Blackstar has announced the Silverline series of amps – a brand new eye-catching range of amplifiers that the company claims will blend the intuitive simplicity of a traditional valve amplifier with the flexibility and programmability of digital technology.
The Silverline series uses the highly regarded SHARC DSP chip – a component usually seen in high-end processors and effect units – to digitally “recreate analogue circuit parameters with supreme accuracy right down to component level” according to Blackstar.
The Silverline’s high-end digital performance is given a further boost in terms of authenticity thanks to the presence of a much-loved innovation from the Blackstar archive – its patented True Valve Power technology, previously seen in the ID:CORE line.
This tech digitally recreates the tone and response of various classic valve types, allowing you to not just pick one of the six preamp voices – which go from crystalline clean to heavy distortion – but also one of six power amp sections, giving you a choice of KT88, 6L6, KT66, EL34, 6V6 or EL84 tubes.
In addition there’s also a selection of 12 onboard effects to choose from – sensibly divided into modulation, delay and reverb, and thanks to the headroom the amps afford Blackstar promises the Silverline range will also play well with effects pedals.
The amps also feature a USB-out for using the amp as an all-in-one audio interface, and an emulated headphone output doubles as a cab-sim output for running into a PA. 12 presets are available off the bat, expanding to 128 with a footswitch or MIDI controller.
Aesthetically the amps also represent a significant departure for Blackstar. Aside from the original Artisan and the occasional special run, the Blackstar’s amps have always been primarily, well, black. The silver-grey tolex here, combined with silver grille cloth and control panel and coffin-style metal nameplate, offer a very different, more retro vibe for the British brand.
Given the high-power DSP on board, pricing for the Silverline series is also very competitive, ranging from £369 for the Standard 1×10 combo up to £749 for what might be the most intriguing amp in the range, the Stereo Deluxe – which promises room-filling stereo reverb and delay sounds through the 100-watt 2×12 combo.
The full Silverline range is as follows:
- Silverline Standard: 20W, 1×10, £369
- Silverline Special: 50W, 1×12, £429
- Silverline Deluxe: 100W, 1×12, £579
- Silverline Stereo Deluxe: 2x100W, 2×12, £749
- Silverline Deluxe Head: 100W, £449
- Silverline 2×12 Cabinet: £399
Keep an eye on Guitar.com for our review of the new Silverline amps very soon, and in the meantime, check out Blackstar’s introductions to the series in the videos below:
More information is available at blackstaramps.com.