2x5-watt 1-channel 2x3" Stereo Guitar Combo Amplifier with 6 Amp Voicings, Infinite Shape Feature, 12 Built-in Effects, and USB Connectivity
But it has little clarity to the tone. Always seems 'mushy' probably due to no headroom within the tiny little speakers. Range of tones are pretty good, but ISF is in my opinion next to useless. Would benefit hugely from an on board EQ instead. This can be modified by hooking it up to your PC but it doesn't lend itself to instant adjustments when you swap your guitar or take your set up to another room or house etc.
This amp is exactly what every guitar player need to play at home, to practice and to record his/her ideas! The ID:Core 10 sounds great, it gives you the best sounds and it has 2 speakers, so you can even create stereo delay effects! For the price, I cannot imagine a better option for you who is looking for a small amp to keep connected to your computer.
I'd been shopping for more than a year for a decent, smaller, modeling amp for practicing and lugging around to jam at other places. One of these was this amp - the Blackstar IDCORE Stereo 10. Typically retailing at Guitar Center and Kennely Keys for $100. But I found one for $30 when the pawn shop I was at could not locate the power supply, or find one that worked.
The power supply is the major failing point of these amps - so much so here's a few pieces of wisdom I've been sharing online for awhile. To start, the original 6.5V 2.5ma power supply these came with has a tendency to burn out some internal connections to the transformer severing power connection. As a result, Blackstar started selling these with the 12V power adapter for the bigger versions of these amp (the IDCORE 20 and IDCORE 30 I presume?). Me - in my typical thrift-shop DIY fashion, I visisted 3-4 different stores and wound up locating a suitable power supply at goodwill - for a IOMEGA ZIP Drive! Only $0.99. I've been running it a megaton ever since, and have not experienced any problems at all.
The main thing drawing me to this amp was that it kills 2 birds with one stone - I get a good amp modeler I can use for home direct recording, and I get a practice amp I can lug around to various situations where a little 10 watt amp is more than sufficient. It being able to emulate my Bugera 333XL head in a smaller format is another part of why I chose this amp. The Crunch and Super Crunch are very close to that EL34 based sound if I dial it in just right. And it's plenty loud enough for my needs.
The Amp models on this amp include the following, and what I think they sound closest to.....
Clean Warm has more of a Tweed Era Fender sound and broken up it gets a little bluesy. I use this for Bass quite a bit as it works great at emulating a Fender Bassman 410 Tweed, which is the sound I've preferred for my recording Bass sound for years - think 1980-1981 era Bucky Ballard (Billy Squier band) sound, like off of Rich Kid or The Big Beat. It gives out a nice growl when the gain is pushed, but it can be very clean as well.
Clean Bright I suspect is aimed more toward the glassy, high-headroom, Fender Twin Reverb-esque sound. Think Robert Cray, or another good example would be the Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus. Only thing is it WILL break up if pushed, giving it an extra realm of versitility, so it's not exactly as high headroom as I initially mentioned.
Crunch - The classic rock-amp sort of tone. I'd liken it to sounding a lot like a dimed Plexi or a older JCM800 amp - which is EXACTLY in the realm of what I want tone-wise. The first time I tried one of these out, I used Crunch with a Squier VM Jaguar and kicked on chorus, very light 550ms stereo delay, and plate reverb and I was right at my sound right there in the store. This is also very close to the crunch channel on my 333XL head - which is part of why I bought this amp (a big part actually).
Super Crunch - More gain than crunch, same general timbre, I liken it to the lead channel on my 333XL head. I usually use this to push more gain when using single coil guitars like my Jazzmaster, Tele, Harmony H-802, or a regular 3 single coil Stratocaster.
OD1 - Hot Rodded Master Volume Overdrive - This is very much in the realm of a scooped-mid tone. One kind of interesting surprise was being able to dial in the tone I used back in my Nu-Metal days toward the end of high school. Not a lot of mids - more of a Godsmack/And Justice Era Metallica/Saliva type tone here. Has more of a response to me like a Mesa Boogie or a Krank, with a hint of Carvin X60A/X100B tone to it. Also great for Sabbath. Sort of in the angry KT-88/6L6 realm. It also works great for getting a good Kurt Cobain distortion emulation.
OD2 - Mid Boosted Overdrive - This is more of a classic 80's metal kind of tone here, not in the Van-Halen crunch vein, but Early Metallica, Obsession, Slayer, Loverboy's guitar sound, very HiWatt but without that bluesy blattiness that a Hiwatt would normally have, either that or a modded/tweaked JCM800/JCM900 type amp. Dialed in just right it's a bloody doppleganger for Paul Dean's early 80's tone though - another pair of close relatives are W.A.S.P., Invasion of your Privacy era RATT, Under Lock and Key era Dokken....all great tones.
