Price paid: $ 829
Purchased from: FSV
Sound — 10
I use an Epiphone Les Paul with an alder body. I have tried a range of other guitars through it in the shop and to be honest whatever guitar you plug in it will shine! I play blues rock ranging from Hendrix to Zep mostly but I also mess around with Jazz and Metal from time to time. This amp does it all the clean channel doesn't Drive until 6 o'clock but if you want a clean sound at high volume the master can carry you all the way and vice versa. I stick my volume up to ten generally on the Drive channels and use the gain as my volume, it really gives a punchy tone like that ideal for blues! The distortion can be anything from an axe wielding murderer to a soft purr! This amp is suited to all genres of playing!
Overall Impression — 10
It matches my style perfectly. I love some crunchy blues and heavy rock so this beast is amazing, but I also bought it for its singing clean channel. If it were lost or stolen I would look for it in a weight lifting club because its a very heavy amp! Love the amp and if I had more money I still would have bought this one. My favourite feature is its crunchy OD-1 which rocks! I love this amp!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This amp is a good sturdy box of an amp but it is a tube amp so TLC is required. I wouldn't go banging my own round anytime soon! I haven't gigged it yet but I've been up at that volume in the store and it handles it well. Have had no problems with it so far and if I was to gig it I always have a backup because the ME-70 I plug into it can go through a PA and has amp modelling. Overall I would trust this amp but its tube nature loses it a mark.
Features — 10
This amp is fairly new. It is a tube amp with 2xECC83, 1xECC82, 2xEL34. After the success HT-5 came Blackstars bigger brothers of the HT-5 the Venue Series. The biggest combo in this series is the HT-60 Stage. This beast can do anything and everything. The overdrive channels seemed strong at first but with controlled use of the volume and gain you can balance out the channels to any level of distortion. This amp has 3 channels each with its own second voicing, it also packs a very useful ISF which allows you to alter the signal to range from a more british style Drive to a more american style drive. The reverb is digital but with 2 voicings also and although I was wary at first the lads at Blackstar did a great job voicing it. It also has presence and resonance controls. On the back theres an FX loop, external speaker outputs the usual... This amp is has more than enough in the power department for any musician and more. I never put it past 1 or 2 on the master. It has everything a guy can need in one amp but its only downfall is it weigh a ton (30kg). I'm still giving it a ten because amps should be rated on sound not weight!