Fender Mustang III vs Boss Katana 100


Never bonded with Mustangs but I suspect you get better Fender clean chime from them, it's a Fender after all and if they can't emulate that it's a shame.

Meanwhile, nowadays my get-go is a Katana 100W + guitar + cable + footswitch. Setup time about one minute. Sounds fantastic but I'm more of a Marshall/modern amp sound person, not that I use this amp for funk band gigs.


Yeah, the price really is a non-factor here for most buyers - pretty much all the power most players would need for $330 (or less for a used Mustang).

I don't hear tons of difference between the factory "CLEAN" setting and the Fender Twin Bright "sneaky amp", to be honest. Maybe others do. The one knock that people keep mentioning is that they feel like the Katana lacks low end relative to its size, power, and comparable amps. But that's more about "voicing" versus actual capability. Some of the gain channels (particularly the Marshall ones) are EQ'ed to cut through, and there is quite a bit you can do with the EQ knobs and Tone Studio settings to address that. Even better, I threw a $30 EQ pedal in the loop (so after the preamp, where it has more direct impact on particularly frequencies than in front of the amp), and I really like the flexibility that gave me to boost low frequencies while attenuating volume (the EQ has a master "gain" control).

I will say that that while the 0.5w setting on the Katana is the one in the volume range I use the most, I think the 50w setting has more clarity, and it seems to work better using that one and either rolling off the master, or backing off volume with an FX loop EQ or volume pedal.

I generally recall hearing that the Mustang III took pedals well, but I can't imagine it doing it better than a properly-set-up Katana 100. The Katana 100 also makes more sense to use with pedals, as it's more of a plug-and-play hybrid modeler with pretty simple access to basic controls.


I Love my Mustang III. I am a Fender clean guy so I prefer the MIII over the Katana although they both are great!
I gig with it no problem. I use the included 2 button switch to control delay and tap tempo. I also use analog pedals and they sound amazing!


Check out the new Katana Firmware update. Pretty nice!
It is, but it still doesn't do much for a Fender sound. MIII still better there. Fender does Fender well. I think part of it is the speaker type too which is also why most are not as in favor of MIII's brit sounds. If the speaker is voiced for Fender sound, well, you just can't stretch into Marshall territory. If the Katana is voiced for Brit tones, don't expect it to be like a Twin or other Fender amp.

Modeling amps can do what they do, but there will always be compromise you have to live with. None are going to do multiple voicings. Blackstar attempt to correct that with a ISF control to make it go from Brit 34 to more glassy 6L6 Fender tone, but even that is not what the MIII or Fender FM100R or similar deliver in Fender tonality.


Personally, I'd go Katana. Having played both, and being a fan of Marshall 'cleans' anyway (such as they are!), the Boss has everything I need in one box with a minimum of fuss :)


I had a Mustang III for a while, and did a number of gigs with it. I spent a bit of time finding, and dialing in the tones I wanted and used the two Fender footswitches to change presets and turn on and off effects. It was ok, but I went back to a Fender Blues Jr after a while with an analog pedal board. I found clean tones I liked on the MIII, but I felt it was a bit less "real" on the higher gain tones... especially the Marshall tones.

On the other hand, the Katana has turned out to have a very good Marshall set of tones, I particularly like and use the MS 1959 (Plexi) model from the sneaky amps.

It's got me considering getting a used Mustang III again for a dual amp setup, that would be getting the best of both worlds so to speak... Fender cleans from the Mustang, and Marshall grind from the Katana. Since the Mustangs are going for very reasonable prices these days... it's not a very expensive thing to try, and both are lightweight and easy to use and program.

So, in the end, my advice is... get both!
To be honest it's very tempting since 2 (used) amps still would cost less than some tube amps, but then again the "portability" factor kicks in..maybe I will get both..if I can find both cheap!


Silver Supporting Member
I had a Mustang III v2 for several years and loved it. It made me happy every time I plugged in. Thanks to TGP, I became convinced that the Katana 100 was better and bought one. During the honeymoon phase with the Katana I sold the Mustang. The honeymoon with the Katana is now over, and I'm pining away for my old Mustang and kicking myself for selling it. I'm primarily a low gain, edge of breakup player and I think the Mustang does that better. The Katana is probably better at higher gain. I find myself constantly tweaking the Katana and not quite loving it. With the Mustang, once I set up 3 or 4 presets I liked, I never tweaked again.

My favorite tone is a Jtm45 on the edge of breakup. The Tweed Bassman patch on the Mustang nailed this. I can't get the loose low end of that tone with the Katana.

If anyone would like to trade a Mustang III v2 for a Katana 100, please PM me.


Supporting Member
Same here, I really enjoyed my Mustang I and was sorely tempted by the Katana, but I'm gonna go for the mustang III instead. Looking too.


I understand the impulse to work only with the rotary selection on the amp but IMHO it's so simple to use the sneaky amps that's it's not really an issue in any practical sense. I took Channel 1 and Channel 2 and assigned the Fender Twin preamp to them. That still leaves me three other channels to use (Channels 3/4 and the panel).

Realize you can make any adjustments you want to the sneaky amps once they are on the Katana. In other words, other than selecting them by using a preset button they act exactly the same as the ones on the rotary knob. It's WAY simpler than you are thinking about it.
Well I updated the Katana this morning, imported the sneaky amps liveset, and added 8 of them to the two banks of channels. Two clean Fenders, the small Tweed, Matchless, the '59s, the Uberschall, and one I can't remember. Lots of fun options there. Thanks for the encouragement. :)


Well I updated the Katana this morning, imported the sneaky amps liveset, and added 8 of them to the two banks of channels. Two clean Fenders, the small Tweed, Matchless, the '59s, the Uberschall, and one I can't remember. Lots of fun options there. Thanks for the encouragement. :)
Glad it's working out!!


Thanks guys. I finally got a Mustang III V.2 last night. This amp is just exactly what I wanted and more.
Glad to hear it, I have a mustang iii, love the Tweed tones and the a couple of the blackface tone tones, particularly the Princeton. The vox is so so and the Marshall s are not for me so I got a code 50. Effects are awful compared but tones are similar to my DSL 2000,
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