Boss Kantana as a Clean Amp for Modeling Pedal?

Chont

Dr. Stratster
Sep 25, 2012
10,136
In a van down by the river
The power amp in supposedly bypasses cab sim from my understanding. So its sort of using it as a power amp. I have the Mk1 so I can only go buy what I read from folks in the Line 6 user group I'm in. I've read mixed results but mostly good. Going into the front end of the Mk1 and using the amp/cab sim on the L6 is no bueno in my experience

@StratUp what pedal modeler are you referring to? not sure if it was already posted but don't see it in the thread. I also have a Line 6 M9 and a standard pedalboard. Both of those work swimmingly straight into the front end of my Kat. Just wanted to clarify that its only when I'm using the Amp/cab modelling on my Pod Go that gives poor results on the front end of the amp.
 

DiGangi1966

Strat-Talk Member
Sep 22, 2021
50
San Antonio TX
Doesn’t that have to be powered, to be able to push the speaker? I’ve never tried it. But I was thinking it was for a powered head, so you are just using the amp as a cabinet at that point.
I have a little Digitech RP155 that just for giggles I ran the output into the power amp input on my 50MkII and it worked just fine.
 

Tone Quest

Senior Stratmaster
Sep 11, 2013
2,531
Myrtle Beach, SC
Is that because the speaker is deeper? Larger magnet diameter?
The WGS Invader is a deeper speaker with a larger magnet than the stock speaker. However, the space is pretty tight at the top of the speaker. Before I changed it out, I checked the internet for tips. Several people said they had to modify the amp for a new speaker to fit.
 

rogb

Strat-Talk Member
Sep 22, 2013
31
London, UK
Doesn’t that have to be powered, to be able to push the speaker? I’ve never tried it. But I was thinking it was for a powered head, so you are just using the amp as a cabinet at that point.
You're just bypassing the preamp and processing to go straight into the power amp side.
 

d_t_p

Strat-Talk Member
Mar 13, 2018
43
Central California
Katana would work great. I had one and really liked it but I returned it for a Fender GTX100 for more memory slots, the included foot controller and I can program it on-the-fly from my phone or even on-screen directly from the amp. I bought it to use as a lightweight practice amp... I like it so much I've been using it for my gigging amp (instead of my heavy really nice tube amps) and *gasp* for recording in the studio as well.

Dial up a Super Reverb program, plug in your pedalboard and enjoy. You mentioned looping... yes it has one of those built-in too!

But like I said, I didn't return the Katana because I didn't like the sound... I wanted more flexibility which the GTX offers.
 

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
7,292
Altered States
I have a little Digitech RP155 that just for giggles I ran the output into the power amp input on my 50MkII and it worked just fine.

I thought the 50 didn't have an effects loop. Are you saying that you run it through the standard input pre-amp & the clean channel(s)?
 

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
7,292
Altered States
The power amp in supposedly bypasses cab sim from my understanding. So its sort of using it as a power amp. I have the Mk1 so I can only go buy what I read from folks in the Line 6 user group I'm in. I've read mixed results but mostly good. Going into the front end of the Mk1 and using the amp/cab sim on the L6 is no bueno in my experience

@StratUp what pedal modeler are you referring to? not sure if it was already posted but don't see it in the thread. I also have a Line 6 M9 and a standard pedalboard. Both of those work swimmingly straight into the front end of my Kat. Just wanted to clarify that its only when I'm using the Amp/cab modelling on my Pod Go that gives poor results on the front end of the amp.

An old VOX Tonelab that I know and love. And mostly I use it for the amp (and cab) models because the amp models are very good and really all I need aside from a little reverb (included) and maybe a tinge of mod here and there (included).

It worked very well into some other SS and tube amps, but the other SS is gone and the tube is going. So I'm looking for a new place to send it.
 

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
7,292
Altered States
If I analyse it, it was more a question of feel, plus I didn't like the effects and the crunch and lead tones. The speaker in the 50 is a budget model at this price point. I wanted a big warm clean sound but with dynamics and character . I couldn't find that in Katana. I'd even take a Roland Cube 40 over one. That has a great JC clean. You can find a pretty great clean even with a 10". They just need the right amount of reverb to add some depth.

