Hi everyone.

I own a Blackstar HT5 Metal head, with the 4x8 cabinet also made by blackstar.
I have swapped the pre amp tube from the Sovtek to a Tung Sol, which did improve sound quality, although sometimes it still sounded slightly muffled to me, especially at lower volumes and on the British side.

I am Running a Fzone tuner, a Boss CE-5, and a Zoom G5 Multi FX unit into the front of the amp.

I was using amp models, but I really want to use the sound of the actual amplifier, with the multiFX for my pedal needs and recording.

I find that I get better sound if I run a tubescreamer style pedal sim into the amp, on its overdrive channel, with just a tiny bit dialled in to boost the signal.

I then turn my Overdrive down, and it sounds much better.

My only worry is, that as it is already on the overdrive channel, will I be pushing the tubes/valves TOO hard? I am not going for mega distortion, gain is dialled at about 9 o clock max on the amp, and this is great for the styles I like to play-plus it sounds like the actual amp, but without the muffledness.

I also use a Noise gate sim, and occasionally a reverb sim, although I don't mind the reverb on the amp.

So, is what I am doing safe, or am I risking damage to the amplifier?

Thanks everyone, Conan.
Its fine, thats actually the way most people use hi gain amps. As far as i know you cant really overload the preamp tubes with an overdrive. I use a bad monkey overdrive in front of my jca 50, and i have it turned pretty high up, and it works fine ever since i got it.
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that's fine. the zoom might be causing some of muffledness. try plugging in without that and dial in the amp that way.
Your amp will be fine, boosting a dirty channel with an overdrive is a trick 99% of metal players use, a lot of others use it as well, just not with as much gain, the typical 'boost' setting is no gain, full volume and tone to taste.
Thank you all for your replies.

Glad to know it can't damage the amp in anyway.

In regards to the Zoom causing the muffled/muddiness, if I use it WITHOUT the zoom it is worse, I have replaced the pre-amp stock sovtek valve with a Tung Sol, this did improve it some, but at lower volumes it still sounds muffled.

I got the Zoom G5 following advice on here, as I did not know what pedals to get, a MultiFX was mentioned so I can try many effects to see what I like.
Just one thing id like to say here, id rather have a 1x12 cab than a 4x8. 12 inch speakers just sound better than 8 inch when it comes to guitar, even though a 4x8 may look cooler.
Quote by JackovSlayer
Just one thing id like to say here, id rather have a 1x12 cab than a 4x8. 12 inch speakers just sound better than 8 inch when it comes to guitar, even though a 4x8 may look cooler.

+1 12" are optimum for guitar in IMO, 4X12 >4X8
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Another vote for the 12s, but I'd also experiment with different gain values on the Zoom vs the Blackstar...there probably are some good sounds in there.
Dave @ Seymour Duncan
get a tubescreamer-alike. i have a feeling it will sound a lot better than the zoom (for overdrive specifically). the zoom is nice for the other effects.
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Quote by Evilnine
+1 12" are optimum for guitar in IMO, 4X12 >4X8

I think that's just manufacturer standardization speaking.

It's just become cheaper for them to slap a 12" speaker into a random plywood box that looks like something that was constructed (originally) half a century ago. As long as guitar players believe that's what will make them sound like whatever guitar player was ahead of them in the herd, they're good. They can crank stuff out in volume and spend some of the profits convincing future guitar players that it's still the way to go.

The number of guitar players who actually think about the things they're working with is pretty tiny.

Speaker cone size has little to do with what comes out of them. Phil Jones has been making professional bass amps out of multiple 5" speakers for years. Other bass players believe that a 4x10 with a tweeter is the ultimate bass cabinet. Others believe that a 15" speaker will reproduce lows better than a 4x10 (a myth that's been disproven over and over again). Home theater subwoofers often have small diameter speakers with a long throw tucked into a ported cabinet.

There are some guitar players who believe that a 4x12 is optimum for guitar, despite the fact that it beams treble above 500Hz, has lousy sound dispersion, and often weighs around 100 lbs. There's no challenging those people with logic, RTA data or even blind listening tests using their own ears. They have opinions.

I have an array of guitar speaker cabinets, including everything from a pair of 15" speakers with a mids/high tweeter through open-back 4x10s that sound so smooth they're nearly glassy, to cabinets with a pair of 8" LF drivers and a tweeter. I have 4x12s that have been relegated to decorative stage art. YMMV, but I've heard great things out of a lot of different speaker cone sizes.
Quote by JackovSlayer
Just one thing id like to say here, id rather have a 1x12 cab than a 4x8. 12 inch speakers just sound better than 8 inch when it comes to guitar, even though a 4x8 may look cooler.

I tested both the 1X12 and the 4X8 in the shop I was buying from.

In all honesty, I did not know what is better, I went with what sounded better to me-it was the 4X8 cab. It sounded 'Clearer' to me, with more clarity. This was at a pretty loud volume though, but I am happy with the 4X8 for my needs (Bedroom guitarist, moderate volume, occasionally loud).

I understand now that a 12 inch speaker is generally the standard most people use, but in this case, I did think that the 4X8 sounded better. This was before I knew the price, I walked in to demo a few amps and cabs, and it was what I ended up with .

I have no other way to use a 1X12 speaker to test, unless I can somehow split the wiring in my old spider IV and use that as a speaker to test at home-the spider still gets used in my other room occasionally, so it would need to be a split I can reconnect fairly easily to use the amp still when I want.
Last edited by Warrior2014 at May 31, 2016,