Blackstar HT-20 vs HT-50 Home & Live

General Discussion Forum - Voice The Sound In Your Head
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Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:00 am

Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:29 am

Hey guys, i play in a Groove/Thrash metal band and i'm getting a blackstar head to use both live and at home.

The Cab is a 2x12 Harley Benton with Celestion Vintage 30's, decent built and sounding cab at a ridiculously low price. The guitar is a epi lp std with a JB4, so the gain blackstar has will do just fine (i'll boost it too).

I need it to do mostly small/medium gigs, and maybe a bigger outdoor gig, in a rare ocasion, and if that happens i'd get a 4x12.

But most of the time i'll be using it at bedroom levels, because i pratice everyday and NEED a tube amp at home. I played the ht-5 and i think it sounds wonderful at home levels. Amazing amp.

A) Does the HT-50 sound as good as the HT-20 on bedroom levels?

B) Is the HT-20 enough to play live unmiced, on medium stages for some 200 people?

i'd get the HT-20 if it manages bedroom levels alright, and is enough for medium stages unmiced, but i'd get the ht-50 if it sounds the same at home as the ht-20, and garantee me that it'd do festival gigs too

I'm not looking for the extra gain at home, i just want to avoid a fizzy and closed, bassy sound. I played a Bugera 6262 at bedroom levels and it was AWFUL. It was A LOT bassy (cudn't dial it off) and muddy loose low end fizz!

ps: i dont care about headroom as i never play cleans live LOL.

I don't have the chance to try the ht-50 in person, only the ht-20.

I was hoping to hear some opinions, thanks!

El Johnno
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:00 am
Location: Derby England

Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:38 pm

Hey there I know if it were me I'd go for the 50 if was playing un mic'd, I did have a stage 60 for a while and that thing sounded awesome at home levels and kept up nicely with the band I was playing with. I haven't had a chance to play through a 20 yet but a mate of mine had a 40 watter for this band I play drums in and it just couldn't keep up with an un mic'd gig, he now has a 50 and (as much its only 10 watts difference) it now keeps up brilliantly.
The 50 should sound awesome at home levels and will certainly stand up to a full band playing, especially if your playing in a thrash band. Of course if the budget allows have a think about the HT-100 head, again should sound perfectly fine at bedrom levels and will more than stand up to a band.
Tha final solution could even be the stage 60 and run it with your current speaker cab? :twisted:

Hope that helps a little Image

Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:00 am
Location: Dartmoor, England

Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:01 pm

One of the reasons I bought my HT20 head was that the HTs sound very good at "home" volume IMO, and I wanted a single amp to use at home and with the band. The 20 is loud enough for me in the 3-piece band (mostly quite punky style), but I do sometimes run it pretty near flat-out. I think all the HTs sound good at low volume, so like El Johnno said, if you're a loud band and the price isn't a problem then a bigger amp than the 20 might be useful if you're planning on doing venues bigger than pub size without a PA.

Power vs percieved volume is a logarythmic relationship, so you need ten times the power to sound twice as loud. So to be MUCH louder than a 20 you'd possibly be better off looking at least at the 60 or even 100W.

But the 20's hardly quiet!

Speakers make quite a difference as well - V30s sound loud for a given power compared with some other speakers.

HT20 head, Orange PPC212OB with V30s.
1980s Hondo HL5 archtop, 2008 Hagstrom Select Ultra Swede (Lespaulalike)
MXR Carbon Copy, Marshall SV-1 chorus, Boss V-Wah, Boss FBM-1

Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:00 am

Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:14 pm

I bought the Club 50 half-stack, and for home use I can get it to sound fine by my tastes. I play mostly classic/hard rock, so I'm looking for both warm cleans and clear distortions, not as much metal crunch as you seem to play. However, I think the tones I achieve with the Club 50 at room/house volume are very good. I will say that it can get plenty loud if I want, too.

I also have a HT-5R combo for practice and easier hauling.


Posts: 113
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:00 am
Location: Norfolk VA

Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:54 pm

i have the HT20 combo. With the stock speaker it struggled a little bit at stage volume (4 piece band, pretty loud drummer, hard rock/metal). Actually it was loud enough but the tone suffered pushing it so hard. Once i got a decent speaker in it, it keeps up easily with headroom to spare. I run the volume about halfway on both pre & master and i'm good, no micing.

that being said, i would still get the 50, since these amps do well at low volumes anyway. If you have another guitarist with a full stack or an obnoxious bassist, its always nice to have that extra power.

Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:00 am

Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:10 pm

You guys pretty much decided me into getting an HT-50 :)

Unfortunatly, i can only afford it in a few months, but hey, i need to start planning what i want :)

After i sell all my useless musical equipment and earn some maybe giving some classes to beginners, i can have a really beastly head :)

Thanks for the suggestions, wans't expecting such fast replies too!

Wish you all the best :)

Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:00 am
Location: Brisbane

Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:56 am

NateCordova, you wont be dissappointed with the HT-50 head.I took delivery of one last Saturday,awesome amp.

Has increditable tones at low volumes,either by cranking the channel volume and backing off the master or visa versa.There many tones available from this amp without a pedal.No buzzing or background noise when operating which is pleasant change from a lot of other tube amps.

Go with the HT-50 over the HT-20 also for the additional voicing on the clean and overdrive the additional volume grunt.


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