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Rating and Reviews: Blackstar HT-40 Club Amp

Two channels, four modes, and an EQ section -- that's all the Blackstar HT-40 Club needs to produce an impressive range of classic and modern tube sounds.

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"Blackstar HT-40 - exceeds expectations" submitted November 17, 2013

By Larry Oster in Ypsilanti, MI
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Musical Background: Lead guitar, 36 years playing, pro/semi-pro most of that time
Music Style: Blues/classic rock/modern worship (Lincoln Brewster, st al).
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Overall: Truly, "the sound in your head." This amp has an all tube power section, a tube/hybrid pre-amp and modern features that will leave you in jaw dislocating awe. The rectifier & phase inverter are solid state, and there are also some FETs incorporated for voicing, etc. It doesn't bother me in the least that it's "technically" not "all tube" - you'd never know it by the sound, and I think the solid state PI is a brilliant idea (you can adjust it to be "matched" when biasing for new power tubes, but keep in mind that Blackstaf considers this type of thing as warranty voiding if not done by a certified tech. It's easy to do - search the web for instructions). With the voicing switches on both clean and dirty channels, and their patented ISF (infinite shape) control, you can dial in a sound all your own - fender clean + marshall crunch, HiWatt/Vox clean/chime + Mesa chug and anything in-between. The boutique voice on the clean channel is out of this world. With the tone around noon, ISF on British, it is very Gilmourish/hiwatt'ish. Dial the tone closer to 3oclock and it's a Vox. Flip the voicing switch and ISF towards the American side, and it's blackface or silverface depending on where you set the tone. Plays nice with drive pedals if you want to stick with that channel for your base tone. The tone knob is very functional - so much so that I don't miss having a full eq section on the clean channel. This channel breaks up nicely when driven. Similarly, the dirty channel offers marshall to Mesa crunch/grind/chuggachugga if that's what you're after depending on its own voicing switch and your eq preference. Extremely versatile! There's a full eq sections on this channel. You don't really need dirt pedals with this amp - a clean boost will suffice for soloing, but it's very responsive to your guitar volume/tone controls, so you don't even need a boost if you're used to controlling your sound that way. Cleans up beautifully when you roll down the volume on your guitar. Construction is top-notch - solid cabinet (vented closed-back), and quality components. The only things I found disappointing (at first, I'm over it now): made in China, not Korea, and as usual for almost all amp makers, lesser tone quality tubes (but very reliable/sturdy tubes nevertheless). Sovtech 12ax7-WA's in the pre, and ruby el-34bht's in the power section). The rubys are fine for the power section, but per my preference, the sovtech WA's in the preamp had to go. Replaced with GT-12AX7-C's and I'm content for now, but I'll probably put a 5751 & Tungsol 12ax7 in at some point. An amazing amp that I plan on keeping until it, (or I) is no longer serviceable :)
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Blackstar HT-40 Club Amp Customer Review submitted May 7, 2010

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Semi-professional
Music Style: punk blues
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Sound: This is a VERY high-gain amplifier. If you play any kind of rock from classic to heavy metal, this amp will allow you to do it with no pedals. Even though it has the "American to British" switch, it's very hard to get a loose type breakup like a Fender Blues Deluxe, for example. The distortion is very smooth and clean. The word boutique gets thrown around a lot. the cleans are amazing and boutique-like, but this amp does not have the crystalline clear high end and overtones of a Boogie. If it is lacking anything, it's the loose trebly distortion that some people like. For so few knobs however, it makes a LOT of sounds. The digital reverb is the missing link. It's just very poor sounding. Feature: Well built, easy to use, very solid. Gave it an eight because it has digital reverb that sticks as opposed to a real reverb tank. Ease of Use: It is a very easy amp to use, but the voicing switches give it a lot of versatility. It's going to take a few days to dial in. Not like a Fender where you set your two tones and forget it. There's a lot to learn here and it's a new way of looking at tone stacks. Quality: Exceptionally well made. No issues here whatsoever. Value: Great value. It takes a triple rec at 4x the price to get these sounds normally. Manufacturer Support: Don't know yet. I haven't needed any support. But I'm going to call this week to get some info on setting up more treble in the tone stack. The Wow Factor: It's a sexy amp. And the downright affordable extension speaker doesn't hurt. Overall: I will be using this one until it dies. It's the kind of amp that will grow with you as you lean all the things it can do. And this amp can do LOTS of things.
29 of 31 people (93.55%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Blackstar HT40" submitted July 17, 2012

