Price paid: € 150
Sound — 10
The sound that comes out of this pedal is amazing. It's very rich and has a real `character` to it, if you know what I mean. I am currently using this running into a Hughes And Kettner tube amp, playing on my Ibanez RG2620 and Schecter C-1 Hellraiser. This pedal features a variety of tones: Channel 1's Clean and Crunch modes and Channel 2's "Super" crunch and distortion. The ISF control "Takes your tone from USA to the UK and anywhere inbetween". Though turning the ISF control doesnt't't make a world of difference, you can hear a slight change in the character of your tone. Another cool addition is, next to the regular output, the Emulated output. This output allows you to connect directly into a mixing board of a computer, giving you a rich sound the same you would get as playing through a wall of tube amps. Since this pedal has two seperate channels, you have tons of different tones you can achieve. From 80's rock, to Blues, all the way up to the heaviest of metal. I just have to rate the sound of this amazing pedal a 10, because it has to be the most amazing stompbox I have ever heard.
Overall Impression — 10
I play anything from Blues to Death Metal, and I have to say this box fulfills my every needs. It's easy to operate, gives you a variety of tones and above all.. the tone is fat as hell. The price may be somewhat high for a stompbox, but remember it has 2 channels and a huge spectrum of tones. I've been playing for about 7 years now and I can imagine myself using this box for the rest of my life. If it were stolen I would definately buy this product again. It has everything you can wish for in a stompbox and more.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This dual stompbox is sturdy as hell, it has a aluminum casing and everything is mayhem-proof ( no plastic squishy bits ). The Valve (ECC83/12AX7) is behind a metal grille so it's safe as well. Another nice little add is the valve blacklight that's lit when you have the stompbox on. It is excellent reliability and durability-wise.
Ease of Use — 8
The Blackstar HT-Dual "Pure Valve Distortion" is very easy to use, as it has a straightforward design. A Gain control for both channels, 3band EQ, ISF (will come back tot this later)and a level control for both channels. The amount of gain you set the control to really influences the tone, so you can get a diverse set of tones out of this pedal. The manual that comes with it is very elaborate and also includes a few tone presets. Though of course it's up to you that find that tone that suits you best.