ID:Core Beam noise as soon as guitar cable is plugged

Discussion - ID:Series amplifiers.
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Juppstein
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:23 am

Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:34 am

Just got my ID:Core Beam on Friday and while I am happy with the overall performance of that little magic box, there is one thing that bothers me.

The moment I plug a guitar cable into the Beam, I get a continuous static background noise. It somehow sounds a bit like 1/f noise. It is too low in frequency to be white noise, at least as far as I can tell. I do not even have to plug a guitar or a pedal to the other end of the cable, the noise is always there as soon as the ammp is switched on. Even turning the volume to 0 does not make it go away.

As a reference I plugged a Yamaha THR10 to the same power rail and the problem did not appear there.

Is this by design of the amp (I hope not) or is there something to do that can fix this?

bjboydmusic
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:18 pm

Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:20 pm

Hi. I posted this on another forum page, but it is a design feature. Here's my other posting, I hope this helps:-
It's not your imagination and this problem has been mentioned on many guitar forums. It appears this is a feature of the amp and is not able to be rectified via any software updates.
I have been working with this problem as I play ambient guitar, so given that I don't play at loud volumes this problem is quite annoying. I originally purchased a BLACKSTAR ID-CORE STEREO 20 GUITAR but took it back because the noise was excessive, but after testing a variety of Blackstar amps in the ID Core range in the store the owner and I realised the noise problem was the same on all the ID Core stereo units.
When I tried the ID Core stereo amp originally in the store neither the store owner or I picked up the noise as the amp was on the floor, but if you place the amp on a shelf or amp stand or closer to ear level the sound then becomes more noticeable.
We then tried the Beam and although the noise is there, it is not as prominent on the Beam as it is on the other ID products. However it is most noticeable on both clean settings. On a positive note the noise does disappear if you are recording into a DAW using the Beam as an audio interface.
I've also tried a Noise Suppressor but this makes no difference.
I have found that the Beam plays nicely with effects pedals (unlike some other digital modelling amps) and with my delay and reverb pedals I have found that if I am using the clean setting that the noise is reduced if I set the gain control substantially higher than the volume control on the Beam. I've also found myself using the crunch pedal more and more.
Finally I have found the Beam works best when I rely on effects pedals (thus having the red manual button on and all of the MOD/DLY/REV settings off).

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moogpower
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:31 pm

Sat Apr 09, 2016 4:29 pm

Fender Rhodes & Blackstar ID CORE 40

Background
As a keyboard player I was looking for a very good sounding practise and recording amp to bring out the full growl and dynamics of my Fender Rhodes Stage Electric Piano. I've over the years tried out many amp's that was said to sound perfect on Rhodes, but all shared the same problem: a) They had to be cranked up ridiculously loud to start sounding good (not suitable for me) b) Being big, bulky and heavy.
When I found the Blackstar ID Core 40, it directly stole the show with it's amazing spot on sound for the Rhodes, a warm and full character without sounding to "mid-range rock guitar" that is really rare. On top of this the Super Wide Stereo sound and amazing effects sounding like on the record already, It simply blowed me and all other much bigger 10x more expensive amps away directly!

The background HISS/NOISE issue
1) Starting the amp, nothing plugged in: Total SILENCE
2) Plugging in a cable to: a) LINE IN, b) MP3/EXT IN, c) USB with all knobs set to "0": Major constant HISS/NOISE
3) Even tried other ID Core 10, 20 & 40's in the shop, all unfortunately had the same issue.
4) Heartbreaking for me to be honest but: I had to return mine until Blackstar solve this one.

Blackstar Support
A conversation with the very friendly Blackstar team has since then been started on this matter though I really love this amp so much and want it back some day, when there is a solution or a newer amp out that dont have this issue.
Still unfortunately not got any feedback on my matter, that I obviously seem to share with so many other ID Core owners...

Solution?

As a Rhodes player I find this little amp to loud in my studio and even at "4" it was way to loud for me, so I was thinking:
If I had the circuit diagram on the ID CORE, could a potentiometer be tweaked or a resistor value changed on the PCB for the speaker amp circuit, so the pre-amplification for the speakers that today seems to be on an unhealthy high level could be decreased slightly (forgive me here all rock guitar dudes who always need to stay on top of the drummer).
By this mod the overall volume will be lower; yes, BUT the noise/hiss floor will also be lower meaning the amp for the speakers will have a lower starting point at volume "0" than today.

The question to Blackstar is simple: Could this be a feasible solution/mod (yes, I will void my warranty) or future update on newer amps?
This though the hiss seem to come from the speaker amp, NOT the LINE IN amp and/or the DSP modelling chain that beautifully mimics all the lovely amp-models. Another evidence on my theory is that plugging in HEADPHONES there is NO HISS.

Still waiting for a reply from Blackstar on this (maybe simple) quick fix...

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moogpower
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:31 pm

Wed May 04, 2016 7:50 pm

A honest and good answer received from Blackstar now on my issue. I hereby rest my case as a keyboard player and wish Blackstar all the best with their wonderful amps, hoping our roads may cross someday in the future again.

"Thank you for contacting us.
We are constantly looking at ways to improve our designs for future products, something which is evident in our latest releases - ID:Core 100 and 150.

Our core market area is amplification for Guitars. These ID:Core amplifiers have been designed and manufactured to be at the forefront of amplification in this section of the market, and the ID:Core range is growing from strength to strength. There are users that can successfully use the ID:Core amplifiers for their chosen application outside of guitars, but unfortunately in your scenario it appears this is not the case.

We fully appreciate the feedback in regards to using this amplifier for keyboards and electric pianos, and it has been fed back to the research and development teams. These amplifiers are designed for guitars, and as a result may not have the desired features or responses that a keyboardist, such as yourself, requires.

Our digital team have confirmed that there is currently no capability of any 'mod' being carried out on the ID:Core amplifiers.

Our team are continuing to develop our products on a day to day basis, and as I have stated in a previous message, I'm certain that having provided them with your comments and information that they will look into this further when developing the ID:Core range.

Our circuit diagrams and technical specifications are often classified and release of this information to the end user is prohibited.

We apologise that we could not resolve your issue at the current time, but thank you for contacting us."

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