Bassbreaker 15 Vs Katana 100

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Mr.Woody, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. Mr.Woody

    Mr.Woody Supporting Member

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    I have an 18-watt Reinhardt combo (MI-6) as my main amp. Around the house, I play it clean at low volume and use pedals for all my dirt. It's my favorite base-tone. Obviously when it's louder i use fewer pedals.

    I also have a Princeton Reverb clone i put together a few years ago, but after getting used to the Reinhardt base-tone, the PR is just tooo different to use as a sub for the Reinhardt. The one thing i do like about the PR is that it's light/small fits perfectly behind the drivers seat of my Civic for road trips/jams (the Reinhardt will NOT lol)

    So, i'm looking for a small combo that has that general 18-watt/JTM45-ish vibe that i can use for quiet/silent practicing and road trips/jams without feeling like i'm in a completely different ball park tonally.

    I've tried the Bassbreaker 15 several times and really like it. I was pretty set on it, but i just started reading about the Katana series, the 100-watt in particular. Almost the same size at the PR and about the same weight. And the .5 watt and headphone modes for home practice sound ideal.

    Since i'll still have the Reinhardt (and probably the PR), i'm not going to be too snobbish about SS vs Tube thing. I usually hate el-84s with a passion, so it doesn't even feel like i'm choosing between tubes and solid state lol

    Again, this isn't going to be my "main" amp, although it may see the most playing time due to size/weight.

    Also, neither the Reinhardt or the PR do high-gain on their own, so the idea of being able to play around with without needing a pedalboard sounds fun! The fact that the Katana has all those pedal options, an aux-in, and an acoustic pre-amp does make it RATHER enticing as well.

    Can anyone speak to how these 2 compare? Hoping soon to make it over to GC to try them out side by side.

    TL;DR **EDITED**
    Ideally, i would like an amp that is about the size of the Princeton, that sounds JTM45/1974x-ish, with a headphone-out (maybe an aux in as well) that i could use for silent practice and also possibly use at jams.
    The Blues Cube Boss Drive has been thrown into the mix as well and seems like more of an option than the BassBreaker. Also, the Class-5 seems like a good option.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
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  2. mbell75

    mbell75 Member

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    The BB15 sounds like a cross between an old school Vox and an old school Marshall, its fantastic and the EL84s sound awesome. The Katana sounds like a cheap, modern, digital modeling amp. Not even in the same league IMO.
     
  3. tritone 6

    tritone 6 Member

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    since you already have good tube amps, don't ruin that.
    Get the Katana
     
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  4. woof*

    woof* Member

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    Bassbreaker by a mile
     
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  5. ShreddyKrueger

    ShreddyKrueger Member

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    Honestly, it's night and day. I've played both. I own the Bassbreaker (plus Bogner, Friedman, etc). The BB15h, with the right cab, can sound like an amp worth twice the cost. In fact, I'd go as far to say three times the cost. Pair it with the right boosts and gain pedals, and man, you've got yourself an amp you can play plexi-style clean, edge of breakup, classic rock, to high gain leads at relatively decent home volumes (i.e. way louder than your TV set, but way quieter than your stereo rig on party night). It's my go to amp of choice right now.
     
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  6. manimal

    manimal Member

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    In the low watt EL84 amp range, I honestly like this amp more than anything from Friedman or Mesa. It is a great amp.
     
  7. ShreddyKrueger

    ShreddyKrueger Member

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    Surprised the HELL out of me. I expected it to be, well, what you'd kinda expect from an amp at that price point. Find I actually prefer it over my Pink Taco for home use (again, with the right harmonic boosts, etc). For me, it really comes ALIVE with a subtle 'always on' analogue delay (almost slapback, but not that you ever really hear the repeat), and a great clean boost. And the right cab (i.e. not Fender in this case).
     
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  8. gearscrubs

    gearscrubs Supporting Member

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    Roland Blues Cube Hot is worth checking out.
     
  9. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

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    Here in Aus a BB15 is three times the price of a Katana. Clearly it would sound better as it’s tube but they get a lot of love for good reason. Build is pretty iffy though.

    But...a Katana head into a huge 4x12 isn’t by any stretch terrible. Great practice amp at proper quiet practice levels and it sounds great for the money.

