New amp recommendation?

Hi everyone. I’m new-ish to electric guitars and amplifiers, etc. I need some advice from those much more learn-ed than I…

I currently have a Fender Mustang II, which has served me well in terms of exploring different tones, etc. It’s outdated though and I can’t access anything new presets online. I feel as though I’m outgrowing it a bit, and want something that does the following:

  • Bedroom amp that can play quietly when needed
  • Can potentially be used in the future for small gigs
  • Modelling amp would be ideal so I can download and explore presets
  • ALSO be able to take pedals well

So…Boss Katana? That seems to be a super popular amp, so just wondering what everyone here thought.


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im pretty sure the answer will be boss katana


Hi Linda,
Boss katana is the most popular here with people who are starting out . Type it in the search box and you can immediately find a review from Justin and hundreds of hours of reading pleasure :smiley:… Here in the Netherlands they are also often for sale second-hand - for people who especially grow out of the smallest version… you can easily resell it yourself without having to spend a lot of money on a second-hand when wanting a up grade :sunglasses:
Have fun finding one :sunglasses:

Edit …

That sentence also covers it all :smile:


Just remember with the Katana you need the 100 models because even in the latest gen3 models, Boss don’t think 50W players are interested in having an FX loop. You might not need one today but like me you will regret getting a 50 in the future


Ah. Tell me more about an FX loop and what I may want to use it for.

Yamaha THR range but with fx loop!

I haven’t read it through, but you should find the right information here

Edit: just read through it quickly and yes you can find all the information there


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In a nutshell, if you want to use an external looper pedal (TC Ditto, Boss RC series, Digitech Trio+, etc.) with a modelling amp, you really need an FX loop to plug it into.

And looper pedals are one of the highly recommended practice tools.




I’m a sheep and just follow the herd, so I acquired a second-hand Katana 50 (cheap) for my main amp and the Yamaha THR (expensive) lives discreetly and wirelessly in my living room, doubling up as a Bluetooth speaker.
The fx loop absence doesn’t bother me in the slightest, as it’s easy to work around and I have a PodGo that I can just put in front of the looper if I ever wanted to tone-chase.
Katana for value, THR for neat luxury


Yes, what Keith said! If for example you had a distortion pedal and a looper but no fx loop you then end up looping distortion on top of distortion and it’s going to sound bad. The FX loop allows you to separate them so distortion (or any other effect) only gets applied to your sound once.
You might not have plans to use a looper in the near future but who’s to say what you might want 18 months from now and you’re looking at a new amp if you change your mind


Yes this all makes sense! I do currently use a looper, and I have the problem you describe because I don’t have an FX loop.


Katana is good but not a modeling amp technically…

I ended up with a Fender gtx-100 and am pretty happy. Fx loop, tuner pedal built in looper and good range of amps it models.

Not as good as a Katana for metal but generally better for other stuff, more flexibility but more tweaking

Note the GTX-50 is great and cheaper BUT you dont get the pedal with it, which is very useful , and its usually cheaper to get the 100 over the 50 if you want the pedal.


I also love my Fender Mustang GTX100 (my initial reviews of it are here and here). I’ve had it since October of last year. Other than the bluetooth music streaming being wonky (I stopped using the BT streaming and just play music/backing tracks through my computer and monitor speakers which sound better anyway, but bluetooth syncing & backup, preset upload/download via wifi is great), I absolutely love this amp! I played both the Fender GTX and Boss Katana in the store (so can’t compare them for long term use), and personally preferred the Fender sound, controls, and features.

While I’ve bought way too many guitars, I stopped looking at amps since I got this one. It’s so versatile and sounds amazing. After messing around with tens of presets for months, I’ve now settled on just two presets that I created using the Fender Deluxe Reverb amp model. One preset for my Strat and another preset for my PRS guitars with humbuckers. Both presets have 5 pedals (overdrive, tubescreamer, EQ, delay & reverb) that I toggle on & off using the footswitch which give me a huge range of tones that satisfy the handful of blues, rock and alt rock songs that I play (I don’t play heavy metal so can’t judge it on that).

For my current level of guitar playing (just under a year), it more than satisfies and exceeds my needs, and I believe it will continue doing so for several years ahead.

Boss Katana 100 or Line 6 Catalyst 60 would be my recommendations. Both have effects loops for easy looper interface.

Hi Linda,
My comment is outside the box from others.

I ‘personally’ want to play guitar.
While I like different tone effects. I want to play guitar, not chase the next new deley, reverb, distortion tone.

Any of the amps I have would be good and meet your criteria sans the ‘‘download and explore presets’’ as none of them have that capability.

What they do do is sound good from lower than bedroom volume up to way to loud. Two of my amps are likely questionable for gigging though. Probably close, but may not be loud enough.

So, the amps I’m recommending are.
-Fender princeton reverb reissue. Only 12w (7 tubes) so may not be giggable, but is still to loud sitting next to it. It has no features at all other than reverb and tremolo, both are stellar sounding.
-I’m also very satisfied with my Supro blues king 12, now known as a delta king12. It’s only 15w (2 tubes), so again, may not be giggable, but is way to loud if ya turn it up while at home. It has a couple of switches for distortion, and boost. It’s a master volume amp which I like a lot as I can get much distortion at below bedroom levels, if that’s what I want, which I don’t usually want.
-Lastly a old peavey red stripe bandit. Old tech. But it’s tones are stellar. It also has a couple distortion switches on it. Since it’s a 2 channel amp, I use the clean channel. It’s a 80w solid state amp and this one is likely giggable, it will move your pant legs if your sitting in front of it. It’s plain loud and will rattle windows. It also goes down to bedroom vol. when ya set the vol. low, like 1-2. Still sound great though.

The prri is very pricey and all tube. 1500 new
The blues king 12 is mildly pricey, and while billed as a tube amp, I think perhaps it combines some solid state (the overdrive switches) and the tubes. $700 new.
The red stripe bandits are obsolete, so ya gotta find one used somewhere. They seem to be in the $250-$300 range generally. Bandits come in different flavors, teal strip, red stripe, silver stripe, the new one, cyclops. All good amps, but the red stripe one seems to be most sought after. I also like the silver stripe one which I also have but don’t use much since I like the red stripe one a shade better.

prri and blues king 12 are portable and weight in @ about 30lbs.
bandits are heavy @ about 50lbs and that one I don’t move about so much. The others I move occasionally.

This is just food for thought for you.
Sounds like ya want a modeler to me.
If I were going down that road and wanted all them features to be downloaded and explored. I suppose ‘myself’, I’d be lookin at that new katana 100. Seems like a respectable amp that many enjoy.

Just wanted to give ya that food for thought for just a plain amp that mostly just sound good and amplify, but that’s about it… They suit my needs, but may not suit others needs. ymmv

Good luck in your decision.

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The Boss Katana is the “default” internet recommendation. But there are other options out there.

I have a Fender GTX 50 and it’s great.

It’s worth trying a couple in store.

There is so many choices now.

I mostly play plugged into a computer at the moment…

I had a Boss Katana 50 initially, but when I wanted an effects loop, I got a Line 6 catalyst 60. I like more of the default amps on the Line 6 than I did on the Katana, but there are far less downloadable amps for the Catalyst.

Thank you everyone for your replies! I like doing my research and appreciate that I have a lot of suggestions.

@firasR I actually love the sound of Fender tones, so I may be leaning more into this direction. I’ll read your reviews for sure.

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What kind of music do you play @LindaCas81? :slightly_smiling_face:

I ve been reading.a lot the forum about amps and the answer is almost always the katana , but I’ve never seen anyone talking about the " orange " amps , why ?