BOSS Katana 50 for gigging: boost question

ivanfoofoo

Member
Messages
3
Hi everyone,

Long time lurker, now a member. I just bought a BOSS Katana 50 and, after being initially disappointed, I was able to get really nice tones after playing with the BOSS Tone Studio.

Now comes the main issue. I can only save 4 presets, and I'd like to have 3 main presets (let's say, clean, overdrive and distortion), each of them with a volume boosted version for leads/soloing. That means saving 6 presets, which is not possible. Also, using a boost pedal in front of the amp is no solution because it would just increase the signal sent to the overdriven/distorted amp. Another option would be to use a boost pedal after the preamp, but also not possible since the Katana 50 doesn't offer that option.

Is there a solution for this when using the Katana 50? It seems my requirements would be better suited for a Katana 100. Any opinions?
 
Messages
3,161
Hi everyone,

Long time lurker, now a member. I just bought a BOSS Katana 50 and, after being initially disappointed, I was able to get really nice tones after playing with the BOSS Tone Studio.

Now comes the main issue. I can only save 4 presets, and I'd like to have 3 main presets (let's say, clean, overdrive and distortion), each of them with a volume boosted version for leads/soloing. That means saving 6 presets, which is not possible. Also, using a boost pedal in front of the amp is no solution because it would just increase the signal sent to the overdriven/distorted amp. Another option would be to use a boost pedal after the preamp, but also not possible since the Katana 50 doesn't offer that option.

Is there a solution for this when using the Katana 50? It seems my requirements would be better suited for a Katana 100. Any opinions?
Hello Ivan :)

From what you've described I think the Katana 100 may be better suited for you. I play through a Katana 50 myself and have it set up with a clean channel, crunch channel and I use 1 channel on the 2nd bank as my solo boost. And that works great for me. But I think if you want 6 presets saved the K100 will work as it can save up to 8 presets.
 

ivanfoofoo

Member
Messages
3
I originally bought the 50 because 100w is overkill for my needs and also because it's smaller and lighter. Only having 4 presets is by far the biggest disadvantage of the Katana 50.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
13,998
I believe the 50 has the same foot control jack as the others, correct? If so, what i did is build a simple box with a latching footswitch and a few resistors which i devised from the boss exp pedal schematic that the kat can use as volume control. If i recall it's just 2 resistors. Total parts count is a box to house it, a latching footswitch, 2 resistors, a pot, a stereo jack and a stereo cable. The way it works is when the switch is in the position that activates the volume pedal function in the amp the pot is active. So you adjust it to a lower volume and when you hit the switch again it bypasses the function and goes to the full volume you have the amp set at. So you can adjust the volume difference between the 2 settings of the switch to your liking and use the lower volume setting as your main setting and the bypass as your volume boost. And yes, it's POST distortion so no gain boost, just clean volume. Here's a diagram i made from memory, tho i could be off as far as values. I don't think so tho. I used the unused side to power a LED but thats optional and i didn't included that in the diagram other then to mention it..
 

Phil_Mayger

Supporting Member
Messages
189
I've sort-of done what you're asking but it might not work for you. I've got the 100 but use it solely as a single-channel clean amp.

I use effects chain 1, which places the boost after the preamp. I have the mid-boost on, with the gain and level set to 0, and the direct set to 50. Using an fixed value expression pedal (a switch that flips between a potentiometer and a fixed resistor mimicking the heel up and down positions of an EXP pedal), I can bring up the level of the boost to wherever the potentiometer is set to. I can adjust the boost level anywhere from 0 to 100

You'll need V3 software and fixed value expression switch (I diy'd mine). Assuming of course that you can live with all your effects after the preamp. Oh, and that you can use and assign an exp pedal with a 50...
 
Messages
384
I’ll jump onto the chorus of people saying return the 50 for the 100; there’s no real advantages to the 50 other than size and price.

I almost never play the amp loud enough to take advantage of the extra 50 watts, but the FX Loop, extra presets, GAFC, and better speaker make the Katana experience so much better.
 

White Limo

Member
Messages
841
Yeah, I’ve noticed this issue with the 50 as well. I don’t know how much it would have cost Boss to put an effects loop in but it’s a mistake to not have it there. Solo boost, looping, time based FX etc.

