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Product 423766

Blackstar Venue Series HT Studio 20 20W Tube Guitar Combo Amp   

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The HT Studio 20 combo from the Venue series is the big brother of Blackstar's critically acclaimed HT-5, and offers huge versatility for home, rehea...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Authentic cleans and super high-gain overdrives are combined in this innovative, versatile, and portable tube combo.

The HT Studio 20 combo from the Venue series is the big brother of Blackstar's critically acclaimed HT-5, and offers huge versatility for home, rehearsal or studio use. Coupled with a cathode-biased EL34 power amp, the carefully voiced preamp provides the user with the ability to create wonderfully lush tube tones through the 12" Celestion speaker.

The Clean Channel on the Blackstar tube amp provides a wide range of clean and moderately overdriven tones. The voicing is typical of many 'boutique' style amplifiers with a ringing Class A type performance. The overall character may be adjusted with the Tone control from dark and warm through to bright and sparkling.

The HT Studio 20 Overdrive Channel is characterized by a tone that's high in gain, but lacks any of the detached top-end 'fizz' often found in many similar designs. This is a result of unique preamplifier and power amplifier shaping techniques. The overdrive cleans up beautifully as the guitar volume is reduced, so even at the most extreme settings, the Overdrive Channel remains natural sounding.

The HT Studio 20 Overdrive Channel also has its own highly flexible EQ section providing a variety of overdriven tones. Blackstar's ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) control represents a major step forward in tone-shaping flexibility. The ISF control shifts the response of the three-control tone stack between a U.S.-type response at one end, and at the other a U.K.-type response. Between these two extremes lies an infinite number of alternative tone choices that would be otherwise unavailable.

The HT Studio 20's two-channel design has been optimized for either preamp or power amp overdrive, or a combination of both. The carefully voiced preamp and cathode-biased dual EL34 power amp configuration provides the user with the ability to create wonderfully lush tube tones. From mild overdrive, that cleans up by backing off the guitar volume control, to highly saturated distortion, this amp does it all.

The HT Studio 20 also features a completely natural sounding digital reverb, which is outstandingly musical on both clean and crunch tones and raises the benchmark for guitar amplifier specific reverb design.

FEATURES
  • 20 Watt tube combo
  • 2xECC83, 2xEL34
  • Two footswitchable channels
  • 12" Celestion speaker
  • Enhanced tone controls
  • Patent-Applied-For Infinite Shape Feature (ISF)
  • Master volume
  • Digital reverb
  • Speaker emulated output
  • Effects loop
  • One-way footswitch included
  • Cool vintage styling
SPECIFICATIONS

Venue Series HT Studio 20 20W Tube Guitar Combo Amp

  • Power (RMS): 20 Watts
    Tubes: 2 x ECC83, 2 x EL34
    Weight: 45 lb.
    Dimensions: 22-3/5" x 20-4/5 x 11-1/2"
    Footswitch: FS-4 included
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
BlackstarVenue Series HT Studio 20 20W Tube Guitar Combo Amp
 
4.3

(based on 23 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (16)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

75%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (11)
  • Excellent sound (10)
  • Good power output (8)
  • Portable (8)
  • Warm / comfy (8)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Home studio (7)
  • Amateur recording (6)
  • Performances (6)
  • Professional recording (5)
  • Outdoor events / games (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (12)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

If your a hobbyist or an active musician, buy this amp.

I bought this amp honestly expecting to be somewhat dissapointed. I had never heard of Blackstar until a few weeks ago, and after looking up several Youtube videos on their amps I decided to...Read complete review

I bought this amp honestly expecting to be somewhat dissapointed. I had never heard of Blackstar until a few weeks ago, and after looking up several Youtube videos on their amps I decided to take the leap of faith and buy myself one. I can say with 100% honesty that I am not dissapointed whatsoever. It's pretty safe to say that I've turned my entire band into Blackstar fans, seeing as to how now the rhythm guitarist and even my bassist wants one.

One thing I would recommend if you buy this amp, is to either already have a decent pedal board or to save up and buy a good pedal board (but this goes for all tube amps). This amp sounds phenominal with a Crybaby Wah pedal or a Plimsoul being pushed through it.

