Blackstar HT-1RH 1 Watt Tube Head with Reverb Reviews4.6/5.0 based on 7 customer reviews
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from Columbus Ohio
June 1, 2012Music Background:
Great AmpGreat little and you would be suprized how loud 1 watt is sounds like the tone ive been chasing for over 20 years
from Dallas, TX
February 23, 2012Music Background:
First gig 1963
Tube tonesVery impressive tube tones at lower volumes. What is more impressive is the stereo emulated output for direct input or for recording, this makes the reverb sound much better. I have never been more pleased with an amp purchase. My first amp was a 62 Silvertone. This is the perfect home or practice amp. Could also be used for a back-up as a direct input.
February 20, 2012
unique little ampIn a world where amp makers are cranking out low wattage amps right and left, it is nice to find someone doing something different. So what makes this map different? First of all, this is 1 watt amp. 1 watt! This is truly a practice amp, with volume levels that are appropriate. That is not to say that it can't get loud, but compared to just about any other tube amp, this offers a much more usable volume level.
The second, and perhaps most unique feature, is that tone/shape nob "ISF". Now realistically, it does not truly offer infinite shaping control, and it does not take you from a perfect analog Fender model to a perfect Marshall or Vox tone. With that said, it truly does take you from a more american/fender type tone to a more british tone. Most significantly, it does this, if I understand things correctly, through an analog control, and creates musical, usable tones. A lot of these little amps really do not sound that good. Most people who rave about them have frankly never heard a really good, classic small tube amp, like a classic Fender Princeton or Champ, and do not know just how a good a good tube amp can sound. This amp surprises in that regard. It is crisp, clear, and, and has some mojo. It is not as sparkly as an old school Fender, but does offer a lot of variety in tone through the ISF control. Without digital modeling, I do not know of any other small tube amp that offers this level of variety and control.
Third and finally, this little guy offers two channels and digital reverb. This takes the level of versatility to an entirely different plane than most other small amps. While there are a lot of small amps that resort to digital modeling, this offers a genuine second channel of insanity. The second channel absolutely screams. While that level of gain and distortion is not my thing, for those who need it this amp is a monster.
So all in all, the HT-1RH offers a super cool little bundle of fun that sounds great. If you want a great sounding practice room tube amp, this is the one.
from Northern Il
February 6, 2013Music Background:
Home Recorder, Hobbyist, Occasional Gigger
A little powerhouse of an ampI wanted this for a late night, quiet play practice Amp. I disn't want another sterile, SS for that role. Wanted that good tube tone through. By far the best headphone tone I have found on a tube amp. Also works as a great studio amp getting as dirty as you want at reasonable volumes.
It has very basic features. But, it has everything that is needed. Well, an FX loop would be nice. First company that produces an amp like this with an FX loop and perhaps a 3 knob EQ is going to clean up the home recordist/player market.
Solidly built. Pots feel of the highest quality, and are quiet and a nice sweep. Extrmely high quality fit and finish. Looks very nice, Reminds you just a bit like a Marshall, doesn't it.
This amp sounds very good, very very good. Don't get me wrong, 1w can still get pretty loud when you dime the master volume and gain, through a 4x12. GIGable loud? No, but can still rattle windows in a bedroom, easily.
It is very responsive and articulate. As responsive and articulate as my Rivera? No. But, it is the match for my former Egnater, more than a match in this regard for my former Peavey C30. It REALLY sounds huge, like a much bigger amp, even at talk over volumes. And THAT is what I wanted, and what this is all about.
Cleans are nice, clear, warm with just a little chime. Many think of Blackstar as Gain machines. But the cleans are very good. Not Fender cleans, not typical that is. TO me, it's Bassman meets Marshall with a little vox thrown in.
Clean Channel can actually go from clean to a little past Blues crunch into light classic rock crunch. 1 Watt does not leave room for a lot of clean Headroom. But this little amp REALLY RESPONDS to adjustments on the guitar and/or attack. I am actually extrmely and pleasantly surprised by how well it does this.
Roll this Channel's volume and gain up, then back the Guitar volume off and the Amp cleans up nicely. Can do this on both Channels. So you can get plenty loud and clean.
The OD Channel is worth the price of admission. There is a decent amount of overlap between channels, which is great. you can actually go from clean, that will start to growl with aggresive picking at full guitar vol, to very modern gain levels. Definately into Marshall JCM900, DSL and beyond gain levels. IMHO you can do unaided metal. Distortion is really something special. Lively, responsive, articulated among the strings. It has a hint of wildness and a bit out of control, without being out of control. Really sounds like a 50w, or 100w tube amo, at very low levels. I expect it's the pushpull behind it.
The 'EQ' on this amp is not a true EQ. This worried me at first. But, the Amp's basic tone is just good. So, it doesn't need a lot of tweaking. What it does, is really show the differences in different Guitar's tones. And, you have to work the guitar's tone knob to get more varied tone.
