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 Post subject: Blackstar HT60 Soloist
PostPosted: Thu, Jan 08, 2015 12:58pm 
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Hack

Joined: Mon, Dec 22, 2014 5:55am
Posts: 9
I needed an all tube combo amp that had lots of clean headroom and a warm fat overdrive. I already sent back the DSL40c with the Creamback speaker because the gain channel sounded like nails on a chalkboard even after new tubes and a treb cap mod. I already sent back an Egnator Tweaker 40 because there was no clean headroom and the Tweaker 40 does not have the magic that the 15 does.

Still on the hunt for a decent combo under $800 I tried a Blackstar 40 combo at a store and they let me crank it for a while and I was impressed.
I looked online at the other models and chose the Soloist 60 w 112 for a few reasons that I will get into here.

Out of the box I was impressed with the side handle cut outs and the caster holes on the bottom for attaching wheels. The amp is about 50 lbs so these both come in handy. It had a nice black finish and the controls had a straight forward design and all the bells and whistles of the other amps plus so many more features that I liked.

The clean channel has 2 voicings. One very clean and full and the other a breaks up after 5. There is only a volume and tone for this channel, but that is all you need. Both voicings sound great.

The drive channel also has 2 voicings. One more gain than the other. It has Bass, Mid, treb and an ISF knob that lets the drive channel swing from USA to British voicings. I turned the knob 3/4 towards the british side to sound more Marshally. I was able to dial in a great, ballsy AC/DC crunch tone. The owners of Blackstar are former Marshall employees. I play classic rock and country so I never put the gain past 3-4 and the sound is full, warm and cleans up with my attack and or vol knob perfectly. No flubby bass and the highs were balanced.
I upped the gain just to see what would happen and found myself 3/4 of the way thru War Pigs before I realized it was 7 pm and my neighbors may have had enough. I was in amp heaven. No fizz or shrill just great tone. I then attached my pedal board and tried effects. The loop has a switch for rack or pedal effects. The reverb was useable and there is a dark/light switch on the back to suit your flavor. It took pedals well and I even tried pushing the drive channel with my OD and it handled it great although I wont need that any more as I will explain now. There is a volume controlled boost switch that is controlled thru the sturdy , metal LED lit 4 button footswitch ( included ) that boosts either channel . There is also a button in conjunction with the boost feature that adds mids and lowers the bass to get your solo's to cut thru the mix and sustain better, thus is why I wont need to push this amp with an OD. I just adjust the boost volume and I have a third channel that is a searing solo channel at the stomp of a button. Clean/Crunch and Solo. I am set for any gig. I use the vol knob on my guitar to clean up the crunch to get a crispy rhythm sound and on the clean channel ( I use the very clean voicing with the vol high so it is almost breaking up ) my bridge pick up (LP standard) gets the channel to break up ever so slightly giving me a twangy almost Fender tone if I need it.

I hooked up a 212 cab to this and the sound was even bigger, not that the Celestion 80/70 wasn't good enough even not broken in.
There are more features like a Presence knob and line outputs too, but look online for these descriptions.

To each his own, but I would recommend trying one the Blackstar HT combo's out for yourself.


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