The Blackstar-sponsored Battle of the Bands (held at the Racehorse in Northampton) has now reached the semi final stage. With competition hotting up, the bands still in the running are Decadent, The GetGone, Lakeshore Avenue, Neumonics, Black Acid Souls, Gehtika, Mutagenocide and Threads. Black Ink Sun withdrew after being voted through to the next round as two of their members are involved in organising the event - very noble!
The level of playing and performance in the competition has been incredibly high, and it's great to see such a diverse group of bands making it through to the semis.
The first semi-final will be at the Racehorse on Thursday 23rd of May. Doors open at 7pm - be there if you can!
Our award-winning ID:Series amps are getting a huge amount of attention from all kinds of guitarists. Recently Dan Pye, who works at Blackstar Platinum store PMT Norwich, traded in his USA high gain amp for an ID:260TVP. Dan said:
"The main reason for getting rid of my US amp was that I was fed up with carting big gear around and bored of trying to get a sound I was happy with. I wanted something else that had to be versatile and loud whilst retaining a great tone even at lower volumes (being in a function band, most venues I play now have sound limiters and it was difficult to get the sound I was after whilst keeping the volume turned down... many complaints!)".
"The ID:260TVP has solved all my issues - it's loud (as valve), versatile and relatively light weight and it sounds like a Blackstar! I'm well happy!"
To find out more about Blackstar's ID:Series of programmable amps, check out the website or visit your nearest dealer.
Delivering huge amounts of gain without compromising on tone or playing dynamics, the new HT METAL series of valve amplifiers (based around the award-winning HT-1, HT-5 and Venue products) is specially voiced and cosmetically styled to appeal to today's metal guitarists.
The series consists of 1W and 5W heads and combos and a 6L6-loaded 60W, 2x12 combo and 100W head. 1x12, 4x8 and 4x12 cabinets round out the series.
In keeping with Blackstar's mission to help players to find their own sounds, each amp in the series is equipped with the patented ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) control, taking you from classic British heavy metal to modern US scooped high gain and anywhere in between in seconds.
You can find out more about these new HT Metal Guitar Amps from Blackstar here.
Blackstar's ground-breaking series of programmable amps have been singled out for even more praise in the industry press.
Guitar Player magazine said of the ID:260TVP that "the muscular power section gives little hint of being anything other than tube-powered with its presence and blistering volume capability", giving it a coveted Editor's Pick award.
And Guitarist's Nick Guppy said "The ID:60TVP's wealth of features, astounding tone, quality and price earns it our highest accolade - yes, it's another Gold Award for Blackstar".
So far, the ID:Series amps have earned:
Guitar Play Editors Pick Award (ID:260TVP)
Total Guitar Best Buy award (ID:260TVP)
Guitar World Gold award (ID:100TVP)
Guitarist Choice award (ID:100TVP)
Guitarist Gold award (ID:60TVP)
Read more about ID:Series here, and look out for more outstanding comments when the ID:15TVP and ID:30TVP reviews hit the press soon.
Last weekend saw Blackstar supporting Hit the Deck festival in Bristol and Nottingham. Each of the 5 stages were powered by either Series One or HT-Venue halfstacks which saw many of the bands playing through Blackstar at the festival. Blackstar endorsees Rolo Tomassi, Mallory Knox and headliner Don Broco performed.
Fresh off their European tour, Mike Spreitzer and Jeff Kendrick, guitarists from US heavy metal band DevilDriver, travelled the length of the UK to deliver four incredible Blackstar clinics. If you're into playing guitar and like your metal brutal you missed out on four very informative nights hosted by the DevilDriver axemen answering questions, playing some of their classic tracks and meeting fans. Starting at Merchant City Music in Glasgow, then heading to PMT Manchester, PMT Northampton and ending in Guildford with Anderton's Music.
Stay tuned to the Blackstar website and facebook for future Guitar Clinics!
The first official artist patches for ID:Series amps are now available from the online Community, including Gus G. (Ozzy Osbourne, Firewind), Tommy Henriksen (Alice Cooper) and Kobra and the Lotus. These artists have taken the time to create their signature tones for the ID:Series. The ID:Series range allows you to store and recall your own patches and you can then upload them onto the Blackstar community and also download other user's patches via the Blackstar INSIDER software (FREE to download here). Keep an eye on the Community pages over the coming months for other exclusive Blackstar artist patches that you could download and include in your next live performance!
Northampton's premier rehearsal space, Big Noise Studios, launched their Battle of the Bands on Thursday 21st February. The competition was fierce between the five bands playing, with only two able to go through. Blackstar Artist Liaison, Ollie, was one of the four judges and all came to the unanimous decision choosing 'Rough Justice' and 'Kalashnicult' as the heat winners. Throughout the night two HT Club 50 valve half stacks were used by the guitarists.
