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Blackstar HT Club 40, 40W guitar amplifier combo

Blackstar HT Club 40, 40W guitar amplifier combo

Regular price €599,00 EUR
Regular price €799,00 EUR Sale price €599,00 EUR
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The competitively priced Blackstar HT Club 40 is well built and packs enough tonal versatility to be used in a wide variety of situations.

Founded by a group of former Marshall amplifier designers, Blackstar Amplification has attracted quite a bit of attention in the company's relatively short existence. With a team of experienced amplifier designers running the company, you would naturally expect solid performance. Blackstar amplifiers are designed in Britain and built in Korea to the company's exacting specifications. The HT Club 40 is an affordable two-channel 1×12″ combo that focuses on the sound rather than a whole host of additional (and probably unnecessary) features. Is it a valuable contender in an already crowded field? Let's take a look and see.

The Blackstar HT Club 40 is a 40-watt tube combo, powered by 2 ECC83 (12AX7) preamp tubes and 2 EL34 power amp tubes. A 12″ Celestion speaker is standard. The Clean channel features independent volume and tone controls, as well as a voice switch that selects 'boutique' or 'modern' settings. The Overdrive channel features individual controls for gain and volume, in addition to its own voice switch that lets you choose from a more classic overdrive to a more modern, mid-biased drive. Channel 2 EQ controls are bass, mid and treble.

Unique to the Blackstar is a patent-pending ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) control that allows you to assign a more American or British sound to the amplifier or a combination thereof. A digital reverb is included, as well as a reverb voicing switch (warm/dark or bright). The feature set is completed by a switchable effects loop, compensated output and a two-way footswitch.

Of course, this is a two-channel amp, and any amp designed by former Marshall R&D guys has high expectations. To sum it up succinctly: the distortion tones of the HT Club 40 are everything you would want in a small combo amp. The amp can easily deliver some of the best Marshall and Mesa/Boogie overdrive sounds you've ever heard, and the tone controls are extremely versatile.

Channel Two's ISF control lets you switch between British and American sounds or mix the two if you wish. In practice, I found the ISF control best suited for finding the perfect sweet spot in a busy mix. The tonal variation in the lead channel is truly astonishing and one of the most versatile yet easy-to-use overdrive channels you will ever encounter. It sounded equally good with humbuckers and single coils. The amplifier was also exceptionally quiet considering the amount of gain available.

If you're wondering whether a Korean-made amp can compete with the big boys, don't worry. The Blackstar HT Club 40 is well built and contains enough tonal versatility to be used in a wide variety of situations. It is also very reasonably priced considering the amount of features it includes. In short: it's a winner.

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