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got this amp 2 years ago and i use it for practise at home and i can get every sound i want out of it, the cleans are not as good as fender amp cleans but crunch and overdrive it sounds as good as anything ive heard or tried, you wouldn't want anything more than 30 watts (especially in terraced homes) the software you can get is very good as its free and allows you to get 1000s of user sounds to be able to save to the amp, it also allows the on-board effects to be controlled more effectively.
You know when you find something awesome and you weren't ever looking for it. Well this is an example of it. I was killing some time and dropped into my favorite music dealer. When a Blackstar rep was doing a practice with the local shop for a dealers seminar that evening with the staff. I was just looking around for a new guitar when I heard some amazing tone coming from the amp room. I checked it out and couldn't believe I was hearing this from a Solid State Amp! Jay was demoing a TVP 60. As time progressed Jay used different guitars from in house and the result was the same great tone. Jay also did A/B comparisons with the wide selection of in house amps. I had just bought a practice amp a few weeks earlier and was not needing nor looking for another amp. I was an impulse buy I will admit and didn't even try the amps out. I settled on the ID 30 because of the size. I had tried out many amps a few weeks earlier and found I didn't like modeling amps. They just didn't sound that good but still less in price than the ID 30.
Jay explained that this was not a modeling amp in the sense that most would refer a modeling amp as. This was an innovation in modeling the tube electrical signatures and not the tone of a specific amp. You could hear the tube like sag, headroom, response, loudness, and dynamics. With the ISF feature I could get and American amp sound or (more midrange) British Amp sound or something in-between or different. I was sold.
Well that was over two years ago and yes I second guess my purchased feeling that the ID 30 was too good to be true. I was overlooking something missing out on something better. The amp has 12 channels that can be expanded to 128 with Insider Software or buying the foot switch (RECOMMENDED) which I did.
I downloaded patches uploaded by other uses from Insider on their interpretations of famous amps and Artist. I found that wasn't me. I created my own patches for a that suited what I was doing . So now I have basic amp types (Clean, Distorted, with and w/o effects. With room to spare I have other patch banks open for (God forbid) I play in a cheesy cover band for a worship band (not judging here just not me). The idea of purchasing this amp was to create my sound not to sound like (known)certain tone, artist or amps per se. If I played just one style I wouldn't have purchase this amp...that would have been a mistake. There are endless possibilities regardless of your playing style and the ID 30 will deliver admirably.
Things that are great. One being the time and expense of dealing with tubes and related tube issues. Tone is good at low volumes as well as loud. Easy peasy to dial in the tone you want in under a minute. (Pick a Voicing, Pick a Tube, Adjust gain, pre, and tone.) Tube like response i.e. using a boost pedal or adjusting the volume on your guitar. Having onboard effects though not stellar by any means not shabby either as some other modeling amps are. I still use a pedal board but could adequately get by with onboard effects.
Not so great. No real effects loop it can be done but using the Mp3/Headphone in/outs suck. Headphone output is low/weak and makes effect looping poor. No real mid control knob though can be edited via Insider software connected to your computer or pressing the Tap button and adjusting the ISF knob. The same would go for Presence (Treble) Resonance (Bass). I hear some users just use the ISF alone as a Mid control. Which makes some sense because that what it really does not to the same range as a treble/bass.
If you want to sound like everyone else you can with this amp but you can sound like no one else as well. Loud enough for small gigs, playing with a drummer-rehearsals or annoying the neighbors. Quiet enough to get great tone and low volumes. It is Fun, Fun, Fun til the daddy takes the.....