NAMM 2024: Blackstar refreshes its top-selling digital practice amp series with the feature-packed ID:CORE V4 now equipped with single-watt bedroom setting

Blackstar ID:CORE V4
(Image credit: Blackstar)

NAMM 2024: Blackstar has upgraded and updated its ID:CORE series with the fourth generation of its top-selling digital guitar practice amp series receiving some cosmetic improvements, alongside some under the hood improvements to make it louder. Best of all, they now feature a single-watt setting for low-volume practice.

The ID:CORE V44 amps are available as 40-watt, 20-watt and super-compact 10-watt combos, each amp retaining all the future-forward features that made its predecessor so successful. 

Once more we have the six core amp voicings – Clean Warm, Clean Bright, Crunch, Super Crunch, OD 1 and OD2, with a dozen onboard effects, accessed via the MOD (Modulation), DEL (Delay) and REV (Reverb) buttons, with a rotary dial to cycle through the four effects under each category. These amps are also programmable, and you can save sounds to store across six patches.

Now, you’re definitely going to want to play your chords as nice as possible because the sound from these amplifiers is going to be all around the room, with the ID:CORE V4 series once more delivering Super Wide Stereo performance. This is one of the ways these compact little guitar amps punch above their weight.

But the upgrades, whilst subtle, are not to be sniffed at at this price. The ID:CORE V4 Series does not break the bank, with the largest model priced at £215 street, the 20-watter a respectable £179, and the 10-watt version almost free at £139. 

Each amp in the series has the same control panel, and it has been upgraded from plastic to brushed metal, which means it should look as good in a few years’ time as it does now. 

The USB connection has been updated to USB-C, allowing for four-channel recording and re-amping. The digital connectivity of these amps is a key part of their appeal, allowing players to use them to live-stream their playing, or use the units as a guitar audio interface for home recording. 

All of the ID:CORE V4 amps are equipped with Blackstar’s CabRig Lite cabinet emulation, and you can edit the settings via the proprietary Architect software.

Blackstar ID:CORE V4

(Image credit: Blackstar)

Other cool features include Blackstar’s patented ISF feature, which is a single dial adjusting the EQ to give the amp a typically British or US amp sound. And you can take them anywhere – just connect to Blackstar's PB-1 Power Bank (sold separately).

But best of all there is switchable power output, so you can run it at full power or at a single watt, the latter ideal for bedroom practice – or in our experience office practice. There’s nothing better than sneaking in a few afternoon licks in the office once the heard has thinned out a bit.

The ID:CORE V4 series is out now. See Blackstar for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

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.