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Rating and Reviews: Blackstar Artist 15 Amp

Dial in an aggressive tone thanks to the 6L6 power tubes. The Artist 15 includes two footswitchable channels complete with on-board reverb and effects loop.

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"A Fresh Face For Blackstar" submitted March 2, 2016

By TJ N in Oak Ridge, TN
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Musical Background: Semi Retired Pro...
Music Style: Classic Rock... Blue, some country... Christian..
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Overall: I usually wouldn't blink when thinking of an amp to buy and skip Blackstar without thought, but This amp is different. They build a dual channel amp that stays really clean on Channel A but Channel B Goes easily to the end of breakup. This is definitely a pedal platform and a well designed version at that. There is more than enough volume for any gigs I do these day.. all of which has big PA systems and in ear monitors. Though this is a total curveball by Blackstar, it is a refreshing change. In an odd way, it reminds me of the Fender Deville, Michael Landua. which it two channel of clean... You get more power amp distortion due to the lower output wattage., which I think adds to the palate of tone you can get with this amp.
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"Not for everyone" submitted May 9, 2018

By a customer from gmail.com
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Overall: I play electric guitar weekly for my church which meets in an older, brick style room with minimal sound engineering thought out into it. We're also playing monitorless and without an amp room. Right off the bat, the odds are NOT in my favor. ***note - I'm running a Squier VM '72 tele thinline into an always on MXR custom comp with the volume at noon and sustain all the way down (because church volumes)***My goal for an amp is something that can sound decent at the (lack of) volume which I play at. I was really excited for this amp due to the versatility it boasts and all the reviews of it online. I loved the idea of different voicings for the channels and I couldn't wait to try the ISF knob. These were what I was excited for most when I bought it. Features: Channel one isn't for me. I don't know if it's because I can't cook the tubes, but it never sounds full. Think AM radio. The ISF is really interesting because it. It only changes the sound, but also the range of the BMT controls. The Bass gets boomy-er on the UK side, and the Mids are more responsive on the US side. I do like the reverb. I tend to keep it below 10 o'clock for a little space. I've got pedals for the absurd stuff. I haven't tested out the emulated output yet since all of our di's are in use.Quality: I don't know if mine is faulty, or if it needs to be retubed (damaged in transit?), but there's a constant hiss even when everything is turned down including the master volume. It gets covered by normal amp hiss the louder you turn up, but at bedtime levels, it's louder than your guitar. At daytime apartment levels, it's still prominent when you're not playing, but not louder than the guitar (think metal players without a noise gate). My iOS db meter clocks it at ~60 db.Sound: I decided to go with 3.5 stars because I did find a sound that I like so far (we've been playing as a 3 piece so far, we'll have 2 keyboardists join us this week). So far, Ive found that channel 1 doesn't work for me (at least at these volumes) and the UK side hides in my mix. Even a Sparkle Drive couldn't pick me back up. However, I decided to test the US side before I traded this amp in for something else and I'm glad I did! It's in your face, in the good way! Like I've mentioned, the bass is tight and the mids are more present. This definitely helps to cut through the mix. It sounded great this past week with only bass and drums, we'll see if it holds up this week when we have 2 keyboardists join us. So far, I like it. Time will tell if I end up trading it in for a fender if I'm only using it for fender tones anyways.Ease of Use: here's where it gets tricky. The controls seem easy enough, but the ISF totally changes the voicing of the tone controls for channel 2. When I turn the ISF, I always have to tweak the bass and mids.Value: Me, I might have gone either with an ac15, blues jr or even a hot rod deluxe. All of which are cheaper than this. However, I would still like to try this with the tubes cooking, possibly with an attenuator.The Wow Factor: I'm not able to play at loud volumes, but I was hoping for something versatile that sounds good at lower to moderate levels. That is not this amp. It's also a little noisy when there's no signal, so this definitely wouldn't have been my choice for church where there's a lot of downtime between sets.
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