Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 20 V2 Guitar Modeling Amplifier 20W (Discontinued)
The Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 20 V2 appeared on our recommended list for Guitar Practice Amps Under $500 for 1 edition from September 2017 until October 2018 when it was out-ranked by other amps.
The Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 20 V2 is Blackstar’s answer to the market's need for compact and versatile practice amplifiers.
The amp comes with a variety of effects, different amp models, and software that allows users to create and distribute their own patches.
An interesting feature of the amplifier is its EQ, which Blackstar refers to as the ISF. ISF is essentially a voicing control that switches the amp from an “American” tone to a “British” one (likely modeled on Mesa-Boogie and Marshall respectively). The Blackstar ditches a tone control in favor of the ISF.
The impact the ISF is going to have on your playing really depends on what you want from an amp. You definitely lose some tone shaping capabilities because the amp doesn’t have standard tone controls (bass, mid, treble), though the settings available to you definitely don’t sound bad.
The Blackstar ID: Core Stereo 20 V2, while a good sounding amp in its own right, has a handful of features that’ll make it an asset during practice. The sound production from the AUX-In line is treated a bit differently than your guitars signal, giving it a more vibrant and organic tone. The amp’s headphone-out port also doubles as an emulated line-out, which allows you to record the amp while retaining the tone of the speakers.
- Power Rating: 20W (2 x 10W)
- Speaker Size: 2 x 5”
- Amp Models: Clean, Warm, Clean Bright, Crunch, Super Crunch, OD1, OD2
- Effects: Overdrive, Distortion, Modulation, Delay, Reverb
- Controls: Gain, Volume, EQ, Tap Tempo, Effect Level, Tuner
- Input/Output: AUX-In, Headphone Out, Emulated Line-Out, Footswitch
- Extras: ISF Control, Tuner
- Weight: 11.4lbs
Founded by former Marshall employees, Blackstar has grown to be a reputable amp manufacturer with its own identity. These days, it is able to go toe to toe with the biggest brands in the industry, thanks to the innovations they introduced into their designs. Their most popular innovation is called ISF or Infinite Shape Feature, a single knob that lets you shift the voicing of your amp from American to British amp flavor, and covering everything in between. Blackstar is well received for their amps' high gain tone, which works well with modern rock and metal styles. Richie Sambora, Neil Schon, Jon Gomm, Sammy Haggar and Ozzy Osbourne are just a few of the many popular artists that use their amps.