NAMM 2015 VIDEO: Blackstar launches BEAM Bluetooth amp

NAMM 2015: Blackstar has launched its first Bluetooth amp, the ID: Core BEAM, aimed at electric, acoustic and bass players as well as those looking for a high quality wireless MP3 dock for the home.

BEAM stands for Bass. Electric. Acoustic. Music, and serves as the statement of intent here. The BEAM is an amp and lifestyle device designed to be your home's music hub, positioned on a table or desk top.

The 20W amp (£229 / $299) features Super Wide Stereo like last year's initial ID: Core series, but this time weights in with Bluetooth connectivity (a first for a Blackstar product) and more surprisingly, designated channels to allow the options of three distinct guitar instruments to run through it.

Alongside the six electric guitar voices on offer, there are also two bass, two acoustic and two acoustic simulator voices with built in effects for electric and bass.

This is an amp that can also serve as your home stereo and jamming tool too. There's music playback via Bluetooth or line in. And here it seems Blackstar are aiming their sights on the likes of Bose and Sonos in the MP3 dock market when it comes to audio quality, claiming the BEAM will 'outclass the sonic performance of the most well-respected MP3 docks and with Super Wide Stereo will fill the room'.

After spending some time with the BEAM we can confirm that, just like it did for guitar with the original ID: Core series, the Super Wide Stereo has a significant effect on the listening experience in a room with your MP3 player. Blackstar could be on to a winner here for those guitarists looking for a genuinely practical and feature-packed solution for playing and listening in the home.

The BEAM also comes equipped for use with recording software too. Its USB connectivity allows integration with DAWs and also Blackstar's free Insider software, for editing and sharing patches with other users.

Here's the full specs:

  • 20W Super Wide Stereo (2x10W)
  • Bluetooth connectivity for music streaming and data
  • Six electric guitar voices, from Clean Warm to OD 2
  • Two bass voices
  • Two acoustic guitar voices
  • Two acoustic simulator voices
  • Patented ISF
  • 12 Digital FX
  • Programmable: store up to 12 patches, or use in Manual Mode
  • Full Blackstar Insider compatibility - create and share patches with the Blackstar Online Community
  • USB Audio
  • MP3/Line In for jamming along or listening to music
  • Emulated Line Out for silent practice or recording
  • Stereo speaker configuration - 2x3˝ speakers producing true stereo Blackstar tones
  • Separately sealed and ported left and right speaker chambers
  • Mains powered via a separate power supply (included)
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. I've currently set aside any pipe dreams of getting anywhere with my own songs and I am enjoying playing covers in function bands.