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#1
I just wanted to get a straight answer one this one. First of all, is Blackstar a Tube amp or Hybrid amp? If so, why? If it is a Hybrid amp, is it possible to remove/replace the solid state components to make it all tube (ala JCM900)?

I just wanted to get a more clear answer on this because I like Blackstar, but I want an all tube amp. I realize that if it sounds good then it doesn't matter, but I also like other brands. However, this IS NOT a "suggest me an amp" thread. Any amp suggestions will be reported immediately. I know what my options are and what my favorites of those are. I just want to know the above question(s).


Thanks for any insight

EDIT: Forgot to add that I'm talking specifically about the Venue Series from Blackstar. More specifically, the HT-20, HT-40, HT-60, and/or HT-100.
Last edited by Blktiger0 at Mar 15, 2011,
#2
Which one? The HT-5 lacks a tube phase inverter (disregarding all the SS clipping, etc) so it's not all tube but is indeed a hybrid.

Not sure about the rest of the HT series but Blackstar's other amps like the Series 1 and the Artisan series are all tube.
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#4
If they are like the HT-5 where heaps of gain comes from opamps then you'd be lucky if the power transformer would handle the extra tube you'd need to convert it. You'd probably have to replace it or at least add another transformer just for the heater on the new valve. Add to that that you'd probably have to throw away the PCB and replace it with a turret board (so basically build a whole new amp inside the chassis) it's unlikely to be worth the trouble.
Most people that mod JCM900 Dual Reverbs just pull out those useless, ugly clipping diodes. Not many people add a new valve. Despite what my sig says (that was just a joke) all I did was get rid of the diodes.
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#5
I believe the HT-1/HT-5 use diode clipping and are hybrids while the others (20, 40, 60 and 100) are all tube. Regardless, I own a 5 and a 40 and both sound fantastic.
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#6
Quote by Blktiger0
I just wanted to get a straight answer one this one.

I like Blackstar, but I want an all tube amp. I realize that if it sounds good then it doesn't matter, but I also like other brands. However, this IS NOT a "suggest me an amp" thread.

Any amp suggestions will be reported immediately.


do they sound good to you?



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#7






EDIT: regarding the original question, considering how much gain they're meant to have (i haven't tried them) and the number of preamp tubes, I would suspect there are some solid state shenanigans going on. Blackstar isn't the only company that does this, of course. But they really hype the valve aspect of things a lot.
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Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
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#8
blackstar amps = tube driven
that's all i know
IIRC the only thing is that the ht1 and 5 doesn't have a powertube ( right? )

the higher HT-models are all tube

I would check a solist if i were you, they are GREAT
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Last edited by Tunder250 at Mar 15, 2011,
#9
lolwut?
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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?
#10
They are still tube amps even if they use diodes for clipping. There are quite a few tube amps out there that do but people don't run around saying "They're hybrids because have SS components!"
#11
They're hybrids because have SS components!
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#12
Quote by gregs1020
They're hybrids because have SS components!


GO SELL YOUR PEDALS, YOU DRIVE METALHEAD CRAZY
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#13
Quote by gregs1020
They're hybrids because have SS components!


You just had to, didn't you!


But the HT-5 has an ecc83 (12ax7) in the preamp section and a 12bh7 in the power amp section and the HT-1 has an ecc83 in the preamp and an ecc82 in the power amp. The point of so few tubes (and low power ones at that) is since its such a low wattage amp you don't want to put higher powered tubes in there or you'd never reach saturation.


As for the rest of the series, the 20 and 40 have two ecc83s and two EL34s, the 60 has two ecc83s, an ecc82, and two EL34s, and the 100 has two ecc83s, an ecc82, and four EL34s - so its pretty safe to assume that the whole series uses some SS components for clipping.
Last edited by i_am_metalhead at Mar 15, 2011,
#14
The Ht-5 also has a heap of opamps and a SS PI. If adding a single tube to an AVT which is mostly SS makes it a hybrid; why does adding a heap of opamps not make a HT-5 with mostly valves a hybrid?
I haven't seen the insides of the bigger ones but there doesn't seem to be enough tubes in there to get the gain they get so until I do see inside one I remain extremely skeptical. When Blackstar say something is all tube I ignore it, they have been caught out in a lie once. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
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#15
Quote by Cathbard
The Ht-5 also has a heap of opamps and a SS PI. If adding a single tube to an AVT which is mostly SS makes it a hybrid; why does adding a heap of opamps not make a HT-5 with mostly valves a hybrid?
I haven't seen the insides of the bigger ones but there doesn't seem to be enough tubes in there to get the gain they get so until I do see inside one I remain extremely skeptical. When Blackstar say something is all tube I ignore it, they have been caught out in a lie once. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.