By Scotty V in Reisterstown, MD
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Musical Background: R/L guitar, lead vocals 30+ years 15 professionally
Music Style: Classic Rock, Blues, Funk
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Overall: I own this amp, and I only have 2 words BUY IT!! I have had many combo amps in my 30+ years playing and it is for sure one of the best!!! I play in a 5 piece CR Band and I have no problem keeping up with the half stack on the other side of the stage. I did replace the stock speaker(eminence wizard) and tubes( JJ's) and OMG!!! It took this amp to a new level!!!! It takes pedals very well to!! I hope this helps someone!!
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"Best sounding and simplest to use rock amp for the money on the market" submitted March 16, 2011

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: hobbyist
Music Style: rock
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Sound: The clean sound is really good does not take much tweaking to get what you want if you keep it simple. The distortion is the best I have heard from any amp I have owned. You do not even need a pedal, You can get blues, classic rock and metal sounds with ease in my opinion. Feature: For me I rate it a 10, comes with a switch to go between the clean and distortion channels. I love the distortion mode when you push the button in to enhance the mids gives it the best natural distortion I have ever heard from an amp alone. I like to keep things simple so the less features the higher rating for me. The only thing that would have been nice would be to have delay and chorus built in to it. Ease of Use: The simpler the better for me and this amp fits the bill. All I had to do to get a killer distortion sound is push one button in and adjust the eq to my liking , it does not get any easier than that. Quality: I have not owned the amp too long and just use it for practice right now so I donot really know how durable it is. But with all the other reviews I have read it rates pretty good. Value: It is the best value for the price of a guitar amp at this price that I have seen. Manufacturer Support: I have not had to use support so I really donot know how good of support they provide. A better question is how good of support is from the store you purchase it from like zzounds which have excellent support. The Wow Factor: The black color and white Blackstar lettering make it a nice looking amp. I am not that picky about that though. Overall: This should be my main amp for a long time to come
11 of 12 people (91.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Excellent small club amp" submitted November 25, 2012

By a customer from bhsu.edu
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Musical Background: 20 years, bass and guitar
Music Style: rock, punk rock, americana, blues
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Overall: I received the HT-40 a month ago, so this review was written after I've had some experience with this product. Excellent amp for small clubs, rehearsal, and even bedroom playing, if you keep the volume down a bit. Even at quieter volumes the bass response is good. (My experience with amps is that, the quieter you get, the more the bass response drops out.) Great clean sounds and distorted sounds. Very Marshall sounding, which isn't surprising given former Marshall employees started Blackstar. Nothing special about volume/tone controls; standard eq and gain stages. What I didn't realize is that the volume on the clean channel is separate from overall volume, and if you want a little bit of grit you can turn up the clean volume and keep the overall volume down. You get a little bit of breakup that way, especially with hot pickups, so it's another way to shape your sound. The ISF feature is simply another way to dial in your sound. I can't tell you if it sounds more "American" or more "British"; to me it's just another sound-shaping feature and nice to have for that. Vietnamese build seems just fine. I've never cared much about buying American. If it's put together nicely and works well, that's fine with me. It seems to be built tough. The price was the deciding factor for me. I couldn't find any other amp with the sound and features this amp has at anywhere near the price of this amp. Good amp for straight up rock and roll, old school style. If you want to tweak it for more modern sounds, use pedals. But if you want a heavy metal amp you might look elsewhere, and prepare to drop more cash. Nice amp, nice features.
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"You will love the quality." submitted May 3, 2014

