AMPED 1 is a professional 100 Watt guitar amp in a compact pedal. It turns any pedalboard, modeller, or multi-effector into a performance ready amp and ensures you can take your sound with you anywhere.
Power reduction down to 1W and USB-C connectivity means it’s equally at home in the studio or the stage.
Front Panel Features
The gain structure and sonics of this voice have been inspired by classic American amplifiers of the mid ’60s (Fender ‘black-face’). It is very clean and bright but with a solid low-end and controlled mids. Also, on this voice the power valve responses are set to be tight and relatively clean and linear across
the frequency range. This is one of the most popular choices for a ‘pedal platform’ as it provides a solid clean foundation to apply effects to.
The UK voice emulates a ‘classic’ valve/tube preamp topology based on a much loved British ‘class A’ amplifier of the early ’60s (Vox AC-30 Top Boost). This is a low to medium gain preamp that can be used clean, warm or mildly overdriven. This voice also features a hybrid MIDDLE control; below halfway
the MIDDLE control will interact with the BASS and TREBLE controls, as per a typical tone stack, but above halfway the MIDDLE control will transition into an active mid boost. Again, this is a very popular choice for a ‘pedal platform’ as well as for a great responsive crunch tone. When this channel is selected the power valve responses are set as ‘open-loop’. This has a looser feel with a resonant bottom end and lively highs.
This voice is intended for use with typical amp modellers. Using this voice will bypass all gain structures typically used in guitar amp channels and provide a linear and extremely high headroom voice to avoid unwanted colouration of your tone. The typical tone stack will also be bypassed and instead the BASS, MIDDLE and TREBLE knobs will control a semi-parametric EQ to allow for gentle tone shaping. With the knobs at 12 o’clock this EQ will be totally transparent. The semi-parametric EQ is set-up as below:
BASS: Low shelf at 300Hz +/- 10dB
MIDDLE: Peak filter at 800Hz +/- 10dB
TREBLE: High shelf at 1KHz +/- 10dB
The Response control delivers five distinctly different and authentic power valve responses - KT88, 6L6, EL34, 6V6, EL84. Each setting delivers the response, dynamics, sag and break-up characteristics of the
selected valve power amp. The Linear response offers transparent power amplification, use in combination with the FLAT voice when pairing your AMPED 1 with an external amp modeller with its own power valve emulation. Blackstar’s power valve responses change the characteristics of the sound from dynamic and tight to compressed and spongy.
§ KT88 - Tight, bold and dynamic Class A/B with strong low end
§ 6L6 - Tight dynamic Class A/B with extended high and lows
§ EL34 - Classic British Class A/B full bodied crunch with focussed mids
§ 6V6 - Crisp Class A with high compression and tight mids
§ EL84 - Bell-like full bodied Class A with lots of compression and soft break-up
§ Linear – Transparent and high headroom
As you move from KT88 to EL84 the amount of compression and overdrive available from each valve
response is increased.
The reverb type, time and tone can be customised using Blackstar’s Architect deep-editing software and saved to the AMPED 1 in place of the default reverb. When the Reverb is active, holding the Reverb footswitch will activate the ‘Freeze’ effect. Whilst the Reverb footswitch is held down and the ‘Freeze’ effect is active, the Reverb will decay over a much longer period of time, achieving a synth-pad-like effect. Playing into the Reverb will add to the ‘Freeze’.
You can recall the stored Preset with this footswitch. When you activate this switch, the LED above the footswitch will light up and the settings stored in the Preset will be applied, overwriting the physical state of the controls. Deactivating the Preset will revert the settings to the physical state of the controls. Holding the Preset footswitch for 2 seconds will store the current settings to the Preset. The Recall Indicator and Preset LEDs will flash to confirm a successful save.
Rear and Side Panel Features
Cab Rig Switch and Level Control
The Cab Rig switch selects between the three currently stored Cab Rig patches. The three factory patches are completely customisable using the Cab Rig section of Blackstar’s Architect software (more information in the Cab Rig section below), which also offers additional Blackstar presets and almost limitless further options and permutations. This control allows quick access, physical control over the XLR, Line Out and USB audio Channel 3 output level. At maximum (fully clockwise), this control has no effect on the signal level. At minimum (fully anti-clockwise), this control attenuates the signal on these outputs by 20dB.
USB Audio - Cab Rig Output
This USB type C socket is used for USB audio and connecting to the Blackstar Architect software app. The audio output via USB from your amplifier directly to your computer is carried across four independent, simultaneous channels:
§ Channel 1: Cab Rig, left channel – The fully processed guitar sound, with power amp and speaker cabinet emulation. This will include the left channel of the Cab Rig Room. This signal is taken from after the Master volume control.
§ Channel 2: Cab Rig, right channel – The fully processed guitar sound, with power amp and
speaker cabinet emulation. This will include the right channel of the Cab Rig Room. This signal is taken from after the Master volume control.
§ Channel 3: Preamp output – The sound of the preamp voices and EQ stages, taken before the reverb and without any speaker or cabinet emulation. Ideal for use with your own effects and power amp/cabinet emulation plugins within your recording software/DAW. This signal is not affected by the Master volume control or any controls within Cab Rig, but it can be attenuated by up to 20dB using the Cab Rig Outputs ‘Level’ control on the side panel.
§ Channel 4: Unprocessed dry guitar signal – This is the direct signal from your guitar as received by the input stage of the amp. This signal is ideal for reamping. This signal is not affected by any of the amplifier’s controls.
Your AMPED pedal can also receive audio input from your computer:
§ Channel 1: Line input, left channel – Used for audio monitoring or backing track playback via the XLR and Line Out Cab Rig outputs.
§ Channel 2: Line input, right channel – Used for audio monitoring or backing track playback via the Balanced XLR and Line Out Cab Rig outputs.
Mono Balanced XLR – Cab Rig Output
This output is for using an industry standard 3 pin XLR cable for connection to a recording device, stage box or mixing desk. This provides a low noise, low impedance, quality connection for recording or live use.
The signal from this output is the fully processed guitar sound, with power amp and speaker cabinet emulation through Cab Rig with the left and right channels summed to mono. This signal is taken from after the Master volume control. This signal can also be attenuated by up to 20dB using the Cab Rig Outputs
‘Level’ control. The stereo line input signal via USB will also be affected by the Level control.
Stereo Line Out – Cab Rig Output
This 1⁄4" TRS jack socket provides a stereo connection to connect to a recording device or mixing desk. This output can also be used to connect headphones for silent practice. The signal from this output is the fully processed guitar sound, with power amp and speaker cabinet emulation through Cab Rig. This signal is stereo and taken from after the Master volume control. This signal can also be attenuated by up to 20dB using the Cab Rig Outputs ‘Level’ control. The stereo Line input signal via USB will also be affected by the Level control.
Mono Effects Loop
The AMPED 1 uses a single TRS socket for the integrated effects loop. The supplied y-splitter cable will separate the send and return. Using Blackstar Architect the effects loop can be set in series or parallel and pre or post the onboard reverb. When the effects loop is set to parallel there is also control over the return level within Architect.
Voice switching, tone controls, response selection etc. can be controlled entirely via MIDI. The default for receiving MIDI messages via the MIDI In is set to channel 1. The MIDI channel can be changed using Blackstar’s Architect software.
DC Pedal Power
The AMPED 1 features two 9V pedal power sockets to power external effects pedals. The total maximum combined current draw for these power sockets is 500mA. For example, two pedals drawing 250mA or one pedal drawing 100mA and another drawing 400mA.