HT-Drive review by Blackstar

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  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Sound: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (19 votes)
Blackstar: HT-Drive
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Price paid: $ 99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use — 9
This pedal is extremely easy to use. 3 knobs and your set, be it if your using it as i am to push your tubes and preamps to tighten it up and add some tightness and resonance or using it for an all out overdrive pedal as yes it can be used as a simple overdrive/distortion pedal and is capable of some hi gain. It does come with its own 22 volt proprietary AC adapter which is always a plus but if this was lost it'd be hard to find a replacement. To sum it up it is an extremely easy to use straightforward pedal. There no wondering if in can do overdrive. Yes it can do that and more. So if your looking for a damn good pure tube high voltage overdrive pedal look no further than this unless your looking to use it as a distortion pedal and I would recommend the Ibanez Tube King if you want a tube overdrive with a complete 4 band eq.

Sound — 10
This is more than just a simple overdrive pedal. It can be used as a simple boost like I am using it into my Blackstar HT Stage 100 and Spider Valve MkII which from the factory the more modern metal sounds are to bassy and this pedal really tightens it up. I use it with the tone and volume maxed out and the drive barely going, just to add crunch to the clean channel. But you can also use it like a regular overdrive distortion pedal with tones from Zeppelin up to nu metal. I will add this the Ibanez Tube King is a better pedal if your looking for an all out tube distortion for your solid state amp as this will make a solid state amp act similarly to a tube amp but I run it into tube amps so like I said I use it as a boost.

Reliability & Durability — 7
Well I have to start off saying I don't think they used the best hardware. The on off button actually came out but I was able to rig it to work still reliably but that was an "oh sh-t" moment. Other than that this thing is a brick due to the onboard transformer than takes the input off 22 volts and steps it up to 300 to run the single double cascaded diode tube. It is about the size of 2 boss pedals side by side but IMO it is worth it. The casing is aluminum and it weighs about 4 pounds due to the onboard transformer. So far I have used it for about a month and there have been several times I forgot to unplug it (it has to be unplugged to power down the tube/pedal) and it has about 100 hours on it and she's still running strong.

Overall Impression — 9
Like I said recently I mainly use it to push my preamps in my HT Stage 100 and Spider Valve MkII and like I said earlier the Line 6 lacked a lot of bass in the Insane channels and too much in the high gain but using these with the blue high gain setting really tightens up the low end for a nice new metal sound. It is incredibly simple with only a drive (gain), tone and volume. The tone is very articulate and can really change the tone by turning down the highs and mids. And the volume is just that a volume.

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