#1
Hey all!

I've been searching for a new tube amp, and Blackstar was one of the brands that I'm interested in.
Currently my budget is roughly 600-700€, so I'm not exactly looking for those high-end products.

Basically, I'm looking for a decent tube amp suited for mostly rock and metal genres, that has enough power to perform in small venues (most people I spoke to advised me 20-30 watt amps), but that can be also suited for some home recording. I've seen that Blackstar amps have emulated output, which I'm guessing that should be the way to go when you're at home and can't really crank up the amp too loud, but I'm curious if the emulated output actually brings any justice to the actual amp sound. I've seen a couple of reviews on Youtube and, from what I've seen, it sounds alright. But will I be able to record tracks with it and still sound decent along with the rest of the mix? (I'm also trying to learn how to record and mix properly; I'm pretty sure you can sound decent even with a worse amp if you do things correctly)

Anyway, was just curious on how well emulated output works when incorporated with other instruments and how does it compare with a proper mic and a cab.
Any past experiences with emulated outputs, either from Blackstar amps or any other brand, is much appreciated.

Thanks in advance
#2
My personal experience with emulated outs is that they're great for recording a demo or idea for a song at a low volume, but you can't rely on them to get a studio quality sound. You need a microphone or several to get a top notch sound.

For your purposes, I'd argue that it will suit you well in your current endeavours, and you can always add interfaces and microphones later on.
"Air created the greenness. And once you've got something, that leads to otherness." - Karl Pilkington.
#3
I'm guessing you're looking at the HT series? You're aware they're hybrids, not all-tube, right?

If you don't care, no worries, but I just thought I'd point it out in case you weren't, since you said you wanted a tube amp.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
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#4
Thanks for replying!

Quote by Dave_Mc
I'm guessing you're looking at the HT series? You're aware they're hybrids, not all-tube, right?

If you don't care, no worries, but I just thought I'd point it out in case you weren't, since you said you wanted a tube amp.


Yeah, I was looking at the HT series. (: Are they hybrids? I've seen the ID series as well, and I thought those were the only ones that weren't actually tube amps (they use something else to emulate a tube amp)

Quote by Lavatain
My personal experience with emulated outs is that they're great for recording a demo or idea for a song at a low volume, but you can't rely on them to get a studio quality sound. You need a microphone or several to get a top notch sound.

For your purposes, I'd argue that it will suit you well in your current endeavours, and you can always add interfaces and microphones later on.


Thanks for sharing your experience! I was thinking of getting both an amp head and a cabinet. That way I could use the emulated output to record the ideas and put everything together and, if needed, bring the whole amp to a place where I can actually record properly. Either way, I'm hoping the emulated output should be enough to get the gist of it, regarding any song ideas I might have.

Thanks again for both replies!
#5
Quote by jose.pedro.5667
Thanks for sharing your experience! I was thinking of getting both an amp head and a cabinet. That way I could use the emulated output to record the ideas and put everything together and, if needed, bring the whole amp to a place where I can actually record properly. Either way, I'm hoping the emulated output should be enough to get the gist of it, regarding any song ideas I might have.

Thanks again for both replies!

This will only work if the amp gives a dummy load when not using a cabinet. If there's no dummy load or "speaker off" setting on the back of the amp when choosing what resistance to use, then you need to have a cabinet plugged in at all times.

I hope that makes sense.

For example, looking at the HT series' on the Blackstar website, I see no mention of giving a dummy load. This would mean that the head's would need to be plugged into a cabinet to be turned on, so you might not be getting that much quiet practice.

I know with my old Peavey Bandit 112, that had an emulated output but in order to get enough level out of the output to run into a recording set-up, you were running the amp well passed bedroom levels of volume.
"Air created the greenness. And once you've got something, that leads to otherness." - Karl Pilkington.
Last edited by Lavatain at Jun 20, 2014,
#6
Quote by Lavatain
This will only work if the amp gives a dummy load when not using a cabinet. If there's no dummy load or "speaker off" setting on the back of the amp when choosing what resistance to use, then you need to have a cabinet plugged in at all times.

I hope that makes sense.

For example, looking at the HT series' on the Blackstar website, I see no mention of giving a dummy load. This would mean that the head's would need to be plugged into a cabinet to be turned on, so you might not be getting that much quiet practice.

I know with my old Peavey Bandit 112, that had an emulated output but in order to get enough level out of the output to run into a recording set-up, you were running the amp well passed bedroom levels of volume.


I didn't actually consider that. Thanks for the heads up!
Is it usual (or even possible) that cabinets have some sort of a "stand-by" setup, where they act as a dummy load only?
Btw, sorry if these questions are somewhat silly; my gear throughout the years only consisted of a small peavey combo and a multi-effects pedalboard plugged through a headphone set, haha

Anyway, I'll be checking some of the amps in nearby music stores and I'll check for the 'dummy load' feature.
Thanks again
#7
I have the Blackstar HT-5. With something plugged into the headphone/emulated jack, there is no power to the speaker. I don't see a reason you wouldn't be able to use it this way without the speaker, though if you screw up and forget to plug something into that jack, you'll probably damage your amp.

I don't use the emulated output, though, because I think it's too fuzzy and bright, even on the 4x12 setting. So, I just got an ADA GCS-2 guitar cab simulator for recording. Lots more tonal control. I haven't tried it, but I think you could plug in headphones to kill the speaker, and use the GCS-2 in the effects loop, using the "output" for recording and the "pass thru" back to the amp. But right now I just have it set up on my desk with a Triple Wreck, instead of using the Blackstar.

Quote by Lavatain
This will only work if the amp gives a dummy load when not using a cabinet. If there's no dummy load or "speaker off" setting on the back of the amp when choosing what resistance to use, then you need to have a cabinet plugged in at all times.

I hope that makes sense.

For example, looking at the HT series' on the Blackstar website, I see no mention of giving a dummy load. This would mean that the head's would need to be plugged into a cabinet to be turned on, so you might not be getting that much quiet practice.

I know with my old Peavey Bandit 112, that had an emulated output but in order to get enough level out of the output to run into a recording set-up, you were running the amp well passed bedroom levels of volume.
Last edited by amyhughes at Jun 20, 2014,
#8
Quote by jose.pedro.5667

Yeah, I was looking at the HT series. (: Are they hybrids? I've seen the ID series as well, and I thought those were the only ones that weren't actually tube amps (they use something else to emulate a tube amp)


Yeah they are hybrids, at least as far as I'm aware. To a certain extent it depends on exactly what you personally consider an all-tube amp to be, since there's no formal definition, but for me personally if there is any amplification or distortion generating (or the phase inverter) which are done by transistors/op-amps/diodes etc. instead of tubes, to me that makes it hybrid. Plenty of amp manufacturers feel able to claim that an amp which has a solitary tube is a hybrid (when everything else is solid state), so to me it makes logical sense that doing the reverse (i.e. having anything solid state in there at all) also makes it so.

The HT series, as far as I'm aware, has op-amp gain stages, diode clipping, and transistor-based phase inverter (the 100 might have a tube phase inverter).

If you know all that and go in with your eyes open and still like how it sounds, then by all means still get one. Just it's worth being aware of these things.
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?