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Blackstar HT Club 50 - 50-watt Tube Head Reviews

5.0 stars based on 14 customer reviews
  • from Arizona December 30, 2016Music Background:
    Guitarist, Drummer, Recording Engineer

    EXCELLENT AMP!

    This amp is the first amp that has made me stop missing my Mesa Rectifier that I had to sell so many years ago. I was devastated when I had to let my Mesa go... I tried some marshalls, and this and that. I was always disappointed with my tone. That is until I bought this Blackstar head. Literally the greatest value you could possible find for an all tube monster of an amp. With the genius voicing between USA and UK you can EASILY go right from Marshall JCM 900 type to Mesa Rectifier. It just gives me so much joy to be able to have a that option. I like to ride it almost all the way USA but not completely. So you get this amazing, saturated, modern rectifier/5150 gain structure with a tad bit of jcm 900 in there. It's just fantastic. You will not find a better bang for your buck on an all tube amp head. They are literally giving these things away. It could easily be 1100-1200 and still be a good deal. This is a steal. 10/10 I will never sell it!

  • from Winslow November 30, 2016

    Love This Amp

    Ive Had This Amp For Over 2 Years Best Guitar Amp Ive Played Through Great Sound On My Half Stack

  • from Arizona June 10, 2016Music Background:
    Over a decade

    Blackstar is KING

    I prefer this amp over my Mesa triple rectifier. That almost hurts me to say it, but it's true. 100% true. Save your money. Stop considering a rectifer, or a engl fireball or a 5150/6505. This amp is just better. I have a feeling this amp is going to be one of the greats. It just seems like no ones heard about Blackstar yet, or maybe heard about them from somewhere or never played one.

    This is the new ***KING*** of high gain. Rock to metal with enough gain headroom to go down that doom metal route if thats your thing. Put a boost and gate in front of it and it really gets tight prog metaly. So warm yet laser focused tone. The clarity at high gain is just amazing.

    I was reluctant to buy it because no one around had it to demo. I just had youtube videos to go off of. I'm just so Fing happy I bought this amp. It's so cheap compared to mesa, engl, peavey, prs but just better. It almost embarrasses all those companies. Like Blackstar is almost running a dang charity to make all the other amp companies look greedy.

    Oh ya, the clean is great too, but lets face it, good clean tone isn't that hard to get.

  • from Riverside Ca. August 29, 2015Music Background:
    Semi Pro, Jazz, Funk, R&B, Rock, Country, Blues

    Sweet Amp!!!!

    Love my HT 50 head!! I sold a Mesa 5/50 Express to buy the Blackstar, and I do NOT miss the Mesa at all. Clean channel is sweet. Fenders sound true and very clear!!, my Joe Pass sounds great when I play Jazz. I am in Heaven when I play my Larry Carlton 335 through this amp. Unbelievable tone and harmonics with the Lead channel, no squeal or feedback that I get with other amps. I am looking to get another one just for the studio!!! Totally Amazing amp!!!

  • from South Carolina June 14, 2015Music Background:
    Hobbyist for nearly 50 years. Self-taught, but life long exposure to things musical.

    Why does this head sound so good?

    Could it possibly that it is because Blackstar products were designed and created by Ian Robinson and Bruce Keir? Who are they? Only two amp designers who worked in the famous Marshall R & D department who left because they had ideas for design that did not fit in with the corporate "plan". Marshall customers expect to get the Marshall sound and that's why they buy them. Blackstar customers can expect to get "the sound in your head" because that's how they're designed. Not everyone can sound like their favorite artist simply by buying what that artist uses. That's been proven time and time again. But with Blackstar amps, you can definitely created exactly the tone that you want, the sound in your head, no matter what that is.

    These amps are built in Korea, not the UK. The quality is outstanding and it is no wonder why so many companies set up there to build their products. Ian and Bruce have done their homework and it shows in amps that stack up head to head with amps costing 4 or 5 times more.

    This is one beast of an amp. The speaker emulated output is simply wonderful. I run it through my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface, listen over my headphones or some external speakers from the back of the Focusrite, and the sound is every bit as good as what comes out of the matching HTV 212 cab. A great way to keep peace in the house. But when I'm alone, look out The gloves come off.

    The versatility of this amp is just incredible. Love having the choice of reverb depending on my mood and moving from British to American in an infinite palette of tones. The distortion will open your eyes, as well as your ears. And the cleans are crystal.

    With the experience I've had on this baby, I will be staying in the Blackstar family a long time, and I will be looking at my Sweetwater rep whenever I finally get the urge to go up the Blackstar ladder. You cannot beat the service and advice that you get from these guys. They truly rock!

    GET this amp! You will not have any regrets. But your band buddies will if they don't get one after they hear yours.

  • from grand rapids, mi January 18, 2015Music Background:
    rock, 80's metal, Jazz.

    Best Amp on the market for the money.

