Blackstar HT Amplifier Hastings MN

Studio 20? Well, if your home studio happens to be Abbey Road, the Blackstar’s appellation might make sense, because this is one loud-as-all-hell 20-watter. I used it for a fairly large club gig— mated with the Blackstar HTV-112 open-back cabinet ($249 retail/$199 street)—and the amp was feisty enough to be heard across the stage and into the audience. Small wonder that when the soundman gave me a board recording of the performance, it was obvious the Studio 20 was not put into the house mix. This low-wattage titan filled the club all by itself, with just a little help from signal bleed into the vocal mics.

David Hoffman Guitar Repair
(651) 438-9717
20500 Polk Ave
Hastings, MN
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Guitars & Fretted Instruments

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Disc Jockey Supply
(651) 298-0821
29755 Sunset Trl
Cannon Falls, MN

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Rex Music Store & School
(651) 451-3204
32 Thompson Ave E
West Saint Paul, MN
Types of Instruments Sold
Digital Piano, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music

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Mahler Music Center
(651) 224-6943
907 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul, MN
Types of Instruments Sold
Acoustic Piano, Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Organs, Print Music
Store Information
Instrument Rental: Yes
Website Sales: Yes
Lesson Information
Lessons: Yes
Instrument Repair Information
Repairs for accordion and concertinas including bellow working, keyboard leveling, fixing switch mechanisms, replacing leathers, reed waxing and tuning and electronic repairs.
Hours
10-4 M-F, 10-2 Sat

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Foxtone Music
(651) 686-4007
1960 Cliff Lake Rd
Saint Paul, MN
 
Brickhouse Music
(715) 426-6776
216 S Main St
River Falls, WI
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Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Recording Equipment, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music, DJ Equipment

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Eclipse Music
(651) 451-8878
149 Thompson Ave E
West Saint Paul, MN
Types of Instruments Sold
Sound Reinforcement, Recording Equipment, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music, DJ Equipment
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Lessons: Yes
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Guitar, Bass, and electronics repair.
Hours
Monday - Thursday 10:00-7:00
Friday 10:00-6:00
Saturday 9:30-4:00
Sunday Closed

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Hobgoblin Music
(651) 388-8400
211 Lowry Ave Ne
Red Wing, MN
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Drums & Percussion, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music

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Foxtone Music, Llc
(715) 531-1380
424 2Nd St
Hudson, WI
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Print Music

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Guitar Center #394
(651) 578-0577
8316 3Rd St N
Oakdale, MN
 
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Blackstar HT Amplifier

gp0610_gear0546Studio 20? Well, if your home studio happens to be Abbey Road, the Blackstar’s appellation might make sense, because this is one loud-as-all-hell 20-watter. I used it for a fairly large club gig— mated with the Blackstar HTV-112 open-back cabinet ($249 retail/$199 street)—and the amp was feisty enough to be heard across the stage and into the audience. Small wonder that when the soundman gave me a board recording of the performance, it was obvious the Studio 20 was not put into the house mix. This low-wattage titan filled the club all by itself, with just a little help from signal bleed into the vocal mics. But although the well-built Studio 20 is seriously road tough and gig ready, if you want to keep it as an “indoor” amp, its speaker-emulated 1/4" output and Master Volume let you record at low volumes if you’re miking, and silently if you’re going direct.

SPECIFICATIONS

CONTACT Blackstar Amplification, blackstaramps.co.uk

MODEL HT Studio 20H

PRICE $629 retail/$499 street

CHANNELS Two

CONTROLS Reverb, Master Volume, ISF, Treble, Middle, Bass, Overdrive Volume, Overdrive Gain, Clean Tone, Clean Volume

gp0610_gear0547TUBES Two EL34 power tubes, two ECC83 preamp tubes.

POWER 20 watts

EXTRAS Digital reverb, speaker-emulated output, Effects loop, footswitch included

WEIGHT 28 lbs

KUDOS Super-pristine clean tone. Ballsy overdrive saturation. ISF knob for blending American and British EQ voicings. Good value.

CONCERNS You better like it really loud if you want gritty clean tones.

Sonically, the Studio 20 is almost like the Batman anti-hero Two-Face. The Clean channel is as pristine and pure as Snow White, while the Overdrive channel is all about fury and aggression. Tested with a Guild X-160, a PRS Mira X, a Hanson Chicagoan, and a Fender Stratocaster, the amp’s dual nature was marked in each instance by either: (a) massive clean headroom that refused to get even slightly gritty until the controls were dimed to Godzilla volume levels, or (b) pretty ferocious saturation. There’s precious little sonic real estate flanking the two contrasts, which makes it difficult to dial up tones that evoke, say, roots rock or old-school rock and roll. Such styles seem to be “between the knobs,” so to speak.

Putting some vibey grit into the Studio 20’s immaculate Clean channel required adding some of my favorite overdrive pedals to the signal chain—a move that revealed this channel is perfectly tailored for those players who desire “hi-fi” amplification to best show off all the tonal colors of their stompbox armament. The Overdrive channel rages like a rabid boar, and as I couldn’t calm the roar for spiky or skanky tones, I used the channel exclusively for solos and riffs. The Tone controls are quite musical, and the EQ section’s exclusive Infinite Shape Feature (ISF) magically shifts the Bass, Middle, and Treble knobs between American (more precise center frequencies) and British (wider center frequencies) voicings.

The Stu...

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