HT-5H review by Blackstar

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (31 votes)
Blackstar: HT-5H
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Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: Used

Sound — 8
I am using an EC-1000 SD JB/59 equipped. It reallys sings quite well - the bridge pickup does breakup very easily though on the clean channel. The ISP knob really acts as a pre-presence knob, shaping your mids for different characteristics. I was able to get a load of different sounds, all of which sounded good. This amp was definitely meant as a hard rock amp IMO. With the gain on 6, I have enough distortion to bring down the house. The clean channel sounds great, but you need a low output pickup and can't crank the volume.

Overall Impression — 8
I learned a couple of songs by Coheed & Cambria last night as they are my favorite band, to break in this amp. Hard rock with pop roots really sounded good through this bad boy. If this thing were broken/stolen, I would probably opt for the HT-20 or something that would be more suited for live situations because the top of the volume on this thing is just loud enough from my 2x12 to hear over drums. The distortion can get really searing for a small amp, which is fantastic. The only gripe is the laughably useless footswitch.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp is very reliable and durable. Everything about its physical design is great. It has 2 tubes, one in the preamp and one in the power amp. Since it's a hybrid they should have a very long lifespan. I haven't contacted customer service, so I won't address that.

Features — 8
As a new member, I wanted to submit a review for my newest piece of gear. Here goes nothin': On an impulse, I bought an HT-5 for $200 used from a forum member. I've only logged about 3 hours of playtime on it in one evening, but I'm loving it. It is extremely versatile for a small amp head. It has 2 channels, an FX loop, a headphone jack, and a emulated speaker out all in one small, reltaively cheap package! No other amp companies are offering equivalent deals like this (I'm looking at you, Orange Tiny Terror). If the two channels had separate EQs, this would be a perfect amplifier. At 5w this hybrid amp can get very loud. Not loud enough to gig, but good enough to Jam with a drummer who isn't smashing his sticks into oblivion. Thus far its a bedroom practicer, but it can keep up with a band practice situation, although its not ideal. The one thing I really have to complain about is the useless footswitch. It has no LED indicator (a necessity IMO) and is about 5 ft. long... Really? Am I supposed to play standing on top of the amplifier?!

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