Anyone performing with a Katana 100W? Ruggedness, reliability?

Thoughtfree

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I'm thinking about edging back into the local music scene, if possible. I just tested my 30-year-old-plus Roland JC77, unused for several years. Always hissy, its noise has gotten outta control, so I'm gonna donate it to the church rummage sale. No great loss, as I bought it used in the late 80s for 225 bucks. The Boss Katana 100 seems to have clean power, chorus, and low noise, so this may be its replacement.

So does anyone out there have experience using the Katana for four-hour gigs? I tried a 50W in a store and liked it, but those little pushbuttons on the chassis do not inspire confidence that they would survive a crashing blow from a mike stand base, or an accidental beer spill, or a drop to the floor - incidents that the JC77 would ignore.

Thanks for any replies.
 

brookdalebill

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Thanks! Sounds like you are not currently an owner - may I ask what you replaced it with?
I use Roland Cube 80XLs.
I have 3.
They sound and operate similarly to the Katana.
The Katana actually replaced the higher power Cube amps in the line.
The Cubes have a closed back.
That makes the stage a little easier to control.
They 80XL’s have an 80 second looper that I sometimes use at gigs.
Lastly the Cubes have a built-in silent chromatic tuner.
I use this tuner almost to a fault.
Out-of-tune-ness tortures me, so I check and tune often.
I also completely eschew pedals of any kind.
I know, I’m odd.
Anyways the Cubes have been my go-to for about a decade now.
I bought, liked, and used the Katana, but the Cube does more stuff, in a somewhat smaller package.
Love em’!
 

Thoughtfree

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Thanks for this! Looks like the 80XL is only available used, unfortunately.

I used an original orange-tolex Roland Cube 60, back in the late 70s and early 80s. It competed successfully with a three-piece horn section, popping bassists, and slamming drummers.
 

W.L.Weller

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You might be able to get that JC77 serviced for about the cost of the Katana, but then again you might not be able to.

I know many "amp techs" won't work on solid state stuff.

Looks like there are a couple used Katanas and a Blues Cube Hot on Minneapolis CL, but maybe you'd prefer a warranty etc.
 

Dacious

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My bandmate has a 50 watt Kat Mk 1 he bought used. It's performed flawlessly 2-3 yrs. I reckon it sounds meh but it's reliable and does what he needs. I had to solder the input jack back on when his cat knocked it off it's stand and the cable end broke it inside the chassis but that wasn't it's fault.
 

Creaulx

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Katana is more of a Swiss Army Knife than the Blues Cube. If you want to keep it simple, the BC may be the way to go. I love my Katana, but have had it two years in September and am just scratching the surface of what it can do. Still haven't gigged with it for reasons similar to yours, I just don't have the confidence in it to be my gigging amp. Currently using a Princeton, but the Kat sounds great with high gain and can duplicate some great amp tones (Fender cleans and Marshall stack tones are stellar). Someone callled it a BOSS GTX100 with an amp built around it and I'd say that's a fair description.
 

Chicago Matt

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Katana is more of a Swiss Army Knife than the Blues Cube. If you want to keep it simple, the BC may be the way to go. I love my Katana, but have had it two years in September and am just scratching the surface of what it can do. Still haven't gigged with it for reasons similar to yours, I just don't have the confidence in it to be my gigging amp. Currently using a Princeton, but the Kat sounds great with high gain and can duplicate some great amp tones (Fender cleans and Marshall stack tones are stellar). Someone callled it a BOSS GTX100 with an amp built around it and I'd say that's a fair description.
^^^ This.

I've had my Kat 50 MkII for about a month. I love it for rehearsals. No tube maintenance, nice onboard delay and reverb, good touch-sensitivity, and it's a lightweight and simple setup. While it's shockingly versatile (I've done several deep dives with the tone studio), I'm starting to think it will never sound as good as my Tweed Twin RI or my homebuilt 5E3 kit for what I'm doing on a gig - blues/blues rock/Americana. Even the 50w Katana is plenty loud enough (we always mic the instruments anyway) but it's just missing the full, warm presence of my tube amps, especially in the upper register. Dialing out the harshness up top in the Katana (tried both the internal Graphic and Parametric EQs) only leads to a sterile sound in my experience. Maybe after the speaker breaks in more?

Does the audience appreciate the difference? Most probably wouldn't, but I do.
 

Chicago Slim

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The Boss/Roland amps are as reliable as any amps that I have used. As a guitar teacher, going to students houses I have gone through a lot of other amps. People are surprised when I say that I've gone through amps in less than two years, when they have been using them at home for ten years.
 

Gnometowner

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Roland/Boss builds great gear. My current Nextone Special and Cube Street EX are good sounding and very versatile. I had a Katana Air, sold it but thinking about buying another because of how good my Tele sounded through it plugged into the Cube Street and the wireless capabiĺity. Curious about running a Katana Air into my Nextone Special.
 

Maguchi

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I'm thinking about edging back into the local music scene, if possible. I just tested my 30-year-old-plus Roland JC77, unused for several years. Always hissy, its noise has gotten outta control

You might be able to get that JC77 serviced for about the cost of the Katana, but then again you might not be able to.
I never had a Katana yet, so I can't comment on durability and reliability a those amps. I got my 1989 JC-77 serviced recently. It was hissing, I think it cost me like $125. Dont remember what they did. Think it was replace caps and clean the pots. Sounds quiet and like new now. I'm gigging with it again. The reverb sounds very good and the chorus sound is huge.

Roland JC-77.jpg
 

haggardfan1

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My best buddy found one at a pawn shop a couple years ago. It had all the manual and original hang tags still with it; it's absolutely mint.

He kinda bought it to flip, because he has a fairly new DRRI and a recently serviced HRDeville, but he was obsessed with the Kat for a while and I thought it sounded pretty good. It has some features I like too...hmm....if he still has it I might take it off his hands!
 




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