Best clean amps

DECEMBER

Electromatic
Nov 25, 2021
35
Beaverton, OR
I have the Katana 50 MkII. It's a good clean channel for use with pedals. Though it's necessary to use the parametric EQ that is in Tone Studio (USB connection to computer). You only have to use the computer once to set the EQ and save it to some patches.
The dirt channels are no good. The FX are good enough to play with but useless for recording.
If you want a line out or FX loop you have to get the 100W.
I'm recording it with mics and it's sounding good. It's loud enough to play with drums and can be quiet enough to play at midnight in an apartment.
 

markeebee

Country Gent
Apr 27, 2010
3,401
Forever Malcolm Young
The Katana is pretty useful, but to me it just looks too much like Billy Idol's jacket or something. The build quality seems a little flimsy too, it sort of feels like a beginners amp, even though it sounds good.

I don't know how available they are over there, but my pal recently bought a Blackstar Silverline dirt cheap. It has similar flexibility to the Katana (line in for backing tracks, and cabinet simulated headphone out, for example) but just looks a lot cooler, imho. I really like how you can mix and match pre and power amp sections - pairing a blackface-inspired pre with a big bottle British inspired power section produces a righteous clean tone.

 

Country Member

Electromatic
Aug 20, 2014
48
Australia
I have a Roland Blues Cube, the stage model. Very nice amp, plenty of clean sounds, and the built in attenuator allows me to dial down to .5 watts. The stage version tops out at 65 watts max. The artist model, 85 watts, I think. Either model would serve you well, especially if you have need to turn it down when playing at home.
I have the same amp- great replacement for a tube amp, and not overly complicated to use.
 

azrielle

Electromatic
Feb 24, 2021
65
Ely, NV USA
Vox VT40X Hybrid Modeling Amplifier, using either the "Vox AC30TB" setting, or the default "User-A" setting (which is equivalent to a Dumble Clean Amplifier sound).
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Nov 13, 2009
22,266
Monkey Island
I don’t get why Roland/Boss muddy their own amp line(s). Roland JC and Cube series. Boss Nextone series, Waza, Katana mk, mk2, and Artist. All seemingly with some major tonal overlap.
 

MadKaw

Gretschie
Apr 17, 2020
147
Michigan, USA
I don't have enough experience to pick the best, but I got a Boss Katana 100 early this year and I an totally happy with the sound. (I mostly play clean + reverb).
 

mdahearn

Electromatic
May 13, 2020
6
Oakland
JC 40 for hi fi solid state and killer chorus or Fender Blues Jr. for tube tone, both great for something affordable and not too loud. JC 40 has all the modern headphone out and aux in flexibility for quiet playing or playing against track. For more power and $$$ people rave about the Fender Twin Tone Master for solid state digital modeling (with variable output power 5W to full 85w power) or a classic Hot Rod Deluxe or DeVille. All are clean monsters. There's only two really OG clean merchants out there that have been tried and tested over decades and thousands of albums: The Roland JC lines and classic Fender amps. Oh, and the Vox AC15 and 30 are quite nice as well but found they have just a bit of grind to them that are kind of "clean plus a bit of edge." Less "crystal clean" and more "rock n' roll clean."
 

redbone77

Electromatic
Jul 16, 2015
4
Eugene, Oregon
Looking for a nice clean sound amp to go with my new 5422 GT classic. Thinking of either a katana 50 or 100, a Roland blues cube, or a Roland JC 40 or JC 22. Any comments would be much appreciated. Sound is prob most important, but I would like the app to have the capability of inputting backing tracks, attaching headphones, and sounding reasonable at low volumes for household practice. Not one for fooling around with computers for sounds. Yes Also small gig worthy. Your input valuable, thanks much
Those amps you listed are not bad but why not go with a tube amp like a Fender Deluxe Reverb or Blues Jr? A Vox AC-15 is another.. You can alway get a box or a pedal that will do all the other stuff.
 

