Ht-5r reliability ?

Discussion - HT-5 amplifiers.
macsguitar
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:03 pm
Location: Statesville NC USA

Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:14 pm

Hi, I'm looking really hard at a new ht-5rs mini stack, liking most of the reviews I've seen on it, but a little concerned about the pcb problems they have had and the somewhat lack of support, at least initially from Blackstar. I am looking for a good home recording, practice, and jamming amp and think this amp would fill the bill, I play a lot of drop C tuning and some blues, was really wanting a mesa mark IV but that amp is really overkill and definitely stretching the budget thin! I would just like some feedback on the recent reliability as I cannot afford to have to replace it if I have big problems! Any input would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

Arcadio
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:38 pm

Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:13 pm

I own an HT-5C. It's very similar to the 5R, except lacks reverb. It's been in the shop for the last three months with the PCB problem (fried R39 resistor area).

I'm sorry to say that I cannot at this time recommend the HT-5R. It's a shame, because they really do sound good.

Here are my gripes:
1) Service is slow
2) Blackstar/Korg does nothing except direct you to local service
3) Amp had a heat/scorching problem which very well could have caused a fire
4) IMO my amp should have been recalled and either fixed or replaced by Blackstar before this happened. It is a very well-known, documented problem
5) I still don't have an amp or an apology from Blackstar, three months after my amp almost burned up.
6) 3 year warranty is only as good as the company behind it
7) They're using surface-mounted components which we all know is a cheaper way to manufacture, but does have some advantages and disadvantages.
8) Blackstars are notoriously difficult to repair because of the modern construction techniques.
9) In my case, the tech is sinking hours of his time into a complicated repair, when what really should happen is Blackstar should send him an entirely new board and get me my amp back already.
10) If not that, Blackstar should give me a credit towards a new amp and quit wasting everyone's time trying to salvage a unit that they can probably import for cheaper than the cost of looking at it.

well that was really just venting on my part

tl;dr

Don't buy a Blackstar HT-5R.

Check the Boss Katanas. They're flavor of the month on pretty much every forum right now, and BOSS has a pretty good reputation for reliability.

macsguitar
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:03 pm
Location: Statesville NC USA

Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:23 pm

Well the more I read this forum, the more I see a pattern of the amp failing and the customer waiting on, Blackstar to respond, and give a resolution and it seems to me they are not holding their end of the deal up very well. I was really wanting to try the ht5r but as it will be my only amp, can't really afford to be without for an extended period of time in the event of a failure. I would like to hear some stories of timely positive resolve and not the stories I've been hearing! I appreciate your post and I'm sorry you haven't been taken care of better than that!

Arcadio
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:38 pm

Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:43 pm

Right and thanks for the follow-up reply. I'm just a hobbyist and I have another amp so it's not the end of the world, but it's still unsettling to have to worry about calling the shop every few weeks and not knowing when this whole mess will be resolved. I would rather be thinking about other things.

I can't imagine what it would be like for a pro to have to deal with this. :cry:

bill0287
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:00 am

Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:11 pm

I bought an HT-5 in 2011 and have had no problems with it, but I feel for those who may have gotten a lemon.

macsguitar
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:03 pm
Location: Statesville NC USA

Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:46 am

Yes, I understand no matter the make or model, there will be lemons but I wanted to hear that blackstar is handling those situations much better than they seem to be! I really want to give them a shot, but thinking more and more about just getting another mesa lol I was hoping to hear that the newer models have been much more reliable and if there are issues, that they were and are handled in a fast and professional manner!! I have owned several mesa boogie amps ranging from Mark llc triple rectifiers Mark iv and v and anytime I had even the slightest issue they were overly eager to get the issue resolved, I remember them sending me all new tubes for a used rectifier I had purchased completely free of charge and countless times they gladly gave free professional advice! Considering the investment they are I guess that service is expected to a degree, but even blackstar and other companies have to back their products!!

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Uffingdon
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 12:00 am
Location: Far Side Of Nowhere

Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:21 am

My HT5-R suffered from the over heating issue and was dealt with very promptly, it was returned to me via Andertons after being repaired within a week.
The amp has been on perminant loan to my Nephew for the past 2 1/2 years who uses it every day with no further problems at all.

The internet can be a dark place with no recourse, don't believe everything you read.

Vox used to have a forum such as this but closed it down due to all the negative posts, can't blame 'em.

Just speaking from my personal experience!

macsguitar
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:03 pm
Location: Statesville NC USA

Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:16 pm

I do understand, people tend to spread bad news much faster than good lol but it's just a little disconcerting when you see so many negatives without positives, nice to hear they took care of you promptly, and thanks for your input! I'm really on the fence here, I seriously want to give the ht5 a shot but I've also been looking hard at the Mini Rectifier.

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thephantum
Posts: 1160
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: Virginia, United States

Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:54 pm

I have owned an HT-5RH since 2013. I routinely play it hard and it has never failed me (by hard I mean max volume or very close to it). The amp simply does what it's told and sounds awesome. I did change the tubes in 2014, but that was only as an upgrade. There was nothing wrong with the original tubes.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that the people that have problems are always going to be the most vocal. The fact is that Blackstar has literally sold hundreds of thousands of HT5's. Contrast that with the few dozen on here that have had problems and many of them only registered on these forums to complain. Most of us are just happily playing their guitars through their HT5. The large majority of those happy folks are not registered on these forums.

Another fact is that the overheating R39 problem has been resolved for almost five years now. It only impacted a small subset of amps made in late 2011/early 2012. I'm not diminishing those who have these amps that develop the issue. What I am saying is that, if you are buying a new HT5, the issue has been resolved. If you are on the market for a used one, just be wary of those made in late 2011/early 2012 unless it's confirmed that the issue has been repaired in that specific amp.

Also keep in mind that Blackstar does not handle customer service in the US. Korg does. So Blackstar gets a bad reputation because Korg does, at best, a mediocre job. I do think that Blackstar needs to make a change there...

macsguitar
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:03 pm
Location: Statesville NC USA

Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:52 am

Well phantum I appreciate your reply and an very glad to hear the problems with the pc board have been addressed! I am looking at a new one to purchase and am still very intrigued! I was actually looking at purchasing the ht5rs mini stack. What cabinet do you use with yours? I also kinda wonder how they perform with drop tunings, I play a lot in drop C. I've basically decided on the blackstar or the Mesa Mini rectifier. The mini sounds great, but it's a much much bigger price tag! Not sure if it's worth all that much, haven't gotten to play the ht5 to compare.

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