#1
I can currently get the Blackheart BH5-112 for a steal, however I know it doesn't have any set 'gain' switch, so would it be okay to use a distortion pedal such as the Blackstar Dist X or the Boss MT-2 to get a high gain sound out of the amp? So far I've only used modelling ss amps so I'm not too educated on this.

Also, reviews on the Blackheart? It's going to be for home practice 90% of the time and the other 10% will be practicing with an Electric Drumkit and some other band members, so would the setup of a high gain distortion pedal with this amp work?
#2
nahh it would have worked if this amp had an effects loop but there aint any,so try to get a ht5 used With a ts9
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#3
Quote by deepsal
nahh it would have worked if this amp had an effects loop but there aint any,so try to get a ht5 used With a ts9


huh? and huh?

why would you put an OD/Distortion in the loop? and HT5's aren't all that great.

but i do agree that it would be better suited for an overdrive, like sal said a ts9

TS- having it be so low in wattage gives it lower headroom, so if you were to put a distortion in front of it and turn the amp up, it wouldn't do very well.
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#4
Just get the handsome devil. It's master volume and 15 watts so you can jam with it.
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#5
Quote by deepsal
nahh it would have worked if this amp had an effects loop but there aint any,so try to get a ht5 used With a ts9

Not even close. Why would you put a dirt pedal in a loop? That will sound absolutely terrible.


Also, I wouldn't suggest a Blackheart for a metal setup.
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#7
The problem I've had with low wattage amps (used to own a BH5, too) is note definition when using them for high gain. You can get a nice distorted tone for sure, but all the lower frequencies tend to mush together pretty quickly.

Also the MT2 blows. Do not want.


Okay, comparison time. I've had two setups sitting next to each other for a couple of months, so I could see which worked better for what tones.
1) Blackheart BH5 head + Keeler Designs Shove (one of the best distortion pedals I've ever played, and certainly the best one I've ever owned).
2) Laney GH50L
Either was played through a V30-loaded 2x12" cabinet.
The outcome: Even with the ludicrously expensive boutique-pedal, the BH5 didn't come close to the GH50L's performance. The latter sounded much more "alive" for the lack of a better word, overall much more pleasant to the ears, even with aggressive tones. The BH5 did not sound nearly as good, and it especially had problems producing the low-end for modern rock tones, much less metal (and I am not all that demanding in that area). The biggest turn-off was the aforementioned lack of definition. It's most unnerving with lower frequencies, but was noticable among the entire frequency range - if you play just power chords and some lead stuff on the higher registers it's all fine, but if you want a little more than the root and fifth, or like fast riffing on the bass strings of a de-tuned guitar, you're in trouble.

Conclusion: You can't make an amp that is not meant for high-gain into a metal machine just with a pedal. My Laney, which isn't even a high-end or expensive amp (just your average run-off-the-mill rock amp), outperformed the Blackheart for pretty much any style of music I tried.
Don't get me wrong, the Blackhearts are certainly nice. They're built well and for the tones they're made for, they're certainly very nice. They also make great modding-platforms. But they're not high-gain amps. If you want a high-gain tone, buy an amp that can handle it.
#8
I think the only you can even get close to modern metal with a pedal and a BH5 is to keep the volume on the amp low enough that it's completely clean and rely on the pedal for 100% of the gain. The problem then is volume...you won't have any. And it's still not going to be a great tone. The guy above nailed it when he said you can't turn an amp not meant for metal into a metal amp with a pedal.
#9
^ agreed- you generally want to keep the volume pretty low on the amp.

Quote by deepsal
nahh it would have worked if this amp had an effects loop but there aint any,so try to get a ht5 used With a ts9


WUT?

You don't (generally) plug od or distortion pedals into the fx loop.

Quote by TheQuailman
The problem I've had with low wattage amps (used to own a BH5, too) is note definition when using them for high gain. You can get a nice distorted tone for sure, but all the lower frequencies tend to mush together pretty quickly.

Also the MT2 blows. Do not want.


Okay, comparison time. I've had two setups sitting next to each other for a couple of months, so I could see which worked better for what tones.
1) Blackheart BH5 head + Keeler Designs Shove (one of the best distortion pedals I've ever played, and certainly the best one I've ever owned).
2) Laney GH50L
Either was played through a V30-loaded 2x12" cabinet.
The outcome: Even with the ludicrously expensive boutique-pedal, the BH5 didn't come close to the GH50L's performance. The latter sounded much more "alive" for the lack of a better word, overall much more pleasant to the ears, even with aggressive tones. The BH5 did not sound nearly as good, and it especially had problems producing the low-end for modern rock tones, much less metal (and I am not all that demanding in that area). The biggest turn-off was the aforementioned lack of definition. It's most unnerving with lower frequencies, but was noticable among the entire frequency range - if you play just power chords and some lead stuff on the higher registers it's all fine, but if you want a little more than the root and fifth, or like fast riffing on the bass strings of a de-tuned guitar, you're in trouble.

Conclusion: You can't make an amp that is not meant for high-gain into a metal machine just with a pedal. My Laney, which isn't even a high-end or expensive amp (just your average run-off-the-mill rock amp), outperformed the Blackheart for pretty much any style of music I tried.
Don't get me wrong, the Blackhearts are certainly nice. They're built well and for the tones they're made for, they're certainly very nice. They also make great modding-platforms. But they're not high-gain amps. If you want a high-gain tone, buy an amp that can handle it.


+1

That being said- if you can't stretch to an amp which'll do it out of the box, consider the blackheart (or similar cheap low wattage amp) with an overdrive plus a not-too-high-gain distortion pedal (i.e. a normal distortion pedal, not a metal one). I get my best results from that, plus you don't have to go boutique to get good tone- it's a bit of a false economy buying a cheap amp and then having to buy an expensive pedal to do what you want.

Plus once you do upgrade to the better amp, you can also use the od and distortion pedals with it.
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#10
Quote by Jason43
I think the only you can even get close to modern metal with a pedal and a BH5 is to keep the volume on the amp low enough that it's completely clean and rely on the pedal for 100% of the gain. The problem then is volume...you won't have any. And it's still not going to be a great tone. The guy above nailed it when he said you can't turn an amp not meant for metal into a metal amp with a pedal.

Yeah, you'd have to keep the amp completely clean, and that's pretty tough with a BH5. But even clean mine didn't get me the definition I wanted. Same thing with my VJ (admittedly it's a little worse with the VJ, but still) - it seems to be a common problem with low-wattage, vintage-y amps. Also, it's only really a proper metal tone if you get a good amount of low-end, and I haven't figured out how to do that when playing quietly so far - it requires some volume, and if you turn up a BH5, it won't stay clean.

I mean, there's probably some clean amps out there, which, combined with the right cab and right pedal, will get you good results for metal, but the BH5 isn't one of them, lovely as it may be.
#11
So what if I were to buy a decent distortion pedal, maybe a Digitech TL-2 or a Blackstar Dual/DistX (for home use), and an Overdrive Pedal like a TS9 or the cheaper Bad Monkey (for jamming at higher volume, i.e. when the cleans start to break up), would that be a decent setup?
#12
Also just so you know, I'm not going for that ultra br00tal metal tone for drop stupid tunings, just a moderately heavy distortion (Metallica/Mastodon at the heaviest)
#14
Quote by Jason43
What we're trying to say is you'd be better off with another amp. By all means, try it out though.


I think I will because I can get this amp for about 40% of it's list price, which is definitely worth it