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Blackstar fly bass combo pack: disappointed

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by longjourneyhome, Dec 30, 2017.


  1. I had low expectations. 6 watts with two 3-inch speakers is of course limited. Even going in knowing those limitations, it still managed to disappoint me. Some of the reviews and some of the videos sounded promising. Yet after trying this little amp, I couldn't recommend it to anyone. Not to a beginner. Not to a casual busker. I was looking (hoping) for a small battery powered green room/backstage amp. Something I could throw into my backstage duffel bag and use for warm-up, song run thru, and harmony rehearsal. Right now I either use a GK MB112 (which is a hassle because it's yet another heavy item on an already fully loaded gear cart) or earbuds/iphone interface. Was hoping the Blackstar could split that difference. Maybe I got a defective unit because neither the amplified, nor the headphone, sound is viable. The next option might be to look at the Roland Micro Cube RX. Any other thoughts?
     
  2. What exactly did you not like about it?
     
    blubass likes this.
  3. blubass

    blubass

    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    you-know-hes-got-a-point-there.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    You might be just as disappointed in the Roland also. I own one and, it does have alot of nice features, bells and whistles, but it sounds like crap through those tiny drivers, unless you play it very low volume. It distorts easily, in my experience. For years I've wanted to yank out the amp section, and use it as a preamp. I suggest looking for the smallest 110 you can find and get a small head like the PJ Bass Buddy, which has a 10 watt amp built in, or the GK MB 200.
     
  5. iagtrplyr

    iagtrplyr Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2013
    Clinton, IA
    Not having heard one before, as well as not knowing if this brand new or not, I'd say play it a while and let those tiny speakers stretch out a bit. They're gonna be pretty tight out of the box; though I do realize there won't be anything lower than mids. That's too bad. Seemed like a neat product. Trade the rig in and swap it for a small combo amp if that'll work for ya.
     
  6. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Phil Jones Double 4 is the answer.
     
  7. BadExample

    BadExample

    Jan 21, 2016
    Injiana
    But disappointment is the only thing I have left in life :(
     
    JRA, Al Kraft and superheavyfunk like this.
  8. I've wondered about the Roland Cube for some time, but honestly the cost has deterred me from buying one. Interesting to hear some input on it though.

    Doesn't seem to be much in the way of portability for us bassists.
     
    longjourneyhome likes this.
  9. Jackcrow

    Jackcrow Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2017
    ND
    The best ultra small amp that I’ve played is the Markbass Micromark. I think it’s like 50 watts and 1x8. It can actually do a decent job on low frequencies if it’s not super loud. The downside is they are very expensive for what they are (I paid $400 for the one I used to have), but probably still cheaper than a Phil Jones.
     
    longjourneyhome likes this.
  10. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
     
    Systolic, Al Kraft, TJH3113 and 4 others like this.
  11. kohanmike

    kohanmike Gold Supporting Member

    I use the Blackstar Fly 3 Bass rig with an acoustic bass uke for gigs we do walking from room to room at a children's hospital. We can't put anything down or touch anything in the rooms, so I added a shoulder strap and hang it on me. Lower volume is perfect for that situation. I also use it for practice in my apartment on my desk next to my computer where I make up my own PDF bass arrangements. Again, lower volume is best there too, it sounds perfectly fine, in fact, I'm quite impressed with the bass it puts out.

    Fly 3 shoulder strap 300. Wearable Fly 3 a. Fly 3 400.
     
    Spectrum, JRA, Randy Ward and 4 others like this.
  12. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Wow, the Roland sounds better then I could ever get it to sound !
     
    Al Kraft and longjourneyhome like this.
  13. bassstrangler

    bassstrangler

    Mar 2, 2015
    AZ
    Sorry to hear your dissatisfied with it. I love mine and feel it provides great sound for practicing.
     
    longjourneyhome likes this.
  14. Bodeeni

    Bodeeni Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2010
    NYC
    I dig my Warwick BC-10. About half the size and weight of the MB112. No frills, but inexpensive and a solid bass tone. I even use mine for small jazz gigs. But this might be too big for your use.
     
  15. 9Thumbs

    9Thumbs

    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    I had a Fender Rumble 15, not the new silver faced one. Cheap, light, sounds pretty good. It would keep up with an acoustic guitar for sure
     
    leegreenman likes this.
  16. Hari Seldon

    Hari Seldon

    Dec 27, 2016
    I need to chime in about the Roland. I have one and for a while liked it quite a bit. Then something happened. I either blew a few speakers, something happened with the electronics, or maybe I just finally noticed that it distorts really easily. Like, really easily. More so than when I first got it, of that I'm pretty certain. Maybe it happened slowly (?) over a couple week period, I'm not sure. So I looked into repairing it; Roland doesn't sell those speakers to consumers, only authorized repair shops. That's fine, but the labor was out of warranty, and it was going to be a minimum of $80 for my local authorized repair place to even look at it. I simply couldn't justify throwing another...what...maybe $120 into a small practice amp that cost $280 to begin with. At that point I would have had $400 invested in a friggin' practice amp.

    I'd go on to tell you how much $400 can get you in another combo, but I suspect you know (hint: a fair amount). I decided I was done with the Roland and got a Fender Rumble 25 for $100. It has an aux in so I can run a drum pattern from my phone. I wasn't using the battery feature, so no loss there for me, but if I needed to run it off of battery I have a pure sine wave lithium battery pack from my photography days that I think would run the Rumble just fine. The Rumble is a bit bigger than the Roland, although not by a massive amount, and it fits (physically) where I need it to. Oh, and it sounds fantastic. Yes, fantastic.

    So yeah. Not so hot on the Roland Micro Cube.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
    longjourneyhome and leegreenman like this.
  17. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    My experience also, as I posted earlier. The preamp itself I really liked, and ran it into the effects loop of my old Roland DB800 combo. Someone here on TB took the amp part out of the cab, and put it into a box, and used it as a preamp . Always wanted to try to do that myself.
     
    longjourneyhome likes this.
  18. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    LA
    The pignose Hog 30 that I foam modded sounded pretty good for 6 years, but the batter eventually wore out and the darn thing was really heavy for its size. I like the new rumble 25 a lot more for low volume practice tone and it's super light compared to the pignose.
     
    b-b-b-bass likes this.
  19. The Rumble 25, in my opinion, is the best 99 dollar amp money can buy. Perfect practice amp, but not as small as the Blackstar or Cube. Very light, and cool looking to boot.
     
    b-b-b-bass likes this.
  20. nixdad

    nixdad

    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Has anyone tried the new Vox 50 bass amp?
    VX50-BA-Thumbnail_zpswikyxnfh.


    • High 50W output power from a revolutionarily lightweight and compact unit.
    • The warm vacuum tube sound of Nutube.
    • VOX original eight-inch speaker delivers rich low-frequency sound.
    • Bass reflex structure provides rich low-frequency reproduction with ample output.
    • Four-band EQ allows detailed sound shaping for the bassist.
    • Compressor lets you enjoy tight-sounding performance.
    • Punchy overdrive.
    • A rich selection of input/output jacks such as AUX IN, PHONES out, and DIRECT out.
     

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