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Blackstar Amped 1

Guitar Amp With Speaker Sim & USB Interface By Paul White
Published November 2022

Blackstar Amped 1

The past few years have seen sophisticated amp‑in‑a‑pedal products from several companies, so it comes as little surprise that UK company Blackstar are launching their own take on the concept. Their new Amped 1 combines a universal‑voltage switch‑mode power supply with analogue front‑end electronics, digital signal processing and a Class‑D, 100W power stage, and it builds on the company’s modelling expertise.

On the face of it, the facilities are very similar to those found on some larger Blackstar amps. The substantial metal casework features a sloping top panel and a vertical rear panel, formed from a single sheet, and most of the connections are on the rear panel, though the DI output connectors are on the right‑hand side panel. On the top, gain, three‑band EQ and master volume controls are augmented by switchable USA, UK or flat voicings, and an adjustable digital reverb. There are three power settings here: 1W, 20W and 100W. The amp character can also be changed quite radically, using the Response dial. This switches between a range of different output valve characteristics: KT88, 6L6, EL34, 6V6, EL84 or linear, the last for those occasions on which you might want to use Amped 1 as a power stage having used another preamp to shape the sound. The footswitch to the right toggles between the current panel settings and one stored preset, effectively giving the amp dual‑channel capability. The leftmost switch turns the reverb on or off. For some reason I can’t fathom, pedal amps of this kind always seem to omit a tremolo, and the Amped 1 is no exception.

The Amped 1 features both balanced line and headphone outputs, with switchable speaker cabinet emulation.The Amped 1 features both balanced line and headphone outputs, with switchable speaker cabinet emulation.The 1W setting is perfect for studio use, should you prefer to plug the Amped 1 into a cabinet and mic it up. But you also have the option of a balanced XLR DI output and a headphone/line output on the right side panel. These are processed via Blackstar’s Cab Rig system,...

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