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Guitarists have been rocking through Blackstar products for over a decade now, but what about their bottom-dwelling brothers and sisters? Well, the U.K. company has answered the call. This year marks the introduction of Blackstar’s Unity Pro Bass System: an entire line of combo amps intended to suit the varying needs of working bassists. The series boasts a wide range of speaker and power configurations. Here, we tested the company’s flagship combo called the Unity 500.
A Full English
Blackstar established a solid foundation for the Unity 500 by combining two 10" Eminence Opus drivers with a 500-watt amp. These two features alone would be a dealmaker for any combo consumer, but the silver and black box contains a bevy of tonal components as well. Below the gain control is a voicing switch for the preamp. Selecting one of its three settings—classic, modern, or flat—not only changes the tonal character of the combo, but adjusts the EQ parameters to maintain sonic authenticity.
The drive channel functions more like a volume for the effect, as opposed to a control for the amount of distortion to the signal. Players can choose between overdrive, distortion, or fuzz, and then blend the driven sound with the clean signal. Keeping the drive control fully counterclockwise bypasses the effects feature.
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