If you are a gigging musician or a flat out hobbyist, you need to buy this amp. Blues, Rock, Modern metal, old metal, this amp has it all.
Pretty standard set up. It has Bass, Mid, Treble and the very interesting ISF knob. To the untrained ear, the ISF is virtually pointless, but to a trained ear it has the potential to be one of the best things this amp has to offer. I can get this amp to sound just about any way I want it to. You can get that gritty early Metallica sound, to Iron Maiden, to AC/DC. You name it, you can get THAT sound, with a little bit of altering the EQ of course.
I havn't tried it obviously, but I'd say you could probably drop this amp off a two story building and it would still remain intact. It's built like a tank. Although, It would probably be easy to scratch but if you baby it like I do, you shouldnt have a problem.
For the price you can't find a more versatile and great sounding amp. Period.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Perfectly Pedestrian

The clean channel has a gain and a tone control. I found that it sounds fine with humbuckers, but I could not find a sweet spot with any of my single coil-equipped guitars....Read complete review

The clean channel has a gain and a tone control. I found that it sounds fine with humbuckers, but I could not find a sweet spot with any of my single coil-equipped guitars. The sound lacked definition and pop, and tended towards muddy or shrill, with little in-between. This channel did not take to high-gain OD/distortion pedals well, as it has insufficient bass response and the pedals I tried caused significant breakup from the speaker and possibly the amp itself.

The overdrive channel has treble, mids, base and ISF controls. So, it's possible to tweak your sound much more. While this channel sounded better than the clean and there a plenty of usable tones with humbuckers, I again found playing with single coils to be disappointing.

The amp comes with a Celestion Rocket speaker. I've never changed (or had the desire to) an amp speaker in over 20 years of playing, but I tried using it with a Celestion Vintage 30, and it significantly improved the sound.

For the money, this isn't a bad amp. It is certainly fine for gigging (as long as you're mic'd up) and rehearsals. It's also pretty light and looks great. Though there are certainly other options you should seriously consider before committing to this one.

I returned the amp.

Reviewed by 23 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(11 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

If your a hobbyist or an active musician, buy this amp.

By Carl Hale

from Kentucky

See all my reviews

Comments about Blackstar Venue Series HT Studio 20 20W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

I bought this amp honestly expecting to be somewhat dissapointed. I had never heard of Blackstar until a few weeks ago, and after looking up several Youtube videos on their amps I decided to take the leap of faith and buy myself one. I can say with 100% honesty that I am not dissapointed whatsoever. It's pretty safe to say that I've turned my entire band into Blackstar fans, seeing as to how now the rhythm guitarist and even my bassist wants one.

One thing I would recommend if you buy this amp, is to either already have a decent pedal board or to save up and buy a good pedal board (but this goes for all tube amps). This amp sounds phenominal with a Crybaby Wah pedal or a Plimsoul being pushed through it.

If you are a gigging musician or a flat out hobbyist, you need to buy this amp. Blues, Rock, Modern metal, old metal, this amp has it all.
Pretty standard set up. It has Bass, Mid, Treble and the very interesting ISF knob. To the untrained ear, the ISF is virtually pointless, but to a trained ear it has the potential to be one of the best things this amp has to offer. I can get this amp to sound just about any way I want it to. You can get that gritty early Metallica sound, to Iron Maiden, to AC/DC. You name it, you can get THAT sound, with a little bit of altering the EQ of course.
I havn't tried it obviously, but I'd say you could probably drop this amp off a two story building and it would still remain intact. It's built like a tank. Although, It would probably be easy to scratch but if you baby it like I do, you shouldnt have a problem.
For the price you can't find a more versatile and great sounding amp. Period.

(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Fantastic tones at low volumes; can get loud as well!!!

By BryanS

from Planet Earth

See all my reviews

Comments about Blackstar Venue Series HT Studio 20 20W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

Amazing amp, can't say enough good things about Blackstar!
The reason I purchased this amp was for the gain channel... simply amazing. At low volumes, you can still dial in some serious gain. The ISF feature is pretty cool, going from the bass-y scooped mids American tone, to the mid-rangey British tone. This is a seriously versatile amp!! Oh yeah, there is a clean channel too, which sounds OK, but I didn't buy this amp for it's clean channel.
So far so good, no issues, works like a champ and seems to be very well constructed.
I have a feeling that more and more people are going to start looking at Blackstar amps, they are a great deal at under $600. 2 channels, footswitchable, digital reverb (non-footswitchable), ISF, External Speaker out, 12" Celestion... this is a fantastic deal if you are looking for something that can be played at low volumes/high gain, or something you can turn up and crank.

(8 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Best amp for the money...HANDS DOWN!!!

