Hello there, back again with another cool review of one of my favourite guitar practice amps, the Blackstar FLY 3 Mini Amp! If you don’t know about this brand already, you should definitely check out their excellent guitar amp and pedals!
Blackstar is a British company focusing on excellent value/money guitar amps while retaining the utmost quality and innovative approaches in amp design.
Blackstar mostly manufactures guitar, bass and acoustic amps, also cabinets, headphone amps and related accessories. Unlike FLY 3 which is a mini, ultra-portable, battery-operated practice amp, the Blackstar product line includes real valve guitar amps as well as hybrid amps with their patented ISF control that allows you to dial different tonal characteristics of iconic amp sounds matched with excellent digital effects.
Even though the guitar amp business has been really competitive and changing due to developments in guitar amp software and plugins, Blackstar has always been able to deliver the best value products with a competitive edge over its competitors.
In this brief article, we will be looking at a Blackstar FLY 3 Mini Amp and also the varieties that Blackstar has come up with in recent years. When I was working in MI businesses, FLY 3 was pretty new.
However, when I had a look at the product line of the company, I noticed that Blackstar has released a wide variety of product options of FLY 3 such as FLY 3 and Super FLY with Bluetooth as an extra feature, Bass amp version, Acoustic amp version, Bundle or Pack versions which feature FLY 3 guitar or bass amp with an extension cabinet and also Super FLY version which has dual cabinet!
Back in the day, I had the chance to play Blackstar FLY 3 (the initial release) as well as the limited edition stereo pack (in cream colour!). I also couldn’t resist getting one for myself and used my FLY 3 for over a year!
As you can from the table below, every FLY model features a 3-inch speaker(s) and dual-channel except the FLY 3 Acoustic Mini Amp. After the initial release of the FLY 3 guitar amp, they also released a newer version that features Bluetooth connectivity which enables you to connect your smartphones and play songs while you can jam over them!
Blackstar also released a Super Fly version that features dual speakers with microphone input as well as the bass version of FLY 3.
In this table, I have removed sales rank as Thomann categorises these amps differently so it causes some misleading information. So when you compare, let’s say the bass version with the guitar version to understand the number of sales and popularity, the bass amp would belong to a solid-state bass amp category while the guitar version would belong to a portable guitar amps category. I believe it’s not relevant so I removed them.
Also, note that if you use Thomann‘s comparison function you may have different parameters showing with available or not available depending on which page you look at them.
So this table has been prepared to give you the focused and correct information to compare them side by side.
Blackstar FLY Series Ultra Portable Guitar/Bass/Acoustic Practice Amps – Every Model Comparison!
|Model||FLY 3 Acoustic Mini Amp||FLY 3 Bass Pack||FLY 3 Bass Amp||Super FLY Bluetooth Combo||Super FLY Pack Combo||FLY 3 Bluetooth Mini Amp Bundle||FLY 3 Pack||FLY 3 Mini Amp Bundle||FLY 3 Bluetooth Mini Amp||FLY 3 Mini Amp|
|Speaker Connector||1x 3"||2x 3"||1x 3"||2x 3"||2x 3"||1x 3"||2x 3"||1x 3"||1x 3"||1x 3"|
I have also included a row to indicate reverb/echo/delay. You may say there’s no reverb on these products.
However, if you use the built-in echo/delay time pot and decrease the delay time by around 10ms, you will have a reverb effect. However, the echo/delay is not the best feature of this amp and I found it a bit unuseful. I was using it as I described it here to widen the sound with very short delay times.
However, the new Super FLY has a dedicated Reverb built-in, I think they have made an excellent step forward to remove the Echo/Delay and add a Reverb instead!
The built-in headphone/emulated-out works flawlessly as I had tried it with a pair of powered speakers. It sounded huge and very sweet! So If you are to buy a FLY 3 standard model, you should consider hooking it up with your speakers at home.
All the models can operate on batteries as well as the newly introduced rechargeable power bank (only applicable for the Super Fly model). On top of this, you can also buy an individual power supply (recommended).
When I had my Blackstar FLY 3, I also got myself the power supply. However, you can also buy rechargeable AA batteries and use your amp as it is supposed to be on the FLY!
Here’s a short and sweet video of me playing the Blackstar FLY 3 Pack Limited Edition Cream Colour practice amp!
Blackstar FLY 3 Stereo Pack Review & Sound Demo
This is the identical amp to Blackstar FLY 3 Pack that you see in the table.
So to clear things up, if you see “Pack“, this means the package features an extension cabinet plus the power supply. But if you see “Bundle“, this means it comes with an extension cabinet, power supply not included!
In my opinion, it’s the best-sounding practice amp in a very portable format and design. When I was working in the industry, we would sell tons of practice amps, mostly the mini, portable products that other brands released. However, I have never seen any example by other brands that could come close to the Blackstar FLY series amp in terms of sound and playability.
Most of the competitor’s products in this category sound like toys to me! But this is not true with the Blackstar FLY series. If you ever have a chance to play with it, I recommend you connect it to a set of powered speakers, and reference monitors and see how it sounds. It is going to get huge and you won’t believe how responsive this amp is!
With the new releases of the FLY series, I would definitely go for the new Super FLY Bluetooth Combo as it features a wide array of capabilities such as a dedicated microphone input, line input and the ability to switch between acoustic or electric depending on your instrument! It also features Reverb on both channels (mic + instrument).
So as the last bit of words, if I was to get myself a practice amp, I would definitely go for this improved model, Blackstar Super FLY Bluetooth Combo as it has everything I would look for in a practice amp! Excellent job as always Blackstar!
Here’s an excellent promo video of the amp by PMTV!
Blackstar Super Fly Bluetooth Amp Review
I hope this has been a helpful bit of information for you! Thanks for visiting my blog and supporting me so far! I will hopefully see you in the next review here!
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