Blackstar Ht 5h

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by newamerikangospel, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. newamerikangospel


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    Oct 8, 2006
    Wow, so I have had this for a while, and have been playing around with it at home, but I just had the ability to my first band practice with it (just drummer, and I). Wow. Im not sure if there is a solid state section of the preamp, but there isn't an abundance of gain to this, and the gain it has is more of a slap then a roll-of-quarters-in-the-fist punch that high gain amps have, but still very usable (I needed a boost, but this can be said about most amps, even high end amps).

    I am running this through my Hughes and Kettner cab, with g12f-60s in them (Think of a V30, with the spike at 800, but still having the low end "weakness" to them). At band volume (which was only half way :eek: on the volume dial), it gets very dry, lower gain Mark IV tone. The head itself was running at ISF 7/8 (british), Highs 5/6, mids full, bass at 3/4, gain at 5. I had my TS-9 running with gain at 2.5/3, tone at 7/8, and level at about 9, and an MXR 10-band eq runngin with a slight boost at 1khz, and 4khz. It had the bark and the punch-yness of a the Mark IVs I have heard, but didn't have the rich, bubbly gain. With the gain any higher, it started to saturate (good) but became discernable (bad).

    ISF Control
    The ISF control adjusts the whole tone stack, not just the mids, which is what I was expecting. To my ears, it played with the controls as

    0/American 3khz
    10/Brit 5khz

    0/American 500hz with a sharp bell/notch
    10/Brit 800ish, with a wide bell

    0/American 70-80 hz
    10/Brit 100-125hz

    It seems like there is some compensation going on too, highs and bass seem to effect the placement of the mid spike. As well as, with everything on 5 and the bass at max, it would become overwhelming, but once you start adjusting, more highs, less mids, the bass seemed to move around/position itself where no matter how low you had the mids, they wouldn't dissappear (read as "no black metalz")

    I guess it does emulate 6l6 on american, and el34 for Brit, but not overall realistically. I really couldn't find a tone for the American side, but then again, I have a very mid heavy cab, so the sharp Brit sound really doesn't hurt.

    This thing is a 6/5 just for price alone. THIS IS LOUD ENOUGH TO PLAY WITH A MODERATE SIZED BAND! I bought this with the expectations that 5 watts is roughly 35% of 100 watts, so i should be able to crank it all the way up and at least still be able to hear myself. I had this on 5 and it was loud enough. Maybe in a 6 peice, 2 guitars, bass, drums, keyboardist, and alot of layer stuff, this might not cut it in practice, but I dont see how unless you are dialing it way out (scooped mids, max gain, max bass, ect).

    All I have is my cellphone, since my girlfriend is doing an internship in PA. Here is a video of sloppy master of puppets intro


    This was at lower volumes (enough above acoustic string sound) and the phone was about 2-3 feet away from the cab. The lows aren't really in there, and the highs are misplaced and brittle compared to the room tone, but you can hear the mids/barkyness. I think it hits in the general area of the MOP tone (I think it was marshall, and a Mark IIC+. Whatever they used :shrug: ).
  2. zindrome

    zindrome part time ninja

    Likes Received:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Vancouver, BC
    Thanks for the review on this
    seems like everyone loves this lil tooob gem
    mite have to order one in a few months
    can you get a decent tone without volumes that get u evicted from apartments?
  3. quaned

    quaned Regular

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    Nov 10, 2009
    saw the combo verdion of this today :) very nice and solid amp
  4. ralphy1976

    ralphy1976 1 less ERGNESS

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    May 26, 2009
    vienna, austria, EUROPE
    thanks for the review, i have been eyeing this one for a while, thinking about keeping it at home for some groovy pratices
  5. tacotiklah

    tacotiklah I am Denko (´・ω・`)

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    Nov 28, 2009
    Lancaster, CA
    this is a great amp. I recommend it as the amp to get for bedroom practice/small gig. Run a metal muff through this amp and enjoy!
  6. Ketzer

    Ketzer Good news, everyone!

    Likes Received:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Wynnewood, PA
    The lack of gain is due to the preamp tube being a 12AT7 out of the factory. I dropped a 12AX7 in mine and it makes it even better, if that was possible.
  7. SirChugAlot7-8

    SirChugAlot7-8 Sir Chug

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    Apr 4, 2010
    Arkadelphia, AR
    :shred: gettting evicted can really suck due to playing through tubed amplifiers lol. id have to say buy the house. i really enjoy reading about this head and i just am a penny pincher i guess. have fun with it.
  8. Mordacain

    Mordacain 1-watt brigadier

    Likes Received:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Lexington, SC
    I've got the combo version of this. In stock configuration its pretty good, but tube changes can really bring it into its own. I went through a pretty wide selection of vintage and modern 12AX7s and a couple of vintage RCA (I think) 12BH7s. As it stands right now I think I have an Tung-Sol along with the RCA. It was my only functioning amp when I started playing with the tubes so I needed it to sound good clean as well as driven. I might go play around with the configuration again now that I have seven string and the Egnater Tweaker for cleans.

    The 10" combo speaker sounds pretty nice but the 7 string is too much low end (as you would expect). I haven't tried the 10" coupled with the Egnater Tweaker 12" cab yet but I expect it would be a pretty righteous mix of solid lows and clear highs. I've only recently put my Randall 4x12 back together so have not really tested it with that.

    Overall this is a very nice practice / recording amp but it gets drowned out very quickly in a band setting. Luckily the direct out option sounds great so you can still use it if you play through a half decent PA.

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