by George Loveridge | 4,5 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 4 Minutes
Blackstar HT MK III

Blackstar HT Series  ·  Source: Blackstar

HT-5 MK III Studio Head Combo  ·  Source: Blackstar

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The Blackstar HT series is renowned for providing classic valve tones in a modern package. This new MK III iteration offers professional features for all players. What else do they have to offer?

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Blackstar HT Series

Since 2004, Blackstar has been providing guitarists with some pretty cool amps. Fast forward to today, and we’ve got the anticipated Blackstar HT MK III series at our disposal.

Typical Blackstar, these HT amps and heads feature lightweight designs, comprising chronic attention to detail and above all, killer tones. Naturally, HT stands for high tension, referring to the high voltage internal circuits used to push the valves to the max.

There are plenty to choose from in this new range, but which one will be right for you? Let’s take a look.

HT-1R

Firstly, let’s get stuck into this 1-watt valve combo. Complete with four switchable voicings such as American and British Clean, Classic and Modern Overdrive.

Blackstar HT Series
Blackstar HT-1R Head · Source: Blackstar

This petit head makes use of overall reverb, EQ, volume and gain controls. We’ve also got an ECC83 preamp and a seriously cool retro-looking ON/OFF switch.

Bringing some of those attributes to life, there’s the cab which houses a single 8-inch Blackstar speaker. Complete with a USB-C port for recording. It’s nice to see USB-Cs being integrated, but it could be annoying if you’re not running this setup yourself yet.

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We’ve also got boutique clean and high-gain overdrive, which can be selected via the compatible FS-22 footswitch.

Blackstar HT-1R MKIII · Source: Blackstar
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Blackstar HT-1RH Head MKIII
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Blackstar HT-1R MKIII  Combo
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Blackstar HT with 20-watt head

Looking for something more substantial? Well, this new MK III series has you covered. Say hello to the HT-20 combo. Equipped with a clever *20-watt valve head.

Starting at the rear, you’ll find a balanced line out, your speaker outputs and effects loop adjacent to the footswitch connection.

HT-20R Head · Source: Blackstar

On its own, we’ve got a plethora of possibilities. Similarly, we’ve got four switchable voicings and twin channels. Here, there’s studio quality reverb which can be adjusted via Architect.

This time we also have a master volume, but guitarists will have greater control thanks to individual controls for the EQ and the patented infinite shape feature. Taking the amp from a British valve amp to something more American in tone.

Although 20-watts is nice, you can switch the power down to just 2-watts for bedroom jamming. Afterall, that’s what this series is all about.

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Blackstar HT-20RH MKIII
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Blasckstar HT-5R Combo

Who doesn’t love the sight of a big stack? Bringing back some rock and roll heritage, the HT-R combo comprises of a 12-inch Blackstar speaker and a 5-watt head.

Similarly, we’ve got a power reduction down to 0.5-watts should you require it. Combined with the HT-5R head, you’ll have rich and responsive tones.

Blackstar HT-5 Stack · Source: Blackstar
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Blackstar HT-5RH MKIII
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IR Based Technology

Benefiting almost the entire range of the Blackstar HT series is cutting-edge technology. Players can not only adjust their tones thanks to some revised high-quality toggle switches but also have access to digital adjustments thanks to Architecht and CabRig.

Blackstar HT-5H
Blackstar HT MK III – IR Technology with HT-5R Head · Source: Blackstar

Furthermore, CabRig gives you over 100 different digital cabinets to choose from, whilst being able to choose which mic you want to virtually use, and where in a virtual room you want it positioned. Having this onboard with the Blackstar HT MK III series will make customisation easy and virtually infinite.

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Blackstar HT Extension Cabs

Finally, the Blackstar HT series concludes with the addition of two extension cabs. Because the rest of the lineup just wasn’t enough?

Here we have the HT-112OC and the HT-212VOC. They both have an open or closed back, thanks to an easily removable cover at the back of the unit. Moreover, they’re also mono cabs.

Blackstar HT-212VOC
Blackstar HT-212VOC – Open Back · Source: Blackstar

Of course, the HT-212VOC is the more powerful vertical cab extension, with a 160-watt capacity and boasting twin 12-inch celestion seventy-80 speakers.

Now if you ask me, 12-inches is enough for anyone. Therefore, the HT-112OC uses one of the same celestion speakers, but this time down to 50-watts.

Blackstar HT-112OC – 50-watt · Source: Blackstar
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Blackstar HT-112 OC MK III Box
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Conclusions and Availability

Overall, I like the look of the MK III series from Blackstar. Additionally, it’s nice to see them looking back on their 20-year heritage with the HT name. I also approve of the premium materials that have been used like the metal plate logo and premium tolex. Combined with the killer valves and rounded aesthetics, they’re a cool piece of kit.

Fresh from today, you can get hold of the Blackstar HT series from *Thomann.

Video:

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Further Information:

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Blackstar HT MK III

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