Build Quality:4.9 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.8 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.8 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars

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Blackstar HT1 Series Guitar Combo Amplifier

Pros:

  • Easy to use even for beginners
  • Infinite Shape Feature takes tone shaping to a whole new level
  • Affordable tube magic

Cons:

  • Dirty channel can get a bit muddy
  • Does not have on-board reverb

In this day and age, brands never cease to surprise us with their innovations. Years ago, nobody would have imagined that a tube amp would be able to operate with 1 watt of power. Yes, you heard me, it is solely 1 watt! And we have to thank Blackstar for that. Their HT1 miracle combo does all the tube magic with little to no effort (and, as it seems, with almost no power) and delivers those legendary notes beautifully. And all of that at an extremely affordable price! Unbelievable, right? If you are intrigued and want to hear more about this amp, keep on reading as I discuss even the smallest details of it.

Features

Blackstar HT1 is a tube amplifier that operates with 1 watt of power and a single 8” speaker. It is basically a smaller version of its bigger sibling HT5. This combo has 1xECC83 and 1xECC82 power tubes that are the main components of this magical tone. HT1 has two channels: clean and overdrive that allow you to split your signal and create a more elaborate sound. One of the most distinctive features of this combo is its ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) circuit – Blackstar’s signature equalizer that can deliver British or American tones and anything in between. And of course it has fully specified emulated output for your headphones, MP3/Line Input, as well as a speaker with 4-16Ω (8 ohm) of output. This package of features might seem a bit down-to-earth, but for an affordable tube amp with 1 watt of power, it is more than one could dream of.

Controls

As everything else about this combo, controls are quite easy to use. Everything here is utterly straight-forward and can be figured out based on the labels themselves. Nevertheless, I will still break everything down for you and try to make everything as clear as possible. Let’s cut to the chase and get right to the controls of this badass amplifier.

First on the panel you will see the Gain knob. This bad boy enhances the strength of your signal, thus intensifying the overdrive (when using the channel with the same name) and giving more dimension to your tones (with both channels). Then comes the small switch which allows you to choose between the above-mentioned channels. This way your tone will be more scrumptious and defined. Next, of course, we have the Volume knob, which sets the level of the overall output. Last but definitely not the least, we have the ISF knob, which acts as an EQ and gives you a wide variety of tones. As you can see, everything here is quite easy to tweak which means that finding your perfect sound will be a child’s play with this fella.

Sound

If you have paid attention to what I have been talking about so far, you will have at least an obscure idea of what the sound of HT1 will be like. As we mention power tubes, one cannot help but assume that the tones of the device will be breathtaking. This little combo can produce those raw, sweet vintage sounds with simple tweaks. The clean channel is simply the clarity delivered by the gods themselves. And the overdrive channel, as expected, can create thick, textured, gnarly distortion brought to life by the tubes. The controls are rather sensitive and responsive, guaranteeing to fulfill even your deepest desires. The ISF feature delivers those legendary British and American tones and opens up numerous sonic possibilities. It is worth mentioning that HT1 is quite loud, which is a bit surprising for a one-watt device. In brief, the sound of this amplifier is simply mind-blowing and awesome as it has something really unique about it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, HT1 is a work of art, painted with the magical brushes of power tubes. Its distinctive sound stands among the crowd quite a bit, allowing for creating unique performance. Due to its wattage, it cannot handle the gigs, however, everything about this amp is perfectly enough for home practice or recording. Who would have thought that tubes could be this affordable and simple? Blackstar proved that everything is possible and brought out the tube perfection in the form of HT1. Pretty impressive, don’t you think? Well, as for me, my one-way ticket to the world of practice amps has now expired. I am leaving the rest to your judgement. Good luck!

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