By Caleb Hardister

from THE Opolis, Kansas

See all my reviews

Comments about Blackstar Venue Series HT Studio 20 20W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

This amp is phenomenal. If you are looking for high gain and crystal cleans then you have reached your destination. The only reason I would ever get rid of this amp is to get a bigger Blackstar. They are an amazing company that is doing some amazing things in amplification technology. Get one before they realize how good they actually are and raise their prices!
I really dont like a lot of the bells and whistles that come on a lot of these amps nowadays and this one is just right! It has good reverb, the ISF feature (which really does give the amp an entirely different sound depending on where you set it. It's not just a worthless feature used to jack up the price), and a very, very helpful master volume knob. I can honestly get the exact sound I want out of this amp without a problem. The emulated out is a great asset to the amp as well for headphones or just plugging straight into the system. The rear panel has an effects loop which is nice and a couple different speaker outputs for external cabs and what not. I haven't really used them though but I imagine they are great too. This amp has just the right amount of extras without over doing it!
First off, this thing is much heavier than it first appears, so I am pretty sure that it could stand a good deal of abuse (I wouldnt know since I baby mine haha). The only thing even close to being not perfect is that it seems like it would scuff pretty easily. Mine has a couple marks on it and like I said, I treat mine with the utmost care. Other than that, it is a very solid amp...literally
I am a college student, so anything that requires me to spend money is not something that I usually like. However, this was definitely worth every penny I spent. Not a day goes by where this thing doesnt see an hour or two of play. I simply just cannot get enough of it. No other amp out there for this price will sound this, I guarantee you. I still cannot believe that it wasn't any more than what it was. If finances aren't an issue and you are considering this amp...stop considering and just buy it.

(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Pretty much the best

By Caleb Hardister

from THE Opolis, Kansas

See all my reviews

Comments about Blackstar Venue Series HT Studio 20 20W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

I wanted this amp quite a while back but I never buy anything that I cannot play first. And since none of the local music shops carried them I never bought one. So I end up buying a used Crate V33 off of craigslist. It wasnt a two months later that one of the stores started to carry Blackstar products. I was a bit peeved to say the least. So I said what the hay and plugged into one of them. Within about 30 seconds I was sold. I love high gain and this amp has exactly that. Plus the cleans are amazing as well. I have heard some people (who have obviously never played a Blackstar) say that the ISF feature was just a useless knob to jack up the price. All I can say about that is WRONG!!! It is pretty much a tone knob on steroids. I favor the American side but the British side is very good as well. It also has an emulated output that you can plug headphones into or just plug directly into the system. It also has a master volume knob which to me is the most useful knob on the amp. This way you can get each individual channel volume set and then not worry about screwing up the balance between the two if the volume needs adjusted. All in all, if you are into high gain, amazing cleans, or just simply awesome amps then this is the one for you. You will not find a better amp for the price out there and that includes all of the ht models. The Blackstar HT20 rocks...nuff said.

(7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Amp

By You dont need to know my name

from Atlanta, GA

See all my reviews

Comments about Blackstar Venue Series HT Studio 20 20W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

Awesome amp. Great High gain very focused and great low end. Buy it, Now.
I didnt want an amp with a bunch of bad effects built in, I want to use my own pedals, so this amp is perfect. I was looking for a high gain drive channel and a cristal clean channel. This amp covers it perfectly, and the controlls are very simple. Allthough they are simple their are enough of them to get any sound you want (Blackstars slogan "The Sound in Your Head" isnt a lie) I love the ISF controll and the reverb is great. Effects loop-Check, Footswitch-Check, Speaker Outs-Check. Only Complaint here is the reverb isnt footswitchable, but thats not a big deal. It Sounds awesome but a BBE sonic maximizer in the loop and its beyond awesome.
Perfect build, Couldnt Find any problems at all. Do I need to say more?
Great deal. All tube british amplifier. Couldnt be happier with an amp this price.

(6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Thank you Blackstar

By McGurk

from Oregon

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Good Warmth
  • Portable
  • Powerful

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Blackstar Venue Series HT Studio 20 20W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

      This thing rocks. I have never been more happy with an amp purchase. The clean is WAY more than I was expecting. I read reviews saying this amp has great overdrive but is lacking in the clean department. I disagree. I've owned a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe for comparison. While the Deluxe has a better overall clean channel, I would trade it in for this amp any day (if I had the option I would trade it in for a Blackstar HT 60 Soloist, but let's put dreaming aside).

      The drive is pretty high gain, but that does not mean it "only does heavy" overdrive. I normally have it at 9:00-10:00 which is plenty for me. If you desire heavier, more saturated overdrive then you've got plenty of room left on the dial to use.

      The dials are fantastic in that they are very gradual in their changes. Often times an amp going from 0 - 1.5 will see little change (in volume, drive, tone..) and then at 2 BOOM there it is. This amps dials are nice in that you won't find yourself struggling to move it back and forth a half a millimeter to get the right level.

