Other Amps

Opinions: Katana 50 MkII vs Mustang LT50

1

I've been reading lots of good things lately about both of these amps, but haven't yet come across a Katana in the wild to try out. Last weekend I played in a small backyard gathering through a borrowed Fender Mustang, and was pretty impressed with the sound with only a minimum of fiddling.

My purposes would be for practicing, playing at home and for small casual gigs like this where lugging a big amp and a buncha pedals doesn't make sense, but having access to some effects and nice tones from clean to crunchy would be a plus. Maybe some recording too.

Any pros or cons of either from those of you with hands-on experience? They're comparably priced, both with 12" speakers, and more power than I'd need --- I see that the Katana can be run at 50, 25 or half a watt, which sounds appealing, the Mustang, maybe not?

Comments on sound, reliability, ease of use are much welcomed!

For more serious applications, I've got the tube thing covered with a Mesa Boogie Nomad 45 (small but hella heavy) and an Epiphone Blues Custom 30.

2

I'll be watching this thread, very interested in the Katana as a practice/experiment with sounds/no need to fire up tubes amp. The two differences in features I've read about is that the Katana has an acoustic guitar model, that reputedly sounds pretty good. The Fender has a line out for a PA if ever needed, while the Katana has a headphone out if I am understanding it correctly. They both get good reviews.

3

Both have headphone jacks and Aux inputs. The Katana also has a USB output for direct recording or computer input --- not sure if I'd find that useful or not.

4

I own a Katana 100 watt 2x12 amplifier /GA-FC 6 Button Foot Controller. I wanted mine for practice, rehearsals, and the occasional gig. It's filled my needs perfectly. The power mode is extremely beneficial, or it has been for me.

The USB port is for hooking up to a computer, and opening the Boss Tone Studio. It allows me to download up to 65 different Boss Effects, eighteen different effects can be loaded into the amp at the same time, and the software allows me to arrange effects chains and set parameters on each of the on board effects.

I really like the amp, and for a lot of good reasons.

  1. I like the tones I can get out it.

  2. It's convenient as heck with all of the effects capabilities.

  3. The power selecter! I use all three settings .5 watt, 50 watts, and 100 watts (outdoor gigs)

  4. It's not heavy! The 100 watt 2x12 weighs 42lbs (the 50 watt 1x12 weighs 25lbs)

  5. It is a very intuitive and easy to use amp. NO little screen that you have to scroll endlessly to find anything, everything is right up top on the control panel.

  6. It's not very expensive, especially when compared to a good tube amp.

EDIT : I really can't say enough good things about my Boss Katana amplifier. The GA-FC Foot Controller, in my opinion, is a must have component. They get you for an extra hundred dollars for the foot controller, but it frees you up from having to fiddle with the amp so much. It also allows you to add two expression pedals (they plug into the foot controller).

The Boss Katana is one of the best all around amplifier systems that I've ever owned. I really can't compare it to my 1980 Fender 75 Combo (15") Lead amp (tubes), because they are from two different worlds. The Fender 75 weighs 80lbs, plus I can stack it on top of a 4x12 Fender speaker cabinet (another 65lbs). The only effect that it has is a reverb tank, everything else needs to be added with pedal effects. It's a lot weight to be lugging around, and I'm 60 years old now.

I bought the 100 watt 2x12 because I don't want to have to upgrade later, and I wanted an amp the was good for practice and performance. I also didn't want to be carrying a big pedal board with me to band practice and gigs. I think that I only carry three pedals in my gig bag now, and they are for hooking up to a stereo rig.

I have the original version of the Katana, but firmware updates have made it pretty much the same as the second version (except the second version has one physical additional modeling setting.

5

I own a Katana 100 watt 2x12 amplifier /GA-FC 6 Button Foot Controller. I wanted mine for practice, rehearsals, and the occasional gig. It's filled my needs perfectly. The power mode is extremely beneficial, or it has been for me.

The USB port is for hooking up to a computer, and opening the Boss Tone Studio. It allows me to download up to 65 different Boss Effects, eighteen different effects can be loaded into the amp at the same time, and the software allows me to arrange effects chains and set parameters on each of the on board effects.

I really like the amp, and for a lot of good reasons.

  1. I like the tones I can get out it.

  2. It's convenient as heck with all of the effects capabilities.

  3. The power selecter! I use all three settings .5 watt, 50 watts, and 100 watts (outdoor gigs)

  4. It's not heavy! The 100 watt 2x12 weighs 42lbs (the 50 watt 1x12 weighs 25lbs)

  5. It is a very intuitive and easy to use amp. NO little screen that you have to scroll endlessly to find anything, everything is right up top on the control panel.

  6. It's not very expensive, especially when compared to a good tube amp.

EDIT : I really can't say enough good things about my Boss Katana amplifier. The GA-FC Foot Controller, in my opinion, is a must have component. They get you for an extra hundred dollars for the foot controller, but it frees you up from having to fiddle with the amp so much. It also allows you to add two expression pedals (they plug into the foot controller).

The Boss Katana is one of the best all around amplifier systems that I've ever owned. I really can't compare it to my 1980 Fender 75 Combo (15") Lead amp (tubes), because they are from two different worlds. The Fender 75 weighs 80lbs, plus I can stack it on top of a 4x12 Fender speaker cabinet (another 65lbs). The only effect that it has is a reverb tank, everything else needs to be added with pedal effects. It's a lot weight to be lugging around, and I'm 60 years old now.

I bought the 100 watt 2x12 because I don't want to have to upgrade later, and I wanted an amp the was good for practice and performance. I also didn't want to be carrying a big pedal board with me to band practice and gigs. I think that I only carry three pedals in my gig bag now, and they are for hooking up to a stereo rig.

