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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well here we go. I have finally tested my new HT-5RH (head) [for a full review of this head please see the review section] with both the the older HT-110, 10" closed back, 40 watt cabinet and the new HT-112, 12" semi open back, 50 watt cabinet.

I purchased the two different models with the aim of having some sound variation between the 40 watt and 50 watt models for recording. Given the great price of $220.00 for the HT-110 and $199.00 for the HT-112 it was a win either way as I only ever intended to run one cabinet in to the HT-5RH (head) at any one time.

I tested the cabinets through the HT-5RH, in to a Custom Shop Fender Strat with '54 with single coil pickups and an Ibanez RG 520 with Dimarzio FRED and PAF Pro humbucking pickups. I also used an Ibanez Jemini distortion and a Vox Ice 9 overdrive Pedal for the test.

So, and the winner is.........

The HT-112, but only just.

The two cabinets do sound reasonably similiar, as to be expected, however there are some genuinely noticeable differences between the two.

At lower volumes (9 - 11 o'clock) and when going for a nice bluesy tone that just, ever so gently breaks up, the HT-110 performed better.

However, when the HT-112 was turned up at volumes post 11 o'clock on the dial it was the superior cab. This was noted in both clean, crunchy and distorted modes.

The semi open back on the HT-112 seemed to have a bit more air in the tone in both clean and distorted modes, particularly at higher volumes, which ultimately espoused a better overall sound. As many had predicted the HT-110 sounded a little boxy in comparison (certainly when distorted) and broke up in clean a little earlier than the HT-112, which in certain applications is not a bad thing at all.

This does not mean that the HT-110 is a greatly inferior cabinet, far from it, I would suggest that is may simply have a different application / use if you are able to own the two different versions as I am lucky enough to do and I would certainly recommend getting one of each.

When I get around to it I will try and record some samples, however until I do you will just have to take my word for it, or try the test for yourself.

I hope this was useful, as I struggled to find a comparison of the two different cabs anywhere.

Now to try the Mesa Boogie, Lonestar cab with the HT-5RH..............

-Wolfram
 

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Yeah, samples or it didn't happen!

So is it fair to say that the 110 would be better blues speaker? Better break up at "crunch" levels of drive rather than screaming high gain?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, samples or it didn't happen!

So is it fair to say that the 110 would be better blues speaker? Better break up at "crunch" levels of drive rather than screaming high gain?
I don't know if 'better' is the right word as it would depend on the style and type of blues sound you're after, however for me there is a very old school break up of the sound to the 110 cab that I find quite pleasing not so much at crunch but more so the breaking up at the end of the clean (not like a blown speaker). If you give it a little kick with a tubescreamer at that point (or in my case the green side of the Jemini) it does get a nice break up "crunch".

-Wolfram
 

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Awesome. The HT-5s are fantastic amps. Wait until you run it through a Vintage 30, sounds massive. I've used mine with my band on stage, and it's LOUD and awesome tone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Awesome. The HT-5s are fantastic amps. Wait until you run it through a Vintage 30, sounds massive. I've used mine with my band on stage, and it's LOUD and awesome tone.
In regards to the 'Vintage 30', what cabinet does this come in - are you using the Orange PPC112 - 1x12" Cabinet or other?

I am hooked on this mini head concept and figure that I will expand my amp collection around this. For example I will get different small wattage heads and various cabinets.

They are easier to store, great for studio work and sound great at sensible levels.

I could sell my Marshall JCM 800, 900 series heads to expand but I just know that I would kick myself and as a guitarist there is the sense of accomplishment in owning a Marshall stack(s).

-Wolfram
 

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I've just thrown the Vintage 30 in my old Kustom KGA65 combo amp. It's semi closed back, and fairly compact. Sounds monstrous though.
 

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How did you find running other distortion pedals in front of the HT-5RH sounded?

I have an HT-5H (the non reverb version) and I love the tone from the head itself, clean and dirty, however when I tried my Fulltone OCD and HBE Full Metal Jacket into the clean channel, they both sounded really offensive... maybe I had the clean gain too high and the pedals were really overloading the tube.. This was using the the 2x12 Wolverine speakers in my TSL602 combo, just connected the Blackstar instead..