    It’ll easily be louder than the BB15 too. Katana is atm the best low priced amp. It also shines with the right cab but obviously you’re never realistically going to stack it up to a boutique amp. Guys rave about them and they are IMPO really cool amps but compared to say my main amp through the same cab? The louder you go the bigger the gap gets.
     
  10. Chicago Slim

    Chicago Slim Member

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    Both amps have their place. For low volume, head phone use and light weight Grab & Go, I would recommend the Katana. Actually the Katana 50, over the 100. The KTN 100 would be better if it were your only amp. I've got a KTN 50 and 5 tube amps. I'm a 6V6 guy, although I do own a Kustom Defender V15, with EL84's. I bought a demo model Katana to use for the bass and drum output of my Trio pedal. I was shopping for a PRRI, which as I compared them in music stores changed to a DRRI and then a Custom Deluxe Reverb. After trying the Katana at home for guitar, I'm pretty impressed. I'm not going to sell my tube amps any time soon. But I have stopped shopping for a CDR.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  11. Jonathan31

    Jonathan31 Member

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    For your needs I recommend the Katana 100w combo. I love mine. They get rave reviews for a reason. Take my comment for what its worth though I have never played the BB. Katana is a great sounding amp and you get so much for the price you pay. I think the 100w has a better speaker. Here is a nice demo of the 50 though by Shawn Tubbs....
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
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  12. briwinters

    briwinters Member

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    BB15 is a great amp but if you’re looking for a grab-and-go second amp there are lighter choices for sure. I’ve played through one maybe a dozen times and does low to higher gain great, takes pedals great too. The Katana 100 is killer bang for buck and light enough to make a great grab and go. I’d prefer the BB15 for tone/feel and as a pedal platformer. But as pointed out already they are really 2 different animals...even if the BB15 sounds better it may not meet your needs better.

    I’d agree with the person who suggested you add the Roland Blues Cube Hot to your list....that might do exactly what you are looking for. And you probably want to wait until NAMM next week before purchasing anything...it looks like a Katana Pro is going to be announced....no specs yet but it will be interesting to see what they add to target more gigging guitarists.
     
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  13. sugarlou

    sugarlou Supporting Member

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    Good thing about the Kat is the built in effect options. No dIcking around with pedals and power supplies. I don' like unpackung my gig pedal board and i like noodling at home with a good overdriven tone with lots of grease.
    I just re purchased a Kat after returning one I bought new. (I'm nutty). I paid $200 for a second hand 100 watt single 12. For home low level playing or even rehearsal it' hard to beat.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  14. oldmanrockin

    oldmanrockin Member

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    How about the 7 watter, is it as good as the 15? Its got my interest.
     
  15. ShreddyKrueger

    ShreddyKrueger Member

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    Not even the same model amp, sadly. The 007 is a completely different character and tone. Some like it, but for me, well, just didn't cut it at all. Not even in the ballpark.
     
  16. Mr.Woody

    Mr.Woody Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the feedback, guys.
    Still on the fence. While i'm certain the BB15 will sound/feel better, the extra features/options in the Katana really are appealing! That being said, i've become much more "simplistic" with my gear approach, and having extra options (like an entire software full of pedals) can be a huge distraction...if i let it. But really the aux-in, acoustic pre-amp, and headphone out in the Katana might win me over.

    Question: is there a good way to get the direct-out on the BB15 into a pair of headphones? That would be helpful.

    Also, I'm playing at church this weekend, and the Reinhardt really sung at practice last night. I really love that amp!
     
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  17. sugarlou

    sugarlou Supporting Member

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    I want a Reinhardt!
    The good news about the Kat is you can dial it in very quickly with the pre loaded fx and not deal with the software at all.
     
  18. Jonathan31

    Jonathan31 Member

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    I actually like the Katana best just straight out of the box. I have used the software but always just end up resetting the amp back to how it came.
     
  19. sugarlou

    sugarlou Supporting Member

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    The only thing I would visit the software for is the repeats on the delays and activating the gate for the high gain patches. Everything else for my purposes is available on the panel controls.
     
  20. Pelagic

    Pelagic Supporting Member

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    Not to derail but I believe Gries still makes a low watt JTM45 circuit.
     

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