Let there be light
When it comes to tone and that all-important ‘feel’ factor, great valve amps rightfully remain the ‘gold standard’. The trouble is that great ones capable of delivering 50 Watts or more are all back-breakingly heavy. Until now… enter St. James Series – the lightest 50 Watt valve guitar amps on earth.
Hundreds of hours of critical listening against the most revered amplifier references mean St. James raises the sonic benchmark again. In addition to the obvious tonal differences between EL34 and 6L6 power valves, both of the St. James designs are honed to their own particular use case. The St. James EL34 is the amp for Classic tones combining world-class British Crunch and jaw-dropping, very US-sounding Cleans. The 6L6 version has the same clean headroom, but this is coupled with Blackstar’s highest gain Overdrive circuit to date.
St. James amps are packed with cutting-edge features to deliver class-leading recording performance. From 50W, 2W and SAG switchable power modes, to an inbuilt reactive load that routes the post-power valve output signal to the amp’s three direct recording outputs (XLR, Stereo Line-Out and USB) for truly authentic ‘amp-in-a-room: feel. The sound from these recording outputs is derived from Blackstar’s state-of-the-art and fully customisable CabRig DSP speaker simulator.
We had two main goals in designing the St. James amps. To create the world's lightest valve amps whilst retaining all the elements of a traditional design with no compromise in tone or performance. And, to include everything within one box to enable the output of authentic ‘mic’d cabinet-of-a-hard-driven-valve-amp-in-a-room’ sounds, direct to stage box or recording device.
What do they sound like?
After months of forensic examination of the most revered vintage valve amps in the world, St. James take these tones to the next level. Aside from the obvious power valve choices, the EL34 and 6L6 models each have their own distinct tonal characteristics appealing to different players.
Our inbuilt reactive load and pro connections make St. James perfect for silent stages and recording. The reactive load mimics the electrical response of a typical loudspeaker to deliver the authentic valve power-amp tones possible in the studio or at home. No need for expensive additional outboard equipment.
CabRig overcomes the shortcomings of IR ‘snapshots’ by using state-of-the-art digital processing to reproduce the sound and feel of a mic’d up guitar cab in incredible detail. Over 250 mic and cab combinations can be saved into one of the three onboard slots. Each cab has a choice of mic type and axis, alongside room mics and master EQ. Connect to the free Architect software for more deep-dive options.
With more musicians recording at home, or playing on silent stages, St. James is perfect for the way we play today, with USB audio connectivity for pro-recording and an XLR D.I. for professional live use, both using the inbuilt reactive load and CabRig DSP speaker simulation.
We worked closely with Celestion to develop the unique Zephyr lightweight ferrite speaker. The Zephyr accurately emulates the rich sound and performance of Celestion’s iconic “Vintage 30” speaker at a fraction of the weight – and this is achieved with a traditional ferrite magnet not a neodymium one.
Lightweight with no compromise
Candlenut plywood is used for strength and lightness and its beneficial acoustic proprieties, creating a roadworthy cabinet that sounds great and won’t let you down.
The St. James range uses highly efficient, lightweight power transformers designed around modern SMPS (Switched-Mode Power Supply) technology. More than 3 years of intense R&D have delivered all the benefits of SMPS, namely lightweight and universal voltage compatibility, whilst retaining the sound and feel of a traditional iron-core transformer. The resulting revolutionary transformer technology is patent pending.
- Vertical 2×12″ Cabinet with Open/Close back
- Exclusive Celestion G12Z-70 ‘Zephyr’
- 8 Ohm custom-designed, lightweight speaker
- 4 Ohms and 16 Ohms outputs
- Stunning fawn boutique styling with black basketweave fret