Because the HT-5 is a 5 what amp and, while it does have SS components, still uses the preamp tube and the power amp tube. The AVT is mostly solid state with a single preamp tube which it really doesn't use - its just thrown in there for a gimmick.

And I wouldn't call an AVT a hybrid, I'd call it an SS. You want a hybrid, look at the Randall V2 - three preamp tubes and a MOSFET power section.

And by your standards, the JCM900 is a hybrid amp, right?
#16
The JCM900 is definitely a hybrid, no question about it. I mean, look at the schematic:
http://www.drtube.com/schematics/marshall/cd0189-iss7.gif

The word hybrid literally means:
"anything derived from heterogeneous sources, or composed of elements of different or incongruous kinds."

The HT-5 has a hybrid preamp and a hybrid power amp - how more hybrid can you get?
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Last edited by Cathbard at Mar 15, 2011,
#17
Quote by Cathbard
The JCM900 is definitely a hybrid, no question about it. I mean, look at the schematic:
http://www.drtube.com/schematics/marshall/cd0189-iss7.gif

The word hybrid literally means:
"anything derived from heterogeneous sources, or composed of elements of different or incongruous kinds."

The HT-5 has a hybrid preamp and a hybrid power amp - how more hybrid can you get?



You are so full of it dude. The JCM900 is a TUBE amp, the HT-5 is a TUBE amp. If either the preamp or the power amp were fully SS then it would be a hybrid. However the preamp and the power amp are both tube.

If you want to throw in literal definitions then every guitar effect with "tremolo" is named incorrectly because the literal definition of tremolo is the rapid reiteration of multiple pitches - therefore its a pitch modulation and not a volume modulation like guitarists say it is.
#18
How can you look at that schematic and still call it a tube amp??? It has 15 opamps and 9 diodes - in the signal path!!
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#19
Quote by Cathbard
How can you look at that schematic and still call it a tube amp??? It has 15 opamps and 9 diodes - in the signal path!!


Because there are still tubes effecting the signal and there are no transistors. So while it may have SS components, its not a SS circuit.
Last edited by i_am_metalhead at Mar 15, 2011,
#20
What do you think is inside an opamp?

This is the ones in a JCM900:


That brings the transistor count to 300!!!
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Last edited by Cathbard at Mar 15, 2011,
#21
Quote by Cathbard
What do you think is inside an opamp?


First learn how to spell - its op amp (as in operational amplifier), not opamp. And yes there are transistors inside of an op amp, but an op amp does not act in the same manner as a sole transistor.


But I'm done arguing because you're one of those people who is ALWAYS right about everything. You can be retarded and keep thinking that just because a tube amp has some SS components its not a tube amp.
Last edited by i_am_metalhead at Mar 15, 2011,
#22
Lots of people write op-amp as opamp. No it doesn't act like a sole transistor - it acts like 20 transistors!!

Hybrid means it's a combination - that's what the word means!!!!
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#23
^^ lolwut?

I really don't understand why you think it's tube- does the presence of a single tube make it a tube amp? That's crazy. I forget, but I remember someone saying (on another forum) that the preamp of the ht5 has something like 4-6 op-amp gain stages, and two tube ones. That's a ratio of 1:3 (conservative) or 1:6 (less conservative) of tube to non-tube.

The entire PI is solid state (which is part of the power amp). Granted the power tubes are tubes.

I mean looking at that, more of it's solid state than tube.

I also don't really see why the entire preamp has to be solid state while the entire power amp has to be tube (or vice-versa) to be a hybrid in your opinion- isn't that a bit arbitrary? I mean if they use a mixture of the two technologies, regardless of where or how, shouldn't that make it a hybrid?

Quote by i_am_metalhead
They are still tube amps even if they use diodes for clipping. There are quite a few tube amps out there that do but people don't run around saying "They're hybrids because have SS components!"


(a) yeah there are, plenty of people run around saying that

(b) they don't just use diodes for clipping, they use op-amps for amplification and use a transistor-based phase inverter.


Quote by Cathbard
The Ht-5 also has a heap of opamps and a SS PI. If adding a single tube to an AVT which is mostly SS makes it a hybrid; why does adding a heap of opamps not make a HT-5 with mostly valves a hybrid?
I haven't seen the insides of the bigger ones but there doesn't seem to be enough tubes in there to get the gain they get so until I do see inside one I remain extremely skeptical. When Blackstar say something is all tube I ignore it, they have been caught out in a lie once. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.


+1
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Mar 15, 2011,
#24
Dave, the PI is part of the power amp.
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#25
oh yeah, sure, I realise that.

I actually was going to say that in my post. But for some reason I got my wires crossed.



