Everyone from jazz box architects to 8-string sweepers will find a lot to love in the Blackstar St. James 1 x 12-inch 50-watt Tube Combo Amp. As Blackstar's lightest and most innovative tube combo amp available, the St. James is tailor-made for studio and stage musicians seeking an all-in-one solution for everything from DI recording to live performance and beyond. St. James combo amps are constructed from candlenut plywood, reducing the weight significantly while maintaining the look and feel of a boutique amplifier. Its two channels are perfect for guitarists seeking crystal cleans and overdriven tones, relying on a single Celestion G12Z-70 "Zephyr" speaker to deliver this amp's sweet sounds. Swapping between the two channels is a breeze as well, with onboard toggles and an included external footswitch to meet your switching preferences. Best of all, the St. James comes stock with onboard cabinet simulation and power reduction — adding features like this to your rig often comes with a substantial price tag, but that's not the case here! Incredible sound for any situation is yours for the taking with Blackstar's St. James 1 x 12-inch 50-watt Tube Combo Amp.
When Blackstar set out to make the St. James series their most versatile and portable amps to date, they didn't cut any corners with regard to delectable tone. Two channels take you from glassy cleans to vintage crunch and even gut-punching grind, with channel and voicing selector switches around the front for easy toggling and a footswitch input around the back to swap channels with the included external pedal. The EL34-equipped model is fantastic for low- to medium-gain settings, with a vintage-tinged voice that sounds great in classic rock and heavy metal settings.
Rather than force you to spend potentially thousands more on additional cabs and an attenuator, Blackstar loaded their St. James combo amps with top-notch cabinet simulation and power reduction. Dubbed their Cab Rig Output, the St. James' cab sim technology arms you with three different cab sim options and your choice of balanced XLR or line out/phones output to run your tone straight to an interface or mixer as well as USB for running to a computer — no cab required! Music Experience guitarists always appreciate built-in power reduction, with options for 50-watt, 2-watt, and Sag (softer, more vintage sound) operation delivering plenty of volume for the stage while keeping the roommates happy at home.
When it comes to tone and that all-important ‘feel’ factor, great valve amps rightfully remain the ‘gold standard’. The trouble is that great ones capable of delivering 50 Watts or more are all back-breakingly heavy. Until now… enter St. James Series – the lightest 50 Watt valve guitar amps on earth.
Hundreds of hours of critical listening against the most revered amplifier references mean St. James raises the sonic benchmark again. In addition to the obvious tonal differences between EL34 and 6L6 power valves, both of the St. James designs are honed to their own particular use case. The St. James EL34 is the amp for Classic tones combining world-class British Crunch and jaw-dropping, very US-sounding Cleans. The 6L6 version has the same clean headroom, but this is coupled with Blackstar’s highest gain Overdrive circuit to date.
St. James amps are packed with cutting-edge features to deliver class-leading recording performance. From 50W, 2W and SAG switchable power modes, to an inbuilt reactive load that routes the post-power valve output signal to the amp’s three direct recording outputs (XLR, Stereo Line-Out and USB) for truly authentic ‘amp-in-a-room: feel. The sound from these recording outputs is derived from Blackstar’s state-of-the-art and fully customisable Cab Rig™ DSP speaker simulator.
We had two main goals in designing the St. James amps. To create the world's lightest valve amps whilst retaining all the elements of a traditional design with no compromise in tone or performance. And, to include everything within one box to enable the output of authentic ‘mic’d cabinet-of-a-hard-driven-valve-amp-in-a-room’ sounds, direct to stage box or recording device..
After months of forensic examination of the most revered vintage valve amps in the world, St. James take these tones to the next level. Aside from the obvious power valve choices, the EL34 and 6L6 models each have their own distinct tonal characteristics appealing to different players.
Our inbuilt reactive load and pro connections make St. James perfect for silent stages and recording. The reactive load mimics the electrical response of a typical loudspeaker to deliver the authentic valve power-amp tones possible in the studio or at home. No need for expensive additional outboard equipment.
Cab Rig overcomes the shortcomings of IR ‘snapshots’ by using state-of-the-art digital processing to reproduce the sound and feel of a mic’d up guitar cab in incredible detail. Over 250 mic and cab combinations can be saved into one of the three onboard slots. Each cab has a choice of mic type and axis, alongside room mics and master EQ. Connect to the free Architect software for more deep-dive options.
With more musicians recording at home, or playing on silent stages, St. James is perfect for the way we play today, with USB audio connectivity for pro-recording and an XLR D.I. for professional live use, both using the inbuilt reactive load and Cab Rig DSP speaker simulation.
We worked closely with Celestion to develop the unique Zephyr lightweight ferrite speaker. The Zephyr accurately emulates the rich sound and performance of Celestion’s iconic “Vintage 30” speaker at a fraction of the weight – and this is achieved with a traditional ferrite magnet not a neodymium one.
Candlenut plywood is used for strength and lightness and its beneficial acoustic proprieties, creating a roadworthy cabinet that sounds great and won’t let you down.
The St. James range uses highly efficient, lightweight power transformers designed around modern SMPS (Switched-Mode Power Supply) technology. More than 3 years of intense R&D have delivered all the benefits of SMPS, namely lightweight and universal voltage compatibility, whilst retaining the sound and feel of a traditional iron-core transformer. The resulting revolutionary transformer technology is patent pending.
|Number of Channels||2|
|Total Power||50W (2W setting)|
|Speaker Size||1 x 12" Celestion G12Z-70 "Zephyr"|
|Preamp Tubes||2 x ECC83|
|Power Tubes||2 x EL34|
3 x Cab Sims
|Inputs||1 x 1/4" (instrument)|
|Outputs||1 x 1/4" (16 ohms), 2 x 1/4" (8/16 ohms), 1 x XLR (DI out)|
|Headphones||1 x 1/4" (headphones/line out)|
|USB||1 x Type B|
1 x 1/4" (channel, boost)
|Footswitch Included||Yes, 2-button Footswitch|
Candlenut Plywood with Fawn Tolex
|Power Source||Standard IEC AC cable|
|Manufacturer Part Number||