Author Topic: The Katana MKII Line  (Read 268 times)

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Offline CT

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The Katana MKII Line
« on: October 04, 2019, 02:30:56 pm »
The first Katana run didn't captivate me very much, but the new MKII 100 has caught my attention. Would be interested in what folks have to say about these new amps:



At the end of the day I'm a high value guy, was curious if the first Katana run saw price drops after the newness of the amps wore off? Does it make sense to wait off a bit knowing the issues that popped up early on with the first run?

Offline Majik

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Re: The Katana MKII Line
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2019, 02:57:51 pm »
I think the Andertons video is worth watching:




Particularly from the 2 mins 40s mark.

Basically, the Mark I version sold like hot-cakes and there doesn't seem to have been any slowdown in sales until the point when they announced the Mark II version (yesterday).

I've not seen any significant price drops so far. I suspect any shops which have stock of the Mark I will sell them off cheap, but I suspect authorised Boss resellers probably knew the Mark II was coming and have managed their stock accordingly, so I wouldn't expect too many bargains.

Also, the Mark II is a bit more expensive, so the Mark I is cheaper anyway.

I do suspect that a fair number of people may want to upgrade their Mark I Katanas to Mark IIs, and this may provide some bargains on the 2nd hand market.

The new amp looks great. The original was fantastic, especially after recent firmware updates, but some limitations were starting to show. A particularly bug-bear for some is that you could only select 3 FX, and that you had to chose between (for instance) a modulation effect or a booster, but not at the same time (although some effects were available on both the "booster/mod" slot, and the "delay/effect" slot. Also the way that they implemented the 2nd delay in the latest update was clever, but clunky (basically they combined the second delay and reverb into a single slot).

The new amp with separate slots and controls for each type of effect will make the amp far more flexible and far easier to use. I believe there is more flexibility in how the effects can be routed too.

I'm still slightly annoyed that there's no FX loop on the K50, as this would really have been a useful capability to those who wish to use a looper. Without this, you really can't use the Katana onboard effects wif you want to use a looper.

The other new facilities (stereo linking, power amp input, etc.) I probably wouldn't use myself, but I'm sure they'll be of use to some.

Personally, I'm not in a hurry to upgrade, but I may not be able to use my K100 Mk I for the next several months and I may have an opportunity to sell it to someone I know who borrowed it for a gig when his Marshall JVM 210C went in for repair. He was very impressed, to the point he said he might get one himself. He's borrowed it again for another gig and I'll be leaving it with him for a few weeks, so you never know.

If I do sell it, I probably won't be buying a Mark II immediately until I'm in a position to use it again. I may get a Katana Air or one of the new Yamaha THRs though.

Cheers,

Keith
« Last Edit: October 04, 2019, 06:49:05 pm by Majik »
Guitars: PRS Singlecut S2, Fender Tele Lite Ash, G&L Legacy Tribute, Freshman Apollo 2 OCBX, Gibson SG Special P90
Amps: Bugera G5 Head, Boss Katana 100
All sorts of other stuff.

Offline CT

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Re: The Katana MKII Line
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2019, 03:32:56 pm »
Yeah, the new Katana demos have hit fast and furious and I've seen a bunch of them including the Anderton's one above. BTW, as a looper fan, I really dig the funky loop that Pete lays down here. He's a master, and really puts on a clinic with this one!

I agree that an FX loop is an important thing to have on an amp. I can't say that I'm GASsing for a new amp, I've got my hands full with what I have, but this new 100W looks like a good one to have.

Offline Majik

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Re: The Katana MKII Line
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2019, 04:20:02 pm »
The old K100 was great too. The new one looks like the cherry on top.

But, like you, I have my hands full already and, if I wasn't going to be traveling for the next several months, I would be quite happy sticking with what I have for now.

There is a tendency for people to see "new, shiny" and want it.  It if you already have great tools and aren't hitting any significant barriers or frustrations, then why change?

And, yes, I'm always impressed and jealous of Danish Pete's amazing skills at building loops.

Cheers,

Keith

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

Guitars: PRS Singlecut S2, Fender Tele Lite Ash, G&L Legacy Tribute, Freshman Apollo 2 OCBX, Gibson SG Special P90
Amps: Bugera G5 Head, Boss Katana 100
All sorts of other stuff.

Offline Majik

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Re: The Katana MKII Line
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2019, 04:26:45 pm »
By the way, the only "issues" that people have had with the early Katanas were all to do with Windows device driver installation, only necessary if you wanted to use Tone Studio or use the USB interface to record. As I recall it was a few months before they fixed that.

Other than that, the hardware has been rock solid, and the firmware has been pretty light on bugs, and they tended to fix those that did appear quite quickly.

IMO there's no reason to not buy one of the early models on that basis.

Cheers,

Keith

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

Guitars: PRS Singlecut S2, Fender Tele Lite Ash, G&L Legacy Tribute, Freshman Apollo 2 OCBX, Gibson SG Special P90
Amps: Bugera G5 Head, Boss Katana 100
All sorts of other stuff.

Offline Rossco01

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Re: The Katana MKII Line
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2019, 06:45:28 pm »
Ironically I am just about to pick up a second hand K100 MK1 on Mon for £175 which I still think is good value. Been tracking prices over the last month for brand new and they've hovered around the £259-£275 price point. Looking today I'm seeing Mk2 for around the £334-£359 point. Interestingly a couple of stores I looked at for MK1 are now showing not available so I suspect stocks have been heavily managed and MK2 is going to be all on offer shortly.

 
Epiphone Masterbilt DR500MCE, Yamaha Pacifica 112V, Fender Mustang 1v2, Katana 100, Trio Plus, Zoom MS50G
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Offline CT

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Re: The Katana MKII Line
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2019, 03:25:13 am »
Yeah, I think a used KT100 MK1 might be the sweet spot. Nice value there now.