Back in Black

Country Gent
Jun 22, 2020
1,517
Ontario Canada
Looking for a nice clean sound amp to go with my new 5422 GT classic. Thinking of either a katana 50 or 100, a Roland blues cube, or a Roland JC 40 or JC 22. Any comments would be much appreciated. Sound is prob most important, but I would like the app to have the capability of inputting backing tracks, attaching headphones, and sounding reasonable at low volumes for household practice. Not one for fooling around with computers for sounds. Yes Also small gig worthy. Your input valuable, thanks much
MDJ,

If you have a speaker cabinet, you may want to consider this.

I have one, love it, crisp clear in all modes, full volume far too loud for in the house, small gigs, sure!

Remember, Neil Young, has and still does, mike a small, old, tweed, Fender Deluxe though the PA system.

There is no longer a need for big/heavy.

Best,

BIB

DSCF1472.JPG DSCF1482.JPG DSCF1484.JPG
 

stiv

Country Gent
Sep 12, 2014
2,561
Firenze, Italy
I never played a Katana or a Blues Cube so I couldn't tell, but the Fender Frontman sounds pretty decent to me. You could sure find one in the aftermarket for cents, and if you save some extra money for a better 12" speaker (whatever the wattage is) they would play even better.
Whatch out for the 212 though. It sounds good but is a bit heavy, 2x12" are always a bit on the heavy side.

.... Unless you want to quest for a Standel, of course. They are state-of-the-art solid state amps, sound like tube amps (or better) but they aren't as cheap as a SS Fender (or a Katana), they are hard to find and boy, they're heavy (for a SS). There's no better clean sound on the market, but that's the only sound they have. Not even a little crunch is allowed without a pedal.
 

dspellman

Gretschie
Jul 4, 2020
395
Los Angeles
Take a look at some of the amps designed specifically for acoustic guitar. Not only are they great for cleans, but you get a bit more top AND bottom if you want it.
 

gretschbigsby

Gretschie
Nov 21, 2009
214
chicago
Another recommendation for something from the Roland Jazz Chorus family. And if you are looking for the classic 80's Gretsch Brit Pop stuff, it doesn't get any better.
 

Mandojoe

Electromatic
Mar 29, 2022
27
Mexico
Thanks all. I have a great Fisher acoustic amp. Are you suggesting I could use that for my Gretch dspellman ?? That’d save some $ and let me keep my Colling D1A ampd and keep a voice mic outlet. Because I was figuring I’d have to sell the fishman to afford an amp for the gretsch.
Would love to get a JC 22 or JC 40, but can’t seem to find a used one in my budget. I may have to go for a katana 50 mark two.
Any comments on katana 50 versus JC 22 or 40? Great cleans at good price is my goal.
I do have a line on a katana artist incl gafc switch, more amp than I need but price is so good and gets me an acoustic outlet and looper effects capability… Should I wait for a jc to come available??
 

Johnyrocco

Electromatic
Dec 5, 2017
31
USA
I have the Blues Cube Artist that I gig with monthly. I also have the Sparkle Clean tone capsule, which makes a super clean tone. But they are both pretty expensive.
I would consider the JC 40, or one of the Fender Tone masters.
 

giffenf

Country Gent
Oct 26, 2008
1,011
Los Angeles
The greatest (and heaviest) clean amp I've ever played through was a Rivera Sedona 100 I used to own. I think the "100" stood for both the wattage and the weight, but man, what a sound. It was designed for Doyle Dykes to play acoustic through, and it had both a JBL 15" speaker and a horn for that, but you could turn off the horn and play through that channel as clean as can be. Plus there was a second channel for getting down and dirty. And loud. Yes, real loud, on either channel.

However, it was a chore to carry around, so I gig almost exclusively now with a Quilter MicroPro Mach II 8. That 8" speaker does amazing things, tone-wise, and is blissfully easy to carry around. They've been discontinued, so they'll soon either be available cheap, or hotly coveted. Quilter announced yesterday they will announce a new amp in a couple weeks. I was considering their Mach 3, but now I'm going to hold off for a bit to see what comes next. Not like I need another amp, but I own or have owned just about all of their product line, so why stop now?
 


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