I can't believe this thread is at 113 pages and counting.. A lot of people have bought in based on what they read here, I think it's time Boss sends some royalties this way lol
This happens when there is genuine interest, with a fact filled thread, on a genuinely useful tool for guitarists - the Boss Katana.I can't believe this thread is at 113 pages and counting.. A lot of people have bought in based on what they read here, I think it's time Boss sends some royalties this way lol
That’s my first post in this thread. I play guitar as a hobby (sometimes I forget that) and I’m part of an amateur classic rock band, here in Brazil, called Tubarão ).
For our gig, I use my GT-100 running into the power section of my DSL40c (FX return). I’m very satisfied with the tones I can get this way, but I’d like to hear this pleased tone during our rehearsals too. You guys can hear that tone on the videos through the link above. I’m the guitar player with the Les Paul. I don’t usually take the Marshall for the rehearsal with me because it is a little heavy. So, I use a Fender FM head + 4x12 cabinet the studio has, and I really don’t like it. Besides that, I play a lot of acoustic guitar and I’d like to take the same control over its tones that I have over the electric guitar tones.
I was saving to buy a Line 6 StageSource L2t that is lighter than my DSL (23kg x 18kg) and have a good acoustic amp. In the future it could be a perfect match for a Line 6 Helix and the Variax that I already have (JTV69HSS). I have the money for it, but I can’t pay less than the equivalent to 1400 dollars on it, buying here or during the trip I will do to London next month, because of the import fees. Then, I heard about this Katana combo 100w 1x12. It is lighter than L2t (14kg) and have an acoustic amp too. I’d run my GT-100 in its fx return and only use its acoustic preamp.
Any of you guys have already had the opportunity to play both? I imagine that the L2t sounds better (FRFR and plywood cabinet) and give me the chance to use the cabinets simulations on GT-100, but the price difference is huge and I could have a backup rig with Katana, just in case. I would spend a little more than 450 dollars on a Katana plus the GA-FC.
It seems that the Katana is a no brainer, but I really like a good tone (almost as much as I like variety tones J), and I don’t wanna see myself saving more money to buy a L2t in the future. Will I experiment a huge difference in the sound quality if I go with the Katana?
Whoa this thread went by fast in the few days I've last posted! I have to comment a bit on the 50w and the ability to keep up with a loud drummer and comparison to 100w - from my perspective, opinion, taste and little experience I got yesterday of course.
As I think I mentioned in my review I got the 50w because I was short on budget after a rather careless shopping spree in the week prior to finding out about the Katana amps but as I went through this topic from post one up until the time I first posted I started to feel a bit of an inferiority complex over not having the 100w. Only because of posts about the supposed much better sound of the 100w (which is false for the most part, will get to that in a sec...) since to me personally, the extra features while nice, I don't really need them. Don't use presence and can set it to any value I want on CH1,2 and Panel and it will stay that way.
Don't need more than 3 channels (I count Panel on them too) as I only like to store different pedals and maybe set a noise gate for higher gain stuff on one channel and no noise gate on the other and thats about it. I like to edit my amp on the fly, old school style. It's a breeze anyway once you know how to get the tone(s) you love. Breeze thanks to Katana's intiuitive, no frills design of course.
Line out is not needed after reading some comments about it, I prefer to mic my amps anyway.
The footswitch? Useful, but again, I can always bend over. To toggle effects on or off that is!!!
Also, over here in good ol'central Europe and with the Euro, if I went for the 100w plus the footswitch it would be 200$ more than the 50w. Almost 300 if I add the footswitch for volume/expression pedal control (Which I will get - for the wah). And that kind of defeats the whole ''insane value for money'' thing. Still great value, just a bit less...
Anyway, the above was if anyone happens to recognize themselves and their needs and is thinking about 50 vs 100 based on the added features of the 50. My live tone is inspired more by the players who used very little to no effects and controlled most of their dynamic volume range with the volume pot on the guitar. Think Leslie West or Ritchie Blackmore - two extreme sides of tones. If I ever do an evening of Robin Trower covers I'll bring a multi-fx pedal with me.
