S1-45 2x12 Combo review by Blackstar

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (14 votes)
Blackstar: S1-45 2x12 Combo

Price paid: £ 899

Purchased from: Trevor Durrant Guitars, Colchester

Sound — 10
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.

Overall Impression — 10
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.

Features — 9
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.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    You went to Trev's that is awesome. I used to work there. Everyone in there is really nice. How long have you been going there?
    About 6 years... got my prs there back then and have spent more money than i care to think about since then! Everyone in there seems to know their stuff and they are all really friendly. I 'might' be going back this weekend to add an HT-5 ministack to my Blackstar collection...
    Shame colchester is a good few hundred miles away.. Sounds so nice XD. Have to make do with the GAK shop.