Blackstar may not enjoy the same popularity and reputation as some other amplifier brands out there, but they keep on surprising us on a regular basis. One such surprise came in the form of Blackstar Fly 3W. This is a portable mini amplifier that brings you a lot of tone for not a lot of money. If you need a mobile practice rig, Fly 3W should be at the top of your shortlist. Let’s take a closer look and see what this thing has to offer.
Many portable amps will come with extremely limited controls. After all, everything is fair game if it reduces the size of the amp. Blackstar has decided to take a different route with Fly 3W. Instead of giving you the bare bones of tone shaping, they’ve built in a rather versatile control cluster. You get a gain knob, volume knob, their proprietary ISF EQ, and a delay. Aside from these, there is also a delay level knob and a channel select button that lets you toggle between the clean and overdrive channel. I/O section includes a single guitar input, headphones out and MP3 line in. All things considered, that is a lot of stuff for a tiny little package such as this one.
The absolute best thing about the Fly 3W is the amount of power it has to offer. We are talking about a 3 Watts of pure solid state tone being delivered by a single 3 Inch Blackstar custom speaker. If that is not enough, you can even plug this thing into Blackstar’s 103 extension cabinet. That’s right, a portable mini amp with extension capabilities. In terms of powering this thing, you can either use a battery or their DC power adapter. This way you can have a worry-free practice session at home, and reserve the batteries for when you take a trip somewhere. Compared to other amps in this very niche category, it is safe to say that Blackstar Fly 3W probably brings the most flexible package of features.
When it comes to its tone, Blackstar Fly 3W isn’t only versatile, but it sounds great as well. With its two channels, you can enjoy a more than decent clean as well as overdrive tone. Where things get really interesting is the ISF EQ section. While it’s not a standard EQ, Blackstar’s proprietary ISF technology allows you to dial in a true American guitar tone, a more Brit-oriented one and pretty much everything in between. The absolute best thing about the Fly 3W is just how loud it is. This tiny little thing is capable of saturating a decently sized room with almost no effort. That alone makes it a perfect choice for a home practice rig.
Blackstar’s Fly 3W has brought all the right features to those who need a portable guitar amplifier. They have taken a different path compared to the majority of other brands, which makes their mini amps that more interesting. With a wide selection of features that are not often seen in this category of amps, Blackstar Fly 3W is by far one of the most attractive options out there.