Blackstar Amplification Artisan 15
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Artisan 15, Tube Combo Guitar Amp from Blackstar Amplification in the Artisan series.

Audiofanzine FR 12/04/2008

Blackstar Amplification Artisan 15 : Audiofanzine FR's user review

5

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(Originally written by quanticman/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
This dual channel tube amp uses two different tubes in each channel. The first channel has a British sound and the second one an American sound with a more compressed response and more gain. Both channels complement each other. You can use both channels simultaneously. The result is a stunning sound with the possibility to adjust the character provided by each channel.

The amp offers two operating modes: single-ended or push-pull (with 5 or 15 watts). I personally use the 5-watt mode because the other one is much too loud for the room where I play, even with the whole band. The 15-watt mode is useful for live gigs.

No FX loop but I wouldn't use it anyway.

Settings: volume and tone controls on each channel. It's perfect for people like me who prefer to play the guitar instead of experimenting with their amp.

This amp would be perfect with an integrated reverb.

It's a boutique-style amp made in Korea. It doesn't have a PCB, everything has been hand-wired point to point.

The amp has a Celestion Vintage 30 speaker, cool!

UTILIZATION

Easy to use: just plug in and play. If you want more crunch simply increase the volume. For another sound character simply change the channel.

In spite of this simplicity you can spend hours trying to find a new sound (the tone control depends on the volume).

It's a class-A amp so you can also use it as an additional heater in winter...

SOUNDS

The clean sound is quite amazing... It's your guitar's raw sound. I don't know if you've ever tried to play an unplugged electric guitar putting your ear against the body... With this amp you get that particular sound! It sounds crystal-clear and it blows me away every time I play it.

The amp has a huge dynamic response to faithfully replicate your playing.

The second channel produces a very nice crunch sound (think The Who Live at Leeds).

Nice classic-rock sound.

The distortion sound is wonderful but it requires too much output power so I have to use effects pedals to get distortion at lower levels in my room. I own a Blackstar HT-Drive, which has a similar sound. But the distortion of the amp is richer.

OVERALL OPINION

I've had this amp for over one month and I won't sell it, ever. My quest for the perfect amp has come to an end. The amp is ultra sturdy and I want to keep it my whole life.

The value for money is very good for a hand-made boutique amp.

People at Blackstar made a good and professional product.