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Re: More volume from blackstar HT5

Postby ef37a » Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:16 pm

maccagakka wrote:I appreciate your input Dave, you clearly have expertise in these matters.

I'm not sure of the amps provenance. It was a gift bought from cash converters. What were the factory mods (more volume? :D ) and is there any way I can tell if they've already been done?

I'm not shy about poking around in amps. I'm an electrician and I've replaced and biased the power valve myself. Think it was was at 440V across tube and 56mA across R29 but this was about a year ago so don't take me to task if those details are wrong off the top of my head lol, I'm just letting you know I'm aware of safety factors in amps and happy with a multimeter if that will help me find out if the factory mods have been done

Glenn

Glenn, PM me.
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Re: More volume from blackstar HT5

Postby DC-Choppah » Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:00 pm

HT5. Isn't that a 'practice amp'?
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Re: More volume from blackstar HT5

Postby ef37a » Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:06 pm

DC-Choppah wrote:HT5. Isn't that a 'practice amp'?

CHEEky Choppah! Well yes, some might think it so but, "practice amps" are generally low power, single ended and VERY basic. Top cut tone pot IF yer lucky.

The five is a two channel amp (Mkll has verb) with comprehensive BMT tone and the patented ISF. The push pull, fixed biased output stage is a 'big amp' in tone just kind to windows. FX loop at pro and neg ten levels and a speaker emulated headphone come line out.
As well as having all these function that you would find on a 'proper' 50 watter the design has probably the best signal to noise ratio of any guitar amp on the planet and is thus a gift for studios.
Oh and you CAN gig with one if you have a homo sapiens for a drummer!

Dave.
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Re: More volume from blackstar HT5

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:38 am

I have gigged with a 5 watt combo, not even miked and it was a rock band too! It was my first Band On The Beach gig and power was at a premium. Minimal, vocals only PA, the Epiphone Valve Junior (not even the luxury of a tone control of any flavour and an 8" speaker) and I can't remember what bass amp... We weren't loud but we entertained around 400 people :D
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Re: More volume from blackstar HT5

Postby zenguitar » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:32 am

ef37a wrote:
maccagakka wrote:I appreciate your input Dave, you clearly have expertise in these matters...

Glenn, PM me.

Trust me, he has more expertise than you could ever imagine. Take up his generous offer.

Andy :beamup:
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Re: More volume from blackstar HT5

Postby CS70 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:13 am

ef37a wrote:
DC-Choppah wrote:HT5. Isn't that a 'practice amp'?

CHEEky Choppah! Well yes, some might think it so but, "practice amps" are generally low power, single ended and VERY basic. Top cut tone pot IF yer lucky.

The five is a two channel amp (Mkll has verb) with comprehensive BMT tone and the patented ISF. The push pull, fixed biased output stage is a 'big amp' in tone just kind to windows. FX loop at pro and neg ten levels and a speaker emulated headphone come line out.
As well as having all these function that you would find on a 'proper' 50 watter the design has probably the best signal to noise ratio of any guitar amp on the planet and is thus a gift for studios.
Oh and you CAN gig with one if you have a homo sapiens for a drummer!

Dave.

+1

I did try it several times and I'm actually thinking of getting one second hand. It's a wonderful little amp, and very versatile at that.

About practice amps.. I remember my first ever amp, a 10W solid state Yamaha Budokan, with (I guess) a 8" speaker, that I bought new. Now that was a crappy one! Or probably, I had no idea on how to use it. :) But I was 14 or 15 and I had no clue.. I still remember the excitement of bringing it home from the shop, unpackaging it, the smell of the rubber and tolex and of course the horrible distortion sound.

How luckier are the kids who started on a HT5!
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Re: More volume from blackstar HT5

Postby ef37a » Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:30 am

B's do do a sort of practice amp in the HT-1. Two valves again and push pull again but cathode biasing this time as I think Cliff, the design engineer found it gave the best sound.

One watt might seem totally FA use but is in fact easily loud enough to wake the chavvy in the next room. After all, 1W will produce well over 90dB SPL from most guitar speakers and that is louder than most FSTellys can go!

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Re: More volume from blackstar HT5

Postby maccagakka » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:18 am

zenguitar wrote:
ef37a wrote:
maccagakka wrote:I appreciate your input Dave, you clearly have expertise in these matters...

Glenn, PM me.

Trust me, he has more expertise than you could ever imagine. Take up his generous offer.

Andy :beamup:

I just searched round the interpipes for the original guide i used to bias power tube about a year ago, and it was on this forum and written by Dave! So his credibility is sky high as far as I'm concerned :thumbup:

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Re: More volume from blackstar HT5

Postby maccagakka » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:24 am

"How luckier are the kids who started on a HT5!"

Quite. Since getting this amp i play more, enjoy it more, and sound better! I wish I'd had one sooner and am blackstar for life now. If I ever get another amp it will just be a bigger blackstar ♥️ and i recommend them to everyone.

