Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Katana vs Mustang... Is it worth upgrading?

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by privatesalt, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. PCollen

    PCollen Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2010
    Man of the World
    Me, too.

  2. Tacotuesday

    Tacotuesday Tele-Meister

    Nov 5, 2016
    Pacific NW, US
    I'd keep the Suzuki. ;)

    fatcat likes this.

  3. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    It starts with the decision of whether one wants or needs a modeling amp to achieve what they want or not. If a modeling amp is all that will do the trick then the Katana is eliminated in round one. It's not a modeling amp for anything. Not amp voicings and not effects either.

    Onboard effects are there (and others can be swapped in and out) purely for convenience so a setup can remain as simple and compact as possible and the amp retains it's grab and go convenience. But pedals will work quite well either in front of or in the effects loop of the 100w models.

    The four amp settings produce varying level of gain and internal adjustments to EQ for "color" but none are replicating any other specific amp. It's basically a higher gain SS amp based off EL34 A/B type preamp and power architecture with Brit style cleans and a very effective acoustic amp also provided for convenience.

    COSM modeling isn't used here Tube Logic design is in order to create a SS amp with very tube like properties and tonality. Basically it's no more or less than any other non-modeling guitar amp but one with some very modern higher tech properties and features built into it and it tends to function much like any other basic guitar amp albeit in some cases more conveniently.
    stumbler and beagle like this.

  4. PCollen

    PCollen Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2010
    Man of the World

    That is EXACTLY how I have approached the Mustang. I rolled through the presets once, and then have focused only on getting familiar with the amp models at the upper end of the presets...that's all I am interested in at present. I downloaded a 65 Super Reverb model via FUSE just for practice to preset 00 and will likely use that location as my Work In Process location.
    Jim Dep likes this.

  5. Moosewatcher

    Moosewatcher TDPRI Member

    Feb 13, 2016
    I would add that if budget is an issue a tube amp can have a lot of additional cost in the form of pedals you may need or want to get your sound. When I bought the Twin I ended up buying a compressor and a delay adding another $350 to the cost, and I still need to get a noise gate. That's some of the problems you don't get with a modeling amp.
    privatesalt, PCollen and Jim Dep like this.

  6. privatesalt

    privatesalt Tele-Meister

    Jan 31, 2014
    Well.... (first thanks again for the replies). For now I've decided to stick with the Mustang. After coming in from work yesterday and "let'n'er rip" again last night on the Mustang, I STILL ran across new tones (while tweaking) that took me to "the zone". It just keeps on giving new sounds.. even after years, you run across new magic.

    I normally stay on the '65 Deluxe preset. I think it helps to venture away from it now and then. Something you can not do with a tube amp BTW.... without alot of pedals at least.

    The Katana, I'm sure is a really nice amp to play. But with already owning a Mustang, the GAS has not risen to the level. I guess the Katana is still not THE quantum leap (in affordable amps) to drag me away, and I can't pay $2k (or whatever it is) for a Kemper.

    I'll take the advice and try to find a Katana and play. Better 'feel' is mentioned. But with the help of external DOD Milkbox compressor, Mustang sag, and bias controls, I get plenty feel... (or at least feel I like).

    NOW... If I did NOT own a Mustang already, it may be a tough decision. New vs years old modeling tech. Interesting how the Mustang keeps hanging with the new. (And included when comparing the new offerings). Fender nailed it, to have a modeling amp STILL popular after years.

    On a side note.. if you have not tried the Mustang amp models with cabinet impulses in a VST plugin, you're in for a treat.

    If the Mustang was able to load and store cab impulses OMG. That one feature would DEMOLISH any competition. Cab models make a HUGE difference. BTW, my '65 Deluxe preset does not use the Deluxe's cab model.
    unixfish likes this.

