Blackstar’s 100-watt AMPED 1 turns any pedalboard into a giggable rig

The unit is capable of a variety of power-amp tube simulations, as well as using the same powerful cabinet simulation technology as the rest of the Dept 10 range.

Blackstar has introduced the AMPED 1, a pedal-sized amplifier that can kick out 100 watts of power, and features Blackstar’s CabRig IR software, and a huge range of power amp response modes.

The AMPED 1 can be used like a traditional amp head, running into any 8 or 16 ohm cabinet that can handle 100 watts. There is also a power-reduction switch that lets you knock down the output to either 20 watts or one watt.

The response of the power amp section is determined by a rotary selector switch, offering a smörgåsbord of power tube simulations:

  • KT88
  • 6L6
  • EL34
  • 6V6
  • EL84
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There’s also a linear mode, which removes any tube compression and squishiness for a clean, high-headroom sound. The onboard preamp has three channels: flat, US and UK. Flat has been designed for when you are using an external preamp pedal or modeller to shape your sound, offering a clear, linear response. The two-band EQ is completely transparent in this mode when both knobs are set to noon.

The US channel is based on “classic American amps of the 1960s”, so expect clean, Fender-like sounds. The UK channel has a bit more gain, however, is still designed to accept pedals well: it’s based on a “much-loved British Class A amplifier of the early ’60s,” with a “low to medium gain preamp that can be used clean, warm or mildly overdriven”

If you’d rather run the AMPED 1 direct, you have a lot of options. The unit comes with the same CabRig software that’s found in Blackstar’s Dept 10 drive pedals, and the St James series of amplifiers. This provides extensive DSP simulation of a cabinet, with plenty of deep control over speaker style, microphone type and positioning and room interaction. Deep editing is available through connecting the unit via USB to Blackstar’s Architect software. The direct tones are accessible through either USB, handy for recording direct into a DAW, or through the XLR output.

Other handy features include two 9V DC outputs (meaning the AMPED 1 can double up as a power-supply for a small board), an effects loop, a preset-selection footswitch to quickly change between two settings, and MIDI connectivity for full integration into digitally-controlled rigs.

The AMPED 1 lists for £439. Find out more over at blackstaramps.com.

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