This is the pedal of the nought’ies…the Blackstar HT-Dual!
There has been a WAVE of excitement over the flagship of the Blackstar amplification Ht Pedal range.
Blackstar is a relatively new British company, launching in 2007, that boasts an R&D and engineering team that cut its teeth with perhaps the biggest amp name of all time…Marshall. Breaking out on their own in this new venture, Blackstar has made quite a name for themselves with a range of amps and valve-driven pedals.
The HT-DUAL is loaded with a single Russian-made ECC83 dual-triode preamp valve, backlit to glow red. The valve runs off a full 300-volt circuit, (hence HT in the name: HT for ‘high-tension’ meaning high voltage). This is widely accepted by many to offer better tone, gain and overload characteristics than low-voltage valve pedals.
The HT-DUAL also offers an addition called an ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) control. Unlike more familiar contour circuits, the ISF enables you to move the entire EQ section voicing between what you’d expect of two classic amplifier tone circuits: Fender at one end and Marshall at the other.
“The ISF came about because we were looking for a way to voice testbed amplifiers for artists,” explains Blackstar’s technical director, Bruce Keir. “We needed a way to continuously vary the tone beyond what was available from existing amplifiers. This would enable the player to create their signature sound before we ‘locked it off’ in their preferred setting. The method we came up with gave the ability to not only get the standard reference tones, but also the ‘in-between’ never-before-attainable voicings as well. It worked so effectively and so simply that we decided to make it a feature available for all guitarists to use.”
A handy tool indeed, the ISF control broadly apes the tonal response of classic 6L6- or EL34-powered amps, plus many points in between.
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Do you dare ignore it?!
The HT-DUAL offers the ultimate in high voltage valve distortion flexibility.
Channel 1 has either Clean or Crunch modes so it can be used clean, as a boost or overdrive.
Channel 2 gives distortion tones from super crunch right up to
The unique switching operation will transform a single channel vintage amp into a three channel tone machine.
The ISF control takes you from ‘British Valve’ to ‘Modern American’ and anywhere
in between and the no compromise speaker emulated output lets you get it all down to tape or disk.