Artisan Series Construction
Every aspect of an Artisan handwired guitar amplifier is designed to give you the ultimate valve tone performance and the reliability to withstand the rigours of life on the road.
Our Technical Director Bruce Keir has been designing valve amplifiers since he was a child and it is obsession with no-compromise design that leads our R&D team to excel in all areas of the construction of Artisan.
The tagboard is at the heart of an Artisan amp. Every element has been refined from the components chosen to the layout on the board.
When each part is hand soldered to the turrets there is strict quality control about the exact shape and size of each solder ‘dome’. This obsession with detail is carried on through the wiring looms. Each one is made of shielded cable and twisted by hand, then carefully placed in the chassis. This process is a key part of maintaining signal integrity and minimising hum and therefore ensuring tone is optimised.
Look inside an Artisan chassis and you will see a neatness to the layout and construction that is unique.
Like all Blackstar products, Artisan is designed for maximum reliability. For example, all power-dissipating components are de-rated significantly to extend their lifetime and hence increasing reliability.
As a standard part of our design process all amplifiers are thoroughly endurance tested on custom-designed automated test equipment to replicate many years of real life use in a few days of laboratory testing.
The design of the output transformers in a valve amplifier is critical to ensuring a highly responsive feel and a full, natural frequency response.
All the Artisan output transformers are constructed using laminations made of the highest grade, grain oriented steel. This minimises core losses and ensures optimum fidelity and dynamics.
The largest number of turns ensures the maximum primary inductance and hence an extended bottom-end.
Again the Artisan mains transformers are constructed using laminations made of the highest grade, grain oriented steel. In this case, this minimises stray magnetic fields, which can be a source of unwanted noise and hum.
The chassis of all Artisan amps are made out of seam welded 1.6mm steel for tank-like strength. They really will take on the life of an amp on the go, gig after gig.
Artisan wooden cabinets are constructed from 18mm finger-jointed birch ply. They are rigorously tested to ensure they really will hold up against anything you throw at them.