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Product 423767

Blackstar Venue Series HT Studio 20H 20W Tube Guitar Amp Head   

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The Blackstar HT Studio 20H amp head offers huge versatility for home, rehearsal, or studio use and can be used with a variety of cabinets. The caref...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Carefully voiced preamp with a cathode-biased EL34 power amp creates lush tube tone in this portable and highly versatile Blackstar amp head.

The Blackstar HT Studio 20H amp head offers huge versatility for home, rehearsal, or studio use and can be used with a variety of cabinets. The carefully voiced preamp coupled with a cathode-biased EL34 power amp, provides the user with the ability to create wonderfully lush valve tones. From pure boutique cleans, to mild overdrive that cleans up by backing off the guitar volume control, up to highly saturated distortion, this tube amp head does it all.

The Blackstar Venue HT Studio's Clean Channel 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 20H 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 on the Blackstar amp head remains natural sounding.

The HT Studio 20H 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 3-control tone stack between a US-type response at one end, and at the other a UK-type response. Between these two extremes the amp head provides an infinite number of alternative tone choices that would be otherwise unavailable.

The Blackstar HT Studio 20's 2-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 20H tube amp head 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 head
  • 2xECC83, 2xEL34
  • 2 footswitchable channels
  • Enhanced tone controls
  • Patent-Applied for Infinite Shape Feature (ISF)
  • Master volume
  • Digital reverb
  • Speaker emulated output
  • Effects loop
  • 1-way footswitch included
SPECIFICATIONS

Venue Series HT Studio 20H 20W Tube Guitar Amp Head

  • HT Studio 20 Head
    Power (RMS): 20 watts
    Valves: 2 x ECC83, 2 x EL34
    Weight: 28-1/4 lb.
    Dimensions: 20-2/5" x 11-1/3" x 10-4/5"
    Footswitch: FS-4 supplied
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
BlackstarVenue Series HT Studio 20H 20W Tube Guitar Amp Head
 
4.5

(based on 15 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

88%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (6)
  • Excellent sound (6)
  • Good power output (6)
  • Portable (6)
  • Warm / comfy (6)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Home studio (5)
  • Amateur recording (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great amp

I not a professional musician doing this for money. I have however been playing since I was 13 and now I'm 47. Playing guitar is my hobby and jamming with friends. In the...Read complete review

I not a professional musician doing this for money. I have however been playing since I was 13 and now I'm 47. Playing guitar is my hobby and jamming with friends. In the past I had a Peavey Bandit, Crate Chorus (solid state), Carvin SX212, Carvin X100 (212), Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, Marshall DSL401. Currently I have a Carvin X60 combo amp and a Blackstar HT5 head. Now the 20 watt studio.
I was really impressed with the HT5 head and wanted something in-between 5 and 60 watts. The 20 watter was perfect. Right out of the box it was great sounding with the tubes it came with. Sovteks in the preamp and Rubys in the the power section. Bias was spot on when checked. I changed the preamp to Electro harmonics because I had a set lying around but really didn't have to. Sound change was slight. Ruby tubes in the power section stayed. They sound excellent.
Ok how about sound? For this price? Very happy here. Cleans are very nice like my Carvin X amp. Very fat sounding. My main guitar is a Gibson Classic Custom SG with a 57 classic hum bucker in the neck and 57 classic plus in the bridge. On the distortion channel it sounds very very good. Plenty of gain for anything but most importantly when you roll off of a high gain setting the tone stays. Does not get thin sounding. Stays fat. Some amps do cleans well (like Fender), some distortion. This one does both well. My Carvin X amp does both well but is now pushing 25 years old and can be a little finicky at times (its old and was used a lot).
Build quality? Very good. Its 20 watts but was surprised that the amp head has some weight to it. Its not as light as you might think. Thats a good thing. Means they used beefy transformers and good wood in the construction. Should last until the day I croak.
If your looking for a good sounding amp with a reasonable price I would definitely put this on the list to ck out.
The one thing that is different about this amp is there is no standby switch. The standby switch is built in to the input jack for the guitar. Unplugging the guitar from the amp input jack puts it in standby. Unplugging from your guitar does not. You just have to move some Heineken bottles out of the way on top to lay the cord up there when going on a break.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Blackstar making a name for itself!!!

