Blackstar vs Jet City

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Geno_xl
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Blackstar vs Jet City

Postby Geno_xl » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:22 pm

I had a chance to play around this last weekend with a Blackstar ht-5 head and Jet City JCA20 head at a local guitar store. I've been wondering about these two amps for a while as I've heard good things about them and heard some interesting youtube clips. It just so happens that my buddy is in the market for a cheap tube amp at the moment. To keep things simple we fired up both amps through a cheap blackstar 1x12 cab.

I was realy impressed by the blackstar head. It seemed to have a very good range of tones from a decent clean to a nice overdrive tone. It doesn't have as much gain as the JVM (but then what really does?) but there is definitely enough there for me. Also I thought between the 3 band eq and the isf control you really could tweak it till you found "your" sound.

Next up was the Jet City head which I expect great things from. I was really expecting a Soldano Slo in a tiny cheap package. However, I couldn't really get a good useable tone out of it. It felt very cold, thin, and trebley. I just shut it off and went back to the Blackstar as it sounded way better. My buddy agreed as well.

He decided to go with the Blackstar head and 1x12 cab. The whole package cost him $450, which doesn't feel like a bad deal.

Anyways, now I really want to get a blackstar... Does this gas never end?
Amps: Marshall JVM 410H (choke Mod), EVH 5150 III, Mesa boogie dual rectifier, Marshall Class 5 combo, Line 6 Pod HD
Cab: Marshall 1960a (V30's and G12T-75's), EVH 5150 1x12
Guitars: Gibson Les Paul, Music Man Axis, Martin acoustic
Effects: Line 6 M13, OCD, Boss TU-3, Crybaby wah, Crybaby mini, tc spark mini, tc flashback, tc hall of fame, MXR EVH phase 90, digitech bad monkey, MXR Dyna comp

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HyFive578
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Re: Blackstar vs Jet City

Postby HyFive578 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:55 pm

Geno_xl wrote:Anyways, now I really want to get a blackstar... Does this gas never end?

No... it doesn't.. I have a BlackStar HT Stage 60 combo and I love it!!
Guitars: Gibson Les Paul R9 (Main guitar), and many more!!....
Amps: Marshall JVM410H(-fb,plexi cap, R72 compression mods), Marshall JCM800 2210, Blackstar HT Stage 60, EVH5150iii 50W
Cabs: Marshall 1960A(G12M-65 Creambacks), Marshall 1960B(Vintage 30's), Marshall 1936(G12M-65 Creambacks), Marshall 1936(Scumback BlackBack BM75's), Marshall 1936(Scumback M75's), Marshall 1936(G12-65's)
Pedals: Wampler Plextortion, Wampler Pinnacle, Suhr Riot Distortion, Fulltone OCD, TCE Corona Chorus, MXR EVH Phase 90, Dunlop CAE Wah, MXR Carbon Copy Delay, MXR/CAE Boost, MXR 10-Band EQ, TCE Flashback Delay, Sonic Research Tuner

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S&M Freddy
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Re: Blackstar vs Jet City

Postby S&M Freddy » Tue May 01, 2012 2:42 am

Indeed.....I have an HT-20 head. Lovely!
Cornford RK100
Victory V30
Yamaha THR10
Big box 2x12 cabs with V30's and Celestion G12T-75's, 3x12 Projector cab with classic 80's
Music Man Axis, PRS Mira, Gibson Les Paul Standards ('98 and '00), Gibson Explorer Trad Pro, Gibson Classic DC, Gordon Smith Graduate 60, Graduate Slimline, Explorer, Breadwinner and Gypsy 1.5, Fernandes STJ75, 'Fredster' Telecaster
Nobels midi controller, Cry Baby Wah, Fulltone Deja Vibe, TS 808 clone, TC Dreamscape, TC Flashback, TC HOF, Line 6 M5 Stompbox Modeler in loop, Nobels Pre1 Boost

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AXEL
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Re: Blackstar vs Jet City

Postby AXEL » Thu May 03, 2012 8:52 am

HyFive578 wrote:
Geno_xl wrote:Anyways, now I really want to get a blackstar... Does this gas never end?

No... it doesn't.. I have a BlackStar HT Stage 60 combo and I love it!!


