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Thread: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

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    8 strings of madness! JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    Just deleted my Mesa thread because it makes absolutely no sense for me to get another fire breathing valve monster to crank up once a week in my garage.

    Iíve never played a Katana, but Iíve heard a bunch, and several times been extremely impressed with the tone before I saw what the amp was. All Katana options are pretty cheap... do I want the 50 or 100 combo? 50 is SUPER cheap, but the 100 looks like it has a lot of neato features.

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    I poop in my KISS diapers Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    I have played/heard a couple of 50's. Plenty loud, plenty of cool stuffs.
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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    All of the reviews (in print, and word-on-the-street) have been positive for either. I'd go for a lighter option unless you need the extra power specifically (not just 'it would be nice to have).
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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    Quote Originally Posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
    Just deleted my Mesa thread because it makes absolutely no sense for me to get another fire breathing valve monster to crank up once a week in my garage.

    Iíve never played a Katana, but Iíve heard a bunch, and several times been extremely impressed with the tone before I saw what the amp was. All Katana options are pretty cheap... do I want the 50 or 100 combo? 50 is SUPER cheap, but the 100 looks like it has a lot of neato features.
    Nasally, obnoxious tone that I find grating to my ears after 2 minutes of listening. The clean channels are OK. I do not recommend.
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    8 strings of madness! JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    Quote Originally Posted by blind1 View Post
    Nasally, obnoxious tone that I find grating to my ears after 2 minutes of listening. The clean channels are OK. I do not recommend.
    Interesting. First negative thing I’ve heard.

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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    Quote Originally Posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
    Interesting. First negative thing I’ve heard.
    I'd go sit in Guitar Center and mess with one if I were you. I have played in a band with another guitarist that used the Katana and it just has some very weird tonal characteristics to it, IMO. I also purchased one for my music program, because of its low price point, but ultimately I regret it because the tone is just not good. It is thin, tinny, nasally to say the least. There are better amps out there and my opinion isn't dismissing modeling technology in total, but I cannot recommend this amp based on my experiences with it.
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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    ^ thanks

    Got a modeler you do recommend? Need at least one 12” speaker.

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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    Quote Originally Posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
    ^ thanks

    Got a modeler you do recommend? Need at least one 12” speaker.
    In the same price range, I don't really have anything to recommend. The higher end modeling gear seems to do well, such as Fractals. The Roland Cube has a decent tone for its price range (similar to the Katana, however I think it is now disc). https://reverb.com/p/roland-cube-80g...itar-combo-amp as an example..
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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    I've never played a Katana but from the clips I've heard it has left me unimpressed. Having said that, I feel the Katanas was a step in the wrong direction for Boss as it seems the Roland Cubes that were discontinued sound much better and aren't so processed sounding and artificial sounding like the Boss Katanas.
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    Mojo's Minions Diego's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    Do you really want/need all the bells and whistles from a modeling amp?

    I'm thinking something like a tiny Joyo head or the Peavey Piranha with a 1x12 would be better in the end.

    If you have to have all the modeling stuff, I liked the Vox AV60 a lot recently.
    Does a lot less things than a Katana but it sounds way better IMO. It just felt and responded more naturally to my ears.
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    Mojo's Minions PS412's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    I have the Katana 100 head. It does not compare to my Fender or Mesa by any means.
    But it was way way more affordable. Best bang for your buck amp in that price range in my opinion. It's like anything, if you spend time with it, you'll find some neat sounds.
    I feel ok recommending it but try before you buy.

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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    The Katana was a windfall for Roland. Its CHEAP, thats part of the appeal. Theres frickin pedals that cost way more

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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    The price is cheap on it.. that is for sure... so is the available sounds. The Boss Katana, IMO, sounds very similar to Spider Line 6 amps. Unpleasant, computerized, harsh. There is something about the frequencies generated through the computer algorithms that just quite frankly hurts my ears and causes ear fatigue after listening to these amps for a prolonged period of time. Any local bands with guitarists using this amp have the same sound.. I literally just leave the venue after hearing the bands poor sound production for 5 minutes. FWIW - although alot of folks tell you "the audience doesn't care" blah blah, I disagree and think the audience subconsciously is aware of the sound quality. If it didn't matter, then all bar bands and major acts would just use the cheapest possible amps because.. who cares?

    As Diego suggested, you can likely find some great small units like the Peavey Piranha, or my recommendation for a lunch box amp is the Orange Micro Dark. Great responsive and dynamic tone, low price point, you can run it with a cab OR use the headphones out.
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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    I use the Katana 100 1x12 as my bedroom/everything amp and I love it, for it being an SS amp I find it to be far better than countless other modelers I've tried out (spent hours/months at GC/SAM ASH/Local shop looking for an upgrade) but since I play quietly while the rest of the house sleeps most of the time I can't commit to tubes to never use them �� anyways, unless serious volume or an effects loop is a must, the 50 should be good! 1x12, power attenuator, ch1/2 FTSW capable as well as EXP pedal for wah or volume control. Plus boss tone studio is a MUST for the amp. It's okay with the factory settings but once you dive in the software (once or twice and save to the amp) then the amp really comes alive! Easily one of the best bedroom/neighbor friendly amps on the market.

