#1
Greetings gentlemen,

I want to purchase my first ever all valve amp. After a reading lots of forum postings I decided to go for either Blackstar HT-5 or HT-20 combos. I must tell you that in my country Sri Lanka there is not a single store that sells valve amps so I have no options to experience their tone/Loudness etc.. By the way what I now use is a Marshall MG30CFX solid sate amplifier which is of 30w. Despite of it's poor ss tone quality I don't have any problems with the volume levels but I have no idea as to how it is gonna be with the tubes. Therefore I got to depend 100% on your honest advices before I make a move.

As I've mentioned my playing confined to my bedroom and I don't intend to play outdoor any time sooner. But I might in an year or 2, probably in a small garage band or something. Well nothings more than that for sure .

I know that you'll advice to go for the one with the lower watts given the fact that I mostly play in my bedroom. But something tells me to go for the HT-20.

What I want to know is that if I just crank the master volume down of the HT-20 wouldn't I be able to get the tube tones? Because Im not in a position to shatter the windows off, mainly because I have a very sick grand mother living with me downstairs.

I'd really appreciate all your advices on this matter gentlemen. help me taking a decision cos I'm so helpless in so many ways. Last but not least do you think blackstars are good? If you have some other kinds in mind please feel free to recommend as long as they happen to have a similar price tag. Kindly note that im not privileged enough to go for a better one in the future like scenario, because of the place I'm coming from. So there should not be any mistakes. Please help out people.


Many thanks in advance.
/Bindo
#2
I have to make this clear now so we get it out of our way, Blackstar HT series are hybrid amps, combination of SS and valve on signal chain. They are falsely marketed as all valve amps. That said, they are not bad amps though they mostly ride on the preamp distortion which is quite good for hard rock and metal. I have no idea if they have good power tube distortion or is there power tube distortion at all. Never tried.

Just have to make it clear if you are looking all valve amp. If some SS distortion in signal chain doesnt bother you, go ahead. Wattage doesnt really matter. 5W or 20W, it will be fricking loud but thats why there is the volume knob. (for reference, both of my heads are 100w, one is a tube amp and both are in bedroom use )

Wattage tells nothing how it works at bedroom volumes, only headroom before the amp distorts as you crank it. In your case, if poweramp distortion is what you are looking for the lower wattage is better. To a point of course if you ever intent to be in a band. But even 5w all valve amp will piss of your neighbours if you crank it.

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Last edited by MaaZeus at Jul 19, 2013,
#3
I'd suggest you egnater tweaker 15 as it is very versatile all valve amp. Blackstars are good, but tweaker is better(My personal opinion). But still if you want blackstar go for HT-5r it'll be good for bedroom practice.
#4
Mr Mazz/Neuro,


Thank you very much for replying . Thats very good new Mazz. I hope that you get the same tone/feel even when the volume is too low? I was really confused as to why people say that u'll have to crank the volume so up to get the legit tube tones. I hope I have not misinterpreted of what you've mentioned? Correct me if I'm wrong. Please do pardon me for asking questions in this nature, its just that I have never even seen a all tube amp in real life. I just dont want any regrets over this purchase is all.

Well to my amazement even specs in their official website also states that they are all valve. How misleading. I watched whole lot of youtube videos and none of them clearly said anything about amp being hybrid. I think I saw one post mentioning that they are not what they claim to be but did not have any grounds to believe it.

Well I'd rather narrow my original query towards finding a good all-valve amp first. Ok my budget is 00$-650$. I just had a quick look at Egnater tweaker mr Neuro n looking good. I'm still at work and when i go home will check some videos out. I know that peavy valve kings have been always a good option but apparently the current production of that line aint as good it used be according to lot of people. As in lots of technical problems have been reported on them, etc.. Again Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Please keep on shedding light.

/Bindo
#5
Even the 5 will be too loud if you want to turn up the gain and not bother your grandmother. Blackstar amps can be played at TV volumes, but they don’t really sound good until you turn them up. To get a good high-gain sound at a low volume you have to run the emulated output to a pair of speakers and skip the power amp entirely. The positive aspect of this is that you can get the 20 and use it to play outside your home while using the emulated out to play as quietly as you want to at home.
#6
My HT-20 sounds fine at bedroom levels. I could have gotten a better amp probably but they aren't bad. They don't do crunch really. Clean or distorted.

From what I've heard, a Tweaker sounds good for you.
Quote by Fat Lard
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Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls
#7
Quote by bindo
Greetings gentlemen,

I want to purchase my first ever all valve amp. After a reading lots of forum postings I decided to go for either Blackstar HT-5 or HT-20 combos. I must tell you that in my country Sri Lanka there is not a single store that sells valve amps so I have no options to experience their tone/Loudness etc.. By the way what I now use is a Marshall MG30CFX solid sate amplifier which is of 30w. Despite of it's poor ss tone quality I don't have any problems with the volume levels but I have no idea as to how it is gonna be with the tubes. Therefore I got to depend 100% on your honest advices before I make a move.

