The Blackstar HT Stage 60 212 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 60W of clean or distorted guitar tone out of its 2×12 Celestion cabinet, which houses two celestion speakers. This makes the amplifier more than suited to handle all sorts of venues.
The HT Stage 60 212 MkII sports three channels, each equipped with two voicing modes to craft your tone. In the Clean channel, one voicing mode mimics a classic British tone with increased middle and top end. It 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 two Overdrive channels have their 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 channels, you’ll find two ISF knobs that provide an additional layer of tone control per channel. The ISF knob shifts the response of the tone stack between a US-type response with tighter low end and more aggressive mids at one end, and a less-aggressive, woodier UK-type response on the other. Between the two extremes lies an infinite number of alternative tone choices. Master controls are provided for volume, presence, and resonance.
The combo features five 1/4″ speaker jacks of varying impedances, as well as an included footswitch for changing between channels and voicings. For expanded footswitch usage, make use of Blackstar’s separately available five switch footswitch.
Reverb and Power Reduction
The HT Stage 60 212 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.
Effects Loop, Emulated Outputs and USB Interface
Additional amenities on the rear panel of the amp include an effects loop, which can be configured for -10 dBV or +4 dBu, 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 Stage 60 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 amplifier also accepts two channels of digital signal from your computer.
Key Features at a Glance
- 60W operation
- Tube compliment of 2 ECC83 and 2 EL34
- Three footswitchable channels
- Six footswitchable voices
- Boutique clean channel with expanded tone controls over original model
- 2 high-gain overdrive channels
- 2 x ISF tone knobs per channel
- Power reduction down to 10% of full wattage
- Master volume, resonance, and presence controls
- 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 or playback
- 2 x 12″ Celestion speaker
- 2-way footswitch included