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> Blackstar Ht-5, Loud enough for band?
mhskeide
post Sep 22 2009, 08:16 PM
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Simple question, is the HT-5 fullstack loud enough for a band rehearsel even though it`s just 5 W?

I think I read somewhere that Marcmaiden commented it had high enough gain, but not high enough clean to be heard, is this correct?

And is that compared with a ordinary drummer? Cause I happen to play with an extremely loud drummer tongue.gif


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Marc_Maiden
post Sep 22 2009, 08:28 PM
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im working on a review of it for the wiki contest

check it out:
Hello GMC! I’m here to bring you an exclusive review of the Blackstar Ht-5 low wattage tube amp!


[PICTURES] (prefeerably own photos)

Description of what's being revired:
It’s all the rave…
Big beefy tube amps? Pfffft that is SOOO last week! Low wattage tube amps are in, and it is taking the guitar world by storm!

This puppy comes loaded compared to its competition!

It features:
• Innovative 5-watt valve combo
• 1xECC83 and 1x12BH7
• Unique push/pull power amp design
• Award-winning HT Pedal preamp
• Two footswitchable channels
• Enhanced tone controls
• Patent-Applied-For Infinite Shape Feature (ISF)
• Fully equipped for studio or practice
• Speaker emulated output with 1x12 or 4x12 voicing
• Effects loop with effects level switch
• Footswitch included
• Cool vintage styling

HT-110 cabinet:
• Power Rating (RMS):40 Watts
• Impedance:16 Ohms
• Speaker: 1x10" Celestion
• Weight: 24 lb.
• Dimensions: 17-4/10" W x 17-4/10" H x 9-7/10" D

I will talk about the important stuff.

5 watts? Whimpy whimpy whimpy? Or Hefty Hefty Hefty???
Well let me say, this is the louded 5 watts I have ever heard. Now I could go into mathematics and explain to you logarithms and how volume is measured, but lets just say that from volume 1, I can get a nice soft bedroom level of playing, but I can start playing with a drummer (low practice volume) at 5, and at 10 I can rock the house! You can crank it with out making your ears bleed but trust me!!!! These 5 watts are loud! Do not be fooled!

Tubes tubes tubes!
Well, as you can see, there are only 2 tubes, 1 for the pre amp, and 1 for the power amp. I learned that having only 1 tube in each amp, helps give the amp less muddiness and more clarity when you are playing. This I really did notice! I could not believe the clarity I got from these 2 tubes. When they wear out, I will replace them with the same tubes…they are very warm sounding, and I think they compliment the amp very well!

He wears many hats!
This amp comes with something that not one of the other low wattage tube amps have! That is a second channel! That’s right folks! This bad boy comes with a clean channel, and a gain channel which can be changed with the click of the **included** footswitch!

Let’s talk about the sound now shall we?

The cleans are very nice. They chime, and I can get a range of tones out of my guitar. It can get very spanky at times too, which is kinda cool if you are looking for a stratish sound out of your humbucker. This amp is really bassy! I really have to roll off the bass for most my tones because it just over powers the other parameters! The gain is very nice…it reminds me of the Mesa Mark I I had, but it also has a Marshal style sound to it thanks to the ECC tube which pretty much a British sounding tube. The gain can get good, however it could always use a little more. I’m not complaining about that because I wasn’t expecting a gain machine out of this little guy, but it does pack more of a punch than I expected. So what I do is run a Ibanez Tube Screamer in front of the amp and use it when ever I need the extra boost. This combo works out extremely well for me, and I wouldn’t change it for the world!


It’s all about the tone baby!
There are 4 parameters to use when shaping your tone, the bass, treble and mids knob, but you also have the new ISF knob as well. The normal EQ controls are very responsive. You can hear the differences in the slight turns of the knob, which is rare in an amp these days. I usually keep the mids and treble at around 9 O’clock and the bass almost all the way off, but I change this from time to time. I am still playing with it of course! The ISF is a cool feature. It lets you turn your amp into a UK sounding amp, or a USA sounding amp. You can even blend both styles if you want. This really lets you tailor your sound to exactly how you want it. Overall the EQ is going to keep me busy for months trying to discover cool sounds to use!

Loop de Loop!
YESSIR! This does come with an effects loop! How rare is that in a $400 amp? Not one of the low wattage tube amps comes with an effects loop. This one does. I’ve put in stomp boxes and multi effects units in the loop and they sound great! There is a switch for you to increase or lower the effects level, but usually you find that the effects blend in nicely with the amp on its own. She takes pedals like a tank, don’t be afraid to load her up! I know I did, from the front and the back!

SHHHHHHH! You are in a library!
Well, if this amp isn’t quiet enough for you, you can always plug headphones right into it! Yessir, comes with speaker emulation so you can play in even the latest of nights!

Cab please!
The cab is very nice sounding. I am curious to see what it sounds with other cabs, but the Celestion speaker sounds great. It can handle up to 40 watts, and the cab itself is very light! One of the reasons why I bought this set up! The amp does come with a stereo speaker out, so you can hook up 2 cabs with ease. Closed back tonal goodness  yum yum!

A price to pay….
This comes at a great price! The combo amp or head/cab will cost you around $400 USD new! Not bad for delicious tube tone with all the features you get. The Blackheart low watt tube amps are a little less expensive, but they come with half the features and tone…the Egnater rebel costs over $600….and comes with only half the features. For $600 you can do what I did, and buy the Full stack version which comes with 2 1x10 closed back cabs. Great sound for a great price! You can’t beat it!

That’s about it for the features…if you have any questions please let me know!