For more information visit Big Noise Evolution's Facebook page to see who's coming up next week:- Big Noise Evolution
With a 5-star rating and picking up the prestigious 'Total Guitar Best Buy' award the ID:Series is starting to wow users and critics alike. Total Guitar said that the ID:260TVP "felt closer dynamically to a grown-up valve amp than anything else we've tested" and that it has "plenty of the addictive chime and grind that makes the idea of a 'proper' valve amp so appealing". The ID:Series carries our patent-applied-for TVP (True Valve Power) which offers six distinctly different power valve responses - EL84, 6V6, EL34, KT66, 6L6 and KT88. When engaged it delivers the response, dynamics, sag and break-up characteristics of a valve amp and uniquely delivers the same acoustic power output as an equivalent valve power amp. This means that for the first time ever, in an affordable series of amplifiers, these products deliver live without compromise. Total Guitar reviewer Chris Vinnicombe signed off the review with "Give the ID:Series a spin with an open mind and you might not think you need those hot glass bottles after all...".
For more information about the ID:Series and to see the full range of products, click here:- Blackstar ID:Series Guitar Amps
The annual NAMM show in Los Angeles saw Blackstar Amplification attending the world's biggest musical instrument tradeshow. On display were the new limited edition white HT-1s and HT-5s. These special editions take everything you love about our low-Wattage monsters and dresses them in a cool arctic-white livery. Guitar virtuoso Johnny Demarco was on hand to demo the ID:Series to the crowds at the Anaheim Convention Centre, showing off the capabilities of our innovative programmable amplifiers. Mike and Jeff from metal band DevilDriver demoed the S1-1046L6, while Ozzy Osbourne and Firewind guitarist Gus G. was on hand to sign autographs.
Thanks to everyone who came by the booth.
For more information about the White Edition click here and for more info about the ID:Series click here.
We are extremely proud to announce that Blackstar Amplification are sponsoring one of this year's hottest music events: the NME Awards. With the likes of the Manic Street Preachers, Stereophonics, Chapel Club and The Horrors all using amps from our Artisan series we are well acquainted with some of indie's biggest acts. The star-studded awards take place on 27th February 2013 at the Troxy in East London where there will be performances from international indie legends.
To get the latest news about the NME awards click here: NME Awards 2013
The small but mighty HT-1RH has picked up a new award after topping this month's Total Guitar magazine's Micro Valve Head group test. Competing against some of the most prestigious names in guitar amplification our two-channel 1 Watt valve monster picked up the 'Group Test Winner' award. Total Guitar said, "If you're after a head that's got ticks in every box, the HT-1RH delivers. It's a gold star for Blackstar". The HT-1 is available in head form or as an 1x8 combo (with or without reverb).
December wouldn't be the same without our annual pilgrimage to North Wales to get fully immersed in all things Hard Rock, Classic Rock and Metal. This weekend saw some of the genre's premier bands performing at the four-day festival in Pwllheli, North Wales including Blackstar endorsees, Kobra and the Lotus, IAMI, Breed 77 and Testament. Our very own Loren Molinare (US Product Specialist) performed with his band Little Caesar and Richard Frost (UK Operations Director) performed with his NWOBHM band Soldier. All endorsees at Hard Rock Hell were using Series One heads.
We also showcased one of the programmable combos from the brand new ID:Series range. Jake from IAMI liked the combo so much he used the ID:260TVP live for their set on Saturday night!
For more information on the ID:Series click here: ID:Series
Join Jamie Humphries in a live webinar about recreating famous guitarist’s tones this Thursday 25th October 2012.
Ever wanted to know how to recreate some of your favourite guitarist’s tones? Well with Jamie’s help you can find out. Make sure you are tuned into the live webinar and chatroom to request your favourite guitarist’s tones and learn how to recreate it using your amp.
The webinar will be broadcast on the Blackstaramps homepage.
All at Blackstar were saddened by the news that session legend, Big Jim Sullivan, has passed away. Big Jim was one of the first Blackstar endorsees, using an Artisan 30 combo and HT-DRIVE pedal.
Big Jim to this day was one of the hottest and most in demand session guitarists in the UK, but most notably during the '60s and '70s. At his peak Big Jim is said to have played 3 sessions a day and has appeared on over 1000 chart entries. Big Jim famously played for Tom Jones, Eddie Cochran and The James Last Orchestra. He was also the house guitarist for Top of the Pops and famously taught, amongst others, Ritchie Blackmore to play guitar.
A full list of Big Jim's performance credits can be found here.