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#1
Hi,

I'm on the market for buying a tube amp (preferably under <$1000 for combo or stack). I've tried some in guitar stores (H&K, ENGL, Randall, Mesa) and I really like the versatility and tones that I get from a Blackstar HT Studio 20 (probably even better when I upgrade the speaker to a V30?). 

However, there is one tone that I like that I couldn't really dial in on the blackstar, and that is the Mesa Boogie Rectifier (or maybe even Peavey 6505) high-gain tone (a kind of Djenty modern metal tone I guess). I could of course go for something like the 6505MH, but I think that it won't be as nice as the blackstar for the lower-gain sounds, and I like the tones of the HT-20 at bedroom levels. So I came up with the following solution:
  1. Get the Blackstar HT-20
  2. Get a Hotone Legacy Heart Attack mini head
  3. Get an ABY pedal
  4. Connect the FX loop out of the Hotone Legacy and the HT-20 to the A and B ports of the ABY pedal.
  5. Connect the Y port of the ABY pedal back to the FX in of the HT-20

I think that with that setup, I should be able to switch between the pre-amps, and get the more tight high-gain metal tone using the hotone legacy, or the awesome (hard-)rock or clean tones from the HT-20, and still get enough power from the HT-20 power amp for band practice or small gigs.

What do you guys think, is this a good idea? Will it sound good? Or am I better of just buying another amp altogether?
Last edited by Immortaly007 at Apr 20, 2017,
#2
How much do the 6505 mini head and the 5150 lunchbox heads go for where you are? Have you tried them?
What about the MXR 5150 pedal in front of the Blackstar?  Or something similar.

Using the Hotone head as a pedal should be fine though, and would mean you had a small practice amp too if you wanted. You could use the 6505 Piranha for the same job.
Last edited by luke.g.henderso at Apr 20, 2017,
#3
luke.g.henderso I'm in the Netherlands. HT Studio 20 combo is €643, the 6505MH is €579. EVH5150II LBX is €585. A bit of the problem is that none of the local guitar stores have the 6505/5150s in stock, so it's hard for me to try one out They do sound good on Youtube demo's for the high-gain metal sound, but I can't try it for other tones (e.g. clean or more bluesy (although you could probably get that by pushing the clean channel using a tubescreamer)).

I haven't looked into the MXR 5150 pedal before. but it also seems like a really good option. The same goes for the 6505 Piranha. I'm gonna go watch some youtube demo's
#4
just in case you don't know, the ht is hybrid, not all-tube. that's also true for the H&Ks (assuming you're looking at the tubemeisters), and the cheaper engls.
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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?
#5
Quote by Dave_Mc
just in case you don't know, the ht is hybrid, not all-tube. that's also true for the H&Ks (assuming you're looking at the tubemeisters), and the cheaper engls.

The HT 20 has tubes in the preamp, and tubes in the power amp.
#6
Quote by Dave_Mc
just in case you don't know, the ht is hybrid, not all-tube. that's also true for the H&Ks (assuming you're looking at the tubemeisters), and the cheaper engls.

What luke.g.henderso said. I think it might use some diodes for clipping or phase inversion, but to me it sounds like a tube amp, and it sounds really good.

The MXR 5150 pedal really seems to nail the Van Halen tone, but that is not really the high gain tone in modern metal that I'm after (e.g. Periphery, Monuments or even something like Metallica's Death Magnetic, or John Petrucci's tone in "the dark eternal night"). the MXR 5150 does get really cool tones in some demo's though, like this one: 


The 6505 Piranha is looking okay. I liked this demo: 

But it does sound more muddy then the Hotone to me, for example: 


Also, the hotone is half the price. Of course the Piranha pre-amp does have an actual tube, but if it doesn't sound better, then what's the point :P

The real 6505+ or 6505MH do sound amazing in all metal demo's, but I can't try it out for myself, so I don't know how it sounds for other genres, and if I could get a similar sound from the HT-20, that would be a winner to me.

Just a little more background for what I need: I play a lot at home for practice and fun, but I'm also in a small (not very active) band that plays mostly covers (rock, punk, metal), so I want an amp with lots of variety. I also want to be able to play it at home for practice and fun, so that's why I'm looking into smaller amps that still can give enough volume for small gigs, so not a 100W+ amp.

What do you guys think? 
Last edited by Immortaly007 at Apr 20, 2017,
#8
Quote by AcousticMirror
that thing doesn't sound anything like a tube amp.

the lbx shits all over it.

Which thing?
#10
Well it looks like someone is selling a 6505MH second hand near me, might be worth buying that, checking if I like it, and selling it if I don't?