    This amp is amazing for the price. I'm not going to go into elaborate detail here about what this amp can do, so just trust me and buy it. The clean channel is amazing! 2 knobs and a tone button. It's all you need. The overdrive channel rips! Nothing compares to these blackstar amps when you consider the cost, the tone, the performance.
    I've been playing guitar for over 20 years. I bet i've spent thousands of dollars on so called "high end" gear. I've been playing on a Mesa Dual Rec for the last 10 years. Yeah the mesa is an awesome amp and loud as hell. However , the tones and price do not live up to a 2000 dollar price tag. The blackstar may not be as solidly built as a mesa but it's close enough for a fraction of the price.
    I really do love this amp. Even more than my mesa. To be honest, all these blackstar amps sound amazing. Even the little 1 watt rocker.

    I've spent years trying to make my mesa dual rectifier sound more like a marshall. Want to know the real secret to get that sweet marshall tone out of a mesa dual rec? Buy a blackstar! Problem solved. You truely get the best of both worlds and more with these amps.

    So stop reading reviews from people you don't even know, only you can decide what's best for you. I have yet to year someone write or leave a bad review about these amps. So just call Randy at Sweetwater and order a blackstar amp today. In fact, buy 2 of them. Still cheaper than one mesa, and sounds better too!
    You know what sucks about a mesa dual rec? Walking into a club and having every damn guitar player in the building assuming you're a metal guitarist and that's all you can do. I hated that so much. With Blackstar all the show off guitarists will think your a cheap ass, until you hit the stage, plug into your blackstar and melt their faces with great tone. They'll all think your a tonal god with a great since of value. They will all feel stupid and hang their heads in shame because they wasted tons of cash on something less impressive.

    I've had so many guitarists check out my new blackstar ht50 amp this past month and everyone of them loved it. they couldn't believe how great it sounds and how simple it is. then when you tell them the price, they are sold on it immediately. Blackstar's taking over people. Get on board now before the price goes up.

    Hands down, Blackstar amps rock. They are not a one trick pony. Rock, Jazz, Metal, even country. So buy the damn thing already. If you don't like it, sweetwater will take great care of you!

  • from Denton, TX March 28, 2014Music Background:
    Guitarist, Student, Sound Guy, Anti-Gear Snob

    Sweet Nectar of the Tone Gods

    Bought this incredibly versatile head a week ago and absolutely love what it can do on all sonic levels!

    I love being able to tonally shift from that high gain US sound to the classic British warmth and crush tones via the ISF feature. It's like adding an extra knob of EQ to the board, and the difference can be felt by how much gain and master you heap on top of it.

    The digital reverb is decent, and I keep mine around noon-ish on the dial, but that also depends on which Overdrive or Clean Voice I'm using. It's digital reverb, so a lot of folks won't love it, but in sparing intervals it's almost impossible to tell. I've AB'd mine with an all tube Ampeg Reverberocket (which is the wettest reverb ever) so max reverb is no issue in my life.

    The distortion channels on this mother can get pretty wicked. I can find a tone of smooth distortion character or filthy, chunkiing metal. If you are reaching for Iommi tones, this is your beast amp. If you are trying to get Hendrix dirt bombs and sustain, there you go.

    I'm a pretty big pedal freak, and this amp is ridiculously pedal friendly, and has settings for both live and studio (+4dBV, -10dBV).

    Probably the sickest, coolest feature on this head is the Emulated output jack. I now have the ability to run this straight into a mixer/audio interace/stereo in my home studio and run this tone straight into my DAW. I freaking love that feature beyond words.

    I've read where guys got theirs, and changed the tubes out, but I love this sound stock and did not feel the need to tinker with the tubes, I'm splitting time between a Celestion V30 loaded 412, and the Matching HTV 212. I gotta say, this amp can make both cabs absolutely roar.

    L. O . U. D.

    Sweetwater provided insane customer service over the phone, and my rep was very cool and knowledgeable about my order. It was delivered in 2 days, and I was crazy to pay the extra shipping, but i had to have it fast. 5 (Black) stars all around for great customer service this baby!

    Tone rules.

  • from Riverside, California September 11, 2012Music Background:
    musician in the industry.

    Perfection

    So I have been playing guitar for over 35 years. Used Traynor, Fender, Marshall, Vox and a host of other amps. Granted, some were outstanding in what was expected from them, but few ever really took me by surprise. This one did. It is evident that there was quite a bit of thought in its design. And quality. The sound is all there. It is an extremely versatile piece of workmanship suitable for any style of music. I will not be needing another amp. But I am wanting another Blackstar. Or two.

  • from Columbus Ohio July 23, 2012Music Background:
    professional musician

    you have no idea..

    I'll just say it puts up a challenge to my other guitarists mesa single rec.and it's half the price

  • from Coopell TX July 6, 2016Music Background:
    Pro player, producer

    Awesome working mans amp!

    The variety of tones you can dial into this amp very quickly is really amazing! I'm getting fat funk cleans, grungy 90s crunch, soaring hard rock lead tones and everything in between.

