Irishman94, on july 09, 2010 5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 829
Purchased from: FSV
Features: This amp is fairly new. It is a tube amp with 2xECC83, 1xECC82, 2xEL34. After the success HT-5 came Blackstars bigger brothers of the HT-5 the Venue Series. The biggest combo in this series is the HT-60Stage. This beast can do anything and everything. The overdrive channels seemed strong at first but with controlled use of the volume and gain you can balance out the channels to any level of distortion. This amp has 3 channels each with its own second voicing, it also packs a very useful ISF which allows you to alter the signal to range from a more british style Drive to a more american style drive. The reverb is digital but with 2 voicings also and although I was wary at first the lads at Blackstar did a great job voicing it. It also has presence and resonance controls. On the back theres an FX loop, external speaker outputs the usual... This amp is has more than enough in the power department for any musician and more. I never put it past 1 or 2 on the master. It has everything a guy can need in one amp but its only downfall is it weigh a ton (30kg). I'm still giving it a ten because amps should be rated on sound not weight! // 10
Sound: I use an Epiphone Les Paul with an alder body. I have tried a range of other guitars through it in the shop and to be honest whatever guitar you plug in it will shine! I play blues rock ranging from Hendrix to Zep mostly but I also mess around with Jazz and Metal from time to time. This amp does it all the clean channel doesn't Drive until 6 o'clock but if you want a clean sound at high volume the master can carry you all the way and vice versa. I stick my volume up to ten generally on the Drive channels and use the gain as my volume, it really gives a punchy tone like that ideal for blues! The distortion can be anything from an axe wielding murderer to a soft purr! This amp is suited to all genres of playing! // 10
Reliability & Durability: This amp is a good sturdy box of an amp but it is a tube amp so TLC is required. I wouldn't go banging my own round anytime soon! I haven't gigged it yet but I've been up at that volume in the store and it handles it well. Have had no problems with it so far and if I was to gig it I always have a backup because the ME-70 I plug into it can go through a PA and has amp modelling. Overall I would trust this amp but its tube nature loses it a mark. // 9
Overall Impression: It matches my style perfectly. I love some crunchy blues and heavy rock so this beast is amazing, but I also bought it for its singing clean channel. If it were lost or stolen I would look for it in a weight lifting club because its a very heavy amp! Love the amp and if I had more money I still would have bought this one. My favourite feature is its crunchy OD-1 which rocks! I love this amp! // 10
metalxsymphony, on november 29, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 515
Purchased from: Musiciansfriend
Features: 2009? I'm not really sure. There is so much that I can tweak, with the resonance and presence controls as well as the one clean and two distortion/O.D. channels. The clean channel has its own Treble, Bass, Volume controls as well as a tone button that allows you change the character of the sound. The difference with the tone thing is pretty obvious, one going for a sparkly Vox-like sound, to a more rick, dark sound that emphasizes the low end. In the OD1 and OD2 channels we get a gain and volume knob for each channel, and a 3 band EQ and the ISF knob to control both channels. It also has a knob for the ISF or infinite shape feature, which allows you to turn the sound from a tight, American sound, or for a more British flavor. Its got a reverb, which is footswitchable. 2xECC83, 1xECC82 in the preamp section, 2xEL34's in the power section. I'm currently using this in a 4 piece band (another guitar, bassist, drummer). It is versatile in that the clean channel can go from really sparkly, chimey clean tones for blues, classic rock, jazz etc, and the O.D. channels you can go from classic rock to more modern sounds. Its sounds great from playing anything from say, Stevie Ray Vaughn to Necrophagist. It has plenty of headroom in the clean section, so that it won't overdrive in even a band setting (unless of course you bring down the master and crank the volume in the clean section). It also has an effects loop, headphone jack, and several ohm outputs for different cabs. // 9
Sound: I'm using an Ibanez s series with the stock INF, Ibanez pickups as well as a Mexican Strat. eI'm playing in a post-hardcore/post-rock band, and we Switch a lot between clean and distorted tones and its perfect for it. Even when I want to sit down and just mess around, the tones and sounds I can get from it are ridiculous. I'll be playing John Mayer's cover of Hendrix's "Wait Until Tomorrow" and get a sparkly clean, but thick Strat sound even with my Ibanez, and then go play Megadeth's Tornado of Souls with the footswitch. For those metalcore/deathcore friends, it has a nice chug, and a tight low end. I wanted to be able to go from those Vox like tones and switch to something modern all in the same amp and it does that. Anything in between, though, I'm less impressed with, which I'll get to.
