HT60s review

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HT60s review

Post by splatter on Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:31 am

I just got my 60 yesterday and spent a good bit of time today playing thorough it and making some adjustments .
Let me say first that I have been playing for 37 years an have had ALOT of gear and some really expensive boutique amps .
I am impressed at the tone that I get from the stock amp,you get alot for the price and IMHO there is nothing that can touch this amp in this price range.That being said there are a couple of things that can be changed that make a night and day difference in the tone of this amp . These changes make the amp sound truly exceptional . The first thing is re-bias the amp . These amps like all mass produced amps come with the bias set cold . I assume manufactures do this to make the tubes last longer ,I really can't see any other reason . Anyway increasing the bias to 70% made the amp really sing like I knew it could . It made the highs come through in the amp and made the amp sound more musical for lack of a better term. Also now pinch harmonics are a since where as before I had a hard time getting the harmonic response I was looking for.The second thing is change the power tubes . And of course you will change the tubes before you bias the amp because after changing the tubes the amp needs rebiasing . I couldn't get a good palm mute tone out of the amp till after I changed the tubes ( I re-biased the amp with the stock tubes first then I went back and changed the tubes and re-biased again because the palm muting was to chunky sounding with the stock tubes).The last thing is change the speaker to a celestion v-30 . This is the least of the 3 IMHO because after the first two the amp sounds great with the stock speaker . However as with any amp changing the speaker can make a big difference in tone . I suggest doing the first 2 and then maybe trying the third . I personally don't know if I'm going to change my speaker because the amp sounds great with either speaker . I have a cab with v-30s in it so it was easy for me to hook it up and compare .
now the disclaimer . these are just my thoughts on the amp,I'm the kind of person that has to tinker with things . I have a custom shop les paul axcess and the only thing stock on it is the floyd and the tuners so if your happy with the sound of yours blackstar then by all means leave it stock . Also if you don't know how to bias an amp take it to a pro .there are voltages present that can kill you even when the amp is unplugged .Not to mention that you can really screw up your amp .

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Re: HT60s review

Post by Hendog on Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:10 pm

So, what kind of tubes???

Thanks for the bias tip.



IMO, the v30 is not the speaker for this amp. Just as the op noticed, I don't hear a better tone using my v30 for cleans or dirt.


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Re: HT60s review

Post by splatter on Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:25 pm

Hendog wrote:So, what kind of tubes???

Thanks for the bias tip.



IMO, the v30 is not the speaker for this amp. Just as the op noticed, I don't hear a better tone using my v30 for cleans or dirt.

I used some GTel34m's that I had laying around . Not my favorite tubes but they were an improvement over the stock tubes . I will eventually pick up some JJ's and put in it .

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Re: HT60s review

Post by Alfonse on Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:44 pm

Attention:

There is an error in the Stage HT-60 Manual. The prose says to plug your combo speakers into the 1x16 Ohm input. This is contradicted by the chart which says to plug the existing speakers (2-Celestion 70/80's) in my case, into the 1 X 8 Ohm jack. Tom at Blackstar CS says the chart is correct. So if you wish to avoid damaging the amp, use the 1 X 6 Ohm input. Unless, these things come with different speaker in it. Then you should contact Blackstar Customer Service.
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Re: HT60s review

Post by RockinRobbie on Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:55 pm

Splatter - good tip on getting the tubes swapped and rebiasing, and only then swapping speakers. I went at it the other way and made these changes:

1) Swapped the Celestion 70/80s with worn-in Celestion G12Hs.
2) Rewired the cabinet so the two 8ohm G12Hs run as one 16ohm speaker load. This provided much more flexibility when using the amp with other cabinets.
3) I stack the Stage 60 combo on a 2x12 closed back cab with Vintage30s. The combination of the G12H and Vintage30s is great. At stage volume you find guitar heaven. It's like playing through a half stack with the option of using the combo amp alone when that makes sense.

Misc: I also removed the lame plastic wheel connectors, drilled larger holes, and installed Ernie Ball removable wheels - which allows you to roll the amp and then pull the wheels when you need to stack it on an extension cabinet.

I've got to do the tube swap thing, but right now the amp sounds SWEET, I love the sound and the people who hear the amp, and my bandmates love it. My keyboardist said, "I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think you should turn it up". When does that ever happen!

Here's the deal with Blackstar: fantastic amp, great controls, fun to play, well built electronically, but there are little things they had to do to keep them at the desired price point: plastic wheel holes, thin metal corners, simple routed side handles instead of plastic or metal covered. Things like that. The engineers put the money into the guts of the amp, knobs and pots, components, and focused on performance. Some of the little side things were skimped on. I may end up pulling off the cheap corners and screwing down some old honking chrome covers I pulled off an old cabinet!

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Re: HT60s review

Post by MusashiChan on Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:13 pm

Very nice topic, thanks !!!

Speakers are always on of the easiest way to improve stock amps. I always choose the right speaker when i'm buying a new amp. G12H is not the best in closed cabinet, G12M is better for this i think. Vintage 30 too of course.

Anyway at stage levels, the sound is almost always better with a better speaker, Webber is on of the better source for the good sound at a good price http://www.tedweber.com/ ; you know this i'm sure.

For tubes, it's also an evidence on tube amps. On the Artisan i had, stock tubes were very nice and very well chosen ; i tried other ones i always have and you can modulate you tone even at home volume (specially with preamp tubes).

You can notice that only power tube change need the amp to be rebiased ; so it's a very good idea to try first new preamp tubes, this will affect the sound a lot and it's very easy. Power amp tubes only make a huge difference at a good volume, not at home (but i know, how want the 60W to be his home amp :p !).

Thanks for your advice !!!

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Re: HT60s review

Post by kurtdaniel on Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:30 pm

I have the Stage 60 and it's great, but the stock speaker can be a problem depending on the style.

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