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 blackstarplugins.com