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Boss Katana amps
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Guitars, Basses, Amps & FX  
Author Boss Katana amps
Jason Brock
Anyone have a Katana? What do you think? Have you also tried running synths or other things through it?

https://www.boss.info/us/products/katana-100/
I'm considering the 100 1x12 combo as a step up from my little THR10. After listening to a lot of demos and reading reviews, I can't find anything wrong with it, the sounds I'm hearing are excellent.

One specific thing I'm wondering about is bass response, particularly on other nstruments besides guitar. It does have an aux input on the back, but the speaker is not "full range". I also have a Vox T-60 bass combo, and sometimes I like to run synths or drum samples through it to give them a bit of liveliness. The Vox can really pump out a nice kick drum. I wouldn't expect the open-back Katana to be quite as good at that as a bass amp, but I'd like to know if anyone has tried such a thing with them.
sduck
I've heard some great sounding demos online, but when I tried one in the store I couldn't really get any basic sounds I liked. But maybe that's just lack of time to learn how to dial it in. Despite all the bad press, I also tried one of the tiny Fender GT40's and really liked it, enough to buy one. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone as a main amp, but for my purposes, as just a low volume practice amp, it works great. Doesn't wake up the wife, unlike the Mesa Boogie, which makes the police arrive anytime after 10 PM even at it's lowest volume setting.
Jason Brock
Thanks for the opinion. I'd probably never need the Katana's loudness, so I'll just stick with my THR10. I've even gotten some decent sounds plugging the headphone out of the THR into my Vox bass amp, if I'm in the mood to wake the neighbors.

That Fender looks nice, but with the screen and alpha dial it's probably more complicated than what I want. And no Mids EQ? That's what interested me in the Katana, it seems simple and straightforward like the THR, just in a bigger package.
GovernorSilver
Jason Brock wrote:
Anyone have a Katana? What do you think? Have you also tried running synths or other things through it?

https://www.boss.info/us/products/katana-100/
I'm considering the 100 1x12 combo as a step up from my little THR10. After listening to a lot of demos and reading reviews, I can't find anything wrong with it, the sounds I'm hearing are excellent.

One specific thing I'm wondering about is bass response, particularly on other nstruments besides guitar. It does have an aux input on the back, but the speaker is not "full range". I also have a Vox T-60 bass combo, and sometimes I like to run synths or drum samples through it to give them a bit of liveliness. The Vox can really pump out a nice kick drum. I wouldn't expect the open-back Katana to be quite as good at that as a bass amp, but I'd like to know if anyone has tried such a thing with them.


Ok, kind of a year late reply, but hey I just got a Katana 100.

I'm guessing the factory speaker is a typical guitar speaker. Some have claimed that certain brand aftermarket guitar speakers (Jensen? Eminence? I forgot...) can handle the sustained punishment of loud bass guitar, Minimoog bass, etc. for days on end, but... try at your own risk. I was in a band where the bass player blew up the guitarists' amp speaker while goofing around - didn't help that the guitar amp was a poor quality imitation of a classic 60s design.

I have a couple of Electro-Voice powwered speakers and will probably continue running my synths through them, only involving the Katana for experimentation that does not put the speaker under any significant load - eg. recording through the USB connection.

My electric violin and guitar tones have been so-so, partly because of my mediocre musicianship, but also partly because of the lack of speaker simulation, which is such an important piece of the guitar amp sound; and for a passable overdriven amp sound, the power tube section has to also be considered. I was going to get a Mooer Radar power amp/speaker simulator pedal. but then I saw the Katana on sale for under $270. About $100 more than the pedal to get a grab-and-go amp, with power amp sims, speaker sim, FX, etc... seemed like an easy decision for me. With the band I play with, I end up not using synths anyway.

I plan to put my ART SplitMix in the effects loop, running it in parallel. The SplitMix splits signal into the Cocolase and Eventide H9. I had the outputs of those two devices going into their own channels on my Mackie mixer but will try running them back into the SplitMix.

Before I go too crazy with the audio routing stuff though, I plan to get familiar with the internal FX. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the Katana. I have the Power knob set to the lowest setting for home practice.
lumena
Maybe check in with vguitarforum
Lots of good katana info there.
GovernorSilver
lumena wrote:
Maybe check in with vguitarforum
Lots of good katana info there.


Agreed about the info. Not the best place to go if you have a specific question. For example if you ask about example compressor settings, they will answer with links to 50-page threads, some PDFs, then tell you to bugger off and RTFM.

But it's great for just browsing for info when you don't have an urgent question.
GovernorSilver
Ok, after some searching on that other forum, it turns out that peeps have run synths and bass guitar into a Katana, but mainly for home practice.

The usual warning about speaker damage still applies when running bass heavy sounds into it at gig levels.

Another consideration is the amp has an open-back speaker design. Close-back is what you really want for synth sounds - at least for playing live. But if you're just looking to record, you can obviously get around that by using speaker simulation instead of the real speaker.
lumena
GovernorSilver wrote:
lumena wrote:
Maybe check in with vguitarforum
Lots of good katana info there.


