#1
Hi, I'm currently hunting for a new small amp. I tried a friend's Blackstar HT-1, and found it surprisingly good. Really like the sort of tones coming off it, and it makes a difference compared to my current amp (Roland Microcube). I am thinking of buying one, but I'm also thinking of a Blackstar HT-5.


The HT-5 seems more appealing because it has all of the EQ settings (treble, bass, mids) whereas the HT-1 doesn't, so to me it would be easier to dial in whatever tone I would like, and it has a 12" speaker. But the thing that's stopping me is the 5W.


I live in a terraced house and therefore can't really crank the volume often, so would a 5W be able to produce good sounds at a low volume? No shops near me unfortunately stock the HT-5 so I can't try it out for myself.


And would there be any other small tube amps that I could look at instead?
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#2
Hey there! Haven't seen you post in a long time!

If you like the HT-1 or 5 I'd go for it!
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#3
Quote by Fisheth24
Hey there! Haven't seen you post in a long time!

If you like the HT-1 or 5 I'd go for it!


Haha yeah, I've been mostly lurking for the past...year? Holy shit didn't realise it was that long

I did like the HT-1, but I can't help but think it's just a stripped down version of my Microcube, plus the addition of a tube. I'm just not sure if the HT-5/5W tube amp would sound good at low volumes
Schecter Hellraiser Solo 6
Ibanez RGR321EX
Roland Microcube

RIP Dio _\m/

"There are times in your life when you have to ask yourself the question "What would Charlie Sheen do?""

Are You a PROG-HEAD? I am.
#4
They're not really a tube amp, they're a hybrid.
For what you want, you'd be better off buying the best Pod that you can afford and a decent set of headphones.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
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Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#5
Recently I got a Laney LC15 for same purpose, fantastic amp. Not in production unfortunately, but could be had for a great price used. Also Laney VC15 is very good. Look at the Orange range as well, TT is great but no fx loop if you plan to use post preamp gain effects.
#6
They ARE a tube amp, and they sound amazing. Get one.
Quote by WCPhils
According to that chart, women like men with a Pringle canister down there.
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Ibanez RG8
Blackstar HT 20 w/ Jet City cab
whole bunch o' pedals
#7
They're a hybrid. Both the preamp AND the power amp are hybrid. Op-amp front end and SS phase inverter.
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
#9
Aww, you don't have to be so mean.





See? A tube!


Buy a Pod HD.
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#10
Quote by mmolteratx


Can you point out where the ss stuff is that does what a tube would?

Not sarcasm, I'm not really sure how to read this.
Quote by WCPhils
According to that chart, women like men with a Pringle canister down there.
Michael Kelly Patriot Glory
Ibanez RG8
Blackstar HT 20 w/ Jet City cab
whole bunch o' pedals
#11
The things labelled IC (op-amps), FET (transistors) and D (diodes). The things labelled ZD are zener diodes, they are SS too but are just functioning as overload protection and don't really affect anything. The others do though.
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
#12
Gotcha. From what I'm reading, (elsewhere, not the diagram) it uses diode and tube clipping in the preamp stage. I know that a tube change affected both eq and the clipping in preamp and poweramp sections of my HT-20. I won't argue that they're all tube now, but I will argue that they sound great.
Quote by WCPhils
According to that chart, women like men with a Pringle canister down there.
Michael Kelly Patriot Glory
Ibanez RG8
Blackstar HT 20 w/ Jet City cab
whole bunch o' pedals
#13
Exactly, it uses both technologies. The opamps drive the preamp tube harder to get tube distortion but as you can see, that's not the whole story. Lots of shenanigans going on in there.
I wasn't saying that they sound bad (but I do think they're pretty meh), I was just pointing out the facts. If you want to buy a hybrid because you like the sound of it, then good, but let's speak truths, not marketing bs. Musicman didn't have to bullshit about the HD series (a full on hybrid) in order to sell them. People liked the sound of them and bought them. Blackstar can blow me; dodgey ****ers.
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
#14
Quote by OfCourseNot
Can you point out where the ss stuff is that does what a tube would?

Not sarcasm, I'm not really sure how to read this.


All of the things called FET are for switching, as are the other discrete transistors except for TR2 and TR3, which are for the phase inverter, and TR4 which is a current source to linearize the operation of TR2 and TR3. That's a pretty big one right there, as the (tube) phase inverter distorting because the power tubes are trying to pull too much current when in cutoff/saturation is a big part of the traditional "power tube" sound.

IC2a is the input stage for the amp, and IC2b pads the signal for the clean channel. IC3a is where most of the distortion is happening. It's similar to a Tubescreamer stage, but different in a few key ways. Namely, it's an inverting stage, therefore the diodes are acting like voltage clamps ("hard clippers") rather than current clamps ("soft clippers") like in the Tubescreamer. There is a 100Ω resistor in series with the clippers to soften the sound, but the value is so small it won't really do too much.

V1a and V1b are two common cathode gain stages. They're similar to what you'd find in a normal preamp. Some distortion is coming from here, but mostly it's coming from IC3a. IC3b is for post clipping tone shaping with IC4a serving as a gyrator. Too lazy to do any calculations to see what frequencies are being affected, but at a quick glance, treble and low mids are being boosted. IC4b is a Sallen-Key band pass filter. IC5a is a voltage follower to buffer the effects loop send. IC1a is a return amplifier for the effects loop. IC5b is another amplifier stage after the effects loop.

At this point, the signal is split. It goes to IC6a/b, which is another tone shaping stage/gyrator, then into IC7a/b, which are another pair of Sallen-Key filters. Then into IC8a/b and IC9a/b, which serve as buffers to drive the headphone out. This whole block is basically the speaker emulation that makes the headphone out sound acceptable.

In addition to the headphone driver circuit, the signal goes to the previously mentioned TR2/3/4 phase inverter, then to the 12BH7 push-pull power amp.
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#15
Oops, forgot to say TR.

Well there ya go, a detailed explanation from an engineer, not a lazy arsed tech.
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
#17
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#18
Quote by diabolical
From what I coiyld getr H&K are also using some trickery on their small tube amps.
Yep, they've got an op-amp front end too.
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
#19
Quote by Cathbard
Blackstar can blow me; dodgey ****ers.


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.
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