By John M in Beach Park, IL
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Musical Background: 45 years, 8 different instruments, mainly a singer, compose, record, and basically enjoy.
Music Style: Christian originals, vintage pop, blues, country, or anything I think I can play.
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Overall: First off, I traded a few items at a local Kenosha music store to acquire this amp. I have been a long time Zzounds customer and feel compelled to advise you to buy this item from Zzounds. They have saved my music equipment life by allowing me to purchase quality equipment with their pay and play option. As far as amps, I have owned a Fender DeVille, a Fender Showman, several Crate tube amps, and a Traynor YC80, which was my fav until this one. The pedals I use are a small clone chorus, a Jet City "Flood" analogue delay pedal, a TS-9 tube screamer, and a Morley wah. Along with the overdrive/distortion pedal included with this electronic work of art, I get anything I want tonewise. It is the ever-elusive tone which I could never achieve, even with my Mesa boogie subway rocket which I used for years-and at the price of $700, it was only $50 more than that little beauty. Through multi-effects pedals, great sounding rooms, and great guitars, it is only fair to say that in my own little world of pop, blues, rock, and country, this amp really does it all. Not because I traded two amps for it, but because it is a pro quality top flight tool for producing the sounds I had only heard in my mind. I play "light" on my Epi Les Paul and my Fender Classic Player Strat, so I'll take all the amp-help I can get. The cleans are very nice, not "Fendery" at all, more like a Peavey counterpart, but it sounds great soft or loud; I recently jammed with a bunch who had Marshalls and another amp which I'd never seen-when asked to turn it up and kick in the OD, this amp did not even blink, it just kicked out the tones for which it was made. Amazing, try it, you'll buy it, if you buy from Zzounds, they will not disappoint.
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"Amazing Tone" submitted November 3, 2013

By Willie P in Ladera Ranch, CA
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Musical Background: I play professionally for over 20 years as a Lead guitarist with different bands but recently for 13 years with the same band.
Music Style: I play a mixture of everything from classic rock, R&B, standard, light jazz, pop, blues and ballroom music including a bit of La
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Overall: I read about this combo amp thru the experiences of other guitarists and I was intrigue by the excellent reviews. I made a trip to Guitar Center to check it out. I used Mesa Boogie, Fender Twin, Fender Deville and Marshall before. I had a chance to compare them all side by side. To be honest, Blackstar brand is new to me, but after spending more than an hour with it, I was so amaze with the tone and the unique features that's not available to other amps and most of all it's a bit lighter than most of them in the 40 watts range. I've been using it in our gigs now and every bandmates are totally impressed with the tone. I will highly recommend this amp to anyone looking for an excellent amp.
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"Great Amp !" submitted December 5, 2013

By Tim C in Belle Fourche, SD
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Musical Background: Playing since I was 11, Active professional, Guitar-lead and rythem
Music Style: Rock,80's metal,Metal
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Overall: This is the perfect amp for the smaller gigs we play. Still can't believe how loud,and perfect the tone is compared to the Marshall. That's because they're both designed by the same Tech. people ! This thing is built like a tank,I have no worries about damage on the road-it can take it ! The controls are pretty much straight foreword,but I'd recommend reading the manual when in question. As far as adding petals,no problem,the sky is the limit. In other words, It's very expandable. The best part is that the volume doesn't have to be at concert level to sound great. I just adjust the gain,and volumes, and playing in my house is no problem. GET THIS AMP !!! From day one,you'll be thanking yourself you did .
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"Blown away by this amp" submitted April 7, 2013

By john b in deptford, NJ
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Musical Background: been playing 15 years. Guitars, piano. Play in a band
Music Style: mostly rock...Foo, Zep....the good stuff
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Overall: Let me start by saying I have owned quite a few Marshalls, JCM 800, 900 and DSL 2000 100 watt stack. Ive owned a Fender HRD, DR, and BJ. Two Mesas. This amp by far (for me anyway) just hands down beats every one of them. Not to mention its price tag is sweet.It incredibly easy to find the sweet spot on this amp. The clean channel responds remarkably to how hard you hit the strings, and you dont have to have it cranked to 7, thanks to the master volume.I bought the 5h on a whim because it had the nicest lead sound I'd ever heard, so naturally I bought this because I HAD to play this beast out. BYW ZZOUNDS rocks for getting gear. Best price match, easy, and I had it in 2 days...
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"Blackstar HT-40 Club Combo Guitar Amp" submitted October 18, 2013

By Rick S in Dixon, CA
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Musical Background: Playing guitar on and off for 30+ Years. Have been in various rock bands.
Music Style: Rock, Blues a touch of Country
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Overall: This amp rocks. At my first rehearsal after purchasing it the band all said it sounds great. I was able to run through our entire set list with no added effects pedals. I was able to get great loud cleans, a touch of grit and a great Marshally grind out of it. The reverb is ok, its not a spring tank so not going to give that super springy fender reverb but it is more than adequate for me. My recent previous amps have been Peavey Delta Blues 115 and a Hand wired fender Deluxe ClonE 5E3. Each good in their own right, but the Black star is very flexible. Love it and it is now my number one.
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"Blackstar Club HT-40 is one of the best amps I've owned!" submitted December 8, 2011

