Katana or Tube Amp?

Hi fellow guitarists!

I want to buy a new budget practice amp. I wanted a little bit help. Which amp do you suggest? A Katana boss ( an affordable one!) or a Tube amp (please suggest me one).

The money that i have for spending: 300$


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I do not have a broad base of amps I have heard in person to draw from. I spent quite a bit more for a broad modeling variety that would not need to be replaced or upgraded for several years, so a different goal than your own. I certainly do not have the skill to utilize my gear, but that should come.

You may like reading through the following:
Line 6 Helix considerations
Beginner Guitar Amp Buyers Guide

Standing by to see what others say…

Positive Grid Spark gets good reviews. Black Friday price is $230 discounted from $299.

I’d go for the Katana. It comes highly recommended as a well priced practice amp from just about everywhere, including Justin himself. It’s within your budget and would be a lot more versatile for your needs… ie, more bang for your buck.

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The second redirect [Beginner Guitar Amp Buyers Guide] helped a lot! Thanks. Keep on practicing and enjoy! :smiley:

If you are going to play guitar from now on, get a good modeling amp (solid state or whatever with presets) and a decent tube amp. It doesn’t matter too much which one you get first.

Everyone is different, I have an oldish Mustang I v2, a small Joyo portable amp, a PA system and a monoprice 15w tube amp. All were affordable and I can recommend all of these for what they do.

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I didn’t knew that amp! It’ s more …“future” and you have many advantages. I will check this one further! Thanks a lot! :slightly_smiling_face:

No real experience with many amps, but we do have Boss Katana 50 and it’s great at home. I dont think you can go wrong with it and should be able to sell if needed.

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The Beginner Guitar amp link includes some negative comments about the spark that you should note. External reviews seem to be positive. I’ve got the Fender Mustang GT modeling amp which I like.


For a Tube amp you couldn’t get better than this for the price

For a solid state with multi fx


For a solid state amp plus a multi fx unit


Any of those would give decent results
My own preference would be the last one.

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A modeling amp can help a lot when learnubg7, fee taps and you have ‘the sound’ of the song your practicing.

A valve amp will sound better at its ONE sound (well within reason) but won’t be able to do as much variety.

You can always add pedals to either.

I personally went with a fender gtx, less metal than the Katana, more classic blues but also more capable all round

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I have both kinds (a Katana and a few tube amps). Both kinds are great, and both have their pros and cons. I’d suggest going with a Katana, initially. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a tube amp somewhere down the line, too. I find playing through tube amps to be very satisfying, with the satisfaction increasing the louder you can play the amp.

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Hola Bro

I have been using Blackstar for some time now and they have some great practice amps… if you contact Ashton Boyd at Sweetwater, Fort Wayne Indiana, he/they are my go-to emporium of all things guitar.

Here’s a link for example Blackstar HT1R MKII 1x8" 1-watt Tube Combo Amp with Reverb | Sweetwater

Or this from Bugera - Blackstar HT1R MKII 1x8" 1-watt Tube Combo Amp with Reverb | Sweetwater

But give Ashton a buzz and they may well have some great used offers and their service and advice is second to none.

Good luck mate and happy practicing & gigging.


ps if you speak to Ashton, mention my name, we communicate regularly :wink:

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Hi Koustas, I second taking a look at Blackstar, I recently went for the HT5R to supplement a Yamaha THR 10ii and find it lovely to play with. There’s a good set of extra features vs a more traditional tube amp (power reduction, tone features, aux in and usb out for direct PC I put) but still keeping what I consider to be a great base tube tone.
FWIW anyway!!


I have two Katanas, an Artist MkI and 100 MkII, love them both, highly recommend :metal:

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Katana now, tube amp later. They are expensive and more maintenance. Get a katana MK100 and call it good for a while.

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The Katana is very nice but,…I’ve found that unless you can tuen the volume up a bit I’ve found that tone knobs are not that effective in home use. Headphones should be ok but, not tried that…

I was looking at this because I have this issue. Although i know how , he tells you that unless you can give some volume the tone knows are almost ineffective…

I also can’t say if a small valve head amp would act the same !!!


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There is no right answer to your question. Everyone is different, in a different playing environment and plays differently. My experience has shown me that the simpler the better. I have a Vox AC10, which is a valve amp, but I didn’t buy it because of that. I played through a lot of amps and it just sounded right to me. It is small enough to cart around easily, can be played at a low volume at home, and can be cranked up to play in a small venue. All things you should consider.

My friend bought herself a good Fender modelling amp, but could never get it to sound right and was always fiddling with the settings rather than playing music. She eventually changed it for a Fender Tone Master. These are basically solid state versions of their valve versions. They are cheaper and sound virtually the same.

Take your guitar to a convenient music store if you can and play through as many amps as you can. Get the one with the least ‘fiddly bits’ so you are not constantly fiddling with it and can focus on your playing. If you want to add effects my sincere advice would be to get some peddles later on. Makes it so much easier to know what is causing what.

If you find a valve amp you really like, but it is too heavy or loud or expensive, see if the store can set up a modelling amp to sound the same and then photograph the settings.

One last thing that may be a clincher for you is if you need to play thorough headphones. You will need a headphone output on the amp and there probably are not any valve amps out there with that feature.


I had a small valve amp for home use but found I had to crank it too loud for it to sound good so went back to a modelling amp. I’d go for the Katana. I’m using a TM Deluxe Reverb and a Boss GT1, I think it sounds really good but is pricey.


Another vote for the Katana, or similar modelling amp.

I’ll point out I have had both the Katana and Positive Grid Spark, and I would solidly recommend the Katana over the Spark: it’s better quality, and more versatile in most respects for around the same cost.

Also the Blackstars and Fender modelling amps have a good reputation.

It may be worth looking for second hand bargains.