I was once asked how dark I wanted to make a design that I was working on. My response was “As black as your heart”. That didn’t go down very well. The design I ended up creating was awesome though. I class that as a win. So when I come across an amplifier called the Little Giant by Blackheart I naturally assume it will also be a winner. How could it not be?!
Apart from having a brand name that appeals to me, this amplifier seems to fit the criteria for my first tube amplifier head incredibly well. Not only is this a low wattage amplifier head, it comes with a pentode/triode switch which allows you go from the full 5 watts to an even friendlier 3 watts. Nice. My wife could be seriously impressed with that feature. I’ll sell it as a bedroom amp!
Let’s look at the full feature list
- 5 watt Class A amplifier
- Preamp: 1 x 12AX7
- Poweramp: 1 x EL84
- Solid state rectifier
- Bass, Middle, Treble and Volume controls
- Pentode (5 watt)/Triode (3 watt) switch
- 4, 8 and 16 ohm speaker outputs
Simple. But everything I’m looking for. More importantly, it’s apparently really loud for its 5 watts (not something I’d share with my wife). Guitar World did a very good video review that highlights the sounds and tones this amplifier is capable of (in both 5 watt and 3 watt modes). Pro Guitar Shop released a similar video review for the Blackheart Little Giant amplifier. As you can see and hear in these video reviews, this little amplifier is capable of some very good clean, overdriven and distorted tones.
Another thing that appeals to me with this amplifier is the Blackheart brand. If you read the official PDF for the BH5H amplifier head you’ll notice that this company is all about serious amplification with attitude. Their messaging is written in a style that appeals to me greatly. Serious tone, not-so serious messaging. Perfect! If you get a chance, watch the old promotional video on their Stuff page. That’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about.
I hope to come across one of these amplifiers here in Australia. It seems to be a serious contender.
Disclaimer: I’ve not played through this head. I have not experienced the sound or tone of this head other than through video. That doesn’t matter. It looks awesome, it’s obviously played by winners and I want one.