Suggestions for pre-amp pedals(eg. Blackstar HT-Metal)

Discussion in 'Guitar Gear Talk Forum' started by ayu135, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. ayu135

    ayu135 New Member

    Well now that i have started playing live i am having a few problems with my Vypyr 75. Nothing tonally, it is still a superb amp. Earlier when the places i used to play were small i used to straight away use the amp and it would be loud enough but last two times i played in an open place and i obviously had to plug in to the PA system. Also there is problem in switching the effects/presets, i have to do it by hand as i dont have the Sanpera pedal and dont plan to buy it as it is quite expensive also i dont plan to have the Vypyr with me in the long run. Also lugging around an almost 25kg amp is starting to tire me out.
    So i recently came across these pre amp pedals from Blackstar and from what i could gather from online reviews and youtube videos they are tube driven pre amps and have a really good sound. So now i plan to build a decent pedal board over the course of this year. So starting now i wish to first buy a pre amp pedal like these.
    HT-DISTX Guitar Pedal - Blackstar Amplification
    HT-DUAL Guitar Pedal - Blackstar Amplification
    HT-METAL Guitar Pedal - Blackstar Amplification
    Personally i like the ht-metal.

    Well, i would again like to point out my musical interests it is mostly metal and hard rock. I also like to have some nice cleans for playing the softer stuff like nothing else matters, paradise city, knocking on heavens doors etc. I also sometimes play some Punk Rock and Classic Rock stuff like Blink-182, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits. But mainly i play metal stuff like Metallica, Megadeth, Godsmack, Iron Maiden, Kamelot, Lamb of God, Pantera.

    I have only come across these pedals from blackstar, if you guys know any other good tube pre amp pedals please suggest. Well these pedals are priced around Rs.12,000-13,000 when directly converting prices from Euro or Dollars to rupees. My budget for one of these is around 15k. So i guess they'll come around that price in india if they sell for around $250 in the USA. Also earlier i had no idea where to buy these from but seeing that thread about Play Floyd being legit i can try to get it from them.
    My future plans for my pedal board include an overdrive pedal, an ISP Decimator, a delay and a tuner.
  2. guitarplayer729

    guitarplayer729 New Member

    Well from how much I know the HT-Metal is a dual channel HT-Distx
    So if you want to choose from the pedals you mentioned, the HT-Metal is better.
    There is also the Ibanez Tube King Distortion but i don't know how it sounds.
  3. rickkkyrich

    rickkkyrich Guest

    You need a Sansamp GT2 or any other specific Tech 21 pedals like california, british, leeds depending on the sound you're after..
  4. wylder

    wylder New Member

    I'd recommend that you don't go for a top of the line pedal you haven't tried yet for your first pedal.

    Go to your nearest decent music store and try out a basic Boss distortion pedal and a delay. If you are not used to analog pedals, it will take some fiddling around to get to a nice tone. Once you get comfy using one for some time, you can look at getting a pricier one.

    Based on the metal artists you listed, I would recommend you try out the MT-2 Metal Zone with a simple delay. You can easily get these used and hence save some cash too. So give them a try at a music store.
  5. rickkkyrich

    rickkkyrich Guest

    I think he wants to avoid the hassle of carrying amp so he needs pedals which can be directly go to PA...
  6. ayu135

    ayu135 New Member

    I have tried analog pedals in a way you can say, the vypyr has a nice collection of stompboxes, the distortion/overdrive is all analog and i know the getting your tone right part. I have also played around with the various time based effects too and the modulation effects like chorus, flanger, phaser, pitch shifter, octaver etc.
    And also i am a tone freak. Call it a curse or a boon but i have sensitive ears and good headphones and the tone of my vypyr is very good i might say better than these boss distortion pedals. Only thing that is not there is that tube like effects, like roll your volume down to get a cleaner tone, hit your strings harder to get a more distorted tone, those dynamics.

    and this
    Also i found a few more pedals if any of you have some experience with these please let me know
    Products - Tubeman MKII - Hughes & Kettner

    Tonebone Plexitube tube distortion - introduction

    These are a bit more expensive at around $300 each and i dont know if these will suit the styles i mentioned.

    Edit: The Tubeman MKII doesnt seem to suit my musical interests and it is actually worth around $499 which is way expensive so i am cutting out this option.
  7. henrynh

    henrynh New Member

    Well, the conversion prices are a bit off. The $250 online price already contains some savings on it in US, but if it was to be bought from a authorized dealer in India then it would be $320+12.5% V.A.T. The Blackstar ones will cost around 19k (unless it's last year's stock) through a dealer today if he is getting it from US. But if it's from UK then the price might be lower, can't say for sure though.

    Since you are only intending to get one preamp pedal that does Clean & Metal, then the HT-Metal would do. You would have to bend over to alter the settings for the in between sounds though.The Tech 21 Character series would work too, they respond to the guitar's volume knob very well. But you will need atleast two to get both clean & gain for quick switching. If your going to add a pedal after the preamp pedal like a delay/reverb then you may need a DI box as well. A mono DI box would do.

