Advice on affordable practice/small gig amp (katana 50 vs champ 40 vs mustang)

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by Stefan87, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Electromatic

    24
    May 20, 2019
    Sydney, Australia
    Hey Everyone,

    I have just sold my Vox pathfinder to move up to something a bit bigger so i would just like a bit of advice/opinions from people who have had experience with the above mentioned amps, now I know there are a heap of thread asking what they think is best sound wise but this is NOT one of those threads.

    I don't want to know what amp has the best tones or what amp can do cleans best or anything like that, what I want to know is the best versatile amp for the price range I am looking, so which ever is the best all rounder, am happy to get tones 80/90% there with everything then 100% tones on point but with 3/4 of usability if that makes sense.

    What I am wanting is a bigger replacement for the pathfinder in regards to a easy plug and play practice/jam amp that is big enough not to get lost in a small band (3 piece/4 piece) and that would be able to do small starting cover band gigs, I'm not really interested in a tube amp for a few reasons (cost/limited use) if for example I start to take it more serious then I'll look into a tube fender/ac30 or the likes but not now.

    The budget permits a used Katana 50/Champion 40/Mustang 40, I thinking I wouldn't want to go much lower then that on wattage but not that experienced so any opinion is welcomed, I don't to go to hard out with the digital/computer program thing purely because I don't own a PC at home therefore can't really make any computer only adjustments, all amps seem to have good reviews with decent effects options but can't really make a decision as I have no experience with them on a small gigging level.

    So if any one can offer any advice/opinions please let me know.

    Thanks in advance.

    p.s. I don't mind going on the small side of the amp as it can always be mic'd and I do have my JCM800 and half stack that is sitting if I ever need it.
     
  2. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I know that the Katana has gotten great reviews, but I thought it didn't sound good at all and returned it to the store straight away.
     
    Stefan87 likes this.
  3. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Electromatic

    24
    May 20, 2019
    Sydney, Australia
    Yeah that is what I am worried about with the katana, I am looking at it more for the effects range of it more so then the overall sound, it just seems like it has the potential to be a good all rounder on paper.

    Probably should of mentioned too that would be more looking at playing your general pub/small gig songs so anything from 50's - 2000's rock/pop/punk (to a degree)/jazzy and blues tunes but not full on cigar lounge stuff/country/rockabilly, pretty much anything up to 80's/90's rock, no heavy metal or hardcore music or anything like that.
     
  4. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    I really like my Mustang II, but you do need a PC to get the most out of it. And I'm not sure it would be the best amp for gigging, as the controls are a bit too fiddly to make big changes on the fly. It's a fabulous amp for playing at home, though.
     
    MTurner and Stefan87 like this.
  5. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Age:
    69
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
  6. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Age:
    55
    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    I tried the 20W Orange Crush last week and was really impressed by the clean channel. So I'd guess you'd want to try 35W or 60W version.

    Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
     
    Stefan87 likes this.
  7. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Used Peavey Bandit. Change speaker.
     
    wildeman and Stefan87 like this.
  8. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Electromatic

    91
    Apr 28, 2019
    Metro Detroit
    I picked up a barely used Katana 100 a few months ago to use as a practice amp (band practice). And it sounds pretty good (to me) and I think the onboard effects are solid. I don't like it as much as the stuff I normally gig with, but it's light/easy, sounds good, and is plenty loud enough to use in a band. I haven't played the 50.
     
    Stefan87 likes this.
  9. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Petaluma
    Based on what others have said, I'd look at Roland.
     
    sh4rkbyt3 and Stefan87 like this.
  10. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Electromatic

    24
    May 20, 2019
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks for the replies guys, the blues cube sounds good and have heard a few people recommend them, a bit out of the budget though.

    The bandit could work but then again by the time I change speakers it's up there too, any preferred bandit model?
     
  11. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Yes, this or find an old Roland Cube 60.
    Out of the one's you mentioned i would take the Mustang 2 hands down.
     
  12. chicago slim

    chicago slim Gretschie

    Age:
    66
    487
    Dec 27, 2008
    Bowling Green, KY
    The Katana 50 has worked well for me. Without any deep editing (computer), the sounds are more in the Fender Tweed and over driven Marshall range. The effects are better than what you find on other modelers. In side by side comparisons, I liked the Katana better than the Roland Cube Hot or Vox AV30. If you really want Vox sounds, along with with Marshall and some boutique models, you might want to try a Vox VXII. It's a step up form the Pathfinder 15R. But, the effects are much more limited than the Katana's.
     
    Stefan87 and lp_bruce like this.
  13. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Speaker change is optional. The stockers are a bit neutral sounding. I liked the older US made Bandits right when they started the Trans-fet technology. Gigged them as well.
     
    Stefan87 likes this.
  14. Lockupyourfatdog

    Lockupyourfatdog Gretschie

    183
    Aug 8, 2016
    Everett wa
    Don’t rule out the Roland cubes. They sound fantastic. I find with my larger amps am always tweaking them to sound more like my micro cube
     
    sh4rkbyt3, Gregor and Stefan87 like this.
  15. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Electromatic

    91
    Apr 28, 2019
    Metro Detroit
    Honestly, I think any of the above will work. There are a lot of nice budget amps out there which will serve well as a practice amp. I suppose it's just a matter of finding the one you like best or perhaps what is available to you. In terms of availability, I wasn't really looking to buy a Katana or a practice amp. But I saw one show up on CL for an incredible price I thought, "what the heck." I couldn't understand why he was selling it so cheap because it looked brand new.

    Here's the thing. His patches sounded hoooorrrrrriible. I'm thinking he was a metal player because he had the gain dimed on everything and it just sounded like garbage. I'm thinking he was pleased to get rid of it. I reset all the patches and was able to get some nice tones pretty quickly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
    wabash slim and Stefan87 like this.
  16. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Electromatic

    24
    May 20, 2019
    Sydney, Australia
    So after looking into the Blue cube they are out of my price range so they are out, there are however a heap of peavey bandits down here so I will look more into those and maybe try to get out an have a go at them all and see what I like, the on board effects are a appealing but not deal breaker.
     
  17. Scooter127

    Scooter127 Gretschie

    488
    Feb 25, 2019
    USA
    I recently got a Mustang GT40 and absolutely love it. LOOOOOOVE IT.

    A lot of reviews complain about things that have been fixed via firmware updates (stupid easy to update). A lot of video reviews have people just twiddling through the presets without reading the manual or tweaking anything (the presets aren't very good at all).

    If I were to do it again I'd get the 100.
     
    LongJohn and Stefan87 like this.
  18. Scooter127

    Scooter127 Gretschie

    488
    Feb 25, 2019
    USA
    I'll put the GT40 effects up against a Katana! I'm simply blown away by it.
     
    Stefan87 likes this.
  19. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Electromatic

    24
    May 20, 2019
    Sydney, Australia
    The mustangs do seem popular and have generally good reviews so I'll probably just drop the Champion series and just check out the katana, mustang and the peavey as they seem to be the best options where I am.
     
  20. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Electromatic

    24
    May 20, 2019
    Sydney, Australia
    One other question to everyone here, does anyone have any experience with Laney VC30's?
    They seem to come up a fair bit in almost mint condition for the price of a new Champion/Katana, I know I'm not really chasing a valve amp but for the money are they worth looking at?
     
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