The other day, I teased that I was expecting delivery of something awesome here at the KMA Eastern offices. Joy of joys, it arrived today!
So. Y’all know my lovely wife calls my guitars and amps The Other Women. But she’s laughing when she says it, and adds that at least she knows where I am when I’m with them. I do love her so!
In older posts, I introduced you to my acoustic guitar, my Epiphone Les Paul, and (most recently acquired), my Squier CV Telecaster. Also, the Pignose and Fender G-DEC amps. I have played along happily with all of this gear for years… except for the Tele, everything is at least a decade in use around here!
And so herein lies a tale I like to call: Another New Other Woman (or, technically: my other other other other other other woman)…
As happens to us all (surely), I’ve spent quite some time over the past year watching guitar gear reviews and demonstration videos on the Tubes Of You. I seemed to be focussing on amps, though, which is odd because I love my G-DEC and Pignose. The only thing I knew would send me over the moon would be a tube (valve) amp, but those are pricey so it wasn’t gonna happen.
Then, back in July (for my birthday), I received an Amazon gift card as a prezzie. Sweet! I spent that thing a million times without actually clicking Submit Order – it was fun just window shopping. So naturally I combined my guitar gear video-watching with some Amazon price-checking…
Yeah OK, I looked at a ton of amps, varying wattages, capabilities. I compared them all and watched a ton more videos. A plan seemed to be forming… I looked at Fender, Marshall, Vox, Yamaha, Bugera, Orange, Blackstar and Boss/Roland, among others, and many models within each brand. There is so much awesomeness out there!
Finally, I narrowed things down to three (maybe four) amps I really liked, and kept them in mind for someday. Then, after Christmas, one of my two that topped the list was listed at a price I liked, and I jumped on it. It arrived today from a secondary seller in Quebec, and in perfect shape.
KMA Readers, I give you a (brief) KMA Exclusive Unboxing Of My New Boss Katana KTN-50, The Photo Essay Edition!
The only thing it doesn’t have, which is odd for a digital emulating amp, is a built-in tuner. Seriously, Boss? My 15w G-DEC has one! Most others do too. Weird. Ah well!
But it can use the Roland foot controller pedal, hooks up to the computer for 50 more effects through USB, though it already has every effect I’ll need for ages already built in:
Booster: blues drive/overdrive/distortion, and Mod: chorus/flanger/phaser
Delay: digital/analog/tape echo, and FX: tremolo/t. wah/octave
And all are easily adjustable (with the twist of a knob) to achieve exactly the amount of effect you need, singularly or in concert. Such a slick set-up, really. Kudos to the designers.
There are 5 main sound settings: clean, crunch, lead, brown sound (that 5150 howl!), and an acoustic guitar setting built in. Sadly, my acoustic doesn’t have a pick-up in it so I can’t try that out. Alas.
It also has a power attenuator, so it can be the full 50w, 25w, or 0.5w for late-night practice. The best bit about that is, there’s no tone or sound quality loss while attenuated, even at 0.5w! Glorious!
They do make three other models in this series: the 7w Katana Mini (which gets rave reviews as a take-anywhere practice amp), a 100w 1×12, and a 100w 2×12 model. I eyed the wee 7w, for the sheer portability of it (and the price), but in my heart I wanted more. The 100w 1×12 and 2×12 are too big for home use, at least for me. And I’m not gigging with it, just playing at home. So the 50w was perfect.
And that is my new Boss Katana 50w amp. It is SO GOOD! It is a thing of beauty. I love it unreservedly. I played with it about an hour already and never got off the clean tone – I was trying out all the settings! The sound is spectacular, honestly. This thing will provide so many hours of great tones and fun – the mind boggles.
Plus, I can now use my time playing through this tone monster instead of watching videos of amps! Here’s to many (many) years of beauty with Another New Other Woman!
Rather than trying to film my hacking away at it, here’s a professional (and really excellent) demo that really captures the tones and capabilities of this beast. Watch the whole thing – I did! Several times! 🙂