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#1
Hey,

With the awaited <1 watt Killer Ants hitting the stores within a few weeks, I thought it'd be a good idea to start a thread dedicated to the discussion of these little amps.

Here's a bit of info from the BH website on them:



Quote by Blackheart Website

The followup to Blackheart Engineering's Little Giant 5, the Killer Ant is the first attainable, boutique quality fractional tube amp. Featuring Class A, Single Ended circuitry, it delivers the complete, classic, touch responsive tube tone you need but at more manageable volumes for apartment dwellers and recording sessions.

Designed on a beer stained cocktail napkin, prototyped, built and tested in a one car garage in Austin, TX, and engineered to the same strict standards as the Little Giant 5, this "little head" delivers the tones, the smells and the attitude you want when sonic bliss is everything and volume needs to be kept at bay. The Killer Ant embraces 100% classic all tube circuitry but, instead of a high power tube output section, it boasts a clever, all tube power block pumping out a mere fraction of 1W. What you get is arena rock tone at bedroom levels. No more angry neighbors, whining wives or girlfriends (or both...just sayin').

Like its big bro, it features completely overbuilt component specs, from 1W resistors in the signal path to double sided PCB with 2 oz traces. Even its diminutive cabinet, just over palm sized, is built to take a beating with 15 ply (18mm) void-free wood covered expertly in durable black tolex. Final touches include distinctive white piping accents and a salt & pepper cloth covered front baffle. 4, 8 and 16-ohm extension speaker jacks allow you to hook the Ant into virtually any cab you like, including a 4 X 12. However, its counterpart, the Killer Cab, is designed to be its perfect soul mate.


Here's some sound clips from a tester:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=LODn9T4RozU

http://youtube.com/watch?v=fMBQqv8LJRU

http://youtube.com/watch?v=5FZsFWO_0IE

TBH, I think it sounds pretty darn good! I've contacted the maker of those clips, and he says it breaks up enough to play some dirty stuff without an OD at bedroom levels. Sweet!

And, here's where you can download the .PDF owners manual to check out all the features: http://www.blackhearteng.com/pdf/BH1H_OM.pdf

Now, with that info aside, I'm really excited for these little monsters to come out. My local store will carry them, so I will probably buy one the moment they hit the ground (I need to scrounge up 130-something bucks though). I'll make sure to do a full review too for all of you to see.

So, what are your plans for the KA? Will you get it for practice, recording, modding, something else? Do you think it will become the leading contender in the bedroom rocker looking for a good amp? Or will it flop?

Discuss!
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#2
The system block diagram looks real simple... i've been wanting to build a really simple tube amp. like a VJ-style of thing, but like 20 or 30 watts. i'd use pedals for the EQ and OD.
Schecter Gryphon; Ibanez AEG20E
Peavey Rage 158 ; TRAYNOR YCS50
EHX Big Muff Pi; Dunlop CryBaby GCB-95 (modded); MXR M-108 10-band; DigiTech JamMan Looper
#3
I'm seriously considering one of these. I think it looks great for doing some blues stuff, an area where my mesa sorta lacks.

Psst, DA, I sent you a PM
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#4
Yeah, the KA sounds more like a blues amp from the clips, but when he plugs into the 4x12 with the LP, it sounds like it could handle some nice classic rock stuff.
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
Last edited by darkarbiter7 at Jul 15, 2008,
#5
I'm thinking that with an OD this thing would do classic rock great. My mesa does classic rock amazingly though so I'm not worried about that.

Do you still have a jj 12ax7 and a GT 12au7 you could sell to me?
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#6
The block diagram was interesting, I wonder why they chose to use a 12AX7 to power it? Obviously it makes the design easier but 12AU7s sound far better for small-power driver stages... I wonder could that be one of the first mods for this? You could mod it to accomodate a JJ 12DW7.
The Laney Thread are big and clever. No exceptions.
#7
^Availability? That'd be my guess.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#8
Most likely. I doubt they'd be sparing any frills on an amp that spec. But then I can't help but feel it's a tiny bit overpriced, seeing as the components will be FAR cheaper than for an amp even as simple as the EVJ. Transformers would probably cost about half for the KA, not to mention it being smaller and everything...
The Laney Thread are big and clever. No exceptions.
#9
The tester said that he tried out an AU7, and he said it didn't sound as good. But, tone is subjective.
If it works out, this will give me a good use for my spare RCA 12AU7.
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#10
I too am interested in the KA. Provided it will reach tube breakup at sensible volumes (like, the same volume as a laney VC30 with the volume on 2)
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#11
Well, it's a quarter of a watt RMS, however loud that is.
From the videos, it sounds like it has some decent power tube saturation at the lower levels.
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#12
I'm actually pretty excited to try one of these. First thing I'm gonna do is dime that mother.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#13
Dime it and put a TS in front of it

I haven't done that with an amp yet. My amps are 50 watt 4x10's
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#14
Oh yeah, I forgot about a TS.

Is that 10 bucks with shipping?
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#15
Ten bucks, you pay shipping.
It'll probably end up being 2 bucks.
So, 12 bucks altogether prolly.
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#16
So how do I figure that in? Just send you 12 bucks or what?
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#17
Yeah, just send me straight up 12 bucks.
I'll ship then in some tube boxes and i'll ship tomorrow probably.

Anyways, let's not get too off topic.

I wonder if there will be any modding kits released for these. Perhaps a bright switch for cleans?
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#18
I wonder how hard a passive tone stack would be to install.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#19
Quote by Kevin Saale
I wonder how hard a passive tone stack would be to install.
Likely impossible, it already has one in the circuit but with non-tweakable values, I would assume that another tonestack would destroy all the gain and thin the tone right up.

