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Rating and Reviews: Blackstar HT Studio 20H

The Blackstar HT Studio 20H offers serious rock tone. With Blackstar's patented Infinite Shape Feature, the HT Studio 20H is one awesome amp head.

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"A quality tone machine at a superb price." submitted October 19, 2010

By a customer from sbcglobal.net
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Musical Background: Semi-pro and songwriter.
Music Style: Modern blues,classic rock,"old school" metal and pop.
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Sound: The Blackstar HT-20 gives up a high quality clean tone with solid bass,plenty of midrange body with nice top end shimmer.The single tone control can both warm up the superb basic clean tone,or add some cut and sparkle,if desired. The high gain mode is the amp's real star,as the available tones are everything from Texas blues type grit to very aggressive modern metal tones.The ISF control allows the basic tone structure to get both a warm,fat British sound to a more aggressive and somewhat scooped American vibe,and most everything between.I find that the British voicing [ISF turned more clockwise] works really well for fattening up single coil guitars.The HT-20 is real treat for most high gain lead players,as the overdriven tones stay tight,full and articulate all the way up through maximum gain settings,with great sustain and a quite seductive harmonic structure.I like to play classic hair metal and like tones similar to Satch,Schon and Lukather,and with this amp,those guys tones are right there.The digital reverb sounds pretty nice overall,though it does not sound much like a good spring unit.The effects loop works great with my Boss DD-20 delay,with the line/intrument level button adding to the loop's flexibily.Also,the amp sounds great at bedroom levels.Plus it can get quite loud,easily able to handle most any small to medium sized gig.Btw,I'm mainly running my HT-20 head through a Celestion G12H-30 loaded plywood cab and the head/cab combo sounds killer. Feature: For a relatively inexpensive and small 20 watt tube head,the HT-20 has a nice list of standard features.Some may wish for 3-band EQ's on both channels,maybe separate reverb controls and a presence control.But I feel that the amp is really cool as is.Btw,the emulated line out sounds quite convincing into a PA and for direct recording,great for when miking is not an option.The overall sound,feel and look of the Blackstar HT-20 suggest a quality,well built product. Ease of Use: The HT-20 is a very easy to use and for getting a certain tone with a minimum of fuss or confusion.The controls feel solid and are clearly marked,while the 3-band EQ plus ISF knob gives superb tonal flexibility. Quality: The Blackstar HT-20 is one solidly built amp.The black vinyl covering is neat and well applied,while the switches,jacks and pots feel sturdy and of quality.The only minor blemish might be the amp's use of MDF instead of quality plywood or wood for the headshell.But being that it's a head,it's not that big a deal to me.Anyways,I run the head through only quality plywood and tonewood cabs,which is where the tonal benefits of plywood/wood really show. Value: The Blackstar HT-20 head is a superb value,especially considering it's modest price tag.The inclusion of a sturdy 1-button footswitch with red LED is a nice touch. Manufacturer Support: Not really sure,as I have not had to contact Blackstar about any real problem.For what it's worth,I did email Blackstar with a few basic questions before buying my HT-20 and I have yet to receive a response. The Wow Factor: I wanted it,I bought it,and I'm glad I did buy it!The HT-20 has all of the features and tones that I want,and are quite hard to find,in a relatively low power tube amp. Overall: I don't myself seeing "outgrowing" my HT-20,as this amp gives me the tones and flexiblity that I have desired for the last 20 years of playing the guitar.I also have several other high-end tube amps at my disposal,but my HT-20 has certainly earned it's way into my stable of fine toneware.
12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Want Marshall sound without the price?" submitted December 31, 2010