Based off of this, I like the 6505MH better than the LBX:
Last edited by Immortaly007 at Apr 20, 2017,
#11
Immortaly007 Any chance you can try it out first? However, if you buy it second hand and sell it on, you probably won't lose any money on it. The 6505MH has a power  attenuator, you canswitch between 20, 5, and 1 watt. If you really need to practice (or record) at home quietly, it has headphone  (and other) outputs with cabinet simulation, that you can use without a cab, as it has a built-in dummy load. This doesn't sound as good as running it through a cabinet, but if you use house cabs at a practice room or venue, it can save you a little bit of money in the short term as you don't need a cabinet at home straight away.
#12
luke.g.henderso Thanks for your response. I think it will be hard to try out first, but I get an OK deal on it, so I should be able to sell it again for about the same amount, in case it's not for me. I can borrow a 1x12 from a friend, with an old 50W 8Ohm "Fane" speaker. I'm considering if I should just buy the HT-20 as well, so that I have some time at home and band practice to try them both, that would allow me to really determine which I like best. And I could even try them both with the same speaker (the one in the HT-20 or the cab I can borrow). However, since I have to buy the HT-20 new, this could cause me to lose some money. I'll keep a look out for second hand HT-20s.
#15
Quote by luke.g.henderso
The HT 20 has tubes in the preamp, and tubes in the power amp.


how does that not make it hybrid if it has a lot of other solid state stuff going on?

Quote by Immortaly007
What luke.g.henderso said. I think it might use some diodes for clipping or phase inversion, but to me it sounds like a tube amp, and it sounds really good.


Actually the diodes are arguably not for clipping... they're for preventing bad (technical term ) distortion in the valve i think. But it does have a bunch of op-amp based gain stages, and the phase inverter is transistor-based (not diodes).

If you like how it sounds, that's fine, and to be fair it's one of the better hybrid designs (i.e. actually about 50:50 solid state to tube, and with the tubes where they arguably actually most matter rather than e.g. the marshall valvestates where they have one solitary tube which does very little, apart from marketing ). But yeah, it's hybrid. I just wanted to point that out when you said you wanted a tube amp.

fwiw i think the 6505 MH is hybrid as well.
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?
#16
Dave_Mc Because it has a valve preamp and a valve power amp. I don't consider an amp hybrid if it has digital or solid state reverb or rectifier or effects loop. I'm pretty sure that is the generally-accepted definition.
#17
yeah but to be fair the point is that neither the preamp nor the power amp is *all-valve*. I'm not talking about the reverb, nor the rectifier, nor the loop. I'm talking about the signal path, and it is absolutely *not* all-valve.

FWIW, while it's a bit of a grey area, the usual definition of "all-valve" is the signal path. If there's solid state amplification or distortion generation there, it's usually considered to not be all-valve.
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?
#18
Quote by luke.g.henderso
Dave_Mc Because it has a valve preamp and a valve power amp. I don't consider an amp hybrid if it has digital or solid state reverb or rectifier or effects loop. I'm pretty sure that is the generally-accepted definition.


I mean when you have a solid state phase inverter and a solid state gain stage you are pretty much a hybrid amp
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#19
Quote by Dave_Mc
yeah but to be fair the point is that neither the preamp nor the power amp is *all-valve*. I'm not talking about the reverb, nor the rectifier, nor the loop. I'm talking about the signal path, and it is absolutely *not* all-valve.

FWIW, while it's a bit of a grey area, the usual definition of "all-valve" is the signal path. If there's solid state amplification or distortion generation there, it's usually considered to not be all-valve.

lf you don't consider the reverb or the effetcs loop to be part of the signal path, then I cannot take anything you say on the subject seriously.
#20
Quote by luke.g.henderso
lf you don't consider the reverb or the effetcs loop to be part of the signal path, then I cannot take anything you say on the subject seriously.


You can switch off the efffects loop and the reverb genius.
What happens if you switch off the phase inverter.
Try using your brain for like 2 seconds.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#21
Quote by AcousticMirror
You can switch off the efffects loop and the reverb genius.
What happens if you switch off the phase inverter.
Try using your brain for like 2 seconds.


Do you own a Blackstar HT model? You have a lot of input on these amps when most have never owned one, many have never played one but simply regurgitate what they read.

The OP never asked about signal path, knows that there are some SS components and was looking for feedback on the sound.