Unless you mod the tonestack already in there...

But is there chassis space? Doesn't look like it.
The Laney Thread are big and clever. No exceptions.
#20
How would you mod it? Just swap out the resistors or whatever for pots? It could always hang out of the thing for all I care.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#22
Quote by forsaknazrael
140 bucks, huh? No bad...Would be a real seller if it were maybe 20 bucks cheaper. Don't see how it costs about the as a VJ, but whatever.

I'm thinking about selling my modded VJ, honestly. Need some extra cash, and I don't use it too often.


True, but if it sounds good then you really can't go wrong. Having a 4 8 and 16 ohm out is a great thing so anyone with any kind of amp already can get one and not need a cab. I think these things are gonna go like hotcakes.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#23
I'm not complaining about the price.
If it was a few bucks cheaper, they would sell more, but oh well.
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#25
if i didn't already plan on getting the 15 watt handsome devil in the future i'd be after this thing!!! lol....

i already got a 50 watt monster for modern sounds and 5 watter for bedroom and small jams that need vintage tone. i'm hopin the 15 watt handsome devil will do nicely as an A/B w/ my randall....i know that 15 and 50 watts have a good distance btw them, but as far as hearing the two it shouldn't sound too off should it? that's what a master volume's for anyway.

Darkarbiter, you been GAS'n for this killer ant amp at least a couple months now lol. it's alright, you have no idea how bad i GAS'd for the blackheart before i got it. and i'm still 100% satisfied w/ it's tone, i'm sure the killer ant will be just as good.
My MAIN Gear
____________
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*fellow LEO feel free to give a shout out
#26
Yeah, if the Killer Ant has the same tonal quality than the Little Giant (my friend has one), I will camp outside my store and buy one off the truck once they get them delivered.
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#27
I think I might actually snag one of these up with whatever money I get for my birthday in a couple of months.


Sounds like it'd be great for recording.
Mitch Hedberg Group
http://groups.ultimate-guitar.com/koalabears/

Quote by Irnmaiden4life
why didnt you just play like crap?
if you need help with that, ask Vincent745



Quote by imgooley
Awe, so cute...

How old are you?



Quote by H4T3BR33D3R


Old enough to yell rape.
#28
i would get it if it were a bit cheaper.
im in the market for a 5-15 watt anyway.
they seem awesome and the sound clips seem amazing
Quote by BryanChampine
It was like a orgasm in my ear.
Chea_man is the best.
#29
I am so psyched for these!
Mitch Hedberg Group
http://groups.ultimate-guitar.com/koalabears/

Quote by Irnmaiden4life
why didnt you just play like crap?
if you need help with that, ask Vincent745



Quote by imgooley
Awe, so cute...

How old are you?



Quote by H4T3BR33D3R


Old enough to yell rape.
#30
Does anyone know when this is coming out? This seems to be exactly what I'm looking for.
#31
Looking at the block diagram, it is essentially a 2x12ax7 preamp/pedal box hooked up to a 1w RMS OT. It may actually be far better if someone just grab an English muffin and hook itto a OT+speaker.

On the other hand, it is also possible to do a simple "direct out" by redirecting the signal from OT to a port.

Also, doesn't this mean it is very similar to the valvereactor circuit used by Vox AD series?
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Last edited by Jestersage at Jul 20, 2008,
#32
I think it's coming out at the end of July. But, i'm not sure if that's the release date or the date that the stores get them.
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#33
Those clips sound great, but I'd like to hear a TS in front too. I bet it takes pedals well. $140 huh? Anyone want a used Da5? I'll throw in the batteries.
#34
Yeah, I wonder how a TS would sound boosting it.
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#35
Quote by Jestersage
Looking at the block diagram, it is essentially a 2x12ax7 preamp/pedal box hooked up to a 1w RMS OT. It may actually be far better if someone just grab an English muffin and hook itto a OT+speaker.

On the other hand, it is also possible to do a simple "direct out" by redirecting the signal from OT to a port.

Also, doesn't this mean it is very similar to the valvereactor circuit used by Vox AD series?
Not even close.

Yes, it uses a 12AX7 preamp, like all amps - and then it uses a 12AX7 triode on its own as a Single Ended PA. Now we don't know the voltages but you can assume 1/4w to 1/2w of power.

And this is designed to be an amp. The muffn is designed to be a pedal. That was a stupid thing to say.
The Laney Thread are big and clever. No exceptions.
#36
If I already have the Blackheart 5w combo amp and I were to purchase the killer ant is there a way that I could rig up my system so that both heads could be played through the 1x12 speaker in my blackheart? A switcher of some type?
#37
Quote by jordanshadow
If I already have the Blackheart 5w combo amp and I were to purchase the killer ant is there a way that I could rig up my system so that both heads could be played through the 1x12 speaker in my blackheart? A switcher of some type?



And A/B/Y switch would work fine for that.
Mitch Hedberg Group
http://groups.ultimate-guitar.com/koalabears/

Quote by Irnmaiden4life
why didnt you just play like crap?
if you need help with that, ask Vincent745



Quote by imgooley
Awe, so cute...

How old are you?



Quote by H4T3BR33D3R


Old enough to yell rape.
#39
I think he wants to switch BETWEEN amps.
But, I don't really see how that would be too important to switch between them.

I'm still psyched. These little bastards will probably be great modding platforms.
Call me Wes.
Gear:
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
#40
Ah I got cha. Yea, for the settings I use on the Da5, this killer amt would be perfect. Or for my 11 yr old niece that's just starting out. How can my brother complain about a 1 watt amp? Seriously.
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