As for headroom, this amp is pretty awesome. At 60 watts, it has plenty of clean headroom. The rest of my band will be playing at a loud part of the song, the other guitarist playing some lead or riff with a lot of distortion and my clean parts still cut through without breaking up. It is loud. I am competing with a 100 watt 5150 with a 4x12 cab, and I can still be heard over that, a bass player, and a loud drummer. I haven't gigged with it yet, but we practice in a basement, which is probably where we'll have most of our first shows, so I'm betting it will sound great even there.
There are only two "problems" I have with this amp: 1.) It doesn't really do any one sound particularly well. And, it's not really that great for that "dirty" classic rock tone. I'd see bands like Rise Against, Senses Fail, Thursday and etc being played on this amp then I would Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, ACDC and bands like that. It has a great modern edge to it for metal and deathcore, and scene bands like The Devil Wears Prada, but for some reason the OD channels, even with the use of the ISF feature, can't really get that "vintage" sound out of it. I mean, trying to play a really dirty rock'n'roll sound that an Orange or similar amp can deliver, just can't happen on this amp. A lot of this probably has to do with how compressed and tight the distortion is, but I think a tube/speaker change or even putting a pedal through it would help.
2.) I remember playing around with it on the HT-5 when trying it out, and it really changed the tone that I heard. It's seems less distinct on the Ht-60, and the changes are more subtle. Maybe I'm just hearing it wrong or something, but it seems like it affects the sound less on this one. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I've owned it three months, and have kept it on for about 4 hours a weekend (two hour practices Friday and Saturday) and I've heard no problems with the amp. Amp has not broken done as of yet. So we shall see. // 10
Overall Impression: This is a great match. Its versatile enough for my needs. I've been playing guitar for 8 years, and this is by far the most versatile and great sounding for this price range, especially since I got it used without the footswitch from Musiciansfriend. Other amps with this amount of tweakability is going to cost you upwards of 1200, and here you can get it for 899. If it were stolen or lost, I'd definitely get this amp again. I love this amp for what it is. It gives me tube tone, and with enough options to tweak my sound. I will say that the Blackstar is great for modern tones, and even some blues/jazz tones with the sparkly clean channel, but for those wanting a more "dirty" Vintage sound, then they should think of trying other amps. I bought it because of its versatility, and for the price. // 9
unregistered, on january 09, 2013 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: € 550
Purchased from: candyapplered guitars Ireland
Features: Well, you know the details anyways, it's all posted above. The one groundbreaking inclusion in this amp is the isf feature. From my use of is it really does make the amp have a huge range of sounds, making it a truly flexible and versatile amp. So in my opinion this amp has all you need and more features-wise, good Celestion speakers, 60 watts, digital reverb and the isf feature. There is an effects loop, and the effects can be footswitched for ease of use. // 8
Sound: I have used it with a telecaster, and Gibson Melody Maker so far extensively, however I tried short stints with a Gibson SG aswell. In my opinion I think that amp makes single coil guitars sing! This amp has a surprisingly wide range of tones available and it's very easy to dial in a good sound from the start. The clean channel reminds me so much of a clean Vox AC30, it's so beautiful and articulate in fingerpicking styles. The clean channel could cut glass it's so sharp and snappy.
The two distortion channels are the surprise packages here really. The first overdrive channel can be very easily dialed into an ac/dc sound, however, tweak the presence and gain sound, and you have a very good convincing rockin' blues sound like Rory Gallagher. The second distortion channel is incredibly tight and controlled. It can be driven to metal heaven, and I managed to almost perfectly replicate Matt Bellamy's tone in "Knights Of Cydonia", so high gain is something this amp can do really well. Overall the sound is just impeccable. // 9
Reliability & Durability: I feel as if I can depend on it, however I don't think I could ever gig a tube amp without a backup, as you never know what will happen. The construction of this amp looks so very sturdy, it looks like a complete tank, and weighs like one too! I haven't had this amp long enough to say that it can last the test of time, but I would be surprised if any harm comes to it, as it does seem to be a quality piece of kit. It managed to survive 2 years of gigging before I bought it, and it still looks as new, so there must be something good going on here. // 8
Overall Impression: I play a wide variety of styles, anything that takes my fancy I'll play. My main ports of call are punk, hard rock, metal, and blues. I feel as if this amp does each of these very well, the hard rock sort of sounds are out of this world at times. I've been playing for a bit less then 6 years, self taught. I own a Gibson Melody Maker, Telecaster, and a self made humbucker'd telecaster. I feel as if guitars like the Melody Maker are made for this amplifier. I wish that I asked for information on buying a footswitch, I didn't get one with this amp, and I'm not sure if my spare Crate footswitch will work with it..
If it was stolen/lost, I think I would reach a whole new level of depression. This amp was made for guitarists like me; who needs Vox cleans, marshal overdrive, and mesa style metal. The versatility of this amp makes it stand out from the crowd. I love the isf feature, but I think that the reverb could be a little better to be honest. I won't compare digital to spring reverb, but I will say that this digital reverb is only ok. I compared this to a Vox AC30 which was selling for the same price. Even though I was mostly looking for a clean amp, the Vox did not match the Blackstar at all in my opinion. The Blackstar has a striking clarity of tone, with amazing note separation. If you are even slightly interested in this amp, you owe it to yourself to demo it. I'm sure it will surprise you! // 9
ReventionZ, on may 28, 2013 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 850
Purchased from: Local Music Store
Features: I've tried out multiple amps and this one definitely had the most features of any of the ones that I tried out. It was the only one withing the $700 - $1000 range that had dedicated resonance and presence switches, among with dedicated individual Gain and Volume for each channel. This was the only one I saw that also had three channels. While the two overdrive channels share an equalization section, It is not the end of the world. The light and dark reverb options are great for versatility. The voicings on each channel make it one of the most versatile things I've ever seen! I've seen Marshall's of up to three grand not be able to accurately play these many types of music. This is my first tube amp and I am very happy with my purchase. The only reason I don't give features a ten out of ten is the fact that OD 1 and OD 2 share eq sections. But it doesn't particularly bother me. // 9
Sound: I play a Fender Blacktop Jaguar HH. I will say that most people told me with such a cheap guitar, I won't unlock the full potential of the amp. WRONG! This thing sounds AMAZING! I play the Eagles, to Megadeth, to Creed, to Nirvana and even some Robert Cray and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Compared to a Fender, this definitely is not as good as clean, but it is the closest thing I've ever heard! I was torn between this and a Fender HOT Rod Deville, but I concluded that the overdrive made up for the clean being nearly as good as the fender.The clean is awesome! I can play some blues and some old Beatles, especially with the voice switch. I leave the gain on the Overdrive one channel fairly low so I can get some great crunch! I love the sound I can get, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and everything else! The overdrive 2 channel is where I BELIEVE (MY PERSONAL OPINION) the amp shines. Especially for a Metalhead like me, I can get killer tones out of my amp, Megadeth, Metallica, Arch Enemy, Slayer, Anthrax, You name it! With the ISF knob You can easily get more British sounds within seconds, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon and everything else! // 10
Reliability & Durability: I wish I could write more here, but simply put, I haven't had the amp long enough. I will tell you though, this thing is HEAVY. I believe it comes to around 70 pounds (31.7 kg) and if I were on tour, I would have to hire people to carry this thing around, as I'm 14 years old. With that being said, it appears to be built very nicely, I haul it around to my friends houses to Jam but that's about it, so sorry for not being able to put much here but I'm afraid that I can't write more in this section until I've had it a little longer. // 8
Overall Impression: If you want an incredible, versatile, and great sounding all around amp, then this is for you! I had to have it the second I tried it, but had to wait a day to get paid, so I was heartbroken but it was well worth it! This is my first tube amp. And I can't tell you how happy I am with my purchase! You guys have to try one out to see what I mean, my guess is, You will walk out of the store with one of these babies. And it is amazingly priced! You can't buy a Marshall 2x12 60w combo for anywhere near $899. I love it! If it were lost or stolen I would easily replace it if I didn't kill myself first. Cheers! // 10