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Katana 50 MKII. Am I alone? Don't care for it

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by 1977CJ5, Dec 26, 2019.

  1. 1977CJ5

    1977CJ5 Tele-Afflicted

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    About a year ago, I picked up a like new Fender Champion 40 at a pawn shop for $78.00. Not sure why I bought it... good price? liked the look? bored ?, don't remember. I had never liked Fender SS amps, especially their built in distortion. Granted, it had been years since I played one, and I was biased from my previous experience. So I get home, plugged it in, and was shocked at how good the thing sounded. especially with a small dose of reverb + delay. Beautiful cleans, really rich, full and punchy; some really nice overdrive tones in blackface and British. After a week, I did not like the amp, I absolutely loved it. With the Fender footswitch, it is perfect. BTW, I have owned Rivera, Fender Twin Reverb, Blues Jr, most Peaveys, Blackstar, and a bunch of other tube amps.

    Fast forward, since buying this amp, I have been seeing nothing but glowing reviews about the Katana 50 and 50MKII. Ran across some threads comparing the Katana 50 to the Champion 40, and most of them said hands down the Katana rules and wins. So, I got the bug, figured if I loved the Champ so much, I would be absolutely snowed by the Katana.

    Bought 2 MKII 50's combos for Christmas, one for me, one for my son.

    Unboxed one yesterday, with great expectations... Dang, and yuk. I cant get a good sound out of this thing. Cleans are OK, but overdrive distortion are a nightmare. Brittle, Harsh, just fake and bad sounding. Watched a bunch of videos on settings etc. Just sounds awful to me no matter what I do (Clean with boost, or Brown etc.) Now, I'm sure some will say use your computer and go to the website. That's fine, but should I really have to do that to get some kind of decent tone? It should not be that difficult to get a decent sound out of an amp. Also, figured if I could get it sounding ok, then a footswitch (which should come with this amp) needs to be purchase separately and needs a battery or adapter power... good grief. Would think Boss could do better than that.

    I cant really get a bad sound out of my Champion 40, except for my playing. So, the grass is greener on the other side, has been proven again. Katanas are both going back.
     
  2. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I had the same experience with the Champion 40. I bought the Katana. It's a funny old world. :)
     
  3. John E

    John E Friend of Leo's

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    Have not tried a Champion 40. Actually come to think of it I don't think I have tried the Kat 50 either, I have the 100. The first time I tried the Kat 100 I was not impressed, I really didn't like it at all. This was at a Guitar center. When I was back in another shop I decided to give it another try, was able to spend more time with it (and actually have some interaction with the shop owner and some advice on quick settings), and I ended up falling in love with it. I have tried every variant of the 100 many times (except the new MK2). Really enjoyed all of them but I ended up really being taken with the high/mid character of the Kat 100 1x12. Love this amp.
     
  4. howlin

    howlin Tele-Afflicted

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    I had two Katana 50's and couldn't bond with either one. I haven't tried one but I've heard that the Champion 50XL is another good SS alternative FWIW.
     
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  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Just a thought, the Kat speaker may need breaking in for a chunk oh hours before you can really hear the amp sound.

    Maybe run the Kat through another speaker for a listen?
     
  6. Ducerro

    Ducerro Tele-Holic

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    I have a KAT 50 first generation. It was my first "real amp" when I got back into playing a couple of years ago. I've never hooked mine up to a computer and likely never will - that said I really don't care for the amp at all. It just doesn't do anything for me.

    My second "real amp" was a Fender Hod Rod Deluxe George Benson Edition. I probably don't need to say it, but there is no comparison. The Hot Rod is all that AND a bag of cookies. The only thing I don't like about the Hot Rod is the size and weight. I don't move it much, but it's not a travel amp by any stretch of the imagination.

    I'll likely keep the KAT 50 since it has an acoustic setting. I have no intention of getting rid of the Hot Rod. And I'm now looking for a travel amp for amp #3. Looking for one with tubes though...
     
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  7. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    I love my Kat 50 more than any other amp I've owned. I can get stunning and killer tones. I get the best Jimi, Mayer, SRV with zero help from pedals or being hooked up to the deep editing. I also get a beautiful Frisell-esque tone but it really comes out when you play like him. It gets a great Princeton, and everything in between,, all from the simple front panel.

