Katanas and Catalysts

Paul Conway

Doing some research for a friend. He's looking for a small gig/rehearsal amp. Prob modelling.

First question for you gentlefolk: Boss or Line 6? I think he's going for the sound of the seventies rather than djent, if you catch my drift.

Q2: I understand that the Kat100 is generally considered a better buy than the 50, on features. Is it a similar situation with the Line6?

Q3: have I overlooked a better and commonly available amp in that price range?

Many, many thanks in advance


Silver Supporting Member
Depends on whether effects are a factor.

Both amps are good for their price, but if I had to chose (again), I would probably go Katana, due to the variety, tweakability, and multiple available slots of the on-board effects (Catalyst is only one effect at a time in addition to reverb) - BUT if I had a pedalboard, I may lean Catalyst.

The Kat 100 is slightly larger and louder, and has an upgraded speaker over the Kat 50. IIRC, the only advantage of the larger Catalysts are size and volume.

IMO, can’t go wrong with either.


Silver Supporting Member
Both the Kat and the Cat are open-back 1x12 or 2x12 cabs.
Neither is going to be "djent".
I had a Kat100 (returned) and a Kat Artist100 (returned).
I am currently very happy with my Cat100.
But then, I also have a Helix, so FX are not an issue.
It just sounds better. Totally subjective. YMMV.


Silver Supporting Member
I started with a Catalyst 100. I really liked the sound, but it only has a 2-button footswitch available. I didn't want to go the MIDI route, so I swapper the Catalyst for a Katana 100 and GA-FC.

It took more tweaking on the Katana (using the software) to get the sounds I like, but I'm happy I made the change.


I tried them side by side and I preferred the Catalyst 60. I also purchased a Katana Mini for covering all things Boss.
I don't think you can go wrong with the Catalyst, it is an excellent amplifier and has a lot of tricks.
The only thing he should be aware of is that the footswitch only has 2 channels so he'd need to use pedals if he wanted more channels and gain stages etc.


I preferred the sounds of the Catalyst and bought a 200. 70's rock sounds are real easy to dial in on it. Both sound good, IMO the Catalyst sounded better for what I do and I don't need a lot of effects. If you need a bunch of effects, maybe the Kat has the edge.

If you buy the 100 or 200 between now and the end of the year, you can get a footswitch for free.



I am a Katana owner and user for the past 6 years. Had a Catalyst 100w on a loan for a few weeks. Compared to a Kat 100w combo, both amps sound great, are very loud and are easy to dial from the top panel. For classic rock (as mentioned in your post) both will do great. Great times to be musicians, good gear at a down to earth price.

If I had to pick one, and not because I am a fan of the Boss amps, but I'd choose the Katana. Here are my reasons:
  • More built-in effects (over 60 fx)
  • More chain options and more effects at the same time
  • Lots of EQ possibilities (I think too much but if you are an EQ fan, you'll be satisfied)
  • Better foot controller for switching built-in effects/channels
  • More format options, from the small 50w to the Head+2x12 cab
  • Better support from a bigger community out there
  • Third party software (Android/iOS/Windows/Mac/Linux) and hardware (Airstep foot controller)
  • The v2 update for MkII adds some added line out features such as mic styles/positions and solo feature through all models
Where the Catalysts shines, XLR output on the back and stereo from headphones on 100w and 200w models. All Katana amps have a "dual mono" headphones out (same signal on both sides)

Hope that helps. You can check my YouTube channel, I have plenty of short clips of various styles of music done with my katana amps.


Student of Life
Gold Supporting Member
I have been gigging with 2 Katana Mk2 112-100 in Stereo Expand mode.
sounds fantastic and cuts thru a loud band as well or better than anything i've gigged in 37 years.
i love the small but powerful footswitch and quick setup.


Silver Supporting Member
I compared the 2 for a home playing combo. Catalyst sounded better and that was my only criterion

67 goat

I have a Catalyst 60 and a Katana 100W MkII head. I like the built-in overdriven sounds and other effects of the Catalyst better. But I like the cleans of the Katana better. The Katana is a little bit more flexible, in my opinion, and has more community support (just by nature of being around so much longer). Both are decent choices. If he can try them locally, just go with the one that gets him closest to the sound he wants.


Dave Simpson has youtube reviews of both, Loves that the Catalyst takes pedals very well,
(and that a bad cable can ruin ones testing until discovered!) Plays the amp before chatting...


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