By a customer from patriotsamerica.com
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Musical Background: Playing guitar since ~1972
Music Style: Rock n roll, baby!
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Sound: This amp sounds terrific on it's own. The clean channel is clean and the distortion ranges from barely breaking up to the dirtiest metal and pretty much everything in between. Very small tweaks of the distortion make a lot of difference and with the different voicings you get extra gain as well. Some people are less than pleased with the clean channel, but remember that most of us are using pickups that shy away from perfectly clean, and no amp can take away from a distorted input from the pickups. For the money and the sound quality, you should be jumping on this amp. Feature: The reverb leaves a lot to be desired but since I'm using a BOSS GT-10, I just shut the amp's reverb off and it's no longer an issue. The amp's voicings are good and the bypass is terrific. If you're using pedals for modulated effects, set your tone on the amp, run your pedals through the bypass and add whatever you like. The patches in my GT-10 have their distortion and overdrive shut off...the OD and distortion in this amp is more than good enough! Really, if you're using effects pedals or a full-on modeling floorboard, this amp is for you. It's got plenty of volume for most users. Ease of Use: There's really no learning curve for this amp, so just a few suggestions: Turn the power on at least a few minutes before you play it. I go a full hour with the amp in standby then at least 15 minutes with the tubes hot and my GT-10 in tuner mode so there's no output from the amp. When you first use the amp, set your clean and drive channels so their volume is equal, set your tone, EQ, etc and use the master volume to control it all. You can turn the master volume full up and control the volume with your pedal setup as well, getting the most out of your tubes. Quality: Cosmetically the amp is terrific. It has a classy look to it, it's definitely sturdy and like most amps, the covering is durable. I'm especially happy with the grill cloth. It's obviously heavy duty and it looks good too. I was surprised by the weight, a mere 20 pounds less than my old 5150 II! I've only had the amp a month, so no way to gauge reliability over time yet. I've seen no warning signs of anything that might be a problem down the road though. If I had the money, I'd get another! Value: I was going to buy the Marshall 50 but found this one and did a lot of research as well as reading on it in online forums. I saved about $400 and am glad I picked the Blackstar. Face it, I wasn't going to get JCM mojo from their 50 watt amp and I'd put this amp up against that one any day. I honestly did not expect to get a tube amp this good for a mere $700! I almost went with a used 5150 II but ya never know about that used stuff. The 5150 II was THE best amp I ever owned. It's a shame they aren't made any more and no, the 6250 isn't the same! Manufacturer Support: It comes with a 3 year warranty with 90 days on the tubes but there is an oddity you should be aware of. US warranty services are supplied by Korg, not Blackstar. When I contacted Korg about getting the registration to them, I was told that they don't know when the page for registering Blackstar amps will be online again, but that with my original receipt, warranty service will be vailable for 3 years from the date of purchase. I'm sure they are right but I prefer to have my ducks in a row, like to know that my stuff is properly documented with those that may have to service it some day. I sent in a registration card that came with the amp, but I'd rather do it online. Be aware too that the serial number is really really small and very long. Rather than try to read the sticker, I photographed it and then read from the photo. Those numbers are way too small! The Wow Factor: The looks, price and sound of this amp really says it all. Since I can't actually use a Marshall JCMxxxxx, why cry about it? This is 40 watts of amazing sounding amplifier. It sounds best when cranked but is more than respectable when used inside the house as well. Overall: If it was stolen, I'd buy another, yeah, absolutely. All of my effects are in my GT-10 so no need to go looking for the latest and greatest in amps anymore. I don't have a use for anything larger and am too old to worry about how cool a stack would look lol. This amp does it's job and it does it well! Better than you'd expect for $700!
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"Blackstar HT-40 Club Guitar Combo Amp" submitted April 2, 2014

By Michael S in Peoria, AZ
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Musical Background: since 7 years old 57 now
Music Style: rockabilly, blues hair metal
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Overall: great sound amplifier for the money good for home, bars, clubs, small venues 150-200 people
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"Beautiful amp...like i said, I play ska/punk, so it handles well; and i'm sure with the right player, guitar, and pedal; you cou" submitted November 29, 2011

