The world’s lightest and most innovative 50 Watt valve amps.
Answering calls from guitarists everywhere for a valve amplifier that is truly lightweight and portable, Blackstar delivers the most advanced, innovative and best-sounding 50 Watt valve amps in the world. Available in a classic EL34 design and a higher gain 6L6 model, these amps are simple to use, but highly versatile. Developed after months of forensic examination of vintage valve amps, the intuitive two channel set-up delivers our best ever cleans and overdrives without compromise.
The lightest 50W valve amps in the world with no compromise in tone or performance. The head weighs just 6.7kg (14.7lbs) and the 1×12 combo only 12.8kg (28.2lbs).
EL34 models: Classic low gain pedal platform with a +10dB clean boost to take it from ‘chimey’ to ‘creamy’ and beyond.
6L6 models: Classic US clean and modern high gain, with a Voice switch for more saturation and looser feel with plenty of resonant low-end ‘chug’.
St. James retains the essential elements of traditional valve amps; specifically using valves in the preamp and the power amp, as well as the loose-coupling effect of an output transformer.
Patent-applied-for design using a unique combination of a Switched-Mode Power Supply (SMPS) powering a real valve amp (valves in pre and power amp), a reactive load and advanced DSP for XLR and headphone outputs.
Built-in reactive load allows you to drive the valves without a speaker connected. Perfect for recording or ‘silent stage’.
Includes Cab Rig, our next-generation DSP speaker simulator that reproduces the sound and feel of a mic’d up guitar cab in incredible detail. Deep-dive using the accompanying free software and capture the incredible tones via USB / XLR out or headphones.
Power Reduction switch allows you to select 50 Watts, 2 Watts or Sag to easily get the perfect balance of power and response for any situation from studio to stage.
Exclusive Celestion Zephyr lightweight loudspeaker. We worked closely with Celestion to design a unique lightweight speaker that uses a traditional ferrite magnet. Based on the ‘soft parts’ and voicing of a Vintage 30, the Zephyr packs a huge tonal punch but at a fraction of the weight of a standard guitar amp speaker.
Pro connectivity and integration into your setup using low latency USB audio as a valve interface for recording, and XLR D.I. for live use.
Why ‘St. James’?
St. James is one of the oldest parts of Northampton. It’s the site of an abbey from the 12th century that gives the area its name and is home to the Northampton Saints, their world-class rugby team’s grounds, and the iconic lift tower that dominates our skyline. Personally, for the Founders there was also a very significant James (Jim) in their history… not to mention the many guitarists that also share the name; Hendrix, Page, Hetfield, plus many more!
Blackstar had two main goals in designing the St.James amplifiers. Firstly to produce a range of heads and combos that were the lightest available while retaining the essential elements of traditional valve amps, with no compromise in tone or performance; something guitarists have been requesting for decades. Secondly, to include everything within one box to enable the output of authentic ‘mic’d cabinet-of-a-hard-driven-valve-amp-in-a-room’ sounds, direct to stage box or recording device. This has been achieved by using the full signal path of the amp (including power valves) to drive into a genuine reactive load, which is then passed through a proprietary state-of-the-art DSP section to provide almost limitless variations of cab/speaker/mic/room simulations.
NEW Cab Rig Simulator Technology & Pro Connectivity
Cab Rig is Blackstar’s next-generation DSP speaker simulator that reproduces the sound and feel of a mic’d up guitar cab in incredible detail. Cab Rig’s new advanced algorithm can simulate a speaker cabinet and room with effectively zero latency, no phase mismatch and much more flexibility than an IR snapshot. Deep-dive using the accompanying software to capture the incredible tones via USB / XLR out or headphones.
With more musicians recording at home St. James is perfect for the way we play today with USB audio connectivity for pro-recording and an XLR D.I. for professional live use, both using the built-in inductive load and Cab Rig speaker simulation.