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Blackstar HT-METAL High Gain Tube Distortion Reviews

4.5 stars based on 11 customer reviews
  • from August 18, 2015

    Sounds better than their heads

    It is really a kick *** and unique preamp. Sounds best to me in the return of the loop of an amp or with a power amp. It will sound good also in front of an amp but it doesn't need the preamp section of any amp. I have used it in conjunction with a variety of amps and power amps and it is kick ***. Heck I even profiled it directly into my Kemper lol. I have tried just about all of their tube amps and this pedal on it's own to me sounds better and has more personality which I'm sure is surprising as their higher end heads run over $2K. It is really noisy on the more extreme gain settings so yes a noise gate should be used. Definitely a must have for Metal heads and Blackstar fans. A rack version would be great if they ever decided to build one.

  • from Alabama January 8, 2015Music Background:

    One awesome pedal

    I bought this so I could get different and heavier sounds then my DSL40CST can. This has not been a disappointment. I've had the Ds1 and metal zone and a few other brands and no solid state pedal can compete with this.
    There is so much gain on tap it's easy to play some Metallica on the crunch channel set at about 8. The red channels gain can cover anything up to and possibly beyond death metal. Metallica, Slayer, etc are easily achieved at 4 on gain. The ISF adjustment can get you classic Brian May all the way to Mesa type tones (nothing is perfect, but I don't think you can get any closer to a Mesa sound without an actual Mesa).
    This pedal is more preamp than OD/Distortion. The 12ax7 makes sure there is no sterile clipping like a lot of SS pedals deliver. You tone stays vibrant and responsive with none of the noise associated with SS hiss/hum.
    Anyone who plays hard rock to heavy metal and beyond should have this on their list of must own pedals (unless of course you own the HT line of amps). Like someone else has already said "it really is the sound in your head".

  • from Seattle, WA June 21, 2014Music Background:
    pro musician

    totally rawks!

    Has that sound in your head.... it really does.... but seriously, built like a tank and has a fantastic feel, just like a tube amp... dont let the name fool ya.. theres blues crunch and classic rock tones in this bad boy too.. the DI sounds really really good too... get ya one

  • from Amityville NY January 28, 2014Music Background:
    Guitar player

    Blackstar HT Metal - The search is over

    Really blown away by this pedal. I purchased more than 3 pedals looking to get that old school thrash sound without spending a fortune, they all fell short. Once I plugged this pedal in I knew the search was over. This thing rocks. Real warm dynamic sound from the deep bass to the screaming highs. Not tin can digital buzzing like most pedals. I also got some nice classic rock distortion with a little experimenting, so it's not just for metal. The 2 channels is great also. I use it to switch from palm muted galloping to crisper leads. Really love this pedal and would recommend in a heartbeat.

  • from Salt Lake City, UT USA September 27, 2013Music Background:

    This Pedal ROCKS!

    I've been trying to find a distortion pedal that doesn't sound too "electronic" yet one that reproduces that Metal sound that I hear in my head. This is the pedal! Connected to a 4-12 celestion cabinet and an old Crate 100 watt head through the clean channel, this pedal ROCKS! Very impressed with Blackstar and the history of how this company came about. After testing at least a dozen other distortion pedals, I've finally found "The One"!

  • from Chicago July 19, 2013Music Background:


    This is what I've been looking for as far as tone. I also use the Blackstar 20w studio amp...which I have no complaints about either. This company is doing some wonderful things. The pedal itself is solid, like a friggin' brick, looks cool too. Does not sound digital!!! Special shout out to Joe James @ Sweetwater been takin' care of all my orders for a bit, thanks!

  • from Buffalo, NY November 24, 2012Music Background:
    I play just for fun. Beginner to Intermediate. I've tried a lot of differnt equipement over the years.

    Best Distortion/Overdrive Pedal Ever!!

    I use this pedal with a Marshall JCM-2000 DSL 100 with the Gain Cranked to 8 and it sounds great. I've tried a lot of pedals most of which were solidstate including MXR ZW-44, MXR Distortion Plus, Mad Professor Golden Cello, Ibanez Tube Screamer, also the Tube King Overdrive, Tube King Distortion, however in my opinion none of these come close in there tonal quality and range of tone to the Blackstar HT-Metal. With the exception of the Tube King pedals which are powered by 12AX7 tubes, all of the solid state pedals clip the sound when you try to push too much singal content thru them (ie play fast, or play chrods with a lot of frequency and volume content), also they make a lot of really irratating screetching feeback due to the electrical noise in the solidstate circuitry. The Tube king pedals did not have enough headroom, and totally killed the volume levels, and the tone was weak.

    The Black Star HT Metal Pedal on the other hand is the first pedal I've used that produces the full specturm of tone range, all the way from the chunky low end (which is usually lacking on a distortion pedal) to a searing overdriven high end. This is the first pedal that produces a full bodied tone without the need for an Amp, and can completely replace any solidstate pedal board such as the POD XT Live (wiith the exception of effects such as delay, chorus, etc). The tone can be smooth or slightly gritty depending on how you adjust the settings on the The ISP Tone shapping knob. The tonet is not chirpy or clipped, but is full and continous.

