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The New Blackstar 45 Series One Amp Reviewed

By Richie White

The Blackstar 45 series one is a medium sized, two channel all-valve guitar amplifier housing 2 speakers and running at 45 watts. The amplifier sounds great at low volume, yet there is plenty of volume to spare and would perform with ease at most medium sized gigs.

The first thing you will notice is the front loading controls are very well organised. There is a good arrangement of tone options and the single row of controls means that this amp is very easy to use. As with all Blackstar amps it is well constructed and built to last. This particular range is also hand built in the UK.
I decided to try the clean channel first and add a small amount of gain. Using the bright clean channel gives a sparkling clean tone. The big USP (Unique Selling Point) for Blackstar amps is their ISF (Infinite Shape Frequency). This dial, found on all of Blackstars amps allows the user to create an American amplifier sound and a British amplifier sound. Whilst this may sound like a fad, the dial creates a noticeable difference in tone and becomes just as important as treble or bass for your sound.

On the clean channel, at low gain the ISF control rendered both bright and warm sounds, depending on which side the control was set too. Boosting the gain a little, the tone became perfect for country or blues music, as the warmth or twang was still selectable due to the ISF control, but the gain levels meant that the slight hint of break-up within the tone provided the suitable sound for more rock-based styles than just clean playing. The bass and resonance of this tone was further improved by selecting the ‘warm clean’ channel, but the brightness and twang was still achievable if desired by turning the ISF control to the American side.

Switching to the overdrive channel, the same amount of warmth and clarity was retained with the gain control around 2, especially with the ISF control turned to the British setting. Keeping this ISF setting and turning the gain up to halfway rendered a hair-raising ballsy crunch, perfect for recreating any 70′s classic rock tone, whilst turning the ISF control to the American setting cleaned the tone up and improved the clarity and brightness. Cranking the gain served only to heat up this signal, adding more sustain, but the ISF control still made tone shaping infinitely possible.
Pressing the ‘super crunch’ button, I was amazed with the levels of gain that were possible even at low volume. Turning the ISF control to the American setting and scooping the mids, the tone was powerful yet fluid, with lead work sustaining and cutting through perfectly due to the impressive gain levels. Turning the ISF to the British setting, I was presented with the raw, ballsy sound of cranked Marshall heads, yet still surprisingly modern, given the ‘super crunch’ mode selected.

To conclude, it is clear that the Blackstar has been developed by valve tone purists; the benefits of this being that the ISF control makes it possible to re-create just about any classic amp sound, be it the bright sparkle of early fenders, the raw crunch of mid seventies marshals or the fluid sound of high gain American amps. High gain lovers may find that the Blackstar does not deliver the compressed distortion levels of big peavey amps or mesa rectifiers, but from a crystal clear clean sound to a raw and biting distortion and anything in between, the Blackstar is the perfect companion.

Learn more about the newblackstar 45 series one amp. We have a wide range of guitar amps both reviewed and on sale.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
White, Richie "The New Blackstar 45 Series One Amp Reviewed." The New Blackstar 45 Series One Amp Reviewed. 13 Nov. 2010. uberarticles.com. 10 Nov 2014 <http://uberarticles.com/arts-and-entertainment/music/the-new-blackstar-45-series-one-amp-reviewed/>.

APA Style Citation:
White, R (2010, November 13). The New Blackstar 45 Series One Amp Reviewed. Retrieved November 10, 2014, from http://uberarticles.com/arts-and-entertainment/music/the-new-blackstar-45-series-one-amp-reviewed/

Chicago Style Citation:
White, Richie "The New Blackstar 45 Series One Amp Reviewed" uberarticles.com. http://uberarticles.com/arts-and-entertainment/music/the-new-blackstar-45-series-one-amp-reviewed/


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