar is evidently very secretive about their schematics and service procedures.
     
  8. Davey82

    Davey82 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Location:
    Southampton, UK
    I own two HT1R heads, a Studio 20 head and the HT-40 Vintage Pro with a V30 speaker.

    The two HT1Rs are for home practice and recording, I run a stereo set up and they're great for working on sounds at home before I take them to a gig. Can get a pretty good representation of what it'll sound like up to gig volume.

    I used to run a jam night in my town and the backline I would take was my HT20 head and a Marshall JTMC212 cab. All the guitarists who came to play were always impressed with the sound and couldn't believe it was a little 20w head. The only thing I will say about the 20 is that it needs a little help EQ wise. I always run an MXR 6 band EQ either on my board or in the loop to add/remove sparkle as needed.

    The HT40 is an absolute monster. Love the sound of it with the V30. It absolutely roars on the clean channel in boutique mode. I have that sound as a base tone with a Fender DRRi in stereo. It adds body to that classic blackface sound and the combination of the two is immense!

    I did a tour once with a Blackstar Stage 60 as backline too. Again, I liked the amp but to my ears it didn't sound as sweet as the lower watters.
     
  9. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,960
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    Location:
    Finland
    Elsewhere, a number of guys seem almost ecstatic about the tiny Blackstar Fly 3 for home use or plugging direct to PA or recorder.

    Has anyone here tried it?
     
  10. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    878
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Location:
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    I just placed an order for the HT1MC because Musician's Friend had it on sale for $189.00. I darn near bought the HT-1 for $169 at GC, but that was the model that didn't have the phones/em. out or reverb. I'm not a huge metal player, but I'm banking on it having a bit more versatility than that. The few videos I could find sounded pretty good, and any reviews mentioned how surprising the low end was for a 8" speaker. So the voicing is at least quite a bit different from my other smaller amps, which are of the Fender/Vox flavor.

    Anyway, a bit of a risk, but I was interested in the stripped down version of the HT-1, and this one seemed to be better in just about every way. I'll post back in a week or so with my thoughts.

    As for the guy who asked about the Fly 3, I think it looks great. Thought about that one, too, but I didn't have much of a need for a battery amp (and it is delay, but no reverb). The ID Core 10 is an awesome low volume practice amp.
     
  11. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    878
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Location:
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Not much activity here, but I wanted to post back and report that I got the HT1MC, which is the HT-1 Metal Edition. I'm really pleased with the amp. Maybe not $350 pleased, but for $189, I think it will be quite useful. It's also amazingly compact next to something like a Vox Pathfinder 15 - same speaker size, but the Pathfinder absolutely dwarfs it.

    Build quality is top notch (for the price, or otherwise). That was actually one of the things I didn't like about the Guitar Center edition - it sounded great, but was missing just a few features and the stripped down aesthetics took away from the experience of wanting to own one just enough.

    Want to be clear that I not using the amp for "metal". The speaker is definitely darker than the regular HT-1, though it's tough to say how much. Also, because of the way ISF works (and the fact that there's no on-board EQ), you can't really adjust it anyway. But in using different pedals and trying out various pickups (SC, P90, HB), I can tell you that this thing has some clean sparkle to it. One of my favorite settings was a bridge P90 with a clean setting, volume at 100% and the gain about half. It was like 60's Vox vintagey goodness. And you can get enough clean headroom on the clean channel to use your pedals at bedroom volume and have them sound like they're being played through a decent tube amp. When I say "bedroom volume", I mean it - this thing does not get particularly loud, though loud enough for me.

    The overdrive channel is decent, though it gets pretty noisy on higher settings. I suppose it's a "metal" tone - good low end for a speaker of this size, but not like a super-mean "scooped" type of metal. It's a solid little amp, and sounds great with the headphone jack, too.
     
