NAMM 2024: Seamless streaming, plentiful power options and endless tone – Blackstar’s ID: Core V4 is shaping up to be the ultimate mobile practice amp

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NAMM 2024: Blackstar’s much-loved ID:Core practice amp range has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to tonal flexibility.

Now the newly-announced V4 line takes things further, vying to be come your go-to mobile and streaming workhorse, with an upgraded USB-C connection for seamless recording, plus new power reduction tech – enabling great tones at more ‘sociable’ volumes.

Guitar World’s intrepid video host Paul Riario headed to amp-makers’ NAMM booth for a guided tour and demo of the V4’s new features – courtesy of Blackstar’s Global Product Trainer Steve Marks. 

First up, the classic ID:Core features are all still here: you get a host of studio quality stereo effects; Blackstar’s game-changing ISF EQ control (which emulates the component values and, therefore, the core sounds of different US and UK amps), plus six voice patches.

Blackstar ID:Core V4 combo

(Image credit: Blackstar)

However, this time around Blackstar is leaning further into the home recording capabilities, upgrading the onboard audio interface with a USB-C connection, enabling four-chanel audio and low-latency recording/re-amping.

“Something people often forget about is that you can live stream with ID:Core,” explains Marks. 

“You can take a [1/8″] TRRS cable straight into your smart device and record content without any extra mics or things like that – and it will just be the audio from the amp syncing with the visual of the video. You can even use your voice memo app to email your band new ideas, riffs etc.”

Marks’ demo of the feature in the clip above shows just how seamless the process is when integrated with your typical smartphone. 

Meanwhile, the Cab-Rig Lite simulator and emulated headphone output ensure you lose none of the detail the way out. And, if you want to fine-tune it, the included Architect software offers a choice of nine cab-sims and three mics, alongside a wealth of amp patches.

Blackstar Architect software

(Image credit: Blackstar)

“So if you’re stepping into that world of impulse response-style technology and home recording, then this is going to be an awesome option,” adds Marks.

Elsewhere, the new power reduction features will also benefit players who want the flexibility of playing at home without losing the driven qualities of their louder tones – enabling you to reduce output power to just 1-watt. 

Finally, if the idea of a truly mobile practice amp appeals, you can even power the ID:Core via the optional Blackstar PB:1 rechargeable power pack.

“This is an optional extra,” notes Marks. “But it gives you up to 10 hours battery life, so you can take it down to the beach, listen to your tunes and play your guitar mobile.”

Check out the full clip with Paul and Steve above to hear it in action.

Prices for the ID:Core V4 series amps start at $159.99 for the Stereo 10. To find out more about the ID:Core V4 range, head to Blackstar.

To keep up to speed with all new gear releases, visit our NAMM 2024 news guide and NAMM 2024 live blog.

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