Glenn
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Re: More volume from blackstar HT5

Postby ef37a » Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:11 am

maccagakka wrote:"How luckier are the kids who started on a HT5!"

Quite. Since getting this amp i play more, enjoy it more, and sound better! I wish I'd had one sooner and am blackstar for life now. If I ever get another amp it will just be a bigger blackstar ♥️ and i recommend them to everyone.

Glenn

That is very nice to hear Glenn. Blackstar have not been without their critics in the guitar amp world! Some unfortunate marketing phasing (from non-technical people) caused some die hards to raised objections, especially in the first few years but they have weathered that and couple of recessions and seem to be doing fine.

They never claimed I don't think to build "The best guitar amps in the world" but delivered a very versatile product (even there some say "nay" YCPAOTPAOTT!) but what impressed me and is hidden to the public, is the lengths they go to make as bomb proof a product as technology and the market allows. This shows (to a tech) in such things as RFI filters and protected inputs using diodes or zeners. The fact that valves will fail is recognized and power valves can take a lot of stuff with them if allowed to. Over engineering certain parts of circuits or putting in protective diodes can limit such damage but such measures add inevitably to basic cost compared to a 'bare bones' construction.

A fair bit of my time there was involved in trying to destroy the amps in controlled but still darstadly ways!

Dave.
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Re: More volume from blackstar HT5

Postby Matt Houghton » Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:44 am

It's a while since I played/rehearsed in bands as a guitarist. But one thing I don't think has been asked is whether the rest of the band think you're too quiet. If so, where is the amp, and where is it pointing. Either pointing it up towards your ears, or raising it up on a stool/table to nearer ear level can help your own monitoring a lot. Whereas if it's on the floor of a tiny rehearsal space, and firing through your legs at the bassist, you're on a hiding to nothing...

Other than that, yeah, the drummer needs to rein it in a bit. Tricky conversation but necessary.

Actually some of my bands' (typical rock setup... drums, bass, guitars, vox, a little keys/synth) best rehearsals started with everything 'unplugged'. Electric guitars and bass but not plugged in, the drummer just tapping boxes/tables, keyboardist humming/singing synth melodies etc. We all listened to the groove, the vocal etc. and learned what everyone else was actually playing. Then, after 10-15 minutes, we'd break out the big guns and instantly know what the balance should be, and (usually/hopefully) it all sounded great.

Of course, if the amp just isn't loud enough, none of the above is going to help...
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Re: More volume from blackstar HT5

Postby maccagakka » Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:58 pm

Dave, i was given this amp as a gift and had no preconceptions. Plugged it in and couldn't wipe the grin off my face :D for hours. Since read all the reviews and while some people see it for the gem it is, some find no use for it or find obtuse ways to criticise it technically. None of which matters - whether it's hybrid, valve, diode distortion, complicated to repair - all b****x to me mate, it just sings. I've played with a few small valve(ish) combos and low watt heads and it's better than them, and doesn't have the limitations they have.

Matt, I've had since chat with drummer and it's all cool. between that, playing with cab placement, and adding an extra gain stage into the amp and/or a 4x12 i reckon we've got practise and small gigs (when they are a thing again) covered. You make very good point about quiet practise, the intimacy is a superb way to bond as musicians

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Re: More volume from blackstar HT5

Postby maccagakka » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:14 pm

Dave, I'd be quite interested to hear some of the things you did to try and destroy a ht5 if you'd be willing to share on the forum?

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Re: More volume from blackstar HT5

Postby ef37a » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:28 am

maccagakka wrote:Dave, I'd be quite interested to hear some of the things you did to try and destroy a ht5 if you'd be willing to share on the forum?

Glenn

Well there were several tests done on amps which stressed them. One was a transformer heat rise test where the unit was left running at full power at mains voltage +10% into either a resistive or inductive load for 4 hours and then the transformer core temperature checked (by an indirect method) That was pretty brutal.

Then there was a 'to failure' test. A rig ran the amp at 1/2 rated power on 5mins,off 5mins, on di da, until something broke. Only ever a valve or a fuse or one than tother. Even these failures took many hours to show.

Guitar amplifiers WILL be abused. I don't think all manufacturers have grasped that fact over the years!

Should add...B's specifications are for a device powered at 'nominal' mains voltage, 230V rms here. Most of us get 240V+ so the wee Five usually gives a bit more than five watts.

Dave.
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Re: More volume from blackstar HT5

Postby CS70 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:07 pm

Matt Houghton wrote:We all listened to the groove, the vocal etc. and learned what everyone else was actually playing. Then, after 10-15 minutes, we'd break out the big guns and instantly know what the balance should be, and (usually/hopefully) it all sounded great.

That sounds so civilized! U sure it was rock'n'roll? :D :D :D
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