BH15 Handsome Devil review by Blackheart

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (19 votes)
Blackheart: BH15 Handsome Devil

Price paid: £ 299

Purchased from: Red Dog Music

Sound — 10
I use a 2001 Gibson Les Paul Studio with the standard pickups. My pedal chain is guitar>Dunlop Crybaby> Boss TU2> Marshall Jackhammer (set for high gain)> Boss OS2> Valvette CustomDrive> Marshall Echohead. Its suits rock perfectly, and has a nice bite for funk. The amp isnt noisy until you turn the amp right up (but hey, its going to make a litle noise when it gets loud) but is hardly going to be heard in the mix with a band. This amp is INCREDIBLY easy to use. As soon as I got it, I plugged it straight in and had fun. Didn't even need to bother with setting the sounds at first because it just sounded sooo good! The gain will break the amp up at low volumes, but will break as it gets louder even with a lower gain. Very, very nice sounding amp. And if you want to know how it sounds, well it sounds pretty much like a Vox AC15, with a slight twist of Marshall. Its somewhere inbetween.

Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing around 4 years and 2 years in a band. Played many other amps, including Fender amps, Blackstars, Marshalls and Voxs. This is the only amp I own, but have played many amps, and have a very good understanding with amps. And being only 15 years old, I didn't want to spend loads on a tube amp, but still wanted one that would last me a long time. So far, this amp has been everything I wanted it to be- Nice, clean, bright and sharp. Its just beautiful... And for 300, you can't go wrong. Welldone Blackheart :)

Reliability & Durability — 10
Not had this amp long, but seems very well built, and theres no loose ends. Cant see anything wrong with the build, and heard good reviews of reliability. From the outer impression, it seems like its been built just like a handbuilt, more expensive amp.. Oh, and it is definetly a handsome devil ;)

Features — 8
I bought this amp brand new online. Found the amp very versitile and easy to use. I play mainly rock, but play other stuff like funk punk (chili styles). Its just got one channel, Class A, all tube and includes gain, master, bass middle, treble and prescence. The amp also incude a pentode/triode swtich which changes the amps overall power between 7W or 15W, useful for if you're practicing, or if you just want to play live. Theres no headphone jack and no effects loop (however, it does work very well with my pedal board running through it straight to the amp)However there are several output jacks (1X 16ohms jack, 2 x 8 ohm jacks, 2 x 4 ohm jacks) so you can add more speakers to your amp and increase some power. One special think this amp has is that it has a solid state rectifier, custom designed to be easy to mod and make your amp your very own. But for the price, I'm not complaining about not having an extra channle, but it couldve really have done with some reverb.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Backheart isn'treplacing Crate...Try tro know whay your talking about before you post nonsense. Crate and Blackheart are products of Loud Technologies..SAME COMPANY and I'm glad you LOVE your crate. I've been playing 40 years and there the biggest piece of crap on the market. In my opimion
    This looks like a great amp,is it better than the blackstar HT-5 for bedroom practice?I want a versatile amp that fits most styles,specifically nu-metal.
    BassDante wrote: any idea what this would sound like with a line 6 pod or something similar, as in how much would the sound of the amp change the tone from the line 6 sound?
    This amp will respond well to whatever pedal you put through it, with the right pedals it'll do almost anything you want.
    Benjysticus wrote: This looks like a great amp,is it better than the blackstar HT-5 for bedroom practice?I want a versatile amp that fits most styles,specifically nu-metal.
    I wouldnt say its better than the blackstar mainly because of the differences in tones. Its like comparing John Frusciante to Steve Vai, two complete different mind sets, you cant really compare them. Ive played through to blackstar and it is VERY nice. Really warm sound,and is very versitle. Its great for bedroom practice but even 5 watts is very powerful. And you wont wont to use this amp for metal, its not built like that, this amps built for vintage tones. Just go on youtube, there'll be plenty of demos so you can check them out
    Stevegio wrote: This amop Doesn't do metal well at all...Get abugera or anything with super high gain..Most tube amps aren't designed for heavy metal..except crate solid states
    Also, when you add all the metal distortion, a tube amp won't really sound much different than any solid state amp.
    Is this amp loud enogh to gig with band, practise and overbeat the drummer? Its only 15W, and its confusing me Im thinking of buying some amp, so, is this one loud enough?
    Hello Everyone: First off a lot of people have to realize your older amplifiers were mostly single channel with a simple layout, this amplifier is reminiscent of a Marshall JTM 45 as far as the layout and tones go. yes I know is it not a marshall, but the tone is pretty damned close. As for Crate, they are owned by St. Louis Music Corp, hence the SLM on a lot of their older amplifiers. Blackheart is a line they started in the last 10 years, it's sad to see a lot of the V series tube amps go and of course the Voodoo series, all of which were good amps. A lot of players who have single channel amps put a distortion or overdrive pedal in the chain to crank it over, and for the price this amp is damned good. the Bugera V22 is nice, it has channel switching, but I have heard of a lot of issues from them thanks to the digital reverb in them and the cruddy footswitch. And for metal amps, people Marshall JCM 900's 800's, that was the way in the day, put a celestion in the blackheart and use a good overdrive pedal, not to mention good tubes help.
    I have that combo version of Blackheart Handsome Devil. i play it at almost 7w setting because i am not in a band yet. but at home even these 7wats of valve power is very, very more than enough ! about stock speaker.. well, i still believe it will start sounding better and better depending on just playing through it, but it's to ice picky most of the time, but i still hope it will loose some ice piercy frequencies that drives me somehow mad. if i play it through my extension cabinet with one Vintage 30, totaly different world. but, sometimes i am really sick of playing all the time through Vintage 30 too, so sometimes i connect the Blackstar HT-5 to that BH15 combo, and it's great because of huge tonal differences about those two speakers. but, to be honestmost of the time i play it all through Vintage 30, it just sounds way much better. anyway, that amp covers some range of different styles, from beautiful cleans all the way up to some hard rock/early metal, but with a little help from od/distortion pedals.. howewer, i still hope the time will smooth out the stock speaker but in half year,if it will not, i will put some celestion in it..
    For those who cannot get decent metal tones out of that amp.. it can be done ! settings ( 0 to 10 ): drive 9, treble 10 (full), middle 4, bass 7, presence 5(half) than boost it with OD pedal, in my case Digitech Bad Monkey with level on 10 (full), low 5 (half), high 5 (half) and gain at 5 (half). i play it with Les Paul, SH5 Custom humbucker. Blackheart Handsome Devil through Vintage 30 speaker. i just ****ing nail that Slayer tone. I have played Slayer - Jesus Saves, and it sounds awesome and brutal !
    This amop Doesn't do metal well at all...Get abugera or anything with super high gain..Most tube amps aren't designed for heavy metal..except crate solid states