HT5H vs. HT5R - Tone/gain differences?

Discussion - HT-5 amplifiers.
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:00 am

Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:36 am

Crunchifyable wrote: I would be interested in what you think the difference in voicing is? is it in the character of the distortion, or simply a minor equalization thing?
It's actually hard to describe, at low and moderate levels it's really similar to the old version. I'm guessing they maybe tweaked the voicing a bit to compensate for the extra gain so it ends up sounding similar to the old version tone-wise. Hard to say. When I asked Blackstar to describe the difference they wouldn't do it, said I'd need to hear it for myself because the change really can't be described and is subtle. They were right. Again, I have a suspiscion if the old and new version were cranked side by side you'd be able to better hear difference in voicing, that's usually how it goes with tube amps.


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ronnie robinson
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Location: North East, UK

Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:38 am

Dont want to sound like an old fart but

1) Why mess with an award winning formula?
2) Why does everything now have to be more and more gain ? Orange is doing it as is Blackstar Is - is that what people want? Is that what people are buying or asking for ? I suppose it must be but to sacrifice tone versatility for compressed heavy gain seems bazarr .

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Location: hollywood florida

Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:27 am

i believe it is market demand - i see these mfg's trying to capture the "play at home" market with low power high gain
amps that sound good with lots of gain at low volume levels - there is a market for you said Ronnie b/s,orange,and even marshall
and others have jumped on this bandwagon - for years people have been saying my 50 watt sounds like crap at home
and i cant turn it up enough to find the sweet spot - 5 watt high gain amp...problem solved

for the working guy like me this isnt of much interest unless it was for recording use but it has its place in the big picture
so bring on the lunchboxes and start the bedroom wars :lol:

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Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:00 am

Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:16 pm

I agree with whats being said, and don't necessarily see more gain as an improvement in an amp, esp. since there are dozens of ways of getting more gain thru stompboxes and boosts. But it's still not a ton of gain, compared to a proper high gain amp like some of the pvys and bugeras. I just wish they had gain button for more/less gain, so we could still get a light sound.

But yes, for people interested in metal and modern rock / new rock, more gain is going to be a big seller, and that is a large part of their market. So is a full size speaker and reverb on board (and good reverb...frankly I'm glad its digital, because every spring reverb I've had ends up disappointing or breaking). I'm just a guy who wants a marshall sound at lower volumes, and this seems to work for me.

I do think the gain is a bit compressed in the new ones, and I can't really get single coils or neck pickups to stay mostly clean on the overdrive channel, unlike my other tube amps. This amp has metal written all over it, and can also do van halen and some classic rock really well, but the cleans are where it starts to lack. This amp is either clean or dirty, and very little in between. Unless someone else can discover the secret to light breakup on this amp (the new ones)

Some may think it's a hair worse than the old HT-5s, but I still think it's the best in class amp for the price. You can't tell me there's a more versatile and good sounding tube amp around 5 watts and in this price range. Oranges are too expensive, the Fenders and Vox don't have the sound or features, the Marshall Class 5 doesn't have a master volume or a presence control (muddy), and would probably be either way too loud or too quiet because of the way the low-power switch works.

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Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:14 pm

Replying to a zombie thread to add another data point.

I had two 15 watt TVP amps for years. They didn't quite satisfy me, and after getting the unchallenged (and growing) impression that Blackstar has deprecated the TVP line in favor or CORE and other new models, I donated them and looked elsewhere.

Well, they keep drawing me back in. I got a hold of a HT-1R, and I loved it. All I wanted was a little more headroom (I play almost exclusively in the studio). So I went looking for an HT-5R, only to be disappointed when I found that they sacrificed the clean channel on the new model. Fortunately, I found an as-new original model HT-5H on the used market. The ISF plus 3 band EQ on the clean channel is brilliant for helping fuzz pedals sound the way I want, for instance.

I've even thought about getting an HT Club 40, but the "tone knob only" thing on it is probably a deal breaker. That's especially frustrating, given the two clean voices that amp has. I don't get the amp manufacturer assertion that clean doesn't matter. I know some people are averse to shared EQ on the clean and lead channels, but I don't think the answer is to sacrifice the clean.

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