Also I recommend trying Blackstars HT 4 x 8" cabinet.. I tried that and the 112 in the store before just buying the head and the 4x8 is really interesting sounding. Tighter and more punchy, though I agree the 112 adds more "air"..
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am running a Jemini and a Vox Overdrive and I have been happy with both through the clean channel. Having said that I do generally us the clean channel as a clean channel (with maybe a little bit of the Vox OD to get a nice slightly overdriven sound) and then to get my distorted sound I use the dirty channel, then boost the levels with the red side (angry) side of the Jemini to dial in my heavier distortion sound.

In fact I had a really good hit out with the amp during the week and it absolutely blew me away just how warm the distortion is and, for me, I am quite satisfied with my sound (finally) for the time being.

I am really looking forward to tracking with this amp in the coming weeks.

-Wolfram
 

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Thanks for the review, I was just pondering which to cab to by myself!

Can you please comment (or test if not yet performed) which cab you feel sounds better for high gain applicaitons? Such as hard rock or metal. That would be quite helpful since at least half the HT5 owners play in the high gain territory.

Thanks,

Sonic
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Sonic,

Good to see the review was useful. For Hard rock or metal I would very simply go with the HT-112.

-Wolfram
 

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Thanks for that. I heard the Blackbird in a combo and it didn't sound so good. Based on that, I would have guessed the closed-back 1x10 cab w/Celestion woud be the better choice.

You have the new version of the HT5 - the HT5RH, which has more gain added over the previous version. Do you still find the need to use a boost for metal riffing and/or soloing??
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for that. I heard the Blackbird in a combo and it didn't sound so good. Based on that, I would have guessed the closed-back 1x10 cab w/Celestion woud be the better choice.

You have the new version of the HT5 - the HT5RH, which has more gain added over the previous version. Do you still find the need to use a boost for metal riffing and/or soloing??
The open back HT-112 is definately the choice for me for a heavier sound.

I do still use a pedal (mainly an Ibanez Jemini) to boost the signal. I have been trialing a number of overdrive pedals at the moment - so far I have tried a TS-9, Vox Ice 9, BBE Green Screamer and a Green Rhino MK II. I am currently loving the Green Rhino Mk II. The heaviest stuff that I play consistently is Metallica / Danzig and am very happy with the sound. I am sure I could get even more grunt with a more Metal focused distortion pedal.

-Wolfram
 

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I've tried a DOD YJM 308 in front of my HT-5, VERY noisy even with a NS-2. But it does give a nice thick tone.

MXR Zakk Wylde Overdrive, Very aggressive and high in treble.

Ibanez TS9, In my opinion it's the best for metal, very well rounded, keeping the amp tight in its EQ's.

Wouldn't recommend not boosting the amp when playing metal as it sounds a little dull, but then again i've not gone past 9 o clock.

@Lone Phantom, Is the head loud enough to be heard over drums? and at what Vol level do you put it at?
 

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I usually put my amp at 12 o'clock, or a little higher when playing with my band in the rehearsal studio. On stage I dime it for the hell of it. Gain is set to 12 o'clock too. I play through a single Celestion Vintage 30 and all in all its plenty loud.
 

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Hi guys, any good OD pedal reccommendation for the blackstar HT-5 ? I tried a boss DS-2 a week ago, it did add lots of gain, but it sucks tone so much.. It also give my tone strange half open wah sound..
I find the HT5 a great amp for hard rock tone, but doesn't have enough compression/tightness for drop tuned modern metal
 

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Ive tried both my Fulltone OCD and HBE Full Metal Jacket infront of the HT-5H and I honestly thought the tone was terrible.. lucky for me the tone from the OD channel is excellent for the style of music my band and I play, though perhaps I need to try a tube screamer instead of a distortion pedal to boost up that OD channel. Ive run gain at full and volume at 90% into the 2 x 12 cab that my Marshall TSL602 Combo (2 Celestion Wolverine Custom speakers) and its VERY LOUD, you could use it very comfortably with a band.
 

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If you want to saturate the amps overdrive I recommend a transparent overdrive like the Honey Bee from Mad Professor. The most impressive OD pedal I've heard or played.
 
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