The 1W Amp Shootout – Blackstar HT-1 vs Marshall DSL 1



hello everybody this is Adam here at a strings and in today's video we are pitting two 1-watt heads against each other we are putting the Marshall DSL one up against the black star HD one mark two so we thought we would take one against the other get a bunch of sounds and see which one is better which one you prefer and which one is more versatile so that is it so we're going to go through we're going to get some clean some crunches and drive some high gain stuff we're going to test out the reverbs in both using some just ambient noodling stuff and see where we're going the chain for today is my Fender Strat straight into the front of either one of these heads into a 1 by 12 cab with a green back and my tip of an sm57 into our border into logic our usual setup here so just very quickly I'm just going to explain what both lamps have that are slightly different to each other and then you'll see it as we go through with some tones so the DSL one has two channels classic gain an ultra gain with a shared EQ for both so the DSL one you've got a tone shift essentially giving us two voices for each channel similar to what you're gonna get on the HT one and the blackstar HT one it's very very simple we've got our EQ which is our is F control we've got a volume which is our overall level and our gain which is our preamp level now we've got our switch for a high gain and low gain and a voice switch for two so essentially both amps I've got the option for four voices both amps have an emulated line out but for this demo we are purely going through a miked up cab recording I'm sure that there's plenty of demos online way you get examples of of each of them so check them out and that is it only other thing to add is I'm going to be using a PRS s2 for the higher gain sounds everything else is through the strut and that is it so let's check out some tones [Applause] you you you [Applause] you [Applause] you [Applause] so that is it that is the Marshall DSL one and blacks are ht1 mark two now let us know what you think in the comments Tom and I have had a quick conversation and we tend to prefer different heads for different applications and we can't really decide this it's kind of close between the two really so let us know let us know we'll do a poll and that is it so I've been out of three strings we're available on Twitter Instagram Facebook and through our website a strings Dakota you okay pop along drop us a line and say hello and we'll see you in the next video very very soon but boy will you be able to like edit out my warm face

28 thoughts on “The 1W Amp Shootout – Blackstar HT-1 vs Marshall DSL 1

  1. Because of this video, I bought both! Had the Blackstar for almost a year, added the Marshall a week ago.

  2. Just goes to show how much there is no accounting for taste, tone is personal preference. I thought the blackstar blew the Marshall away by a country mile, especially on all the cleans and light break ups but lots of others prefer the Marshall. Each to their own, both good little amps to be fair.

  3. First of all thank you for your efforts, well done. To me, the Marshall sounds like a Marshall, as it should. If one finds it's too bright, turn down treble. The Blackstar doesn't sound like a Marshall, it shouldn't. It has the Blackstar sound which is very good as well. Kind of sounds more refined all around. I guess it all depends on what one needs.

  4. Enjoyed the shoot out, two excellent amps for sure. I've had both, prefer the Blackstar HT-1RH MkII with a Celestion 10" Gold cab. No way to go wrong with either head if you're a rocker.

  5. Two lovely sounding heads ..each have the individual tone so Carn’t say witch is best ..The HT1 is warmer and the DLS 1 is brighter more like a Bassman ..I’ve got a HT1 Combo HT1 ( mk1 ) lovely little combo ..so would have the Marshall ..Don’t forget the guys that started Blackstar worked for Marshall great video ..well done mate ..

  6. Bought the HT1 for headphone practice, digital amps always feel “sticky” and forgiving to play so wanted that tube “glass” with headphones.
    Very impressive, no loss of feel. I swap from playing the HT1 into the wee night hours to my jubilee during the day, no bad habits to be seen.
    Also I wasn’t expecting much build quality wise with the HT1, but wow, solid, the tolex feels like soft leather (not), the handle is super chunky and even the black star logo is well made with a real 3D look. Impressive.

  7. HT1 has a more "modern" edge to the distortion, which I actually like better…..reminds me of the 5150 lunchbox, it sounds better for Ozzy type stuff.

  8. I had the mk 1 ht1which was great, but the dsl 1 has more tonal range, i am running the DSL1 into a Marshall 1 x 12 with the seventy-80 and its a nice sound, great revue Bud

  9. I have them both, each one great in their own way. I am playing through a VHT 1×12 cab with Celestion XC-35 Limited. The Blackstar does tight high gain better, the Marshall has a better overall organic tube sound both clean and classic rock….

  10. Very well done video…thx… I liked both..I preferred the Marshall, but needs the brightness tamed..

  11. I had the DSl for a bit. Really liked the classic rock and punk rock sounds out of it.. I thought it was it’s best sounds.. cleans were not the best. The EQ was very touchy. Spent bit of time to dial in. Sold it because the emulated put was so terrible and the low power mode made it sound like a totally different amp. So to mic it I had to have on 1 watt mode and to try and record in a track home at 11pm even with 1 watt was too loud.

  12. I like the crisp cleans on the DSL compared to the HT1(I own the old combo). Phil McKnight said it was too bright. I suppose you could roll down the tone knob on the guitar. Blackstar sounded better dirty.

  13. I'd go with the Marshall, but turn down the treble. The Blackstar might be just as good, but it sounds a little dull here

  14. Nice one Adam. As you know, I have the HT1 so I am biased and I prefer it overall, but the DSL cleans sounded good 😎

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