Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: Used
Sound — 10
I'm playing an Ibanez 540S ('91 made in Japan) through a Randall RG50TC and add a Ibanez TS-808 Re-issue with the HT-DISTX. It gets noisy, buzzes, especially when cranking the gain. Nothing you can't Live with, but by all means this is not a quiet pedal. This is the closest you'll get to a boutique pedal for the price, as NO two guitarists using this pedal will sound the same. The ISF is indeed infinite, although I prefer the "British" type gain, which is from 6-10 on the knob. 1-4 is the "American" type gain which is way too bright for my personal taste, it has a tight bottom end and a more aggresive middel end where the "British" has a more woody sound. The amount of versatility you can get out of the HT-DISTX is insane. There is so much variations in sound. From blues Overdrive to bone crushing, eye bleeding Death Metal distorion you can get it. It uses an ECC83 pre amp valve, I have an Electro Harmonix 12AX7EH in, which makes this a very good pre amp. I bought it because of its ability to be used as a pre amp aswell. Another important feature is that this is a true bypass pedal.
Overall Impression — 9
I play hard rock and metal genres and I can't really see myself replacing this. I have had it for 4months and I still haven't stopped exploring the tone you can get out of this. Nothing is wrong, although I would've liked a metal casing (box) for it to protect the paint. I currently use the Original packaging. If you hate something about a pedal, don't buy it. The only thing that might influence someone to hate it, is the weight. I love the amount of tones you can get from it and the control each knob offers. My favourite feature is the emulated speaker output. If it was lost or stolen, well it won't be cause I take good care of my possesions. I will before I buy this pedal consider the Damage Control pedals as they are also of very high quality. Overall I can't give this a perfect 10, because nothing is perfect. Wish there was a 9,95 though. For the price I paid, this is really good value for money. Guys Who use solid state amps, that want the "tube" tone but can't afford a tube amp, get this pedal!
Reliability & Durability — 9
It weighs close to 3lbs, so it is heavy for a pedal. The metal casing was made to withstand tremendous amounts of wear and tear. BUT being valve driven it will always have that unreliability to it. If something should go wrong using it, most likely it will be the valve. It doesn't get too hot though. No one should ever gig profesionaly without backups, but if need to I'm sure the Blackstar HT-DISTX will serve you reliably for many mant years.
Ease of Use — 9
It is quite easy to use. Has 6 control knobs, gain which is the amount of drive/distortion, Bass, middle and treble knobs which is the normal EQ stuff, ISF(Infinate Shape Feature) which allows you to get pretty much any tone you want and level which controls the output. It has one input and TWO outputs. A standard output and a speaker emulated output which is really useful when recording. The manual is very insightful with lots of tips to get the maximum value out of your pedal.