Considering a new Blackstar

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by VicodinDream, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. VicodinDream

    VicodinDream Senior Member

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    I've walked away from playing for a few months due to injury, and due to the fact my rig was slightly a PITA to set up & deal with. I've sat back and realized that I used pedals to get to sounds I could get through another amp. To compensate for my apartment or a lower volume setting, I'd run my klon or a big muff or rat through the clean channel of my Classic 30. The OD channel on my Classic 30 is just too much. It sometimes sounds like it's cutting out if I crank the pre-amp and lower the post. Which makes it a PITA.

    So I am looking at other gear that would mostly end my reliance on pedals, sound good, and kill multiple birds with 1 stone. The Blackstar HT Stage Mark II series has my attention.

    I am looking at the Stage 60 Mark II 1x12 and it's bigger 2x12 cousin. I am also interested in the Stage 40 Mark II. But I admit the Mark 60 1x12 has my attention more. I don't think the 2nd speaker is worth $200 in price.

    It looks like they can be lowered in wattage, and direct out. So I think I can kill many birds with 1 good sounding stone. I admit I have looked at modeling, and I still just don't like it. Not sure why, but I just don't.

    My biggest question is does Blackstar tend more durable than my Classic 30?
    Am I thinking correctly that they will help end my pedal reliance by being more versatile? I play a lot of different styles. If money and noise was no issue I'd probably run a Plexi or JCM800. This does sound like it splits the difference with a warm happy medium.
     
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  2. needlespauls

    needlespauls V.I.P. Member

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    Are you going to be playing out of the apartment at all?
     
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  3. derms87

    derms87 Senior Member

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    40 watts (more so the 60 Watter) is a lot for an apartment. The blackstar HT amps do sound good at low volume but unless you have plans to gig or jam with other people, I think 40w will be overkill for you.

    I don't have the MkII, but I do and an original HT40 and they are fantastic for versatility. A lot of people try to compare them to Marshalls and they can't quite do the Marshall thing, but the are close.

    I play many styles and my HT40 is my go to combo for quick jams or if I need to remain portable.

    Good luck finding an amp that works for you.
     
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  4. tzd

    tzd Senior Member

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    NAMM is round the corner and I'm expecting Marshall to be announcing the new DSL's - 1W, 5W, 20W, 40W... you will probably find one that works for you.

    WRT the Blackstar, the 40W is loud enough for anyone not playing an arena to gig with. It's a nice amp but man it's even heavier than my DSL40C.
     
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  5. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    If you like it loud, get a big amp and turn it up. You don't need a big amp in an apartment, and it could cause problems with the neighbors or landlord. Maybe you'll get lucky.

    I play through an Egnater T15 and it delivers good tones at almost any volume, including apartment-level.
     
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  6. VicodinDream

    VicodinDream Senior Member

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    There is plan for some jamming. Gigging not right now, at least for now.

    The new Blackstars are switchable in wattage, as well as have direct out & emulated out options. I'd probably be all over the those options for home use. I use a Vox Lil Nightrain for most of my practice. But I think the Blackstar route could change that as well. I like the 60 because of the extra gain channel. Though I admit that really isn't a make or brake thing. What you said makes me think I am on the right track.

    I did look at the DSL40C originally, but it didn't feel right. I liked that it was switchable. I did notice a slightly modified version with a different speaker available. I am for sure going to check into it.

    The Egnater's aren't really available where I live. I may go on a road trip and check them out though. I like the sound from what I heard, and the price point is excellent. I'm not too worried about my neighbors, they are too busy blasting their rap/pop/crap. I also have access to a farm where I can plug in and go nuts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  7. derms87

    derms87 Senior Member

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    I certainly think you are on the right track.

    The new features on the Blackstar HT range look great. I am happy that they listened to (some) of their customers feedback. The switchable wattage is great for getting into that sweet spot but you won't really notice much of a difference in volume.

    If you are jamming and plan to gig, then I recommend the 40 watter. Save the cash and your back and forget the 60 watter. I do understand that a third channel is a nice idea, but another channel has nothing on a guitarist who can use their volume knob effectively. You can always add a boost/od pedal later if you feel you really need the third channel.

