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Should I get a Katana?

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    Should I get a Katana?

    I'm looking for a home/office amp. I've had an Orange Dark Terror on long-term loan for a year or so, but it doesn't really do what I want, and I don't really want to sink money into making it work better for me when it's not actually mine.

    I'm mainly looking for two things: a clean amp that can take a full pedal chain in the front end, and a high gain amp (5150 territory), pretty much entirely for office/recording volumes. If it has some type of direct out for recording direct and practicing with headphones, that's a bonus, but not necessary. Same thing with being able to keep up with a band in a pinch.

    I know people are gonna say FX3 (Justin... ) or some type of Helix, but those really aren't in my budget, and I learned years ago that I'm not a menu + preset guy.

    A Katana's got a control panel like a regular amp, seems to cover a lot of ground well for the price, and has the direct out and band volume if I need it. I don't really care about built-in effects, but it's nice to know they're there if I ever wanted to go straight into the amp.

    Is there anything else in that price range (<$500 CAD) I should be looking at? Life's been busy and I haven't been playing guitar as much, and I feel pretty out of the loop with what's good right now - last time I felt in the loop, 6505s were still MIA.

    #2
    I'd say go for it based on your criteria. A few buddies of mine have Katana's and love them for the versatility. And, FWIW, I have a Katana mini I lug around the house when I want to sit and jam while watching TV or something and it sounds amazing for such a tiny little thing. If I were after what you describe, the Katana and DSL lines would be my first, and probably, only choices. Not to mention, with the Katana, you might not need all those pedals...
    Don't expect much, it's not like I'm a Rocket Surgeon...

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      #3
      It's not a bad choice. I would also recommend the 6505MH, but it's out of your price range.

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        #4
        I tried a Katana when I got my practice amp, and TBH I wasn't that impressed with it. Worth trying, though, because the feature set is perfect for what you want.

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          #5
          Dont overlook roland cubes too - im just not sure how they are for high gain.

          ​​​

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            #6
            the Marshall DSL1 looks to be pretty cool, and pretty affordable too. I dont know how clean it gets, but it does seem to have some kind of compensated output thing.

            Do you have a cab by the way? or do you need a combo?

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              #7
              Originally posted by Adam View Post
              the Marshall DSL1 looks to be pretty cool, and pretty affordable too. I dont know how clean it gets, but it does seem to have some kind of compensated output thing.

              Do you have a cab by the way? or do you need a combo?
              For me, yeah the DSL gets pretty clean, and I absolutely love mine. But, I'm not sure it's as versatile as a Katana... I don't need it to be, either...

              But, it certainly chugs:



              And for sub-$300 it wins hands down for what I'm after. Either way though, both the DSL and Katana destroy the Orange offerings IMO.
              Don't expect much, it's not like I'm a Rocket Surgeon...

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                #8
                Yeah, that Marchall seems like a great option.

                Also, have you considered decent/used monitors or headphones and a plug-in rig? They record well and pretty much fit your list. Get that SLO pack and your set.

                 
                "Slow Hand"

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                  #9
                  I'd go for the Katana over the DSL1. If you really want the latter, spend more and get the 20. Even at 10w, it sounds WAY better than the 1.

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                    #10
                    The Katana is probably the consensus pick for sure. If you’re looking for a pure pedal platform, you could look at the Roland JC-22 which has stereo inputs and an FX loop.

                    it’s definitely not an amp for high gain distortions, though.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Budda View Post
                      Dont overlook roland cubes too - im just not sure how they are for high gain.

                      ​​​
                      They're bad. Since the Katana replaces the Cube series, I'd go with a Katana instead.
                      Last edited by playstopause; 06-15-2021, 12:55 AM.

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                        #12
                        If you have an Android phone or tablet, my brother wrote an app that lets you deep edit the Katana presets and get access to more settings.

                        https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...hl=en_US&gl=US

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                          #13
                          So, have you considered the positive grid spark? When i was looking for an amp for my nephew (for his first electric) I looked at katana, but pretty much came to the conclusion the spark was superior in pretty much every way. Not been impressed with demos of the katana, it's like OK, but not the magic amazing tone bullet that youtubers made it out to be. Spark just looked better in terms of what it can do and sound, is light, and has amp like controls on it.

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                            #14
                            You can also get many a peavey usa solidstate combo for $500.

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                              #15
                              A Laney IRT Studio is less than 500 CAD - it has 1 and 15 W inputs, DI out, USB, i.e it can be used as an interface (although I use the DI out into my Focusrite), as well as a build in loadbox so you can play it with headphones/record DI without plugging it into a cab. Plug it into a Harley Benton Vintage 30 equipped cab and you've got yourself a pretty cool setup for right around your budget.

                              It's 3 channels so you've got a dedicated clean channel, a crunch channel that goes from clean to high gain, and a lead channel which has all the gain you need.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by 7 Dying Trees View Post
                                So, have you considered the positive grid spark? When i was looking for an amp for my nephew (for his first electric) I looked at katana, but pretty much came to the conclusion the spark was superior in pretty much every way. Not been impressed with demos of the katana, it's like OK, but not the magic amazing tone bullet that youtubers made it out to be. Spark just looked better in terms of what it can do and sound, is light, and has amp like controls on it.
                                I know so much of this is completely subjective, but having compared them back to back (the tech at my shop has a Spark) I just didn’t like it. Way too bassy, and the reliance on an app is maddening. And for $269, I’d rather get a Katana.

                                I know, disclaimer I usually like Boss stuff anyway.

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                                  #17
                                  Katana is the best bang for the buck right now IMHO. They take some time getting used to but you can actually get them to sound really good and natural.

                                  Also some good advice for amps like these, don't try and mimic other name brand amps. If you go tone chasing after iconic amp tones you will surely be disappointed. There are still great tones to be had even if your 250$ combo won't sound exactly like a SLO

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                                    #18
                                    I can't really say how they work as a pedal platform, though I would assume fine... but I'd also suggest giving the Tech-21 combo series, the Trademark 30 or Trademark 60, a look as well if you can find one (probably have to be used). They're VERY different sounding amps, with the smaller 30 being a lot gainier, but the 60 really impressed me as one of the few solid state amps that could convincingly do a SRV sort of sound, at low volumes no less. I think both amps are criminally underrated.

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                                      #19
                                      Paul's Boutique has an evil twin w/ 25W switch for $799, and father's day is coming up...

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                                        #20


                                        There can be only one.
                                        The Karmic Law is not kismet. It is not fate but cause and effect. It is a taskmaster to the unwise; a servant to the wise.

                                        Comment


                                          #21
                                          Originally posted by Flexkill View Post
                                          Katana is the best bang for the buck right now IMHO. They take some time getting used to but you can actually get them to sound really good and natural.

                                          Also some good advice for amps like these, don't try and mimic other name brand amps. If you go tone chasing after iconic amp tones you will surely be disappointed. There are still great tones to be had even if your 250$ combo won't sound exactly like a SLO
                                          Holy shit. We agree on something about guitars?

                                          Comment


                                            #22
                                            Sounds to me like you need a red stripe peavey bandit

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                                              #23
                                              Originally posted by RevDrucifer View Post


                                              There can be only one.
                                              Is that the... of course it is the Highlander Katana :p

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                                                #24
                                                I'll see your sword and raise you an arrow:

                                                Don't expect much, it's not like I'm a Rocket Surgeon...

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                                                  #25
                                                  Originally posted by desertdweller View Post

                                                  Is that the... of course it is the Highlander Katana :p
                                                  Connor and Duncan’s were similar, but slightly different. Worth owning both replicas.

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