30Pedals in 30 Days: Blackstar LT BOOST, LT DRIVE, LT DIST, and LT METAL

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Don’t forget to check out the video at the bottom of the page.

Blackstar is young company that’s kicking all sorts of ass. Even though the company is only a few years old, Blackstar backlines have showing up on stages left and right. Next, their HT Valve-Driven pedals have started popping up on pedalboards. Now that they’ve made their mark in the world of pedals with the HT series, Blackstar is bringing something new to the table. The LT series. For 30 Pedals in 30 Days, we here at TheToneKing.com had a chance to check out these five pedals and see if they can live up to the Blackstar name.

Blackstar came to the market with the go big or go home attitude. And that carries over to the new LT Series. Each pedal has its own unique gain structure. Many companies try to do the ‘every sound in one pedal’ thing, but that almost never works out. The circuitry is different between boost and balls to the wall distortion. And, while these pedals try to give you more options, they really end up limiting your sound. Ultimately, because each of the LT pedals is specific to one kind of sound, it ends up giving the player more articulation.

Then, of course, Blackstar had to crank it up a few notches.

First off, Blackstar’s LT Series includes a “patent-applied-for clipping circuit [that] delivers amazing valve-like tonal performance, valve-like responsiveness for a wide variety of playing styles.” This makes sure that the circuitry in the pedal reacts the same way that a valve would. The harder you hit, the more gain and clarity. The softer the attack, the muddier and cleaner the sound will be. All of the pedals have the PAF clipping circuit.

Blackstar has never been afraid of a little controversy. And, they’re bound to stir some up by using a buffered bypass in their pedals. One thing a lot of True Bypass purists may have noticed is that when they turn off their pedals, their signal becomes weaker and their tone usually suffers because of it.

The argument for a Buffered Bypass is that the longer your signal chain, the more line-drop you’ll experience. A Buffered Bypass turns your signal from high impedance to low impedance, which ensures that more of your signal ends up going into your amp. It’s what most FX loops on amplifiers are designed to do. There must be something to this, because I’ve noticed plenty of pedalboard builders incorporating separate buffers into the signal chain. Basically, Blackstar jumped off of the True Bypass bandwagon, and went their own way.

Then, there’s Blackstar’s ISF. ISF stands for Infinite Shape Feature. Basically, every amp treats EQ knobs differently. If you add more mid on a British amp, you’re going to get a completely different response if you add more mid on an American amp. The ISF changes how the EQ knobs on the pedal (Bass, Mid, Treble) respond when they’re manipulated. Giving players nearly infinite control over their tone. In the LT line, the Dist, Metal, and Dual all have ISF.

 

Blackstar-LT-Boost

 

LT BOOST:

Boost pedals have been making a comeback lately. Which is good, because, when used properly, a Boost can bring a lot of dynamic to your playing. The LT BOOST can be used as a clean volume boost or can be used to drive the gain in your amp into previously unrealized areas. Bass, Treble, and Gain knobs let you adjust for gain without letting your tone get too shrilly or too muddy. Just a little bit of grit.

 

 

 

 

ltdrive-overview-image

 

LT DRIVE:

The next step up from the LT BOOST, the LT DRIVE covers everything from a warm boost to a face shredding lead saturation. Gain, Level, and Tone knobs give you a wide spectrum of different tones to play with. This pedal sounds like an amp. It’s huge. It’s like an amp in a box. This was The Tone King’s personal favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

p6993_blackstar_lt_dist_main

 

LT DIST:

Line 6

Trying to find distortion pedal versatile enough to give you classic British tones on one end and American sounds on the other. The LT DIST includes the aforementioned ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) circuit, which changes the character of the gain to mimic your favorite amps and everything in-between.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blackstar-LT-Metal

 

LT METAL:

Let’s face it. Sometimes you just need to destroy everything in the room. Aggressive. Loud. The type of destruction that one needs in today’s metal scene. Scooped US gain like Beyond the Horizon or Sevendust all the way through classic British Metal like Iron Maiden. Again, this pedal is blessed with ISF.

 

 

 

 

 

Blackstar-LT-Dual

 

LT DUAL:

Double your pleasure. Double your fun. Dual implies two, but this pedal seems like four or more. Basically, this thing does it all. A two-channel pedal, the DUAL’s first channel brings you from a subtle boost to a 70’s style overdrive. The second channel continues where the first one left off and brings it on home to head shredding domination. It carries the whole gamut of the rest of the LT family. This pedal also dons ISF.

 

 

 

 

Blackstar has already given the amp world a punch to the jaw and now it looks like they’re going to do the same thing with pedals. We here at TheToneKing.com had a great time checking out the LT series for 30 Pedals in 30 Days, and we can’t wait to see what Blackstar comes up with next.

For prices on the LT Series Pedals as well as all Blackstar products, check out: Sweetwater.com

Click here to enter into TheToneKing.com’s 30 Pedals in 30 Days Randall Give-Away!

Behind the Scenes Unboxing Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1OkIlY1U9Y

And, here’s the Official Video Review :

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a74uT2W6pM‘]

 

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Filed Under: FeaturedPedals3P3D-2013

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About the Author: Marc published his first novel Becoming in 2010. It’s a kick-ass book with monsters and dreams and stuff, and you should buy it. Since then, he’s written thousands of articles for TheToneKing.com, many of which have been picked up for circulation by manufacturers and other news outlets. His next book, Drugs and Pancakes, should be available early 2014 if his alcoholic editor can find time to work on it in-between destroying his liver and screaming about punctuation. He graduated from Roosevelt University with honors, which means that he’s not as dumb as he looks. He’s been playing guitar for over 25 years, which is almost twice as long as most of his students have been alive.

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