I have the original version of the Katana, but firmware updates have made it pretty much the same as the second version (except the second version has one physical additional modeling setting.

– Wade H

Wade, I had a question about one of the effects. Does the octave effect work with the same (flexible) parameters as the Boss OC-3 or OC-5? Can you dial in a bass note, only up to a certain scale degree? (eg say every note, Db and below, produce an octave lower note) This would be for boom chick purposes primarily. Thanks.

6

Capricorn, I believe that it does have the same flexible parameters as the OD-3 & 5. I haven't messed around with the Octaver in a while, but I remember that it was a very useful octave down (and blend), and was pretty much the same as the stand alone foot pedal is.

7

Capricorn, I believe that it does have the same flexible parameters as the OD-3 & 5. I haven't messed around with the Octaver in a while, but I remember that it was a very useful octave down (and blend), and was pretty much the same as the stand alone foot pedal is.

– Wade H

Thanks Wade. I might stick my toe in with the Katana 50.

8

I've been using the Kat 50 since they hit the market- many many gigs..country, rockabilly, covers. I suspect the Kat 50 Mk2 is mighty good too. I mic mine through PAs and use it as a regular amp with pedals. Probably the only amp you will need as a gigging musician regardless of price. Very roadworthy, can withstand drops out of vans etc

9

I keep looking at these things -- my valve stuff is just getting too much to keep schlepping around (once the schlepping starts up again, whenever that is). Any comparisons between the Katana version 2 and the Boss Nextone? I know the Nextones cost more, but it has to be cheaper than repeat trips to an osteopath. I don't need lots of bells and whistles or usb connectivity, just good solid clean tones plus a useable basic reverb and delay. I use pedals for anything else.

10

I keep looking at these things -- my valve stuff is just getting too much to keep schlepping around (once the schlepping starts up again, whenever that is). Any comparisons between the Katana version 2 and the Boss Nextone? I know the Nextones cost more, but it has to be cheaper than repeat trips to an osteopath. I don't need lots of bells and whistles or usb connectivity, just good solid clean tones plus a useable basic reverb and delay. I use pedals for anything else.

– Dave_K

The Nextone seems like a step up in tone/quality, but I'm not sure I'm seeing that in the you tube samples (always all over the place though). You get the reverb and delay (or tremolo if you change it on the computer I think). And the various amp models. I guess you lose the acoustic models if that is important. I hope people weigh in on the Nextone. I'm leaning to the Katana 50 just to get started with modeling amps. Weight/cost/features seem about right. But am on the fence.

11

I can't imagine you not really liking the Boss Katana amplifier, Capricorn. The 50 watt model is very reasonably priced, and it's a tremendous bang for the buck. I edited my comments above to include some things I thought about later. In any event, I hope you get an amp that suits your needs, I don't think you'll go wrong with the 50 watt Boss Katana. Good luck!

@Dave_K, the Katana can be used right out of the box, without ever hooking up to a computer. It comes pre-loaded with the most popular effects, and to be quite honest, after I updated the firmware and tweeked things to my liking, I rarely hook up to a computer. You can get the most out of the Katana if you use a computer to customize your settings. You should probably at least check for firmware updates, but after that, you can easily just use the amp as it is.

12

I can't imagine you not really liking the Boss Katana amplifier, Capricorn. The 50 watt model is very reasonably priced, and it's a tremendous bang for the buck. I edited my comments above to include some things I thought about later. In any event, I hope you get an amp that suits your needs, I don't think you'll go wrong with the 50 watt Boss Katana. Good luck!

@Dave_K, the Katana can be used right out of the box, without ever hooking up to a computer. It comes pre-loaded with the most popular effects, and to be quite honest, after I updated the firmware and tweeked things to my liking, I rarely hook up to a computer. You can get the most out of the Katana if you use a computer to customize your settings. You should probably at least check for firmware updates, but after that, you can easily just use the amp as it is.

– Wade H

Thanks Wade I looked over the edit. I'm leaning towards getting the 50 to get started. I was thinking this was very computer dependent, and that for me was a negative but you make the great point that the computer hook up can be useful, but not mandatory all the time.

13

Wade - do you have problems keeping the volume levels consistent between patches?

14

It's an interesting amp, the Katana, and certainly popular. If I got it, it would be to have all those effects on call in one amp, for the price of one effects pedal. I've never heard one in person, but they sound good in the demos I've seen online.

Parabar, what's the line out like for recording into a DAW?

I have a Deluxe Reverb Tone Master, so the conveniences are covered there - light-weight, volume attenuation, line out - only missing the headphone jack for silent playing, but I get that when I plug it into my mixer.

15

Marty guitar, "Boss Katana, Everything You Need To know".

Capricorn, he uses the Octaver about half way through the video, and it tracks the root notes amazingly well. He also gives a very good overview of the Boss Tone Studio (on the computer). This is a probably the best review of the Boss Katana that I've ever seen.

Dave_K, he also talks about using the amp "as is" with the pre-loaded effects. You don't have to use a computer at all (except for firmware updates).

16

Marty guitar, "Boss Katana, Everything You Need To know".

Capricorn, he uses the Octaver about half way through the video, and it tracks the root notes amazingly well. He also gives a very good overview of the Boss Tone Studio (on the computer). This is a probably the best review of the Boss Katana that I've ever seen.

Dave_K, he also talks about using the amp "as is" with the pre-loaded effects. You don't have to use a computer at all (except for firmware updates).

– Wade H

Wade, that was a great video to watch, I think I understand how to use it with the computer now. I had watched other videos and they never made it clear, when using the computer, to save your sound you still did that at the amp! The octave sounded good. All that to say I ordered the 50, and should see it in the next few days. Thanks for all the advice/perspecitive.


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