Blackstar has made its greatest amps into a plugin

Blackstar St James plugin
(Image credit: Blackstar)

We love the 50-watt Blackstar St James EL34 and 6L6 heads and combos; they represent the ultimate showcase of Blackstar clean and gain tones in tube amps so far. Imagine our joy at the news Blackstar has made a plugin.

The company has flexed its software muscles with its Architect and CabRig but this is the first time its willingness to offer versatility in more playing environments has yielded a full-blown standalone plugin based on specific models. In combining the St James EL34 and heavier gain 6L6 models in one package, you've got a lot of scope for great tones.

"Designed, not modelled", the company states, with the idea being that the same R&D team that is responsible for the St James valve amps has designed the plugin. In addition to the amp there's pre-fx from Compression, two-mode drive, chorus and phaser, plus flanger, tremolo, delay and reverb time-based post-fx. The Dept 10 Equaliser and CabRig allow you to shape your tones further.

You can buy the £99 plugin direct from Blackstar and a free trial version is available too. More info at

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.