The replacements!
I’ve been using this amp for 3 months now! Before that, I owned a Mesa Mark I, a Peavey Triple X, and a Marshal JCM900. The Blackstar has been my favorite! It replaced them all! Its ease of use, its light weight, and its amazing tone just took them all out. $400 VS the $600 + I paid for each of those other amps is another +++
Its always been about me!
I play Jazz, Fusion, Progressive Rock/metal, and what ever else GMC throws at me. This amp handles all styles well, but when I need a little extra gain for my heavier Dream Theater songs, I turn on my Tube Screamer and it takes care of that! Really guys, this amp is extremely versatile, don’t be afraid if you think the gain is a little weak for you. You can always add gain, but you can’t add tone!

We are going to war!!!
This amp has handled my abuse + moving a lot. Not one problem or bug yet. This amp is even really quiet since it is so low powered. Not much to say about reliability except that it has handled itself thus far!

Lets Break it Down!

Features: 8/10
Sound: 9/10
Reliability: (so far) 10/10
Price: 10/10
Versatility: 9/10

Overall score: 9.1/10!



--------------------
- Marc
Current Set up:
Atomic Reactor 2x12 Cab/power amp with a Digitech rp1000 as a preamp
Schecter c1 plus electric guitar

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sted
post Sep 22 2009, 09:16 PM
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QUOTE (mhskeide @ Sep 22 2009, 08:16 PM) *
Simple question, is the HT-5 fullstack loud enough for a band rehearsel even though it`s just 5 W?

I think I read somewhere that Marcmaiden commented it had high enough gain, but not high enough clean to be heard, is this correct?

And is that compared with a ordinary drummer? Cause I happen to play with an extremely loud drummer tongue.gif


I had one mate and got rid for this very reason, just not loud enough or gigging im afraid, other than that its absolutely top drawer, only drawbacks are clean channel nothing special and no reverb, everything else is star quality. If you like the look of BS stuff, check out the new series 1 45 watt combo, defeinitley loud enough!
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audiopaal
post Sep 22 2009, 09:51 PM
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Why not go for the Artisan 15W? LINK! smile.gif
It can also be switched to 5W, so you can rock at home smile.gif

It has channel blending, but no effects loop I'm afraid..


Edit: Nice review Marc smile.gif

This post has been edited by audiopaal: Sep 22 2009, 09:54 PM
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ZakkWylde
post Sep 22 2009, 09:57 PM
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In case of the Blackstar HT-5 the 5 watts are actually louder than Normal 5 watts. A guy at a Musicstore explained it to me but it was to technically but basicly it was something like the signal is going through the same tube a couple of times to create that amount of gain (tube amps with just two tubes usually can't deliver high gain). Running through the same tube a number of times makes the HT-5 louder than it actually should be with 5 watts...

It could be loud enough for a quiet drummer but I guess not for average or even loud drummers!


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mhskeide
post Sep 22 2009, 10:41 PM
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Well, the dilemma is, the HT-5 seems perfect for homeuse, but not large enough for anything else except if I`m putting a mic to it. And I would like to replace my current amp, not buy the HT-5 in addition and just keep me crate 200W for band (the problem is, I`ve got now idea when I`ll be joing a band as guitar player, I`m just known to everybody as a bass player )

My other Blacstar alternative is the Series 1, either the 45W combo or maybe I`ll just go crazy and buy myself a 200W head tongue.gif

Since the series one has the power-effect-button-thing which takes it down to 10 %, every of the heads/amps would do to home practise.

I`ll have to consider the prices (and the price I can get for my crate IF I`m able to sell it), and the need I have. A 200W half-stack would be kickass, but maybe a little over the top for home use and be left alone for a year when I`m joining the army next year?


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Emir Hot
post Sep 22 2009, 10:59 PM
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Nice disscusion here. I've done a quick video review of that amp. It's muris' prize from Guitar Idol, still in my garage. I am about to test it on the live show soon. After all you guys said here I am scared that this thing is not going to be loud enough. The place is about 200 people capacity and there will be full band with drums and the rest. I think I'll need to mike it for sure.


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MickeM
post Sep 22 2009, 11:28 PM
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It has a very nicely molded preamp sound so line it is a solution for live playing.
I'd not trust the 5 watts (though it's conciderably louder) to pull a gig off.

Even if you manage to cranck it and manage band rehearsal there are more obstacles in a gig where the sound get's eaten by rows of people, chattering and cheering.

I hope someday someone will try this and record the session and review it. Who'll be the first to dare? Emir! wink.gif (just line it if it doesn't work well)
EDIT: Or mike it like you said


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sted
post Sep 23 2009, 09:44 AM
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It will run a 4x12 too of course, this will give it more perceived volume and increase the soundstage, but even so I would be wary on anything other than intimate gigs.
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MickeM
post Sep 23 2009, 09:54 AM
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QUOTE (sted @ Sep 23 2009, 10:44 AM) *
It will run a 4x12 too of course, this will give it more perceived volume and increase the soundstage, but even so I would be wary on anything other than intimate gigs.

It will. Call me crazy but I think it sound a lot better through the Blackstar 1x10 cabinet.
Could be that the 5 watts (or more as we said before) aren't up to par with say a 280W cabinet, hence the speakers don't get to work at the lever they were intended to.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 23 2009, 07:02 PM
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It is probably loud enough for a nice controlled band rehearsal in a small space, but for a gig... I doubt it. Possibly if it is a very small club, but in a club with 200-400 people capacity and a stage, it will barely be audible back there, and with very little headroom. With PA and good monitoring system, you can run almost anything tho, so I guess it will work like that.


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