Price paid: $ 660
Purchased from: eBay
Features — 10
Up for review today is the Blackstar HT Stage 60 amplifier. Here's a quick rundown of the features: - 60-watt tube combo - 2xECC83, 1xECC82, 2xEL34 - 3 footswitchable channels - 2x12" Celestion speakers - Enhanced tone controls - Patent-Applied for Infinite Shape Feature (ISF) - Clean voice switch - Overdrive 1 voice switch - Overdrive 2 voice switch - Presence - Resonance - Master volume - Digital reverb with dark/bright switch - Speaker emulated output with 1x12/4x12 voicing - Effects loop with effects level switch - 4-way footswitch included As you can see, there's quite a bit of options on this amp. It features 3 channels: one clean, 2 overdrive channels that can give you literally any tone you're looking for. Each channel also has a voice switch. I can't think of any tone you wouldn't be able to get from this amp. It has so many options, I have no doubt that somebody would be able to find SOMETHING they could use in this amp. Definitely the most versatile amp I've ever owned.
Sound — 10
I bought this amp because I wanted something more versatile than my 6505+ I was using. The 6505+ is phenomenal for metal, one of the best for sure. However, I've always loved to play stuff like Eric Clapton (the reason I picked up guitar in the first place) and also, I've been buying a lot of strats lately. You just can't get an Eric Clapton tone through a 6505+. The clean channel is the cleanest clean I've ever heard. It is beautiful. The clean channel only has a treble and bass eq, but it features the voice switch, which will bring in and out the mids a little bit. The first overdrive channel is great for music that requires great crunch, but doesn't need anything too over the top. Depending on the guitar you're using, even with the gain dimed, you'd still have a hard time playing most modern metal on it. But because it doesn't have a disgusting amount of gain, it's very clear and articulate. Great for chords for sure. Overdrive channel 2 is where you can get all of the distortion you need. In my opinion, up there with the 6505+ for sure. Distortion for days. Great for modern metal. The overdrives share an EQ, which it would have been nice to each have an independent EQ, but it's fine. Each overdrive channel also has the voice switch, which is kind of like a contour switch. It brings in and out the mids, depending on what sound you're going for. With these 3 channels, you could go from John Denver to Cannibal Corpse and I don't think that's an exaggeration. Also, this amp features the ISF knob. This knob allows you to switch from an American style (think Mesa) type of tone, to the more British style voicing (like a Marshall). I keep the knob about in the middle for an awesome blend of the two.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I did have a problem with the footswitch jack in the back of the amp when it arrived. One of the screws that held holds the jack to the back of the amp was missing, and when I tried to fix it, the footswitch connector fell inside the amp, which made it really difficult to get back out, but after about a half hour of taking the amp apart, AND finding the missing screw, I was able to get it fixed. Not sure how that happened, but hopefully it won't happen again. It's a really nice, solid feeling amp, and although I can't comment on live use yet, I think it'll hold up well.
Overall Impression — 9
I play a wide range of music. I'll go from Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Journey to Trivium, Death, Killswitch, World Under Blood in just a few minutes. So I needed something that could get me all of those tones. This amp absolutely does. It's a fantastic amp, and that seems to reflect in nearly all of the reviews I've read for it. I was a bit hesitant to buy it, because I wasn't too familiar with the brand and its reputation, but I'm sure glad I did. No regrets at all! I play this with a few different guitars, I have a few American Strats that I like, a Gibson LP Standard, Ibanez Prestige, PRS SE and a parker that I've been playing a lot lately. With all of the tone options on this guitar, I got everything covered. My one complaint about the amp is the footswitch. I wish the effects loop was footswtichable. That would make my life easier, and save me money for sure. I don't understand why they put the REVERB on the footswtich, as I think you either want it on, or off. No need to switch between them. I would have much preferred it have the effects loop option, instead of the reverb. Other than that though, awesome amp. I'd highly suggest looking this one up if you're looking for something more versatile.