What the EQ is, is their Infinate Shape Feature, or ISF. What it really is, is a Mid hump adjustment. Doc says it shifts between US and Brit voicing. To me it appears to lessen both the depth and width of the mid hump AND shift it to upper mids, while scooping a little bit of the lwer mids on the FULL "US" side. All the way to Brit side, it widens and deepns that hump and shifts it to the low mids, while reducing the upper mids.
Now, we get to the Heaphone and Emulated out. It is good, almost great. It blows the Bugera away in this area. In fact, it's the best I have heard from a tube amp. It is more than useable. That said, it still attenuates towards the higher frequencies. It's not quite as deep and full sounding as the amp through a speaker CAB. However, if your first hearing of the amp was through this, you would think it sounded pretty darn good. I think it is about as good as your going to get for this.
But, definately could use an off-board EQ for the headphone/emulated out. I ran that to my mixer with seperate Upper, dual mids and lower EQ adjustments. I was able to duplicate pretty close to the speaker tone, with minor tweaks.
Reverb is good. As good as a real Spring reverb? No. But it is good enough, can get fairly lush, and is quiet.
All of my guitars sounded very nice through it. It REALLY loves humbuckers.
THis is the perfect practice/quiet use, tube amp in my opinion. I also think it will make a great recording amp. If you want great tube tone, crunch and distortion, for home/bedroom/low levels and home recording, this is your amp. You can get nice cleans all the way to metal tones at these volumes.
Good amp at any price point. Awesome amp at this price point. Of what I have, or have had, only my higher end amps beat this out as far as tone, responsiveness and playability.
from Grayslake, IL
January 11, 2013Music Background:
Home player and recording
THe perfect, Tube Practice Amp!I am giving it 4.5 stars based on it's intended use. That is, as a practice amp for quiet and silent practice AND as a recording amp.
Headphone use is mandatory for a practice amp. Though, the Blackstar still isn't 100% accurate reproduction in the phones, as there is still some attrenuation of frequencies, it is by far the best out there in this regard (for Tube Amps). I replaced my Bugera V5 with this Blackstar mostly for this reason.
This amp has the Tone though. Awesome, awesome tone. Extremely responsive to your right hand AND guitar settings. Not a lot of tonal variety ON the amp, but what there is is just wonderfull. From Mesa-ish/Soldanoish US to Marshall Brit tones. But, you REALLY hear the difference in each PUP AND each different guitar, while maintaining the flavor.
So Different strength Humbuckers, P900s, Filtertrons, Single coils will all sound and react a little differently with this amp (in a great way), specially under Gain.
2 Channels, overlap nicely. Can get right up to a nice 60s, 70s classic rock crunch on the clean channel. The Dirt channel goes through that, right into 80s and 90s rock, right into modern gain tones. Amp sounds SO big in this regard. I have 2 boutique high end Amps, a Bugera V5 still and sold an Egnater. Only one of the boutique amps (A Rivera), has, or had better driven tones. Even better than the Egnater Tweaker with NOS RCA 6V6s I recently sold.
IF this amp had a full 3 knob EQ with the ISF and an FX loop, it would be 5+ stars and THE perfect home practice and recording amp. As is, it's the best thing out there right now.
I do recommend either an outboard EQ pedal for Headphone use. As mentioned, Headphone tap ius very good, but you do still lose some lows and low mids. Running the Headphone/Emulated line out to a mixer with EQ works for headphone use as well. Very minor tweaks and I had it matching in my phones, exactly what I heard in the CAB.
I also recommend getting some Florescent paint and dabbing on the black dots on the knobs. When the super bright LED is on, it is hard to tell where the knobs are set.
Now, stop reading this and go order one of these.
from New York, NY, USA
October 16, 2012Music Background:
Weekend warrior :)
Awesome practice/recording headLiving in an apartment makes playing an amp even at a low volume a possible noise complaint. I just wanted something I can plug headphones into, and since I never owned a tube amp, I thought I'd give this a shot.
Wow, probably won't go back to solid state, ever! I'm very impressed with its sound. To be fair, it's a practice amp, but it sounds damn good for such a small, lightweight, low-watt amp.
A footswitch would be nice, but again, it has to keep its small footprint somehow. Highly recommend!!
from Haddonfield, NJ USA
June 7, 2012Music Background:
Sax, harmonica and blues guitar
Great practice and small gig ampThis amp sounds great through the 12" speaker in my Fender Blues Junior III. I like the sound better than the Blues Jr. Being able to practice at low volume and still have the sound of a good tube amp is a plus for me. This is also a good amp for small gigs
I would have rated this a 5, but there is a difinate hum in the speaker output. The hum remains even without anything connected to the input. You can't hear the hum when you play, but I am a bit of a perfectionist. My electrical engineering education makes me wonder why a low power amp has to have hum.