HT-5 Combo 110 review by Blackstar

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.8 (50 votes)
Blackstar: HT-5 Combo 110

Price paid: A$ 810

Purchased from: The Rockshop NZ

Sound — 10
I use an Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus, with stock pickups. I alsso have a Boss OS-2 overdrive/distortion pedal, but I only need to use it for band practices at school. I play punk, alternative, and hardcore punk. This amp fits perfectly. I don't need any ultra high gain, etc, and I like good overdrives, and also mild distortions. It sin't too noisy, but I tend to sit facing the speaker, so my pickups produce a hum. If I turn the other way, it's fine. Due to the ISF control, and 2 channels, this is one of the most versatile all tube practice amps. Although these are the sounds I need, on of the best sounds is the clean.Scoop the treble, and boost mids and bass, you get a warm, soft tone. Boost treble and scoop the bass, it's absolutely sparkling. Once you get the volume over 3 oclock, it produces a light overdrive, which is quite nice, although my styles don't have the need for that. My only pickle is that the distortion can't get ultra high gain, but I don't ever need that. A fiddle around with the EQ can help this alot too. Overall, a marvellous sounding amp.

Overall Impression — 10
This is a wonderful amp. Looks great, and sounds great. This is my 6th year playing, and 3rd amp. I have already said all my other gear, and this amps works well in conjuction with it. It's easy to use, and, for me at least, is well loud enough for band practices against a drummer. If this were stolen, I would personally hunt down the person and kill them. Okay, maybe not that extreme, but you get the picture. I would hope that insurance would get me a new one, because I spent almost all my money on this. I wish the footswitch cable was longer, but an extension cable would be easy enough to get if I really needed it. I was also looking at the Orange AD5, and Tiny Terror w/ Epiphone Valve Junior cab, but this was by far the best option. Just plain better than the AD5, and more logical than having $1000 (New Zealand) head that had almost no features. I also looked at the Fender Blues Junior, but the overdrive on that isn't great, only a good clean. Overall, the best amp in this price range on the market, packed full of useful features (no mediocre built in FX boosting the price for nothing), and I would recommend this to anyone looking for a low priced, high quality practice/studio amp.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I can depend on this with my life. Although, being tube, I will have to replace the tubes eventually, but I wouldn't expect that for at least another year. I would gig without backup, seeing my Line 6 Spider III 15w sucks, and it is being sold. The design is very solid, the pots are very strong and stable, all in a recessed area on top, so if it falls over nothing is there to snap. My Line 6 fell over, and the cable bent almost 90 degrees. The power input, as well as footswitch, speaker inputs, and FX loop are located on the back, but under it. Hard to explain, but it means if it falls the other way, no cables will break. I haven't needed any repairs in the 2-3 weeks I've had it, and I wouldn't expect any repairs will be needed, but tube replacement.

Features — 10
A 2009 Blackstar HT-5 combo. 2 footswitchable channels, clean and overdrive (FS included). 5W all tube, one 12AX7/ECC83 preamp tube, and one 12BH7 power amp tube. A 10" Celestion speaker. FX loop return and send, with level Switch. Speaker emulated output with 1x12 or 4x12 voicing. For a valve amp this price, its quality and features are unbeaten. Because it is made in Korea, it is far cheaper, but Blackstar make sure there is no lack in quality. The ISF control is great, letting you haveva UK or US sound, and anywhere in between. This is one of the best practice amps you can get, only lacking a built in reverb, and ultra high gain. Both can be fixed easily with an FX pedal. Other tube amps around this price or less, lack many features, like channel switching, and a 3 band EQ. This amp has it all.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    How good is this for high-gain stuff (e.g. hardcore)? I'm considering selling my Valvetronix and buying this combo.
    cxrlxscr wrote: How good is this for high-gain stuff (e.g. hardcore)? I'm considering selling my Valvetronix and buying this combo.
    Hmmm... This amp may just handle that, but you'd be better off using something different.
    I have this phenomenal amp and have a blackstar ht overdrive in front of it. When I'm on the overdrive setting of the amp and then kick in the overdrive pedal with the gain settings 1/3 and the level setting 2/3 and tone 1/3 then I get an amazing metal sound almost fuzz like aswell. I have sold all my shit after playing with this amp. I have the combo and now bought the 1x10 extension for more presence. Last night I went to bed dreaming about the sound I was getting sooooo good. Btw I had no effects was running my guitar to amp and yeah it rocks!
    Just ordered mine! Comes this weekend. Better get some night kip in now. I will be waiting for it to arrive, guitar in one hand and MONSTER energy drink in the other. I feel an all nighter coming on!
    Hey, I wanted to share what I thought too. The Blackstar HT-5RH is a straight forward, easy to use tube amp that is perfectly suited to the guitarist who wants a great practice amp that is also suitable for jamming or recording.  It is solidly built, looks fantastic and most importantly, it sounds amazing.  There are not many (if any) other amps in this price range with the features of the HT-5RH.  Other models lack some important home use features like MP3 in or headphone out…not crucial for jamming, but mandatory for late night practice in a busy home.  The effects loop is a serious addition, which will appeal to more experienced guitarists.  For this reason, I really think that the Blackstar HT-5RH is the best amp available in its class right now. <a href=”[url=""][/url] ”>[url=""][/url] </a>