NAD Blackstar Artist 15 - Clean heaven

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by KnopflerStyle, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. KnopflerStyle

    KnopflerStyle Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 22, 2005
    I havent seen reviews about this Blackstar Model, so i decided to put i few words about it in case that someone is thinking about this amp.

    Im a proud owner of the Blackstar HTR1 head, i ve had a Vox Valvetronix, and i used to play Vox AC30 and Twin Reverbs with my band.

    I was very interested on this particular model since it has 6L6s and two channel with loop and master volume. I like those modern features and i though it could mix very well with the vintage sound of the Artist.

    First Touch

    * The amp is HUGE for a 15W valve amp. The ac15 is a toy beside it. Like an AC30.
    * Not so heavy, the cabinet seems to be light and thin
    * The jack is very cheap and doenst feel well when you plug the guitar. The pots are good and nice response to the touch
    * The sticker at the top with the pot levels (i dont know how to say it) is not high quality and could be better. The sticker seems to be cheap. Horrible to my taste and feel.
    * Cabinet is ok, and the materials on it are just good. Better quality on my HTR1.

    Lets plug it

    * The footswitch input, the loop and external output and all those stuff that you need close to your hand, are hidden at the back. Very difficul to connect. You have to be on the floor to see the jacks and letters. Very rare.
    * 2 channels, one clean with volume and tone, the other with Gain, Volume, Treble, Mid, Bass, ISF, Reverb. Both channels work with a Master Volume. I really like that the amp has both options and no overdrive. its a 100% clean vintage tone amp. with modern features like Master and Loop. I really like this blend and this was the main reason that i have bought one of these.
    * Footswitch include. Nice and solid. Good for it.


    * Channel One: Nice clean sound. The tone is like a Bass vs Treble thing. Really good sound. The speaker do a great job and the tele sound as a tele.
    * Channel two: Really usefull for variations and combinations, good clean sounds and you can add some mud with the gain control. The ISF (some kind of equealizer) is not very usefull for me and the "American" side is to treble/trouble. The right side sounds better to me. I Think i prefer the channel one and the other for more condiment (very usefull for me on live, two clean alternatives, just perfect) I should try both of them with pedals. Not time for that at the moment .

    Overall: I think its a good alternative for expensive vintage sound. Sounds really good and the master volume allow you to play decent cleans at low volumes. Enough Watts to gig cleans at a small club. The materials are not the best. The cabinet is huge. Not to heavy. If i m not mistaken you can put another 12 speaker in it. I am happy with the tones that i am creating with it and i feel i am original trying this things for a few bucks less than a classic fender (here those amps are impossible to buy, so i have no option). I prefer this kind of sound vs an AC30, not sure against a Fender Twin. I havent gig with it and i havent used pedals throught it. I will complete the review when i have both experiences.

    Quality: 7/10
    Appearence and feel: 7/10
    Sound: 9/10
    Features: 9/10
    Ergonomics (panel and pot distribution, input/outputs layout, cabinet size and weigh): 5/10
    Pedals: N/A
    Giggable: N/A

    My 2 cents.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
    AAT65 and BlazOfAllPeople like this.
  2. BlazOfAllPeople

    BlazOfAllPeople TDPRI Member

    Dec 27, 2016
    Would you consider this amp too loud for home use? Also, is it true that channel one is more American sounding, and channel two sounds more British?
  3. KnopflerStyle

    KnopflerStyle Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 22, 2005
    For home use is a lot. Go for 1w htr1 head with 112 cab. I have the head for home and the Artist for live.

    Channel 1 is very simple ( vol and tone). The amp is americanish. 6l6s and celestion v30. Very nice cleans at a good price.

    Channel 2 depends how you set It. Dont trust in isf. Sucks. But with gain and TMB you can do a lot of cleans alternatives.
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