So there are 5 amp models, quite versatile considering how much stuff I can emulate not to mention recreate my own sounds from previous rigs I've had. It ISF control allows some rather quick fine-tuning of the sound rather than bugging around with a graphic EQ, turning it down gives more of a Warmer, Aggressive, USA type voice, turning it up gives a more "woody" "English" type voice.
The next part are the effects - you have 3 classes of effect on this amp, and only one variant of each may be used at a time - Modulation (Phaser, Flanger, Chorus, Tremolo), Delay (Linear/Analog/Tape/Multi), and Reverb (Room/Hall/Spring/Plate).
The Modulation was a huge thing because of two key effects I like, that very light, yet noticeable when present, chorus sound. A similar effect is the Eventide Harmonizer "Jape" setting that Edward Van-Halen used from Van-Halen II onward. It basically gives a bit of depth to the sound. But the chorus can do everything from that to full on "Come AS You Are" warbles if desired. The other sound was that low-tone-sweep Flanger sound that I get out of a Digitech TurboFlange or as Paul Dean of Loverboy got out of the Loft 450G rackmount Delay-Line Flanger in the 80's - Having those two things without external hardware is incredibly useful since I use both of them. The Phaser and Tremolo are great as well. Just having those two particular sounds alone that I use a lot was well worth over the $30 I paid for this thing.
For Delays, I tend to use the Multi and Linear the most - usually the Multi. The Multi-Delay is kind of neat in that a sort of "rhythmic" delay pattering outside (but in step with) the rhythm of what you are actually playing can be induced using the "Tap" button.
For Reverbs, I tend to prefer plate. An interesting note on most, if not all the reverbs on this amp, is their effect through the speakers - it really has a 3D type effect to it, I remember getting rather self-conscious both at the store and at home playing this thing through it's own speaker and hearing things coming from my left or right rather than from the amp like "WTF is that". I've seen this with quite a few of the Blackstar IDCORE series amps and it's quite impressive they could pull that off. That was one of those things this amp and it's bigger relatives impressed me with - the spatial-ness of this amp is something beyond compare to my ears.
It can act as a digital recording interface for various software. Actually, I reccommend that over using Line-in as the Line-in is grainy and a bit closer in quality to my old Behringer V-Amp Pro that I used for 11 years for home recording.
The Line-in on it allows passthrough of other instruments so if you use a cheap, crappy, line-in based recording setup at home for making demos (one of the main reasons for this amp to kill 2 birds with one stone). I pass my keyboard through it to save all the plugging/unplugging of my gear all the frickin' time since it's more capturing inspiration than making some kind of album recording (though I can do that well as well).
An upside and a downside is the IDCORE Software, you need it to update the firmware, and you need an older flip-phone mini-USB cable to do it (I luckily still had one from my Motorola W375 Net10 Phone from 12 years ago, glad I stashed that outdated piece of kit for future use). However, the software is reliable, it does not mess up your presets when saving them, and it offers a more intuitive interface with finer control over presets than setting them through the amp directly - but one thing I must say about presets via the amp itself - there's almost NO way to make this thing sound terrible (unless you're just terrible or very limited as a player). This is a long way away from what I started out on 22 years ago - when "practice amp" meant some 15 watt 2 channel combo based off a LM386 op-amp with just clean and overdrive channels that sound similar except one has a distortion pedal built into it.
Either way, my new favorite of the sub 20 Watt amplifier genre.
For $50 used and good condition, why not. Did really need it but the price was right.
This little amp sounds big for its size. There are limits of what a 3" speaker can do. Blackstar has pushed boundries in this category. When the Super Wide stereo is activated the amp takes on a bigger sound.
With 6 gain Voicings the is plenty of flexibility and 12 onboard effects you can do just about anything. Like jamming in the backyard with a song from your DAP via Mp3 input. Headphone out is a little quiet for most peoples ears. So as a headphone amp look elsewhere.
The cleans are good in a British amp kind of way. Fenderish cleans are not gonna happen but still good that you are not likely to care that much. The Crunch is classic Brit. nice compression and rich sounding. The OD is not lacking either in that it doesn't sound like a can of angry bees.
Good for the Green Room or as an entry amp
Un petit ampli de salon transistor vraiment accessible ! Un son pas mal et très polyvalent (ça manque de chaleur mais bon c'est normal), des effets pas mal réussi, un son stéréo et le vrai plus : une prise aux avec un circuit indépendant qui permet de vous en servir d'enceinte (sans avoir un son trop dans les médium car non adapté, comme le font les Fender Mustang).
Pour jouer chez soi c'est l'idéal, j'ai pas trouvé mieux. Seul bémol : le souffle qui est important pour un ampli de cette taille (mais pas non plus catastrophique mais qui explique pourquoi 4 étoiles et pas 5).