Great amp. Great sounds and so far after 20+ hours seems to be reliable. Marshall based owners that are giving a different spin on the British amp builders/designers.
This amp...Read complete review

Great amp. Great sounds and so far after 20+ hours seems to be reliable. Marshall based owners that are giving a different spin on the British amp builders/designers.
This amp has 2 channels, clean and OD. Even though the clean only has a ton and a volume knob, it really does give a great Fender sound with my Baja tele. Turn the ISF knob all the way to the right and it sounds much warmer with my SG. All around great channel. Reverb is nice. Not as lush as a pan reverb but still very useable. OD channel is great as well. Marshall to Mesa but can get great blues tones as well. Don't use the EFX loop or line out so I cant really comment on that. Using this with the Blackstar 1x12 cabinet and love the tones I am getting. Tried this head with the Artisan 2x12 and found the V30's a little heavy on the mids.
Built well. Looks nice and seems that this will hold up for a long time. I don't like the tube layout in the back. The tubes are board mounted and are recessed under the chassis so if you pull out a 12AX7 for a swap you better look to see which way the pins are! This can be a real pain as there is not a lot of room to work with. The layout could have done better even on a budget amp like this. Built in KOREA not in UK. Only designed in UK but looking inside it seems to be put together well.
A 2 channel head that is portable with reverb for $500 can't be beat. ISF alone is a reason you should check these out.

Reviewed by 15 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Head at a low price

By LowWatt__SoWatt

from USA

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

The review is for the HT-20 head. I play at home for relaxation and do not gig or tour. I have several amps including an Egnater Rebel 20 and a Fender Cyber Twin. I play USA Strats and Gibson Les Pauls with mostly Keeler modified pedals.I paired this head with an Avatar 1x12 cab with a Celestion Vintage 30 speaker.I bought this head to get more clean headroom than I could get with the Rebel 20 and to have 2 channels. The distortion is spot on tube distortion and although it takes a little tweaking to get early breakup it can be done. The clean channel is definately boutique like as advertised and takes pedals well. I have played at all volume levels and have not experienced any excessive noise. I play soft enough to have kids sleeping in the next room and loud enough to shake the walls and good tones can be found at all levels. Can you get killer distorted tones at whisper levels, well no, but it is an acceptable sound for practice. The isf control sounds to me like a mid control and after tuning it back and forth a few times you find a spot an leave it. The distortion is outstanding on this amp. Good tight bass and clear highs with gritty distortion and no "ice pick in the ear" highs when cranked. Outstanding value at this price point.

(7 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Blackstar making a name for itself!!!

By Brian Isenhart

from Illinois

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

Great amp. Great sounds and so far after 20+ hours seems to be reliable. Marshall based owners that are giving a different spin on the British amp builders/designers.
This amp has 2 channels, clean and OD. Even though the clean only has a ton and a volume knob, it really does give a great Fender sound with my Baja tele. Turn the ISF knob all the way to the right and it sounds much warmer with my SG. All around great channel. Reverb is nice. Not as lush as a pan reverb but still very useable. OD channel is great as well. Marshall to Mesa but can get great blues tones as well. Don't use the EFX loop or line out so I cant really comment on that. Using this with the Blackstar 1x12 cabinet and love the tones I am getting. Tried this head with the Artisan 2x12 and found the V30's a little heavy on the mids.
Built well. Looks nice and seems that this will hold up for a long time. I don't like the tube layout in the back. The tubes are board mounted and are recessed under the chassis so if you pull out a 12AX7 for a swap you better look to see which way the pins are! This can be a real pain as there is not a lot of room to work with. The layout could have done better even on a budget amp like this. Built in KOREA not in UK. Only designed in UK but looking inside it seems to be put together well.
A 2 channel head that is portable with reverb for $500 can't be beat. ISF alone is a reason you should check these out.

