Blackstar Amplification HT-1R
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HT-1R, Tube Combo Guitar Amp from Blackstar Amplification in the HT-1 series.

gongongon 11/17/2014

Blackstar Amplification HT-1R : gongongon's user review

« Very good for home use »
4

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1W tube amp: 1xECC83 and 1xECC82
8" speaker
2 channels: clean - overdrive
Speaker simulation
Line Input
ISF to alternate between a British and US sound
8 ohm output
Reverb



USE

Easy to use. You only need to turn it on...

SOUND

I have been playing classic rock/blues for quite a few years with different guitars: An '80s Epiphone Les Paul, a Fender Stratocaster USA and a custom-made Les Paul with Benedetti (a pickup, in case you don't know).
The clean sound is truly good as long as you stay at reasonable levels. It's way better than many simulation amps. There's no comparison.
As soon as you drive it too much, the 1W reach their limit and surpasses the capabilities of the 8-incher, so you'd better stay at reasonable levels: It was conceived for that.
I tested it with a 12" speaker and the sound is warmer, but don't get your hopes high, it's still only 1W.
Other than that, the amp respects the nuances of the guitars and you can find a nice crunch without fatiguing your ears.
The Overdrive channel is pretty good.
With a good pair of headphones, the speaker simulation is really VERY nice.


OVERALL OPINION

I've had it for about 4 years. Back then I was looking for an amp for home use. I bought a laney Lionheart (great sound) but it was 5w, it was way too much for my place (or I had to use it at very low levels and the sound was frustrating, so I had to crank it up...it was real pain)
With this one I get 1W while still enjoying a quality sound and without the need to use cans.
I tested quite a few ones (junior, valbee,...) and I don't regret my purchase.
What's more, you can jam with acoustic instruments without masking them. It's exactly what I was looking for.
On the other hand, it can't be heard when playing with drums, unless you crank it all the way up, in which case the sound gets dirty.