By a customer from live.com
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Musical Background: 10 years guitar, 8 singing. Not professional but do gig with a ska band...I also jam at home.
Music Style: Rock, Punk, Reggae, Ska, Early Hardcore
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Sound: Just received the amp today so i'm waiting for the break-in period to end...played my blacktop tele, am. stan. tele, and epiphone les paul standard plus top through it...no pedals...straight into the amp and it sounds fantastic!!! I play in a ska/punk band and the only amp i'd ever pick over this would be a dual recto...excellent for the price. Feature: Very basic...wish the reverb was either gone or from a tank rather than digi. No real complaints though...if you like reverb use a pedal. Ease of Use: Turn the knobs...unless you like peavey style metal gain...which you can attain from this amp with a pedal...it does it all...and the clean channel is beautiful. Love the voicing options on both channels. Quality: Can't comment on reliability...looks as though it was built for war...very rugged solid construction. Value: you have the tone options of marshall and mesa/boogie; in a very affordable product...use the play while you pay plan, and the deal is sealed. The Wow Factor: after owning several digital amps, solid state amps, and one marshall tuber...this is the best i've come across...if you invest with a few pedals, or like to keep it simple like me...this is the only amp you'll need...if you need more volume add a cab or mic it to a p.a. Overall: I will not replace this amp. Period..if lost or stolen i'd prolly buy the same amp with higher wattage (ht-60 or stage-100 head).
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"If you are in the market for a new Tube Amp you will not be dissappointed with the Blackstar line. " submitted March 26, 2011

By a customer from aol.com
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Musical Background: Active
Music Style: Rock, Hard Rock, Alt
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Sound: This amp is a beast. I put it through the paces and with a few tweaks here and there I can get all the sounds I needs. I play in a rock,hard rock, alternative cover band and need a good variety of tones since we play everything from Tom Petty to Godsmack. This amp covers all these different tones easily. I use this amp with a Boss DD3 and an MXR 6 band EQ in the loop. Out from I have a Morley Wah and tuner. They all sound great together. I haven't recorded with it yet but played in during band practice and I'll have no trouble being herd. Feature: This ISF switch you hear about is the real deal. It works in conjunction with the treble, bass and mids and really can make a difference in the variety of sounds. I found sweet spots for different songs pretty easily. I love the 2 types of reverb, dark and light they both sound really nice to my ears. The only thing I could wish for was another channel on this amp and it would be a 10++++ Ease of Use: This amp is really easy to tweak, and fun to play. Quality: For the price you can't find an amp made this well. Its tough and made for the working musician so I can tell it will hold up to the rigors of the road. You have to spend more than twice this much to get an amp built any better. Value: Best Tube amp hands down in this catergory. Manufacturer Support: N/A ...yet The Wow Factor: This is a really nice looking product. Overall: I expect this to be my last amp. This was an upgrade for me from a Vox Modeling amp. I had been saving for a tube anmp since I bought the Vox to hold me over. The other amps I was looking at were the Marshall JVM and Mesa Roadster series. At more than twice the price (and the same tone) I couldn't justify any of those.
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3. zZounds gets you your gear fast

At zZounds, you‘ll get your gear fast and, usually, with free delivery. Because we have warehouses in New Jersey and Nevada, nearly 75 percent of Americans reside within our two-day shipping zones. Combine this with the fact that many of our best-selling products qualify for free two-day delivery and you get expedited shipping without the additional cost.

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4. zZounds makes returns super easy

Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you.

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5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission.

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Available on
orders $249+
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Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

Fast approval.
We approve everyone, with very few exceptions, as long as we can verify your identity.
No interest. Ever.
It's just as if you paid the whole amount up front!
No paperwork. Nothing to track.
No application to mail or fax, no bills to pay. We automatically charge the payments to your credit card.

We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

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on most orders $49+

Just $2.99 on
smaller orders

Really heavy stuff might cost you a
little more

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Why fight traffic and pushy salesmen when we'll bring your gear straight to your home, free of charge?

zZounds free shipping is really free!
No hidden charges or hassles on returns.
Fast, reliable delivery
We have warehouses on both coasts, so most shipments arrive in 3 days or less.
We don't collect sales tax. Bonus!
Only NJ residents pay tax during checkout.
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A guarantee so solid, you never have to worry about price when shopping at zZounds

We'll beat any price
Simply click the Seen it for less? link next to the gear you want or call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
Got a coupon from another site?
Use it with us - we'll beat those prices, too!
Find a better price after buying from us?
No problem. We'll refund you the difference for 45 days, so you'll never regret buying from zZounds.

You'll still get the trustworthy service you've come to expect from zZounds, without paying more for your gear!