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Sound: I play 70's and 80's rock and metal. Want a great Marshall sound without paying for the word Marshall on the front? This is a great tube head. Perfect for studio or practice. Pair it with some good cabs, mic it, and use it on stage. You can dial up just about any sound you want. The clean sound is nice and the overdrive ROCKS. Feature: Effects loop, clean volume and tone, treb- mid- bass, overdrive level and volume, reverb, and their little knob that dials in all kinds of tones. And the master. Supports different cab configurations. Sweet Ease of Use: Takes a little time to play with to get the feel of it, but that's half the fun. Once you get the feel, it's very easy. Quality: Good tubes, solid construction, no hiss or noise when turning knobs. Heavy handle, nice feet, and a sleek black look. Value: Compared to a tube Marshall or Egnater, the sound is awesome and the price is lower. Manufacturer Support: No problems The Wow Factor: Sleek and black. Need I say more. Overall: It's a keeper. Don't feel I will have a need to replace it. If it would get stolen or lost in a fire, i would defiantly get another one just like it.
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Fun Tube Head" submitted February 3, 2011

By a customer from jonathankidwell.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Hard/Alt Rock
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Sound: I really like the sounds i can get from this amp. The clean channel is nice and can be coaxed into a nice overdrive. The gain channel will do some bluesy tones at low gain settings and a good high gain crunch with the knob turned towards noon. The two channels share an eq but that hasnt seemed to be a huge limiting factor so far. For the price point i dont think you could ask for much more. Value: You can get a variety of solid state amps for much cheaper but this amp is a great option for those looking for true tube tone and really bringing out the nuances of your playing. Manufacturer Support: NA
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"From Country To Death Metal, It's Got All I Need!" submitted September 15, 2010

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician, and Recording Engineer
Music Style: Rock, Metal, and anything else I feel like
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Sound: This amp can achieve an unbelievable variety of tones. It's also by far the cleanest, most quiet tube amp I have ever owned. What I mean by that is that I can have everything cranked to full, even the gain, my guitar turned wide open, and I cannot hear so much as a hiss or buzz of any kind, yet when you hit a chord it's a wall of sound! I can grab any tone I want from country to death metal with this rig. I find that the built-in reverb is pretty nice up to about the half way mark, and then it gets a little springy sounding, but nice for what it is. I purchased this amp for use in my project studio, and I will not regret that move. At this time, I have it hooked up to a Bugera 2x12 cab and it screams, great overall tone, very much like a 4x12 Marshall cab. I do not believe that this amp would be loud enough in a practice situation unless you're in a very tight practice area, then it might be alright. Maybe I should put it this way... in a nice little country/jazz type band, I believe it would be just fine, but in a death metal band, I don't think so. It's great for a home/bedroom practice rig and/or project studio for sure. Feature: The head comes with a user manual, power cord, cheapy type speaker cable, and a very nice foot switch. The foot switch/channel switching seems to be very quite, I didn't hear any load popping when switching channels, again nice for a project studio setup. I would say the most useful features are the ISF and Gain knobs. You can grab an incredible amount of differing tones with the ISF, and the Gain is very, very useful as well. I would have to say the least useful feature for most people is going to be the Reverb. I wish it came with a nice digital reverb/echo, but hey, for the price it's a great little amp head. The guitar I used for testing was a Ibanez RG4EXFM1 with PoBoy Guitars A3-845 in the neck and a C1266 Distortion in the bridge. Ease of Use: This is very easy to learn to use, I never had to look at the manual. If you've owned other tube amps, you'll feel right at home with this one. Quality: I was totally blown away when I pulled this out of the box, this is a high quality rig. Nice and heavy. The control knobs and pots feel great, again, very high quality. The jacks are very nice as well. I can't speak as to how long it will last as I've had this now for only the day, but if what I'm seeing, hearing, and feeling with this amp is any sign of that, it should last just as long as any quality amp would... forever. Value: Is it worth the price I paid? Absolutely! Manufacturer Support: Have not needed any support at this time. The Wow Factor: Sex Appeal? Well, it's a very nice looking tube amp head, as nice as any other I've seen. I watched many different demo videos of this amp, the Bugera series of amps, and many others and I chose this as it seemed to have the best "natural" sounding tube tone I have heard. After receiving this amp and plugging in, I was not disappointed, it kicks butt and takes names. Overall: I cannot see any reason for me going out and buying any other guitar amp as this fits the bill perfectly. If I ever get back into a band, I will purchase the Blackstar HT Stage 100 and a 4x12 cab. I chose this amp in this price range over the Bugera as I stated earlier because it's just a better, more natural sounding tube amp, with all of the overdrive anyone needs. If it were stolen, I'd definitely purchase another one! What do I like most? In a word, just about everything. What do I like least? The Reverb.
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"its baadass for the money and features! 5oo bucks can't buy you a mesa!!!get realistic." submitted November 22, 2011