As I've mentioned my playing confined to my bedroom and I don't intend to play outdoor any time sooner. But I might in an year or 2, probably in a small garage band or something. Well nothings more than that for sure .

I know that you'll advice to go for the one with the lower watts given the fact that I mostly play in my bedroom. But something tells me to go for the HT-20.

What I want to know is that if I just crank the master volume down of the HT-20 wouldn't I be able to get the tube tones? Because Im not in a position to shatter the windows off, mainly because I have a very sick grand mother living with me downstairs.

I'd really appreciate all your advices on this matter gentlemen. help me taking a decision cos I'm so helpless in so many ways. Last but not least do you think blackstars are good? If you have some other kinds in mind please feel free to recommend as long as they happen to have a similar price tag. Kindly note that im not privileged enough to go for a better one in the future like scenario, because of the place I'm coming from. So there should not be any mistakes. Please help out people.


Many thanks in advance.
/Bindo

Where would the amp be coming from? The Egnater sucks IMO, and the Blackstar HT 20 is slightly better.
#8
Mr Maaz I just found out that HT-5 is a hybrid where as the HT-20 is aan all valve. Please take a look at the following specs from the blackstar site

HT-20
20 Watt valve combo
2xECC83, 2xEL34

HT-5
Innovative 5 Watt valve combo
1xECC83 and 1x12BH7 valves

Please share your thoughts people. Specially the honest opinions about the 2 devices who already own them or played.

Partlob, If I take a decision to go with blackstar, or any other brand for that matter (of course based on UG people's recommendation), Id buy it form an ebay top rated us seller.

Again I'd welcome the recommendations of other brands as well.
Last edited by bindo at Jul 19, 2013,
#9
i've never played the ht series, but i'm incredibly suspicious that the ht20 is hybrid as well. it has an extra preamp valve over the ht5, but it still doesn't really have enough to have that level of preamp distortion, and also a valve phase inverter, without some solid state help.
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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
I owned an ht20 combo for a while and it would work at bedroom levels. Depending on the size of your bedroom and your definition of bedroom levels. I got tired of the amp over time due to the distortion sounding fizzy. My recommendation would be the egnater over the blackstar. However, like already stated 5w tube can still be very loud. If you give us budget and location we might be able to recommend some other amps.
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#11
Hi bob. It's fairly a mid size room. My budget is 600 and i wouldn't mind going for 700 if it really worthwhile.

Plead recommend some good kinds. I'd prefer with the ones with 2 channels. A the moment I'm digging deep in to egnater tewaker. it does not mean I'd go for it so please keep the ideas/ thoughts flowing in
#12
Quote by patriotplayer90
Where would the amp be coming from? The Egnater sucks IMO, and the Blackstar HT 20 is slightly better.

Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
#13
wait, how is the blackstar misleading? I have a HT Club, and ive never heard anything about this being SS....im kinda curious now
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#14
they claim (or at least, very strongly imply) the ht series is all-valve, when it's hybrid. they also don't seem to spend lots of time correcting magazines and their dealers- so while there's nothing really on blackstar's website which would get them into trouble (though, IMO, those "pure valve" pedals are sailing pretty close to the wind, if you ask me!), you frequently see the HT series described as all-valve on their retailers' websites etc.

there's a fair bit of solid state stuff going on in it, including (on the HT5, anyway) op-amp gain stages, clipping diodes and solid state phase inverter.

Since you already have it, it's not worth worrying about if you like how it sounds. But for someone who's considering it for a new amp, it's worth bearing in mind.
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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?
#15
Quote by IrishDuff
wait, how is the blackstar misleading? I have a HT Club, and ive never heard anything about this being SS....im kinda curious now


It isn’t. But forums like this one are full of guys who aren’t electronic engineers who like to pontificate about technical language based on internet photos of PCBs.
#16
To get power tube distortion out of a HT5 it is still going to be friggin loud. So either way you are going to be getting all your distortion out of the preamp. If you get the HT20 you'll have a chance of keeping up with a drummer if you want to jam with one so that's the way I'd go. Well, tbh, I wouldn't touch either of them but if those were the only two choices .................
Blackstar's dodgey marketing practices (yes, it is a hybrid) are enough to make me not want to piss on them if they were on fire. Some hybrids are quite decent (and in fact the HT series aren't too bad sounding) but don't piss on my head and tell me it's raining.
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#17
I see, that's some messed up shib...I still do love it though...although the distortion sucks
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#18
Just to clarify. The preamp has a lot of op-amps and what is basically a tubescreamer in the front end. The power amp uses a solid state phase inverter. So both sections are hybrid. The JCM900 is also a hybrid (the preamp is hybrid) and with a few mods they can be made to sound very nice indeed (mine kicks arse) so the mere fact of them being hybrid doesn't really phase me.
Marshall copped a lot of flak back in the day because they were flogging off the JCM900 as "all tube" when it wasn't. They have since lifted their game and restored their credibility by dropping the diode clipping shit in their top amps now but it took a long time before they lost the stigma of being lying shitbags.
And oddly enough the guys that brought disrepute on Marshall's head are the same douches that now run Blackstar. That by itself is enough for me.
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#19
Quote by IrishDuff
I see, that's some messed up shib...I still do love it though...although the distortion sucks

On an HT-20? I'd have to disagree with you there. A tubescreamer is all you need for some pretty decent Metal tones.

