HT-Drive review by Blackstar

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (19 votes)
Blackstar: HT-Drive
0

Price paid: $ 162.87

Sound — 10
I play an Epiphone Les Paul with standard Gibson designed pups which is quite a dark and mellow sounding guitar or a Kramer Focus 6000 with single coils that sounds really trebly. They both sound really lush and warm with the settings pretty much anywhere. Literally. From low end break up to screaming hot bluesy valve drive. It does the lot, well. It's not as gainy as the some other models in the range, I tried a HT-DISTX but it was far too gainy for me, it sounds more like a single channel valve amp with a similar level of grittiness. It's good for any electric bluesy stuff like Hendrix or SRV and will push even up to some slash or Aerosmith style sustain/compressed type blues/rock.

Overall Impression — 10
I like and play anything from supergrass style britpop through Hendrix and peter green via slash and some brian may and even some punk. Nothing too heavy, no nu metal or anything-core. I've been playing for 18 months now and have an Epiphone Les Paul and a Kramer Focus 6000 a Boss DS-1 which is retiring for a while as this pedal is so good and a Boss GE-7 graphic equaliser fed off a power bank to save on batteries which I put before the pedal to boost the signal into the valve a bit. All this runs through a Roland VS-840 8 track disc recording mini studio and then out to my computer for various software recording and manipulation options. If it were lost or stolen I would go and get another one straight away. I really like the way it's built it's smooth and solid. You can see the valve glowing through some bars on the top which is reassuring. I did try a HT-DIST in the shop and bought a HT-DISTX home to try but they were just too gainy for me. I found I was using the gain between 0 and 1 so I went back and swapped for the Overdrive. This one just makes my LP sound creamy and it sings like slash in full swing mid solo bending and sliding away, well it would if I played a bit better. The tone is there though.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Well. I have only had the pedal a few days but it's built like a tank. It's quite big, maybe 2 and a half times the size of a single Boss pedal as a frame of reference. And appears to be made of a fairly light metal so it's heavy but not back breaking. Very well put together and I would definitely rely on it for a gig. Not that I am likely to gig in the near future.

Ease of Use — 8
This pedal is fantastic. It's really easy to use and has great tone. There is a manual with a couple of suggested settings for valve boost/classic drive/hot drive but there are three knobs! How hard can it be? Every twist of every knob gives new valve driven delight.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    deadlydunc
    music_freeke wrote: deadlydunc wrote: the amount i paid for it was actually 89.00 uk which according to XEcom is $181 dollars us. not sure where the 162.87 came from... sorry Just because you paid 89.00 uk and $181 US that doesnt mean that every place you go to is going to be the exact same price everywhere you go... lots of music stores often lower or higher prices
    fair play. but i wrote this review and it doesnt show the price i paid for it. i appreciate that they cost different amounts in different places but surely as its my review it should reflect the price that i paid for it?
    rlewishughes
    Got one to push the front of my ht stage 100 and does an amazing job as a simple boost like I'm using it or all out gain. Very good tube overdrive.
    deadlydunc
    the amount i paid for it was actually 89.00 uk which according to XEcom is $181 dollars us. not sure where the 162.87 came from... sorry
    music_freeke
    deadlydunc wrote: the amount i paid for it was actually 89.00 uk which according to XEcom is $181 dollars us. not sure where the 162.87 came from... sorry
    Just because you paid 89.00 uk and $181 US that doesnt mean that every place you go to is going to be the exact same price everywhere you go... lots of music stores often lower or higher prices
    Jimbleton
    what sort of tones can i get out of this pedal then and i kinda want blues and hardrock tones somewhat similar to AC/DC and clapton/cream
    jimRH7
    Is this pedal a good substitute for a valve amp ? I would buy a real valve amp (eg: epiphone valve junior) but what puts me off is I'd never be comfortable cranking the volume to get a good sound. will this do valve amp clean sounds too? I see you've tried DI'ing it into a portastudio - can you use the pedal as a headphone amp?