unregistered, on march 16, 2011 5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 611
Purchased from: CCMusic Glasgow
Features: Go to the Blackstar site to check out absolutely all the features of the HT Stage 100 head, no point me repeating it all. I will say this though: The HT 100 is a gigantic F-you to Marshall from Blackstar. It has been designed solely to beat every feature of most top-end Marshall heads as well as including unique features like the ISF (Infinite Shape Feature). Wonder why it looks Vintage? Very similar to most Marshall head designs? eh? The ISF basically makes the EL34's sound like themselves (Brit) all the way to sounding like 6l6's (Yank).
An idea of the craziness of choice & functionality: You play metal (or Rock) for example, you use OD2 (or OD1). Go to MASTER section, put resonance up (overall bass wave through amp), presence up (overall treble wave over amp)- then go to OD1/OD2 and set ISF (choose EL34 or 6l6 based or anywhere in between) then choose EQ-treble, middle, bass THEN choose OD1/OD2 individual gain & volume levels! THEN choose the voicing, A or AB (think muffler or searing edge) of EACH of the OD channels. THEN go back and fine tun MASTER resonance/presence. Wow. It's even got footswitchable REVERB with a DARK/LIGHT Switch round the back.
Apparently, the Series one 1046l6 can do 6l6 (obviously) and a really good impression of el34's whereas the EL34 based heads (s104el34 and HT100) can't exactly get the 6l6 sound via ISF BUT- the sound is awesome regardless.
Gets a 9 cause it didn't make me a cappuccino. Wouldn't have been surprised if it did though. // 9
Sound: For this, I'm using a Japanese Jackson RR3. Been playing for years and years, Jackson uses TB4 and SH2n duncans. I play anything and everything.
DO NOT waste a lot of money on Series 1.
The sound. The sound. The sound. I cried with joy. I've played the Blackstar series 1 200 (kt88) and thought it was alright. I waited for the series 1 el34 and 6l6 to come to the store. HT stage 100 came in before them and I played it. Bricks were shat.
IF you are a metal-headed nutter, this amp is for you. I got Iced Earth Vengeance is Mine exact sound and tone just plugged straight into the amp. IF you are classic rock, Slash-style etc. this amp does it and does it with that cocky "Of course I can f*&kin do it" undertone! It made the RR3 sound like an LP, amazing ability. The clean is great, boutique or classic voicing and with the coupled reverb is spot-on. Breaks up early if you hammer it on a high volume (the clean channel that is). PERFECTION in an amp, I'm gigging it and I'm not expecting I'll need another amp. Ever.
It gets a 10 for sound for me. A DEFINITE 9 for anyone else without even trying it! // 10
Reliability & Durability: Extended 3 year warranty from Blackstar. Solidly built, is an absolute brick and the tubes are very secure looking. I have done engineering-type stuff in the past and am very particular and tedious regarding finishes/quality etc and this thing is immaculate.
Hmmmmm, I would estimate an optimistic 9 based on build and reputation but in honesty I won't know til further down the road. // 9
Impression: I play melodic metal mostly BUT- I'm very listenable, not just mindless plank spanking. Sometimes giggle with the odd classic rock, thrash, bluesy stuff, even RHCP-type tune and like to malmsteen it up now and then. The amp has more than I could actually use I reckon.
Scoop your mids and check out how awesome the ISF is.
Buy a series 1 amp and (in my opinion) you might as well throw money down the shitter. Take advantage of Blackstar's major F-U to Marshall, in terms of their price vs. features. They've went out and blown away any Marshall amp with this thing. I've tried many Marshalls from AVT's to the 8/900's and this HT100 made me give up on Marshall, Metal pedals and fx. I'm riding bareback baby!! // 10
techmetalfan, on august 20, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 750
Purchased from: Musician's Superstore
Features: The features of this amp are amazing. It has three channels with distinct sound. I love the clean channel, it is so crisp and punchy with great definition. Some don't like the fact you only have one EQ for the two distortion channels but I find this to not be an issue at all. The effects loop is a great feature if you like to use a pedalboard but as a no-nonsense type of guitarist the digital whammy is all I use on the front end and the sound is so great you don't need a bunch of pedals to shape your tone. The ISF feature on this amp can really shape your to e to your specs. // 10
Sound: As noted above, the sound out of this thing is amazing. The clean is pristine, OD1 can either be a little distortion over the clean or you can crank it up pretty high and OD2 is absolutely brutal. I play this through a Vintage '77 Marshall cab with two greenbacks below two silverbacks and the sound and tone is phenomenal. This amp can be a little noisy on OD2 with the gain really cranked, but my Rocktron Hush Pedal takes care of that nicely. // 10
Reliability & Durability: Although I've only had the amp for a couple of months and have not gigged out with it, it's built solidly and the three year warranty should take care of any manufacturing issues should they arise. // 10
Impression: I play quite a few different music styles and this amp handles them all with amazing fluidity. It handles and sounds great playing punk, indie, alternative and it melts faces while playing anything metal. If someone stole this I would definitely buy it again and recommend it to everyone who plays guitar. By far my favorite feature is the three distinct channels and I got it for $750! The sound for the price cannot be matched by any other company out there, I guarantee it. I tried out a Line 6 Voodoo Valve at Guitar Center across the street before I tried out this bad boy and I never looked back. // 10
unregistered, on october 13, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: € 799
Purchased from: Six and Four (Local shop)
Features: 100 Watt valve combo
2xECC83, 1xECC82, 4xEL34
Three footswitchable channels
Enhanced tone controls
Patented Infinite Shape Feature (ISF)
Clean voice switch
Overdrive 1 voice switch
Overdrive 2 voice switch
Digital reverb with dark/bright switch
Speaker emulated output with 1x12/4x12 voicing
Effects loop with effects level switch
4-way footswitch included
I took the above right off the Official Blackstar Page. For any further information, check that page since they have all manuals and stuff for download. No sense in repeating that over and over again. // 10
Sound: I used a Shecter Omen extreme in Drop D tuning. I mainly play Metal / Doom / Gothic through this amp. We have an old hand wired JCM 800 for the Rock stuff, but obviously we've tested it for that too.
