Boss Katana - does the MKII sound better than the MKI?

buddaman71

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If you can get a MK1 for peanuts, do it.

You have the right mindset... its an amp, not a modeller.

I have a Katana Mk1 100 2x12, and it sounds great.

My advice to you would be to use the Crunch channel, with low gain for your clean sounds.... just by dropping the volume on the guitar a tad.

The mk1 Clean channel is very high headroom, and can sound a bit stiff, compared to a valve amp, unless you turn it up really loud and get speaker cones moving. Hence... use the Crunch channel.

Set the Crunch channel Gain with guitar volume on max to get it sounding on the edge of overdrive (hairy). Then use it the same as any common valve amp with pedals for your dirt.

Or you could buy the Foot Contoller (with money you saved) and use the 4 Memory Banks as amp Channels . .. Clean, Overdrive, Crunch and Lead etc.

The Lead and Brown channels are also very good if you like to rock. They sound like Marshalls.
I just bought a mk2 100w 212 and gigged it Friday. Sounded pretty good and I agree with everything Tootone posted. The foot controller is great and I specifically bought the Katana because I didn’t want to need any additional pedals.

I bought it to be a lean, mean all in one gigging device, and it’s great. Played on a loud stage in a big club with a very loud drummer and never turned past 11 o’clock on the 50-watt setting.
 
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buddaman71

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PS: here's an onstage recording capture of my new Katana right by the amp at a country-rock fill in gig Friday. (i know the lead vocals and fiddle are low; it was behind the speakers; i was just trying to hear how the Katana actually sounds.) i was playing my KLH P-Rail loaded Esquire straight in, using the GA-FC foot controller (essential for live iMHO)

i find the clean tones a bit bland, and have no use for them live. i specifically wanted to have an all-in-one solution that required no additional pedals, other than the foot controller, which worked great! i used the Crunch and Lead channels for British-type tones. i just saved 4 sounds, kicking in modulations or boosts with the FC and jammed. i was filling in and was playing some of these tunes for the first time with no rehearsal. the band said that my sound added so lots of energy to their set, as their regular player is very straight ahead super clean country player. i'm more Van Waylen style... 11:27-13:30 has couple decent sounding leads i think. just winging it.

 
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dronerstone

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979
I just bought a mk2 100w 212 and gigged it Friday. Sounded pretty good and I agree with everything Tootone posted. The foot controller is great and I specifically bought the Katana because I didn’t want to need any additional pedals.

I bought it to be a lean, mean all in one gigging device, and it’s great. Played on a loud stage in a big club with a very loud drummer and never turned last 11 o’clock on the 50-watt setting.
11 o clock on 50 W is exactly what I use with a pounding drummer. Honestly, that's already more volume than many folks will need. ;)
 

buddaman71

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11 o clock on 50 W is exactly what I use with a pounding drummer. Honestly, that's already more volume than many folks will need. ;)
I installed a Redbox5 in the cabinet and permanently connected it to the line out. Add a little 3 foot XLR, so now anytime I need to plug it into a PA all they have to do is give me a cable with phantom power.
 

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Good Grief

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PS: here's an onstage recording capture of my new Katana right by the amp at a country-rock fill in gig Friday. (i know the lead vocals and fiddle are low; it was behind the speakers; i was just trying to hear how the Katana actually sounds.) i was playing my KLH P-Rail loaded Esquire straight in, using the GA-FC foot controller (essential for live iMHO)

i find the clean tones a bit bland, and have no use for them live. i specifically wanted to have an all-in-one solution that required no additional pedals, other than the foot controller, which worked great! i used the Crunch and Lead channels for British-type tones. i just saved 4 sounds, kicking in modulations or boosts with the FC and jammed. i was filling in and was playing some of these tunes for the first time with no rehearsal. the band said that my sound added so lots of energy to their set, as their regular player is very straight ahead super clean country player. i'm more Van Waylen style...



I go back and forth on the Katana but that sounds great.
 

buddaman71

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@buddaman71 did you happen to try a L6 Catalyst before you bought that Katana?
I didn’t, just because I needed an amp for a gig the next day, and Katana was in stock at GC in OKC. I didn’t even consider others. I just bought it and took to gig.
 

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rxtech

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PS: here's an onstage recording capture of my new Katana right by the amp at a country-rock fill in gig Friday. (i know the lead vocals and fiddle are low; it was behind the speakers; i was just trying to hear how the Katana actually sounds.) i was playing my KLH P-Rail loaded Esquire straight in, using the GA-FC foot controller (essential for live iMHO)

i find the clean tones a bit bland, and have no use for them live. i specifically wanted to have an all-in-one solution that required no additional pedals, other than the foot controller, which worked great! i used the Crunch and Lead channels for British-type tones. i just saved 4 sounds, kicking in modulations or boosts with the FC and jammed. i was filling in and was playing some of these tunes for the first time with no rehearsal. the band said that my sound added so lots of energy to their set, as their regular player is very straight ahead super clean country player. i'm more Van Waylen style...


That sounds great!! What were your settings if you recall? Did you use any of the built in boosters?
 

