The new Blackstar HT Venue MkII series of valve amps has been announced today, representing an upgrade across the whole range. New functionality on the Mark II versions includes recording outputs and power reduction.
HT Venue MkII
The new range has five models: the HT Club 40 MkII, HT Stage 60 112 MkII, HT Stage 60 212 MkII, HT Club 50 MkII head and HT Stage 100 MkII head.
Each model is slightly smaller and lighter than its respective predecessors, which is an obvious plus. The EQ section has been given a few extra wee functions, such as bass and treble controls for the Clean channel and a voice switch for both channels that allows you to select the characteristics of the voicing. The Gain channels have also been designed to be more responsive to player dynamics as well.
The models now include USB and XLR recording outputs, which should make them far more flexible in the studio and at, as you can now hook them up to your DAW or recorder of choice.
Across the range, Blackstar have opted for ECC83 preamp valves and EL34 tubes for the power amp section. That should get you some nice warm tones. Blackstar also says that the onboard reverb has been upgraded to a “studio quality” algorithm.
All the various modes are now switchable via a footswitch, including a new boost function. In a move likely to make these amps more interesting for people playing at home, there’s also get a power reduction circuit which can get you down to around 10% of the amp’s regular wattage. This MkII outing will make for a more flexible experience all around.
The prices listed below all look pretty good. There are plenty of choices, so something for all budgets and tastes. These should be worth a look if you, especially if you were already considering the previous models of the HT series. With these new extras, this range should have wider appeal.
HT Club 40 MkII – GBP 699
HT Club 50H MkII – GBP599
HT Stage 60 112 MkII – GBP749
HT Stage 60 212 MkII – GBP 849
HT Stage 100H MkII – GBP749
HTV-112 MkII – GBP199
HTV-212 MkII – GBP 299
HTV-412A MkII – GBP 479
HTV-412B MkII – GBP 479