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HELP! Katana VS Tubes

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by KrenarCilku, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. brogh

    brogh Moderator Staff Member

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    SECURITYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY ...

    please escort this man out leave your badge at the entrance ( ;) )
     
  2. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think you should stick with the Kat. Get some more different guitars.
     
  3. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not going without a fight. :D

    I couldn't use the '66 Princeton Reverb in the house, it was just too loud, so I used it for gigs. When I stopped gigging regularly, it took me a long time to get around to selling it. It cost me a whopping £50 in 1983 and made me a couple of quid profit when I sold it. :p

    I took the Katana when I played with the band again for a benefit last year, they never even noticed I'd changed amps. :D
     
  4. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    +1 stick with the Katana.

    Tube amps come with problems: tubes burn out, re-capping adventures every decade, weight, and are fragile.

    Most players with non-modeling amps run a raft of pedals into their tube amp so they are really playing a hybrid solid-state amp with some tubes for volume.

    If you want to experiment ... find out how to add an external jack to the Katana so you can build an external cabinet and put in different speakers. Match the impedance of the new speaker to the one in the amp so it doesn't stress the amp.

    This gives an idea ...


    .
     
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  5. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    I just got a Katana 50. I have been playing tube amps since the late '70s. I hear a significant difference between the Katana and most tube amps.

    That said, the Katana is a great practice amp that would probably cut it live, if you had to use it for a gig.

    My only issue is that, so far, I've spent probably an aggregate eight hours trying to set up patches that I like. My ultimate goal is to "set it and forget it" and use it just like any other amp with pedals providing the bulk of the effects. But, unlike a tube amp that has one basic sound that you then build upon, the Katana has a million sounds and finding the one you like can be difficult, especially for a geezer like me.

    And, having to connect to a computer to tweak sounds, etc., is really, really weird to me.

    I could live with only the Katana if I had to. I could even be happy with it. But, there's nothing like just plugging in to a good tube amp, turning it up, and playing. The simplicity is wonderful and nothing gets between you and the music...

    I like that.
     
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  6. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    That's what I do with my Katana, exactly the same as I did with my Princeton. No pedals, no presets, no fuss.
     
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  7. 100LL

    100LL Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Deifnitely add a tube amp to your stable and have fun with it. Don't replace the Katana, keep it since you're familiar with it and get along.

    Find a nice, quality used tube amp either here (James has a cool Swart in the classifieds for example), or find one local to you.

    You could set up a wet/dry mix using the effects on the Katana and a dry setting on a nice tube amp (could even be a 1 Watt, but I would get a 5 to 18 W so you could get out with it on its own).
     
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  8. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    You need a good base sound. Where did you find yours? How did you start? I'm still trying to figure this out.
     
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  9. MuddyWolf

    MuddyWolf Tele-Meister

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    You have to honestly ask yourself, am I good enough for tubes? I mean really examine yourself to determine your worthiness to partake in the tube experience.
    Do you honor the mighty tube?
    Do you revere the awesome valve?
    Do you glory in the power of the glass?
    If the answer to these most important questions is an enthusiastic YES!!! then perhaps you might be allowed to sample the goodness of a tube amp.
    Are you worthy?
     
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  10. brogh

    brogh Moderator Staff Member

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    Lol

    I went amplitube way and trying the bias software on the ipad, for what i'm doing now is more than enough, perfect for practice, the day i'll be selling the twin I'll be probably going the 57 champ or deluxe ... but it's really not a need... it's just me being unreasoneable :p
    hehe

    cheers
     
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  11. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I want to sound like me, that's already in my head. If you're chasing somebody else's sound, I don't have a clue.
    3 1/2 years ago I got it out of the box, plugged a guitar in and turned the knobs, just like I've been doing on every amp I've plugged into since around 1972.
     
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  12. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I use whatever it takes to get the job done my old friend.

    I use amp sims a lot for recording these days, as I'm already sitting in front of the DAW on my laptop. Fewer cables and less messing about.
     
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  13. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    I tried that. I didn't like the result. So, I started looking for patches online. So far, no joy. I'm getting closer to a sound I like, but only for practice. The Katana just isn't my Rivera, nor do I think it will ever be.

    That doesn't mean it's not a good amp. It just means I'm old and set in my ways. I still like the Katana. It's not the grail, for me, I guess.

    To each his own and his own ears. I'll keep playing with the Katana. But, so far, it's not going to replace my Rivera or my Traynor. Those amps are amazing and sound great with very, very little effort or thought.

    This is all just me. Others obviously have very different experiences. If it works for them, good for them! I'm still trying to make it work for me.
     