If you have feedback on the sound (and have actual experience) great. However, your comment that it doesn't sound like a tube amp would indicate you have very little experience with these amps.
#22
Quote by MAChiefs
Do you own a Blackstar HT model?  You have a lot of input on these amps when most have never owned one, many have never played one but simply regurgitate what they read.

The OP never asked about signal path, knows that there are some SS components and was looking for feedback on the sound.  

If you have feedback on the sound (and have actual experience) great. However, your comment that it doesn't sound like a tube amp would indicate you have very little experience with these amps.

I've owned every amp that i talk about here.
you know what happens when you assume. it makes you look basic.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#23
Which amp did you own and what didn't you like about it? Curious that you couldn't get it to sound like a tube amp?
#24
Quote by MAChiefs
Which amp did you own and what didn't you like about it?  Curious that you couldn't get it to sound like a tube amp?

you can't get the ht series to send like a tube amp because it isn't a tube amp? unless you think the sound of a solid phase inverter breaking up or diode clipping sounds like a tube amp?

it's not the worst sounding amp and there are plenty of solid state amps that sound far worse but it's by far one of the worst sounding amps in its price range.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#25
Quote by AcousticMirror
you can't get the ht series to send like a tube amp because it isn't a tube amp? unless you think the sound of a solid phase inverter breaking up or diode clipping sounds like a tube amp?

it's not the worst sounding amp and there are plenty of solid state amps that sound far worse but it's by far one of the worst sounding amps in its price range.


Which HT model did you own again?
#27
Ok. Understand since it is different than the HT20. Still surprised you couldn't get a tube tone out of it.
#28
Quote by MAChiefs
Ok. Understand since it is different than the HT20. Still surprised you couldn't get a tube tone out of it.

the preamp circuit is the same. the 20 has a different power section but it keeps the solid state phase inverter. I mean I don't know what you want me to say. I guess i could make it sound like a really bad tube amp?

Even in the ht20 price range, the New laney TI sig amp, the cub, the new little marshalls, all of the jet cities sound better. 
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#29
^ Don't worry, he's well into "no true scotsman" mode. First he assumed you'd never owned one of the HT series. When you pointed out you'd owned one of the HTs, apparently it wasn't the right one.

Me? I've never even tried the HTs. That doesn't mean they are all-tube, though, and as TS initially asked about a tube amp I thought it was relevant to bring up that the HT series doesn't qualify, at least for some people, as a genuine (i.e. "all-") tube amp. If you don't care, then you don't care and that's fair enough- but I fail to see how bringing it up when someone doesn't care is a problem, because that person can still not care once they know. Conversely, someone who *does* care will be very interested to have that pointed out to them- and that's before we consider lurkers, many of whom may want to know.

FWIW the only blackstar I've tried was the artisan 15, and I didn't much like it. And it is all-tube, so go figure.

Quote by luke.g.henderso
lf you don't consider the reverb or the effetcs loop to be part of the signal path, then I cannot take anything you say on the subject seriously.


As min rightly said, you can turn the reverb and loop off, at least on some amps. plus you could argue that an SS loop isn't a massive problem, in fact I've heard a lot of amp makers say SS may well be better for the loop- all it really needs to do is buffer the thing, and buffers in pedals are SS anyway (which you likely have in the loop, and also in front of the amp). It's way less critical than gain stages in the amp, or the PI.
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?
#30
MAChiefs AcousticMirror Dave_Mc 
just to be clear I did like the sound of the HT-20, I don't really care if it's a hybrid, to me it sounds better than the other amps I've tried in it's price range (I mentioned them in the OP). 

luke.g.henderso I think they stopped making the just the head of the HT-20, and a combo is cheaper anyways, so that's why I was looking at the combo. Thanks for the tip on the Laney! But I think a 120W amp won't be useable at bedroom levels (would be great for band practice/gigs though).

I picked up the Peavey 6505MH second hand today, and it sounds amazing. Obviously the clean of the 6505 is not as pristine as the HT-20, and the overdrive/dirt channels of the two amps are totally different. I like them both, but I like the dirt channel on the 6505MH better right now. I like it best with the pre-amp gain somewhere around 5 (+ tube screamer with gain 0, tone 10, level 10). I haven't been able to dial in the "perfect" tone yet, but I'm using a sub-optimal home build cab with an old Fane 50W speaker (I don't know which one). I think I'll pick up a 1x12 with Celestion V30, as that will probably fit the character of the amp much better. 

If I can get a good deal on an HT-20 (head or combo) somewhere I'll probably bite, so I can compare. But for now I am happy with the 6505MH. Still curious how good the Hotone Heart Attack sounds in real life though, since it's only 99 euro's I might still pick it up (it's cheaper than a lot of pedals).
#31
I own the HT-20 and they are fine amps. If someone can't get a good tone out of one, they don't like that style of gain/tone or simply can't dialin an amp.