Yeah... I hear that. I have a couple good 12"'ss that I am figuring on swapping one-of in. A good speaker makes a big difference. I'm leaning to an amp with a 12" as I prefer the sound of a 12". Just has a bit more depth that seems to matter. I do also have some spare 10"'s at the moment but I don't think I want to go that way.
 

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
7,292
Altered States
OK... decided that I wouldn't know unless I tried it.

Found a Kantana 50 Mk II looking almost new with paper label still on it for a little too much money. I was willing to pay as it was a MKII and a short drive from where I was going to be yesterday (all the others are a long drive and just as much $). But, the guy was, how should I put this... difficult about meeting. His loss; I had cash and no arguments on the price.

Bought a K50 MK I that was slightly more used but still in great shape, and a short drive, for $125. Checking it out. I know I can resell it for that if I don't like it.

Ran it through the paces just with it's own amp models and it's actually got some nice amp model sounds of its own. I'll need to play with the boost/effects, maybe hook up the computer to tweak them, to see if I ever want to use them. But I could see it as a grab-n-go to jam with a few setups stored to use, no modeler in front.

Reverb is weak IMO... sound is good but it's very short lived. No dimension. I would have thought Boss, a company that makes a reverb pedal, would do better. Maybe with some other effect added in I can make it better. But, I don't really care since my modeler does great reverb.

I'll fire it up with the modeler tomorrow and a little volume and see what I get.
 

ButchA

Strat-Talker
All I know is that I have a really nice, Katana Artist 100w combo, that does everything I could ever imagine!

The "clean" tones of the Katana aren't exactly like a Fender Deluxe Reverb or whatever. They are understandably different. But with that being said, you can easily hook up a USB cable, download BTS (Boss Tone Studio), and program and re-program each and every channel on a Boss amp.
 

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
7,292
Altered States
So, I ran a pilot test today. Wanted to test three things: the native Kantana; the modeling pedal input / sound quality; and my favorite optional speaker.

Basic Amp: the native Kantana is nice through the stock models and speaker once you get a feel for the EQ, gain, volume. Doesn't seem that loud for 50 watts SS. Louder with the boosted amp choices and/or the boost setting on. The reverb is OK but damps down fast. Might be the speaker. See below.

Modeling Input: Worked out well! Chose "Line" from the Line Level, Vox, Fender, and Marshall" pedal options. Tweak the Line Out EQ (separate from the Amp model EQ). I got some good sounds. Seemed good with singles, P90's, and HB's with the proper amp model up front. Need to do it again to lock it down.

Speaker: The stock Boss speaker has some nice sounds. Works well with the amp's models. I realized that one reason the reverb damps down quickly is that the stock speaker seems to damp down fast. Almost like using a compressor. That and slightly limited high freq response limits the reverb ring. Also the reason it has no hiss. Dead quiet.

Hooked up my Eminence Wizard (12", very large ceramic magnet, ceramic equivalent of the Red Fang AlNiCo, which is a Celestion Blue clone). It's a 16 ohm vs. the K50 4 ohm. But, it's so efficient that it's just as loud in this setup.

Eminence has a lot more high freq than the stock speaker. Chime, upper freq warble. No damping. (Also got some hiss, LOL). To highlight that, the stock speaker consistently needed 1/4 turn more treble to be equal in tone with models.

But, the stock speaker isn't bad. Has stronger bass. A/B'd them back and forth. I don't know which is better with this amp. I like the extra highs and chime, but a quarter turn gets me very close to the same sound. And the bass end is nice. Will test more.

Editor's note: I don't really care about the reverb. My modeler has it and it's much better. Just data about the amp.
 

GlassyD83

Strat-Talker
Apr 8, 2020
171
Ireland
Per the subject, I'm looking for a reasonably sized SS amp to run my modeling pedal into. Considering a Kantana 50W combo. There seem to be a lot of them available used.

