Sound — 8
I'm using a Washburn HM series with fitted EMGs currently and it sounds great through this amp. Definitely recommended for all styles though, not just rock, due to its high versatility and tone. Being a metal player, I find this amp excellent. When cranked, the Blackstar delivers a sound that we'd usually expect from amps 3 or 4 times more expensive than this. The HT-5 has no noticeable noise, even when cranked to high levels, something rare for only a 5 watt amplifier. No built-in effects can reduce the possibilities of those who like to drench their sound in them, but through a small amount of pedals or a multi-effects system, the HT-5 can provide a tone that even the professionals will be proud to have.
Overall Impression — 9
With my selection of music, the Blackstar suits the job fine when coupled with a couple of pedals. I've been playing a few years and have owned numerous amps from Peavey Classic 30s to Marshall MGs, and this Blackstar HT-5 is up there with the best! Highly recommended and highly sought-after. I've had no regrets with this amp, something that is very rare on the amplifier market. If stolen, the HT-5 is definitely something you would replace. No other mini stacks really give the same tonal qualities of the Blackstar, something desireable in an amp. No built in FX or FX loop is a downfall, yet the introduction of a headphone socket is a real benefit for all those players who like to play at night aswell. For all players seeking a new practice amp, check the Blackstar, it could be the one for you!
Reliability & Durability — 9
Definitely a dependable amp for bedroom or band practice. But not suitable for gigs. You would definitely have to mic it up if the need be. The amp has never broken down, but a change of valves rarely can benefit your amp, maintaining the perfect sound of British Blackstar Amplifiers.
Features — 9
Since its creation in the mid 2000's, the Blackstar HT-5 has gone from strength to strength. Packed with useable features, the Blackstar has revlutionised the term 'Mini stack'. The HT-5 is extremely versatile, delivering sparkling cleans to heavy distortion all packed inside a valve driven head. 1x ECC83 and 1x 12BH7 valves really provide that extra punch you need as you crank up the volume, ready to play your favourite songs. I'm personally a metal player and I love the Blackstar. However, I also play a bit of classical too. "Can it do that?" you may be asking. I reply with a resounding "Yes!" Whether you play rock or jazz, Enter Sandman or Enter Shikari, this amp is capable of delivering the tones you require! A 3-band EQ enables you to mould your tone for your own personal style, giving a unique edge to your playing. With 2 channels to choose from, the HT-5 really gives you a lot for the price. Headphone/input socket also enables you to experience the Blackstar's quality in those late night jams. Maybe an effects loop and some built-in effects would have been the icing on the cake but we still have numerous oppurtunities with the HT-5 Mini Stack. This amp can be used for bedroom practice but it is also suitable for bands practice sessions and it's also the perfect studio amp as it's portable and small. 5 watts is plenty for the above; it isn't enough for gigs, you may want to check others if you plan on gigging. Two 10" Celestion speakers really reassure us that this amplifier has a beautiful sound, and by gosh does it!