(6 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great sounding tube amp!

By Blake-Ej73P

from Los Angeles

See all my reviews

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

I would totally recommend this amp to anybody.
Ok so the features are pretty straight forward. There aren't any effects except for reverb. The ISP is OK. It does what it says it does but there really isn't much change in the EQ, its more in the high end break-up when you push the amp. Thats the only reason I gave it a 7, the back panel of the amp is great. It has everything you need. I love the way the effects loop sounds when you run your non gain related pedals through it. Sounds Killer!
This thing is built like a tank. It looks great and built well. Nothing more to say. The tubes are great. The sound quality is absolutely amazing. It is a noisy amp on single coils. It has great tone, sounds like Fender clean and Marshall overdrive. You can play any type of genre. It all depends on your guitar. True tube amp, simple and sounds great.
You can't buy any amp in this price range with this kind of versitility.

(6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Amp. Especially in this price range

By 60RockSoCal

from Southern Califronia

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

This amp delivers great tone. Especially on the overdrive channel. I run it through two Egnater Rebel 12 cabs. Very Marshall-ish. The clean channel is extremely clean,with lots of headroom which is nice, but it doesn't break up at all for any crunch. A decent overdrive pedal will solve this problem. The reverb is decent and very usable.I wish they included an on-off button for the reverb on the footswitch. The build quality seems quite good. All in all a very good amp at this price point. I have heard more expensive amps that don't sound anywhere near as good.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great amp

By Reefroller

from Ft. Lauderdale

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

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

      I not a professional musician doing this for money. I have however been playing since I was 13 and now I'm 47. Playing guitar is my hobby and jamming with friends. In the past I had a Peavey Bandit, Crate Chorus (solid state), Carvin SX212, Carvin X100 (212), Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, Marshall DSL401. Currently I have a Carvin X60 combo amp and a Blackstar HT5 head. Now the 20 watt studio.
      I was really impressed with the HT5 head and wanted something in-between 5 and 60 watts. The 20 watter was perfect. Right out of the box it was great sounding with the tubes it came with. Sovteks in the preamp and Rubys in the the power section. Bias was spot on when checked. I changed the preamp to Electro harmonics because I had a set lying around but really didn't have to. Sound change was slight. Ruby tubes in the power section stayed. They sound excellent.
      Ok how about sound? For this price? Very happy here. Cleans are very nice like my Carvin X amp. Very fat sounding. My main guitar is a Gibson Classic Custom SG with a 57 classic hum bucker in the neck and 57 classic plus in the bridge. On the distortion channel it sounds very very good. Plenty of gain for anything but most importantly when you roll off of a high gain setting the tone stays. Does not get thin sounding. Stays fat. Some amps do cleans well (like Fender), some distortion. This one does both well. My Carvin X amp does both well but is now pushing 25 years old and can be a little finicky at times (its old and was used a lot).
      Build quality? Very good. Its 20 watts but was surprised that the amp head has some weight to it. Its not as light as you might think. Thats a good thing. Means they used beefy transformers and good wood in the construction. Should last until the day I croak.
      If your looking for a good sounding amp with a reasonable price I would definitely put this on the list to ck out.
      The one thing that is different about this amp is there is no standby switch. The standby switch is built in to the input jack for the guitar. Unplugging the guitar from the amp input jack puts it in standby. Unplugging from your guitar does not. You just have to move some Heineken bottles out of the way on top to lay the cord up there when going on a break.

      (4 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Best amp I've played

      By cyclysm748

      from North Dakota!