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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    I tried first the Katana 100w (mainly because I wanted the option a the fx loop) and returned it, not able to get a good sound out of it. Then I read Gearpage mega-thread (https://www.thegearpage.net/board/in...fiers.1744135/) and figured the problem should be me not the amp. So I bought the Katana 50w because I wanted something small and lightweight as I have other amps. I learned how to create very good presets out of it. If someone cannot get a usable sound out of the Katana it's because, as any piece of gear, they don't take the time to learn how to do it.

    The sound of the Katana is basically around the power section, so crank the master volume (at 0.5w/25w/50w) and set gain/channel volume to taste. The speaker in the K50 is pretty stiff, so plug an mp3 player in the aux-in and let it play loud for 24 hours. The K50 doesn't have a presence knob, so depending of the guitars or the pedals in front, you may have to connect to a computer to lower it using Boss Tone Studio or Gumtown's FxFloorBoard.

    Just take into account that Katana 50w will never be on par with a boutique rig and being a 1x12" open back combo it will never sound like a 4x12" close back stack, that was not the intended design. But it can be an excellent additional amp when you don't want to take that expensive tube amp for a jam with friends. Cheap ($229), light (25lbs), good sound, responsive, built-in effects, 4 presets (which is enough in my case for a quick jam with 2-button footswitch), aux-in with an impressive 0.5w mode for late at night practice when you cannot crank the tubes.

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    Mojo's Minions masta' c's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    I strongly prefer the sound and options of the Katana 100 over the 50. After trying both, I found the 100 was worth the small increase in price for the extra options and better factory speaker. Also, the amp is still very reasonable weight-wise.

    For the record, I have owned several Cubes (including the "big" Cube 80XL), as well. Saying the Katana was a "step in the wrong direction" for Boss/Roland is something I simply can't agree with. While I would trust an old Cube to survive a 10-foot drop over my Katana 100, I wouldn't trade the Katana for any of the Cube models.

    This is the best sounding small amp I've owned since I gave up my Vypyr 120 "Tube" model (which had plenty of shortcomings, but sounded d**n good).

    The Katana sounds NOTHING like a "Line 6 Spyder". The same person says he'll walk out of a venue if he spots a Katana in use...that's not the kind of person you should be considering advice from!

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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    Quote Originally Posted by masta' c View Post
    The same person says he'll walk out of a venue if he spots a Katana in use...that's not the kind of person you should be considering advice from!
    Gate-keep much bro? Maybe re-read because that's not what was said anyway. What is the problem with leaving a crappy dive bar with a band playing the same tired covers anyway? That's the only places these things pop up. I've never seen one at a 'real' concert setting or any upscale nightclubs.

    With rock bands fading into the background in favor of DJs, we have to wonder why. One of my guesses: lack of unique, dynamic sound production. Part of the mystique and exciting factors when you saw bands back in the day is the sound they bring to the table - like.. Pearl Jam's guitarists.. they weren't out there using the cheapest gear possible. Those guys were using Plexi's and modded JCM's. Sure, the average audience member doesn't know amps and gear, but I think that we all subconsciously pickup on the liveliness and dynamic character of the music.

    /rant

    tl;dr - buy a $200 bedroom amp if you want. That's exactly what it will sound like. Anybody saying "best amp evar" or "beats my Twin Reverbs tone" is blowing smoke in your face. Again.. what do I know about these amps, well, I have one at my work that I hear every day. Also, when you watch reviews, don't confuse good TECHNIQUE with what tone is.
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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    Quote Originally Posted by blind1 View Post
    With rock bands fading into the background in favor of DJs, we have to wonder why.
    Maybe it has to do with people walking out of their early cover band gigs with their Boss Katanas . . . so they just don't see much future in playing guitar. :P
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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    Quote Originally Posted by blind1 View Post
    Anybody saying "best amp evar" or "beats my Twin Reverbs tone" is blowing smoke in your face.
    No one said that. I own an old Super Reverb, and don't expect the Katana to make me sell it.

    Again.. what do I know about these amps, well, I have one at my work that I hear every day. Also, when you watch reviews, don't confuse good TECHNIQUE with what tone is.
    I've been a dyed-in-the-wool tube snob since I got the Super. Zero interest in digital whatsoever. Last year, I was sitting in a brewery listening to a band. They played a range of covers, Tom Petty, Allmans, Black Crowes, and originals of that sort. Spent an hour being really impressed by their tones, really good dirty rock sound. Went over to see what they were using, and both had Katana 100s.

    Appreciate the heads up on the difference between technique and tone, but I've been at this for a minute, so I'm aware.

  20. #20
    Mojo's Minions devastone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Boss Katana 100 vs 50

    You might check out the Artist version of the Katana, in the side by side comparisons it seems to be a much better choice for a little more $.


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