Don't you also have a Blackstar 100 head?
I just sold my DSL yesterday. It's been collecting dust since I got the JVM. Plus I need to thin the herd out a tad. With cash in hand I'm just waiting for the next MF 15% off sale (just missed one) and grabbing the HT-60 Soloist (I already have the HT5RC (1 x 12) combo. I'm going with the soloist becuase of the weight. My JVM410C tought me a lesson about heavy amps. I prefer combo's over heads but the 410C is a serious back breaker.

How do you like the HT-60? Are you making much use of the 3rd channel?
The Soloist doesn't have the 3rd channel. But I know if I buy the heavier 2 x 12 version I'll be reluctant to grab it and go with one of my lighter amps.
Last edited by AXEL on Thu May 03, 2012 1:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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HyFive578
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Re: Blackstar vs Jet City

Postby HyFive578 » Thu May 03, 2012 11:38 am

AXEL wrote:Don't you also have a Blackstar 100 head? How do you like the HT-60? Are you making much use of the 3rd channel?
The Soloist doesn't have the 3rd channel. But I know if I buy the heavier 2 x 12 version I'll be reluctant to grab it and go with one of my lighter amps.

Yes, I do have the Blackstar HT-100 head, but I bought that for my son and I really don't use it. It's awesome though. I take it to gigs to leave in the car in case my primary amp has a meltdown.. I LOVE the HT-60 and yes, I use the 3rd channel all of the time. I use the OD1 for rhythm stuff and lighter overdriven tones mostly and then use OD2 for solos or heavier stuff that we play. I had a JVM215C that I was using for the same reason you mention (ie: portability), but I really started to feel that I missed the fullness of a 2x12 and I played the Blackstar one day and just loved it. I literally just sold the 215C last week to another forum member.. My HT-60 has also been slightly modded, ie: different tubes from stock and two Celestion Gold Alnico speakers.... I get compliments at EVERY gig that I use it at about my tone. With the Golds, the amp weighs over 70 lbs., but it's worth it.. I will probably never go back to a 1x12 for gigging.. unless I'm in my 80's and can't carry it anymore.. [smilie=icon_lol.gif]
Guitars: Gibson Les Paul R9 (Main guitar), and many more!!....
Amps: Marshall JVM410H(-fb,plexi cap, R72 compression mods), Marshall JCM800 2210, Blackstar HT Stage 60, EVH5150iii 50W
Cabs: Marshall 1960A(G12M-65 Creambacks), Marshall 1960B(Vintage 30's), Marshall 1936(G12M-65 Creambacks), Marshall 1936(Scumback BlackBack BM75's), Marshall 1936(Scumback M75's), Marshall 1936(G12-65's)
Pedals: Wampler Plextortion, Wampler Pinnacle, Suhr Riot Distortion, Fulltone OCD, TCE Corona Chorus, MXR EVH Phase 90, Dunlop CAE Wah, MXR Carbon Copy Delay, MXR/CAE Boost, MXR 10-Band EQ, TCE Flashback Delay, Sonic Research Tuner

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Jackie
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Re: Blackstar vs Jet City

Postby Jackie » Thu May 03, 2012 12:32 pm

My bud has a HT40 combo, and I thoroughly tested a HT100 head, and to me, both kick so much ass... I like how it's hard to make it sound bad, you can make it sound "meh" or "just decent" if you do ti on purpose but it's never BAD, and most certainly you can make it sound fukin' amazing [smilie=gt-happyup.gif]
Tonemeister wrote:there is sooo much that the JVM can be...


GUITARS:
Jackson KVMG Pro, modded Epiphone Goth Explorer w/BKP Nailbombs; Yamaha SG2000; Gibson SG '61 Reissue; Squier Classic Vibe Tele; Yamaha LLX6A
AMPS&CABS:
Marshall JVM410H (EH V1/V5; Chinese 12AX7B V2-V4; -ve fdbk mod, choke mod, plexi cap mod)
MESA 2:90+TriAxis (TungSol V1, EH V2, JJ V4); Marshall 1960A cab w/V30; Yamaha THR10v2
FX:
BOSS GT-6
MISC:
Proel Esoteric cables, Ernie Ball strings; Dunlop Ultex Sharp picks, craft beer

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AXEL
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Re: Blackstar vs Jet City

Postby AXEL » Thu May 03, 2012 1:30 pm

HyFive578 wrote:
AXEL wrote:With the Golds, the amp weighs over 70 lbs., but it's worth it.. I will probably never go back to a 1x12 for gigging.. unless I'm in my 80's and can't carry it anymore.. [smilie=icon_lol.gif]