The clean channel really is a highlight compared to many other tube amps. It is very clean, especially with the voice switch in the "on" position. I am much into the "cooler" sounding cleans, which this amp is capable of doing if you take back the bass and add a lot of treble and turn the overall presence up. If you're looking for a nice warm and full clean sound, this is what this channel was actually build for. Not my kind of beer, but it does it very well to a point where even I start liking the warm sound.
You can get pretty nice crunch sounds out of it with the gain cranked. I assume a clean booster would improve this even further.
The OD 1 Channel I expected to be able to dial in a pretty good crunch sound. I didn't spend too much time on that, since I was not going to play a lot of crunch on that channel anyways, but I wasn't able to do that. If you want crunch, I'd go for the clean channel.
The OD 1 with the voice switch engaged gives you a pretty good overdriven sound, with lots of headroom. Overall it has a lot of mids and gets a little muddy if you take the mids above the 10 o clock position. The ISF control (which basically is kind of an equalizer) helps a lot to find the right amount of mids in the sound to cut through the mix and still have that warm and "fat" sound I love for Doom / Gothic Metal.
OD 2 is where this amp really shines: Since the OD 1 and OD 2 share the equalizer section, after you've found your preferred OD 1 settings, just engage the OD 2 and get rocking. This channel has massive gain, but stays very defined even at very high gain settings. I doubt you'll ever need to put the gain beyond the 12 o clock position (mine is at 10 o clock) but even if you do, you can still hear every note you play very clearly.
Overall, this amp has a massive and "fast/ punchy" low end that just loves hard picking and palm muting. even playing very fast rythms, there's no "mud" in the sound. And - unlike many Marshall amps - it lacks that ennoying "brizzle" in the highs many high gain amps produce.
One more thing to say: this amp is loud! Even in my metal band, I can hardly go past the 9 o clock position without making our ears bleed, even with ear protection. That Monster is made for venues. If you're not going to use it for that, get the 60 watter combo. Same features, but your ears will thank you.
The amp is very versatile because of all the sound options, and the equalizer work very efficiently. If the OD1 Channel had a better crunch, I would have given it a 10. // 9
Reliability & Durability: The amp is built like a tank. Heavy (21 kg) and looks good and sturdy to me. I have only owned the amp for a couple of weeks, so I really can't tell until later.
I personally will never gig without a backup. That's just the perfectionist I am.
however one thing you need to know about this amp: if one power tube dies on you, you can't just pull out one tube per channel and play on half power. Due to the heaters of the tubes being in series, if you pull out a tube the others will get a too high heater voltage, presumably causing damage to the amp. // 9
Impression: As said before, I play metal / Gothic / Doom mainly. This amp suits that style of music perfectly, and will handle all drop or down tuning up to baritone guitars extremely well. I've played tons of amps (including mesa rectifier, HK Switchblade, several Marshalls and Engels) and - for metal - prefer this amp over any of them. it is able to produce any sound from agressive to fat and full sounding, but never gets that "brizzle" in the highs that made me turn my back on marshall.
I wish it had a seperate set of equalizers per OD channel, since that would surely make this the most versatile amp I have ever played.
If it was stolen, I'd replace it the same day.
If you have both a Good Hand wired Marshall JCM 800 and a Blackstar HT 100, you're set for life. I doubt there's any style of Music you're not going to be able to find your tone for.
Because of the versatility of the amp, I'd recommend this amp to recording studios. With a lot of semi professional bands, you find yourself wishing for a Blackstar halfstack for reamping. // 10