Blackheart Killer Ant - Anyone have one?

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Blackheart Killer Ant - Anyone have one?

Postby wanderingyankee » Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:02 am

These little tube amps are cheap...less than £100 quid!!
I'm thinking about getting one. Does anyone have one? Is it any good or is this a case of "you get what you pay for"?

The below is from their website: http://www.blackhearteng.com/bh1h.html

The followup to Blackheart Engineering's Little Giant 5, the Killer Ant is the first attainable, boutique quality fractional tube amp. Featuring Class A, Single Ended circuitry, it delivers the complete, classic, touch responsive tube tone you need but at more manageable volumes for apartment dwellers and recording sessions.

Designed on a beer stained cocktail napkin, prototyped, built and tested in a one car garage in Austin, TX, and engineered to the same strict standards as the Little Giant 5, this "little head" delivers the tones, the smells and the attitude you want when sonic bliss is everything and volume needs to be kept at bay. The Killer Ant embraces 100% classic all tube circuitry but, instead of a high power tube output section, it boasts a clever, all tube power block pumping out a mere fraction of 1W. What you get is arena rock tone at bedroom levels. No more angry neighbors, whining wives or girlfriends (or both...just sayin').

Like its big bro, it features completely overbuilt component specs, from 1W resistors in the signal path to double sided PCB with 2 oz traces. Even its diminutive cabinet, just over palm sized, is built to take a beating with 15 ply (18mm) void-free wood covered expertly in durable black tolex. Final touches include distinctive white piping accents and a salt & pepper cloth covered front baffle. 4, 8 and 16-ohm extension speaker jacks allow you to hook the Ant into virtually any cab you like, including a 4 X 12. However, its counterpart, the Killer Cab, is designed to be its perfect soul mate.

SPECS:

» <1 Watt RMS, Single-Ended, Class A » Outputs: 1 x 16 ohm jack, 1 x 8 ohm jack, 1 x 4 ohm jack » Solid State Rectifier » Volume (the rest of the tone is in your hands) » DC Power to filaments for super quiet operation » 15 ply, 18mm thick-void free plywood construction
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Re: Blackheart Killer Ant - Anyone have one?

Postby wanderingyankee » Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:42 am

Am getting tired of lugging my Bluesbreaker to gigs...it is f***ing heavy!!

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Re: Blackheart Killer Ant - Anyone have one?

Postby grady » Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:39 am

Blackheart keeps promising those amps but, they only show up a few here & there.

I recently purchased a Vox ToneLab LE.
It uses a 12AX7 Tube and produces great tube tone.
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Re: Blackheart Killer Ant - Anyone have one?

Postby leftyguitarman » Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:27 pm

I've been lookin over some youtube videos scoping out these amps. Especially the 5w version.



Here's the 1w version. Sound's pretty decent to me.
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Re: Blackheart Killer Ant - Anyone have one?

Postby texas blues » Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:02 pm

Didn't get interesting to me until he "dimed" ( I hate that term) the wombat. P90's or HB's might get that to break up proper but it just didn't seem to have enough cajones to push the poop through the pipe. Weber 10" might help that..

Cheers, TB.
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Re: Blackheart Killer Ant - Anyone have one?

Postby leftyguitarman » Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:13 pm

Well it is only 1w. But, after reading up on those amps, a huge amount of people said that changing the tubes will improve the sound of those amps. I guess they come with crappy tubes.
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Re: Blackheart Killer Ant - Anyone have one?

Postby TheDude » Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:12 pm

Not sure if a 1W amp would serve much purpose, even through a big cab. I run my 5W Fender Champion through a 1x12" cab and while it's plenty loud for practice (even OK for rehearsals with a reasonable drummer) it would fall short for gigging.

They also have a 15W head coming up which seems more interesting to me. In Europe I see they'll retail for +/- 260 - 270 EUR.
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Re: Blackheart Killer Ant - Anyone have one?

Postby Rick-e » Fri Nov 14, 2008 2:51 pm

There's a lot to be said for a low watt amp. You can easily get power tube saturation, which IMHO sounds better than overloading the front end. From there stick a mic infront of your speaker cab and run it thru the PA.
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Re: Blackheart Killer Ant - Anyone have one?

Postby TheDude » Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:41 pm

Sure, I agree with your comment on low-wattage amps. You gotta drive the powertubes to get "that sound". But 1W with a hard-hitting drummer is gonna get lost in the mix, I reckon. Dunno, guess we'd have to hear the Blackheart live and in person to see how loud it really gets.
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Re: Blackheart Killer Ant - Anyone have one?

Postby goldbrick » Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:52 pm

i think my Epi jr combo has a better sound on clean and is loud enuff for bar gigs

I think for a tiny amp the pignose I use is fine

Unless you have a cabinet laying around and just want the head for shits and guggles you can do better
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Re: Blackheart Killer Ant - Anyone have one?

Postby Rick-e » Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:19 pm

TheDude wrote:". But 1W with a hard-hitting drummer is gonna get lost in the mix, I reckon.


For sure. I was speaking more in general. You have to admit the all out class A sound can be sweet, and a low watt amp makes it easier to manage. The 1 watter could be a great studio amp
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Re: Blackheart Killer Ant - Anyone have one?

Postby TheDude » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:14 pm

Rick-e wrote:
TheDude wrote:". But 1W with a hard-hitting drummer is gonna get lost in the mix, I reckon.


For sure. I was speaking more in general. You have to admit the all out class A sound can be sweet, and a low watt amp makes it easier to manage. The 1 watter could be a great studio amp


Oh definitely. I checked out the clips on youtube over the weekend and HOLY friggin' SH*T that little thing really cooks. Can't remember the user now, but someone posted a clip playing it through a full stack and the crunch on that tiny little bugger is amazing!
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