I'm looking for a new amp, primarily for bedroom practise and I've been drawn to the new Blackstar HT1, which I've only heard good things about. First of all, is there any advantage to buying the head version over the combo? I understand the difference between them, but unless you wanted to save money I can't see why you'd buy the head version when the combo is only a tad pricier.

Second, I've also looked at the HT5 but I'm not sure how it compares to the HT1: would it be too loud for pushing into overdrive for bedroom practise? And also, assuming I bought an appropriate cabinet, would either be useable for small gigs now and then?

Any other amp recommendations within the same sort of price range would be appreciated too. I'm looking for something that can do nice cleans with a good tubey sounding overdrive for hard rock purposes (doesn't need to be metal territory so much). I've also played a Vox VT40+ in my search but although it packs a lot of features I think I prefer the sound of the HT1.

Thanks in advance
I think combo version of the HT1 is "limited" to it's built in speaker, whereas the head you can plug into any cabinet with matching impedence.
The HT5 would be suitable for small gigs, the thing is you won't have much clean headroom.

Have you considered a VOX AC4TV?
It's an opinion. It's subjective. And I'm right, anyway.
i had the combo first then took it back for the head and 408, there is a huge difference even in tone, sound more stack like... i had a buzz on my ht1 so i was swayed into getting the head, which i love!
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Blackstar Ht-1r Head and 408 Blackstar Cab

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Anything from Slash to Killswitch Engage!!!

The HT1 and 5 aren't really usable for gigs... loud enough for practice at home but won't cut above a drummer.

They're for pushed tone at low levels mainly.

If you have a cab, then the head version of the HT1 is cheaper than the combo, unless you get the combo without reverb. I got the combo without reverb, as it's a standard digital reverb and I already had a digital reverb pedal, and it saved me $100 AUD.

They all have an 8ohm external cabinet out... and if you do get a cabinet, the non-reverb combo makes the cheapest head, and the internal speaker in the HT1 is pretty weak sounding.

The Blackstars have a pretty unique design and are one of the few higher gain mini-amps you can actually get, so there's not much else that can do heavier rock without pedals.

As for the HT5, you get a footswitch, effects loop, a bit more power, and a 12" speaker, which are handy features. You won't really need a cab, but it is around 3 times the price of the HT1.

Other than that... I don't think gigs are what you'd really want a small practice/studio amp for, but they both have line out so I guess you can run it through a pa or stereo to boost it if you were that desperate. The HT5 can emulate a half stack as well as the combo I believe.
Hmm, I guess I'll rule out the combo with reverb, it does seem a lot extra to pay when I have a perfectly good pedal for that. And I guess I should probably just forget about taking one of these to a gig.

How much do the HT1 and HT5 differ in tone/volume exactly?

Thanks for the replies so far guys!