Price paid: € 150
Purchased from: Thomann
Sound — 9
I use this amplifier with a low line Washburn guitar (HSS), and I had my doubts about if I could get a nice sound with the guitar I have. But I was wrong, it really livened up my sound and added depth, character and overall tone. Being an EL84 amplifier, it has some feedback way high on the volume knob, but that's just the nature of EL84 tubes. As for preamp noise, there isn't any really (at least it's not noticeable). The types of sounds the amplifier can make aren't super wide, but it covers the sounds that i look for and I love the "Blackheart" sound that it has. Brutality of the distortion/overdrive isn't really enough for metal, the highest gain I'd say would be around Smoke On The Water, Sweet Emotion and around Led Zeppelin/ACDC gain levels.
Overall Impression — 9
As for a match with the sound I'm after; yes this amp fully fills that out.I was going back and forth between the Vox AC4 and the Blackheart, but when I got the BH I fell in love with it and it fulfilled my tonal needs. If it were stolen, I probably wouldn't buy it again seeing as how I ordered it from Germany all the way to Istanbul, but if they had these amps here for reasonable prices i would buy the entire line of Blackheart amplifiers. I just wish it had a gain knob for bedroom overdriven tones, that's all really. Blackheart amplifiers are awesome, they just rule; and for the price, you CAN NOT find anything better.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Would I use this amplifier on stage without a backup? Yes, yes I would; because this amplifier is built like a tank with high quality parts. The PCB inside has thick traces and good soldering, along with quality components and big resistors and caps. Nope, no breakdowns at the moment, I doubt it will breakdown because of the high quality parts and beefy circuit board (I was surprised that I found a JJ EL84 instead of a cheep Sovtek tube for the poweramp section)
Features — 8
The amplifier was made in 2009, it's built like a tank; in fact I had trouble getting the grill on the back off to see how well the construction quality was, and it truly built with boutique standards. It's a single ended amplifier; it has two tubes: one 12AX7 for the preamp section (run at dual triode) and one EL84 (switchable between pentode and triode for half the wattage) The amplifier is versatile enough for the music I play which is classic rock and blues really, getting those Fender-y pristine cleans won't be easy, but the cleans are pretty good for blues and classic rock. There are only 5 phonejacks on the Little Giant, 4 of them are speaker jacks (2x 4OHMs, 2x 8OHMs, 1x 16OHMs). The other jack is for the input. There are only 4 knobs on the LG, there's the simple 3Band EQ (Treble, Middle, Bass) and a volume knob. I would really like it if it had a gain knob for bedroom overdrive, and a standby switch.