Featuring a vintage style, the Blackstar HT Club 40 MKII is a combo amplifier designed for electric guitars. Utilizing dual EL34 power tubes and a preamp powered by two ECC83 tubes, the amplifier projects 40W of clean or distorted guitar tone out of its 12" Celestion speaker, enough to fill a medium-sized venue.
The HT Club 40 MKII has two channels, each equipped with two voicing modes to craft your tone. The Clean channel has two voicing modes. One voicing mode mimics a classic British tone with increased middle and top end and can be overdriven at higher volume settings. The other mode has a tighter sound with greater bass response and cleaner headroom, more akin to an American-style clean amplifier.
For additional distorted sounds, the Overdrive channel has its own traditional tone stack consisting of Bass, Middle, and Treble controls, as well as dual voicing modes. When the Voice switch is in the out position, the overdrive takes on a classic crunchy tonality with a tight response. Press the Voice switch in, and the amp will apply more mid-band gain, adding more body for a smoother sound with a looser response.
To complement the traditional tone stack on the overdrive channel, the HT Club 40 MKII includes Blackstar's ISF, for an additional layer of tone control. The ISF shifts the response of the tone stack between a US-type response with tighter bottom end and more aggressive mids at one end, and a less-aggressive, more woody UK-type response on the other. Between the two extremes lies an infinite number of alternative tone choices.
The HT Club 40 MKII features a natural-sounding digital reverb that enhances the amp's clean and dirty tones. A Dark/Light switch allows the overall reverb characteristics to be modified and adjusted for different tastes and playing styles, while a power reduction control lets you reduce power handling down to 10% of full wattage, making playing at low levels no less powerful for the lack of volume. Additional amenities on the rear panel of the amp include an effects loop, which can be configured for -10 dBV or +4 dBV, depending on the type of equipment being run in the loop. For studio recording and larger venues, a cabinet-voiced direct-out sends a line-level signal, which can be routed to an audio interface or a mixing board, precluding the need for a microphone. For this purpose, XLR and 1/4" jacks are both provided.
You can also use the amp's USB port to route digital audio to your recording interface. In this operation, the HT Club 40 MKII provides four discrete outputs: stereo emulated (left channel), stereo emulated (right channel), preamp output (for use with your own effects and cabinet IRs), and a dry signal.
The combo features a panoply of external speaker jacks as well as an included two-switch footswitch for changing between channels and voicings. For expanded footswitch usage, make use of Blackstar's optional five-switch footswitch.
Key Features at a Glance
- 40W operation
- Tube compliment of 2 ECC83 and 2 EL34
- Two footswitchable channels
- Four footswitchable voices
- Boutique clean channel with expanded tone controls over original model
- High-gain overdrive channel
- Patented Infinite Shape Feature (ISF)
- Power reduction down to 10% of full wattage
- Master volume
- Digital reverb with Dark/Light switch
- Speaker emulated output with 1 x 12" or 4 x 12" voicing
- Effects loop with effects level switch
- USB for recording
- 1 x 12" Celestion speaker
- 2-way footswitch included