  7. richey88

    richey88 Friend of Leo's

    Jul 28, 2009
    philly suburbs
    The more the speaker on my Katana 100 1x12 breaks in, the more I am loving the clean sounds. Dirt was good out of the box. I had a Mustang ( the smallest one, right after they were released) and it had some good sounds but I ended up returning it. A buddy gets good tones out of his III, but still honeymooning with the K.

  8. Garruchal

    Garruchal Tele-Meister

    Nov 29, 2013
    I own a Mustang IIIv2. I've been comparing it with whatever other amps pass through my practice space, including Fender and Peavey tube amps and some other modelers. I have never been able to dial in an exact emulation of the amp I have been a/b'ing, but have always been happy with the tone I get. The difference between the Mustang and the Fender amps it can emulate is sometimes less than between two of the same Fender tube amps.
    I haven't had a chance to try the Katana, but looking at it online raises some questions. Why the power control switch? What is "standby" for? With the Katana and some other solid state amps, these things seem like marketing devices, used to give the impression that the solid state amp is somehow closer to its tube precursors. Likewise, producing a modern solid state amp which has powerful digital processing but not supplying an onboard interface seems like an attempt to conceal the fact that it is a digital amp to make it feel more vintage.
    The ploy works on me too; my little Vox VT20+ seems more vintage to me than the fender because of the chicken-head knobs and the glowing preamp valve they stuck in the back, but I know it is not.
    As a keyboard player and recording engineer who gradually transitioned into playing more guitar than keyboard, I prefer the Mustang paradigm; I can adjust all aspects of the effects right on the amp, I have a broad range of effects and modeling to choose from, I have 100 presets to use if necessary, and when my buddy who is only used to his 1978 Acoustic 230 can plug in and only use the knobs on top which work the same as any amp.

    For my purposes, the Mustang is practically ideal. It is portable, has most effects and functions I would ever use, can be louder than I ever need it to be, can be as quiet as I want it to be (I play in theaters and often need to play very quietly under dialogue), I can adjust all effects on the fly, has dedicated pedals, doesn't hiss or hum, has a DI out, and as an added bonus, I can put a monitor feed through the aux-in and it is not routed to the DI-out.
    Sometimes I think I should get rid of all my gear except my tele and my classic 30 and stop cluttering up my brain with possibilities, but then I would only be able to play about a third of the types of gigs I have played in the past year. The smarter decision (which I won't take, because tube) would be to sell everything except the Mustang III.

  9. jannodude

    jannodude Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Aug 10, 2016
    SF Bay Area/California
    I played both and have nothing bad to say about either one. What I liked about the Katana is the power control switch. I'm able to have distortion type sounds at whisper quiet volume. I was unable to use my tube amp at night as it was too loud. It will not replace my tube amp but it's definitely a supplement/valuable addition to my playing needs/wants.

  10. jageya

    jageya Tele-Meister

    Mar 29, 2007
    denver colorado

  11. Vespa_One

    Vespa_One Tele-Holic

    Feb 14, 2017
    I have the Mustang III and prefer it to the Katana although I only tried the Katana briefly. I love clean tones and the Mustang is superb.

  12. CaptainSensible

    CaptainSensible Tele-Meister

    Aug 16, 2008
    Leesburg, VA
    Not an app, but a file that contains all those amps that can be loaded into the Katana. So, contrary to what may folks say, the Katana is indeed a modeler after all. It's just that it comes out of the box with fewer available models than, say, the Mustang.

    I recently purchased the Mustang GT 100. The following week I purchased a Katana 100 to compare. Once I was able to get into the Katana's Sneaky Amps and dial up some Fender-inspired models, I ended up preferring the Katana versus the Mustang's own Fender emulations. Just felt and sounded more like a guitar amp than the GT, which feels like you're listening to an instantaneous recording of a guitar amp.

    I should add that I also have a Mustang IIIv1 as well. I prefer the Katana to that amp too. Feels and sounds more tube-y to my admittedly unsophisticated ears.
    black_doug likes this.

  13. mudbelly

    mudbelly Tele-Meister

    May 19, 2012
    United States
    I found this demo ya'll might like

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