New Amp = Boss Katana 50 MK2 _+_ THEN _+_ upgraded to the Katana 100 MK2

Steve_Karl

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Generally, I've hated and not used amps ( and tubes ) since I quit playing live in 1998,
but in Feb. 2023 I picked up a Blackstar Fly 3 to have a practice amp.
My main complaint about that little amp was it couldn't get a loud enough clean sound.

So, about 3 weeks ago, I traded the Blackstar in when purchasing a new Boss Katana 50 MK 2 and the Katana is the best amp I've ever played through or owned.

I'm mainly using the clean channel with the attenuator at 25 watts with just enough gain and boost to get a little grit with the guitar volume wide open with a strong pick attack. Master vol. between 12:00 and 2:00 usually.
The most impressive things to me about the Katana are the touch sensitivity and great dynamic range - response to picking strength - very soft to very hard,
and being able to hear the slightest change in the tone controls.

I haven't even gotten into the tone studio ( installing the app on my PC ) as of yet.
I probably will in the future but for now I'm just running the stock FX.

I've owned quite a few Black Faced Fenders in the past and with the Katana it's easy to dial in that clean sound with a little grit,
but the Katana can get a flatter more full and balanced clean jazz tone than I could ever get with an old Fender and do it all at any volume.
The gain staging is all in the Amp. Sections Gain / Volume - and the master volume and attenuator really only control loudness.

Switching to the "Brown" channel, and dialing back the gain and treble a whole lot I can get a very warm blues tone.
It's clean with a lower guitar vol. and more gritty with a bit more volume on the guitar pot and a stronger pick attack.

There are a few good videos on YouTube but if you're really curious go to the local Brick 'n' Mortar and play one.
That's all for now.
Steve
 
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I have the Blackstar Fly (both guitar & bass versions) and I agree that it's pretty basic. For me, they're totally fine to just noodle around in the house or in the backyard while keeping an eye on the kids or to move to the workshop when I'm finalizing a build or doing a maintenance job.

I took the bass version to my monthly jam session but it was drowned out by the acoustic guitars :( So I switched back to my acoustic bass.
 
I use the blackstar fly as the backyard / travel combo. Not loud, but good enough for after dinner on the patio. That Katana is on my list, glad to know it's a keeper.
 
My first real amp was a Katana, I still use it when I want a really heavy metal sound that my tube amp can't do or when I take it to my band practices
 
This is a very timely review for me, @Steve_Karl , because I am in an amp quandary right now. I've finally admitted to myself that I just don't like the Carvin V3m head, so I'm giving it to my nephew, who can really work with the insane gain it delivers. But I have been slow to pass it on to him because I don't have a viable replacement. I have been wanting to get a reasonably lightweight combo, but don't like the Line6 stuff and haven't much cared for the Blackstars I have played, either. I will go and check out this amp, and with some luck, my nephew will have his poor-man's Mesa Boogie solution sooner.
 
The black star fly 3 is a good practice amp loud enough for an apartment not so loud where I get evicted or divorced.
 
I've been a Katana fan for a few years now. I actually wound up selling both Bugeras, and an old Marshall because it's such a great amp. I got the Mk 1 head and was playing it through my Carvin 2x12S (their version of the G12T speaker) and it's both clean enough and dirty enough to handle just about anything. The head version has four presets on it, so I had a Fender Twin, modded Marshall, 5150, and Acoustic in the preset banks, and about 15 other patches wired up through the Tone Studio. It's a really great amp, especially for the price.

I used the 5150 patch for about half of the Crimson Coil album before I got the Victory Kraken, and would still be using it except the Kraken pedalboard amp is just too convenient, and when I need to shuffle off stage quick, it's easier to only have to worry about the cab.

TLDR; Katana head is great amp, especially for the price. Definitely worth it just for the Brown (5150) patch.
 
SS amps from 30 years ago compared to now…….impressive progress. Tried the Katana 50 a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised. In an A/b comparison I still prefer a warm fender-ish tube amp, but in a pinch the Katana would work.
 
Actually one ss combo from 40 years ago is great . . .. the Yamaha jx 40.
 
I have a Mk1 Katana 100C. I use it for practice, and an easy to use option for jamming with friends when I don't want to lug along a pedal board.

For this purpose it's pretty dang good. I've read, changing the speaker does wonders, and I'm curious to try
 
Not on the Katana, but if it's solid state then a neutral do it all, speaker like an eminence swamp thing would work. I don't know if eminence makes them any more, but I wrote to them, and asked them for two recommendations when I upgraded my Yamaha, and they we were not wrong. Swamp thing is great.
 
Yup same here. Has anyone changed the speaker in their Katana, and what did you change it to?

I haven't changed the speaker, but the reason I got the head versus a combo was because I had two really great cabs that I wanted to keep in the rotation; a Carvin 2x12s with their version of the Celestion G12T, and a Fender 1x12 with a Eminence Legend 75 in it.

I really like the Katana with the G12Ts. They clean up really nicely with just a nudge on the guitar, and don't fizz when you crank it up. I'm to the point now, with the Brown patch, where I've got the gain at about 1/2 and, instead of changing channels or patches, I just use guitar volume.
 
Hey there,
I was playing really loud 2 days ago ... it was making my innards vibrate.
I liked it so much that I took the Katana 50 back to the Brick'n'Mortar and traded in the Katana 50 Watt for the Katana 100 Watt.

Yea the 100 has more ooomph ... but also a cleaner, more open bottom end and more chime in the highs.
All in all a subtly better sounding amp, in my opinion. Different speaker than the 50.

More bells'n'whistles also but that's not as impressive as the slightly better sound.
The 100 has a different speaker that the 50 and the 100 is also 2" taller making a larger enclosure for the speaker.

Only down side is that it's 8 pounds heavier.
 
How much does it weigh? Under 25 Lbs? My arms can't take the heavy stuff anymore.

Edit: Looked it up 32.6 Lbs. :( Sounds good though!
 
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How much does it weigh? Under 25 Lbs? My arms can't take the heavy stuff anymore.

Edit: Looked it up 32.6 Lbs. :( Sounds good though!
Yea - I hear that.
But the 50 weighs 25.6 lbs. and it's really nice also.
 
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My Katana sits on top of more recently purchased Marshal DSL 40C. I hadn't used the Katana in a while, and this thread inspired me to start 'er up again. Forgot how easy and flexible this amp is to use.
 
I badly want a box that says Marshall. Midlife crisis. Played cheap amps since I was 15. I actually have a chassis, turret board and transformers for a 2204 that are approaching "vintage" themselves. But Truth be told I'm pretty happy with my MX-5 and i think I'd honestly be happier with a Katana than a heavy monster that needs an expensive load for me to ever use. I've spent the past four decades trying to get tube amps to sound like they're supposed to and... I get it from my modeler and not just in certain rooms during the correct lunar phase.
 
Yea ... tubes ... In the winter I used to ask the road crew to turn it on and put a moving pad over my Twin Reverb right after it got set up on stage
so that by the time we were ready to do the first set it would sound like it should. :p
 
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