Dave, you comment on every one of these Blackstar threads like you are an expert and have never played one, crazy.

OP, the only advice I would have for you is that I don't think you will find it loud enough (on its own) to keep up with a drummer. Otherwise, if you like the sound, I would go for it.

Congrats on the 6505MH.
Last edited by MAChiefs at Apr 22, 2017,
#32
I never say anything about how they sound, and I always point out I haven't tried them.

It's irrelevant whether I've tried them or not if they're very strongly implying (IMO) that they're all-tube when they're not, and I want to warn people, because we get a thread about once a month (at least) where someone is interested in them and it's very clear that they're not aware that they're not all-tube. Until Blackstar points out a bit more clearly (IMO) that they're not all-tube, I'm going to keep posting in these threads.

If the mods don't like it, they can tell me to stop. They haven't yet, and it's always Blackstar fanboys who are the ones who are telling me to stop.

The thing is, even if I did try them now, all the Blackstar fanboys would say that I couldn't give them a fair try because I'm biased because I know they're not all-tube.

The other thing is, I don't have to have tried an amp to know what its circuit is if I've seen a schematic- and I'd respectfully suggest that very few people posting in these threads on here are experts, lol. I'm certainly not, but whether I'm an expert or not is again irrelevant if I'm pointing out a fact and I'm right.
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 Apr 22, 2017,
#33
Dave,

Please, the OP already stated that he knew that it wasn't a pure tube signal, these threads constantly get hijacked.

You can pretend to be the one that has to educate everyone and call others names like "fanboy" when they call you out. Fact is you have never even played one. Sad.
#34
That's enough, please. Folks are welcome to mention what they think are relevant when people ask about products, provided it's on-topic. 

What is not on topic, though, is berating someone for not playing an amp when they've been perfectly clear that they haven't, and it makes no difference to the claim they're making. 
#35
Thanks Colin.
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?
#36
Quote by AcousticMirror
You can switch off the efffects loop and the reverb genius.
What happens if you switch off the phase inverter.
Try using your brain for like 2 seconds.

So, it's a valve amp until you use the effects loop or reverb, and then it becomes a hybrid?
What about amps that can run class A or class AB, so don't use a PI running class A, but have a solid state PI? Are they tube amps in one mode and hybrid in the other mode?
#37
Quote by luke.g.henderso
So, it's a valve amp until you use the effects loop or reverb, and then it becomes a hybrid?
What about amps that can run class A or class AB, so don't use a PI running class A, but have a solid state PI? Are they tube amps in one mode and hybrid in the other mode?


how the hell do you have a solid state pi in class A single ended. You are literally just making shit up now.
And yes, your signal chain does become hybrid if you use a tube amp and there's a solid state effects loop or reverb. But the point is that you can turn that stuff off and you can choose to add it in if you want too. Just like pedals in the front of the amp. That's your choice.
It's not your choice when you buy an amp that's advertised as all tube and you can't turn off the numerous solid state clipping and gain stages and the phase inverter.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#38
Immortaly007 Glad you like the 6505 mini. If you want a cleaner tone, you could experiment with going through the effects return instead of the front of the amp. Not the best long-term solution though.
#39
Quote by AcousticMirror
how the hell do you have a solid state pi in class A single ended. You are literally just making shit up now.
And yes, your signal chain does become hybrid if you use a tube amp and there's a solid state effects loop or reverb. But the point is that you can turn that stuff off and you can choose to add it in if you want too. Just like pedals in the front of the amp. That's your choice.
It's not your choice when you buy an amp that's advertised as all tube and you can't turn off the numerous solid state clipping and gain stages and the phase inverter.

Quote by luke.g.henderso
So, it's a valve amp until you use the effects loop or reverb, and then it becomes a hybrid?
What about amps that can run class A or class AB, so don't use a PI running class A, but have a solid state PI? Are they tube amps in one mode and hybrid in the other mode?

Read it again.


Also, just to be certain, are you saying that an amp can be both a valve amp and hybrid, depending on which parts of it you use?
#40
Quote by luke.g.henderso
Read it again.


Also, just to be certain, are you saying that an amp can be both a valve amp and hybrid, depending on which parts of it you use?


yes i read that you are just using words and making up circuits.
and yes of course your signal path can be valve and non-valve depending on what you use. is that rocket science. i don't think that's rocket science.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
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