Blackstar Studio 10 – How it Reacts to Different Guitars

Blackstar Studio 10 – How it Reacts to Different Guitars

The Blackstar Studio 10 might look like a simple amp on the surface. It’s simple design, 1 x 12inch speaker and 4 control knobs mounted on top of the chassis, but this amp can cover a huge range of tones.

The single ended Class A 6L6 amp is a studio musicians dream. It has a 10w output and sounds great even at low volumes.

The top of the amp has 4 knobs and a single button:

• Gain – Controls the overall drive level of the selected channel
• Tone – A single tone control to control the overall spectrum of tone from the amp. Turn it left for darker tones and right for brighter
• Reverb – The amount of reverb you hear
• Master – The overall volume of the amp.

The button switches between the clean and overdrive channels. This is also footswitchable.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that such a simple layout means the amp offers a simple sound, but this is where the Studio 10 excels. The amp is incredibly responsive to guitar changes and playing types. By changing guitar, and some simple settings tweaks you can go from funk to classic rock in no time.

Strat Style Guitars

Funk Style Tone

Select the clean channel of the amp. Set the gain, tone, and reverb to 12 o’clock and the master volume to suit.

This tone sounds great with the neck pickup selected, or the second position (Bridge and middle pickups).

Texas Blues Style Tone

On the clean channel, push the gain up to 3 o’clock. Keep the tone at 12 o’clock and back off the reverb a small amount.

This makes a great clean Texas blues style tone with a hint of breakup in the top end.

Blues Overdrive

For a great blues overdrive, flip over to the drive channel. Back the gain off to 10 or 11 o’clock, push the tone up to 1 o’clock and set the reverb to taste.

This sounds great for all those classic blues licks.

Tweed Style Tone

If you want that early 70s Eric Clapton style tone keep the overdrive channel on but push the gain up to just below 3 o’clock/ Set the tone to 11 o’clock to tame some of the high end (This can be dialed back less or more depending on how bright your pickups are), and keep the reverb around 11 o’clock.

Telecaster Style Guitars

Stones Style Overdrive

For a 70s Rolling Stones inspired guitar tone you can set the gain to just above 12 o’clock, the tone to 1 o’clock and the reverb to 10 or 11 o’clock. This gives you a nice breakup tone with a lot of clarity. Perfect for those 70s Keith Richards riffs.

Heavy Rock Tone

If you want to get into that Rage Against the Machine style tone ballpark, select your Tele’s neck pickup, push the gain to max, set the tone to 2 or 3o’clock and the reverb to taste.

Put your guitar in Drop D and you can get some big sounding Tom Morello inspired tones.

Les Paul Style Guitars

Classic Rock Clean Tone

Humbuckers can also clean up great with the Studio 10 6L6. With the neck humbucker selected, set your clean channel gain to 12 o’clock, tone to 2 or 3 o’clock and reverb to 11 o’clock for a great chimey, clean tone. This works great for classic rock style clean passages. This is also very responsive to pickup changes.

Blues Tone

If you max the gain on the clean channel but leave the other settings the same as the previous tone, you get a really fun broken up clean tone. This is perfect for those big Albert King and BB King style blues licks.

American Low Gain Rock Tone

Switch to the overdrive channel but set the gain to 9 or 10 o’clock, the tone to 12 o’clock and the reverb to 11 o’clock and you’re straight in the middle of the 1970s with an Eagles style, low gain, American rock tone.

Classic Rock/Hard Rock Tone

If you want to see how hard the Studio 10 6L6 can rock, then here’s what you need to do.

On the overdrive channel, max the gain, set the tone to 12 o’clock and the reverb to 10 o’clock and you’re now firmly in classic rock territory. All your AC/DC and Led Zeppelin riffs will sound awesome with these settings.

About The Author

Leigh Fuge is a professional guitar player from Swansea in South Wales that has written and created content for many high-profile guitar brands and publications such as PMT, RSL Rockschool, Trinity College London, Guitar.com and more.

He works with mgrmusic.com to provide high quality guitar content for guitar players of all abilities from around the country. To date, mgrmusic.com has successfully generated over 32,000 student enquiries for their network of music teachers around the country. Find a local teacher in your area today.

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