Boss Katana Original and Official Irrational Love and Hate Thread™

Alex Kenivel

Rock Star
TGF Recording Artist
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3,113
If you love it so much, why do you keep fucking with it?

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Making a very crude (semi) closed back panel today.
 
I've never played a Katana in real life, but judging from everything I've heard online, I reckon that G12M is going to be a great match with the Katana and a significant improvement 😄

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I've never played a Katana in real life, but judging from everything I've heard online, I reckon that G12M is going to be a great match with the Katana and a significant improvement 😄

Subscribed. Be sure to report back!
I had the Creamback before I had the Katana, actually - I swapped it in soon after I got the Kat and it was was pretty much:chef. Not a sweeping difference (both speakers are greenback-esque) but less high end and a sound I was more familiar with.

The Creamback was in a Fender Frontman 65r before that. I had plans to get an empty cab for the speaker and get a power amp but going this route seemed easier and it works as a highly variable standalone amp. Sounds way better as a power amp compared to that Frontman, too.
 
Getting there, my Dual Lock strategy isn't working so well against the MDF - I should probably secure it better than that anyway.
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Bet it will sound so much thighter when you get that rear panel installed.
Will see, I'm actually more interested in cutting down volume behind the cab when necessary. It won't be completely closed either, there are some air vents facing the speaker that I don't want to necessarily block off from getting air so there is about an inch or so of a gap left
 
If you love it so much, why do you keep f*****g with it?

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Making a very crude (semi) closed back panel today.
Had my first band rehearsal with my MKII head last night. Havent spent a ton of time with it since grabbing one but my general first dry run was..

Loved the cleans and hated the gains. Was running through a 4x12 of V30/G12T75 X patterned in a 4x12. Hard to describe what I didn't like about the gains. Gun to my head I'd say "boxy but flat" sounding I guess. The Studio Rats love using a booster pedal for the gains and I may take that route on my next dialing session and maybe put my Pure Sky in front for solo boosts. The cleans really worked nice all around for stuff ranging from funk to CCR to semi-country stuff like Meredith Brooks. Snappy and pristine with great dynamics for a SS/Digital head.

I really want it to work for gigs cos I managed to get everything I use on one pedalboard and cant currently do that with Helix LT. It's a mini nightmare using everything for the band when I gig my Helix. I mix from stage so I use 3 vocal pedals for all my needed fx like various delays and reverbs and megaphone/distorted stuff. It's so nice to have that cathedral reverb in the intro of Highway Tune for instance or the crazy repeated delays for parts of Mob Rules and quite a few others where I need a special effect. Concentrating on the whole show as opposed to how great I can get my personal tone to sound to me.

Katana will allow (just a GAFC) that if I can get it to sound at least decent with the gains in the band mix.

A pic of the board I started to build yesterday. Wound up removing the Phaser because it's just so noisy.
 

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Loved the cleans and hated the gains
This is where I sat with the Katana for a while. Most of my gain tones feature the built-in EQ effects - the graphic EQ before the preamp dumping bass and boosting mids, adding level - the parametric EQ afterward for low/high cuts and for adding bass back after the preamp.

We get even more EQ options with the latest firmware update so you don't necessarily have to burn two effects blocks to tailor a good gain sound. I've done a pretty good-to-me replication of my favorite Helix amp models although the Katana Preamps don't breathe and compress like the HX models.

The Studio Rats dude gets some okay tones, some not really my thing - I can't seem to get a good tone with clean preamp/boost pedals like he does.
 
Curious how it turns out as I’m planning to try the same thing with my Cat 60!
Better than I thought, at least mechanically. The 3M Dual Lock makes such a stable connection - no rattling or movement from the back panel at all and I can still remove it. I had to paint over the MDF I had exposed to get anything to adhere to it.

A touch of wood glue really helps the Dual Lock stay put! I'm still shaping the edges and I'm probably going to repaint but I kinda dig the faux relic :bag

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Note definition is better, low end is tighter.
 
I’ve only played a these a couple times at GC when trying out a guitar, always seemed kind of sterile to me but I never spent a whole lot of time dialing them in or checking out the options. I know my initial reaction to the Catalyst was a lot more positive.