I wish I would have known about them being hybrid before I got one but it's still a decent amp.
Quote by Fat Lard
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls
#21
Quote by jpnyc
It isn’t. But forums like this one are full of guys who aren’t electronic engineers who like to pontificate about technical language based on internet photos of PCBs.


ok, i'll bite.

i'm no electronic engineer but i like to know what i'm frigging buying. if that's "pontificating", then so be it.

how exactly is it not misleading?

and also the implication that you can only have an unbiased opinion if you are an electronic engineer is laughable. Yeah, those guys making money out of selling those amps sure don't have a vested interest. Unlike, say, me.

Quote by Cathbard
Some hybrids are quite decent (and in fact the HT series aren't too bad sounding) but don't piss on my head and tell me it's raining.


+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 Jul 21, 2013,
#22
Quote by bindo
So guys what you'd recommend for me?

It depends on the type of music you want to play.
#23
Quote by bindo
So guys what you'd recommend for me?



Fill this out

Budget? - What is practical for you and what is your limit?

Genres? - What style do you play mostly, fav guitarists, do you need cleans, etc?

New or Used? - Lots of great amps out there used, especially in a down economy.

Home or Gig? - Also important. Maybe you do both. Jamming with a drummer can be considered 'gigging' but you won't have a PA etc.

Closest City? - We aren't here to stalk you but we need to know where you are in the world roughly and we can help further if we know what city you are in (ie craigslist, local shops, Guitar Center used section, etc)

Current Gear? - Also good for us to know.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
#24
Thanks Mr Mazeus, Here goes,

Budget? - 500$-700$

Genres? - rock, classic rock, metal, blues, yes I'd want clean too

Artists - Vanhalen, John Petrucci, Yngwie Malmasteen, Steve Morse, Andy James

New or Used? - New

Home or Gig? - both. It wont go beyond playing in a basement with my friends though,

Closest City? - Colombo Sri Lanka. Only company that would ship to my country is guitarctr or a few ebay sellers.

Current Gear? - Sterling JP60, SS Marshal MG30CFX, Yamaha FG201-B, and Guild gad D-125(on the way)

Really appreciate your efforts to help me out Sir. Thank you very much.
#25
^ what amps can you easily get in sri lanka?

also do you know what voltage your country is? any amp from the USA will be 110V, while europe is ~230V. I'm not sure what sri lanka is. there are ways round it with a step-down transformer etc., but it's handier to just get the correct voltage. Some amps have voltage selectors, which makes it handier, but they tend to be the exception rather than the rule, unfortunately.
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?
#26
Sri Lanka is 230V 50Hz, Dave.

For future reference, wikipedia have a great little table that shows mains supply by country.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country#Table_of_mains_voltages_and_frequencies
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#27
yes it is 230v. However most appliances now supports 110-230v(thats how it is mentioned on the appliance) that are coming from USA. For an instance notebooks, smartphones, Televisons and even shavers. I dont think that the voltage is a problem here gentlemen. Please do keep on recommending.
#28
Quote by bindo
yes it is 230v. However most appliances now supports 110-230v(thats how it is mentioned on the appliance) that are coming from USA. For an instance notebooks, smartphones, Televisons and even shavers. I dont think that the voltage is a problem here gentlemen. Please do keep on recommending.


Amps are bit different from smartphones and the like. Atleast I havent seen amp, hifi or guitar, with support of 110V-230V without any kind of manual switch somewhere hidden.

With Guitarctr you mean Guitar Center, right? Also outside of Blackstars has there been any other tube amps that may be available near you? Considering your taste in music I would propably look for used Marshall JCM2000 DSL50 or DSL100 if you can find either one.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
#29
^ yeah amps are a bit different from other consumer electronics. as i said, some do have voltage selectors, but they're the exception rather than the rule.

will thomann ship to sri lanka? they have pretty excellent deals on the jet city stuff, which'd be great for what you want. they're also 230V.

Quote by Cathbard
Sri Lanka is 230V 50Hz, Dave.

For future reference, wikipedia have a great little table that shows mains supply by country.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country#Table_of_mains_voltages_and_frequencies


ah sweet, thanks
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?