Now, before you answer this, you need to consider what is best for ME. I like to play a lot of stuff. Clean stuff, rock, hard rock, heavy metal. The music I make (and this is equally important) is sort of... a fusion of all that, with progressive elements. Now, even as I play really heavy metal, I never crank the gain. Not even close. I like a warm sound, plenty of mids and low mids, I like it fat, clear and articulate. I tend to roll back my volume and tone knobs on my guitar a little bit.

The Laney VC15 is really, IMO, generally the better amplifier, I like its voicing more. But the Blackstar HT-5 does metal extremely well. Here's the settings I used on the HT-5:

Overdriven channel
Volume: 2
Gain: 5
Low: 5
Mid: 8
Treble: 2-4
ISF: Maxed all the way to the right

I really fell in love with the sound. But what irks me is that, this is the only thing I liked about the HT-5 more. When it comes to the entire range below, the VC15 does it all better. They both do them all GOOD though. What the HT-5 did though was simply having a much more tight bottom when it came to palm muting and gallopping and things like that. Is there a way to tighten up the sound of the Laney? If not, is there a way to make the Blackstar more vintage-y?

I play with a mahogany body Les Paul and I have a Digitech Bad Monkey.
I am specifically avoiding a dist pedal as I want the dist to come from the amp. The Bad Monkey is just for lead boosts and tone shaping.

So you suggested the Laney and a dist pedal, because you use that. What do you play? Would you sy, based on what I play, that works?

Let's just say that I want to cover from cleans to Gary Moore to AC/DC, Iron maiden and Van Halen to The Black Mages and Dream Theater. The Laney I feel covers everything except the heavier parts of Dream Theater. The Blackstar covers that.
Last edited by Metallon at Aug 13, 2010,
As you please, the vc15 is not gonna do metal on its own even with a boost. Cause you cant get around the amps natural british loose ballsy tone. Unless you're talking iron maiden or something.

Try rolling the mids back a bit. Bout all i can suggest to tighten it up.
Eq pedal may help does it have a loop?
Blackstar ID:15TVP
2001 MIA Strat (SD '59/Stock/CustomCustom)
Early 80s Fernandes The Revival '57
I hve tried the Laney and I don't know if it's necessarily the gain it's lacking. I don't use a lot of gain regardless and I didn't use much gain with the Blackstar. The big difference was a much tighter, chunkier low end with palm muting stuff.
So what is it that makes the Blackstar get tht tighter bottom end? What makes the Laney more loose specifically? Is it EQ-settings or the tubes, or something else?

Regardless, might as well get the Laney, since it covers a broader area. And I feel it can do metal on its overdriven channel. Perhaps not contemporary extreme styles, but 8's stuff it can do!
I also play progressive rock and I know the HT-5 works well with the Bad Monkey - there's a good demo of it on youtube somewhere. With a Les Paul, your gear is well suited, IMO.

On the other hand I have no experience with the Laney, which sounds like a good amp too.

You might get a better sound if you back down on the ISF (3 O'clock maybe) and use lower output pickups. You might also want the bad monkey to provide more of the drive. The HT-5 is definitely best for heavy rock sounds though.
Guitars & Gear:
Parker Nitefly M
Sumer Metal Driver
Ibanez RGD2120Z
Two Notes Torpedo CAB
My les paul has seymour duncan jb / '59 set so they're not all overly hot but i am thinking about switching over to DiMarzios.

They are both truly great amps, and choosing is just sooo hard. I wish there was some sort of definite feature that allowed me to decide...
The Laney VC15 just isn't suited for Dream Theater-type tones. I've tried it in person and it's a terrific amp, but it's not very versatile. Have you considered a digital modeller? You seem to have a broad range of tastes. Amps in the same price range as the HT5 and VC15 aren't usually so broad.
Fender 1996 Floyd Rose Standard Stratocaster
Epiphone SG G-400

Laney TT50-112

Ibanez Weeping Demon
Marshall RG-1 Regenerator
Electro-Harmonix/Sovtek (Black) Big Muff Pi

Visit my site for some FREE RE-AMPING! http://www.wix.com/reamps/reamp
Well, if it isn't suited for it then I guess I'll live without it for now. It's not really the end of the world. Like I said, both amps suit me well, it's just that rock-wise the Laney suits me better and heavy metal-wise the Blackstar works more for me. But it's hard to decide which I should get more... I am leaving Stockholm in a few hours and can't try these amps side by side anymore, and the store owner didn't let me try them out for very long.
Last edited by Metallon at Aug 14, 2010,
You can see my rig in my sig and all I can say is it can really scream and cleans up very nicely too.

It can go as clean as you like and rings like a bell but I'd say the heaviest it can go is priest and maiden kind of heavy. You definitely can't get modern american metal tones out of it but you can get just about anything else. I love my little amp btw, mic'ed up at a gig its ace.
So what exactly is "American modern metal"? I'm still trying to get the hang of that. Is it reduced/scooped mids? Is tht what tightens up the bottom? Is it something about the tubes or speakers? Or something else? If it's EQ related then an EQ pedal in the FX loop will most likely help (to some degree).

So anything else I need to think about? The speakers on these amps? Quality/reliability? Like, I personally am not a gain***** as stated before, and I like playing my metal with a warm sound, including material from Metallica, Megadeth, Trivium etc.

Anyway, I wa just checking and my suspicions seem correct: that tight bottom does not go hand in hand with the warm, more British 70's and 80's metal sound.