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#1
I'm currently in search of a new head so I went down to machine head to check out some amps.

http://machinehead.co.uk/index.php

i tried three different amps

Engl Powerball http://machinehead.co.uk/product_info.php/cPath/24_27_188/products_id/2429
Hughes and Kettner Trilogy http://machinehead.co.uk/product_info.php/cPath/24_27_75/products_id/379
Black Star one series 100 http://machinehead.co.uk/product_info.php/cPath/24_27_138/products_id/2335

Engl Powerball

This was the amp I couldn't wait to try, it looked amazing too, now for a sound test!
The cleans were very impressive for a 'high gain' amp but they somewhat lacked character.

Cruch- The crunch was awful for any kind of classic rock / hendrix / Srv Etc it just fails awfully. Really disappointed with the low gain channel which by the way is very high gain if you want it too be.

Lead Channel- This was very good for riffing and low end. It was also good for leads but not breathtaking. It also got fizzy at times.

All in i was left disappointed with the powerball 6/10

Hughes and Kettner Trilogy


I'll be honest and say that I only tried this for 4/5 minuets but the only word to describe it would be bland. The cleans were average, the crunch was better than the powerball and the lead channel was average too. Considering how cool this amp looks I really wanted to like it but just didn't 5/10

Blackstar one series 100

This amp left me breathless. The clean can either be warm or bright, the cleans are far superior to the two amps above. The bright channel sparkles and you can hear clarity in every note. The warn channel is so fat and warm.

The crunch channel is where this amp excels, I played my PGM301 through it and thought wow that sounds nice, then i plugged an American strat and almost fenited.

The other channel is the super crunch, which is basically a boost. It was soooo good. There was so much tone and I could hear the EL34 character shining through. There is a lot of gain on tap but it could be boosted by something like a fulltone ocd.

An extra function of this amp is the built in attenuator, you can play it at 10/20/30/40 and up to 100 watts.

The dials are really sensitive and have a huge impact on the tone, for example if you lower the mids it instantly sounds more American voiced.

I have nothing bad to say about this amp, I simply loved it. If only it had built in reverb Trust me to like the 1 that looks the worst of the three!

Blackstar has defeated Engl and H+K, now all i left to try is an orange rockerverb.

All I have to say is that if you get a chance to try a Blackstar series 100 out.....

Do it!
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Last edited by sharpant at Jul 22, 2009,
#2
Pity the blackstar series 1 is so expensive.
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#3
£850? That's a bargain for a high end tube amp.
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#4
Still not cheap in the grand scheme of things...not that I'm one to talk.

So are you thinking of getting a Blackstar?
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#5
Most definitely
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#6
Not much love for Blackstar on here then! People don't seem interested
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#7
Quote by sharpant
Not much love for Blackstar on here then! People don't seem interested


I'm not really a fan yet... I've toyed around with a few of there pedals and amps and wasnt truly impressed. Especially for the cost.. But different strokes ya know
#8
I find Blackstar to lack something as well. They are decent, cheap alternatives, but you are copping out in my eyes.
The Powerball and the Trilogy are a little bland, but both open up at louder volumes and with more EQ'ing. My old Powerball fitted nicely in a band situation, but fell apart when jamming by myself. I felt like I was playing a £300 amp, not a £1300. The Trilogy was similarly overly compressed and "flat".

If you don't like the Powerball, check out the Blackmore, it has a lovely crunch tone.
Last edited by AngryGoldfish at Jul 22, 2009,
#9
Quote by AngryGoldfish
I find Blackstar to lack something, as well. They are decent, cheap alternatives, but you are copping out in my eyes.
The Powerball and the Trilogy are a little bland, but both open up at louder volumes and with more EQ'ing. My old Powerball fitted nicely in a band situation, but fell apart when jamming by myself. I felt like I was playing a £300 amp, not a £1300. The Trilogy was similarly over compressed and "flat".

If you didn't like the Powerball, check out the Blackmore, it has a lovely crunch tone.


Most people are judging blackstar on the HT-5...

The one series is practically brand new, have you tried one? You might be pleasantly surprised. If the orange rockerverb isn't better I'll be getting it and I'm pretty sure I'd be the first on here? Couldn't find any search results.
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Last edited by sharpant at Jul 22, 2009,
#10
I haven't heard anyone on any website owning one yet. I haven't tried one, no. I've played the Artisan 30 as well... it's okay. waaaaaaaay overpriced.
#11
Get yourself to a dealer with a series one

I played on the 100 watt model
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#13
the 200 watt blackstar has a couple of extra channels... might be worth a try too.

were those the only amps machinehead had? the last (only) time i was there they had loads... unless you were in a rush or something, which is fair enough.

EDIT: i tried to tell you you wouldn't like the powerball for the stuff you play.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#14
Naa they have plenty of amps but considering I haven't got the cash on me yet I didn't want to take the michael!

The 200 watt one was right next to me too, didn't try it though. It doesn't have EL34'S

But if I do decide to go with Blackstar I'll be sure to give it ago.

Wish they have the rockerverb in stock though They said they had to sell it cheap in the past as it wasn't selling and therefore haven't re-stocked.

It's between the Rockerverb and the Series one though. Don't think many people even know of the series ones existence yet.
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#15
Quote by sharpant
Most people are judging blackstar on the HT-5...

