Blackstar HT-20R MKII 20-watt 1x12" Tube Combo Amp w/ Reverb
The HT-20R MKII is a 20-watt 1 x 12" combo tube amp with Blackstar's ISF (Infinite Shape Feature), which provides sonic versatility without resorting to digital modeling.
While the versatility of its all-tube overdrive channel is its strong suit, it does have a boutique amp inspired clean channel.
Another cool feature of this amp is its built-in power attenuator, which lets you switch between 20W and 2W, taming the amp for practice or recording.
To meet the demands of today's players, Blackstar equipped this amp with USB output for direct recording, built-in digital reverb, an MP3 line in, and a speaker emulated output.
What's even cooler is that it you don't have to buy a footswitch separately because it is already bundled with the amp.
- Power Rating: 20W, 2W (Via Power Attenuator)
- Preamp Tube: 2 x 12AX7
- Poweramp Tube: 2 x EL84
- Speaker: 1 x "12
- Input:1 x 1/4" (instrument), 1 x 1/8" (line in)
- Output: 1 x 1/4" (16 ohms), 2 x 1/4" (single 8 ohm, 2 x 16 ohm), 1 x XLR (DI out), USB
- Cabinet: Rear Ported
- Control Knobs: Clean: Volume, Tone / Overdrive: Gain, Volume, 3-Band EQ, ISF, Reverb, Master
- Weight: 35.7 lbs
Rightly described as a tone monster, the HT-20R impresses guitarists with its high-gain tones, and thanks to ISF, it's not stuck to being a one trick pony. Even those who are into slightly dirty and crunch tones are pleased by the amp. There is also plenty of positive feedback regarding its clean tone. Output flexibility is also commended, you can use the amp on stage with its DI out, or you can record via USB. Nick Guppy of Music Radar is equally impressed, summarizing his review by saying that it has impressive versatility, no tonal weak points and great connectivity.
While this amp is quite straightforward, coaxing out good tones will require some tinkering, so it may not appeal to those who just want a plug-and-play tube amp.
With its sonic versatility and good connectivity options, its hard to go wrong with the Blackstar HT-20R MKII.
Although this was previously on our recommended list, there are now more highly rated options available which you can see in our guide to The Best Combo Tube Amps.