Will fix it now EDIT: done. Seamless, isn't it?
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Mar 15, 2011,
#26
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#27
yeah i mean it's crazy, I was actually going to make a point about the PI being part of the power amp later in the post. But when I wrote the bit about the power amp being all-tube i forgot about the PI being part of the power amp
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#28
Yeah, I figured you'd know but thought I'd point it out so you could correct it. You never know who's reading this, some people even think that opamps aren't transistors.
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#29
Quote by RetroGunslinger
using nines for drop C# is like stringing the guitar with spaghetti


My Colourful Rig:
ESP M-ii Deluxe
ENGL E570
Mesa/Boogie Simul 295 Stereo
Framus FR212 v30
#30
ITT: "Aside from the HT-5 and HT-1, are the HT amps tube or hybrid?"

Answer: "HURDURR THE HT-5 IS NOT TUBE ITS LIKE A 1-6 RATIO GTFO"

wat?
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#31
This thread is full of win. Between this thread and the "spilt mountain dew on amp" thread, Ive been entertained all week. Oddly enough cath has been in both threads having fun lol.
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#32
Quote by Ayses
ITT: "Aside from the HT-5 and HT-1, are the HT amps tube or hybrid?"

Answer: "HURDURR THE HT-5 IS NOT TUBE ITS LIKE A 1-6 RATIO GTFO"

wat?


all the HT-models are hybrid ( cuz it's tube driven )
Quote by RetroGunslinger
using nines for drop C# is like stringing the guitar with spaghetti


My Colourful Rig:
ESP M-ii Deluxe
ENGL E570
Mesa/Boogie Simul 295 Stereo
Framus FR212 v30
#33
Quote by i_am_metalhead
You are so full of it dude. The JCM900 is a TUBE amp, the HT-5 is a TUBE amp. If either the preamp or the power amp were fully SS then it would be a hybrid. However the preamp and the power amp are both tube.

If you want to throw in literal definitions then every guitar effect with "tremolo" is named incorrectly because the literal definition of tremolo is the rapid reiteration of multiple pitches - therefore its a pitch modulation and not a volume modulation like guitarists say it is.

It's not a modulation of pitch. It's just a repetition. Repetition =/= modulation.

Second, there are two kinds of tremolo: that kind, and the other kind, which is amplitude modulation.

From Wikipedia: "Tremolo can also be achieved through the use of amplitude modulation. This type of effect is often used by electronic instruments and takes the form of a multiplication of the sound by a waveform of lower frequency known as an LFO. The result is similar to the effect of rapid bowing on a violin or the rapid keying of a piano. In accordions and related instruments, tremolo by amplitude modulation is accomplished through intermodulation between two or more reeds slightly out of tune with each other. On organ these ondulating ranks are called celeste or onda maris."

Notice that it's not just on guitars, but also organs and accordions.
#34
I was actually going to try to stay out of this one but when I saw he was talking about modding JCM900's as well i thought i should answer. Should have known I'd get dragged into something that would devolve into another "what's a hybrid?" thread.
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Cathbard Amplification
My band
#36
enjoy the wall of text, courtesy of Blackstar when i emailed them regarding this issue;

All the HT Venue amps are “all valve” in so far as they all have valve preamplifiers and valve power amplifiers. However, we do augment the valve circuits with other analogue electronics (opamps, fets etc) where this doesn’t affect the sound but adds benefits in terms of flexibility, reliability and cost.



In the preamp we use op-amp circuitry to get the signal level up to a point where the ECC83 will overdrive (this is required as the ECC83 has the full HT supply applied and hence headroom). As the ECC83 is at the end of the preamplifier signal path it is the valve harmonics and compression that you hear and the op-amp is really used as a signal booster.



Similar is true in the power amplifier. We use a high voltage MOSFET phase splitter to boost the level and generate the out of phase signals required by the push-pull power amplifier. But all the tone, compression and overdrive are from the valves.



This is the way we achieve the all valve sound with increased reliability and a more affordable price. We have A/B'd these products against everything else in the market and are confident they beat any comparable product on tone and flexibility.



Kind regards,



Tom

Blackstar Customer Services
#37
Quote by flojomoose
enjoy the wall of text, courtesy of Blackstar when i emailed them regarding this issue;


+1111111111111111111 ( about just mailing him, dunno it's right XD )
Quote by RetroGunslinger
using nines for drop C# is like stringing the guitar with spaghetti


My Colourful Rig:
ESP M-ii Deluxe
ENGL E570
Mesa/Boogie Simul 295 Stereo
Framus FR212 v30
Last edited by Tunder250 at Mar 15, 2011,
#38
Yes flojomoose and we all know that he was talking out of his arse. There is an opamp in there with back to back diodes in the feedback path. There is only one reason you'd do that - distortion. Doesn't affect the sound? Yeah right!!
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Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#39
Personally, I don't really care if they're hybrid; they sound pretty damned good to me. But then I also like modelers a lot, and love it when I hear a good solid-state.

I just like fighting for the underdog, I guess.
#40
no idea, to be honest didn't bother taking it further at the end of the day.

just my two cents
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