Boss Katana settings 101

Dan18

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I have a Katana 50 and am relatively new at this. I’ve been playing with volume and other settings with the amp and other stuff plugged into it. I mostly use my Les Paul, play along with tracks from my Mac fed into the amp. Also a tube screamer for crunch when needed. So I have the volume and master switches on the amp, Volume on the guitar, the level on the tube screamer, the volume on the Mac. Also the wattage settings on the amp. I’ve read various opinions on volume vs master. Boss recommends max on the master. Oh, and all my play is bedroom environment and often output to headphones.

Assuming I start with master to max on the .5 watt setting (up for debate) , any other advice on guitar volume switches, tube screamer, computer input? Playing with it but I’m thinking there must be some general advice available. Thx.
 

Duane_the_tub

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Unless you play metal or some other really high-gain stuff, you may not need the TS at all. It's not like hitting the front end of a solid state amp harder is going to give you something akin to tube breakup.

I find that the crunch channel with the gain at 3 o'clock produces a really musical overdriven tone suitable for hard rock. I have never needed any additional distortion beyond what the amp itself can provide.

Overall, I love mine.
 

Dan18

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Tried the crunch channel but I thought it had a muddy sound vs the tube screamer. Never had it up that high (3:00) so will try that.
 

Duane_the_tub

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Tried the crunch channel but I thought it had a muddy sound vs the tube screamer. Never had it up that high (3:00) so will try that.
That's interesting, as the Katana is generally a bright amp. Humbuckers or single coils, and are they hot pickups? Where are the tone controls on your guitar? One of the nice things about that amp is how tweakable it is.
 

Dan18

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They’re Gibson 57s in an Epi 60s Tribute Plus. Tone controls on the guitar are just beyond mid for bridge and lower for neck.
 

smk506

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I think the key with the katana is to not over think it. There’s a lot going on there already, so make things as easy on yourself as you can.

I like to set the master at about 1/2 way, or just above, that way I have a quick up/down control that doesn’t effect my overall sound.

From there I decide which power setting to use, usually 25 or 50 watts, doesn’t matter much to me, I use the master volume.

The gain and volume set are just the typical solid state pre/post setup. Use them to eq your distortion/overdrive/cleanliness and then adjust your tone to taste.

I love the katana, but one of its shortcomings is the different inherent volume levels for each of the amp choices. It makes learning your volume and eq setting very important if you like to jump around the amp a lot like me.
 

cybermgk

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It's not like hitting the front end of a solid state amp harder is going to give you something akin to tube breakup.
Hve to disagree. Katana isn't a solid state amp. It is a modeler. Most modelers today do react to drive pedals like the particular amp they are modelling at that setting. Some do it almost perfectly, , Very rare few now have an issue with it.. From most reviews the Katana handles them well. the models are programmed to react to pedals like the amp being modelled does.
 

Dan18

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I think the key with the katana is to not over think it. There’s a lot going on there already, so make things as easy on yourself as you can.

I like to set the master at about 1/2 way, or just above, that way I have a quick up/down control that doesn’t effect my overall sound.

From there I decide which power setting to use, usually 25 or 50 watts, doesn’t matter much to me, I use the master volume.

The gain and volume set are just the typical solid state pre/post setup. Use them to eq your distortion/overdrive/cleanliness and then adjust your tone to taste.

I love the katana, but one of its shortcomings is the different inherent volume levels for each of the amp choices. It makes learning your volume and eq setting very important if you like to jump around the amp a lot like me.
I played with lots of options and discovered that the switch to both pickups doesn’t work. I can play off neck or bridge but not both. Repair time I guess. Then I’ll get back to it. Also have a new Gibson on order. Thx.
 

northernguitarguy

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Hve to disagree. Katana isn't a solid state amp. It is a modeler. Most modelers today do react to drive pedals like the particular amp they are modelling at that setting. Some do it almost perfectly, , Very rare few now have an issue with it.. From most reviews the Katana handles them well. the models are programmed to react to pedals like the amp being modelled does.
This is good to know. I've tried OD and distortion pedals with a Line 6 Spider and the results were horrible digital distortion.
 

Duane_the_tub

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Modeling amps are, in fact, solid state.

It's subjective, of course (like just about everything else music related). My Katana and my tube amps react differently to pedals.
 
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cybermgk

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This is good to know. I've tried OD and distortion pedals with a Line 6 Spider and the results were horrible digital distortion.
Line 6 spider, Peavy Vypers even POD beans, yea, they were not designed to. But that is decades old tech.

I can unequivocally say My Axe FX reacts exactly how the amp being modelled does, at least of the tube Amps, I have had or played personally (and it is quite a few_. Kemper when I had it, same thing. Blackstar ID TVP did for the 5 or 6 OD pedals I tried. Got rid of most of my pedals since going Axe, but still have a ts and a klon and the little Blacstar Silverline reacts fine, just as I would expect any tube amp to do . It doesn't model particular amps per se, so a direct comparison to a Fender DR isn't possible.The little Spark, reacts as well, as one would expect with the TS and Klon

Never used a Katana just going by others experience.

Now, with any of the above, really don't need the drive pedals with the Spark or Axe, because they have modeled pedals. But, yea, I do use them both with the Silverline combo, just as I used to use them with my DRRI or other amps.
 
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cybermgk

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Modeling amps are, in fact, solid state.

It's subjective, of course (like just about everything else music related). My Katana and my tube amps react differently to pedals.
Semantics count as per this discussion, imho. Although modelers are made of solid state componants, they are not solid state amps. For most Guitarists, the term Solid State amp, refers to amps like a Mosfet Lead 100 and similar. I.e. amps that create their distorted tones from clipping solid state components like diodes, And, yeah hitting those with drive pedals, particularly something like a tube screamer, typically yielded bad results. Overloading to clipping on those components, was not a good result. Modelers are designed completely differently in this respect.

Which is why I differentiate Modelers from solid state, as it pertains to this discussion. The top line modelers, Helix, Axe, etc are designed to take that input from something like a tube screamer, or Klon and make the modeled amp react as the 'real' amp would. And, from experience, the top modelers, or a profiler like a Kemper, are pretty spot on.

And, imho, even the less than top line, newer modelers do as well. BUT, it does vary.

Again, I have no personal experience with the Katana. I am just going on what others have said.

But then, with the Katana, I was under the impression that it had modeled drive pedals. Typically, if the modeller has it's own modeled drive pedals, I'll use them. Why wouldn't you? On the Axe, where I can even tweak what would be resister values and similar, on the real pedal, it's even better than a real pedal.

I do use my TS and Klon in front of the Blackstar Silverline, because I do use a hot Fender near breakup setting, then hit it with the pedals. But it doesn't have modelled drive pedals.
 

Duane_the_tub

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I don't want to argue, man. I have owned a Katana for several years. It is most definitely a solid state amp; there are no tubes in it whatsoever. It does not respond to OD/distortion pedals in the same way that a tube amp does. These are just facts based on my experience. I don't have anything against modelers or pedals. I was just trying to help out the OP with input based on that experience.
 
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drew365

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They’re Gibson 57s in an Epi 60s Tribute Plus. Tone controls on the guitar are just beyond mid for bridge and lower for neck.
I think this was part of your problem. Those are some low settings for a tone pot if you are trying to cut through with overdrive or distortion.
 

smk506

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I think this was part of your problem. Those are some low settings for a tone pot if you are trying to cut through with overdrive or distortion.
I missed that bit about the tone settings. I think the mystery of the muddy tone has been solved.
 

Dan18

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Thx for all the replies. Waiting for my LP to come back from repair and will try the suggestions.
 


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