Bass amps are usually big boxes because they need large speakers to chuck out all that low-end energy.
Clearly nobody told Blackstar, which has made its first dedicated bass amp a minuscule affair.
The Bass Fly shares the Fly 3's tiny enclosure, and like the guitar version, this three-watt amp can be battery-powered. Also like the Fly 3, if you need more power, the Stereo Pack (£79) adds a second three-watt extension cab and power supply.
You get two channels (clean and OD) with gain, compression and master volume, and an EQ control that goes from a mid-rich bite to a mid-cut thump. There's a built-in Sub control, too, which layers bass harmonics to provide further beef. The Bass Fly also has an input for your phone or mp3 player, and a headphone/emulated out for silent playing or recording.
We loved the Fly 3, but we were sceptical that an amp of this size could do the business an octave down. We were wrong. This little monster has more than enough volume for home practice, and the tone is something else.
The Bass Fly holds its goodies even when you crank it, and the drive sound is genuinely great, with none of that small amp honk.
Using our Jazz Bass on the clean channel, with the compression up, and the EQ set fully clockwise the tone is punchy, clear and has plenty of low-end. You'll want to be careful with that Sub control, as dialling it too high can create some flappiness, but this is a new standard for space- strapped bassists.
- Our pick of the best mini amps for guitar