When it comes to rock music, the first thing that comes to mind is distortion. Since electric guitars entered the music world, musicians tried different methods to bring in the classic sound. Blues guitarists started the trend by turning up the volume on their amplifiers which operated on vacuum tubes. When rock’n’roll took off with electric guitars, it became increasingly easy to add distortion to the track. But the trend really took off with the use of distortion pedals in the mid-60’s. By the late-80’s it was de rigeur to use distortion pedals and rockers like Pete Townshend made a name for themselves with their innovative use of the distortion pedal. Now, if you are new to the world of distortion, you must be wondering which model to use and just how effective it will be on your music. Rest assured that most pedals offer gritty tones that can be controlled quite easily. Of course, there are several models available for sale but the Blackstar HT-METAL Guitar Effects Pedal is the most commonly used by musicians from all over the world.
Established about 15 years ago, Blackstar has a solid reputation as one of the best music equipment companies in the world. Set up by a group of musicians, the company intuitively understood market requirements. After two years of research and production, the company first launched it products in 2004 at the Frankfurt Music Messe and they became a music industry sensation. The company has been privileged to work with some of the best musicians of the era like James D Bradfield to Gus G and this led to their meteoric rise in the music equipment industry. Fifteen years down the line, the company has diversified into a range of different music markets and they can easily be considered one of the best companies on the market.
The Blackstar HT-METAL is just one of the products from the Blackstar pedal range but it is quite good value-for-money. At $250, this is one of the expensive pedals on the market but it does come packed with features. The overall look of the HT-METAL is like a small control panel in an guitar amplifier. The top has controls for mid-treble, bass, and ISF. Stacked knobs are also available for gain and level. There are small buttons to choose from channel with one clean or overdrive. This can be set up to provide a clean sound or a fresh, sqelchy channel using the ISF and EQ features. The sides feature a guitar input, an amp output, an emulated output to connect with the pedal or to a sound system. Along with these connections, you will also get a connect tube that permits you to get cascade tube gain stages.
- Extremely good gain tones with cascaded gain stages that feel like you are using a tube amp. The two channels have their own gain controls so you can set up additional complementary tones as well.
- Excellent valve design
- The device has been provided with clean, overdrive, as well as super high gain lead models with a unique switching operation to facilitate use.
- A high integrity buffered bypass is built into the system with silent switching.
- Additional tonal control is provided by the 3-band EQ
- The output is speaker-emulated which is ideal for use with sound system or for direct recording.
- The pedal operates at a really high voltage. According to company literature, the pedal requires about 300V to produce the ultra-high headroom and dynamics for your music. This may be a no-no for users but it does come with its own power supply in the form of a 22-volt AC adapter.
- Users have complained that the device does
- Sticker shock is possible due to the heft $250 price tag.
This is a really good effects pedal. It may be a little expensive but it can literally pull off any music in any genre. The pedal offers a significant amount of sound quality but its not that much different from other models in the Blackstar range.