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Amazing sound and roadworthy build quality come from stage experience, not meeting rooms. That's why Blackstar Combo Guitar Amplifiers are made by musicians who are passionate about the work they do. Based in Northampton, England, the Blackstar team started in 2004 with four bandmates tinkering in a garden shed and has since grown to a staff backed by over 50 years of combined experience designing and building award-winning amps. All it takes is a look at the list of guitarists who play Blackstar amps to understand the huge impact they've had on the music scene in just a decade of operation. The roster of Blackstar users includes Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Neal Schon of Journey and Dave Ellefson of Megadeth - just to name a few. These legendary musicians know their amps, and they know that Blackstar is the way to go.
If you're looking to start out small, set your sights on the Blackstar HT-1R. Described by the Barenaked Ladies' Ed Robertson as "a great little amp," it's a sweet 1W studio and practice amp with an 8" driver. Based on the HT-5 valve amp, the HT-1R comes loaded with Blackstar's signature "ISF" (Infinite Shape Feature) electronics that give you wide-ranging control over every aspect of your sound.
You can also choose to turn things up to a whole new level with the HT Studio 20. This two-channel tube amp is also based on the HT-5, but it's scaled up instead of down, with 20W of power driving a 12" Celestion speaker. Barry Burns of Mogwai has an HT Studio 20 combo amp sitting in the corner of his studio, delivering big sound when he needs it without taking up too much space. If you want even more power for your onstage performances, consider a 60W model like the Venue Series HT-60 or Metal Series HTMETAL 60C. These big combo amps push two 12" drivers, pumping out intense sound that can go toe-to-toe with a fair share of speaker stacks.
From a backyard shed to the collections of world-class musicians like Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist Gus G., Blackstar has come a long way in its relatively short history. It's exciting to think about what the future holds, especially if you become part of the family with a Blackstar combo guitar amplifier of your own. When you plug into one of these amps in the studio or on the stage, you'll know you're playing with the best.