Boss Katana 50 In The Store

Discussion in 'Amps' started by Tyrannocaster, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    I spent almost an hour with one of these today in my local music store. Got a chance to play with it doing a lot of different tones and I think I have a pretty good feel for the basics. I wish I had had one of my own guitars there, but tough. Anyway, at its price point ($199) I think it's probably untouchable and I am considering buying one pretty seriously. I have some great tube amps but they are either too loud or too heavy (or both) for me to deal with, especially if I want to go play somewhere. They are great for recording, and that's what I use them for. This sucker is quite loud but also sounds great at lower volumes, it weighs only 25 pounds (it's got quite a small form factor despite the 12 incher), and it has a good sounding 12" speaker. Boy, solid state has come a long way...the clean tones are fabulous, but it also seems to do the slight breakup tones well too, which is something that I haven't heard from a modeling amp before. Tons of really dirty sounds, but it cleans up very well. They have done a good job with this one.

    A word about the effects, which IMO are one of the amp's strengths and one of its weaknesses; they sound great, no doubt about it. The problem is that you can only use three at once, and IMO the control you have over them is very limited unless you are editing on a computer, but even then, you eventually have to save your new patch to the amp, and then you're stuck with all your tweaked settings except for the one the knob will let you adjust (for example, on a tremolo effect, you can adjust the speed, but not the depth. So if you change that for your new patch, you'll still have the same problem when you are back to the amp alone again.) The fact that you can only use three at once is sort of a problem, because one of them is reverb. I like reverb, but one slot is always reverb. That leaves only two others out of a potential herd of 55 effects. The out-of-the-box amp doesn't have THAT many, but IIRC it does come with 15.

    So, oddly enough, given that Boss is known for its effects, I have to give the amp a minus here. And yet, for this price, it's really worth considering. I have totally enjoyed playing my RP500 through the Twin, but that Twin is so heavy and the trunk of my Scirocco so hard to get it into that it's staying home. :)

    Having said all that, I compare the way the amp sounds with my '69 Twin and I think that on clean tones it does just as well. It won't get as loud as the Twin, but I don't want to. And the Katana does get loud. I'm used to inflated watt ratings from solid state manufacturers, but I can say it does get loud. And the dirty tones are nice too.

    All in all, it's an awfully interesting offering. My local store has it for $20 less than Sweetwater, too.
     
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  2. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    Forgot to mention that I also played one of the new Fender Mustangs. The less said about that, the better, and it was more money than the Boss. What got me irked was that the FENDER amps in it sounded awful. I HAVE a 69 Twin. I HAVE a 55 Deluxe. I've HAD tons of Fenders over the years. I know what these actually sound like, and the Mustang ain't it. I'm sorry to say that, too. I like Fender.
     
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  3. Sinster

    Sinster Well-Known Member

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    That's funny that you posted this.. I picked up a 5o today and was messing around with. Cant' find the answer I'm looking for.

    Does the adjustment you make for example for the Tube Screamer in the Clean channel carry throughout the rest of the channels? So if I select the T-Screamer on the "Crunch" channel will it be the same as it was in the Clean channel.

    The only thing I'm not liking at this point is when I set a tone in Tone Studio save it to the amp. Its automatically there when I turn on the amp. If I turn off the effect via the knob and even though I put it back to the place I had it before the parameters are off from what I had it at.
     
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  4. uwmcscott

    uwmcscott AGF Survivor Champ

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    I actually caved and bought a 50 today too. I've been scoping them out for a while and had to get some Saxophone reeds for my son. My local shop actually had one in stock and I traded in an old Peavey Blazer and my worn down Yamaha acoustic. It was a somewhat expensive lunch trip :)
     
  5. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    When you edit the patch and then save it back, you lose the exact patch you had before, if I understand your last issue. For the first, I don't know but can't you simply try it and see? The amp doesn't have channels the same way a tube amp does; rather, I think of them as saved voices. You can have four if you've updated the firmware, but that's beyond my in store experience, which didn't include a computer. I think the tube screamer carries across all the voices - the reverb does, for example. I know that for sure.
     
  6. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    They are impressive. I could care less about the metal voices but they are supposed to be fairly good but I wouldn't know. I liked the way the clean channel breaks up like a tube amp when you push it hard; it isn't like, say, a Peavy, which tends to be binary between clean a dirty with no good inbetween margin.
     
  7. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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  8. davewrites

    davewrites Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Holy schnikies, that’s a one-click click hole if I ever saw one.

    I closed the window because I don’t want to be late for work in the morning.
     
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  9. stevebway

    stevebway Well-Known Member

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    I'm not even gonna watch the video.
    I'm afraid to...
     
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  10. Sinster

    Sinster Well-Known Member

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    You update the firmware? It adds a lot more effects and 2 more channels for a total of 4. You can also change Line/Out Cabinet to Air, Modern, or Vintage.
     
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  11. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    What is the difference between the 50's Phones/Rec Out and the dedicated Line Out on the 100? Can you actually record out of the Rec Out on the 50, with all effects, etc.? That's not clear to me, despite the name of the jack.
     
  12. uwmcscott

    uwmcscott AGF Survivor Champ

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    Not yet - it's still sitting here in my office actually - haven't even plugged it in to the PC yet!
     
  13. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious about that. The vguitarforum pages said you have to first install Adobe AIR before you can do anything, which is always a bad sign to me. I just don't like (and certainly don't trust) Adobe and I'd rather not have their stuff on my computer. But if Roland is relying on it to use their software or to upgrade the firmware then you're stuck. So let us know what's involved in updating, please.
     
  14. uwmcscott

    uwmcscott AGF Survivor Champ

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    I already have AIR on my work machine as I have the whole adobe suite so no problems there.
     
  15. Sinster

    Sinster Well-Known Member

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    Fairly straight forward. Took about 3 minutes to accomplish. The instructions on the website are easy to follow.
     
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  16. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    Does the Boss editing software require AIR too, or is it just the updater? In other words, once you update it, can you dump AIR?
     
  17. Sinster

    Sinster Well-Known Member

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    Just the Studio... all you do when you update the f/w is copy a files onto the amp (shows up as a drive). The Studio allows you to dive into the effects even more..
     
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  18. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    Great. Thanks. I wish it was the other way around, but now I know.
     
  19. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    Since the 50 doesn't have a line out, can you explain that? Are you sure that isn't for the 100, which does have one? I don't understand their terminology - the 50 has a "Rec Out" but not a line out, but the 100 has both. Beyond muting the speaker, is the headphone/rec out different in some way?
     
  20. Sinster

    Sinster Well-Known Member

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    Also in Studio you can choose what chain you want. For example you can have Overdrive in front of amp or after amp.
     

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