    I replaced the power tubes just to make sure I had a point of comparison for the tone and while I think the factory tubes are fantastic, I do feel like the sound has sweetened up a little bit. Be aware that the tubes are recessed in the amps frame which makes them difficult to change out and bias with standard bias probes. This is a design problem in my opinion and I dropped 1/2 star because of this issue and the lack of a "boost" or solo setting.

    Having said all that, tube replacement is probably not worth the time and money until they start to go.

    I have lots of guitars and several extension cabinets and this head sounds great with all of them. For the money, this is an unbelievable sounding head with monstrous tone and lots of colors.

    I love the 50watt format as well. I play in a loud power trio that covers 90s Rock, prog Rock, funk and fusion and I have plenty of power to work with. I am constantly inspired by this amp and love playing it!

  • from July 31, 2015

    BLACKSTAR HT CLUB 50

    Another step closer to getting that sound in my head.

  • from New Orleans, LA September 30, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Blackstar HT Club 50

    I was looking to move away from combo amps to separate head and cabinets...but did not want to spend $2,000+ This seemed like a good choice and I've been very pleased. The cleans are just that and will be maintained clean even at higher volumes and the gain/crunch/fuss of the other channel is variable, but without horrible distortion experienced with some of the modeling amps. This seems like a very good buy for the money.

  • from July 19, 2016

    Great Versatile Amp

    I have this amp and the matching HT412VA Cabinet to go with it. It's an excellent sousing amp for clean, crunch, and can be pushed to give you enough gain to play metal/death metal. Some have commented that it has enough gain to replace a Peavey 6505 for metal and I would have to disagree with that. On its own, the OD channel does not have enough gain to play death metal. Classic Metal from the 80's, most likely, but you will not get enough to play Cannibal Corpse or other very heavy music like Slipknot and what have you.

    I changed out the tubes for a set of JJ EL34 power tubes and a set of Tung-Sol High Gain pre-amp tubes and it was a huge improvement for rock/metal but the clean still sounds amazing. The JJ's gave it a nice bottom end and the Tung-Sol's gave it a bit more distortion but this tube set still maintained the dark sound this amp has. That is my favorite part of this amp... the dark sound it has when playing high gain/distortion. It's almost like a Marshall, but I like it better. When I play metal I run the master volume full blast and then keep the pre-amp volume low so as not to blow my ears out. This is somewhat the opposite of what a typical metal sound is but it works on this amp.
    For the metal sound I set the Gain at 100%, use the American voice setting (there is a button) and that combined with a Tube Screamer with the Drive at 75%, Tone 50%, and Volume 50%. It does lack a bit of that certain tube amp sounds I get from my Peavey 6505+ which I suspect is due to it being in part solid state, but it's got it's own tone and I do love it and so has anyone else who has heard it at my house.

    One odd thing is that when I run my EH Metal Muff into the gain channel, I get a ridiculous amount of noise, like it doesn't like the signal or something. I also suspect this is because of the partly solid state design of this amp for the gain channel. If I run the Metal Muff into the clean channel and run the power section full blast ti sounds awesome, but it just doesn't jive with the OD channel. Of these two options though, I much prefer the OD channel with the overdrive pedal set as described above.

    As for the construction, it is solid. The switches, pots, handle, jacks, everything feels top notch and I am certain I will have this amp till I am old and gray. The foot switch works great as well. It has a reverb that I think sounds very nice and even has two different voice settings. It's whisper quite when not being played; no hum or squeal or other obnoxious noises some other amps produce (the issue with the gain channel and a distortion pedal aside.)

    I recommend this amp. It's got an amazing tone to it and with some slight tweaking can play metal, so to have an amp with some of the best cleans I've heard and have the ability to get a very suitable death metal tone and be built to last on top of that makes this amp a very special thing. The 50 watts is just right, it can sound good at bedroom levels but can easily be cranked enough to play with a band.

    One thing I don't recommend is the cabinet. It is a particle board construction with Celestion seventy/80's. Now, it is built very well like all Blackstar products, but you can get another brand cab made of ply wood loaded with Vintage 30's for the same price. If you want a matching half stack than the cab is not a bad purchase, but at that price I think you can get something better. I bought the half stack because I got an amazing deal and I don't regret it one bit.

  • from Florida April 22, 2016Music Background:
    23 years guitar and bass

    Great Amp For The Price

    Great amp for the money. Fantastic distortion channel with a decent variation in gain and tones. Haven't had the need for a distortion pedal at all with this amp. Beautiful Clean channel. I play rhythm guitar in a hard rock/punk band and the volume is more than needed. I haven't had the master volume over half way in a band setting. Simple amp, only 4 tubes. Light weight and easy to move around. I can't speak to the reliability as I've only put maybe 12 hours on it so far. The only issue I have is lack of easy access to bias control compared to any other tube amp I've owned. I haven't needed to replace power tubes yet but I can see it being an ordeal when the time comes.

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