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AXOLOGY: Blackheart Heats Up the Hothead

In addition, the Hothead has controls for master volume and master presence.

Both channels share a tube-driven effect 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.

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.

To accompany the amp, Blackheart Engineering is introducing its BH412 Slant (SL) and Straight (ST) cabinets. The cabinets are loaded with four 12-inch Blackheart by Eminence BH1216B Speakers, British-voiced and specifically designed for closed back cabinets, Each features 15-ply, 18mm, void-free wood cabs, classically joined and glued.

Both cabs are rated for 300 watts and have an input impedance of 16 ohms. They sport parallel 1/4-inch input jacks to daisy-chain multiple speaker cabinets from a single source.

The Hothead starts shipping in May. Street price is $649.99. The cabinets also ship in May, with a street price of $449.99 each.

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Christopher Scapelliti
Christopher Scapelliti

Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player (opens in new tab) magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World (opens in new tab), a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.