  12. dgfreeman

    dgfreeman TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    8
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    Location:
    Coastal SC
    I just picked up an HT1 (no reverb) and I am really diggin it. I don't think I would like the 8"speaker at all, but it's really quite pleasing, so long as you don't point it towards you head. The output on this amp is emulated, and doesn't sound bad. For my taste I prefer the sound of the mic'd speaker, which I didn't think I would (being a cheap 8”). No reverb doesn't bother me, I can get a fair reverb with pedals, but I don't use it much anyway. I like the way this amp takes pedals and of course it goes bat **** crazy with gain when you switch "channels"

    I did a quick little sound demo for my own ears to find out how I liked the emulated out, and to find a good spot on the soaker to mic. I'll link it herehttp://https://soundcloud.com/danielgfreeman/checking-out-blackstar-ht1
     
  13. Duffy

    Duffy Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    783
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Location:
    South Williamsport, Pa, USA
    I just bought an HT5-RH (reverb/head) and I think it has a lot more features compared to the HT1 versions. I play it thru my Avatar two twelve cab with Eminence "Swamp Thang" super sensitive, loud, speakers with great tone.


    I can turn it down to less than TV volumes for ultra high gain saturated tone without waking up my fiancée sleeping next to me. At conversational volume level it sounds great, but you can also crank it up to get some awesome rather loud sounds out of it when no one is around.


    I have to say it is one of the best, if not the best, amps I have ever purchased. The clean channel, only having two knobs - volume and tone - sounds phenomenal and very much 3D. I even play my new Taylor 150e twelve string acoustic electric thru it and it sounds super great. The pickups/preamp on the Taylor are super nice though and I'm sure that has a lot to do with how it sounds thru the Blackstar. I won't even pull out my acoustic amp, this sounds so good.


    I think getting the head and a cab was the best way for me to go. I wouldn't buy the small Blackstar cab though, and I already had the Avatar two by twelve cab, so it just made sense.


    I'm really glad I bought this amp. I'm also really glad I bought that Taylor twelve string; I have wanted one for many, many years and this one is really nice, super beautiful sounding, and has great bass, mids, and highs. It took me a few hours to get the hang of the twelve string because it requires the development of different playing techniques, especially with your fretting hand but also with your picking hand. The chord progressions sound incredible with the twelve string, and it is easy to play. Taylor knows how to make great guitars; this is my first one.
     
  14. skerwo

    skerwo Tele-Holic

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    626
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    near Munich, Germany
    Yep, I have one for home use. Yesterday in the evening i found me playing around with the Fly3 for 2 hours on my sofa. Didn´t realize how the time was running away. Great little practice amp, also good for journeys and as a possibility to play your mp3s. One of the best buys in the past years
     
  15. bluesky6

    bluesky6 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    37
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    MF is have a sale on the HT-1MC. So I just joined the club. It may just displace the AC4C1-BL....
     
  16. bluesky6

    bluesky6 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    37
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Just got the HT-1MC. This is the "metal" version of the 1-watter. I don't play metal...

    The amp has 2 channels: overdrive off and on.

    In "off", I can max the gain and get some good crunch with a twin-blade DiMarzio Chopper.

    Connect the little amp to an Eminence Tonkerlite (12", 8ohms) and the volume jumps up to "loud". The tone gets a lot better.

    I agree with some that the default speaker seems to have some scoop in it. With the Tonkerlite, the scoop goes away and I can get hard rock(ish) tones.

    I may swap in a Weber Blue Pup from my Pathfinder and/or another 8-incher.

    Overdrive "on" is quite unusable (since I don't play metal!). I may have to fiddle with the gain and ISF controls a little bit more.
     
  17. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,960
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    Location:
    Finland
    I've been wondering what happens when you turn the gain down on a high gain amp...
     
  18. tintag27

    tintag27 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,672
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Location:
    Old England
    Fly 3 !

    Yep - I'm in!
    Don't know what spells those wizards at Blackstar weaved to get such a great sound out of such a tiny box - but I love it!
     

    Attached Files:

  19. bluesky6

    bluesky6 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    37
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Max gain on non-overdrive = low gain on overdrive.

    At least to my inexperienced ears.

    I took the amp apart to swap in the Weber Blue Pup. Info for all speaker swappers: the stock speaker is 8 ohms.

    The signal path is not all tube. It looks like there are at least two TL072 op-amps in the input stage (tiny surface mount devices). There's also a large integrated circuit, which is probably the reverb...
     
  20. bluesky6

    bluesky6 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    37
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    I miss having a tone control.

    I played a Strat+Texas Specials pickups this morning. At low volumes, the bridge PU sounds okay. With volume at 9 o'clock the tone becomes a little ice picky. It may be because of the Blue Pup.

    I ordered a Jensen C8R to deal with some of the flubbiness but am thinking that I should have perhaps gone with a Mod8 instead.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.