Blackstar have announced the latest addition to their series of multi-channel amplifier pedals, the Amped 3. Following on from the success of its predecessors, this latest offering manages to pack a 100W three-channel high-gain amplifier into a compact pedalboard-friendly unit, and also finds space for a boost circuit and reverb processor, as well as the company’s valve and cabinet modelling technology.
The Amped 3 is capable of delivering 100W of power into any 8 or 16 Ω cabinet, and utilises a unique design that uses current feedback to emulate the interaction between a valve amplifier and speaker cabinet, with the amplifer section allowing users to choose between EL84, EL34 and 6L6 emulations. It is also possible to reduce the power output down to either 20 or 1 W, allowing the pedal to be used to its full potential on smaller stages, or put to work for home practice and studio use.
Blackstar say that the unit is capable of delivering the tone and feel of a traditional high-gain valve amplifier. The device’s Clean, Crunch and Overdrive channels are each equipped with two switchable modes and cover a wide range of tones, with plenty of adjustment provided by Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble and Presence parameters, along with the company’s patented ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) control. Once users have dialled in their desired sound, it is possible to save the settings as a preset directly on the device itself. As well as the direct front panel access, it is also possible to control the pedal’s parameters via MIDI.
In addition to powering a speaker cabinet, the pedal also features Blackstar’s CabRig technology, which provides hundreds of different cabinet models, along with microphone emulations and placement options that offer a realistic sound when connecting the Amped 3 directly to a PA system, headphones or audio interface. An onboard reverb with selectable Dark and Light modes is also present, along with a boost circuit that can be placed either before or after the preamp stage.
All of the Amped 3’s I/O is provided on the rear panel, with a set of four quarter-inch TS connectors providing an instrument input and output, along with effects loop send and return connections. A quarter-inch TRS connector offers either a line-level or headphone output, whilst an additional balanced line-level output is provided by a three-pin XLR connector, with both of these outputs offering the CabRig simulation. An emulated output can also be delivered to a computer digitally via a USB-C connector.
Speaker outputs are provided by a pair of quarter-inch TS sockets, with one offering a 8Ω connection and the other operating at 16Ω, although only one may be used at a time. A pair of 3.5mm mini-jack sockets then provide a MIDI input and output, and mains power is accepted via a standard IEC inlet.
Pricing & Availability
The Amped 3 is available now, priced at $599.99£499 including VAT.