THE new ID:Core combos are Blackstar’s answer to the question: “I just bought my first guitar; now, what do I get for my first amp?”
Stripped-down versions of Blackstar’s award-winning ID amps come in three sizes (10, 20 and 40 watts), and all feature the company’s clever Super Wide Stereo technology, which makes the sound appear to come from three feet either side of the cabinet.
The control panel is practically identical on all three models – the only difference is an extra footswitch socket on the 20 and 40. A six-voice selector switch offers two cleans, two crunches and two leads, together with knobs for gain and volume, while Blackstar’s patented ISF tone control lets you sweep the tone from UK to USA responses.
There’s a familiar digital effects layout, too, with selectors for; modulation, reverb and delay. Four types of each effect are accessed from a rotary selector, plus a level control and tap tempo button, which also accesses the Core’s built-in tuner.
Tonally, the lead sounds are very good – they’re a little fizzy if you turn the gain up to extremes on the two smaller models, but that’s not usually necessary; these amps have tons of overdrive. The crunch sounds are spot-on and offer the most versatility, while the two cleans cover bright modern and warm vintage tones with ease.
It’s amazing that you can get so many features and sounds for so little money – Blackstar’s ability to provide maximum bang for buck has struck again. Whether you choose the 10 or a higher-wattage version, you won’t be able to blame it for a bad sound, and it will be a worthy companion on your journey to being a better player.
Check out the entire article on MusicRadar's 10 best guitar amplifiers here...