Blackstar Amplification is a British company which produces and manufacturers guitar amplifiers and effects units. The company was founded by a group of ex-Marshall employees. Most notably Bruce Keir, the current technical Director at Blackstar and former Chief Design Engineer at Marshall, Ian Robinson. In 2009 the company began operations in the United States. The majority of the research and development for Blackstar is carried out in the UK. Blackstar has been consistently ranked amongst the best amplification brands by leading guitarists.