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New owner of a HT Stage 60 (ex Fender HRD!)

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:42 pm
by BigAlUk
Hi, I'm Alan, 30 from Liverpool. Picked my HT Stage 60 up today. Had a quick blast, but will get more of a chance in band practice on Sunday. Can't wait to put it through its paces!

This is a replacement from my previous amp, a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. As a 40w 1x12, it should have technically been loud enough in my band (a 3 piece), but we have a loud, busy drummer and I often found myself struggling to compete and cut through. The overdrive channel of it was crap - loose, flabby, ratty, muddy, buzzy, unfocused. Pick an unpleasant adjective, and it probably applies! Such a shame, because the clean channel was gorgeous - a crystal clear, sparkly, chiming fender clean that began to break up beautifully once you cranked it up.

We play stuff ranging from blues and 60s (Beatles / Stones) through to Led Zep, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, AC/DC etc. The Fender did the first half of that OK, but couldn't do anything passable for anything heavier than Led Zep without sounding awful.

Just as when you leave one relationship, you look for someone without the 'qualities' that did your head in so much, so as I entered the amp market I was very focused on getting a decent overdrive channel, even if that meant sacrificing slightly on the clean. People kept recommending Blackstar for the versatility, quality and tone so I tried one out.

I wanted a vale amp that was a big bigger/louder than my previous 40w 1x12, that had good enough clean tones and great overdrive. I think a 60w 2x12 should give me enough power / move enough air to mean I'll never need to crank it past half way on the master volume - 6 or 7 at the very worst. It'll be nice to be able to cut through with some wriggle room to spare, and without driving the amp so much every gig that it overheats, melts resistors, pops valves and blows speakers mid gig! (all things that happened with the Fender)

I'm also hoping the versatility of the three channels means I'll have a great 'breaking up' clean tone for rythmn on the blues and 60s stuff, a crunchy overdrive on OD1 for the Zeppelin, Deep Purple, AC/DC type stuff and then use OD2 for lead and for the heavier stuff (Sabbath / Metallica etc).

I was looking forward to the additional versatility of the voicing options and ISF, but after an initial blast, I seem to have a strong preference for the classic and 'british' tones. I went for the 'boutique' clean for the warmth and break up, and went for the classic voicing on OD1 with ISF 3/4 to the British side. The modern voicing and american ISF sound harsh to my ears, but will try again at a decent volume on Sunday. I did choose the modern voicing for OD2 though, because it sounds smoother which might be nice for lead breaks.

Nice to meet you all!