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Sound: From Lush Jazzy and surf sounds all the way to industrial , grind , doom , and thrashy goodness Feature: footswitch comes with it - you can tweak the range of sounds with the is function - great selection considering the cost Ease of Use: guitars sound great through this! i have the 1 x 12 and 2 x 12 cabs that go with this.... Quality: unless you throw it around like your car keys - should be fine if you take care of it!! Value: yes. The Wow Factor: the tone is addictive - tried it in a store with my 9 string.Wanted different sounds in my studio and had found it. Overall: lets not talk about loss. thats such a downer....
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"Buy the Blackstar 20!" submitted March 4, 2011

By a customer from rocketmail.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Rock, blues, metal, alt
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Sound: AMAZING TUBE TONE! I've had this amp head for about a month and could not be happier. I run it through a Mesa Recto 2x12 cab and the sound is HUGE. The gain channel is fantastic. You really can't get a bad tone out of this amp. The clean channel sounds great as well. Tons of headroom on both channels with all of the dynamic response that you expect from the most expensive boutique tube amps but without the high price tag. Plugged straight in you have a wide range of excellent tones. Add an overdrive pedal and a compressor and crank up the gain ... brutal tone! Turning the knobs helps you get exactly what you're looking for, especially the ISF. Pretty cool feature. Feature: Excellent build quality. Looks sexy atop my Mesa 2x12 Recto cab. 20 Watts 2 EL34 power tubes and 2 ECC83 pre-amp tubes. The mojo must be in the curcuitry. Effects loop works great and comes with a solid little channel footswitch made of metal with a red led indicator. Master volume control, 3 band eq, and the "ISF" knob, the infinite shaping feature that affects the tone differently based on the 3 band eq settings. Very cool! I just wish it came with a dust cover. Ease of Use: Straight forward and plain simple. Plug in, twist a few knobs, and off you go! All of my guitars sound great with this amp. Even on the most extreme settings, roll a little back on your guitar's volume knob and it cleans right up without losing any tone dynamics (even pinch harmonics). Quality: Well built. Nothing loose, arrived in perfect condition. Seems dependable and I'm not worried at all about anything breaking. I plan on keeping this amp and I'm pretty sure it will stand the test of time. Value: Well worth the price. A great value. Manufacturer Support: I haven't had a need to communicate with Blackstar, but their website is impressive and if I had a question I imagine they would respond. The Wow Factor: Perfect addition to my setup! It's a sexy little amp head that produces tone that blows me away every time I plug in. Overall: I expect to be very happy with this amp for a long time. I will continue to experiment with pedals to add a little color to the tones, but for now I have all I need. I play primarily at home these days and wanted quality tube tone at more reasonable volumes. This amp gives me exactly that. But make no mistake, if I crank this guy up I can still piss off the neighbors, just not as easily as I did with my 150W Mesa Triple Rectifier (which I sold 2 weeks ago). This is the perfect amp for me. A high watt high gain amp needs to be cranked up to sound great. The Blackstar 20 watt gives me the tone I want without the damage to my hearing.
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"Blackstar" submitted November 4, 2013

By Richard D in Boulder City, NV
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Musical Background: 50 years on guitars. On and off. Mostly on
Music Style: all but classical and rap
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Overall: Love he amp. Portable. Killer sound. 2 channels
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