    Only the Kemper I owned sounded better, but it was really easy to drown in the editing. The Kat is plug and play because there is no bad tone. How about the clean mode with gain at zero, bass mids and treble all at zero, and the green overdrive set at 30%. A killer John Frusciante tone. It's so easy to turn the 4 or 5 knobs to get my tone that I don't even save them to memory slots.
     
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  8. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It took me about three weeks before I knew my way around my Kemper well enough to finally start getting great (to me) results out of it. One or two days is really not long enough time to get to know these amps, IMHO.
     
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  9. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Friend of Leo's

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    I've got the Champion 50XL... and really like it. I don't like futzing around with editing etc so I found the one sound I loved and stuck with it. I changed the Celestion for a Jensen re-issue C12N I've had for yonks and it sounds even better.
     
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  10. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I prefer my Katana 50 over my 65 Blackface PRRI.
     
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  11. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’d give it a little more time I usually try to work with an amp for at least a week and as said the speaker can need some breaking in
    Or.....
    Maybe it’s just not for you I’ve never used the katana but have a champion 100 that everyone tells me is quite useable and easy to get a good sound, I can’t get along with mine some settings sound okay but nothing sounds good on the champion to me. So one person may love an amp that someone else can’t stand

    Does your son like the one you got for him?
     
  12. FrontPU

    FrontPU Tele-Holic

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    Have you tried Waza-Air Wireless Headphone Guitar Amp?
    I have just got one and been blown away.
     
  13. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    Try the crunch setting on the Katana with the gain low, about 9 or 10 o'clock and then for dirt use a pedal in front of it or the on-board overdrive (I liked the Blues Driver one best). That was the best tone I got from the Katana 50, and I always used it on the 1/2 watt setting.
    I also agree with the comment about speaker break in. I just got the Yamaha THR10C, and right out of the box it was a bit too thin and bright sounding, where the one I tried in the store was warmer sounding. Now, after having the Yamaha for 2 weeks, the speakers are loosening up and sounding a lot warmer, and feeling a lot less tight too.
     
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  14. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Afflicted

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    The Katana is not plug and play: as with any amp you have to find your setting. It is easy to get lost with all the settings options. And don’t forget your guitar’s volume and tone controls.

    I’d suggest you start with a low power setting, but master up 80%, mid volume and start fiddling with the crunch channel, raising the gain until it’s enough for you, adjust tone and don’t use the integrated boost/distortion at first. I get a decent tube amp tone without efforts.

    (Edit: same kind of setting as DougM !)
     
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  15. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    This.
     
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  16. LunarSlingShot

    LunarSlingShot Tele-Holic

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    I just picked up a Katana 100 recently. I’m having a good time with it. I’ve been using the clean or crunch channels and then my own pedalboard for fx (other than the katana’s reverb) as I don’t have the katana foot switch. Sounds great as a pedal platform.

    I love the flexibility the amp has with the power scaling. My four piece band, with drum set, practiced yesterday in a quieter capacity than normal and believe it or not, I never took the amp off the 0.5 watt setting. Volume wasn’t even maxed out and I could be heard over the drums. Loud amps
     
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  17. dswo

    dswo Tele-Holic

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    I bought a Kat 50 two years ago, but have been playing other things. I plugged mine in this week and -- wow -- that crunch channel is versatile. Sounds good on its own, and great with the built-in treble boost or Blues Driver. As recommended above, it's designed to be run with the master volume high. Rich, throaty blues tones from my Telecaster's neck pickup (another surprise).
     
  18. LoveHz

    LoveHz Tele-Holic

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  19. Maroonandwhite

    Maroonandwhite Tele-Meister

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    I also believe it needs a good break in. I have the Kat 100 and 50 version 1. I don’t really care for any of the on board effects and basically use it on the clean channel with the EQ and gain at 12. It takes my pedals well and is great for the money.
    I really think amps are just like any other music gear. Some are great all around and some only work I’m certain instances. The Kats are my only amps right now but seem to get it done for me.
     
  20. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Friend of Leo's

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    mmm - you have a point. That sounds pretty damn good.
     
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