Boss Katana MKii 50

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by elKZacha, May 4, 2020.

  1. elKZacha

    elKZacha Tele-Meister

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    Hi all,

    To those of you with this amp, have you found it necessary to use the Tone Studio to get the sounds you want?

    I’ve heard it’s easy to get the majority of rock type sounds, but equally I’ve heard a lot of people say they’re dissatisfied with what they can get out of the amp’s vanilla EQ.

    Cheers!
     
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  2. whoanelly15

    whoanelly15 Tele-Afflicted

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    So, I haven’t played any of the Mk II Katanas, by I have the Mk I Artist. I downloaded the tone studio when I got it, updated everything (as I was told), downloaded some preset sounds and set them up to try. It was painstaking, buggy, and I hated that part of the process. Within a week, I had saved all of my own sounds over the presets and vowed to never access the tone studio again. In truth, I’ll do it again someday to try to level out the volume mismatches between the modes, but other than that, I have no use for the tone studio. Absolutely none. And I think the EQ is anything but vanilla. I’m the set it and forget type, but I have a lot of different bases saved in the dials for when I’m playing through the speaker (with and without pedalboard, and others for when I’m playing through headphones, recording, etc. So I’m a nutshell, I’m using this amp in a lot of different ways, getting a lot out of it, and entirely without the tone studio. More people should approach this amp as hardware and forget about the computer part of it altogether. It’s an incredible amp all on its own.

    For Mk II, I had actually heard that many had complaints with the volume mismatches and variation modes until they restored the factory settings. To my knowledge, you don’t need the tone studio to do that either. Dave Simpson did a video on this:


    Not sure if any of this helps, but here’s hopin.
     
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  3. paulbaribeau

    paulbaribeau Tele-Meister

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    I just set it to clean with all the effects turned off and run pedals into it. Playing with the effects is very cumbersome. Might be fun to use during a recording project.
     
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  4. richey88

    richey88 Friend of Leo's

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    V1 user here. I set and forget and use pedals.
     
  5. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have the mk I version of the 50 and I have yet to even touch the tone lab/studio.
     
  6. dswo

    dswo Tele-Holic

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    I can think of very few Roland products that weren't immediately usable, out of the box. Tweak them if you like, but they don't ship needing to be "fixed."
     
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  7. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I've had the original version 3 years. I plug in a guitar, turn it on and tweak the EQ. No pedals, just a bit of delay and reverb.
     
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  8. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is exactly why I sold my BOSS Katana 50, years ago.

    Out of the box, the tones are 'plain vanilla'. If you want the best that the Katana has to offer, then you have to plug it into a computer and do some 'deep diving'.

    Being a Linux OS guy made it all the more challenging, so...

    My advice: If you want an amp, then buy an 'amp', not a 'computer' masquerading as an amp. ;)
     
  9. tfarny

    tfarny Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Tone Studio was necessary to get the sounds I wanted from the Katana - but I don't want to have to go through that whole mess just to change some settings. Not suitable for me. I did not find it buggy or hard to use, however, I just don't want to have to plug my rig into a computer in order to make changes.
     
  10. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Afflicted

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    I had the first version and hated it. I kept seeing videos and reading where it sounded great. I eventually used it in a trade. It must have had something wrong with it.
    Then one day I was at a GC looking at a guitar and plugged into the MKii. Night and day sound from the one I had. And it was just on the regular crunch sound. I didn’t buy the guitar, but walked out with the Katana. It’s now my #1 practice amp and I’ve never tried the Tone Studio.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
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  11. blues bondsman

    blues bondsman Tele-Afflicted

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    I bought the mkII 50 watt.
    And used the stores generous return policy.

    I wanted a practice amp with bells and whistles that had a decent sound.

    Sitting next to my tube gear it sounded flat and had very little dynamics in comparison.

    Hey I tried.
     
  12. zimbo

    zimbo Friend of Leo's

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    How is the Katana any better than the Fender Mustang III? That one had the Fuse software for artist sounds.
     
  13. Maroonandwhite

    Maroonandwhite Tele-Meister

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    I went through the struggle with tone studio. In my opinion you don’t NEED to use it to get good times. I don’t use the onboard effects but do jump back and forth between the clean and crunch channel. For a bright guitar I’ll use the clean channel. For a darker guitar I’ll use Crunch since it’s a already a bit brighter channel.
    Once I stopped trying to make it sound like another amp and just used it as is with panel only settings, I became much happier with mine. I did have a 50 and 100 combo but traded the 50 in on a 100 watt head version.
    The speaker does need some major break in from my experience.
     
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  14. Bobbyoso

    Bobbyoso TDPRI Member

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    Mk1 K50 owner here, >3years with it. I hooked it up to my laptop when I first got it, replaced the default reverbs and delays, replaced some of the distortions with compressors, and left the amp and global eqs alone.

    It's just fine as is. There are several GREAT cleans in this amp (it has completely replaced a fine vintage 1964 Super and a Mission 5E3 in a jazz big band I work with; because it sounds and feels better, and because it doesn't change eq and gain characteristics as you turn it up. Oh yeah, and instead of requiring an SUV and a sherpa to load in/out, I carry it all in 2 hands.

    If you can't get GREAT tone from any Katana, it's likely neither the amp nor the software. I use and own 23 vintage and boutique tube amps, and each of them is wonderful in an optimum situation, and a K50 1-12" isn't gonna do plexi at 129 db. But if you're not trying to be a copy of some 70s rock icon in 2020, and know how to dial in amps, compressors, delays, etc., a K50 is one hell of a versatile, fine sounding and feeling amp. The cleans are wonderfully touch-sensitive. I'm primarily a jazz player, some country, mainly clean and semi-clean, so if you're looking for Lamb of God or Korn tones, YMMV.
     
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  15. Hey_you

    Hey_you Tele-Afflicted

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    I see 1 on CL for $195. Price has been dropping. I have the first version tho.
     
  16. ronzhd

    ronzhd Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    I was a nay-sayer about the Katana MKII 50, I played one at an open mic and was totally unimpressed. Fast forward, well, I do quite a bit of trading and came across a mint condition Katana 50 and a hand wired Rat pedal for a couple hunny and thought what heck. 1st thing I did was the factory reset. I run my pedals in front, so I was looking to get as much clean headroom as possible, before I went to the trouble of down loading the tone studio. I tried changing the different power settings 1st, and viola, that made the most difference (duh). So, as loud as these are, I got what I needed without going there. It will never replace my Princeton or Brown Deluxe, but the versatility and portability can't be beat. If the bands had these available back in the day..... shut up.
     
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