    I use the Blackstart HT-Metal pedal in front of my all tube Marshall JCM-2000 DSL100, and it is the only pedal that actually complelents the tone of the amp. I've never used a Blackstart Amp so I can't comment on how this compares tonally. However compared to a Marshall it resonates with a somewhat different tone. The Tube King and Ibanez Tube Screamer seem to have the same basic tone as the marshall, so when added in front of the Marshall they really didn't change the tone, just boosted the volume, and then when the drive was really cranked they would add a lot of feedback . The HT-Metal has a tone that differs from the Marshall, so when added in front of the marshall it seems to fill in the tone where the marshall lacks producing a new tone. When used on the Marshalls clean channel with minimal drive on the Marshall, all the distortion or gain can be produced directly by the HT Metal as the preamp. I found that the Marsall tone has more grit to it than the HT-Metal which tends to be a little more smooth in nature.

    The HT-Metal is the only pedal I found that actually sounds good when added to the Lead1 or Lead2 channel of the Marshall JCM-2000 with the gain cranked on both the HT-Metal and the Marshall at the same time. It is a little tricky to EQ in this setup because with the combined gain of both the HT-Metal and the Marshall you will get some feedback, however it is not as irratating as the solidstate pedal feedback. To minimize or eliminate the feedback it is crucial to properly adjust the volume level on the HT-Metal, this is done by turnign the volume low on the HT-Metal, and then keep bringing up the volume until the volume level coming out of your amp cabinet sounds the same for both when the pedal is engaged and when it is bypassed. Once the volume is set, you can go ahead and crank the gain up on both the pedal and the Marshall Amp head and get a great sound without all that feedback noise.

    I've also used the EQ'd output on this and pluged straight into my Sony Stereo System. I've never had a pedal drive the bass this hard when I cranked up the bass on the pedals EQ knob, you could feel those stereo speakers pushing some air, it produced rich mids, and a nice full high end all at the same time. I've never ever found a distortion pedal besides the HT-Metal that can produce the full specturn of frequency. All the other pedals I've tried either gave you a halfway decent sound on the low end, but the highs were lacking, or it produced nice soaring highs, but had no low end. What's nice about this pedal is I can got to a friends house, and as long as they have a decent stereo system, all I need to sound great is my guitar, a pair of cables, and this pedal. A word of caution, I would avoid, or be very careful if you decide to experiment with using the line out (that normally goes to an amp) and plug it into your stereo system, the output from this is very bassy and could damage your stereo speakers since it is EQ'd for an Amp.

  • from Kalamazoo, MI May 7, 2014Music Background:
    35 years of playing amateur rock and metal.

    Tone search is over. DONE. Peiod

    OK. How many of us scour the market looking for a distortion pedal that does pushed to OD to full-metal mind blowing distortion and everything in between? This one really does it -- no smoke and mirrors, no hype. The Real Deal. Search is over. The Blackstar HT Metal pedal is a very substantial, high quality weapon.IT looks INCREDIBLE on your pedal board. Sweet pushed/OD sounds and classic distortion are on tap on the two low gain modules. The high gain channel provides MASSIVE low-end crunch that rattles the windows in yer house. Ultra sensitive string embellishment translation - palm mute harmonics, insane pick squeals, perfectly expressed string slides, and more. Crisp, focused high frequencies that break through that solid bass foundation. Creamy, flowing, pure magic. Two facts prevent a full 5.0 rating: High gain channel hiss is there (no surprise), so forget using a compressor with high gain dialed in. And the 22 V brick-style power supply is a bit cumbersome to locate on the pedal board. Seriously, throw away the competitors -- this is more of a pre-amp in a pedal and Blackstar have nailed it. Perfect for enhancing the front end of a bass-focused clean amps like the Fender Bassman, Marshall JTM45, and the like.

  • from Tampa, FL USA February 25, 2015Music Background:

    Ton o' Gain! Pretty noisy.

    This pedal puts cranks out an awesome metal tone with a ton of gain. It is large, heavy and feels really well built. It's cool that you can see the (tube?) glowing inside. I withheld one star because it is very noisy at the high gain settings on channel 2. Realistically: You will probably need to buy a noise gate to use with this pedal, if you don't already have one.

  • from brazil January 29, 2012


    which differs from ht-metal valve blackfire distotion gus g for Blackstar HT-Metal

  • from white, GA January 6, 2016

    not as good as I hope for

    this was not usable at all it feed back like crazy I could not use it unless I trun the gain almost off the crunch chanel I could use and it wasnt that good. all I can say is if you can try it out before buying it I would .now I hade the overdrive one and it work great.so I dont know what went wrong but somthing did.

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