Blackstar Venue Series HT Studio 20 20W Tube Guitar Combo Amp Black 886830153624

Item #: 
423766005001023
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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, rehearsal or studio use. Coupled with a cathode-biased E... Click To Read More About This Product

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Overview

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
  • 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
  • Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot

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

(based on 31 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (21)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

80%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (10)
  • Excellent sound (9)
  • Good power output (7)
  • Portable (7)
  • Warm / comfy (7)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Home studio (5)
  • Performances (5)
  • Amateur recording (4)
  • Professional recording (4)
  • Outdoor events / games (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (10)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Wow! I'm impressed.

This amp sounds really good. I was actually pretty surprised how many different low-wattage amps there were, and how many of them were junk. I went and tried everything from a Tiny Terror...Read complete review

This amp sounds really good. I was actually pretty surprised how many different low-wattage amps there were, and how many of them were junk. I went and tried everything from a Tiny Terror to a Marshall Haze, and this was my favorite. The clean channel is absolutely phenomenal, and its really has the best of both worlds with the "ISF" feature. With that being said, the gain channel beats it. When I went into demo it, I started out clean, and thought that it was a more "Fender" type tube amp, but I hit the overdrive, and WOW! Satan came up and asked me politely to turn it down. I was rocking to hard for the little guy. BUY THIS AMP!

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 31 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Tube goodness in an versatile, good-value package

By HooliganGorilla

from Vancouver, Canada

About Me Experienced

Pros

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

Cons

  • Made In China
  • Speaker could be better

Best Uses

  • Home Studio
  • Performances
  • Professional Recording

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

Versatility is perhaps this amp's greatest strength. You can dial in excellent tones in seconds -- from beautiful Vox-esque cleans to super-warm verge-of breakup crunch, to flat-out high-gain saturation... then, with the turn of the ISF knob, switch from a bright Fender-ish scooped sound to a more Marshally British vibe with more prominent mids.

The only real downside is the Celestion Rocket 50 speaker, which is notoriously thin-sounding and also rather inefficient. I quickly replaced mine with an Eminence Private Jack (similar to a Greenback; U.S.-made) and the difference is dramatic. A better speaker like this also makes the amp louder and better able to keep up with your drummer. I can't figure out why Blackstar wouldn't use a better speaker to begin with... it's the difference between this being a good amp and an amazing amp.

A final note that's worth clearing up here is that with this amp you are getting true tube sound, contrary to some popular rumours out there. Blackstar's technicians have been adament that on both the clean and dirt channels (yes, clean as well) all clipping is accomplished by the tube section (preamp tubes especially), not the op-amps which are present only to regulate the amount if signal being driven into the tubes. The fact that the phase inverter is solid state is not really worth noting. It sounds like an all-tube amp, it breaks up like an all-tube amp, because for all intents and purposes it is exactly that: an all-tube amp. If you hear it you'll see for yourself.

(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Perfectly Pedestrian

By LK

from NJ

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Portable

Cons

  • Limited Functions
  • Poor Sound Quality

Best Uses

  • Amateur Recording
  • Performances

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

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.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great All Around Amp!

By Roofdesigner503

from Portlandia, OR

About Me Experienced

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Professional Recording

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

    Wanted a amp that has a Voxy Clean and a Marshall heavy chunk. Videos with sound samples were close to actual, but you do need to upgrade a few things.

    I play a Fender Tele, MIM strat and a stock PRS SE singlecut. Most all styles of music from contemporary to punk.

    Bought amp used and noticed the high end shimmer was missing on the gain side. Videos show the ISF and the benefits and thought adjusting that would do the trick. While it helped a little, IMHO this amp would benefit from a 'presence' control for the gain channel.

    Clean side sound is incredible. While only one tone control (actually two if you use the ISF) it really shapes your sound well.

    Installed JJ 12ax7 preamp tubes and a Eminence Private Jack (Clone Greenback) speaker. Stock power amp tubes. Now this amp sounds killer!

    Takes pedals well. Run a stock Boss Comp/sustainer, keeley mod Boss super overdrive and a Way Huge Analog delay in the front and a TC HOF reverb pedal through the loop. My set up gets me tones from a Brian May to STP high gain.

    Direct recorded through the emulator out and mic'd into Presonus Studio One Producer. Like sound of the mic'd amp over the emulator.

