Price paid: $ 449.99
Purchased from: Musiciansfriend.com
Sound — 9
I own an '89 Epiphone honeyburst Les Paul Standard which makes this amp sing and can also serve to produce that dark, heavy, face melting, distorted, metal sound. I play everything from clean to blues to straight up thrash and death metal and for all of the paces I've put her though this amp totally kicks a-s. My other guitar is an Ibanez RG350DX which SCREAMS in this thing howling solos and tremolo dives are as metal as it comes and I have no complaints. Once you kick the volume way up the clean kicks into a creamy overdriven bluesy sound and sounds beautiful. My only hang up is that the overdrive creates feedback like nobodies business when you hit certain volumes and to calm it down you have to sacrifice some gain. Overall a fantastic sounding amp. I've played Bugeras, I've played Egnators, I own an Orange Crush 35, the HT-5R blows it all away!
Overall Impression — 10
My overall impression is fantastic. This amp is mindblowing. I've never been more excited to play. Having been playing for about 4 years this is skyrocketing me to a new level of playing. With my Vox Tonelab ST which I also rave about this amp is unbelievable absolutely amazing. If it was lost or stolen I'd by an HT-20 if I had the funds because I love the amp and would love to gig it with out having to plug into a cheap cabinet. If I get a better cabinet I'll absolutely replace it with the same thing. I'm sold on Blackstar.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I don't have much to say about the amps durability. Its built to take bumps and bruises and keep on ticking. The tubes are partly enclosed and are surrounded by a padded insulation to keep them cool and protected. If it falls your cables will be fine because everything is situated to protect it. VERY VERY durable. I'd gig it with a cabinet for sure. No back up no problem.
Features — 10
This model began production recently (within the last couple of years). It is a dirty kicka-s solid amp with all of the features of the HT-5 1x10 plus stereo reverb. It comes packed with a 12BH7 and an ECC83 tube which are wired to be used lightly while giving the full power and quality of a tube amplifier. It is classified as an all tube push/pull 5 watt combo. It packs a 1x12 Blackbird 50 speaker which gets unbelievably loud and sounds smooth and fat when needed and also can get the twangy sound you desire. It has two channels a clean with a simple tone knob taking you from a thick bassy clean to a crisp trebbly sound and everything in between. The other is the overdrive which some complain doesn't get distorted enough but in my experience you can certainly take it to Slayer style death metal sounds. It also comes with a cabinet output, a headphone output with cabinet emulation, a footswitch, and an effects loop. To top it all off it has a line in for MP3 players and such. Oh and the ISF is to die for I'd explain it to you but their website and the amp itself says it all.