Anyway, I first tested my 50w with our drummer and bass player (no hammond in the mix this time). Think a more heavy handed Ian Paice (Deep Purple, if you don't know, though he is quite heavy handed himself, or was at some points...). We played in an empty small club for about 350-400 people. Like a bar/club type thing. I had the Katana on the crunch channel with the DS boost on, gain at 6, volume at 7, master at 6. Not only did it keep up with the drummer, our ''sound guy'' who sat in the back said I could bring it down a notch. When I tried the brown channel with the TS and gain at 8 I HAD to bring the volume down. I don't know what Boss did here but this is by far the loudest 50w SS I ever played. Or 40-60. In fact, while I never played one myself (owned only an old 60), our bass player (inspired by Geezer Butler) said it was as loud as the Cube 80gx since he played a few gigs with a guy who had that one.
If anyone here ever played both the 50w Katana and the Cube 80gx maybe you can confirm.
But here is the thing, we played mostly ZZ Top, Cream, Mountain, Sabbath and Purple stuff. We sometimes add some ''Grunge'' (putting it in '' '' because what some consider Grunge is good ol' Hard Rock to my ears...) in the form of Soundgarden and a bit of Black Album/Load era Metallica. However, I do not try to mimic any of the different tones. I try to stick to one and switch to a bit higher gain for the more on the ''metal'' side of things. We also play some original stuff but the covers are not meant to be 100% identical because I do not find that fresh or exciting (can't beat the originals anyway so why a poor copy when you can add a bit of your own touch to it???).
Anyway, my point is, almost no clean stuff.
If I do any cleans it's to insert quieter interludes during one of my solos or if we play a slow bluesy tune in which case our drummer ''backs down'' a bit anyway. Sometimes we'll add some RHCP in the mix and I can see the 50w having a bit of trouble in the clean department headroom there, but for the ballad, slow blues stuff or me just cutting back on the solos there are no issues.
Point being, if you play in some clubs or outdoor venues for up to 500 people and you play LOUD music mostly on the mid to high gain settings, Katana 50 is - IN MY EXPERIENCE - more than enough to keep up with a loud drummer.
I mean, it should, it's being advertised as something that ''cuts through'' just like the other models, not a bedroom practice amp (though it does that great too).
Now if you only play clean or play mostly clean, or play with a horn section or another guitar player (or two) or have an insanely loud drummer with a drum kit from that can be seen from space...it may struggle. I don't know because I never played with any of that.
But if there is ever a good PA, I'd want to mic it anyway. And more than, say, 400 people I would have to - if only to be more comfortable. I did push the Katana all the way to 10 on all settings and in the empty club I would probably cause hearing loss if anyone was too near without an earpiece.
However...the whole 50w vs 100w thing still bugged me. I knew there couldn't be a massive difference in sound because I tried various other models at different power levels but I've read all posts here including from the Boss guy (Jeff was it?) so I had to know for myself. Called the store when they'll stock a 100w again and they said a new one just came in. YES! I drove there straight away and A/B'd the two models.
I'll say this, yes, the 100w model obviously has more headroom, low end and volume. Does it have huge amounts? No. The difference is there, but not huge.
100 on the 50w power setting? Listen, if my ears were not ''trained'' so to speak, I would not know the difference. Sure, it's true you need to push the 50w a bit more on the master to match the 100 on 50w mode volume and with that you may have a bit less than pure clean sound, so again, not ideal for that. If you play in the style I mentioned earlier? Makes no difference if you ask me. Or so little it's still a no difference. On the 100w setting, sure, it's louder. You can rest easy no drummer, no matter how loud, will outpower you and you can maybe play to a wee bit larger venues or crowds (lets say 200 more, maybe 300) without using the line-out or mic'ing it.
The bottom line? I feel less inferior owning the 50w now. Make no mistake about it, if my budget allowed for a 100w AND both pedals that it supports, I would get that. If I knew I would gig constantly or played a lot of cleans or played a lot of 500-800 people venues without a good house PA, I would sell my other gear and save up and buy the 100w and the pedals. But for my needs? The 50 does it's job and it does it more than OK. Honestly, I played the 100w Mustang III v2. For higher gain stuff I think the 50w Katana holds up better with a loud drummer - as in produces a similar ammount of volume and headroom but with a better tone (and it does not lose tone or fart out when you crank it up and really push it which is another rare thing in an SS amp) But that's just me.
