Author Topic: First amp for beginner: Katana 50, THR, Pathfinder or?  (Read 259 times)

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Offline knosh

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First amp for beginner: Katana 50, THR, Pathfinder or?
« on: June 07, 2018, 03:48:46 pm »
Hey guys,

I have been doing Justin's beginner course on an old accoustic for the last few weeks, just bought a 2nd hand Pacifica 112V and am now thinking about what kind of amp I should buy. I already did some research on my own and read some threads on this forum, but I'm still not sure what to do.

For right now, all I need is an amp to practice with that works on low volume. I would prefer it to be small, since I would be bringing it home on weekends. For the future I probably want some effects to play around with, but it's not really necessary right now.

Things I might want in the future, but I'm not really sure about: More volume and the ability to use a looper pedal with different effects.

With those things in mind, I'm considering the following options:

Boss Katana 50
From what I can tell, it would work as a low volume practice amp on the 0.5 Watt setting, it comes with plenty of effects to play around with and it can be louder if I ever want it to be. The size is a drawback though and it doesn't have an effects loop. I could get a new one for €185, not much to be saved on the 2nd hand market.
The Katana 100 would have the effects loop, but is getting kind of pricey and is even bigger.
From what I can tell the Fender Mustang I is similar, just a bit cheaper and maybe not as suited for low volume?

Yamaha THR 10 or 5
Seems to be great for low volume practice, has effects built-in and is really portable. No effects loop and no extra volume. I'm not sure which of the THR5 and the different THR10s I would prefer. I could get the 5 for 175€, the THR10 for 235€ and I might be able to get one cheaper 2nd hand.
The Vox Adio Air seems to be very similar to the THR10.

Vox Pathfinder
Would work as a low volume practice amp for now and I like the size. Not a lot of effects built-in, no effects loop, no extra volume. But it's only 66€ new and there seem to be a bunch of 2nd hand ones on the market.
So the idea would be get the Pathfinder for now and figure out what I want in the future. I could get a 2nd amp down the line without worrying about size, because I would have an amp for each place. Or I could get a multi effects pedal with a looper, if that's what I end up needing.

So that's where I'm at...Did I get anything wrong or miss something? Any other amps I should consider?

Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: First amp for beginner: Katana 50, THR, Pathfinder or?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2018, 04:03:02 pm »
I got a used THR10 for €175, that would be my first choice. If you want more volume you could swap it for something else. I have that as my low-volume practice amp and an 18W Vox tube amp with pedals for more volume, tone and fun.
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Online joueur de guitare

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Re: First amp for beginner: Katana 50, THR, Pathfinder or?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2018, 04:03:43 pm »
Boss Katana gets a lot of love everywhere. I'll probably get around to buying one myself.

So that's my bias :)

My bedroom amp is a Vox AC4TV10. It gets loud...
Guitars. Fender Highway 1 Tele: Fender Shortboard LE Mustang: Ibanez AS73 semi-hollow: Ibanez SR370 bass: Squier Affinity Strat: Squier Jagmaster.

Offline Majik

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Re: First amp for beginner: Katana 50, THR, Pathfinder or?
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2018, 05:45:57 pm »
The Katana's are great, but not particularly small compared to something like the THRs.

On the other hand, the THR is definitely in the "practice amp" category in that you couldn't really take it to a jam or practice session or use it for gigging.

If you want something very specifically for practice use, and you want it to be sit-on-a-shelf small, then the THR (or the Vox Adio, etc.) are the way to go.

You could also look at the Boss JS-10 which is an all-in-one practice tool including an MP3 phrase trainer, recorder, and backing loop player (although it's quite expensive for what it is).

If the Katana's measurements are OK with you then that would IMO give more flexibility as it's a proper guitar amp that you could use for jam/practice sessions and even gig with.

The Pathfinder's a great little amp (I have a Pathfinder 15R, I rarely use it these days since getting the Katana, but I still keep hold of it). If you want something a lot cheaper than the Katana, but good then it's not a bad option. It is, of course, limited compared to the Katana, but some people like the simplicity of basic amp controls.

Or, of course, as you say, get the Pathfinder now and then explore other options later. The way I look at it, if you look after it you should be able to sell it on for pretty much the same price as you paid for it if you decide you don't need it in the future.

Note, if you want to use a looper with effects, you'll really need either a separate FX pedal board or a multifx unit with most of these as none of them have an FX loop. The exception is the JS-10 which effectively has a GT-100 multifx unit and a looper onboard, which sort of justifies it's higher price

Cheers,

Keith
Guitars: PRS Singlecut S2, Fender Tele Lite Ash, G&L Legacy Tribute, Freshman Apollo 2 OCBX
Amps: Bugera G5 Head, Boss Katana 100
All sorts of other stuff.

Offline J.W.C.

