Bass players – does it ever feel like the coolest practice amps are reserved for guitar players? Where’s the love for bassists? While the choice of practice amps for bassists feels quite limited in comparison, the affordable feature-packed FLY 3 Bass from Blackstar solves that problem – and solves it very well. Let’s check it out.
The FLY 3 Bass is a simple but stylish 3-watt practice amp that was made for on-the-go portability. A single 3” speaker is housed in its super-compact 6.69” x 4.72” x 4.01” enclosure, and it weighs in at only 2lbs. Battery operation is supported along with the typical DC power input as well, so this really is as portable as you can get.
Practice amps of yesteryear tended to be relatively featureless, but that’s not the case here. The FLY 3 Bass gives you instantly switchable clean and overdrive channels, with both channels benefitting from compression and EQ options to give your tone some real punch.
An aux input is available for when you want to jam along with your favorite tracks, and the headphone/line out offers emulation that mimics the tonal characteristics of a full-on speaker cabinet.
Controlling the FLY 3 Bass couldn’t be any easier. All of the controls are intuitive and knob-based with no screens to look at or menus to scroll through. The overdrive channel has a separate gain control, and the compressor can be adjusted to your taste with simple twist of the knob.
Let’s get real for a minute – how much thump do you really think you can get from a 3” speaker in a tiny box? With the unique SUB control, the answer may surprise you. The SUB control activates a separate harmonic generator, creating an additional low-frequency tone that gets blended in with the normal signal.
Both the clean and overdriven tones emanating from the FLY 3 Bass are surprisingly rich, deep, and have just the right amount of clarity – mimicking many of the larger bass amplifiers on the market today. The onboard compressor really helps to keep things tight, and the extra tone from the SUB control adds to the overall perception of a larger cabinet.
Volume isn’t a problem either, as it has more than enough output to fill a room. To be fair, you won’t be shaking the foundations with a FLY 3 Bass, but for practice sessions this power is more than ample.
As for portability, this is one of the most convenient bass amps around, particularly with the option to run it off batteries. Bass on the beach? Bass on a mountain? Bass in the jungle? Not out of the question with the lightweight and compact form factor on offer here!
The Blackstar FLY 3 Bass does exactly what it was intended to do. While it won’t replace more traditional practice amps, it offers bass players the ability to throw a quality amplifier into their gig bag for those times where practicing without plugging in just doesn’t cut it. Plus, you can’t argue about the price – for under one hundred dollars, it definitely gives you bang for your buck. Highly recommended!