75lbs, that's what my JVM410C weights. I bought a road case for it so I don't ding the hell out of it at 3 a.m but the road case weights another 30 lbs [smilie=icon_redface.gif] Seriously, I have a bad back and I worry when ever I pick that thing up. I've been using a Tech21 Trademark 60 (35lbs) for a lot ot gigs. I have a Power Engine 60 (powered 1 x 12 cab)for it (another (35 lbs) if I need more speaker power. I like it and like you have gotten many complemets. I have no problems playing out of a 1 x 12. I'm looking forward to scoring the HT-60 Soloist.

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HyFive578
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Re: Blackstar vs Jet City

Postby HyFive578 » Thu May 03, 2012 2:34 pm

AXEL wrote:I'm looking forward to scoring the HT-60 Soloist.

You should. It's a great sounding amp. The only thing is, I don't love the Celestion Seventy 80 speaker it comes with, but that's me.. you might love it.. Either way, it sounds great and I think you will really like it.. Keep us posted..
Guitars: Gibson Les Paul R9 (Main guitar), and many more!!....
Amps: Marshall JVM410H(-fb,plexi cap, R72 compression mods), Marshall JCM800 2210, Blackstar HT Stage 60, EVH5150iii 50W
Cabs: Marshall 1960A(G12M-65 Creambacks), Marshall 1960B(Vintage 30's), Marshall 1936(G12M-65 Creambacks), Marshall 1936(Scumback BlackBack BM75's), Marshall 1936(Scumback M75's), Marshall 1936(G12-65's)
Pedals: Wampler Plextortion, Wampler Pinnacle, Suhr Riot Distortion, Fulltone OCD, TCE Corona Chorus, MXR EVH Phase 90, Dunlop CAE Wah, MXR Carbon Copy Delay, MXR/CAE Boost, MXR 10-Band EQ, TCE Flashback Delay, Sonic Research Tuner

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AXEL
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Re: Blackstar vs Jet City

Postby AXEL » Fri May 04, 2012 7:48 am

I ordered it last night. Guitar Center is running a special, I got it for $150 off [smilie=banana_smiley.gif]
The Soloist will work well for me. I noticed it has the boost feature which the 2 x 12 doesn't. I really depend on that, both my Trademark 60 and the JVM have adjustable boost which i use all the time for putting me up in the mix when I solo. I can always use one of my OD pedals to make up for the OD1/OD2 features on the 2 x 12.

Hyfive, what tubes did you upgrade to in your?
Last edited by AXEL on Fri May 04, 2012 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Blackstar vs Jet City

Postby HyFive578 » Fri May 04, 2012 8:20 am

AXEL wrote:Hyfive, what tubes did you upgrade to in your?


I used EH 12AX7's for the main preamp tubes, a JAN Philips ECG 5814A / 12AU7 for the phase inverter and SED Winged C's for the power tubes biased to around 60mV...
Guitars: Gibson Les Paul R9 (Main guitar), and many more!!....
Amps: Marshall JVM410H(-fb,plexi cap, R72 compression mods), Marshall JCM800 2210, Blackstar HT Stage 60, EVH5150iii 50W
Cabs: Marshall 1960A(G12M-65 Creambacks), Marshall 1960B(Vintage 30's), Marshall 1936(G12M-65 Creambacks), Marshall 1936(Scumback BlackBack BM75's), Marshall 1936(Scumback M75's), Marshall 1936(G12-65's)
Pedals: Wampler Plextortion, Wampler Pinnacle, Suhr Riot Distortion, Fulltone OCD, TCE Corona Chorus, MXR EVH Phase 90, Dunlop CAE Wah, MXR Carbon Copy Delay, MXR/CAE Boost, MXR 10-Band EQ, TCE Flashback Delay, Sonic Research Tuner

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AXEL
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Re: Blackstar vs Jet City

Postby AXEL » Fri May 04, 2012 8:25 am

Thx.
How do you bias this amp, is it straight forward like the DSL and JVM or do you have to probe on the PC board?

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Re: Blackstar vs Jet City

Postby HyFive578 » Fri May 04, 2012 9:42 am

AXEL wrote:Thx.
How do you bias this amp, is it straight forward like the DSL and JVM or do you have to probe on the PC board?

