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Blackstar HT-5TH 2x10" 5 Watt Anniversary Tube Combo Reviews

4.5 stars based on 5 customer reviews
  • from Upstate, NY June 7, 2015Music Background:
    Semi-Professional (Playing from 8 years old)

    Crazy about Blackstar

    I purchased the Blackstar HT5th last year and have been using it more or less daily. I have to say that first, for the price, there is not a single amp that can match Blackstars patented tone (ISF) and it's versatility. Although it's a little hard to get a true "High-Gain" tone from this kind of amp. Reminds me a lot of the "Feeling" that I had with my Fender Princeton Reverb (18 Watts). Tube amps like the 5TH are designed to let effects handle that. For those that love that straight to the amp sound, this is a real buy (if you can find one).

    Secondly, for a practice/studio amp this thing is DARN LOUD. I know 5 Watts doesn't sound like much, but, if you are familiar with 5 Watt tube power, you will understand what I'm talking about. This amp is well positioned to cover practice at home or at the studio! The awesomely perfect amount of "break-up" without making you deaf is perfect for those players that practice a lot and don't want to make the neighbors crazy, but, don't want to disappear in the mix at practice. My only recommendation is a guitar stand that can lift this off the floor for practice while standing.

    The controls are so simple, Blackstars idea to use the 3 band EQ settings for the "Overdrive" channel is a super idea. While a simple "Tone" control which was so common on tube amps from the era that (IMO) Blackstar is trying to reproduce. With a built-in (digital) Reverb circuit is quite tasty for this kind of reverb. Since the Blackstar engineers originally worked with some of the companies that made Tube Tone worth while (Marshall & Peavy). They knew how to create a wide variety of tones with simple circuits. Marshall, for one, didn't like the idea of using (ISF or Digital Reverb) in their tube series I'm sure are rethinking their "Ideals". Too bad JM wasn't around to work with these guys. I'm sure we'd be seeing a completely different Marshall today. So sad because this is the kind of "Proprietary Logic" that killed IBM's PC division & almost killed APPLE.

    Anyway, back the the 5th. (again IMO) the idea of using the Celestion 2 x 10's in this amp gives you a whole new aspect to the "Punchiness" of this little girl. Without getting too technical, it pushes twice the amount of air, making for a "perception" of a much larger amp without the foot-print or price.

    On price, Blackstar's (with the exception of the ONE series for now) are all made in Korea. My first reaction was probably like yours (Being a former US Serviceman, I ONLY buy foreign products when there is no other option and will go to extreme extents to ensure this) I hesitated, and honestly would NEVER have purchased a single Blackstar product until I did the "Road Test". I couldn't find a single amp that took the load and sounded anywhere near as good as the Blackstar. Truth be told, everything else in the price range was junk (IMHO). Even then, I brought the idea home and did even more research and discovered that the guys who started Blackstar were so committed to ensuring that every amp that they sold would meet or exceed specifications of the same ones built on their benches in England. They went through many manufacturers before deciding on the current plant that they are using in Korea. It was one of their last chances to build an amp that would not only meet their desire for extreme quality, but, also build their products to the price points that would keep them in reach of the regular Joe. I admire this, would love to see the folks at Gibson be that concerned with the regular Joe.

    Anyway, simply put, you are not going to get a better amp for the price. Nor, are you going to get one that the builders actually cared enough to give up if they couldn't make it right. You just don't find that anymore. Since this first one, I have replaced my Marshalls & Fender amps with Blackstars ALL (Not that they would ever consider me as an "Endorser", way too low profile for that... hehehe) . So again, KUDO's folks at Blackstar, you have earned my respect again & again.

  • from Kentucky August 22, 2013Music Background:
    Play for fun & small gigs.

    Great Amp!

    Wasn't sure whether to go with the single 12 inch speaker or go with the twin 10 inch special edition version, selected the twin 10 and couldn't be happier. Sweetwater is a great company that wants there customers to be satisfied and the actions backup their words....very refreshing! Great job guys!

