#1
Hey all,

I'm in the market for a new combo amp. I want to keep it at $700 or less. I play basically the whole spectrum (really clean stuff, to pop punk, to some heavier metal). I want an amp that will sound great for all of these.

Here's one I had in mind.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/blackstar-venue-series-ht-club-40-40w-tube-guitar-combo-amp

Any thoughts or suggestions? If it helps I am playing a Gibson Les Paul Traditional. Lot's of mahogany so it a darker voiced guitar. Thanks all!
#2
It's not something I'd buy.

I have a row of combo amps. Two of my favorites are from Carvin. One's about 25 years old (and can be had on eBay for around $350 used). It's a Carvin XV112B. Single 12" speaker, 100W, 4 x EL34 power, active controls, real spring reverb (the Blackstar has digital), 5-band assignable graphic EQ, yada yada. Absolutely stellar cleans, Mesa Model 1 or 2 performance otherwise. Just insanely loud if you want it to be, and I've run either the original Brit-voiced speaker or an EV-L in it all its life. I've also run it through a full stack and it's been a stunner.

Second amp is a Carvin Belair (2x12) http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/BELAIR . This amp also comes as the Nomad (1x12) with the same chassis. 4 x EL84, 4 x 12AX7, 50W, $649 new. Two channels.

The Belair comes, these days, with GT12s. Mine came with V30's. I bought mine used and trashed on eBay and restored it. I liked the amp as is, but there are a set of mods available for it (your tech can do these relatively inexpensively and the .pdf files are available for free download) that I now swear by called the Hasserl Mods. The author notes (and I'm right with him on this) that the amp's Soak (gain) channel, modded, sounds like a vintage Marshall, but with more gain than any vintage Marshall ever had. With an LP, it's tremendous. At the same time, the clean channel is pristine and gorgeous.
#3
Another Carvin to look at is the V3, nice cleans and dirt, versatile.
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#4
Funny I was about to recommend the exact amp you posted a link to. The Blackstar HT40 is a really righteous amp. I have one myself and its easily the best one I've had, and I've gone through dozens.
#5
I would like to see the dozens that you have had prior. I am not a fan of the Blackstar HT series amps. The distortion is bland and the ISF loses its cool factor very quickly. The amp is not terrible per se, but just very meh. I would say that for $700 you could find a pretty good amp, at least better than the Blackstar.
I recommend a used Marshall JCM DSL 401, if you are after a combo.
A Peavey Classic 30 is a good choice, doesn't do metal really well but some pedals get you there.
Look into the Jet City amps, good stuff for the price point.
Honestly, I think the Marshall is your best bet.
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#6
Is this for home use or gigging?

If it's for home use, you might want to consider a modeller like the Vox VT or Peavey Vypyr - there's no such thing as a "best all round combo amp", but the good modelling amps can be useful for a bit of everything.

FWIW, I wouldn't go for the Blackstar HT - hopefully you know it's not a real tube amp, but that's not why I wouldn't buy it. I just didn't like the one I tried.
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#7
Quote by bobafettacheese
I would like to see the dozens that you have had prior. I am not a fan of the Blackstar HT series amps. The distortion is bland and the ISF loses its cool factor very quickly. The amp is not terrible per se, but just very meh. I would say that for $700 you could find a pretty good amp, at least better than the Blackstar.
I recommend a used Marshall JCM DSL 401, if you are after a combo.
A Peavey Classic 30 is a good choice, doesn't do metal really well but some pedals get you there.
Look into the Jet City amps, good stuff for the price point.
Honestly, I think the Marshall is your best bet.


I'm a big fan of the Peavey Classic series, but I don't reckon it'd suit OP's need for distortion on tap unless he has pedals to put in front. The classic 50 is one of my favorite amps however. Jet City is a good tube amp that you can usually get for cheap also being that it's not a "big" name amp. I had trouble selling the JC20H and 212 cab for $300.

