HT60 Soloist - Metal problems

Discussion - HT Venue amplifiers. Inspiration from Studio to Stage.
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Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:31 am

Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:43 am

Hello Blackstar and Community

I was looking to get a new amp for Metal purposes recently. Some research later, I was pointed in the direction by a few people to look at the Blackstar Venue amps - I headed down to the local music shop and they had a Soloist 60 on the floor, so I sat down and tried that, and it sounded pretty good - chunky, singing leads, good cleans, the works. Fast forward a couple of weeks when I have enough money for it and they've already sold that particular amp, so I go online and order a new Soloist 60 online.
Today the unit arrives so I unbox it, read through the manual, set the whole thing up and plug in.
It sounds awful.
I don't mean that in a rude sense - I've seen, heard and used many excellent Blackstars in the past. But this just sounds nasty - the cleans are good, but the OD channel is muffled or too bassy or something like that. It's like theres very little clarity and not enough distortion, and its attempting to play through a 1 inch thick piece of hardwood. I just don't know. I fiddled around with Presence/ISF/Boost settings and it doesn't really change a lot. I tried hooking up my POD HD Desktop to the front and it sounds extremely bright and fizzy (not too surprised given that setup), tried it in the Effect Return and it doesn't make any sound at all. To put this in perspective, I'm more pleased with my Squier SP10.

What's going on? People around forums, youtube etc tend to agree that this amp is something that can do Metallica-level stuff, but it just isn't. Is there some secret ritual I'm meant to execute to get it to sound right? I'm a bit new to valve combos so I might be expecting too much from it, but I don't get why my new unit sounds worse than one I tried in the shop. I'm playing through a pair of EMG81/60 pickups.

Thanks for any and all help

Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Dartmoor, England

Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:29 pm

Did you play the amp in the shop using your own guitar, or at least one with similar pickups? My two guitars sound very different through my HT-20, and they're both normal humbuckers - I'd imagine active EMGs would be different again. The 60 has various voicing switches, but I suppose you've already tried those.

Could it be that it just sounded better in the shop because of the volume and space you played it in? I don't know - assuming the amp in the shop was standard (not had upgraded speakers or anything) then you should be able to get yours to sound the same. If you can't, I'd say it's the different guitar, or just that it sounds different at low volume if you've been playing it at home - perhaps the sound you're after only works at higher volume.

I'm not a metal player though.

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Posts: 1329
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:00 am
Location: hollywood florida

Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:00 pm

i can tell you the 70/80 speakers are very harsh and ice picky at first - spend some time breaking in the speaker and it will improve experience has show this speaker takes a while to loosen up...

Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 12:00 am
Location: Patterson Ga USA

Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:14 pm

if you plug your HD into the efx return you will need to plug a dummy 1/4" jack into the amp input to get any signal.

I swapped my 70 / 80s for some old vintage 30s and love the difference.
the 70/80s are way too harsh to my ears.

I am running a HD500 into the loop of a stage 60 and mic it.
the tone is remarkable.

Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:11 pm

Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:39 pm

Maybe the amp in the store was already warm at that moment. I always warm up the tubes in standby mode for at least half an hour. And please check your lead cable. When I got my soloist I found that my lead cable was absolutely ruined.

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