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  14. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    Set them up on an AB switch and dial the Katana in until it sounds similar. Start with the bass, middle and treble at zero and bring each up slowly, they sometimes end up in unexpected positions. :D
     
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  15. ChubbyFingers

    ChubbyFingers Tele-Holic

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    Since getting my Marshall, to replace a Katana 50 Mk. 2, I've actually ditched all of my overdrive / distortion drive pedals, leaving only the chorus and a flanger on the effects loop. You can go from a super clean sound to a good old British crunch just ny turning up the volume knob on the guitar or by stomping on the boost pedal included with the amp.

    One of the advantages of pedals, of course, is that they're easily "turn on-able and turn off-able" with one's foot, rather than having to go over to the modeling amp and turn half a dozen knobs for the solo.
     
  16. hotraman

    hotraman Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm not sure about the valve amp inventory in Austria, but I bet you can find some amps to play through.
    Buy used if you can.
    I own a Katana head V1, and run it through various speaker cabs.
    It's become my main gigging amp.
    I own a Mesa Express 5:25 V1, too.
    I don't have to sell it to meet expenses. So I keep it.
    The solid state amp / modeling options are getting better each year.
    Choose what's best for you and your budget.
     
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  17. StevesBoogie

    StevesBoogie Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Politely disagree. The modeling amps now come with programmable footswitch boards. The Mustang can hold up to 50 preset tones (default or customized tones) that can be activated by the footswitch. Of course, you would have to strategically program the tones into appropriate 'banks' in order for it to be seamless.
     
  18. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    As some people have said above, not all tube amps are made equal. And in my opinion, there are many more crappy ones being made today than say from the 70's, 60's, 50's. Guitar amps aren't exactly hifi devices, but a quality sounding tube amp will have good to excellent clarity (you'll know it for sure when you hear it, no question or maybes) whether clean, overdrive, or fully distorted (amp dependent), will have good to excellent responsiveness to the dynamics of your playing, will tend to go into nice compression and feedback at higher volumes when overdrive or distorted, will cut through much better than solid state and modeling amps in live playing situations, will have a nice overall character/texture to it's sound (amp dependent), and for amps with reverb, will have complexity in the reverb that you will never get from a modeler.

    It sounds like you are doing good with what you have right now. If you are longing for something along the lines of the above, start checking out some tube amps in person. Try as many as you can, especially classic amps with the assistance of other players who use them and know them. Keep in mind that there are tons of modern amps available that aren't very good or are mediocre, built to low price points, often of throwaway design and build quality (rather than being built to be serviced for the long haul). So use what you have, start checking out some good to excellent classic amps, and hold out for one that really speaks to you.

    The way you are playing in the video, I would say to check out some real deal vintage Fender blackface amps such as the Super Reverb and Vibroverb as a starting point, play them turned up to 6 and higher on the volume. If you find one that is in good service, you will fall in love, almost guaranteed. No pedals or other doodads required for great tone.
     
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  19. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I think you may be overthinking it here. I have yet to hook my Katana to a computer. I just dialed it into 3 settings I liked, and haven't looked back.

    As for the OP, I'd say sure, grab a tube amp, but keep the Katana on hand. I loved my Carvin X Amp, and it sounded great when you hit the 'sweet spot'. Problem was, the sweet spot was really LOUD (Master at like 1.5). Too loud for most of the places we play.
    We've now moved on to the bass player and I both being ampless and going direct to the PA, which has made setup way more efficient, and as I keep getting older, it sure is nice to not haul as much heavy stuff around. The POD HD400 is a heck of a lot lighter than even a small combo amp.
     
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  20. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi Krenar,
    Welcome to the forum! You have a really nice touch on your HB and are getting some nice sounds out of your Katana. Do you need a tube amp? No. What are you missing? Subtle differences. A tube amp may give you more depth and 3-D in sound. You would probably enjoy what a tube amp does breaking up, especially with that p90 pickup. You can also hear the juiciness of tubes that modelers have been trying to emulate for a long time. Personally, I think tube amps offer more character and sound less processed. Your playing is developed and sensitive enough that you'd appreciate the difference.

    The downside of tubes is $$$. For a decent tube amp you're probably looking at spending 3x what you have tied up in your present amp and guitar to get a nice one. Then you'll need a few pedals, which can become a real rabbit hole. You also will likely finding yourself enjoying playing louder because that's when tubes really get cooking. I've been a tube amp and pedals person from the beginning, so I'm prejudiced. Get out and try a few tube amps and see what you think, and buy used if possible.
     
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