My buddy has one of those little Air Katana’s, that thing seems pretty cool for taking to the beach, but I still haven’t had the chance to play though it yet.
 
I’ve only played a these a couple times at GC when trying out a guitar, always seemed kind of sterile to me but I never spent a whole lot of time dialing them in or checking out the options
That has been my first few interactions with the amp, need to try out this guitar, oh look, here's a bunch of Katanas with instrument cables ready to go. The bigger Kats always seemed to sound better than the 50w but nothing really alive about them. Tweaking in the editor goes a long way.

I've still yet to see a Catalyst at my local few GC stores :hmm
 
That has been my first few interactions with the amp, need to try out this guitar, oh look, here's a bunch of Katanas with instrument cables ready to go. The bigger Kats always seemed to sound better than the 50w but nothing really alive about them. Tweaking in the editor goes a long way.

I've still yet to see a Catalyst at my local few GC stores :hmm

Oh man, the Catalyst has pretty much taken the mantle the Katana once had down here.
 
I had a Katana 100 and it was just okay. Swapped the speaker and it was still okay. I have a Cat 60 and it’s just okay. Swapped the speaker and it’s still just okay.

Honestly I think the cabinet is a big part of the reason they can be a bit underwhelming. A decent 1x12 cab is about $400, so getting a 100 watt combo amp for $300-350, they had to compromise on the quality of course.

Still, they seem to be solid little amps for the money, especially for a cheap gigging amp or for newer players. I would have been thrilled to have something like that in the 90s.
 
This is where I sat with the Katana for a while. Most of my gain tones feature the built-in EQ effects - the graphic EQ before the preamp dumping bass and boosting mids, adding level - the parametric EQ afterward for low/high cuts and for adding bass back after the preamp.

We get even more EQ options with the latest firmware update so you don't necessarily have to burn two effects blocks to tailor a good gain sound. I've done a pretty good-to-me replication of my favorite Helix amp models although the Katana Preamps don't breathe and compress like the HX models.

The Studio Rats dude gets some okay tones, some not really my thing - I can't seem to get a good tone with clean preamp/boost pedals like he does.

Dubbed around with the EQ's some this morning. Definitely sounds better and I'm getting there. I have my patches all set up except for a whammy patch. If I have to use an external EXP pedal I guess having one next to the pedalboard is still better than having three devices lined up next to one big do.it.all pedal like my Helix LT. At least when it comes to convenience. I wish my MX5 would fit on there but it wont. I do have another big pedalboard I could try though.
 
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Running 4CM with my HX Stomp for the first time. I thought I'd get some tone loss or noise or something but I guess I'm lucky. I had to bump the S/R levels in Tone Studio to 65 to get the levels consistent. Don't mind the snakes, I know where they're all going.
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Thought I'd share my setup..

Bank A's 4 channels are
  1. Vanilla clean for pedal stacking.
  2. HX Essex A30'ish EOB style (using the clean channel and EQ)
  3. HX Placater'ish (EQed Brown channel)
  4. HX Badonk'ish (EQed Lead Channel with a TS and gate active)
They all have a plate reverb and analog delay.

Bank B's 4 channels are variations of an FX Return Only preset with the preamp zeroed, all effects off and signal chain running FX Return>EQ Effects>Speaker. Each instance of this preset has different tweaks to the EQ sections for different speaker responses and utilizes two of the Panel FX knobs (the ones I painted red in previous pics) - one for the High Gain on a Parametric EQ (acts as a treble boost/cut), one for the 125hz slider on the Graphic EQ (acts as a bass boost/cut).

Dubbed around with the EQ's some this morning. Definitely sounds better and I'm getting there. I have my patches all set up except for a whammy patch. If I have to use an external EXP pedal I guess having one next to the pedalboard is still better than having three devices lined up next to one big do.it.all pedal like my Helix LT. At least when it comes to convenience. I wish my MX5 would fit on there but it wont. I do have another big pedalboard I could try though.
The whammy effect is pretty good. I rip the Dunlop Mini off my Stomp board and use that sometimes. It's a bit of a PITA navigating to the hidden controller menu just to get to the pedal FX toggle switch. Setting up a preset specifically for that sound sounds like the way to go.
 
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