The 100 is still only 32lbs. Compare that to like a Bassbreaker 15 which is 40lbs or a DSL which is 50lbs+. Still pretty darn light.
 
Messages
3,161
I’ll jump onto the chorus of people saying return the 50 for the 100; there’s no real advantages to the 50 other than size and price.

I almost never play the amp loud enough to take advantage of the extra 50 watts, but the FX Loop, extra presets, GAFC, and better speaker make the Katana experience so much better.
Yeah, if I had the bread in our budget, I would have gotten the 100 with the GA-FC foot controller. But with a limited budget that we have at home, the 50 has been a godsend as a low price amp that you can actually use in a band setting.
 

74princeton

Member
Messages
94
I have a Katana 50 and love it. Personally, I've found that I don't like using the presets at gigs or rehearsals. They never sound quite the same in a venue setting and you can't really adjust the effects, other than the intensity. I use it at rehearsals with crunch, reverb, and delay, and I'm fine with that for informal use.

I do have a pedal board that I use with my other amps and I find that in gig settings I'd rather have the control that setup offers. But I would never sell my Katana with the tones it provides at 25lbs. Its perfect for the guy who has bigger amps that he doesn't want to haul to every situation.
 

Nicko453

Member
Messages
2
Have a look at KatanaMan on Google Play. Kinda cut down BTS that will run on your Android phone/tablet. Let’s you tweak settings, create, store, load patches to the amp easily.

I use it for rehearsals and gigs.
N
 

eichaan

Member
Messages
247
I love the 50--it's the favorite of all the amps I've ever had (Fenders, Peaveys, Ampegs, Vox and Marshalls).

After using the Katana 50 for a couple of years, and in the past few months using it for regular band practice and gigs in various venues ranging from outdoors, to small pubs to a bowling alley, I have concluded that the best thing for me to do live is to have one or two base tones:

• clean(ish)

• the same, but louder

and then have a pedal for more volume and/or some distortion if the tune calls for it.

In keeping with my philosophy of spending as little as possible to sound good, I've put together a custom pedalboard (with a multi-spot power unit, a board, and some velcro). The way it goes is:

Guitar to Boss Tuner out to Behringer noise reducer. The Noise Reducer has a loop, which goes out to a Caline Orange Burst for my main boost and then into an Electro-Harmonix LBP-1 then back into the Noise Reducer, then out to the Katana 50. I also have a Fender 1-button footswitch to change the presets on the amp.

I find this to be very versatile, easy to carry, and sounds really good.

 

Bobbyoso

Member
Messages
377
I've had the 50 for a couple years. Not my best amp, but very good nonetheless, and more versatile than my one-trick show ponies, with a much wider sweet spot (e.g., I can get desired tone at a wider range of SPLs) than my tube amps. Horses for courses.

Faced with your scenario, I just save my presets with the boosts how I want them. When I want no boost at all, I just turn the controlling knob to zero. Voila! No boost.
 

NatGardner

Member
Messages
314
I use the 50 in rehearsals, jam sessions and carry as a backup to gigs if my tube rig fails.
I have 4 presets. I play all musical styles.
Bank 1 Preset 1- Clean ish ( zep 2 tone ) set bright- slight verb Preset 2- Solo ( blues gain ) with mid boost and hall reverb.

Bank 2 Preset 1- 70's crunch. Preset - 2 Solo ( rock gain ) with mid boost and slight delay

Panel set to heavy metal- Brown sound w slight delay set to solo, roll back guitar volume to 6 for riff/rhythm ect

Latching footswitch to switch presets to solo
Go to amp to switch Banks/panel

Bank 1 on a les paul with the Rythym pickup on half ( tone on 10 ) and treble pickup on full ( tone on 7 ) I get three levels of gain by just using the pickup selector. Clean, midrangey clean- ish and crunch respectively. If the crunch is too loud I pull back on the tone knob to hide more in the mix
Bank 2 same thing only not set as bright and with more gain.

I only use the clean channel for bank one and bank two
On bank two I use the Rat boost for the extra gain.
When I play Crazy Train, GnR or Enter Sandman ect... I use the panel set to Brown

Works for me.
The best $$125 piece of gear I have ever bought used.
 
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