There are test points on the PCB and two trim pots, but unlike the JVM, you bias the two tubes together instead of two sides; hence my bias value of 60 mV. There are two trim pots, but you really only need to use one. The trim pot labeled PR2 adjusts the bias value of the power section. That's the one you need to use to adjust bias. The trim pot labeled PR1 adjusts the balance between the two tubes to achieve minimal hum, which you wont need if you buy a matched pair..

Just a word of caution. My amp came from the factory biased around 62mV with the TAD power tubes. When I put the SED's in, the biased jumped up to 95mV which is WAY too hot; the tubes were practically throbbing... so you need to be quick on the bias pot to cool it down quickly.. good luck!!
Guitars: Gibson Les Paul R9 (Main guitar), and many more!!....
Amps: Marshall JVM410H(-fb,plexi cap, R72 compression mods), Marshall JCM800 2210, Blackstar HT Stage 60, EVH5150iii 50W
Cabs: Marshall 1960A(G12M-65 Creambacks), Marshall 1960B(Vintage 30's), Marshall 1936(G12M-65 Creambacks), Marshall 1936(Scumback BlackBack BM75's), Marshall 1936(Scumback M75's), Marshall 1936(G12-65's)
Pedals: Wampler Plextortion, Wampler Pinnacle, Suhr Riot Distortion, Fulltone OCD, TCE Corona Chorus, MXR EVH Phase 90, Dunlop CAE Wah, MXR Carbon Copy Delay, MXR/CAE Boost, MXR 10-Band EQ, TCE Flashback Delay, Sonic Research Tuner

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AXEL
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Re: Blackstar vs Jet City

Postby AXEL » Fri May 04, 2012 9:57 am

Very helpful, thanks!

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S&M Freddy
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Re: Blackstar vs Jet City

Postby S&M Freddy » Fri May 04, 2012 1:34 pm

AXEL wrote:Very helpful, thanks!


Congratulations [smilie=gt-happyup.gif] Our other guitarist has the 1x12 HT-60 and loves it! He uses it on its own for rehearsals and small gigs...and has a matching 1x12 for when he feels the need to have a mini stack. All the sounds are great and the solo function gives him plenty of level for lead breaks. Enjoy!
Cornford RK100
Victory V30
Yamaha THR10
Big box 2x12 cabs with V30's and Celestion G12T-75's, 3x12 Projector cab with classic 80's
Music Man Axis, PRS Mira, Gibson Les Paul Standards ('98 and '00), Gibson Explorer Trad Pro, Gibson Classic DC, Gordon Smith Graduate 60, Graduate Slimline, Explorer, Breadwinner and Gypsy 1.5, Fernandes STJ75, 'Fredster' Telecaster
Nobels midi controller, Cry Baby Wah, Fulltone Deja Vibe, TS 808 clone, TC Dreamscape, TC Flashback, TC HOF, Line 6 M5 Stompbox Modeler in loop, Nobels Pre1 Boost

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AXEL
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Re: Blackstar vs Jet City

Postby AXEL » Thu May 10, 2012 9:01 am

HyFive578 wrote:
AXEL wrote:Thx.
How do you bias this amp, is it straight forward like the DSL and JVM or do you have to probe on the PC board?

There are test points on the PCB and two trim pots, but unlike the JVM, you bias the two tubes together instead of two sides; hence my bias value of 60 mV. There are two trim pots, but you really only need to use one. The trim pot labeled PR2 adjusts the bias value of the power section. That's the one you need to use to adjust bias. The trim pot labeled PR1 adjusts the balance between the two tubes to achieve minimal hum, which you wont need if you buy a matched pair..

Just a word of caution. My amp came from the factory biased around 62mV with the TAD power tubes. When I put the SED's in, the biased jumped up to 95mV which is WAY too hot; the tubes were practically throbbing... so you need to be quick on the bias pot to cool it down quickly.. good luck!!


HyFive, I got the HT-60 Soloist last night. Cool amp, it took me about 20 minutes to dial in. Of course I'll be tweeking for a while getting use to the controls and how each one effects the tone. The Soloist apparently has only 2 preamp tubes (one being the PI) as opposed to the Stage which has 3. I would assume the 3rd channel on the Stage is the difference. I'm searching the net and not finding any info on tube position or bias. Where did you find your info on tube selection and bias?


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