I was also able to pick up the Blackstar for relatively cheap, about $350 used and in new shape. I also found it to be darker voiced which the poster said he liked. I do agree on the ISF, seems more of a gimmick than anything. I don't use the heavy heavy gain on this or any other amp really, as its not my style. But for a 90's/hard rock/classic Marshall distortion I think Blackstar fits the bill.
#8
Reason I recommended the Classic 30 was because he wanted clean, pop, punk and a little heavy metal, which with a pedal will get him there. I understand that you got the Blackstar for a decent price, but I would go for the used Marshall all day over a Blackstar HT, even if the Marshall was more expensive. I do not want this to turn into a Blackstar flame war, but I believe most people would agree that the Marshall is the better amp of the two. Other than that I agree with most of what you said.
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#9
looked at a peavey ultra+ combo? more metal oriented but it delivers well across the board. or even a JSX combo would be good. again more geared toward metal.

i think the classic series would get what you want with a pedal or two. i have seen fully functioning ones for $250 on CL several times in the last year or so.

probably TS clone or something like a timmy (my preference).

my only minor concern is that 30 watts may not get you the headroom you like. maybe the classic 50 would be a better option. they sound good, but some say not as good as the 30 watter.

either or, you would be doing fine.

i don't really care for that blackstar.
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#10
Quote by bobafettacheese
Reason I recommended the Classic 30 was because he wanted clean, pop, punk and a little heavy metal, which with a pedal will get him there. I understand that you got the Blackstar for a decent price, but I would go for the used Marshall all day over a Blackstar HT, even if the Marshall was more expensive. I do not want this to turn into a Blackstar flame war, but I believe most people would agree that the Marshall is the better amp of the two. Other than that I agree with most of what you said.


+1 on all accounts/ JCM1000's aren't bad. i actually like them quite a bit.

have you considered a low end mesa? F30, F50, express, lonestar, etc. some are decent amps. and are much higher quality than blackstar. you would have to look used.

if you want to look into blackstar's advertisements and look at the guts/schem, you may see something different than you think. i am not intending to start a flame war
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Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
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#11
How bout an Egnater Rebel 30? A Rebel with good tubes can get you anything from a gritty Fenderish clean to a chunky Marshally growl and then some with a pedal. Very sweet amps for middle ground, mid gain type stuff, imo.

If you're on a budget but like variety another alternative is a Randall RM and a module or a dozen. I got my RM 20 combo for $350 (with Blackface module). The stock speaker is a Greenback too. The 20 watts stay pretty clean while keeping up with a drummer (with the Blackface module at least) and you wouldn't believe how dynamic and tube-y it sounds at "loud tv" volume. I'm pretty sure an RM50 could be had with your budget if you wanted something bigger.
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#12
I really second a Carvin V3 2x12 combo if you're looking to get heavier stuff as well. Honestly, I've never been happy with getting metal tones from a pedal. High gain amps work better every time. I've seen V3 combos go for around $500 used, regularly.
Another option is the Peavey 5150 2x12 combo. A little on the heavy side but it's actually really versatile. More so, in my opinion than the 5150 heads. Something about them. They also have a reverb built in that isn't bad. I miss mine regularly.
The JSX combo would also be a pretty solid choice, but I would shoot for the other two more so.
Another great option would be a Mesa F series amplifier. They go used in that price range often and I rather like them. F-50 or F-100 would be cool. Maybe even a Mesa Nomad. Cool amps and severely under appreciated I think.
You'd also probably be able to find a used Mesa Single Rect-o-verb for $700. That is a cool amp too.

You have a lot of options, and I really wouldn't pick up the HT-40.
#13
Quote by trashedlostfdup


have you considered a low end mesa? F30, F50, express, lonestar, etc. some are decent amps. and are much higher quality than blackstar. you would have to look used.



You might also be able to get a used Rectoverb. This would get you into metal territory.
#14
I'd also look for a used Randall RM. If you're lucky, you may find one preloaded with the modules you want, otherwise build it into what you actually need over time as you can afford the modules you really want.
You can make an RM100 into whatever you want and later when your needs change, you simply change what modules you run. Can't get more versatile than that.
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#15
Quote by helies
You might also be able to get a used Rectoverb. This would get you into metal territory.


yea. 311 seems to like his. got good sound clips.

i prefer the dual recs (mine is a Trem-o-verb which is based on a dual). el cahones esta muy grande. (haven't spoke spanish in undergrad, but its fun to mix in.

see what you like
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Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#16
The Rectoverb and JSX are what come to mind for me. Np experience with the V3, but I've heard good things. The Ultra + would get you where you want. If you don't want really really heavy stuff, a Peavey Classic with a boost would do nicely.
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