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: $1299.99
- St. James 50 Watt 6L6 Amp Head: $1199.99
- St. James 50 Watt EL34 Combo Amp: $1299.99
- St. James 50 Watt EL34 Amp Head: $1199.99
- St. James Vertical 212 Cabinet Black: $749.99
- St. James Vertical 212 Cabinet Fawn: $749.99
Visit Blackstar for more information.
Get The Pick Newsletter
All the latest guitar news, interviews, lessons, reviews, deals and more, direct to your inbox!
Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.
This one-day-only Fender Play deal is the cheapest we’ve ever seen - get a year’s worth of top-notch guitar lessons for just $29
“I picked up my Fender and thought, ‘How the hell did I ever play this?’”: Jeff Beck once said “there was no turning back” to the Strat – here's why he eventually did just that