Blackheart BH15-112 Handsome Devil Guitar Amplifier Combo (15 Watts, 1x12")

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Get your hands on that classic tube tone from this Blackheart combo amp. It features 12" Eminence speakers.

Designed and prototyped in a one car garage in Austin, Texas, by non other than amp savant, Pyotr Belov, the Handsome Devil evokes classic tube tones more than reminiscent of the great American and British, plug and play workhorses that laid the foundation for Rock and Roll guitar tone starting in the '60s.

Just like it's predecessor and little brother, the Little Giant 5, the BHE Handsome Devil is overbuilt to last with features and components you'd expect on a hand built, much more expensive piece of gear. Both the head and combo feature dual power modes allowing the Gods of Rock to dial in responsiveness and headroom in either 15W or 7W output. Separate Master and Level controls put both awesome power and responsibility in the unwashed hands of mankind. 3 Bands of well-tuned EQ make for nearly infinite voicing.

From big fat overdrive to plucky, just-about-to-squeal if you hit me a little harder grease, the Handsome Devil covers classic tube tone with as few knob turns as possible through a well thought out set of features in a tough as a tank package.

As expected, you get the simple elegance and robust component specs that mark BHE's designs. From 1W, carbon-film resistors in the signal path to beefy, double sided pcb with 2 oz traces, 16 gauge, precision folded and welded chassis and mutli-ply, classically joined cabinetry, Blackheart is as serious about quality as they are about tone.

15 Watts, Push-Pull, Class A

Outputs: 1 x 16 ohm jack, 2 x 8 ohm jacks, 2 x 4 ohm jacks

Solid State Rectifier with tap for future mods

Drive, Level, Treble, Mid, Bass and Presence controls

Pentode (15 Watts)/Triode (7 Watts) Switch

DC Power to filaments for super quiet operation

15 ply (18mm) thick-void free plywood construction

12-inch Blackheart Model 1216A Speaker by Eminence with American Voicing, optimized for open back cabinet

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 866-858-5832

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. (5 ratings)
Submitted August 31, 2012 by James S in Flagstaff, AZ
"Solid, Quality Product"
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
Well-built product that performs at a level higher than its cost. I'm pleased thus far with this purchase.

Sound
Takes a bit of tweaking to get just right, and I still haven't found the exact sweet spot. This would be the case with any new piece of gear though, so it's not a knock on the amp. Mine shipped with JJ tubes in both pre/power, which makes a marked difference. I didn't care much for the stock speaker, sounded a bit harsh and brittle to me. I replaced it with an old Eminence Private Jack I had left over from another amp and that helped smooth out the tone. The cleans are not Fender good, but they are certainly very good. This amp doesn't suffer nearly as much from the "boxy" sound that many other amps in this group do. I was surprised how much bigger it sounds than it looks. 15 watt setting gives you a fuller, deeper tone with (obviously) more clean headroom, 7 watt mode saturates well at very low volumes. I haven't been able to really crank this amp in a live setting, so I've never heard the natural overdrive at its best. I am not a big fan of the amp's overdrive at lower volumes, but as a platform for OD and other pedals, this amp shines.

Features
7/15 watt mode is actually quite useful. Good recording tones at low volumes with the 7 watt mode, and a respectable amount of volume out of the 15 watt mode. I think it would be enough to keep up with a live drummer. I just gigged this amp in an amphitheater setting read more and never had to turn it up past 3 (both pre and post gain knobs) to have enough stage volume. It also has a ton of outputs for stacking with external cabs, so you can push more air if you need to. Internal speaker isn't necessarily cut when you hook it up to an external cab, which is a bonus. No reverb or effects loop, but for the price I don't think you should be shocked. Takes effects very well straight in.

Ease of Use
Plug and play.

Quality
I'm shocked at how well this thing is put together. Exceptional tolex work, electronics are solid and lines are clean, no MDF (all plywood), and it's got some weight to it. This is a very well-made little box.

Value
Comparable products are the Fender Blues Jr, Jet City JCA20/22, Blackstar HT series, etc. I can definitely see going with a Blues Jr, but they sounded a little boxier than the Blackheart to me, and at about $150 more. I owned two Jet City JCA22H's before the Blackheart, both of which died within a week; they had great tone, but they were poorly made, and still $150 more. The Blackstars just sound lifeless and compressed to me, and still cost more. I think the Blackheart line is very competitive and priced correctly.

Manufacturer Support
Not yet, hope not to.

The Wow Factor
It's kind of a cheesy logo, but it's growing on me because it sounds good. The amp itself is cleanly put together, so it's nice to look at. It's no Fender, but it's also not ugly.

Musical Style:
Home recording, Worship
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