Other Amps

NAD…Boss Katana ARTIST MKII

1

Ordered this back in February, of course it was back-ordered, and received it on March 3rd. WHAT AN AMP!

Here's a little back story: I had heard about the Katanas some time ago, thought "hmmm, interesting...I'll check one out someday". (The thought of an amp with different voicings, an acoustic preamp too, and a bunch of pedals already inside intrigued me. Simplified setup...yes, please!)

Then one day in January I was in GC and they had a Katana 100 (NOT the Artist model) on the floor, and a Katana 50, so I asked for a Gretsch, plugged it in, played them both a bit and thought, OK, cool little amps, but not quite as full-sounding as my current Quilter setup with my Line 6 M-9...and didn't give it another thought. Close, but no cigar.

Then, one day in Feb, my g/f needed to check out some mics at another GC, and while there I was strolling around and they had an original Artist model (not MKII) on the floor, so, what the heck, let me see if it's any different...grabbed a Gretsch and a Gibson acoustic, sat down... and was blown away! WOW! a HUGE difference! I mean HUGE! Big sound, full, thick, rich cleans, tasty overdrives and distortions and every pedal effect Boss ever made inside! I'm DIGGIN' THIS AMP! So, I thought, let me do some research...and found out that the newest version, MKII was about to be shipped...and at the same price! And with significant upgrades. Hello.

So...I went to my favorite online retailer (making 6 payments, no interest and a no-hassle return policy) and ordered it. And the foot-pedal (GA-FC, sold separately).

It's everything I liked about the original artist...times ten! I've been playing thru it every day! 3 days to just get to know the amp and foot pedal, 1 gig so far, and now everyday in the online Tone Studio (thru a USB 2 cable into the computer) which opens up a whole new horizon of effects, settings, hidden drivers, and mods you can save into a library, and sample settings others have made! And save all your settings and mix and match with others, modify to your heart's content, and import into any of 8 channels on the amp. You can run up to 5 effects at once.

I have set up 2 different channels for the acoustics...one for the Gibson with active Fishman UST Aura Elipse system, and one for the Guilds with passive K&K transducer systems...and for those who know, they are VERY different sounding systems requiring different setups! A real game-changer! It's like having two acoustic amps set up for the individual guitars! The best acoustic guitar amplification I've ever heard.

The other 6 channels I have set up for my Gretsch LPB Falcon w/ TVJ Ray Butts pickups, and my 6120 w/HS Filters. Clean, super clean, reverb and delay heaven, slightly crunchy, blues drive, and heavy distortion variations. And playing with all the different effects and parameters is actually more fun, and less intimidating, than I thought it would be!

And after its all set...you have 3 different cab resonances you can select and different global contour/tone shaping settings. Plus, you have a solo control to dial in just the right amount of additional lead solo volume without changing your tone...and/or use the boost control (clean to overdrive). And you can select 100w, 50w, or 0.5w settings too. You can access the main settings from the amp (that's why I LOVE front-loaded controls, as opposed to top-loaded) or do it all thru the GA-FC foot controller. You can also add Expression pedals. And, if you really want to fill a space with sonic saturation, you can get a second amp to slave from the first and run amazing stereo sounds controlled by the first amp! (That's above my pay-grade at this time!)

And that WAZA CRAFT Green G12W speaker is the bomb! Lives up to the hype and then some!

I have no way to record anything at this time, besides, there are a bunch of youtube videos with far better players than I demoing some of what this amp can do...but very little on the amazing cleans and acoustic settings (I'll have to look into maybe doing some recording of that).

At the gig the other musicians were really amazed at the sound...the overall sound...not just volume, but fullness and clarity and quality of tone from my side of the stage, and some audience members picked up on it too! And I LOVE the acoustic and electric tones I was getting. All. In. One. Amp.

41 lbs. Less gear to haul. Solid State dependability. Modern Technology. Almost unlimited tonal possibilities.

Yeah, I'm diggin' this amp!

3

OK, I'll get one.

– Proteus

Lol!

4

Yes,these latest iterations are amazing. Can't wait to try one of these.

5

Is it any good? I can't tell if you like it or not.

6

Great review, thanks for the effort.

7

Ok, maybe I went a little overboard with my enthusiasm ( you think!?!) but I just wanted to share my experience, and surprise, about how good this amp is, and to point out how versatile as well.

I know more than a few of us play acoustic and electric at gigs and we’re always making compromises, or lugging a bunch of gear.

At the gig before the last one, I hauled my Quilter Mp200 8”, the Quilter 12” ext cab, my M-9, my pedal board, my Fishman Aura Spectrum DI/Preamp, and a bunch of cables.

Before that I was hauling a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe and a Fishman Loudbox Artist, plus pedals, etc. My back was killing me and I still wasn’t able to get all the sounds I needed.

So now I have a sort/ of “Swiss Army knife” amp and it really covers a lot and simplified the set up!

9

Don't worry, I get it! I got my '59 VS Jet last year and still want to shout from the rooftops how good it is. I'm pleased for you that it's working out - playing music is fun, and way more fun when you get the sounds you like.

10

Well if Proteus is going to get one, I’d better check it out, too, just to keep him honest.

12

Ok, maybe I went a little overboard with my enthusiasm ( you think!?!) but I just wanted to share my experience, and surprise, about how good this amp is, and to point out how versatile as well.

I know more than a few of us play acoustic and electric at gigs and we’re always making compromises, or lugging a bunch of gear.

At the gig before the last one, I hauled my Quilter Mp200 8”, the Quilter 12” ext cab, my M-9, my pedal board, my Fishman Aura Spectrum DI/Preamp, and a bunch of cables.

Before that I was hauling a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe and a Fishman Loudbox Artist, plus pedals, etc. My back was killing me and I still wasn’t able to get all the sounds I needed.

So now I have a sort/ of “Swiss Army knife” amp and it really covers a lot and simplified the set up!

– Steve

No need to apologize. It was a great review. it doesn't sound like my cup of tea, though. I'm lazy and unsophisticated (in addition to a long list of other personality flaws). When it comes to amps (and weekend plans), the less complicated, the better. But great to hear that you're so stoked.

13

Took the motorhome out for a weekend and wanted a small amp so as to not take up a lot of space, I purchased a Katana Boss that is about 8x 4 x 5high. Don't have it in front of me. That thing has a VOICE! I'm quite impressed with it so far.

14

I currently have a Roland Blues Cube Artist and love it, but when the Katana Artist first came out I was very tempted. But then the Nextone amps came out, and I thought those were great too. In the end, I've kept my Blues Cube as it does what I need it to do, but it's definitely not as versatile as the Katana amps. Hopefully I can try one out in the future.


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