Blackheart Engineering BH15H Handsome Devil
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Blackheart Engineering BH15H Handsome Devil

BH15H Handsome Devil, Tube Guitar Amp Head from Blackheart Engineering.

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Eroachguitar 01/10/2012

Blackheart Engineering BH15H Handsome Devil: Produktbewertung von Eroachguitar (content in English)

"Blackheart's Handsome Devil is quite dapper, indeed."
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Blackheart Engineering, owned by Crate/ Loud Technologies, has been producing quality, value-priced tube amps for several years now, with an emphasis on lower-powered, lunchbox amps that have become all the rage among guitarists.

The Blackheart Handsome Devil, also called the BH15H, delivers 15 or 7 watts (switchable) via two EL84 power tubes. Two 12AX7A's sit in the preamp section, waiting to take your guitar signal and mold it into classic-inspired valve goodness.
The Handsome Devil has all the essential controls of a good single-channel, master volume amp, including: Drive, Level, Bass, Mid, Treble, and Presence. The rear panel sports numerous speaker jacks for a variety of cab-driving options.

UTILIZATION

The Handsome Devil is remarkably simple, and as a result, getting a great sound is a brisk endeavor. It's a very well built amplifier, with a nice, solid aluminum chassis, an actual wood headshell, quality tolex covering, and wiring and circuitry that is well done and free of soldering flaws.

What's more is the Handsome Devil is mod-friendly, offering an extra low voltage tap on the power transformer for things such as tube rectification, or in this case, a Belden digital reverb module.

SOUNDS

The Handsome devil is designed to take advantage of the EL84's extremely low drive requirements, and that it does, but with careful tweaking, a great clean tone can be had, bolstered by the warmth and harmonic richness of the EL84's doing their thing. EQ Controls are reasonably responsive, though an overabundance of treble is easy to achieve on this amp. An over-abundance of volume can also be achieved with this amp. The Handsome Devil can get LOUD-loud enough to keep up with most drummers. But therein lies the beauty of it, as you have enough juice to play with a band, but not so much juice that you can't get some sweet inspiring power tube overdrive at a reasonable volume. That's the ultimate allure of these smaller tube amps.
Upping the gain brings about a pleasant, natural-sounding overdrive that is a joy to play with and it evokes thoughts of the opening riff to Queen's "Tie Your Mother Down". Hitting it with an overdrive pedal increases the overdrive into distortion territory reminiscent of great 70's rock like The James Gang or Thin Lizzy.

The power switch takes the Handsome Devil from 15 watts to 7 watts, which to my ears was simple a much quieter version of the 15 watt tone, minus some bass response. That being said, the Handsome Devil does have plenty of low-end punch, given that it's mated with a cab that handles low-end well.

OVERALL OPINION

Blackheart has a good thing on their hands with their line of lunchbox amps, and the Handsome Devil is a prime example of that. Rediculously simple, built like a tank, great sounding, and great-looking (hey, it IS Handsome!) makes the Handsome Devil an ideal alternative to expensive boutique lunchbox amps. With a street price of $399, The Blackheart Handsome Devil very hard to beat.

The only things the Handsome Devil lacks are Reverb and an FX Loop, both of which are easily modded into the amp. MMM... I love the smell of solder fumes in the morning.