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Unlike the single channel design used on the Artisan the Artist has 2 channels. One extremely high headroom clean channel that only breaks up when you want it to and a slightly crunchy overdrive sound. Why no high gain mode? Well this amp was designed with the pedal user in mind so both channels are made to be platforms where you can load any type of pedal on top.
That second channel then becomes really handy if you get most of your overdrive from the pedalboard. Just use channel one as your rhythm option and then kick in to a slightly dirtier channel 2 for a bigger sound when you need that sustain for single notes.
Blackstar may have started off as a British sounding company but in recent years they have started to spend time jumping between American and British tones. That is why they developed the ISF feature that is in so many of their amplifiers. This one knob lets you adjust the power amp so you can go from a more midrange heavy and barky Brit tone or a darker and warmer American tone instantly. Add in all the options you have on your pedalboard and any tone is a possibility with this amp.
All The Tools You Need
We have all become so used to have so many features in our amps that Blackstar couldn't just make it sound great they also had to make it easy to use live. So the Artist along with its 2 channel design also has built in footswitchable reverb and a series effects loop. This gives you the option to set this up as a clean amp on its own or with your own pedals and choose between those on the fly.
Blackstar are big fans of valve amps just like pretty much most guitarists. It is what gives the amp its character, its warmth and its desirable tone. So even though this amp is designed to be a canvas for your pedals to paint on they still wanted it to sound great out of the box.
To make sure this is the case the preamp is loaded with 2x ECC83 preamp valves as well as 2x 6L6 valves in the power amp section. These all help drive the built in Celestion V-Type speaker perfectly for the tone you may have in your head.
Here's What Blackstar say about the Artist 30 Combo Amp:
Our award-winning Artisan handwired amps are used by many of the best artists around the world.
Our new Artist Series takes the incredible tone, features and classic styling of Artisan and adds channel switching, ISF, reverb and an effects loop, to create the ultimate PCB-based boutique style amps for clean, crunch and pedal use.
In keeping with their Artisan heritage, there are two models: a 1x12" 15W combo and a 2x12" 30W combo. Powered with 6L6 valves and Celestion V-Type speakers, these amps deliver pristine Blackstar tone with less gain on Channel 2 making Artist the perfect amps to be used with stomp boxes.