Price paid: € 369
Purchased from: Musicstore KÃ¶ln
Sound — 9
I use my Ibanez RG350DX with stock Infinity pick ups. This amp suite me perfectly. I play power metal, classic metal, groovy stuff like Buckethead and Guthrie Govan. The Blackstar does it all. The amp is not noisy as long you don't crank the gain and volume up to the max as all amps. I use a Boss noise suppressor and with that. It's silent even cranked up to the max! The amp has tones of different tones thanks to the ISF feature. It can sound like a British tube amp, to get that Malmsteen/Gilbert tones. Or you make it sound like a American tube amp to get a nice Mesa tone. I can get literary every tone out it. Now something about the channels: The clean channel has 2 controls. Tone and volume. The tone nob is like an EQ an brightens or darkens the tone without weakening it. The volume control helps to get that bright clean tone or that nice slightly driven tone. As you turn the volume up, the clean sound gets distorted in a natural way, thanks to the tubes. When you turn it over 12o clock it begins to break up and distort like all tube amps! The overdrive channel is great! It gives me all the tones I could ever dream of! Malmsteen leads or Metallica rhythm. It does get noisy if you turn it up so my advise is tho use a noise suppressor. I have a Boss super overdrive but only to boost the signal of my guitar. This gives the amp a enormous power and very aggressive metal sound. If you play a 7 string on this amp you would not believe your ears. It's a great 5 watt beast!
Overall Impression — 9
I don't stick to one genre and play everything I like. That is metal to classic to jazz to rock etc and the amp simply does it all. Groovy Govan, Vai or scale the summit stuff is what I like most and that is what this amp does very well! The reverb just sounds great and the Drive is very natural sounding. I have been playing guitar for 4 years and own a lot of gear but my main rig is: Ibanez - Boss od and noise suppressor - Blackstar - Roland GP8 effects processor - Line 6 toneport - mixcraft - recabinet. If someone would steal my amp I'd buy a new one right away! I love everything about it! The tone the looks! Only downside is the clean channel, I'd love to have a 3 band eq one that so I could change it more, but hey, 369 for a killer amp! This amp is one of the best investments I have ever made. It will take a long time before I need a new amp because the Blackstar HT-5RH has everything an Amp needs to have!
Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp is built like a tank! High quality tolex and metal protection caps with a solid handle bar. Not something you would expect on a 369 euro amp! The amp has never failed on me and always gave me the tone I wanted. I would definitely gig with it! But with a power amp because 5 watts is not enough for large gigs. I handle my gear with care so this gets a straight A.
Features — 9
The Blackstar HT-5RH features: - Power and standby switch. - 2 channels, Clean and overdrive. - The clean channel features a tone and a volume control. - The overdrive channel features a 4 band eq. ISF, treble, Mid and bass. A gain and volume control. - The ISF feature Gives the amp a British or American sound. Or a nice mix of both worlds. - It features a digital Reverb which can be used stereo by y splitting the cables. - Emulated output for mixer or PA equipment. Can be used as a headphone output. - foot switch. - mp3/line input. - effects loops with a -10 db or + 4 db boost. - 1x16ohm, 2,8ohm or 1x16ohm speaker outputs. - 5 watt full tube amplifier. - 1x 12Bh7 tube and 1x ECC83 tube I use this amp for home recording, bedroom practice and gigs. it's loud enough for a small gig on it's own. for large gigs you'd need a power amp.