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

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

      I recently bought this amp to replace my cheap behringer combo amp. I was previously using a digitech rp500 with the behringer, and let me tell you the sound of the blackstar blows that away. It just sounds perfect. It is very easy to get a great metal tone. Not overly seething with distortion, but just a really solid punchy tone akin to Metallica, Megadeth, or Opeth. I couldn't be happier with this amp. This amp is also very loud. I was hesitant not really knowing how powerful 20 tube watts would be, but trust me, it is loud. You could easily play over a drummer with this head. The head does include what I believe to be a cheap speaker cable, though I upgraded to something better. This is not listed in the description. The one downside to this amp which is obvious looking at it is that it only has one equalization for both channels so whatever you equalize it to is applied to the clean and distorted channels. This is a minor downside to me compared to the price. If you're looking for a great starter tube amp like me do not pass up on the incredible tone to be had!

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Well done Blackstar

      By shredaintdead2540

      from Piney Flats, TN

      About Me Experienced

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

      This amp is amazing for the price. There are a couple other comparable amp heads in this price range and this by far is the most versatile. Clean channel is absolutely crystal clean and has headroom for days. You can pull all kinds of sounds out of the overdrive channel from jazz to metal. I play mostly hard rock and metal and it has more than enough power and gain. The overdrive stays nice and heavy at a high volume and is obviously comparable to a marshall overdrive tone but definitely has its own uniqueness to it. If you are into metal or hard rock this will give you more than enough gain without sounding tinny or papery. It Keeps a nice warm tube sound throughout any settings you can dial into this little guy and the ISF knob really does help you to round off your tone or brighten it up to your liking. Overall with its extra features like a great sounding reverb and the effects loop on top of a really great sound on both the clean and overdrive channels, you just can't beat this for the price.

      (3 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Blackstar 20 watt head

      By Stratcat

      from new jersey

      See all my reviews

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

      i'd tell a friend to buy it just don't think of it as an amp that does everything , i like to run 3 amps at the same time , but i haven't played the amp that does it all yet either !
      I thought it would have been louder ,tone range was limited ... , ISF feature was disappointing too , but overall for 499 , a good amp to record with & small venues with no pa ,cool vintage looking front ,goose it with a OCD or other "Quality" overdrive on the clean channel & it will take you where your trying to go !!!!
      seems well built , but its only a couple of weeks old , what happens when you "Dime it" for 6mnths or a year is a nother story , i guess
      i'd have to say very good value at this point

      (3 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      I CANNOT recommend this amp

      By Steve-j24nP

      from Undisclosed

      See all my reviews

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

      When the amp arrived I was impressed with it's overall look and feel. It had the features I wanted in a low powered amp at a price that didn't break the bank. At bedroom levels the amp sounded really good. However, when I got the chance to crank it up I was very disappointed. The amount of noise produced by the OD channel was unacceptable so I sent the amp back. I don't know if this amp is defective or what because if they all leave the factory sounding like this I see a lot of them being returned. If this amp is representative of the entire line Blackstar needs to go back to the drawing board and start over.

      (2 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Decent Amp for the Money

      By Brandon-S99OA

      from Philadelphia, PA

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Portable
      • Powerful
      • Price

      Cons

      • Limited Functions

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio
      • In-home Practice

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

      So, I read all the reviews, watched the YouTube previews, and bought this little guy looking for a less powerful blues/overdrive amp to pair with my Triple XXX. I am running it through a 2x12 cab and playing various types of guitars. The Good: well built and very portable; powerful (at about 12:00 on the master/channel volumes it was giving my girl a nice back massage); versatile. the Bad: No stand-by switch (I switch guitars quite often so this is a major inconvenience); tone (see below). Over-all, I wouldn't say that I am disappointed but certainly not impressed. To me the mid range is over the top and kind of overpowers the potential this little guy has to offer. The OD channel is just that OD. Don't think for one moment you'll actually get distortion unless you use a pedal. This amp is not voiced for metal at all. Think AC/DC at best. In fact it does a pretty darn good of nailing that sound. At this point I haven't decided if I am going to stick with it. It was inexpensive and seems to like a quality amp. I think my expectations might have been too high.

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