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

NAD: Boss Katana 50

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Doghouse_Riley, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. Doghouse_Riley

    Doghouse_Riley Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 11, 2016
    Just got this with an Amazon gift card I got for Xmas. What an awesome little amp!

    I have 3 tube amps that are great but they can be a little finicky. My house doesn't have the best power (old wiring). I'm also going solo and I want to streamline my gear. So I wanted something that would a) be compact and lightweight, b) more tolerant of lesser quality power, c) have a great clean tone, d) be a "pedal platform", e) could be purchased with the Amazon $200 gift card.

    The first 2 points more or less limited me to a solid state amp. No problem, I like tube amps but I'm no tube snob. I had a Peavey Bandit back in the 80s and it was a really good amp.

    The 2 SS amps that I had heard many great things about were the Blues Cube/s and Boss Katanas. I only had a $200 gift card and my challenge to myself was to keep it to that budget. That left out the Blues Cube at $499. I went for the Katana 50 because it was a better match for my criteria. Also, I have a Crate 100w SS 2x12 combo I can use if I need to get really loud.

    (True confession: I blew the budget. The KTN-50 was $219.)

    I got it last night and stayed up until 2am this morning playing it. I played my modded MIM Strat with CS '69 pickups through it. I was able to dial in a sweet clean tone easily. Full and rich. Perfect for the mellow blues stuff I play. I spent a little time checking out the preset tones but they sounded pretty buzzy most likely due to the single coils in the Strat being in close proximity with and monitors and fluorescents. I played with the effects a little. Didn't care for the reverb. I liked the flanger and phasor. I don't have either so now I have something to play with until I rectify that (Electric Mistress and Phase 90 are on my list). I need to spend more time with the effects and hook it up to my laptop and really give them a thorough workout.

    Then it was time to hook up some pedals. The TC Electronic Arena reverb sounds much better than my initial experiments with the KTN-50's reverb. I like just a touch of reverb. I use a Robben Ford spring reverb tone print that is really nice. I also have an SP compressor on Lo.

    Overdrives. This thing loves Boss overdrives (go figure). My Keeley modded BD-2 and stock OD-3 sound fantastic both individually and stacked. The BD-2 can give it that "edge-of-breakup" sound while the OD-3 can do the heavy crunch. Stack them together and you're into distortion territory but still articulate. Then the real "secret sauce" was another Boss pedal; the GE-7 graphic equalizer as a Fat Boost. Used with either overdrive as well as stacked it became so full, fat and rich I got a little tingly.

    It did not like the sound of one of my "go to" pedals, a homemade ZenDrive, that sounds phenomenal with my tube amps but I couldn't get a tone I like from it though the KTN-50. I'll have to play with it some more. I also want to get my OCD and modded TS9 from my band's rehearsal space to try out with the Katana.

    So far this amp checks off all the boxes and more. Time to stop writing and get back to playing!

  2. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    Same findings over here. I have not tried any pedals with it yet. Tweaking it on a computer will keep be busy for months I suspect.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
    Doghouse_Riley likes this.

  3. InAbsentia

    InAbsentia TDPRI Member

    Sep 29, 2016
    Southwest PA
    I have zero need for a new amp, but all of the love the katana gets makes me want to buy one just because it has to be great.

    boredguy6060 and Doghouse_Riley like this.

  4. rad1

    rad1 Tele-Holic

    Aug 5, 2015
    Santa Cruz CA

    I don’t mean this comment as a back handed compliment because the amp is great at any orice; however, at its $200 price tag I just don’t see how that amp can be beat.
    InAbsentia likes this.

  5. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    I have 10 tube amps... Not entirely sure how many pedals I have. I bought the 50W Katana in December. I certainly have no need. But I like it.
    beagle and Doghouse_Riley like this.

  6. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Dec 18, 2016
    Camden Point, MO
    One on CL here today for $150. I just can't justify another amp :(

    That's less than some of my pedals :eek:

  7. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    Yup. I sold a pedal in early Dec for $300.

    Quit procrastinating. Get ‘er done!
    Nickadermis likes this.

  8. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    My son is getting a 50, I think, very soon. He's a Fender tube amp guy, but needs something to play very quietly in small apartment with sleeping children. Headphones. He's currently playing my SFDR / JBL with his band, so he may set there, we'll see.
    Doghouse_Riley likes this.

  9. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    Cool, I'll get one soon.
    I want a 100 watter with 1-12.
    I haven't had an open back amp in a long time.
    Doghouse_Riley likes this.

  10. rosellem

    rosellem TDPRI Member

    Dec 1, 2013
    Palm Harbor Fl
    Great amp.. i got my Katana 50 last year, played several gigs though it. I'm even more excited as i just learned there is new firmware allowing four presets instead of pedal board might be getting smaller :D.
    Doghouse_Riley likes this.

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