    Plenty of volume in my home studio, probably enough for a small group if mic'd, underpowered for a loud rock/metal band.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Love this amp

    By Jeffrey

    from Hammond, IN

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

    I play American Fenders, a deluxe Strat and a deluxe Tele as well as a Gibson LP Standard. My amplifiers consist of this Blackstar, a Vox AC4, and a Egnater Rebel 30. I no longer gig but I have a decent home recording studio and I prefer to mic all guitars, bass, and all percussion and drums when recording. I can get smooth, buttery tube tone at a volume that doesn't shatter glass or make ears bleed. This amp fits perfect in my studio. I can get the tones I'm looking for, from pure clean tones to Fender to Marshall as well as very subtle tube break up. This amp fills the holes left by the Vox and the Egnater nicely. It takes pedals well also. I have a fairly large board filled with EHX, Wampler, TC Electronics, Buddha, MXR, and Boss. This amp shines with the pedals but I don't use the distortion/fuzz/overdrives very much through this amp because the natural tones I can get really shine! As I said, I no longer gig but this 20 watt amp will keep up with any drummer out there so it could easily be used to gig with. I primarily play classic rock and blues but have no doubt this amp can do it all. Would I buy this amp again, YES, in a heartbeat!!!!

    (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    BEST AMP I'VE EVER OWNED

    By jwill89

    from Charlottesville, VA

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

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

        Very very versatile, very easy to use, so much bang for buck. Gotta be the best value for money for a 20W amp. Only had it a few days now, but I fell instantly in love.

        (2 of 24 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Black star Black out

        By Vortex generator

        from San Diego

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound

        Cons

        • Epic Fail

        Best Uses

        • BOAT ANCHOR

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

        Unfortunatly this amp did NOT survive its first jam. Played it a few hours at home then at our bands practice it sounded great for the first 4 hours then the clean went out. Played for another hour on the other channel and it went out. Sounded great till it died. It was a factory restock so maybe they didn't get it right. MF was awsome and said they will ship me a new unit. Hope this was a fluke and I will be able to give a full report soon. Thanks Musicians Friend!

        (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        No questions great amp.

        By Geo

        from Lond Island , NY

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound
        • Good Warmth

        Cons

        • Could Use Stand By Switch

        Best Uses

        • Events
        • Home Studio
        • Performances

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

        I bought the HT 20 combo and it never dissappointed me. I did buy an extension speaker for fuller sound. Looking back should of bought the 20 amp head with two extension speakers. Lession learned. 20 watts is loud. For my home music it's perfect and you should be able to gig with it, if need to.I enjoy the way the amp keeps the integrity of the guitar. The guitar will sound the way it was made to sound like. My Les Paul sounds incredible, from crunch to the Les Paul growl. I am a Tele lover and it makes it sound extra special. O/D is voiced but very good. The clean is were the amp shines. My son played his 8 string with active pick ups and loved the sounded with O/D (his style of playing). He now is a fan. The effect loop makes the effects sound as part of the system, instead of the line in from the guitar. It just sound better. Kudos to all the other amps. You can't say enough how great they are, but If I wanted to sound like a Marshall or a Fender, I would of bought one.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Dark, punchy, clear !!!!

        By Atom X

        from Detriot

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

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

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Events
          • Home Studio
          • Performances
          • Professional Recording

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

          I was most impressed with this little monster. It screams !!!!! Dark, warm, punchy, clear. Clean tones are very nice. The overdrive channel has a wide spectrum of tones from high gain metal, to classic rock, to blues tones. It also likes pedals. Im very impressed !!!!

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great amp and even better price

          By Gtrgy27

          from Columbus, Ga

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Excellent Sound
          • Portable
          • Powerful

          Cons

            Best Uses

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

              Ive owned this amp for a year and it is a great amp suited to almost any style. Sounds great with my Les Paul, HSS Strat, EC1000, and Ibanez S Series.Great for classic rock and metal. However, i haven't been able to get that insane metal sound, yet. Takes pedals very well. ISF is the best feature. Very easy to dial in the sound you want. I've heard recommendations to swap out the speaker but the stock speaker sounds good IMO. 20watts is a great size for recording and will get plenty loud if you are micing at a gig.If your not micing you may want to consider the 50w combo.

              (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Thank you Blackstar

              By McGurk

              from Oregon

              About Me Experienced

              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.

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