Agreed about the info. Not the best place to go if you have a specific question. For example if you ask about example compressor settings, they will answer with links to 50-page threads, some PDFs, then tell you to bugger off and RTFM.

But it's great for just browsing for info when you don't have an urgent question.


Yes I agree. The info is there but it's a hard community to actually participate in. I have been on that board for years and no matter what help I post or ask for it's pretty much crickets. Still links to the manuals etc is good and some of the main posters are Roland junkies they buy most of it and actually try it in the real world-
I looked at the katana a bit and it seemed like the thing to do was get a head and use whatever speaker you are comfortable with. That said the 50w combo is cheap enough to use until you blow the speaker and then pop a better one in. If that was your course, I would look in the direction of something from Tone Tubby and definitely get something that is over rated for the power amp by a power of 2... 50watts get a 100watt rated speaker. Getting distortion from overdriving speakers is really counter productive with an amp that has a lot of tone shaping built in.
GovernorSilver
I bought my Katana 100 for $270 during the last Memorial Day weekend sale. I play in my friend's band - her amp is a JC-120, so I knew I'd need at least 100W to be heard. My 20W tube amp was definitely not enough.

I've seen some Katana owners switch out the speaker almost immediately. The OP didn't mention if he intended to play live, but I agree that if I were him and wanted the bass response for synths I'd go for a Katana head and closed-back speaker cabinet instead of a combo, since the combos are open-back.

For my own synth stuff I have an Electro-Voice ZXA1. To get better guitar or electric violin sounds out of that I would have had to get a Mooer Radar or other power amp sim/speaker sim unit. The Katana addresses that issue nicely for me, at such a cheap price.
hw408
I got a katana and liked that it had a variety of watts settings, to get decent sound at low volume (apartment). I liked the sound. It seemed like too many practice amps have menus of digital crap nowadays, and katana seemed as close to straight forward as there was.

I also have a marshall 2x12 i justify using more often because better distortion flavor somehow.

Katana wasnt bad for low volume. Never really cranked it unfortunately.
edmons
hw408 wrote:
I got a katana and liked that it had a variety of watts settings, to get decent sound at low volume (apartment). I liked the sound. It seemed like too many practice amps have menus of digital crap nowadays, and katana seemed as close to straight forward as there was.

I also have a marshall 2x12 i justify using more often because better distortion flavor somehow.

Katana wasnt bad for low volume. Never really cranked it unfortunately.


Totally worth it!
GovernorSilver
I was supposed to bring the Katana to band rehearsal for the first time but suffered a back injury - not because of the amp, btw.

I'll eventually get a chance to use it with Power Control at 50W or 100W in the band setting. 0.5W setting is indeed fantastic for home practice with any of the Amp Type settings - all the way up to Brown.
jbuonacc
just got the Katana 100 Head, the little speaker in this thing is loud as hell. a few comments on it...

i wasn't happy with this amp at first, it felt completely "stiff" and compressed. i play pretty lightly sometimes and the "feel" and nuance that i'm used to just wasn't there. a feather touch just didn't really work, after just a few minutes my hand was hurting. not only that, but the sound itself was just sort of "ok" overall. i was really disappointed with the Clean amp, couldn't get much out of that at all.

you've really got to hook it up to the computer to get the best out of it, with the Boss Tone Studio software (i'd also suggest the 3rd-party FloorBoard editor for more flexibility, really lets you get inside it).

the first thing i did was to engage the Global EQ (set to "Input"), cut some lows and boosted the mids and hi frequencies a bit. this allowed the amp to "hear" more details coming from the guitar and helped with the response/dynamics. i found that what was really killing the "feel" was the built-in Noise Suppressor, i make sure to turn that off from now on. still not perfect, but i'm pretty happy with how it feels to play through it now.

once i started programming it with the software the amp really opened up, especially with the "Sneaky Amps" that are hidden inside. there's a file online that allows you to import these into Tone Studio, and they're available inside FloorBoard. i've gotten some amazing sounds out of it so far, and there's no way i would have come close just using it as it comes "stock". those amps offer a whole range of sounds that you'd never get from it otherwise. there's so much you can do inside the software.

i need to play with it some more, but i noticed that the 100w setting sounds more "alive" at the same volume than the two lower wattage settings (when matched), so i'm trying to use it at 100w when i can and trying to find a good balance between the Volume and Master.
GovernorSilver
I found this post that at first looked like strange advice, but apparently the Katana EQ and other functions are not designed in the usual way - eg. the advice to start with all 3 EQ knobs fully cranked and work from there.

https://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=23019.0
sduck
I just gave in to the hype and bought a 100 watt katana (1 12"). It's still in the box in my trunk - maybe I'll get time to mess with it tomorrow. Bought it at Guitar Center - one of the few purchases I've made there where otherwise uninvolved salespeople see what's transpiring, and give me a thumbs up. Weird.
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