In one of the first NAMM Show related releases, Blackstar introduces its new St. James Amplifiers, created to meet market demand for truly lightweight and portable valve amplifiers. Developed after months of forensic examination of vintage valve amps, the St. James series offers amps in two formats: an EL34 design creating classic British rock tones and a 6L6 model with crystal clean tones and higher gain, both available as Celestion-equipped combo or amplifier head with matching vertical 212 cabinet. Simple to use but highly versatile, these amps offer an intuitive two-channel setup that delivers Blackstar’s best-ever clean and overdrive tones.
These amps offer a high level of value for the price and are ideal for gigging players in search of a great-sounding valve amp at less than half the weight of traditional valve-driven amplifiers, as well as studio players looking for elite tone with the convenience of built-in tools used for recording applications. The models’ light weight is attributable to several factors in construction and design, namely the candlenut wood cabinet and custom Celestion Zephyr speaker, all without sacrificing the all-valve signal path creating the sound and feel of a traditional valve amplifier.
All four amp models feature two-channel 12AX7 preamp tube circuitry, along with three power switch options to fit the user’s need:
• the 50W full power setting, offering the loudest clean headroom;
• the SAG setting, proving the softer, vintage-feeling dynamic compression of a power supply ‘”sag,” most noticeable on the loud transients (attack) of the sweetest tube amps;
• and a 2W low power setting for recording or smaller gigs, delivering a more overdriven power amp tone by controlling HT (high voltage) and bias in the power stage, delivering a more natural tone than the usual “power soak” load resistor method often used.
Further, the Blackstar St. James amplifiers feature an internal reactive load, providing use of the amp without a speaker connected, mimicking the response of a typical speaker for authentic power-amp tones at home or in the studio. For even further versatility, Blackstar’s new and exclusive Cab Rig simulator technology reproduces the sound and feel of a miked-up guitar cab in incredible detail via XLR or quarter-inch output, and allows further tweaking of the built-in DSP-based presets for speaker/cabinet/microphone/room emulation via the Cab Rig app (accessible via USB connection to a computer). An integrated effects loop, studio-quality reverb and footswitch round allow further tonal options.
The 6L6 combo, head, and matching cabinet are available in black tolex with salt and-pepper fretcloth, while the EL34 combo, head, and matching cabinet come in fawn tolex with gray fretcloth.
• St James 50 Watt 6L6 Combo Amp
• St James 50 Watt 6L6 Amp Head
• St James 50 Watt EL34 Combo Amp
• St James 50 Watt EL34 Amp Head
• St James Vertical 212 Cabinet Black
• St James Vertical 212 Cabinet Fawn
For more information, visit https://blackstaramps.com/stjames
Blackstar distributed in Australia by CMI Music & Audio, a division of Australis Music Group.
Blackstar will be exhibiting at Booth 5723 (Hall D) at The NAMM Show, June 3-5, 2022, in Anaheim, CA.