  • from Concord, CA January 19, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Truth in advertising

    This little amp does everything I've asked of it so far. 5 watts of tube power presents significantly more girth and depth at volume than I was expecting. Obviously 5w amp will not fill a large venue, but the SPL this thing will develop still makes it a viable small gig amp, and for FOH gigs the "speaker emulated output" provide at least an alternative to hanging a SM57 in front of the grille (which, BTW, the handle is perfect for the old 57 dangle).

    Now, admittedly I have gotten jaded over the years over hyped features - that often do nothing significant. But this is not true of the little Blackstar. The ISF knob really does provide a wide spectrum of timbre options (all of them killer and satisfying), and I appreciate the infinite adjustments (rather than 2-3 detented presets).

    To my ears, the tone stack also provides musically useful adjustments through virtually all the permutations I've tinkered with so far. Love the tone and punch of a real tube amp, even with my horrible playing.

    FX loop works as advertised, although the placement of the jacks (all the rear panel jacks and buttons point downward...maybe to prevent accidental snap offs of jacks or pushing of buttons?) make set up more finicky than I think it needs to be. That's a very minor niggle, however.

    Overall, I'm very excited and satisfied with the amp so far.

  • from Round Lake, IL March 7, 2013Music Background:
    Gigging Musician

    Blackstar HT-5TH Anniversary Amp

    I'm an old guy and I've boght a lot of equipment over the years. I don't write a lot of reviews. I don't get thrilled with a lot of equipment... but this purchase has pleasantly surprised me.

    I have had so many amps in the past I can't even count them or remember them all. My current favorite is a Fender Supersonic 22 1x12 combo in gold & black tolex I purchased from Sweetwater. I use that on my gigs.

    I have a Mesa 5:25+ head/cab in my basement for practice and I kept a Roland Cube 80X in my office for jamming and relaxing. It's solid state but I loved the clean on it and I once swore I would never replace that Roland. It even served me well on some gigs.I love the low-end thump that amp would put out on my rhythm guitar. The only thing I missed with it was some tube warmth.

    I saw this Blackstar advertised and loved the look. I wasn't too familiar with Blackstar so I read some general reviews on other models because there weren't any on this one yet and saw people had some good things to say about Blackstar.

    I decided to order the amp to see if it was worthy of replacing my Cube 80X and I haven't looked back since. I sold my Cube 80X shortly after receiving this.

    I only use the clean channel but it has plenty of volume for my needs. I have also used the gain channel and surprisingly, it does stay pretty clean with some careful tweaking and it does so with even greater volume. It also has the warmth the cube didn't have.

    Because I play in a duo and a trio without drums, I rely on a low-end thumpy rhythm on many songs to kind of take the place of drums and a bass and I was impressed with the low end this puts out through 2 10" speakers... more than I was expecting. The reverb is nice and lush as well.

    I haven't gigged with this yet, I didn't buy it for that, but It could certainly do well for many of the gigs I play and at some point I probably will. 5 watts is not limiting on this amp; it's plenty loud for small gigs (50-70 people) since we don't use a drummer and then it does have the line out to feed it to the PA so it works for any gig.

    I took a chance, ordered it without trying it but it wasn't a mistake. besides, Sweetwater got it to me quick... the next day.

    Bottom line, I love it and I play thru it at least 5 days a week.

  • from DFW, TX December 31, 2012Music Background:
    Don't practice enough

    Great combo amp

    Does just what you want a low watt combo to do. Blackstar's high gain channel works great, gets excellent rock to metal sounds out of it and the ISF really allows for tone variety. The two 10 combo anniversary addition is very cool too. The clean channel lacks a little sparkle and 12s rather than 10s would have pushed the rating up higher. The reverb has a wide range to it as well which helps to be able to dial in the cleans. Great for the money, especially if you focus on rock/metal sounds which is why you're looking at this brand anyway.

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