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Blackstar HT-DUAL 2-Channel Tube Distortion Pedal Reviews

4.5 stars based on 8 customer reviews
  • from Redding, CA December 4, 2014Music Background:
    Semi-pro Musician

    Awesome! Like a "mini Amp"!

    I recently purchased a Bose L1 system, which is phenomenal, but needed a switched pre-amp to use as a boost for leads, overdrive etc. This pedal exceeded my expectations! It acts like a small tube amp and has more than adequate adjustments to provide the kind of effect you would expect out of larger tube amps. The 2 separate channels are an ideal way to switch between clean, clean boost and overdrive. This is a great addition to my pedal board and actually replaces 2 other pedals in my mix. A great device for live gigs or recording!! I highly recommend it!! And I would only purchase it from Sweetwater! Best backing and service you can find out there!

  • from Vero Beach, FL August 3, 2013Music Background:
    lead guitarist

    versatile marshall like pedal

    The different styles I play call for me to have different types of distortion tones from tube amps. Putting this pedal in the front of my tube heads, and even if it were placed in the front of a solid state amp's clean channel(as long as it has a decent clean tone) has a great warm, round tone found in marshall jcm 800's and jmp's. Great for someone needing a good rhythm crunch tone and either the same tone but louder for channel 2, or a little heavier louder lead channel. 1 of the features about it's ability is that if you happen to do some music such as 80's hard rock like AC/DC, it's there to heavier. Not exactly for some of the newer metal except some that use marshall like tones. Great sustain obtained from this pedal into my Rivera Knucklehead head.

  • from La Grande, OR February 25, 2013Music Background:
    Musician, live sound, recording.

    Best direct pedal

    I have owned this pedal for a couple of years now and NEVER had a problem. I don't use this pedals emulated speaker output to run direct. Instead I use the Behringer GI Ultra-G DI box with cab sim. With the other pedals on my pedaltrain I have been amp-less since the HT Dual joined the ranks and its been a blessing to have quick easy setup that sounds great on the stage. I also run sound for my band too so time is precious. If have experimented with other tubes in this pedal. Change out is simple after a time or two but caution must be exercised. I use channel 1 in crunch mode for a gritty rhythm and channel 2 for main rhythm/lead with gain at about 2 pm. ISF control makes all the difference for finding your preferred tone. I use bypass for a clean with fx in the chain. EQ stomp for a solo boost. Other stomps for taste. BBE stomp at the tail end for extra punch and clarity. Sounds huge! This is an extremely well built, solid, diverse pedal and will not disappoint. And, I play hard rock and metal!!!!

  • from Mobile, AL July 30, 2015Music Background:
    Experienced gigging musician / 40 years

    Perfect Addition

    Was looking for something to give me a little bite, and "Channel" options with my Blues Jr, and this one is perfect. Use amp alone for all clean tones, channel one of HT for a little old rock style crunch, and channel two for a little more drive. Works great with Blues Jr and Jeff Beck Strat. Went through many pedals, and pedal combinations, and finally found this jewel. Pedal board is stripped down now. Nothing but a boost, wah, and the HT. Loving it!

  • from United States September 15, 2013Music Background:
    lead guitarist

    interchangeable pedal via tube changes

    It comes with a Sovtek 12ax7 preamp tube. I had a couple problems with the tube that was sent with it after a short time, but after installing an electro-harmonics mullard, it started sounding pretty amazing for classic rock to hard rock and very responsive to pick attack and volume knob level responses. Not as much on the newer metal depending on the level of gain response required compared to some of the heavier distortion tube amps out there. I'd say it still has enough grit with the right guitar and amp to push some ***** into the right rig.

  • from Salt Lake City May 13, 2012Music Background:
    35yrs player/instructor

    PRO LEVEL PEDAL

    I love it. I have warm tube tone right at my feet. I use 2 Tweeker heads on 2 Marshall 1960 cabs. I played a 10,000 seat venue last week and this little pedal made the difference. I can have one channel that is crystal clean and the other channel searing gain. This is what I have been looking for for years. It beats out my custom made hand wired pedals because it is warm. Do not play around with other pedals, buy this one you will be glad you did.

  • from WPB, FL. August 10, 2011Music Background:
    Musician, Recording engineer

    Tone and Versatility in a box

    My story:

    This is the second HT dual pedal I have owned, you know the old expression "you don't know what your missing until its gone" ? I purchased my first one a year or so ago and sold it ( holding back tears) and began chasing the modelling tones (crying hard now). What have I done ! I asked myself after a few months without my HT Dual. The ironic thing is that I sold it to a fellow guitar player at church and well you guessed it, its like breaking up with a girlfriend you really loved and you have to see her all the time ! This is how it was with my HT Dual every Sunday it would show up in the hands of another man ! ( sobing and moaning now) OK ...get yourself together man ! Thank the Lord there are more than one HT Dual's.

    The Review:

    I was looking for something I could gig with that did not require an 80 lb amp and I have owned plenty. I wanted to go directly into the board and also have a recording tool and could play nice with other pedals

    The first thing I checked out was the tone, tone, tone I needed the right tone ! I was excited because of the advertised tube and gain structure, wow seemed like real tube preamp in a box and well, it was ! Fantastic tube tone and "feel" as well, here is my one caveat, a a "real" tube amp has certain dynamics such as sag, speaker, air, cabinet and different tube types that this pedal obviously does not have. That being said, I can't find a more tube expressive pedal anywhere and I have looked. Needless to say tone passed the test.

    Features:

    2-channel Tube Distortion Pedal with Infinite Shape Feature, Speaker-emulated Output, 300-volt Operation, Cascaded Tube Gain Stages, and Clean, Crunch, and Lead Modes

    Two things I want to point out, 1. the Infinite shape feature is quite useful the ad says this can get you into American amp territory and then by the roll of a knob get you into British territory and it does just that. I would have to say the British side is a bit more convincing than the American side but hey, these are the former engineers of Marshall ! 2. the speaker emulated out, I use this for eveything live (going direct) and recording. Here is my setup: Strat ~ tuner~ wah~ compressor~ HT Dual (emulated out)~ chorus~ delay~ noise clamp~ mixer. Eyes closed, you would not be able to tell I was only using my pedal with no amp.
    The rest of the features are pretty straight forward: Gain, Bass, Mid, Treble, Level. These are the controls for both channels. The tube is interchangeable, the manual cautions against it, but that never stopped anyone :)

    I find this pedal attractive to me because it is not a "one trick pony" it has many uses including interacting very pleasantly with my Podfarm software. One thought to leave you with " Great things do come in small packages"

  • from FL June 2, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Right features, just doesn't have the tone.

    I tested this pedal extensively in a store. I was looking for a product of this exact type, a tube preamp pedal, with footswitchable channels, (at least one of them CLEAN), regular AND spkr/cab sim out. Pedals like this are VERY useful, so it's too bad there are so few on the market. I tried this through studio monitors and guitar amps, both front end, and directly to the power amp. I wasn't blown away by the tone, but it is the most affordable product like this.

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