HT-5S Mini Stack review by Blackstar

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (18 votes)
Blackstar: HT-5S  Mini Stack
4

Price paid: A$ 1000

Purchased from: Music Store Sydney

Sound — 9
I play a Fender strat and Shecter C-1 elite through this little puppy and it roars. Straight off the bat I pulled up some very nice Jazzy/ Blues Tones from the clean channel. With a little playing around, you can get some really beautiful cleans and if you push the volume you get a nice sounding break up if that's what you are after. If you want cleans at high volume, this is not really the amp for you. The clean channel does not have very much head room. The overdrive channel is where this amp really shines. Awesome crunch for blues or rock ballad stuff, and all the way almost up to high gain. There is enough gain for maybe 80's metal but not really for modern metal. Great for hard rock (imo a lot of people use too much gain anyway). For a practice amp/recording amp this is perfect, it is simple to use, your guitar tone is not lost and it lets you focus on The Music... Which is why we are all here.

Overall Impression — 10
I play mostly Hard Rock, but I enjoy playing blues and actually just a bit of everything. Within reason, this little amp comes up with the goods. Very versatile and exceptionally quiet. For anyone who plays blues to rock to metal. This would be a good choice for practice or recording. Defiantly buy another if this one was stolen or lost.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Fantastic build quality. Better than most high end amps to be honest. It is made in Korea. I must say I have been impressed lately with the stuff coming out of Korea. The chassis Is neat and tidy. With plenty of room. Head and cabs are built solid. Handles and jack are sturdy. Everything seems to be finished to a really high standard. More than I can say for some other amp manufactured with a 'larger than life reputation'.

Features — 9
2 Channel Head with effects loop. The Shared Eq is sometimes annoying, but really it is no trouble once you become accustomed to it. ISF control. It does work. But not really my cup of tea. Emulated speaker out which actually does sound alrigh. Just needed a little tweaking with the eq. 8 &16 ohm speaker outs. Overall a Basic 2 Channel valve amp for a really good price.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    k7apex
    Good Review, I feel the same about this amp. Amazing little thing and great for the price.
    berko
    Though 5 watts may seem a bit low don't forget that it's an all-tube amp. The wattage/volume rate is slightly different at tube amps, making them louder than solid states of the same wattage. Even 5 watts can be loud in a bedroom but what they have achieved with the blackstar is that the tube saturation comes through at lower volume levels too. That's why this little gadget is unbeatable on the market...
    anonamouslyevil
    nice review. seems like this amp follows suit with most of the boutique amps these days..... just a 1 trick pony.