Blackstar has just released V2 of their popular ID:Core guitar amp range. The launch includes three amp models, all of which come bundled with a free copy of PreSonus’ Studio One DAW adapted for the ID:Core amps. Could this be a great set-up for recording on a budget?
Blackstar seem to be aiming for those wanting to record at home, with all three guitar amp models designed for home use. What is really handy is that they are all stereo and can be used to monitor your guitar, as they have a line input. You also get an emulated output, plus a built-in guitar tuner as well.
The PreSonus Studio One Prime Blackstar Edition software bundled with each amp is a nice touch. It gives you another indication of the intended audience for these amps. Another clue is in the headphone output, which can come in handy practising at home.
The range is made up of three versions: ID:Core Stereo 10 V2 priced at £99, ID:Core Stereo 20 V2 at £129 and the largest version the ID:Core Stereo 40 V2 at £159. The larger two models can also be used with an optional footswitch. Other than that they are all identical except for wattage.
All models have the new envelope filter effect on top of the existing effects from the previous versions. The effect was ‘borrowed’ from their ID:Core BEAM model. Blackstar have also added a set of modulation effects in the form of a chorus and a flanger.
For a solid state amp, you could just about gig with the 40 V2 version, but I reckon it would be a bit of a struggle in a band scenario against a loud drummer.
Besides the free DAW software, you also get Blackstar’s INSIDER software for much deeper editing of the amps’ parameters. This also acts as a patch librarian for your amp. Connectivity is via the built-in USB 2.0 port which allows you to control the amps ‘hidden’ parameters, create new patches and store them on your computer for backup, too.
These amps have six different channels – Clean Warm, Clean Bright, Crunch, Super Crunch, OD 1, OD 2. That should cover a lot of ground, plus you also get Blackstar’s patented ISF control, which is a preset EQ that goes from a US-style tone stack through to a more British sound, all via one control knob.
Perfect Christmas present?
For a small amp, it could be pretty versatile for home users. I own a little desktop Blackstar Fly and its pretty versatile for such a dinky amplifier, so these larger versions could be pretty handy if they are anything like my little one. All that bundled in software and the versatility of the amp might, I think, make them very desirable for many guitarists on a budget.
I can see these being popular for Christmas as they start out at around that magic £100 mark and would make a great gift for a kid or partner that wants to play at home – without annoying the whole family!
Full specifications in the new Blackstar ID:Core V2 amps can be found here
RRP: ID:Core Stereo 10 V2 GBP £99, ID:Core Stereo 20 V2 GBP £129 and the ID:Core Stereo 40 V2 at GBP £159