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Blackstar launches the JJN 3, the Jared James Nichols signature mini-amp you can take anywhere

Blackstar Fly 3 Jared James Nichols
(Image credit: Blackstar)

Blackstar Amplification and blues-rock powerhouse Jared James Nichols have collaborated on another signature guitar amp, and it is the perfect solution for those who want to play blues in the park, by the beach, in the garden or indeed wherever.

The JJN 3 is a limited edition riff on Blackstar’s super-popular Fly 3 series, offering a two-channel, three-watt combo platform that can be taken anywhere and run on batteries, and has a lot more going on than its modest size might suggest.

With an MP3 input, the JJN 3 can also take an external audio source for jamming along to, or simply to be used as a portable speaker. It’s expandable, too. Add a Fly 3 and you can have a six-watt stereo rig. 

There is also a speaker emulated output that adds ambience when playing silently through guitar amp headphones or sending the signal direct to your laptop for recording.

As for your electric guitar, there is plenty of scope for dialling in an appropriately hench, Nicholsian tone, with gain and volume controls, a Blues Power switch, global EQ courtesy of Blackstar’s patented ISF function – which splits the difference between tighter US amp voicings and the soft-crunch of their British counterparts.

There is also a tape echo style delay with delay time handled by a large chickenhead knob like the other controls, and a mini-dial setting the volume of your repeats. Not bad for a little amp like this.

Of course, if you wanted to master the full power of Nichols’ bear-wrestling fingerstyle blues, it might be advisable to size up and go for his JJN-20R signature head and cab, or, if you really need to blow the doors off, do has Nichols did in the studio and play through Blackstar’s Artist 100.

The JJN 3 will set you back just £79 street. See Blackstar for more details.

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.