      The ISF is nice. I lean towards the British sounds, but if I'm feeling some American high gain, I can turn the knob. This amp really gives you the ability to choose the sound of your overdrive which I like. Some people may ignore this feature, but remember: when you choose an amp with a drive channel, chances are its going to have just one sound with varying levels of drive. This lets you choose the tone you want. I don't want to overstate the ISF functions capabilities, but I definitely appreciate the feature.

      This thing's pretty loud. I was impressed in that department.

      Visually, looks great.

      If I could choose two features to add to it they would be:
      1. More control over clean sound; and
      2. A standby switch. Probably not a big deal, but would be nice.

      Happy customer right here.

      (6 of 34 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Not For Me

      By VG

      from The ATL

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Blackstar Venue Series HT Studio 20 20W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

      Like I said, if you're a Fender guy (or girl), you like nice cleans or clear, articulate overdriven sounds, stay away. I imagine it's good for people who like Marshall sounds. That's what I equate it with.
      I bought this amp with the highest of hopes. The ability to switch from an American to a British sound and points in-between? Wow! The answer to my prayers, or so I thought. I took it to my buddy's house (also a tone junkie), gently pulled it out of the box and plugged it in. Looked beautiful, like a boutique amp. Let it warm up and started playing. 4 hours we sat there trying to get decent sounds out of it before I put it back in the box. This amp is so underwhelming, it's ridiculous. Bland is more like it. I'm a Fender player who likes Fender amps, but I also appreciate the heck out of the Vox sound. This amp has a sound of its own, but it isn't a good one. No sparkle, no presence, nothing.
      It is very solid and heavy. It looks like a million bucks.
      If this sound is what you're looking for, it's the best value in the world for a 20 watt tube amp. I just don't know what that sound is.

      (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      An Amazing Amp!

      By simtde

      from Texas

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Blackstar Venue Series HT Studio 20 20W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

      When I went shopping for a new amp I was initially interested in the Ht5, but after 10 minutes with this thing I was sold! Full dual channel, 8 & 16ohm outs, speaker emulated recording direct out, effects loop, on board digital reverb, and monster OD. I would recommend this amp to just about anyone for most styles. That was the good news, but this amp does have it's limitations. First of all there is no standby mode, this is going to shorten the lines of your tubes significantly so keep that in mind. Secondly, Blackstar advertises the Ht20 as having a "boutique" clean channel when it really doesn't. True it has the same control scheme as a boutique combo, i.e- one tone one volume but it just doesn't carry the warmth and lush clean tones associated with boutique amps. I attribute this to the use of EL34's in the power section instead the traditional 6v6's. The clean channel just sounds a little weedy with little dynamic control, almost like a solid state amp especially compared to the gain channel which is amazing. Lastly they tout the "isf" as some kind of ground breaking new technology, in reality it's a contour knob. The only difference being that rather than canceling out frequencies to achieve contour control it boosts the opposing frequencies which prevents it from washing out the other frequencies. It's nice to have but they didn't exactly re-invent the wheel either. If this amp was lost or stolen I'd definitely buy another without hesitation.

      (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Perfectly average amp

      By Micah-1-Qcd

      from Maryland

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Blackstar Venue Series HT Studio 20 20W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

      If you've ever seen Idiocracy, you'll know exactly what I mean when I say this amp is neither great nor terrible. It's perfectly average.The clean channel is decent, it does its job. Very compressed. There's not much depth to it, and you'll notice that right away when you strum big. Some amps reward you with deep, lush, magical clean, this one gives you womp and punch. Did I mention compressed?The gain channel is what sells the amp, and if you're looking for a great bedroom/practice amp, this will definitely deliver. Sounds good at low volumes, though the amp does seem to produce more amp noise (typical hum/hiss) than I'm used to.The ISF and reverb are ok, not anything you'd brag about, just nice to have.It takes OD pedals ok (takes the Suhr Riot rather well), but I found the clean channel's compression a real hindrance to getting good tone out of most OD's. The gain channel played real nice with a Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive as a boost. Since there's nothing truly great about this amp, you may want to consider a more expensive option for a band setting, or a less expense modeler if it's just for home use. There's something enduring about it that makes it enjoyable, but if it were lost or stolen, I wouldn't buy another.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Awesome

      By You dont need to know my name

      from Atlanta, GA

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Blackstar Venue Series HT Studio 20 20W Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

      I love this amp, the cleans are great and the gain channel is so thick and distorted. I have a BBE Sonic Stomp in the loop and it pueshes this amps sound to the relm of a Dual Rectifier or Mark IV. Another reveiwer said that there is no stand-by, there is all you do is unplug the cable from the input on the amp and it automaticly engages. EMGS+This+BBE Sonic Stomp can give you the thickest Metal Sound, its unreal. Dont waste you time reading this reveiw, buy it.

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