Blackstar 2021 kicks off with a great new addition to their modeling amp line, the Blackstar IDcore V3 Series. Version 3 has been completely redesigned from the ground up, and today we take a look!
Blackstar IDCore V3: New Amps, New Features…
The Blackstar IDCore Series is one of my most recommended amps. I always tell people how much I love mine, and I use it daily for practice. I added it to the best practice Amps List from last year, and I have a feeling it will make the list again for 2021!
These amps come in 3 different models, and the best part is that all of them are affordable – like $129 affordable.
The landscape for what makes a good practice amp has changed this year with the advent of BIAS FX. You need more options than ever before if you want to compete.
Blackstar started as a scion from the famous Marshall Amplifiers company. The lead team over at Blackstar knew exactly how to made a hot-rodded Metal tube amp, and their initial success was based on their designs Marshall had denied. But times changed, and modeling software became the norm. At first, Blackstar fell behind.
The first incarnation of the Blackstar IDCore set of amps were simple, and easy to use. You could hook them up to the computer if you wished, but that wasn’t their main feature. Their main feature was simplicity. And in the world of expensive, confusing modeling tech… Blackstar was a godsend!
It seems like The Blackstar IDCore V3 retains the ‘easy to use” features for the people that want to keep it simple. But is also has a ton of customization, and includes an updated version of the “3D Sound” technology.
It looks like Blackstar IDCore V3 has managed to pack even more features into a tiny package at a great price point. Let’s dig in and take a look!
Blackstar IDCore V3 Features and Design
Let’s take a look at the things that they haven’t changed first. The Blackstar IDCore V3 still has the simple amp selection knob that goes from “Warm Clean” to “Overdrive 1 &2”. All of these amp presets are usable from the get-go.
We still get the famous Blackstar ISF knob, that turns your amp into a British sound, or American. It can also blend both of the models together, in any combo you want. personally, I like the high-end of the British versions, especially on the Overdrive channels.
The Effects buttons, and the Effects dial still work the same as well, You have Delay, Reverb, and Modulation. The Effects knob stores your presets, and has a knob for the level and blend.
All of the Blackstar IDCore V3 amps also have the “3D Sound function still installed. This was so confusing to me when I first heard it! It really sounds like your delay effects are coming from…everywhere!
So what’s new then?
Blackstar IDCore V3 NEW Features!
The basic functions remain the same for all 3 models for people familiar with the IDCore line. But for newcomers, or people that have always wanted MORE out of the Blackstar series, now is your chance to see what the Brits have up their sleeve for this year!
- Guitarist-friendly controls combined with the power of programmability for an amazingly versatile tonal range from pristine clean to high gain.
- Patented ISF control allows you to infinitely adjust the response of the tone control network.
- Hold down the Reverb button to engage the tuner. The effects LEDs show if you’re sharp, flat or in tune and the 6 Voices represent each of your 6 strings.
- Free Architect software for deep editing and patch sharing online.
- Re-voiced and enhanced studio quality effects create beautiful sonic textures in stunning Super Wide Stereo.
- ID:Core V3 amps use full range, linear speakers, so they’re perfect for gaming audio or watching movies. ID:Core V3 is an amp you can use every day.
The Free Architect Software is the first big update to the Blackstar IDCore V3 series. This new software allows you to easily deep edit all of your saved patches, without being too complicated or hard to program. This is simplicity at it’s finest. This is technically just an add-on feature, since all of the amp models are set nearly perfect from the factory. Almost every tone you can imagine, can be created, easily.
New CabRig Software for recording. This is another great add-on that will help you really dial in your tone if you plan on recording with the Blackstar IDCore V3.
This is a basic version of Cab Simulation, or Impulse Response, and it is essential when you are crafting tones for recording. A good cab can make or break a tone. From Blackstar Official:
“User-configurable Cab Rig Lite is our next-generation Cab Simulator, with user controls for elements such as cabinet, mic and room environment.”
- 4-channel USB audio makes low-latency recording and professional re-amping simple, turning your amp an audio interface.
- Small in size, but delivers huge tones from a cool-looking compact amp.
- Cab Rig Lite is our next-generation Cab Simulator, with user-configurable controls for elements such as cabinet, mic and room environment.
- Direct to device recording and livestreaming made easy using a TRRS 3.5mm cable for input/output live streaming to a compatible device (i.e. iPhone, Android phone)
You read that right, the first time. Yes, you can use the Blackstar IDCore V3 for live-streaming. This is huge! If you are a fan of putting your videos on social media, this makes it much easier! All you need is a regular AUX cable! You can send videos to your friends of your latest shred idea, or post it to the internet… or both!
No more video editing software, or posting videos with “room sound”. The Blackstar IDCore V3 does all of the heavy lifting for you. Of course, you better practice your chops if you plan to go live!
Wrapping Up… The Blackstar IDCore V3 Is Pretty Cool!
These new Blackstar amps come in three different models: 10W, 20W, and 40W. While the 40W version is pretty loud, I wouldn’t say that it is a “gig ready amp”.
But that isn’t the point for these amps. These are meant to be “on the go” or at-home tools for you to hone your chops. So if you’re looking for an amp with all of these features to gig with, then the Blackstar IDCore V3 is NOT what you’re looking for. That was never the point of these amps.
But if you are looking for an awesome practice tool, or something that is perfect for recording ideas on your computer, then Blackstar has you covered!
And it only costs 129 bucks! What’s not to like!?
When is the Blackstar IDCore V3 release date?
Currently, these models are on pre-order status. But they should be shipping by March 2021.
Does the Blackstar IDCore V3 still have stereo sound?
All models still have the cool 3D Stereo Sound features that the previous models had.
Do I have to use Software with the Blackstar IDCore V3 amps?
Nope! The factory presets sound great “as-is”! All of the presets sound great the moment you plug your amp in.
Can the Blackstar IDCore V3 hook up to my smartphone or tablet?
Using a 3.5mm AUX jack, you can plug the Blackstar IDCore amp up to your smartphone or tablet to livestream, or record videos for your friends on social media.