S1-45 2x12 Combo Review

manufacturer: Blackstar date: 05/06/2010 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Blackstar: S1-45 2x12 Combo
Made in 2009 this amp is a 2 channel 2x12 valve combo with 2 Celestion G12NV-70 speakers custom designed for Blackstar.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
 Features: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Overall rating:
 9.8 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.9 
 Users rating:
 9.6 
 Votes:
 14 
reviews (2) pictures (2) 3 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.7
S1-45 2x12 Combo Reviewed by: p0rc, on march 31, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 899

Purchased from: Trevor Durrant Guitars, Colchester

Features: Made in 2009 this amp is a 2 channel 2x12 valve combo with 2 Celestion G12NV-70 speakers custom designed for Blackstar. Rated at 45w this has been more than loud enough to cope with any band practice and gig I have used it for. The features on this amp are listed below: - 2 channels, each with 2 modes all switchable via the supplied footswitch - Effects loop with +4/-10dBV level switch - XLR and jack plug emulated outputs. - 2 speaker outputs switchable between 4/8/16ohms - MIDI in and thru ports - Side handles for easier transport (it's a pretty heavy lump and they come in handy) And in my opinion the two standout features of this amp@ - a built in power attenuator which can vary the power between the full 45w and 4.5w to allow greater versatility. - 'ISF' this feature allows the user to vary the tone produced by the amplifier from that of a 6l6 driven sound to that of an EL84 style and it works really well. In my opinion the only thing missing from this amplifier is a built in reverb. // 9

Sound: I generally play a range of rock and metal using either my PRS Std 22, Gibson Explorer or Ibanez RG550 and the tones produced using any of these guitars are fantastic. It's pretty quiet generally but there is some hiss at high volume on the distorted channel which i suited to pretty much anything (I've heard people moaning about not getting quite enough gain from it but I personally love the sound this thing makes when you crank the distortion) In terms of variety each channel has 2 settings, the clean has a warm sounding mode and a bright sounding mode and the distorted has crunch and 'super crunch' modes, meaning you can dial in just about any sound you want to. // 10

Overall Impression: I have been playing for about 8 years and have owned a Line 6 Spider (yes I know), Marshall TSL and Mesa Nomad as my previous gigging amplifiers and this in my opinion is better than all of them. I don't regret buying it at all and it's definitely worth all the gold awards it has received. If it was lost/stolen I would be straight back to the shop to get myself another one. I thoroughly recommend everyone goes down to their nearest stockist and gives one of these a try, especially try the ISF function it's my favourite thing on the amp as it provides so much versatility. // 10

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overall: 10
S1-45 2x12 Combo Reviewed by: drnat, on may 06, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 900

Purchased from: Electromusic, Doncaster

Features: Made in 2009 Huge versatility: with 2 flavours for both the clean & the overdriven, ISF actually works & provides an american (turn couter-clockwise) or UK (turn clockwise) style to the amp. 2 channels, all controlled via supplied foot switch, has Effects loop & headphone jac Also has DPR (power reduction - anything from 4.5W to 45W) that works with very little impact on sound Play at home in the summer house & this is both quiet enough & plenty loud enough // 10

Sound: I tried may amps prior to buying this and none of the others combined the great clean & superb overdriven of this amp - sounds fantastic. The ISF is useful & is icing-on-the-cake really. Ideal for rock. Very heavy metal may need more gain - this is easily achieved with a pedal if required - not my thing though, so not worried. I use an LP & you can easily dial in a slash-esq tone. I read one review where it said that it is hard to get a bad sound & I have to agree, straight out of the box it sounds great. This is an amp that makes you want to keep playing... // 10

Reliability & Durability: Superb build quality - alot of attention has been paid to this. A new amp, so can't comment on its reliability... // 10

Overall Impression: The best sounding & most versatile amp for the money there is. You may be able to get better, but at a much higher cost & probably when everything turned to 10. What I really like is the rare combination of a great clean & overdriven in the same amp & the fact that is sounds equally great at low volumes or at 4.5W as it does at 45W at high volume - what an achievement - hats off to the boffins at Blackstar - a future classic! // 10

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