Other Amps

New Amp Day - Boss Katana 100 watt 2x12

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My new Boss amplifier arrived today, a second generation Boss Katana 100 watt 2x12" custom speakers, with a GA - FC foot controller.

These are really great amplifiers, with some incredible features. 5 different "Amp Type" settings, 3 different output power settings 0.5 watt, 50 watt and 100 watt. Access to 58 Boss effects, with 15 effects on board simultaneously. The amp also has two angled "feet" that tilt the front of the amp upward when desired.

On the back - Line out, headphones out, effects send and return, expression pedal in, foot controller in, USB - B in.

On the top knobs left to right - Amp Type (Brown, Lead, Crunch, Clean, Acoustic), Gain, Volume. Equalizer - Bass, Middle, Treble. Effects - Booster/Modulation, Delay/FX, Reverb. Tone Settings - CH1, CH2, CH3, CH4 buttons, Presence, Master Volume, Power Control, Power On/Off.

Effects are fully addressable by top knobs and through Boss Tone Studio Software. This amp weighs in at 42 lbs, much less than my old Fender tube amp, which weights as much as a bag of cement mix!

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A musician friend of mine, plays guitar with me has been saying how good in general there amps are and the difference in weight compared to twin valves and old school non valve. We are both just into our 70s and weight is a issue aside of the other challenges"" .Be interested to know what you think and look forward to some clips.

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I know Boss as I have their pedals but didn’t know this amp so I looked it up on YouTube. Here is a demo

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a better analysis -

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Hey, Wade. I'm pretty happy with my 50-watter. What do you think of its big brother? We'd love to get your review. In particular, as Proteus said, "The sound, man!".

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Remember, Wade? You commented: "True, tubes do not have sound. When I was in Army tech school, back in 1979, we were heavily trained in tube technology. I learned that audio tubes amplify the positive harmonics of the audio signal, which are pleasing to the ears. Transistors, on the other hand, amplify the negative harmonics, which have a dryer or harsher sound. I believe that the more modern solid state audio sets can compensate for this, and emulate the tubes characteristics. This is probably why very serious audiophiles use a tube amplifier on their stereo systems, tubes generally just sound better."

11

Hey guys, I spent the better part of yesterday putting the new amplifier through the paces. I'm totally blown away by this amp it's completely changed my mind about how I view solid-state amplifiers. I got the big boy in the Katana series, it's capable of playing any venue I can imagine. It's a very sturdily built amp, it feels very solid but is about 25 lbs lighter than my 1980 Fender 75 Watt valve amp. The controls are fairly easy to manipulate, there is nothing too cryptic about them, but it will take a short time to become familiar with them. It's a very responsive amplifier, the clean setting has enormous head room, staying clean at shattering volume.

In the Crunch and Brown Amp Type settings, the volume can be rolled back to clean, then rolled back up to bring in the dirt, just like a valve amp. The channel buttons, mentioned in the video above, are for loading your favorite control panel settings. It will store a particular knob setting, including volume and gain, into any one of 8 channel slots (CH1-CH4 A bank, CH-5-CH8 B bank ) that can called up as needed either by the buttons or the optional foot switch.

The amp also has a dedicated Acoustic setting, with circuitry especially designed for acoustic instruments. I have several acoustic guitars with LR Baggs Anthem True Mic pickups, and a mandolin with a Fishman ebony bridge with a piezo pickup in it. I plan to test the Acoustic setting today, I'll report back with the results.

There is an enormous amount of different effects available, the amp comes pre loaded with 15 of the more popular effects. But you have access to 58 Boss effects (15 can be on board simultaneously) via a computer with the Boss Tone Studio software and connected to the USB type B port with a USB 2 - USB type B cable. It's the same cable that you use for a printer, but unfortunately was not included! I had read about the USB cable not being included, and purchased a 10' cable from Amazon, for $6, in advance of the amplifier arriving.

The 100 watt also is available in 1x12" speaker, which cuts down the weight significantly. The 100 watt versions have a great deal more options than the 50 watt amp at only a very modest increase in the price. The foot controller is an option that I purchased as a package deal along with the amplifier.

I can't say enough good things about my new Boss Katana amplifier. I had great expectations, and was still bowled over by its performance. So far I'm seeing a very minimal learning curve, when compared to multi modeling/effects units, like the Line 6 POD 's and some other multi effects floor foot stompers. It's not a complete no brainer, but it's actually quite intuitive, with only a minimal amount of effort needed to learn how to use. I'll keep you all updated as I continue to dig into this lovely beast of an amplifier.

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Remember, Wade? You commented: "True, tubes do not have sound. When I was in Army tech school, back in 1979, we were heavily trained in tube technology. I learned that audio tubes amplify the positive harmonics of the audio signal, which are pleasing to the ears. Transistors, on the other hand, amplify the negative harmonics, which have a dryer or harsher sound. I believe that the more modern solid state audio sets can compensate for this, and emulate the tubes characteristics. This is probably why very serious audiophiles use a tube amplifier on their stereo systems, tubes generally just sound better."

