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Blackstar Artist 15 - 15-watt 1x12" Combo Amp Reviews

5.0 stars based on 4 customer reviews
Questions about the Blackstar Artist 15 - 15-watt 1x12" Combo Amp?

Questions about the Blackstar Artist 15 - 15-watt 1x12" Combo Amp?

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  • from Long Island, NY October 11, 2016


    After months of searching, I took the plunge and bought the Artist 15 and in three words ...I Love It!

    Talked with Lucas at Sweetwater and ended up with a demo for eighty bucks less than retail.
    Sweetwater had the amp at my front door in less than two days and everything arrived in Mint condition right down to the footswitch (and the bag of candy was a nice touch too!).

    This amp sounds awesome!
    The Clean channel is very basic - just Volume and Tone (perfect for Jazz), but the Gain Channel delivers everything from twangy single-coil style tones all the way up to Humbucker dirt. The Digital Reverb is very impressive and the ISF really does create a definite USA/British difference and the Emulated Output lets either the amp or the amp with pedals come through loud and clear for recording.

    The definition through all the gears is very impressive and if I want to, I can crank it up and take the paint off the walls --- 15 watts is LOUD! With the ISF cranked to the "British" side, it does sound very Marshall-like and the "USA-side" sounds Fender-ish but the overall sound is somewhere in between.

    The ECC83(12AX7)/6L6 tubes ought to make it a Fender by default but there's something in the circuitry that either gives or takes something from that configuration to create a unique sound all its own. Most people think of Blackstar as a high-gain, high-saturation Hard Rock or Metal amp but the Artist was built to be deliberately different and has a far more organic or old-school sound which is what I love. The master volume allows for bedroom-level play and even at that level there's more than enough crunch to satisfy my ears, but turn it up a bit and it really starts to sing. As for pedals, the clean channel is a blank canvass, but the gain channel becomes a whole universe of voicings when pedals are added and I'm still exploring the possibilities.

    I played other amps in this category and price range but I could not find an actual Artist 15 to play so I depended on online reviews and it was a "Sweetwater Minute" by Mitch Gallagher that sold me on the this amp. His video was a simple "Plug n' Play" demonstration with no pedals - just a couple of guitars, a cable and the amp and was the most comprehensive demo I'd seen on this amp and it's what convinced me that this was the one for me.

    If you're looking for pedal-friendly, low-gain amp with an "old-school" feel, bluesy grit and plenty of punch, the Blackstar Artist 15 is worth a long look. I'm totally happy with this amp and with Sweetwater's service as well!

  • from Arizona July 19, 2016

    Perfect Pedal Platform

    The Artist 15 is exactly what I was looking for. It has high headroom for cleans and works extremely well with all sorts of pedals. It has a nice breakup at high gain settings on channel 2 which works great for classic rock and blues. The single 12" Celestion V-Type speaker sounds great.

    The amp is quite heavy, so if you are looking for something ultra portable this may not be the best choice. The weight does, however, make it feel solid and super sturdy and well made. Too bad this does not have a standby switch like the Artist 30 model. I've tried many amps looking for one that works for me, this one is a keeper.

  • from Louisiana February 18, 2016Music Background:
    Pretending to play for Years

    Great Service - Great Amp

    Thank you Andy Rice and the folks at Sweetwater for getting this gem to my door in record time although they hay just started a great promotion and their phones were ringing off the hook. As far as the amp is concerned I could not be better pleased. It arrived doubled packed and in perfect condition.
    This is a very well made and versatile amp and you can get a lot of different sounds out of it. Its not a high gain amp but the Infinite Shape Feature allows you to literally get an infinite number of clean sounds out of the twelve inch speaker. This handles stomp boxes like a rock-star, I tried both a Tube Screamer and Classic Distortion and they worked great. The two separate channels are very unique and this allows you to create even more tones. Depending on the pickups in your guitar when overdriven this amp can get some sweet and soulful distortion. It is a shame my playing can not do this amp justice yet, but it will certainly give me incentive to practice and get better.

    Hats off to Sweetwater for finding this great amp out off England.

  • from Ohio July 8, 2016Music Background:
    Semi Pro Guitarist


    What an amp! This replaced my Dr Z Maz 18 Jr combo. Believe it or not, to my ears this thing smokes it.

    The Artist has a tight bottom end and a chimey/crisp top end. It is very versatile, with the two channels and the ISF knob. I use it primarily with pedals and my pedal board has never sounded better with any other amp.

    My only complaints would be Blackstar's design of the control panel on the top of the amp (not conductive for tweaking the amp without standing over it) and the bad location of the power jack, effects loop, footswitch and amp cab jacks which are on the back of the amp at the bottom facing the floor. I don't think you could design a worse place to put those jacks. However, this is standard Blackstar design.

Questions about the Blackstar Artist 15 - 15-watt 1x12" Combo Amp?

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