1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Katana 50 or cheaper tube amp?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by ecole96, Jul 27, 2019.

Which amp?

  1. Katana 50

    10 vote(s)
  2. Tube

    6 vote(s)
  1. ecole96

    ecole96 TDPRI Member

    Jul 8, 2019
    I've been using a Mustang 1 V2 for nearly two years now and I'm not a huge fan of it - sounds okay but it's not all that user-friendly (I prefer to be working with tone knobs, not presets), so I'm looking to upgrade. I was initially pretty set on a tube amp, but it seems like everywhere I go online the Katana series are fawned over. I'm liking what I see from it (the 50 in particular) - the price, versatility, ability to use as an interface (I'm enough of a noob with recording to struggle with getting a good tone direct into my interface with DAW effects), control (seems to be less preset-based than the Mustang), and supposed pedal friendliness, but I'm also concerned as a lower-budget modeling amp it won't feel like much of an upgrade from my Mustang.

    If I was gigging I'd go for a tube (probably used), but I don't gig - like 90% of my playing is at home and the other 10% is jamming with friends, once in a while with a drummer. To complicate matters I'm likely moving into an apartment in a few months, so volume may be an issue. It's also a little harder on my wallet and it'd likely necessitate a few more pedals that would be built-in on the Katana. I've looked into several lower-end tubes - Blues Jr, Marshall DSL5CR, Blackstar HT5R, Peavey Classic 30, Egnater Tweaker, and Bugera V22. The Bugera seems to be the most full-featured for the least price, so I'd lean a little harder over that than the others.

    I'm leaning Katana, but having never owned a tube amp before, it's hard to shake that curiosity. Thoughts?
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I have the 100 watter, and it sounds great!
    I like versatile stuff.
    The Katana 50, or 100 more than qualify.
    Treynor likes this.
  3. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Holic

    Dec 19, 2017
    Seattle, WA
    Do you have the owner's manual for your Mustang? If not, get the PDF version from the Fender website and give it a quick read. You can tweak things from the amp in ways that aren't obvious, like adjusting the mids and the level of the effects. You might find the Mustang actually does most of what you want and save yourself a chunk of money.

    Some of the tube amps you mention - Classic 30, V22 - are big and LOUD. And most tube amps don't have a headphone jack or line out.

    For the kind of playing you describe, I suspect the Katana or Mustang would be a better fit. The Katana would be a step up from what you have. When I upgraded from the Mustang, I opted for the Vox Vt40x instead and love it.
  4. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Afflicted

    May 8, 2019
    The upsidedown
    I do the same sort of playing, and my Katana 50 does everything I need. I tried a bunch of smaller tube amps, nice but too loud, nowhere near as much versatility, and cost more.
    cbh5150, Treynor and brookdalebill like this.
  5. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

    Jul 20, 2010
    Katana 50 - apartment versatility = bliss

    Small tube amp - one trick loud pony = meh.

    And I owned a "small tube amp" for thirty six years. For thirty of those, I couldn't use it at home, way too loud, no headphone option. I sold it recently because the Katana can handle gigs just as well.
    cbh5150, aging_rocker and bgmacaw like this.
  6. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 13, 2014
    A modeler certainly gives versatility. I'm just allergic to modelers :eek: :p :lol:
    My Marshall DSL1CR is plenty loud for playing in my apartment - in the reduced power setting.

    There's some analog solidstate amps out there. Sound good and reduce your digital footprint :twisted:
  7. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Aug 17, 2012
    Try them all out for yourself, pick the one you like the best.
    aging_rocker and perttime like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.