20w tube amp head. For the rest, read other reviews
I "only" give it an 8 (equivalent to "very good"), because some people might miss a true EQ on the clean channel (which doesn't bother me) and, especially, a stand-by option.
Very easy to dial in, it's a true all-purpose amp. I have never used it onstage, but I think it can handle it pretty well, and it can also be used at home.
As for the manual, yes, it's clear, but given the number of pots, it's not useful, unless you don't know this type of gear at all (in which case it comes in very handy).
I use it with my Marshall cab (a 2064 I think), and a strat or sg
I think it suits almost all styles, provided that you have a good hi-gain pedal and maybe a delay. The overdrive is rather faint and moderate and the clean works well with pedals.
There are many sound combinations and the effects loop is a great plus.
I got this head recently for about $325 and I think it was a great deal!
I didn't take the time to try any other models. On paper, this is what I needed and I'm satisfied with it.
I play Red Hot, Zebrahead, Slipknot and it works very well, with a good distortion (blackstar ht dist-x, especially for slipknot), but I think it could also work for blues.
Great value for money and I would buy it again without hesitation (for people who play live, there are 50W and 100W versions, as well as 20W, 40W and 60W combos. It's nice of Blackstar to think about everybody )
The sound has lost a bit of its grit after one year of use. I just bought a les paul tribute epiphone and I was a bit disappointed with the result, compared to when I tested it in the store. After doing some research on the Internet, I decided to retube the amp. A local store gave me some info and I went for it. The bias setting is automatic, you only need to have matched tubes for the power stage. I used two 12ax7 groove tube gold series for the preamp and two JJ El 34 power tubes. And the sound is now amazing, I rediscovered my amp. Warm sound with a crystal clear pinch for the fender strat, the overdrive is better defined and with a nice crunch with a low gain. Don't hesitate modifying the amp when you want to give the amp a new life. The re-tubing cost me $80 for the groove tubes and $65 for the JJs. ... Not cheap, but I don't regret it at all!
In terms of controls it has bass treble middle gain volume and what not for the overdrive channel, while the clean channel only has a tone and a volume control. The amp head also features a reverb.
20W all-tube amp
One 8ohms and two 16ohms outputs.
Dialing it in is more or less basic, the pots are really responsive, so you can start having a blast pretty quickly without breaking your head.
The manual is a bit "useless" because the amp head is easy to use, I know it for a fact because I "browsed" it...And I put that in quotation marks because It's so easy to use that it takes a whole page to explain how the footswitch or the pots work.
Is it easy to get a good sound out of it? I'd say yes, due to its simplicity, but if you want to get your own sound, you'll need to dig further into it.
In my opinion, it's good for all styles, certainly due to that famous function called ISF: A small pot that you turn right to get an American sound and left to get a British sound.
I find the sound is in itself fat enough, but it is so incredibly versatile and you can get such a vast array of sounds. You need some time to get to know all its functions, though.
I love the clean channel as much as the overdrive. With a good responsive neck pickup you'll get a sound worthy of the best current amps, with the overdrive you'll get an incredible sensation of power. The only two snags are that the amp lacks a bit of personality and the reverb, which you should use sparingly because it has a tendency to become nasty...
I got it very recently, almost two weeks ago.
I tested many amps before this one and, to be honest, this brand didn't really seem to win, but in the end I bought it due to its value for money.
What I like the most about this amp, besides its sounds, is the simplicity...It's truly plug-and-play, no bias adjusting or anything of the sort, the pots couldn't be easier to use and they are effective...
As I said before, its value for money is simply insane. It's surprising that IMHO an amp like this is more convincing than a jcm amp, and it doesn't even cost $1000.
With hindsight, I don't know if I would buy it again, I mean, I chose it because I wanted to change my solid-state sound and I love it...But if I were 40 and had some tours in sight, I think I'd get a Mesa....But until that day comes, I won't regret a thing!
LONG LIVE BLACKSTAR!!!