Peavey Bandit 65 and Boss Katana 50

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by LowCaster, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    1,071
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Location:
    Paris, France
    Those two amps are often discussed as cheap options both for beginners or for band practice or gigs. I thought they deserve their own thread and I recorded this short video.



    I'm not really trying to show the (huge) differences here, quite the contrary.

    One is 35 years old solid state and weighs a ton, the other is last year's digital wonder.

    I did my best to match the settings and play a few chords: The Bandit is set to the higher gain limit where there is a little compression and crunch or breakup. The Katana is set to a lower gain setting on the crunch channel. That’s where they meet. In the video you hear more highs and clarity from the Katana, but in real the Bandit has lots of dynamics and clarity and tight and powerful lows whereas the Katana is less punchy and easily harsher, though it can be much more versatile with other settings and options. No pedal, just a hint of reverb on both.

    What's your experience with them? Opinions? Feel free to post other vids. ;)
     
  2. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,103
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    I don’t own either one.

    I’ve played through a few different Bandits (friends’ amps) and demo’d the Katana.

    The Katana didn’t sound bad—especially in a band setting, where a lot of the nuances were lost. The light weight is nice.

    The Bandit, however, is built like a tank and could be thrown down a stairwell and still work...and it could be dialed in to some really spectacular sounds. The cleans were better than the crunchies, but the crunchies were pretty dang good.

    I look at it this way;

    if I were running a short sprint, a lightweight pair of athletic shoes would suffice.

    But if I’m going on a long-haul walk, give me my heavier, tougher leather boots...they’re going to cover me better and last infinitely longer—and I can get them re-soled/re-heeled at some point.
     
    Eastbound71 and LowCaster like this.
  3. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    1,065
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2019
    Location:
    Moncton, NB Canada
    See - this is exactly why I still have my 50 watt solo series Bandit (the model just prior to the 65). I have a Fender Mustang II modelling amp, which is just killer for bedroom level and practice, but when you crank it right up, its harder to dial in a tight bottom end and dial out the harshness - not impossible, but harder. Exactly the kind of think you are describing with the Katana. The Bandit just sounds great cranked to a decent medium venue gigging volume. My Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister 18 is great at both low and high volumes (great built in attenuator) but since it's a head with a separate cab and I use some of my pedals in the effect loop, it's a little less "grab and go" than the Bandit. I use the Bandit set cleaner with pedals for getting dirt instead of relying on the preamp distortion like I do with the H&K, so I can keep ally my delays and reverbs up front, which makes the Bandit that much more simple to set up.

    I only have three amps right now, and they more than cover everything I need, and they all have their place. No amp GAS right now, whatsoever.

    But I've had the Bandit for the longest, by far, and it would probably be the last one to go. Great amp.

    EDIT: No question that modelling amps are more versatile with a wider range of tones, but I never really look for this level of versatility in an amp - it's not a selling point for me. I tend to look for one or two, at most, great models and stick to those and treat it like a more conventional amp. BTW: Tone Master Deluxe? Stellar, stellar amp - I've played one a few times now - it would be on my short list, along with a Marshall Origin and a VOX AC15 *IF* I were amp shopping - which I'm not ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
    LowCaster likes this.
  4. Cesspit

    Cesspit Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    594
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    Location:
    Oxfordshire England
    I've owned both, though years apart. The bandit was a tough, workable little amp when I was hard up. No contest next to a valve amp in my opinion. The Kantana is very clever, great for recording and I'd use it as a back up for gigging, but again, I'd want a valve amp.

    Just stuck in my ways after all these years.
     
  5. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,490
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Location:
    Near Athens GA USA
    To me, the magic of the Bandit is its clean channel. Pair it with almost any modeling unit/pedal/preamp and it will be great. I first paired it with a Sansamp over 20 years ago. Most recently, I've been using it with the Hotone heads (below) and the Hotone Binary Amp and IR Cab.

    peavey and hotones.jpg
     
    stevemc likes this.
  6. rickthescot

    rickthescot Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    847
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    Love my Bandit and I'm sure I would enjoy a Katana but have yet to try one. Likely will be similar to my Peavey VIP 2 which has been maligned about as much as the Katana has.
     
  7. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    1,065
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2019
    Location:
    Moncton, NB Canada
    Yep - I've used mine like this as well - as a power amp and cabinet for modelling pedals, sans-amp style analog pedals, and even rack mount tube preamps (rockmaster and Digitech Twin Tube). But I've also used it on its own, cranked with just an SD-1 in front, and man, it can rock in it's own right.
     
  8. WireLine

    WireLine Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    1,455
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Midland TX
    Durable is not what I think of...bulletproof more like it

    Some years ago I was return from an out of town gig at which I used a Bandit 65. My Explorer had a blowout, long story short the SUV rolled 3 times (!).. the amp flew out the rear window during a roll...

    it was recovered from the median. When I finally got home I dusted the thing off, blew out the innards with canned air, cleaned up a couple scuffs, and it performed perfectly.
     
    bgmacaw, LowCaster and mkdaws32 like this.
  9. LunarSlingShot

    LunarSlingShot Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    657
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2018
    Location:
    Wouldn't you like to know
    Never played a Bandit but I really dig my mk2 Katana. I’m getting great sounds out of the clean channel and I use a combination of the built in effects and my own stomp boxes. Does everything I need
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.