Moe45673

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6,511
I installed a Redbox5 in the cabinet and permanently connected it to the line out. Add a little 3 foot XLR, so now anytime I need to plug it into a PA all they have to do is give me a cable with phantom power.
Isnt a redbox5 supposed to be put in Speaker Out jack? Also, doesnt the line out of Katana have a speaker sim included that cannot be disabled?
 

buddaman71

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That sounds great!! What were your settings if you recall? Did you use any of the built in boosters?
thanks! i just created a patch on Crunch with verb and a little delay. i had the booster and chorus available, as well as the low octave that i could kick in with the individual buttons, but i don't remember needing the boost much.

i just copied that patch to the other 3 locations, raised the volume and delay a bit on 2 for a "clean" lead (i rarely use a totally clean tone live) then drier on 3 for a tighter rhythm and then kicked the same patch up to the Lead position for #4.

basically 4 variations of the same basic Marshall-type tone. i downloaded Boss Tone Studio and will make better patches for the next gig.
 

buddaman71

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Isnt a redbox5 supposed to be after the poweramp? Also, doesnt the line out of Katana have a speaker sim included that cannot be disabled?
RB5 works with line or speaker level. the Katana line out sounded good, but consensus was that it sounded even a bit smoother into the PA with RB5.
 
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fr8_trane

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7,310
I advise to do it. The Sneaky bright twin is sooooo much better than the stock clean. It takes about 5 minutes to switch it out.

The other channels I just kept stock. They sound great out of the box.

Also don't forget the parametric EQ option in the software. It makes a world of difference also.
Different strokes. After extensively demoing the sneaky amps i have come to the conclusion that the stock katana amps are better.

If you want a great fendery clean tone from the stock clean model goose the gain above noon and turn the mids down to 9-10:00. The sneaky fenders are WAY too scooped and hollow sounding. The sneaky marshall sounds weird in the mids. The only decent sneaky amp is the matchless IMO.

Regarding EQ: The stock clean amp is the only model that doesnt need a huge treble cut and bass boost. All of the dirty models are RIDICULOUSLY bright and thin. I have the hi cut filter at 5k or lower for every dirty preset and a significant bass boost from the para EQ (the bass control on the amp itself is largely useless for getting enough booty in the dirty tones).

The crunch channel is nice for mid gain tones and is decently responsive to pick attack and the volume control. The clean channel boosted by the treble booster (by far the best boost in the katana) is great for semi clean tones.

The Studio Rats YT channel has the best Katana content although I think he is WAY too reliant on using boosts to get his tones. The crunch channel can be made to sound great without boosting it. The key is the Para EQ.


My Stomp XL is currently at Line 6 for repair so I Just did a gig with my Katana MK I combo and a pedalboard as my B rig. It sounded great. Its an amazing backup amp especially considering I paid $100 for it at GC after a couple pedal trade-ins.
 
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MrTAteMyBalls

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4,694
Different strokes. After extensively demoing the sneaky amps i have come to the conclusion that the stock katana amps are better.

If you want a great fendery clean tone from the stock clean model goose the gain above noon and turn the mids down to 9-10:00. The sneaky fenders are WAY too scooped and hollow sounding. The sneaky marshall sounds weird in the mids. The only decent sneaky amp is the matchless IMO.

Regarding EQ: The stock clean amp is the only model that doesnt need a huge treble cut and bass boost. All of the dirty models are RIDICULOUSLY bright and thin. I have the hi cut filter at 5k or lower for every dirty preset and a significant bass boost from the para EQ (the bass control on the amp itself is largely useless for getting enough booty in the dirty tones).

The crunch channel is nice for mid gain tones and is decently responsive to pick attack and the volume control. The clean channel boosted by the treble booster (by far the best boost in the katana) is great for semi clean tones.

The Studio Rats YT channel has the best Katana content although I think he is WAY too reliant on using boosts to get his tones. The crunch channel can be made to sound great without boosting it. The key is the Para EQ.


My Stomp XL is currently at Line 6 for repair so I Just did a gig with my Katana MK I combo and a pedalboard as my B rig. It sounded great. Its an amazing backup amp especially considering I paid $100 for it at GC after a couple pedal trade-ins.


I don't really need mine anymore but it is so cheap and so good I am just gonna keep it. I did a bunch of gigs with it and always sounded great.

Like you mentioned, the EQ is so powerful and unfortunately I think it is necessary to get the real good stuff from the amp.
 

fr8_trane

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7,310
I don't really need mine anymore but it is so cheap and so good I am just gonna keep it. I did a bunch of gigs with it and always sounded great.

Like you mentioned, the EQ is so powerful and unfortunately I think it is necessary to get the real good stuff from the amp.
The para EQ is really the ONLY way to unlock good dirty tones from the katana. I believe that fact 100% explains the love/hate response to the katana. Plenty of reviews on the Mega thread where people plugged it in for a hot minute scrolled through the amp models and promptly put it back in the box and took it back to the store shaking their heads the whole time. Its not plug and play (with the possible exception of the clean model). If you're not a tweaker, this isnt the amp for you.
 

74princeton

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111
The para EQ is really the ONLY way to unlock good dirty tones from the katana. I believe that fact 100% explains the love/hate response to the katana. Plenty of reviews on the Mega thread where people plugged it in for a hot minute scrolled through the amp models and promptly put it back in the box... If you're not a tweaker, this isnt the amp for you.
I believe there's also a global EQ that lets you filter out the hi's and lo's, along with the EQ you can add to each preset.
Among the monster Katana sales figures, if you take out those who don't want to delve into the software and experiment, and add those who complain about there being too many options, then you still have a ton of people who are getting great use out of a very reasonably priced gigging amp.
 

buddaman71

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FWIW: i'm very happy with the dirty tones i got live this weekend, and i haven't even hooked it up to my PC yet. i took it straight to the gig, right out of the store, fresh from factory. i'm sure adding the BTS compressor and EQ will really help, but it was one of the better live overdriven tones i've ever had, and i've owned many $$$s of $$$$ of amps of all types over the last 35 years.
 




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