– jeffed

Yes jeffed, thanks for pointing that out ; ) you got me on that one, and I feel a bit silly for making that comment before I tried out one of these amps! It is a true statement, in theory however, I also wrote "I believe that the more modern solid state audio sets can compensate for this, and emulate the tubes characteristics". That is true, I'm finding out, a great deal, with the newer stuff that's out these days. Yeah I'm still learning, thank goodness, and I beg everyone's pardon for stepping on my own Richard. While I may have preferred a tube amplifier, with all the new features, I just can't lug my old tube amps around anymore. In March of this year, I had an extreme back surgery. I now have titanium rods and screws, from the base of my neck to my pelvis. Heavy lifting is definitely gone for me, and I found an amplifier that is a very satisfactory replacement at a much reduced weight.

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...and I also wrote that my choice of amp was always going to be a compromise. Such is also the case with you for another reason - your back. I'm glad the Katana is a good solution for you in that department. I really am. Your feedback on the sound will be of interest to us all as you delve into it further.

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Jeff, I too am very happy that you got your Katana 50 1x12. I really don't think you could have made a better choice. I did exhaustive research before deciding on the Katana. I remember the thread when you were looking for a new amplifier, I was most embarrassingly being somewhat of a valve snob. For that I truly apologize, and stand corrected, I spoke (typed) with an opinion that was out dated. I was seldom more happy to be wrong, I'm using a lot of old school gear, and based my opinion on days bygone. I must be very careful about this in the future. It seems like I got caught with my pants down on this issue, and I'm actually quite pleased that you pointed that out. It would seem this old dog still has a lot of new tricks to learn!

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OK, I tried out the Acoustic channel on my new amplifier today. I used my Seagull acoustic guitar, that has an LR Baggs Anthem True Mic pickup system and my old Kentucky mandolin, that has a Fishman ebony piezo bridge pickup.

The Seagull sounded magnificent though this amplifier, it had a deep rich sound with sparkling highs. Every note in chords were clear and distinct, it has a beautiful voice. It sounds just like the guitar only louder, very natural and clean. I had to be careful about feedback, even using the lowest power setting, this amp has a lot of gain. It sounds way better than than my Fender Acoustasonic 90, much fuller. The Acoustasonic has a single 10" speaker, far too small to adequately handle the 90 watts output. I had been using the Acoustasonic mostly as a monitor, and XLR-ing it to the sound board. Although the Katana has a line output, it is more than capable of standing on its own, in just about any venue.

Just like the guitar, my mandolin sounds great played through the Katana. I use a K&N pre-amp, clipped to my belt. The Fishman is a passive pickup, and I use the pre-amp to boost the output and for 3 way EQ. Once again, I had to be careful not to face the amplifier, to avoid feedback. This is not something unique to this amp, all amplified acoustic instruments will feedback under the same circumstances. I had so much fun today, it's great having a new toy to play with. All in all, I'm very satisfied with my new Katana 100 watt amplifier. It's technology at its finest and was well thought out in design.

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Congratulations on buying a great amp. I would buy one myself, (along with a Magnatone) but cannot justify all the combos I already own to my wife. How would you imagine the half-watt setting is for recording?
All of the modelling amps (and tube) that I have are far too loud , and with the master gains turned right down, are weedy, and not full and natural-sounding, especially for clean guitar sounds. Pedal board direct (Boss GT100) is not any better. Is the Katana footswitch included in the price?

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I love my 50 watt Katana, and I haven't even gotten into the software yet. It's great right out of the box. Responsive, and LIGHT!

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Congratulations on buying a great amp. I would buy one myself, (along with a Magnatone) but cannot justify all the combos I already own to my wife. How would you imagine the half-watt setting is for recording?
All of the modelling amps (and tube) that I have are far too loud , and with the master gains turned right down, are weedy, and not full and natural-sounding, especially for clean guitar sounds. Pedal board direct (Boss GT100) is not any better. Is the Katana footswitch included in the price?

– richie...

Hi richie, that's one of the cool things about this amp, the ability to throttle down the wattage. The amp can be used for recording in two different ways, it has a line out 1/4" jack and a type B USB - type 2 USB output for digital recording. I think that the 0.5 watt power setting would be perfect for recording (though I haven't had a chance to try it yet). The 100 watt setting puts out about 130 decibels of earthquake volume!

The 6 button foot controller is unfortunately an option. I bought the 2 together as a package deal for an additional $90 over the cost of the amp alone. Buying the two together gave me a very modest savings of about $10. I really didn't want to buy an amp without a foot controller, there is so much that the controller does for you. It can activate 8 different stored panal settings as well turn effects on and off. It makes the amp operation totally hands free.


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