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Re: First amp for beginner: Katana 50, THR, Pathfinder or?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2018, 12:38:56 am »
Re: Katana

These sound pretty good, and are definitely fine for low-volume practicing. As you note, they can also function as a jam session/gig amp when you need them to. If you want a good sounding amp that has excellent versatility, this is a fine choice. Personally, if you go for a Katana, I'd recommend just getting the 100w version: it has a better speaker and more features (like the foot controller capability and effects loop, and more channels, etc), and you don't really save much space if you opt for the 50w version.

Re: Yahama

These also sound pretty good and are perfect for low-volume practicing. Its advantage over the Katana is the small form factor, so if space is at a premium, that's an important concern. However, you can't really do a jam or gig with the Yamaha: it's not as versatile. If you want a good sounding amp that takes up as little space as possible, and don't really care about louder volumes (e.g. jams/gigs), then this is a fine choice.

Re: Mustang I

While there might be some similarities between this and the Katana (50), I think the Katana is the better choice. In my opinion, the Mustang doesn't sound as good or respond as well as the Katana. It's also got an 8" speaker (compared to a 12" speaker in the Katana) and is 20w (compared to the Katana's 50 or 100). The Mustang I is less capable for jams/gigs.

Re: Pathfinder

These are pretty good, for what it is, which is an inexpensive, straightforward solid-state practice amp. However it's also the least versatile and feature-rich of all the amps you mentioned. I think they sound okay, but I wouldn't go this route unless budget is your primary concern.

If it were me, I'd go with the Katana 100. If that's over the budget, then I'd go for the Katana 50. If the Katanas are too big, then I'd go for the Yamaha.

Offline Drubbing

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Re: First amp for beginner: Katana 50, THR, Pathfinder or?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2018, 02:01:32 am »
The current 10w Pathfinder can't be compared to the discontinued 15w. I still think the 15W pathfinder sounds better than anything I've heard yet. It finds its limits with too much gain, but I found the Mustang much the same in that regard.

The modelling amps have more features and toys, but for me the Pathfinder does everything I need it to

Offline close2u

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Re: First amp for beginner: Katana 50, THR, Pathfinder or?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2018, 07:16:38 am »
I'm a new user of Blackstar ID Core amps …

I have an ID Core 20

and now an ID Core BEAM


Definitely worth putting on your list.

Offline DarrellW

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Re: First amp for beginner: Katana 50, THR, Pathfinder or?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2018, 05:44:53 pm »
After having had my hands on one (at last!) I would thoroughly recommend having a look at the amp reviewed below it’s an absolute cracker for the price (£90 approx)


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Offline OK53

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Re: First amp for beginner: Katana 50, THR, Pathfinder or?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2018, 10:59:28 pm »
Hey guys,

I have been doing Justin's beginner course on an old accoustic for the last few weeks, just bought a 2nd hand Pacifica 112V and am now thinking about what kind of amp I should buy. I already did some research on my own and read some threads on this forum, but I'm still not sure what to do.

For right now, all I need is an amp to practice with that works on low volume. I would prefer it to be small, since I would be bringing it home on weekends. For the future I probably want some effects to play around with, but it's not really necessary right now.

Things I might want in the future, but I'm not really sure about: More volume and the ability to use a looper pedal with different effects.

With those things in mind, I'm considering the following options:

Boss Katana 50
From what I can tell, it would work as a low volume practice amp on the 0.5 Watt setting, it comes with plenty of effects to play around with and it can be louder if I ever want it to be. The size is a drawback though and it doesn't have an effects loop. I could get a new one for €185, not much to be saved on the 2nd hand market.
The Katana 100 would have the effects loop, but is getting kind of pricey and is even bigger.
From what I can tell the Fender Mustang I is similar, just a bit cheaper and maybe not as suited for low volume?

Yamaha THR 10 or 5
Seems to be great for low volume practice, has effects built-in and is really portable. No effects loop and no extra volume. I'm not sure which of the THR5 and the different THR10s I would prefer. I could get the 5 for 175€, the THR10 for 235€ and I might be able to get one cheaper 2nd hand.
The Vox Adio Air seems to be very similar to the THR10.

Vox Pathfinder
Would work as a low volume practice amp for now and I like the size. Not a lot of effects built-in, no effects loop, no extra volume. But it's only 66€ new and there seem to be a bunch of 2nd hand ones on the market.
So the idea would be get the Pathfinder for now and figure out what I want in the future. I could get a 2nd amp down the line without worrying about size, because I would have an amp for each place. Or I could get a multi effects pedal with a looper, if that's what I end up needing.

So that's where I'm at...Did I get anything wrong or miss something? Any other amps I should consider?

I bought myself a Vox Adio Air GT. It has tons of different sounds on it and lots settings which you can play with to get different sounds. It was expensive (£220 new) but was worth it. It's perfect for me, I don't gig (not good enough yet) I just use it purely as a practise bedroom amp.

Can be used with headphones too and it isn't too loud. For me it's perfect, despite the high cost and very useful too since it's so small and can use it at home or my uni halls :)

 

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