Despite their reputation for heavy tone, Blackstar have unveiled what promises to be “the lightest 50W tube amp in the world.”
The result of some deep-dive R&D into classic vintage guitar amps, Blackstar's new St. James series offers an intuitive dual-channel configuration providing both clean and overdriven electric guitar tones.
Also featuring built-in reactive load and impulse response for silent recording, the St. James amps are available in 50-watt 6L6 and EL34 formats, either as a head (matching 2x12 cab optional) or 1x12 combo.
While the EL34 amps are voiced for that timeless British rock sound, the 6L6 designs deliver crystal clean tones and higher gain.
According to a recent press release, the models’ light weight is attributable to several factors, notably a candlenut wood cabinet and custom Celestion Zephyr speaker.
All four models feature twin-channel 12AX7 preamp tube circuitry, along with three power switch options.
While a 50W full power setting offers the greatest amount of clean headroom, a 2W low power setting has been provided with recording and smaller stages in mind.
Meanwhile, a SAG setting allows a softer, more compressed feel characteristic of the power supply ‘sag’ associated with some vintage amps (particularly those featuring tube rectification.)
The 6L6 combo, head, and matching cabinet are available in black tolex with salt and-pepper fretcloth, while the EL34 combo, head, and matching cabinet come in fawn tolex with gray fretcloth.
U.S. MAP pricing is as follows:
- St. James 50 Watt 6L6 Combo Amp (opens in new tab): $1299.99
- St. James 50 Watt 6L6 Amp Head (opens in new tab): $1199.99
- St. James 50 Watt EL34 Combo Amp (opens in new tab): $1299.99
- St. James 50 Watt EL34 Amp Head (opens in new tab): $1199.99
- St. James Vertical 212 Cabinet Black (opens in new tab): $749.99
- St. James Vertical 212 Cabinet Fawn (opens in new tab): $749.99
Visit Blackstar (opens in new tab) for more information.
Rod Brakes is a music writer with an expertise in all things guitar-related. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a journalist covering artists, industry pros and gear includes writing hundreds of articles and features for the likes of Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar, as well as contributions for specialist books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.
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