Blackstar’s big Frankfurt secret has been revealed – the ID Series of programmable amplifiers.
The Musikmesse launch comes after seven years of technical research and development by the Northampton-based amp experts, who claim that their new amps are unique in combining the endless possibilities and options of digital programming, with the authentic tone and power of true valve amplification.
Featuring intuitive controls, designed to feel like a traditional, substantial tube amp but with the versatility of programming, guitarists can custom design their own sound and store their settings, with the full confidence that the amp will perform in a live environment exactly how they expect and need it to.
Check out our exclusive video preview below:
The ID Series is driven on by Blackestar’s patent-applied-for True Valve Power, offering six distinctly different power valve responses, to give players the power to fully shape their amp’s output and sound.
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Players can choose from models of the EL84, 6V6, EL34, KT66, 6L6 and KT88, able to dial in to the response, dynamics, sag and break-up characteristics of their chosen valve amp, delivering the same live acoustic power output as an equivalent, full tube valve power amp.
Blackstar themselves have described the product as “groundbreaking” and “innovative”, and that is exactly what the ID Series is – for the first time ever, guitarists have access to an affordable series of amps that will deliver live, or in the studio, without compromise.
No longer will players have to sacrifice tonal depth and power for the convenience of onboard effects options that never truly pull their weight – Blackstar have simply said, why not have it all: “True Valve Power means ‘Loud as Valve’.
The amp’s six different channels – Clean Warm, Clean Bright, Crunch, Super Crunch, OD 1 and OD 2 – join a bank of studio quality effects, including modulation, delay and reverb that you can tailor and store simultaneously with your tonal settings.
Sounds can be easily tweaked to capture the exact tone you’re hearing in your head thanks to Blackstar’s patented ISF (infinite shape feature) controls, whilst an on-board USB interface makes saving, sharing and transporting your set-up effortless – you can even record straight from the amp directly to your digital audio workstation!
Once you’ve transferred your sound patches to a computer you can continue to customize and refine your settings – deep editing and storing has been made simple by the Blackstar GUI software included with the amp. Patches can also be shared, uploaded and downloaded via a dedicated online community. An emulated output, MP3/line input and midi footswitch complete the package.
What do you think of the big Blackstar announcement? Is it everything you expected?