Amp Advice: Kicking out the Katana

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User avatarBynnan
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Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:18 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Amp Advice: Kicking out the Katana

Postby Bynnan » Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:25 pm

Long story short, about a year ago, I sold my full-sized amps due to living circumstances and went with a Yamaha THR10. I've really enjoyed it, and it's been the perfect amp while moving around. Now, though, I'm ready to add another amp back into the mix.

Unfortunately, I have to rely on online reviews where I'm at -- no big-box stores in driving distance. I ordered a Katana 100 based on the overwhelming praise it gets. After many, many hours of tweaking and playing, I'm sure it's not the unit for me. There's something inherent in the voicing that gets on my nerves -- this nasal, bricky, unorganic feel -- that persists regardless of EQ or gain settings. I'm convinced that no amount of tweaking or speaker break-in is going to change the amp into something I find inspiring to play like I do the THR10 or certain amp sims like S-Gear or ReValver.

I explain all that because know that there's a lot of love for this amp, and despite all that, it clearly isn't going to work for me. So it's getting traded out. I'm interested in finding something more organic, and possibly simpler, for home studio practicing and recording. I don't see myself gigging, but a portable pick-up and go type (smaller than the Kat) might be nice.

Does anyone have recommendations based on personal experience for something a little less complicated and a more organic in the 8"-12" speaker range?

Parameters: Home use mainly. Guitars are HH Ibanezes and a Tele. Really looking for just 3 good sounds at non-deafening levels: chimney cleans, a nice blues crunch, and something that can do up through 80s hair gain (or takes pedals well on the front end). Budget tops out around $650 for the whole thing.

Stuff I'm Considering/Have Researched:
Vox (VT-X or AV series)
Fender Champ X2 (I had a 70s Champ I LOVED, even if it was a one trick pony)
Blackstar TVR series or HT5R
Peavey Valveking II mini head
Ibanez TSA15 (have played it, and loved the cleans)
Marshall DSL series (seems like too much amp for home play)
Peavey solid-state options (Envoy, Bandit, etc.) with pedals
Laney Cub 10 or 15

Thanks

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