Blackheart “Hothead” Guaranteed To Tear It Up

Talk about corruptive power! The new BH100H “Hothead” ($649.99 U.S. street price, shipping in May) from Blackheart Engineering takes the basic plug-and-play attitude of a world-class, 100-watt workhorse head, then shoves in enough jaw-dropping features to make it the most flexible amp in its class, not to mention several classes up.
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Two power modes (Class AB and Class A) divisible by pentode (full power) and triode (half power) operation put four unique, classic and powerful voices right at your fingertips and you won’t need a PhD to get amazing tone, whether it’s searing rock-your-face-off-at-full-volume riff work or plucky, responsive Class A blues when you’re feeling all deep ’n’ stuff.

Two simple switches – Class and Power (which are what everyone wants, really) – open up an endless world of tonal possibilities:

  • Class AB/Pentode: 100W of flesh searing power
  • Class AB/Triode: 50W, tighter headroom, crisper gain, still hurtsClass A/Pentode: 60W, lots of headroom before overdrive, nice and plucky Class A/Triode: 30W, less headroom, more responsive to your attack

And this is all before you even dial in a brilliantly tuned EQ section and rein everything back through the master volume and master presence controls.

Hothead has two channels (Loud and, ahem, F’n Loud), each selectable by a mini toggle on the faceplate or remotely via the included footswitch, and each voiced through its own dedicated EQ section. No more switching from one sound to the same sound in the middle of your jam. Dial in two distinct voices and rock on.

Blackheart Hothead / Add One
The Loud channel (aka “One”) is voiced to range from crisp cleans to classic rock and heavy blues tones. Its controls include drive, level, treble, middle and bass. The F’n Loud channel (aka “Two”) is voiced to capture classic crunch to sweet overdriven lead tones, all shapeable via pots for gain, level, treble, middle and bass.

Both channels share a tube driven effects loop that can be run in series or parallel modes (selectable by mini toggle on the amp’s rear panel) and then hard bypassed, doubling as a footswitch-activated boost. Send and return controls act as expected.

When the effects loop is on, the blue LED on the footswitch lights up. When using the effects loop as a boost, use the hard bypass selection. Then, when you turn the effects loop on (the blue LED lights), decrease your send and/or return level to create a non-boosted level. Admit it… that’s cool!

Other Hothead amenities include: a solid state rectifier; DC powered filaments (preamp) for solid, quiet operation; 16-gauge, 1.5mm rugged chassis construction with folded and welded corners; one 16-ohm, two eight-ohm and two four-ohm output jacks, plus a 1/4-inch line out; and a rugged cabinet constructed of durable 15-ply, 18mm, void-free plywood.

Naturally, the rock-it scientists at Blackheart Engineering wouldn’t create this monstrosity without giving it something to play with; hence the company is also introducing its BH412 Slant (SL) and Straight (ST) cabinets (each $449.99 U.S. street price, also shipping in May). Loaded with four 12-inch Blackheart by Eminence BH1216B Speakers, British-voiced and specifically designed for closed back cabinets, both the BH412SL and BH412ST feature that rugged “we’re in this for the long haul” build quality that makes every Blackheart piece of gear a lifelong commitment to sounding your best, being your best, and pissing off your neighbors until they finally call the cops.

Instead of focusing on how inexpensively products can be made (which is like trying to see how ugly a date you can get), Blackheart sends these out your way with metal handles that’ll hold their own for years and heavy-duty, removable metal casters that’ll roll while you rock longer than most bands will stay together. These are sexy little boxes that feature meticulous tolex work wrapped around 15-ply, 18mm, void-free wood cabs, classically joined and glued.

With power handlings rated at 300 watts, both cabs have an input impedance of 16 ohms and sport parallel 1/4-inch input jacks to daisy chain multiple speaker cabinets from a single source.

About Blackheart
Blackheart Engineering is a new guitar amplifier company benefiting from both the design expertise of Pyotr Belov and manufacturing muscle of Crate/LOUD Technologies Inc. Dedicated to delivering the best old-school, all-tube tone at price points within any guitarist's reach, Blackheart truly embraces the camaraderie, attitude and spirit of irreverence that is rawk!

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Blackheart Engineering is a trademark of Loud Technologies Inc. in the United States and all other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

About LOUD Technologies Inc.
LOUD Technologies Inc. ( is one of the world's largest manufacturers and distributors of professional audio and music products. As the corporate parent for world-recognized brands including Alvarez, Ampeg, Crate, EAW, Knilling, Mackie, SIA and TAPCO, LOUD Technologies produces and distributes a wide range of digital recording products, loudspeakers, commercial audio systems, audio and music software, guitars, guitar and bass amplifiers, and orchestral string instruments. LOUD Technologies' brands can be found in professional and project recording studios, video and broadcast suites, post-production facilities, sound reinforcement applications including churches and nightclubs, and retail locations as well as on major musical tours.

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