    Before you place an order for one of these, make sure you are comfortable with not having an amp on stage. At the next gig during soundcheck take the amp off the stage & point it away in the direction opposite to your ears and check if you are okay with the venue's monitor alone. Otherwise you'll eventually end up having to drag the amp along again or get a personal monitor which will again get tiresome to lug around unless it's in-ears
  8. guitarplayer729

    guitarplayer729 New Member

    I think HT-Metal is a dual channel pedal.
    Check this out:- Buy Processors & Pedals Online | Processors & Pedals Prices in India | Saptaswara Chennai, India
  9. ayu135

    ayu135 New Member

    @henryh the $250 is the selling price so the person selling it must be getting it at an even lower price. And i believe these dealers from india must be getting it at a price similar to these dealers in usa, add the duties(which will be on the cost price) and shipping and profits i believe the cost should be around $300-$310. Also i had one of my relative check out some local guitar stores in usa for this pedal and it is priced at around $230-$240 there. But the problem is that he is not coming to india before december-january. Also i dont know about customs and other duties if i have him bring it for me. Plus even i am going on vacation to Thailand around jan 1 but i dont know about pricing and availability in bangkok and if it is favorable i can get it from there. But if i can get here and now at around $300 i will gladly buy it.

    And yeah the sound system is good, i primarily play at my college and since i am the person in charge for the venue during these events i make sure that the setup is decent. And the sound system is Bose so it is good.

    Wow the prices are nice at saptswaras, but i didnt see the HT-metal there. I'll contact them. BTW are they reliable?
    Also what henryh meant to say is that there is no seperate eq for each channel so i will have to adjust it by hand when i change channels.
  10. henrynh

    henrynh New Member

    Yeah, you set it like one channel set to Clean and other channel set to Metal(think Godsmack metal). Now if you want to do Pink F' then you bend over & alter the EQ & the gain on either of the two channels that you want use.
    If you use too much gain then turning the guitar's volume knob down would give a volume drop as well as some change in the tone. To compensate you need an EQ & maybe a clean boost or volume pedal right after the preamp so as to make things easier & prevent the need to bend over & alter the controls on the pedal.

    About the prices well, you see that $250 price tag is not the manufacture's retail sale price of the pedal. The US dealers are able to bring it down for some reason. Maybe buying at wholesale or something. But if you are a dealer in India then you buy it at the MRSP price then the tax gets added to it later. Now in India the dealers aren't able to give you a 40% discount on goods so people normally complain at stuff is selling here at twice the US price.
    I'm wasn't talking about the sound quality of the PA, I'm talking about the experience of going ampless on stage if you aren't used to it. Give it a try before completely switching over to a amp-less rig.

    Anyways, I had a fun memory of Saptaswara last month or something. That time there was a thread regarding Godins & the prices were from last year on that site. The moment I mentioned about the new prices for some the prices went up the following week on most of the Godins except for the one that was being discussed in the thread. There is a possibility that this site is being monitored by most dealers lol
  11. guitarplayer729

    guitarplayer729 New Member

    Don't know it myself. I myself was shocked by the price on the HT-1 combo which was only for 14k and Bajaao was offering it for 22k.
  12. wylder

    wylder New Member

    Yeah, using volume control on your guitar to clean up warrants the need for a volume pedal at the end of the chain. Another thing is the tone of your guitar would be significantly different when you roll down the volume.

    If you are looking at that much of sensitivity you might want an Overdrive or stack an OD + Dist pedal. Check out MI Audio Tube Zone Overdrive - I'm in love with mine. There is a YouTube demo in which a guy plays Electric Gypsy by Andy Timmons and the crunch to lead tone is varied using the volume knob. (If you are or will be in Bangalore, PM me if you want to try out the pedal)

    In any case, as henrynh mentioned, you'll need at least 2 drive pedals if you use a variety of gain ranges in a song. I use either:
    the Tube zone as high gain with a Boss OD-3 (a fantastic low-gain OD) for low gain
    or MT-2 for high gain metal rhythm with Tube zone for mid gain lead tones that clean up with the volume knob

    From personal experience, it sucks to play without an amp on stage because many a times, the sound engineers will not have enough monitor channels in their mixer to give you a dedicated guitar monitor and a mix monitor. So at some point the engineer might drown out your guitars in the mix. Another thing is if the stage is small, the engineer might not let you keep monitor levels too high to avoid leakage into the mics on stage.

    Of course, things become a lot simpler if you are in a 3 piece punk band or something... But there is nothing like the luxury of being able to run to your amp when the drummer suddenly gets an adrenaline rush on the cymbals.
  13. ayu135

    ayu135 New Member

    Well the problem is not only lugging it around but absence of a footswitch, and the sanpera i have heard is not too great for live performances as there is a perceptible lag(almost 1 second) when changing between presets and some other issues. Plus it is expensive, 7500 for the sanpera 1 which has only one expression pedal, while the sanpera 2 costs 14500. I dont find the cost to be justified, and one day in the future the vypyr has to go, a tube amp will replace it. The pedal board fits in nicely with my future plans.

    After much considerations i have finally settled on the HT-Metal, but i wont be buying it immediately from here as it costs more. I will ask my relative to get is for me when he comes or get it myself from bangkok. Any idea about customs and how to avoid paying them?

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