Can a 3 watt amp inspire really your playing? Moreover, is the FLY3 Blackstar Mini Amp even a good amp for its size? Find out in our expert review!
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Blackstar FLY 3 Review: Is it the Best Battery Powered Practice Amp On The Market?
Blackstar FLY3 Mini Amp ratings at a glance:
Ease Of Use
Tons of functionality with easy user interface
Innovative practice amp with rugged construction
Captures Blackstar tones in practice amp package
Extremely low cost with quality performance
Meet The Blackstar Mini Amp FLY3
Not long ago, the only practice amps available were low quality and strictly marketed towards beginners. Recently, players and builders have embraced the idea of low wattage amps, but high function practice amps.
Whether you are warming up backstage before a show, or playing quietly in a bed room at night, there have never been more options.
The Blackstar company is well known for its loud, tube driven combo amps and half stacks. Favored for their full, overdriven tones at high volumes, they have distilled those sounds down to just 3 watts.
Featuring a plethora of amp voicings, a portable construction, and diverse listening options, the FLY3 Mini Amp is well worth a look.
Digging Deeper Into the FLY3 Amp
Blackstar’s FLY3 is a 3 watt modelling amplifier meant for practicing and jamming along to your favorite songs. Modern specs like a MP3-in line and Infinite Shape Featuring give it a distinctly advanced feel for such a small, practice amp.
Even better, you get all that in a portable package that is battery powered. If you want to take your guitar practicing on the go, the FLY3 may be your best bet. Oh, and did we mention it costs less than half as much as some competitors?
The Good and The Bad
What We Like
- Versatile guitar tones
- Built-in tape delay
- Ultra affordable
- Portable mini amplifier
What We Don’t Like
- Low wattage
- Limited effects
- Not gig-able without help
Who Is The Blackstar FLY3 For?
Blackstar’s FLY3 mini amp is purely a practice amplifier through and through.
That makes it a great option for both beginners and veteran players, based on what you are looking for.
If you want to play your guitar late into the night, this is the amp for you.
With the emulated output jack, you can play your amp into headphones, without waking any neighbors or roommates.
If you’re a beginner, this is certainly a very budget friendly option for you to learn on, but it will surely never be a gig-able amp for you. So if live gigging is in your future, perhaps look elsewhere.
What’s In The FLY3 Box?
One of the coolest features of the compact Blackstar FLY3 amplifier is one of the included accessories.
With your 3 watt practice amp you get an additional 3” speaker that perfectly matches your amp in size and finish.
This lets you get the full stereo sound experience whether you are playing MP3 music through the amp or jamming on your guitar.
Along with the necessary wire to connect the amp to the speaker, those are pretty much the only accessories you’ll unbox with your new Blackstar FLY3!
Blackstar Mini Amplifier Features
Blackstar’s FLY3 has quite a few features packed into its small enclosure. This 3 watt amplifier is paired to a 3” speaker, giving you a decent amount of sound compared to the size.
Built-in digital tape delay lets you add some thickness to your sound while experimenting with a classic guitar effect.
This 3-watt amp also has two channels, clean and overdrive, providing even more tonal flexibility. The amplifier can be powered via an included power cable or by batteries.
The Infinite Shape Function, or ISF, gives you incredible versatility when it comes to guitar tone as well. Even better, you can plug in MP3 devices to play along with your favorite music.
For those late night practices, there is also an emulated output headphone jack so you can crank your amp without waking anyone around you!
- Emulated output jack for playing through headphones
- Infinite Shaping Function to dial in various amp voicings
- Battery powered
- Built-in tape delay effect
- Available with an external speaker option
How To Get The Most Out Of Your FLY3 Mini Amp
For such a small amp, you can get so many big sounds if you use the FLY3 correctly! Fortunately, there is a simple user interface designed to get you playing within minutes of unboxing your new amp.
Plug your guitar in, connect the external speaker via one wire, and dial in your favorite tone! It’s that simple, just see the helpful demo below and you’ll be convinced.
Mini Amp Alternatives
Looking for another small, battery powered amp? Check out Danelectro’s HoneyTone Mini Amplifier. From the company that puts out unique, quirky guitars, comes a unique quirky mini amp.
With eye catching colors and even a belt clip, you will get tons of attention playing this little guy on the go.
A headphone jack lets you plug in and play quietly during the night or day. Choose between clean and overdriven tones and you’re off to the races at a superbly low cost.
When looking for the easiest plug-and-play solution, why not try the Vox AP2AC Headphone amplifier?
This tiny plug-in amp lets you get classic Vox AC30 tones from your guitar right into your headphones.
For quiet practice or mobile jamming, this ultra affordable headphone amp will make your guitar sing.
For as long as there’s been rock sounds, a Marshall half stack has been one of the most sought after guitar amplifiers out there. For the modern player,
Marshall has introduced the MS2 battery powered micro amp. This mini half stack provides those classic Marshall looks at a more bedroom friendly size and volume.
This 1 watt amp is also meant to be played into headphones, like all the other alternatives presented here.
Final Thoughts On The Blackstar Mini Amp
For the price, the Blackstar FLY3 may be the most versatile practice amplifier on the market. With an ultra-portable build that is lightweight and powered by batteries, it packs a ton of big amp sound into a tiny package.
Most battery powered amps don’t pack this much tone, it’s really quite an impressive feat. If live gigging or starting a band are not on your radar, this may be one of the best ways to start playing and practicing fast.
Perfect for dorm rooms, shared bedrooms, or guitar players on the go, you get a lot of amplifier for not a lot of money with the FLY3.
- Ease Of Use
- Build Quality
- Sound Quality
- Value Factor