The Blackstar Fly 3 has redefined the market somewhat for this reviewer. While previously I have been impressed with a number of products defined as ‘mini amps’ e.g. under 5-Watts, in reality nothing really matches the Blackstar Fly 3 for performance, build quality and volume. It makes many of the other mini amps on the market seem like toys in comparison.
The Fly3 is loud and sounds amazing for it’s relatively small size. Equally at home in both clean and overdrives tones.
The Fly 3 offers everything you would expect for an amp of this size plus more. Blackstar’s patented ISF technology allows great control over tone and the headphone/line out allows for recording or silent practice.
An absolute steal at under $75.00 (at the time of writing). you really couldn’t ask more for bang for your buck.
- Very loud for a 3-Watt amp
- Extremely portable
- Headphone and line out for recording or practicing in private
- Sounds superb for an amp of this size
- If you want to operate the amp without batteries you will need to purchase the proprietary DC adapter at an additional cost of approx. $20.00. It’s critical that you use the correct adapter and not a standard 9 volt adapter or the amp will very likely fry.
It’s really is a killer little amp and offers the kind of tonal quality, that your friends are going to hear it and end up buying themselves, it really is that good. Check out our in-depth Blackstar Fly 3 review below.
The Blackstar Fly3 sounds right at home whether played clean or with the gain ramped up. The ISF contour control really allows you to make adjustments to the overall tone until completely satisfied.
When played in clean mode, the amp produces a crisp and responsive tone that is enhanced with just a small amount of digital delay.
The delay is natural sounding and not overly digital sounding as you might expect.
You would be well within your rights to expect volume to be an issue, but it’s an exceptionally loud amp for it’s relatively small size and will suit a lot of different applications outside of playing along with acoustic drums.
What is ISF Technology?
ISF Technology (infinite shape feature): Blackstar’s patented contour control technology.
Turning the ISF dial closer to 0 scoops some of the mid range giving a more US sounding tone. While turning the ISF control closer to 10 provides a more punchy midrange (a more British sound). It’s essentially a form of tonal control that still allows adjustment of the treble and bass tone controls independently.
Check out the video from Blackstar that explains exactly how ISF tone control works to create a better sounding amp.
The Blackstar Fly3 is a very well built mini amp, sturdy yet small enough to easily take on the road. The line out recording feature is a great addition, allowing the guitarist to record ideas on the fly. The line in is another nice feature that allows the amp to function as a dedicated speaker for your smart phone or computer.
The digital delay is another great addition that can be tweaked sufficiently to produce a reverb like effect. The delay itself is very natural sounding.
You can also purchase an extension cab, and transform the Fly 3 into a 6 Watt stereo amp for an additional $29.99 (at the time of writing) which represents extremely good value.
Blackstar Fly 3 Controls
- 3 Watt
- 3 inch speaker
- Clean and overdrive channels.
- ISF tone control
- Digital tape delay
- Headphone/line out
- Battery or DC adapter powered (DC adapter sold separately)
- MP3 line in (The Fly 3 can double as a dedicated speaker for your mp3 player)
- Additional speaker available, can be run in stereo as a 6-watt amp
Dimensions & Weight
- 10.3 x 6.9 x 5.3 inches
- 4.4 pounds
Put simply the Blackstar Fly 3 is the best sounding, best built mini amp on the market for under $75.00. The perfect travelling amp, it’s loud enough to offer the opportunity to play in front of people and tiny enough to travel easily with and offers a quality tone that wont fail to impress.