My HOTRODDED Blackstar HT-5

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firepigg
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:00 am

Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:31 pm

Hello Blackstar fans.....
I've been a Marshall player for the last 6 years. I've modded/upgraded every one I've had. I decided to pick up one of these HT-5
heads because I needed a practice amp w/ two channels and headphone jack. On paper, the Blackstar HT-5 fit the bill. Like all mass
produced, low price amps, (my opinion is...) the tone was severely lacking. To get an amp with all those features at such a low price,
corners must be cut and things like transformers, tubes, caps, diodes, etc...get sourced by bean counters.
This is NOT an amplifier for "tweakers". The PCB is just LOADED with bits. Not a mod-friendly amp and schematics are not really available.
Not to be deterred, I cracked her open, made my notes and called my buddy Patrick at Mercury Magnetics. They do not offer on thier website
anything for Blackstar. I gave him the specs I needed in an output tranny and they set me up with a MONSTER! I've installed the OT, choke, made
some HUGE upgrades on the PCB (my little secret recipe) and loaded some NOS Brimar and Sylvania tubes. The result is pure tone BLISS! The tone has been UNLEASHED! There is sustain, note clarity and seperation, the ISF control actually WORKS now! There is no comparrison to the stock unit.
In the new year, I will be working on soundclips and a website dedicated to the project and be offering these services to any HT-5 owner who wants to unlock the true potential of this incredible little amp. Image

email me for [email]pics.....firepigg@gmail.com[/email]
Last edited by firepigg on Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: adding contact info for pictures if anyone would like them

Superchampable
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:00 am

Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:48 am

Thats awesome man!! Cant wait for some comparison clips! Im going to be getting a Ht-1.. hopefully you can get a mod page up for that as well. Got any pics?

RobZ
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:00 am

Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:27 am

2 questions.

When you installed the Mercury Magnetics Output Transformer... how did you secure it to the sheet metal... it looks like you used the one existing screw hole from the original..... but because the new transformer is bigger the 2nd hole extends further than the original 2nd hole....

Did you have to remove the circuit card to drill a hole and then attach a nut/washer underneath to secure the transformer and then reinstall the circuit card...? or did you use something like contact cement to hold that side in place without having to drill...? thus not having to mess with the circuit card...?

The underside of the 12BH7 tube socket where the wires connect is shrink wrapped.... is this a soldered connection or just a push on....?

Same question on SP1 SP2 and SP3.... they're shrink wrapped but in looking at SP5 which is an unused same type connector .... it looks like they might just be pushed on... instead of soldered.....




firepigg
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:00 am

Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:33 am

I removed the PCB, drilled holes and used stainless harware to mount the OT. I hardwired the leads to the tube socket, but installed
clips for all others.

RobZ
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:00 am

Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:00 am

When you removed the circuit board.... there are 4 screws holding it in.... How do you deal with the knobs... ? Do they just pull off or do you have to get in there with a little wrench...?

Do they just pull straight off the pots... in other words once the screws are out and the knobs are off the pots from the front.... the circuit card just lifts out.... no other connections have to be taken apart ... like the guitar input jack etc....

You're right... not easy for tweaking.... to me the removal of the circuit card looks like it opens up a lot of potential problems.... I need to figure out a way to secure the 2nd side of the transformer without removing the card.....

firepigg
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:00 am

Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:02 am

I really dont want to come across as a jerk, but it sounds like you are in way over head. If you are pulling your amp apart and are
stumped at the point where you are at, its only going to get WAY more complicated from there. The transformer I installed is not a "drop-in"
deal. There is high voltage stored in those filter caps! You are looking at either hurting yourself, damaging your amp or both. PLEASE consult with
a reputable amp tech before you move on!

RobZ
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:00 am

Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:37 am

No not at all... you're right... its definitely not worth getting juiced on a $300 amp.


firepigg
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:00 am

Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:23 pm

ImageImage

firepigg
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:00 am

Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:17 pm


Superchampable
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:00 am

Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:13 am

That red taurus tolex, did you paint it?

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