Blackstar launches ultra-affordable ID:Core V3 series, promising huge amp tones from a versatile feature set

Blackstar ID:Core V3
(Image credit: Blackstar Amplification)

NAMM 2021 isn't taking place in the physical realm this year, but you'll find all the hottest January gear launches in our guide to the biggest guitar, amp and pedal releases of 2021 so far.

Said to be the result of over nine years of technical research and development, Blackstar previously impressed with its ID:Core V2 collection of market-leading, entry-level guitar amps, which put huge tones into small packages.

Now, Blackstar is back with the new ID:Core V3 – an upgraded, versatile amp that promises "Incredible tone and Super Wide Stereo sound", available in 10, 20 and 40-watt iterations, and packed with smart functionality.

The updated ID:Core V3 features six familiar amp voices – Clean Warm, Clean Bright, Crunch, Super Crunch, OD1 and OD2 – and invites guitarists to get creative with their tone with Blackstar's patented ISF control.

Blackstar ID:Core V3

(Image credit: Blackstar Amplification)

Offering a wide catalog of sounds ranging from the "Boutique" Clean Bright to the "Hot-Rodded" OD1, the intuitive amp controls allow guitarists to choose a channel, dial in the gain, roll off the EQ and apply a number of immersive effects to achieve their desired sound.

The re-voiced and enhanced effects include modulations such as chorus and tremolo, a number of delays, and a collection of room, hall, spring and plate reverbs. Conveniently, the reverb button turns into a tuner when it is held down, further adding to the all-in-one feel that the amp creates.

The question of tone becomes even more versatile when Blackstar's Architect is thrown into the mix – a free editing and patch management software that gives you access to Cab Rig Lite.

Cab Rig Lite is a state-of-the-art cab simulator that lets guitarists tweak nitty gritty specifics such as mic choice, cab type and even room environment, the "power of programmability" is paired with the natural tones of the amp for an "amazingly versatile tonal range".

Given what's been described, it's easy to forget that the ID:Core V3 is an incredibly small amp. The recessed handle and PB-1 Power Bank allows you to record and practice anywhere, while the four-channel USB audio turns the amp into an audio interface capable of easy recording, re-amping and editing.

Live streaming to your smartphone with guitar amp quality is also made easy using an iPhone/Android-compatible cable, allowing you to show off your chops – and your tone – online. 

The ID:Core V3 starts at $129 for the 10-watt combo, while the 20 and 40 will be $179 each. For more info, head over to Blackstar.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.