Offline Majik

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Re: The Katana MKII Line
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2019, 12:16:18 pm »
Yeah, I think a used KT100 MK1 might be the sweet spot. Nice value there now.

Agreed. My question is, is it an significant upgrade compared with your Mustang?

Of course, it will be "different" and maybe that's enough to warrant a purchase, especially if you are planning to keep the Mustang. I am certainly guilty of having more amps than I need.

Cheers,

Keith
Guitars: PRS Singlecut S2, Fender Tele Lite Ash, G&L Legacy Tribute, Freshman Apollo 2 OCBX, Gibson SG Special P90
Amps: Bugera G5 Head, Boss Katana 100
All sorts of other stuff.

Offline CT

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Re: The Katana MKII Line
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2019, 05:15:38 pm »
Agreed. My question is, is it an significant upgrade compared with your Mustang?

Of course, it will be "different" and maybe that's enough to warrant a purchase, especially if you are planning to keep the Mustang. I am certainly guilty of having more amps than I need.

Cheers,

Keith
That's the $200 question. Thanks for being the voice of reason. :)

Another amp would be a luxury for me. First and foremost I need to play a lot better. Aside from that, I have the Fender Mustang that (most notably) gives me Vox AC30, Mesa/Boogie, Marshall JCM800, and my go to Fender '65 Twin Reverb emulation. For an older amp, and to my ears, I think the emulation is great, at least for practice and recording. I also have the 15W Monoprice tube amp that has an FX loop but I rarely get a chance to really crank it up like I want to. It almost requires an empty house (that rarely happens) to enjoy its capabilities -- and probably likewise for a Katana 100. As if that wasn't enough I have a 130W PA system that can really crank as well. Top that off with a pedal board rig that I am happy with -- so yeah, a new amp that duplicates what I already have might just be the last thing I need.     

Offline Majik

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Re: The Katana MKII Line
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2019, 05:27:40 pm »
Well the Katana has a low power mode which really does work very well for bedroom volume playing.

However, if you were considering replacing the Mustang, and wanted to replicate the specific amp models you have on your current patches, then the Katana probably wouldn't be a good upgrade for you anyway.

As noted in (I think) the Anderton's demo, the Katana has a range of base tones ("clean", "crunch", "lead", and "brown") but these aren't designed to sound like specific amps. They are designed to be their own thing.

There are ways to make them sound more like specific amps. For instance, for my friend's gig, I set him up a dirty tone using the clean channel and a Guvnor distortion pedal emulation, which gives pretty Marshally sounding tones. But that's not the same as being able to dial in a specific amp model.

There are some "sneaky amps" which can be loaded in which do provide more specific amp models, but these aren't supported by Boss and there's a degree of faff involved. I have no idea if these are any good or not.

Personally it sounds like sticking with what you have is the best approach or, if you want to upgrade, looking at the other models of Mustang.

Cheers,

Keith
Guitars: PRS Singlecut S2, Fender Tele Lite Ash, G&L Legacy Tribute, Freshman Apollo 2 OCBX, Gibson SG Special P90
Amps: Bugera G5 Head, Boss Katana 100
All sorts of other stuff.

Offline Styrr

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Re: The Katana MKII Line
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2019, 06:30:12 pm »
Regarding ‘issues’ with the original Katana. As far as I am aware the only issue was with the software for the Boss Tone Studio for Windows. That was fixed after a week or so. I personally have never had any problems with my Katana 100 combo, and I have had it from about a month after its release.
I bought mine to replace my Fender Mustang (not the newer GT version) which I found too fiddly and although I liked the clean versions I thought the heavy gain amps models were not too my liking . The mustang has since lived in a cupboard.

As for the Mk1 being cheaper now: I have had a quick look at UK retailers and anyone having it in stock vary in price from the original £279 down to £259. So, not much discount for new ‘old’ stock. There is/was at least a couple used on UK Ebay for around £150.

Is £50 price differential worth the new features ?  Well not for me, and I doubt I would sell my ‘old’ one and upgrade. Others mileage may differ. At some point I may give it away to my son-in-law and buy a MKII .
Looking at the new features
1)   Now you can have 5 effects loaded. Nice and handy if you need them. (The only one I normally use is the reverb as I have a pedal board already).
2)   Power amp input. Good if you just want to run a pre-amp pedal or multi-effects/ modelling  processor into it. You could just run it/them into the FX return (on a 100).
3)   Variation on each amp channel. From what I have listened to on YouTube, the variation just seems brighter. i.e. cuts the bass a little. I can achieve this with equalisation
4)   A few more effects pedals you can add via the Tone studio.  Already has loads of them anyway.
5)   On the 100w version you can connect 2 combos together for stereo. Not sure if you can set it/them up as a wet-dry rig.

The 50w version still doesn’t have a FX loop, which is the only reason I bought the 100w.
And still a bit miffed that they haven’t added a tuner facility. If they had, then yes I would have probably bought a new one.
All that said – I am very happy with the Katana and it does the job I want it to do better than most other ‘modelling’ amps I have or tried. At home I run it in the 0.5w attenuation, and it’s pretty load. Just not enough to annoy everyone else with my plonking.

Sounds like you don’t really need one. Mujiks advice is sound. It probably won’t do the Vox or Mesa without a lot of faffing around. I never really tried to get those tones on mine as I don’t particularly like high gain amps and I have a tube amp that can switch between class A/B and class A power amp for the Vox sound (and get the Marshall and Engl if I want it)

If you are thinking of gigging with it, you need the footswitch for easier switching.

Just my 2 cents worth

take care
Styrr
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