Blackstar HT Venue MkII Club 40 6L6 combo review

A fully featured 1x12 tube combo that's a potent weapon for the stage, studio or home

Blackstar HT Club 40 MkII 6L6
(Image: © Future / Neil Godwin)

Guitar World Verdict

An alternative sonic direction for Blackstar’s best-selling valve combo, with 6L6 valves, power reduction, speaker emulation, direct recording outputs, effects loop and USB audio, this MkII Club 40 is a great value tone monster with all mod cons.


  • +

    Boutique-quality tone at a competitive price.

  • +

    All the features needed for home recording.

  • +

    Compact but powerful.


  • -

    It would be nice if the effects loop were foot-switchable, but at this price we can live with it.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Blackstar’s long-running HT Venue series has been one of the world’s most popular amplification choices for more than a decade now, and it’s around three years since Blackstar took the brave move to update it. 

Not just a case of adding ‘MkII’ to the front panel, every feature was painstakingly explored and improved, with several new functions to facilitate modern home recording, including USB audio, balanced DI outputs with speaker emulation, and a brand-new digital reverb. 

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Nick Guppy

Nick Guppy has been a regular contributor to Guitarist magazine for over 20 years, mostly writing reviews on guitar amps and related products. He built his first valve amplifier at the age of 12 and has since bought, sold and restored many more, with a particular interest in Vox, Selmer, Orange and tweed-era Fenders, alongside Riveras and Mark Series Boogies. When wielding a guitar instead of soldering iron, he’s enjoyed a diverse musical career playing all over the UK, including occasional stints with theatre groups, orchestras and big bands as well as power trios and tributes. His favourite musical genres are ‘anything that’s good’.