I also for the longest time really wanted a Yamaha THR10, due to all the hype, the YT demos and the fact I liked the old school style vintage look with the glow and all...but I simply could not at any point in time come close to justyfing dishing out over 300$ for what is essentially (no matter how good it sounds) a bedroom toy when I knew for the same money you could get something you can also play at low volume but gig with too (was thinking of Cube 80gx and Mustang III then for example) - even if the footprint is much bigger. Just like I couldn't bring myself to really pull the trigger on the Blackstar TVP series because the price seemed way too high given the small number of effects on offer (and being a USB audio interface too, effects are important to me when songwriting and recording, not so much live playing as mentioned).
Anyway, another long post but this for anyone who is doubting or deciding between the 50 and 100 models. Just my humble opinion and experience. If you are like me in needs and playing style and on a budget, you can rest easy the 50w will be more than enough. If you play other styles or have no problem dishing out more, get the 100w. I don't have serious gigging commitments - if I did I would save up for 100 just be totally on the safe side and have all my corners covered. As it is, for now I can be sure the 50 will do for my needs too.
Also felt the need to write this because a post or two mentioned the 50w is better as a bedroom/practice amp and not really a live amp and that is 100% rubbish since there are so many different variables to take into account that for some people, the 100 also wouldn't be enough.
They once offered a T Shirt - but that was 8 years ago, and those folks retired or "moved on" . (Chris Bristol, Gary Lenaire, Peter Swiadon) still friends wth Gundy Keller who runs http://www.gkmasterclass.de/
FWIW -all Katana combos have 12" speakers (even the 50 watt combo) - on the 100 watt, the magnets are beefier and larger voice coil diameter50W are fine unless (as I see it):
* you need big clean headroom in bands like playing funk with a loud drummer
* You really need the effect send/return, either for pedalboard or hooking in an AX8/Helix/Kemper et rest.
* You feel limited with just two channels for stage use
* Like 12" for more fuller sound than 10" -- but that's personal.
* You are in love with a presence control (me, not.)
...something like that.
I got my Katana 100 watt combo. Thanks to Elantric, getting everything set up was easy.
It took about 30 seconds to dial in a warm clean, with a little bit of reverb, that I liked. I haven't have much luck with a clean chorus sound I liked, but I'm not used to that many parameters for a chorus, so I'll have to mess with that some more.
I wasn't having much luck dialing in a dirty sound I liked. I put the parametric eq in FX and dropped the 8k and 16k, which helped a little, but something was still off. I had remembered someone in this thread saying to lower than gain and use an OD pedal at low gain. I tried this and it was MUCH better.
So now, I have a clean I like and a dirty I like. I'm using a one-button Marshall footswitch to go between the channels, that is working perfectly.
I saw an option to play music using the Tone Studio, which I thought would be good for some backing tracks. Then I noticed it will only play WAVs and not MP3s. That seems very odd.
I briefly tried using Reaper, but wasn't having much luck there, either. I couldn't hear my Katana, but couldn't hear the backing track either through my speakers or through the amp. I'm not real sure what I'm doing wrong. Anyone had success using the Katana with Reaper and backing tracks, yet?
just tried to import your patches into my BTS and it worked fine. Many thanks!
So i'm looking forward to a great exchange-bank of user-patches maybe here:
I like your Clean-Sound and the use of the parametric EQ, although for me there is to much of gain in the further patches, but this depends only on my taste.
Again: Thank you for sharing!
Initial dialing in of 3 basic tones was quick n easy. Looking promising ! Sounds good already. I would advise gigging musicians to get the 100 watt. I don't think its crazy loud like some are saying but I guess its all relative. Cant wait to dig into the online editing software.
You might need a HumX or Rocktron Buzz killer. Would actually make even more sense to have an electrician checking your wiring and fixing it as there might be all kinds of lurking problems causing electrical units to blow up and worst case even start a fire.Need a little help with a problem I am having. I got a new Katana 50 a couple of days ago and it sounds great except for a wicked hum that gets louder as I go up from clean to brown. And from .5 to 25 and then 50 watt settings
I have a really old [225 years] house with some older wiring. I took the amp around the house and finally found an outlet in a new section of the house that did not cause a hum. Problem is it is in the dining kitchen area. Not a great spot for playing. So I figured I would run an extension cord from the amp to the outlet that ran quiet. No luck. With the extension cord the hum was just as bad as in the old section of the house.
Any ideas? I might add that other amps I have had never hummed this bad while use in the same older outlets so I am really puzzled.