I'm looking for reasonable power in case I want to jam as the plague recedes. the Boss has that. I'd also like to get something with a 12" speaker since I have a few around to swap in if I don't like the stock sound and I just like the sound of a 12". The Boss has that too.

Headphone jack is a feature. I usually run the modeling pedal into headphones but when I want to use a looper, an amp with a headphone jack is very convenient.

I don't really need the effects in the Boss as my modeling pedal will do that and more. I also know my pedal well so that's a feature. But, there don't seem to be many amps that don't have effects built in now even if it's just lightly like the Fender Champion amps and the "spin for an effect" knobs. There are some older SS amps around but people want as much as the Kantana for them.

So, thoughts on the Kantana? It might be a Mk I or a MK II... I don't know that I care for what I want.
the 50w isnt really all that loud. I think if planning to gig you'll either need to mic it or get the 100w. I suspect this is why there are so many on the used market.
 

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
7,292
Altered States
the 50w isnt really all that loud. I think if planning to gig you'll either need to mic it or get the 100w. I suspect this is why there are so many on the used market.

Thanks. I don't need to keep up with a drummer right now and the physical size works ATM with the K50. So it might be a good practice amp. There are a lot more choices if I step up to something 2' long.
 

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
7,292
Altered States
Got Boss Tone Studio hooked up today. I didn't realize how tweakable it is. You get the Presence control that's not on the panel of the K50. There are also plenty of Reverb options in there. I'm guessing that with some computer based work, I can tweak out any issues.
 

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
7,292
Altered States
- Spent some time playing in Tone Studio. Wow. Extensive. Flexible. Almost too much in there. Poked around a bit, experimented.

- Loaded up the 28 "Sneaky Amps". Lots of good stuff, including a Fender Twin that may be what I need

- Also installed Gumtown's Katana FxFloorBoard Editor. Looks more intuitive. Maybe. Allows use of patches from other Boss multi-effects as well as the highly tuneable "Custom Amp". Might be a feature.

Back where I'm trying to go... using my other modeler and just use the Boss essentially as a power amp: The Boss actually has THREE EQ sections. There's the B/M/T on the amp. Then there's a choice of a GE7 Equalizer or a Parametric Equalizer as a pedal. Lastly, there's a System post or pre "everything" EQ section.

I'll play with the EQ's, probably mostly the System EQ to tweak final output. I was using headphones today and that's not reliable as to what you'll get through the speaker.

Might be a bit of a "digital" edge to the amp. Not sure yet. I've never heard it before but I've heard of such things. But there seems to be some artifact after the sound that's I dunno... almost like 2% of a cocked wah sound. More testing to come.
 

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
7,292
Altered States
OK, the results are in, and the conclusion is "Nay".

First, despite all the tweaking I could do, the modeler just doesn't sound good through Kantana. Tried lots of Kantana amp models (standard and sneaky), played with all the EQ's, tweaked EQ and setting coming in, it's just not happening.

I could probably turn off the amp models on my modeler and have it work better, but that's not the goal. My modeler has sweet sounds, much better than the Kantana.

Second, I considered just moving to the Kantana and forgoing the modeler. But, I don't like the sound of the Kantana. I think it's the pure digital interface. I always poo-pooed players who whined about the A/D conversions and digital sound, but now I get it. There's an edge there, an abruptness. It's that lacks something and has an overtone that I just don't like. Again, no matter what tweaking is done. Even with a completely different speaker. It's just part of the sound. Others might like it, I don't.

But, I found an SS solution. NAD tomorrow. It will be shocking. Shocking I tell you.
 
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ajb1965

Old Enough to Know Better
Gold Supporting Member
Silver Member
I never had much luck running the Katana with my Helix or GT-1000, but the other player in my band used it one night after his Vox crapped out right before a gig and it sounded great with his old Digitech RP1000.

I didn't really care for the Katana on its own either. I had the 100 combo and head and neither had the mojo I was wanting for higher gain.
 


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