Price paid: $ 634
Purchased from: Sam Ash-Nashville, Tn.
Sound — 9
I have used single coils and humbuckers. Mild and high outputs, DiMarzio's and EMG's. I have used my Strats, My ESP/LTD, and also my Custom built Soloist. This amp can cover ALL of the music styles I play. I have even tinkered with the heavy distortion and the windows were rattling. I would not have thought this amp could get a great distortion but I was wrong. I have only used a pedal with the amp about 25% of the time and very pleased with just the amp.
Overall Impression — 9
I play mostly Classic Rock, Blues, and some 80's Metal. I am getting into country and this amp takes care of them all. I did alot of research into this amp prior to buying and tested several others in this "class". By far nothing was even close. Blackstar has already made a name for themself with the high end amps and came out with the HT series to make their amps more affortable for everyone. For the price I have yet to find an amp that could match it. Could this amp do more? Sure, Pop in a high end speaker and some top of the line tubes but after you play it you will see it is not needed.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This amp is kind of heavy, (about 54 pounds) and appears to be very stout. It is well made and very nice looking. This amp can handle everything I throw at it and more. As far a reliability, I can only say that so far no problems. (Less than a month old) Once you get it you can register it at the Blackstar website and get a FREE 3 year Warranty.
Features — 9
40 watts all valve amp. Has 2 ecc83's and in the preamp 2 Sovtek 12AX7's. A 12" Celestion Seventy 80 Speaker carries the load. This is considered a closed back amp and gives great tight tones. 2 Channels and 4 Modes. (2 Cleans, 2 Overdrives) with a footswitch. I was advised to "break-in" the speakers so I waited for this review. I know have around 25 hrs on it and I see why they say this. This amp as the "sweetest" clean sound I have heard in a mid range amp. I have used single and humbuckers and the clean is unreal. Throw in the overdrive and I can get some great heavy sounds. To get EXTREME DISTORTION put a clean booster in front of it and let it push the preamp. This amp can cover just about any genre of music. A great little extra is the ISF control. Turn left and you get USA type tones, turn right and you get British tones. Has external jacks to add another speaker if needed but trust me you won't need it. A nice reverb. Many possibilities inbetween. I have used this in my music room and also a small club. No mic was needed. More than ebough power. Dimensions are 2'x2'x1'.
As far as rating, I am very picky and to get a "10" it has to be the best of everything available. So please consider this with my ratings.