Price paid: $ 525
Features — 9
My Blackstar is at least 3 years old now, and although I don't gig, I play it kinda loud for a bedroom setting. My wife is an angel. Made in Korea, and thus far I'm still using the original tubes and never had any issues. Dependable amp so far. Its the bottom Tube line for Blackstar so its made of MDF wood. I bought the Blackstar ext cab for it, cause my one complaint was I felt it needed 2 12" speakers for some decent bottom end, and since I bought that I'm very happy with my tone. I play power blues, prog and classic rock most, and it covers everything I throw at it. The 2 channels and boost is perfect. The reverb is pretty decent too.
Sound — 9
As I stated above it covers all the genre's I play with it... It won't do death metal and there are better choices for country music. It covers Blues/rock/prog rock/intmediate metal well. Takes pedals really well. Pitch Black Tuner/Teese Wizard Wah/Basic Audio Solar Myth fuzz/Bogner Blue overdrive - pedal use for mid crunch/strymon mobius and Timeline in loop. Full rich sound, not very bright though like say a Fender amp.
Reliability & Durability — 9
3 years and still kickin the original tubes... Starting to get a little hiss on my OD channel, so I picked up some winged C's EL34's and a few Tung Dol 12AX7's. Waiting to find out the bias before putting them in... I'm prayin it will last my lifetime cause it sounds great. The sound of this amp is like if a Marshall and Mesa amp had a sibling, it would be a Blackstar.
Overall Impression — 9
I play hard rock blues mostly, and classic rock and progressive rock too. I wish this model came with a 2x12" as an option but overall really happy with this amp... I've been a Marshall and Mesa guy the last 40 years, and have been playing for 45 years. My first amp was a Electro-Harmonix M. Matthews Freedom amp (battery and AC) thought I'd try this amp out, and I was floored... It's a keeper... I did not compare it to the new Marshalls or Mesas as it sounded good to me... Yeah, I'd replace this amp if stolen, it rocks.