Blackstar offers some pretty innovative designs in its rapidly expanding catalog. The Series One 50 is a 50 watt head is designed to deliver fully rocktastic Class A-style tones at all volume levels thanks to a very clever power reduction feature. But before we get to that, let’s look at the rest of the goodies.
The Series One 50’s tube quiver includes one ECC82, three ECC83s and a pair of EL34s. There are four channels: Bright Clean, Warm Clean, Crunch and Super Crunch. The two clean channels share Gain and Volume controls, as do the two overdrive channels. Next we have Bass, Middle, Treble and Blackstar’s famous ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) tone voicing control, a master section with Resonance, Presence and Volume, and the DPR (Dynamic Power Reduction) knob. When the amp arrived, most of the preamp tubes were cracked and the amp was unusable. I assume this is something that happened in transit, and after the local distributor supplied some replacement tubes, the amp fired up without a problem, so whatever wiped out the tubes wasn’t enough to kill them amp. The amp feels a little bit plasticy and it sorta smells funny, but obviously the construction seems pretty tough.