It's been a long time. I don't generally get to see new stuff unless it breaks or comes into the shop for sale, as I rarely go out of my way to play with new things in other shops. But today there was a Katana 50 in the shop, for sale.
And I have to say...
... it sounded absolutely atrocious.
What is it people see (hear?) in them? Hideous grainy, harsh, hard sound with no life, sparkle or depth to it - and it's not the EQ, it's just the inherent tone of the amp and cannot be dialled out, only made bassier/middier/treblier etc. It was even horrible on the clean sound, and I can usually get a decent clean tone out of anything. The distorted sounds were pretty much unusable, although it actually got less bad on the higher gain settings - 'Crunch' was the worst.
Just to make sure it wasn't just me having a bad-ears day, or the guitar, or the cable or anything, I tried a couple more amps with the same guitar - a Roland Cube 60 and an old Fender Champion 110. The Cube - which I'm not a huge fan of, but they're usable enough - sounded so much better than the Katana it was almost funny. And the old transistor Fender actually *was* funny - it's far from the best sound in Fender history even on the clean channel, and the dirty channel has far too much gain and can sound really buzzy, but it was *still* possible to make both of them sound better than the Katana.
I'll be honest and say that it wasn't a total surprise since to date I have yet to hear a demo video that's sounded good either, but I thought I would reserve judgement until I heard one in person - I'd now be happy if I never do again. I don't get it. I'm really not trying to be funny or controversial, I just cannot understand why they're so raved about.
I'd take a Blackstar ID series over it any day, and most of you know what I think about those!
"Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski
"Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson
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