Blackstar’s HT Venue Series was designed to combine the best elements of their two flagship lines: the clean tones of the Artisan series, and the modern high-gain sound of the Series One. A redesign in 2016 delivered some user-requested features, and the company have now announced the third iteration of the range, the HT Venue MK III Series, offering improved specifications along with the inclusion of the company’s renowned CabRig modelling technology.
Channels & FX
The new range comprises three combos, two heads and four cabinets. The core functionality of the previous models remains, with the two-channel design offering a variety of tonal options. As well as the contrasting sound between the Clean and Overdrive sections, each channel also offers distinctly different tonal options thanks to a Voice switch that introduces circuit alterations in the preamp and power amp stages. The Overdrive channel also boasts the company’s ISF (Infinite Shape Feature), which allows users to blend between US- and UK-influenced tones.
Effects have been improved, too, with the MK III gaining a new onboard digital reverb with Light and Dark modes, as well as a selection of adjustable parameters that can be edited using the company’s free Architect software. All of the new models also sport a premium finish made from high-quality materials that usually only make an appearance on more expensive boutique offerings.
A key feature of the updated series is the inclusion of the CabRig DSP technology originally introduced in Blackstar’s St. James and AMPED products. All of the HT Venue offerings are now equipped with built-in cabinet, microphone and room simulation as standard, with users able to save three presets of their favourite settings and access them directly from the amp itself.
The simulated output is available on XLR and quarter-inch TRS connectors, offering connectivity with PA systems, monitors or headphones, and a USB-C port offers four channels of audio (dry signal, preamp out and stereo emulated out) to be routed to a computer for convenient recording. It is also possible to switch the amps into standby mode and utilise the emulated output for silent recording or stage use.
Pricing & Availability
The HT Venue MK III Series are available to order now, with pricing as follows:
- HT Club 40 MK III: $999.99£899 including VAT
- HT Stage 60 112 MK III: $1099.99£999 including VAT
- HT Stage 60 212 MK III: $1199.99£1149 including VAT
- HT Club 50 MK III: $849.99£825 including VAT
- HT Stage 100 MK III: $999.99£999 including VAT
- HTV-112 Cabinet: $419.99£269 including VAT
- HTV-212 Cabinet: $529.99£349 including VAT
- HTV-412A Cabinet: $829.99£599 including VAT
- HTV-412B Cabinet: $829.99£599 including VAT