    I'm not sure if blackstar have tuned their preamp a little better to suit the speaker, but I found that the original HT series benefited from a speaker swap.

    I have always found the best thing is to play as many amps as possible to help steer you in the right direction.

    Good luck.
     
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  8. wildhawk1

    wildhawk1 Senior Member

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    Blackstar ID30 or ID60 or Katana 50 or 100

    Will keep you happy at home or stage volumes in the future and both sound great.



    The road you're on is deep in overkill land IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  9. Pop1655

    Pop1655 Premium Member

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    Not a naysayer, just not a huge Blackstar fan.
    I'd at least broaden the search a little before deciding.
    Katana would definitely be on the list.
     
  10. GeeJay

    GeeJay Senior Member

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    IMG_0696.JPG I've not tried the mkii versions, but have had an HT40 Club with extension cab for a few years. Pretty decent amp IMHO. I swapped the tubes a while back (Harma 12AX7 and Groove Tube EL34), which took some of the harshness out of the treble.
     
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  11. Standard 64

    Standard 64 Senior Member

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    The reason maybe you dont like modeling is because it doesnt sound as good as a tube amp.I never liked Blackstar because It seems they have mixed solid state amp technology somewhat with tubes and call it all tube.You can kind of tell with the sterile clean channel.Which people try too hide by cranking the reverb.Maybe keep the pedals and buy a nice Fender amp or go with a Marshall dsl 15?
     
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  12. misterhatter6

    misterhatter6 Senior Member

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    I'm not sure if you would consider it modeling, but I've heard great things about the Vox AV series. Maybe look into them?

    Edit: Ok so it's definitely modeling, but it's analog tube modeling. So there's a different circuitry for each setting, which can get pretty loud and high gain.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  13. Pop1655

    Pop1655 Premium Member

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    I’m a modeler, so we’ll have to respect each other on that, but I sure do agree with your two suggestions.
     
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  14. cherrysunburst00

    cherrysunburst00 Senior Member

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    What is your price range and country? A used Marshall SL5 (5/1 watts/watt) might work nicely.
     
  15. El Pablo

    El Pablo Senior Member

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    I played one of the new Blackstar models. For the money, I'd say they are are a great amp. Solid tones without any need for od pedals. That being said, everybody has their favorites.

    Food for thought...In our days of immediate gratification, you won't likely have any amp you get now for more than a few years anyway. Whatever you get, there will always be another amp waiting for your next purchase.
     
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  16. cherrysunburst00

    cherrysunburst00 Senior Member

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    Wiser words have rarely been spoken :applause:
     
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  17. ac/dcfan87

    ac/dcfan87 Senior Member

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    I'm gonna recommend the Peavey mini Classic 20. Clean and gain channels, switchable down to 1W.... id love to have one myself and volume is a non issue for me. Pretty sure it has an FX loop and other cool features too.
     
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  18. misterhatter6

    misterhatter6 Senior Member

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    Also (and I've recommended this amp on another thread) but maybe look into the Joyo Mjolnir. 15 watts, all tube, high gain, 2 channels, an FX loop, and speaker outs for 4, 8, and 16 ohms. Not to mention it gets great reviews
     
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  19. VicodinDream

    VicodinDream Senior Member

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    I think the best amp I've ever liked was a Fender Bassman. A JCM 800 was 2nd. I am starting to think I may just have to accept those effects are in my life to stay.

    I think I had this one 2.5 years. And it's true. In many ways the only wrong I can do is get something I absolutely hate. It's also why I tend not to trade gear. I go through phases and then want it back lol. I may just do it. It's not a bad amp, and I'm only out the money if I hate it down the road.

    I looked at them and like it. It's definitely on the list to check out. Right now it's all on hold since my car decided it needed to rupture a radiator hose.
     
  20. Custom53

    Custom53 Senior Member

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    A couple of friends of mine bought Blackstars and they do sound Great..! But I would keep your Peavey Classic.. They are great underated amps..! I still have my Classic 100..

    Classic 100.jpg
     

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