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Blackstar HT Dist-X Distortion Pedal Featured

 
A high gain valve distortion pedal.


Price: $80 to $129 at 5 stores
Searched Blackstar HT Dist-X Distortion Pedal in Reviews
 

 

Blackstar HT Dist-X All Valve Distortion Pedal featured

Ease Of Use This pedal really took me by suprise, I was looking for a great sounding high gain distortion pedal, but boy I got a lot more than I was looking for! To start with the pedal has 6 controls, Gain,level, middle,treble,bass and the most interesting control, the ISF (Infinite shape feature). This pedal is very easy to use and dialing in a great sound is very easy. The manual is comprehensive but really, your not going to need it, it's that easy to use. There's no upgrading the software, it doesn't have any, it's all valve!!


Sound Onto the sound. All of the controls are self explanatory except for the ISF control, which is where this pedal really starts to shine. What it does is it gives you the ability to contour your tone which you've never really been able to do before. In a way it's a mini modeler without any digital electronics in sight! Anti clockwise gives you a U.S. high gain sound and clockwise rotation gives you a more British flavor. If you dial it somewhere into the middle your able to dial in some really nicely blended sounds like a Soldano SLO 100watt type sound for instance. There is no mushiness at extreme high gain settings whatsoever, the clarity of notes and string separation really is very good without too much compression. It does the Dual Rectifier thing quite well as well as it does the Marshall thing, albeit with it's own take on it. Now, this pedal really impressed me, it's a shredders dream! I've never really used a pedal like it, it really does sound like a great drive channel on an expensive sounding amp. The only time it doesn't sound so convincing is when the gain is set at the lower end of the spectrum. It's just a little bit false sounding for some types of lower gain classic rock. ,there is just that little bit too much compression from the extra gain stage. Although it still sounds good in it's own right. I used this pedal for 6 months and only sold it on to put the money towards a custom built boutique high gain amp!


Reliability Superb build quality, it's not going to break in a hurry.


Customer Support I've never dealt with them.


Liked about it The thing I like most about this pedal was the string separation, you can have huge amounts of gain and the sound stays well defined and authoritative. The ISF control really does give you alot of extra scope to create some great sounds. Personally, I think it sounds much bigger the the Blackstar Dual distortion, probably due to its extra gain stage. I have to say, it's probably the best distortion i've ever tried, and I was sorry to have to sell it on. Still, I can always buy another one!!


Didn't like I didn't dislike anything about it.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By longi
Apr 20, 2010
 
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Price: $80 to $129
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Sounds Like a High gain Tube amp at any volume

Ease Of Use Using it is very simple and dialing in a tone is easy. Start by tweaking the eq (Bass, Mids, Treble) then set the gain to how you want and then play around with the ISF (infinite shape feature). This will get you from a more American voicing when it's all the way to the left and a more British sound when set to the right. Although I personally found I almost always keep the ISF slightly to the British (right) side. I found the tone much better here.

There are lots of really good tones to be found in this pedal. Although "Blackstar" market it as "Pure Valve Filth" there are more than just djenty metal tones to be had. It can get some nice fluid fusion tones and even some blues rock Joe Bonamassa-esque sounds.


Sound I mainly play an Ibanez RG prestige through the pedal straight to a Laney VC15 (a low gain, low wattage tube amp).
The pedal sounds really great through solid state amps giving them more tubey characteristics but the pedal definately shines with a real tube amp.

I found, despite what I had read in other reviews, that the pedal does much more than metal. Although there is alot of gain to be had here it isn't needed to sound great. Fusion, Rock, Blues (if you roll back volume on guitar), shred and of course metal are all acheivable. I mainly play Shred/Fusion: Paul Gilbert, Guthrie Govan, Richie Kotzen and the pedal can get me these tones.

The pedal reacts well to how you play and what kind of pickups/volume your using on your guitar. You can clean up the tone nicely to get a strat-like sound by using the right pickups and messing around with the volume.

The Pedal does slightly retain the tone of the amp but really it has its own sound which is great if your playing through someone elses gear as you can get your sound anywhere with the pedal.


Reliability Its never broken down on me and seems to be built like a tank. It's Not looking to break anytime soon.


Liked about it The Distortion is great at any level.
There is alot of variety in tone.
Nice tube like sound, it sounds like the lead channel from a high end amp.


Didn't like Although I don't find it a problem (as I just run the pedal from mains power) it has an unusual power supply so I dont think it's possible to run through a power block such as a Voodoo labs pedal power or easily replace the supply it comes with if it breaks down.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By ElectricJoy
Oct 09, 2010
 
Last updated: October 17, 2010
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