After searching google a bit I couldn't really find answer for this. Sorry if this sounds like a dumb question but here it goes. I noticed the Blackstar HT-5 uses 1 12ax7 and 1 12BH7, aren't they both preamp tubes? Does this mean it has a solid state power section?
you win a pretzel. yes they are both preamp tubes.
no it does not have a solid state power section.
A 12bh7 can be gently caressed into outputting 5 watts.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
I saw a used ht-5 ministack pretty cheap I was thinking about picking up, but I'm really looking more for something that uses el34's or 6l6's.
Quote by handbanana
I saw a used ht-5 ministack pretty cheap I was thinking about picking up, but I'm really looking more for something that uses el34's or 6l6's.

i'm crying tears of joy for you. and golf clapping.
ya a 12bh7 drafted for output tube duty will never sound anything like an el34 or a 6l6.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
yeah, i think i might be buying a JCM 900 for $350 from a friend instead. I was just trying to keep my options open. Cause i'll need to get some kind of 1x12 or 2x12 to go with the 900, and the blackstar comes with the cabs. And i'm kinda worried that the 900 won't sound good at low volumes( will be using it at low volumes about 75% of the time)

I really LOVE the idea of a mini stack, but can't find a good all tube mini stack in price range. I also looked at an old Peavey VSS 20 mini stack, but the reviews are less than stellar on top of it being a hybrid. Having a hybrid now I really want to move up to an all tube amp, but have no need for a 100 watter. Preferably 20-60 watts.

feel free to collab on my rant acoustic

Last edited by handbanana at Jul 7, 2010,
well...maybe the jca? they sell 112 cabs fairly cheaply which are I think a better overall long term bet then the 110s that the blackstars come with.
If you have a master volume amp it's not going to sound the best at lower volumes but it'll do for practice.

I think that the whole bedroom tone level thing gets really confused sometimes. If you're looking at a jcm900 and things like that I'm gonna guess that your music really is centered around preamp distortion tones. you can get that tone by keeping the master done.

Now, of course it's not going to sound as good as the amp when it's cranked. But, that's not all down to the quality of the master volume or even tubes magically sounding better then they are driven hard. Sure, they do but depending on how much power tube saturation/distortion you actually want that's only really going to be I'd say a 20-30 percent tonal influence.

What really makes bedroom volume amps sound weak is the fact that bedroom volume or practice volume simply doesn't equal rock and roll in anyway. Rock is loud, in your face, and earth shaking. A bedroom amp is never going to be that simply because decibels = energy = loudness and if your playing at a whisper or television volumes there simply isn't enough energy to get rock happening. The speakers aren't moving enough, the sounds not kicking you in the nuts etc etc. As a result the tone is going to sound anemic.

This is going to be true regardless of whether you're using a 1/2 watt, 30 watt, or 100 watt amp. It's not the amps fault. Of course a 5 watt non master volume amp is going to give you crunch. You'll have that crunch with say a .01 watt nmv amp cranked but it sure as hell not going to rock your world.

it's a compromise you'll have to make for a practice amp. There's really no way around it. good bass and crunch ass mids are pure energy, which is really mutually exclusive with bedroom practicing.

Prs se Holcomb is the answer
well yeah I know obviously no all tube amp is going to sound its best unless cranked. I just know some do better at lower volumes than others, and i've been the JCM 900 is not one of them. Obviously having a master volume will help that to some extent.
Last edited by handbanana at Jul 7, 2010,
mine sounded alright. it reaches preamp distortion saturation pretty fast because of diode clipping. Once it's turned up the mids and bass come out pretty crunchy. I actually thought the amp sounded better at low volumes then high volumes. like a really smooth tube screamer.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
the jcm900.

the preamp gain on the jcm900 sounds like a million times better then the ht5.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
which model did you have? i'm looking at the 4500 50 watt dual reverb w/ master vol
4502 it's like a hi-gain dual reverb? 50watts with a 112 v30. that's what I had.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer