What the Boss Katana got right.....

* velcro-fly *

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,140
This thread has everything a good Katana thread should.

The breathless, hyperbolic recommendation.

The mild, but measured disappointment.

And finally, the dumping it for something else.

Yeah, no.....

Back to the $125 spent, still best bang for the buck music gear money I've spent. For anyone that will only play at home or plug their acoustic in occasionally, you will not find a better value, period. If my needs stopped after one gig it would've been 100% success and I prob wouldn't have gone any farther with it. Flip side is, as I predicted the patrons in the club loved the sound and couldn't tell the difference and I asked specifically about how it sounded. We were booked for two more gigs at the same club and three others elsewhere based on the response. I could tell and feel the difference, but I still got paid more than what that amp cost me. The real shortcomings were not apparent until it was in the mix with other instruments. I don't think Boss intended this to be a pro level, working musicians item. Hell yeah I'll upgrade what I'm going to now use regularly, but I wont hesitate to fire it up at home when I'm on my own, and my kid will use it all the time. No dumping of anything.

To be clear as well, I got this solely for the acoustic sim available....no way I would've bought it for any of the drive tones, and I for sure confirmed that today running through those for the first time. But as a $125 at home plug and play acoustic rig? No problem.
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
10,496
The Boss Katana is a great unit in its price range. You will find many amps that are better sounding, but you will not find many in that same budget price range.

Many of us own amps that cost probably anything from 3-10x the cost of a Katana 100 so that's like saying that you are disappointed that a cafeteria lunch did not taste like a 5 course meal from a fancy restaurant. They were never meant to be the same thing.
 

NatGardner

Member
Messages
457
If it's garbage what does it matter that it's cheap?
I play classic rock 50's through Metallica. 3 years ago, after I read a few things about the software, I spent an hour adjusting my K 50. I adjusted the global eq, the Tube screamer, the Blues driver, Rat, verb, delay, chorus, flanger and phaser to my liking. I then set up the 4 presets with 3 stages of gain set on the crunch channel and a OD ) and a clean channel. I tweaked it ( B,M,T ) from there to cut more after I cranked it to jam with a few players. I also push it with a EQ pedal for solo boost. Its not a gig worthy cranked tube amp, but I use it to practice at home or to just jam. This is the best sub $200 practice tool out there and when I crank it I can bring it to our band rehearsal room. If you spent 5 minutes on mine you may change your mind.
 

Barquentine

Member
Messages
2,840
I play classic rock 50's through Metallica. 3 years ago, after I read a few things about the software, I spent an hour adjusting my K 50. I adjusted the global eq, the Tube screamer, the Blues driver, Rat, verb, delay, chorus, flanger and phaser to my liking. I then set up the 4 presets with 3 stages of gain set on the crunch channel and a OD ) and a clean channel. I tweaked it ( B,M,T ) from there to cut more after I cranked it to jam with a few players. I also push it with a EQ pedal for solo boost. Its not a gig worthy cranked tube amp, but I use it to practice at home or to just jam. This is the best sub $200 practice tool out there and when I crank it I can bring it to our band rehearsal room. If you spent 5 minutes on mine you may change your mind.

I'm glad you found a use for it. I don't like having to use software to get usable sounds. Nothing against others doing it, it's just not for me. If people are having fun with the Katana that's the main thing. If price was the measure of an amp's sonic appeal you would expect a Boogie Mark V or similar to be everyone's dream amp but there are many that don't like them. I'm having a good time with my Quilter Cub that I've had for less than a week. Anyone who doesn't like the sound of a clean/lightly overdriven old Fender wouldn't like it at all.
 
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Barquentine

Member
Messages
2,840
The Boss Katana is a great unit in its price range. You will find many amps that are better sounding, but you will not find many in that same budget price range.

Many of us own amps that cost probably anything from 3-10x the cost of a Katana 100 so that's like saying that you are disappointed that a cafeteria lunch did not taste like a 5 course meal from a fancy restaurant. They were never meant to be the same thing.

It's a great unit in it's price range if you like the sound of it. You wouldn't think a cafeteria lunch was good value if it was inedible.
 

Z Boogieman

Member
Messages
161
When I got my Katana amps home, I was not immediately impressed with them by any means. I bought them used, and expecting immediate gratification.

I bought them used, and who knows what the previous owners did, setting up the amp.

I did the factory reset, and eventually the latest available updates. I put my choice of effects into the banks. That’s it, and gave it some time for me to understand.

What I came to realize, was there was potential in the amp. The cleans alone were as good as what I could remember about my old Jazz Chorus amp.

The presets in the banks are nothing that I would ever use.

The channels however, immediately had some sort of a familiarity, and instant recognition, although needing some tweaking with a few knobs on the amp.
Getting familiar, and consistent with my tonal results, took about a week. I had to remain focused on one thing at a time, until I understood the interaction of the knobs. To me, it is like trying to fully learn how to use a really useful effects pedal, not just one trick on the pedal.

The next step was setting up my V1 Katana 100 combo, in A/B with my favourite, proven amps. I could easily get a 95 to 98% match within minutes, and can now quickly dial in what I want. In a band mix, I honestly don’t think anyone can tell the difference, at all. If talent is being well displayed, then that is what will be heard.

I primarily use it as a practice amp at home, that quickly takes me to a sound that is close enough, for learning songs. The only real difference between recordings I am using as a baseline for learning songs, and my end results, is that the baseline sound is professionally studio engineered with talented musicians, vs. my 50 plus years of only dabbling experience.

It is a great tool, and I have a lot of gear to choose from.

I am going to say that expecting too much, too quickly, and user errors are the main reasons for any negativity on the Katana bashing wagon.
 

74princeton

Member
Messages
105
This is beating a dead horse I suppose, but I've been spending some time with my Katana Artist and the fxfloorboard software recently and have gone from, I'm not sure I like this thing, to, this thing is incredible after really checking out the available patches.
It was sounding boxey and the trebles were scratchy, as compared with my DRRI. No matter what I did I couldn't get it to open up and sound like a normal amp using the panel adjustments. Even the Tone Studio adjustments I made didn't satisfy.
But I finally hooked it up to the computer and revisited this fxfloorboard software and realized that there are amp simulations that you can't get to with the panel controls, or the tone studio alone. It was easy to find some patches that really opened this thing up. Suddenly all the bs about the Waza speaker started to make a little more sense.
I guess my point is that you could try one of these in a guitar store or when you get it home and really be disappointed if you aren't willing to spend some time exploring the capabilities.
 

Toby Krebs

Member
Messages
2,300
Great little lightweight powerful amps for gigging.
I have some great tube amps for my enjoyment.
The Katanas are for tiny stages
Tiny venues
outdoor venues
poolside
100 plus degree gigs
any gig I don’t want to use a tube amp at

they have an excellent effect loop and decent line out too

keeping mine

50 and 100 watt MK2s
 

59 Restorer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
637
Been reading a lot of Katana threads. I just purchased a used MK I 100 combo at GC for $200.00 Seemed a decent price since its like brand new. Just can't take it home to later this week. We have a local 'pawn shop' law that states used merchandise has to be held 2 weeks. That way if it is stolen it can maybe, but most likely not, be id'd.
I am hoping to use it as a clean(ish) platform direct to my Tascam hard drive recorder. Not so much via USB. See how that goes. I was looking at Quilter Superblock US or UK but they are out of stock everywhere.

If'n I can dial it in it can record direct, work for practicing with headphones and it's not too heavy to haul around especially compared to my AC30. I've bought pedals for a lot more than 200.00 that for various reasons I didn't like or didn't/don't use much.

I suppose that after all these years the Katana Sucks/It's Great argument still goes on is a testament to the line.
Not sure there many people lamenting the passing of the OG Fender Mustang Line?
 

Droptopandy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,203
If it's garbage what does it matter that it's cheap?

I tried a Katana MK2 Artist next to a Katana MK2 2x12 . I liked the Artist a LOT more than the 2x12. I really didn't like the 2x12 at all, maybe it's the Waza speaker I like and not the regular Katana speakers. And if you tried the small little 50 matter.....yes I can see how that little thing sounds nasty.

I will say, a have a Katana 100 watt head on my old beaten up Mesa Traditional 4x12 and it simply kills. I could fool many men with this setup. Other guitar player in my band went from his old, really good, JCM900 head to a Katana and he sounds exactly the same. Speakers\cabs have sooooo much to do with it.
 

donbarzini

Member
Messages
3,220
just spilt creama wheat:rotflmao

24734a6a410fcf07124365533966c789--cream-of-wheat-american-vintage.jpg
 

CBHTele

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,094
I had the same experience until.....you have to go into the software and work with the Global EQ. Out of the box, I thought it sounded too bright and cheap, but after a few tweaks with the software, I was able to get some really good tones from it.

Not to dig up a 2+-month old post, but I cannot stress the above enough.

I have the 50 mkII, and use the EQ at the end of the chain (well, the chain option that allows it toward the end). Boosting the low end really brings out some overall oomph. Took me about 5 minutes using the software.

I mostly play clean-to-crunchy, and have no problems getting great tones out of it. My Strat sounds plenty Stratty, and my Gretsch sounds plenty Gretschy.
 




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