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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Boss Katana 50!

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willie
Contributing Member
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Too Near Atlanta GA

Amp Tech Emeritus
Jul 30th, 2017 04:32 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I will have a Katana 50 here in my studio on Tuesday. I'll be able to compare the basic tonal characteristics...

w

stratcowboy
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USA/Taos, NM

Jul 30th, 2017 06:53 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That would be an interesting critique. Cool...

reverend mikey
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N of I-90, E of I-29

"Everywhere I look, I see guitars..."
Jul 31st, 2017 09:15 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"That would be an interesting critique. Cool..."

+1 I'm also interested in this review...

willie
Contributing Member
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Too Near Atlanta GA

Amp Tech Emeritus
Aug 1st, 2017 11:02 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well, I received the Boss Katana 50 today from Sweetwater...great price as usual, with quick shipping as usual. No issues there.

I started the check out using my '74 Gibson ES-335. The amp was set on the clean 50 watt setting and I started out there. The tone is excellent, tight bass with sparkling clean highs. The reverb is very much like the Roland Blues Cube Artist (RBCA) except you have more choices of type of reverb (digital, analog, hall) on the Katana. The tremolo is excellent on both as well. You can add a boost on the Katana just like on the RBCA which is very nice. I did notice a large drop in clean tone when you drop the power down to 25 and .5 watts on the clean setting. You have to diddle with it a bit to get a nice clean at the lower powers. I didn't find that as too off putting however.

The Crunch setting gives you pretty much everything the RBCA offered in the way of blues distortion plus a great deal more if you want it. It kicks butt without a doubt and I found this to be where this amp really excels. You can get any manner of blues tones on this amp. The more you diddle with it, the more tasty tones I was able to come up with. The tones were still very nice at the lower power settings.

The Lead and Brown settings are metal and kick ass rock city...I only checked them for a bit they offer the ultimate in sustain and controllable distortion settings...a shredders dream.

Perhaps the largest surprise for me was how well the Acoustic setting sounded. I plugged in my old '94 Ovation 5869-5P and was totally impressed with the articulation and tonal brilliance offered up here. Very comparable to better than my Fishman Loudbox Artist.

The factory effects settings are all great...no losers in the bunch. Pretty much what you'd get from any of the Boss stompers. The delays, reverbs, phasers, flangers and octaves were all very nice, usable and easily accessible without having to go into the tone studio.

I don't think the Katana 50 is quiet as warm sounding as the RBCA. The Katana's cabinet isn't nearly as solid and professional looking as the RBCA. Though it has great tube tones, I still believe the RBCA has a more true to detail tube tonality to it. However, for the difference in price, which is huge, the differences are minimal. I can't imagine anyone going wrong purchasing this Katana 50. I also felt the RBCA was among the finest amps of any type I have ever encountered in my long tenure with guitars and amps, as a player, service tech and one time retailer as well.

Oh, and for those that have an aversion to overly complicated, multi menu amps that you spend more time fiddling with the amp than you do playing through it, let me reassure you that I found this amp to be very user friendly for those of us that are analog brained. I am nearly 70 years old and despise excessively complicated gear. This amp was mindlessly easy to navigate. I may need a tutor to help me totally master my Boss looper...like I said, I am analog brained.

I will go read the manual now and see what else this amazing piece of hardware can do.

willie

(This message was last edited by willie at 01:18 PM, Aug 1st, 2017)

TheBeagle

UK

In the doghouse again
Aug 1st, 2017 11:49 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The Katana 50 sounds a lot better 6 months on when the speaker has broken in.

If you want to make full use of everything hidden in the box, find the Katana FxFloorboard download.

5Strats
Contributing Member
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Aug 1st, 2017 02:02 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The Brown channel with the gain dialed down pretty low sounds cool to me, definitely not metal or shred sounding.

willie
Contributing Member
********

Too Near Atlanta GA

Amp Tech Emeritus
Aug 1st, 2017 02:17 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yeah, I agree. You can dial that down to a dull roar and get a really nice blues tone or old rock sound. Really a virtual kaleidoscope of tonal possibilities here. I've been playing this amp all day...something I seldom ever do anymore. Very impressed with it.

w

zenland

U.S.A. Hotlanta

avise la fin
Aug 1st, 2017 07:39 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

willie-Think I'll give this amp a shot if you like it that well!
Says a lot to me you, are that impressed!
Loved your tones with the RBCA at the Jam. The cleans were Great!




stratcowboy
Contributing Member
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USA/Taos, NM

Aug 1st, 2017 08:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks for the thorough review; very helpful.

stratcowboy
Contributing Member
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USA/Taos, NM

Aug 1st, 2017 08:47 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I see that the Roland Blues Cube is made in Malaysia. It kinda looks like the Katana is made in Japan. Can that be true?

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Aug 2nd, 2017 04:34 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I probably missed it in this thread. Is there a footswitch that goes with this amp series?

Mike DeTorrice
Contributing Member
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USA

Aug 2nd, 2017 04:51 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

With the 50 watt Katana, there is no real dedicated footswitch. One can use any latching footswitch to change between channels 1 and 2.

You can instead plug in an expression pedal to the jack and control overall volume of the amp at any time, or, if you designate one of the FX's as a wah, it will then turn into an adjustable wah pedal when that effect is active. Works great !

Mike

willie
Contributing Member
********

Too Near Atlanta GA

Amp Tech Emeritus
Aug 2nd, 2017 07:58 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Zen...it's a winner for sure.

Stratcowboy - the Katana is also made in Malaysia.

I like the idea of the expression pedal...I like volume swells.

willie

walshb
Contributing Member
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Manchester, TN

12,423 Mustangs passed and counting
Aug 2nd, 2017 09:43 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Great review willie!
Makes me wonder why the BCA cost so much more, if the Katana sounds that nice and has the additional effects, etc.

walshb
Contributing Member
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Manchester, TN

12,423 Mustangs passed and counting
Aug 2nd, 2017 09:48 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Haven't seen it addressed in this thread, how well does it clean up with the guitar volume knob?

willie
Contributing Member
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Too Near Atlanta GA

Amp Tech Emeritus
Aug 2nd, 2017 10:21 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Oh, the Katana is plenty clean...roland JC clean, no issues there at all. You do need to keep the master volume open full though.

The Roland BCA is a much more well built amp...cabinet wise and beyond. It is built for the road for pro level use without a doubt. The Katana is likely built and priced for a wider range of buyers. Just so happens that the sucker sounds incredible, is good looking, light weight and extremely versatile.

willie

5Strats
Contributing Member
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Aug 2nd, 2017 10:29 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

walshb - Yes, when using overdriven and distorted tones, you can roll your guitar's volume knob back and the sound cleans up fairly well.

I've not tried this with a really high gain sound, however.

Leftee
Contributing Member
*******

VA

Aug 3rd, 2017 04:53 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've talked myself out of this amp. My Vypyr still does it for me.

Until I find someone flipping one for cheap on CL. ;-P

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
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N of I-90, E of I-29

"Everywhere I look, I see guitars..."
Aug 3rd, 2017 08:09 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

** Until I find someone flipping one for cheap on CL. ;-P **

Such a bargain hunter... but that's a good plan.

LeftyMeister

Buckeye Country, USA

Motorcycles, Guitars, and Golf
Aug 3rd, 2017 03:36 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Based on the problems I'm having with my VHT, I'm tempted to spring for the 100. :o/

If it's not what I expect, I'll sell it to Eric or Mikey. :o)

(This message was last edited by LeftyMeister at 05:54 PM, Aug 3rd, 2017)

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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Boss Katana 50!




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