HT-5R Review

manufacturer: Blackstar date: 10/08/2015 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Blackstar: HT-5R
It is a solid amp with all of the features of the HT-5 1x10 plus stereo reverb. My overall impression is fantastic. This amp is mindblowing.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 8.5
 Reliability & Durability: 7
 Features: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (3) pictures (1) 11 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.8
HT-5R Reviewed by: festivalinhell, on january 26, 2012
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 449.99

Purchased from:

Features: 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. // 10

Sound: 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! // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 7.3
HT-5R Reviewed by: LeadHead83, on october 08, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 499

Purchased from:

Features: An affordable, portable tube amp that's easy to use and easy to carry. Two channel (with included foot-switch, built in reverb, and an FX Loop (which is HUGE for me). Emulated out for direct to PA or USB interface monitoring/recording. and 3 speaker outs for 16-6-4 ohms. I hook it up to my Bugera 2x12 cab and if I really need to be louder (and on occasion I do) I use the emulated line out and plug into my Tech 21 Power Engine 60 which gives me a PA like tone from an amp with a Celestion speaker and 3-band EQ and master volume with 60 watts of power. // 9

Sound: I play '80s rock, classic rock, and dirty Texas style blues. I only play three guitars, each specific to a style and very different from each other tonally. Guitar #1 is my main and she is a PRS SE 245 Zach Myers signature with upgraded tuners (Gotoh Vintage locking), electronics (920D all American wiring harness with Emerson bumble bee tone caps, Switchcraft output jack and pickup selector switch), and pickups (GFS Alnico II chrome covered neck/bridge).

Guitar #2 is a PRS SE Custom 24 with upgraded electronics (920D all American wiring harness with Emerson bumble bee tone caps and switch craft output jack and selector switch) and pickups (DiMarzio Super Distortion/bridge and Steve Morse-Jazz/neck). Guitar #3 is a MIM Fender Stratocaster with Fender Texas Special pickups in the neck and middle positions and Fender Twin Head humbucker in the bridge. Pedals are TC Electronics tuner, MOJOMOJO overdrive, Dark Matter distortion, a Boss OD-1 overdrive, Tone City Golden Plexi, and Tone City Tape Machine delay. I also have a POD HD500X that run into the HT5R using the 4 cable method. My guitars and pedals work wonderfully with all the channels from the Blackstar HT5R. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I was in love with this amp from the second I turned her on. I stayed in this honeymoon phase for nearly 4 months. Then I started to really get to know her and the tones that come most naturally. Then a week ago (5 months and 3 weeks after purchase) it crapped out on me. Just stopped working. I changed the tube with upgraded ones but it didn't make any difference at all! So with shipping time It got back to Sweetwater for repairs 6 months to the day after I first opened the box. No telling what went wrong and how much or long it be in for repairs. It's been 3 days and still no word. If I can get it back in full working condition fine, if not I'll buy something else. // 4

Overall Impression: If it weren't for the repair needs so soon after purchase I would be rating it at a 8.5-9 due to its size, weight, features and tone. But I can't overlook the catastrophic failure of the amp. It's got everything I could want from a small bedroom practice amp. Tubes, FX Loop, External out for a cab, emulated out for recording or going direct to PA, built in reverb, and sexy black on grey looks. It takes pedals so very well and the tones are sweet, warm, and singing. I love it, but am disappointed with its reliability. // 7

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