The idea behind this design came as an attempt to answer a tough question that many guitar players are often asked: “What are the most important qualities you look for in a guitar amplifier”?
Among the answers: beautiful clean tones and headroom, preamp that interacts impressively with pedals, great recording amp, reliability (point to point), portability (weight/size), unique response with a variety of guitar models and ability to cut through in a live setting.
I can with confidence say that Starfish 50 excels in all the categories mentioned above.
In a highly competitive market this amp is a clear musical statement with a voice of it’s own and can stand shoulder to shoulder with the biggest names in the industry.
Starfish 50 is a single channel amp with two independent inputs – Normal and Reverb.
When plugged into a Normal input, reverb is completely taken out of the signal path and you are left with a pure hand wired analog circuit.
When you plug into a Reverb input a digital reverb is applied to the signal path. The Mix knob controls the amount of reverb.
Three position Bright switch is very effective. In the middle position the bright cap is removed and other two positions offer two different brightness levels.
Master control when turned all the way up has a minimal effect on the tone. If used like that, Starfish behaves as a non master volume amp with lots of oomph. After all it is a 50 watter. It sounds huge!
Interaction between Volume, Master and Bright switch yields numerous tonal experiences. No matter what guitar you plug into this amp you will be able to dial in a sound that will perk up even the most discriminant ears.
Turning the Volume control all the way up while keeping the Master low takes the preamp section into a wonderful distortion. Dirty tones can be achieved at very reasonable volume levels.
If you choose to push the power section into break up by turning up both Volume and Master controls you will encounter a stunning roar that rivals the greatest vintage or modern rock machines. Independent head and a cabinet version is recommended for players who prefer power section distortion. Beware of the volume and power!
And the clean tones? Those coveted piano bell like clean tones are what truly sets this amp apart.
On top of that Starfish 50 is without a doubt a serious contender as one of the finest pedal platforms in the world!