Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 20 V2 Guitar Modeling Amplifier 20W

82
GEARANK

82 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$160
Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 20 V2 Guitar Modeling Amplifier
Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 20 V2 Guitar Modeling Amplifier

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.

Specifications:

  • 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

Pros

It gets most of its accolades from guitarists who love its gain and overdriven tones, high-gain being the most commended. But the
Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 20 V2 is not just about dirty tones, because there are many who found the clarity of its clean tone to be really good. Many are also impressed by its intuitive control and versatility.

Cons

Since there aren't any major complaints about the amp, there are a few who recommend getting a bigger model since the pricing is not too far off.

Overall

Get the Blackstar ID:Core Stereo 20 V2 if you mostly play modern rock and metal music.

To see which small practice amps are currently on our recommended list, you can read our guide to The Best Practice Amps / Small Guitar Amps.

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