The one series is practically brand new, have you tried one? You might be pleasantly surprised. If the orange rockerverb isn't better I'll be getting it and I'm pretty sure I'd be the first on here? Couldn't find any search results.


Im basing it off of I can get a Used Bogner Uberschall for $300 bucks more
#16
Yeah, Blackstar's amps, besides the HT-5, aren't getting much hype around here. They are pretty new though.
#17
Quote by IbanezPsycho
Im basing it off of I can get a Used Bogner Uberschall for $300 bucks more


In the UK I can't. I'm also fed up of buying used, I've had too many problems in the past.

Here is a quick review guys, clips don't really do it justice.

http://www.musicradar.com/gear/all/amplification/instrument-amps/guitar-amp-heads/series-1-s1-100-head-212988/review
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Last edited by sharpant at Jul 22, 2009,
#18
Quote by sharpant
In the UK I can't. I'm also fed up of buying used, I've had too many problems in the past.

Here is a quick review guys, clips don't really do it justice.

http://www.musicradar.com/gear/all/amplification/instrument-amps/guitar-amp-heads/series-1-s1-100-head-212988/review


Well then there you have it.. Live your dream and go pick that sucker up...


And a side note.. You shouldnt have linked me to a site with clips. I really really dont like the series now
#19
Quote by IbanezPsycho
Well then there you have it.. Live your dream and go pick that sucker up...


That you've never tried?
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#20
Quote by sharpant
That you've never tried?



After playing previous models and hearing exactly what I didnt like about the amps in the first place on those clips. Yes....

But that said different strokes man. If you love them thats all that matters. You dont need to force them down peoples throats just because you love them..

#21
Quote by sharpant
Naa they have plenty of amps but considering I haven't got the cash on me yet I didn't want to take the michael!

The 200 watt one was right next to me too, didn't try it though. It doesn't have EL34'S

But if I do decide to go with Blackstar I'll be sure to give it ago.

Wish they have the rockerverb in stock though They said they had to sell it cheap in the past as it wasn't selling and therefore haven't re-stocked.

It's between the Rockerverb and the Series one though. Don't think many people even know of the series ones existence yet.


ah, ok.

don't they have stuff like rivera, koch etc.? they'd all be worth a try, assuming they're not much more expensive now.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#22
Only 1 koch combo amp and no Riveras.

Just gotta track an orange rockerverb down now!

They were awesome though, they let me stay down there playing on the amps for like 2 hours non-stop

The american strat i played sounded significantly better than my PGM for anything that wasn't high gain
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Last edited by sharpant at Jul 22, 2009,
#23
arg. they had more amps than that when i was there. but yeah, it's definitely a nice shop, they knew immediately that i was from ireland, and still let me try anything I wanted. They seemed impressed that I'd heard of them and gone to the effort to get to their shop, lol.

and yeah, different guitars definitely sound different and are better at different things. I love strats, but I wouldn't/couldn't use them for everything. That's kind of how you get GAS, the realisation that once you have more than one guitar and amp that you can start buying stuff for very specific tones, that it doesn't have to do everything any more...
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#24
This is honestly the first good review I have seen for the Blackstar series one. All the guys on HCAF have said it is terrible, and that is unfortunate. Guess I might actually have to play this one before passing judgement.
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#25
HCAF?

Harmoney Central?

There's 3 reviews on there and they all give the sound 10/10
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#26
Quote by sharpant
HCAF?

Harmoney Central?

There's 3 reviews on there and they all give the sound 10/10


Read the amp forum reviews
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#27
hmmm that surprises me I'll go check it out
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#28
Nice reviews.

Anyone know what the reliability is like on the bigger and more expensive blackstars is? Maybe they can score one for chinese manufacturing.
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#29
They seem pretty happy about them here

http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?t=2380232&highlight=blackstar+series+1

The main reason they are being slated is because they aren't a big name and because the are produced in Korea.
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Last edited by sharpant at Jul 22, 2009,
#31
£2k?

No thanks These are £850
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#34
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
good reviews sharpant.

You'll love the Rockerverb. At least I did. I guess you gave up on the Splawns. Probably harder to find.

My impression of Blackstar so far has been positive.


Yea the closest splawn delaer in in Manchester, Milllllllllles from me!

I'll be sure to try the rockerverbs out though
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#35
I heard that James Hetfield is using Blackstar Series One to warm up with backstage before gigs, apparently theres a video of him backstage using one. Also rumours he's going to start using them for his live shows, but these are internet rumours so it could just be a load of crap.
#37
Quote by MH400
Get a 6505+

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#38
Quote by benk1
I heard that James Hetfield is using Blackstar Series One to warm up with backstage before gigs, apparently theres a video of him backstage using one. Also rumours he's going to start using them for his live shows, but these are internet rumours so it could just be a load of crap.



Theres also pictures of Van Halen warming up backstage on a Line 6 Spider. Lamb of god's Willie adler use's a Smokey Cigarette Pack amp and so on...


Moral of the story I wouldnt look to far into it. Especially with Hetfield, the man has and use's like 100 amps on any given day.
#39
Likewise

I couldn't care less if he has used it or not

All I care is that I like it.

I was looking for an amp that does cleans well, great SRV/Hendrix tones and has a lot of gain on tap. The Blackstar has all of that.
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Last edited by sharpant at Jul 23, 2009,
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