Fender Blues Jr. Vs. Ibanez TSA15 Vs. Boss Katana

Discussion in 'Amps & Cabs' started by OldManJenkins, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. OldManJenkins

    OldManJenkins Member

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    Now that I got the guitar of my dreams, a PRS Santana SE, I am out looking for an Amp. I want to play Classic Rock and Blues, so I want an Amp that meets these styles. I like tubes amps but as you can see I am open to anything as long as it sounds good, has good tone and it is warm. I will consider adding pedals in a near future but I am minimalistic so may be a good Over Drive or Distortion to complement and eventually a delay.

    I have been looking at Fender Blues Jr. and the Ibanez TSA15 both 15 Watts. I was recently introduced to the Boss Katana which I like because it covers a lot of styles and incorporates several effects. It sound convenient but is no tube amp which makes me apprehensive.

    So I ask your opinion and advise. I also would like to know your experience with either. Finally, if you have any suggestions please feel free to share them here.

    Thank you all in advance.
     
  2. grausch

    grausch Active Member

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  3. 83 Blazer

    83 Blazer Well-Known Member

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    I played a Katana 50 in a quiet room at a music store for about half an hour once and I was mighty impressed, but I didn't have time to plug into the Vox AC 15 next to it to compare it to the tube amp I own and love. I never even tried the built in effects. I was too busy enjoying the clean channel, which you can coax into a really nice break up if you want.
    In any case both those amps are voiced differently.

    Suffice to say, most days I have to mount a case in my mind why I shouldn't go back and buy myself a Katana. Mostly I just don't need it, but if I was in the market for an amp I would give it very serious consideration.

    Some people love Katanas, others don't. I'm in the love them camp. Mind you there's people that don't live AC15 C1s too (I think they're mad :facepalm: ).

    I've tried out a Blues Junior before and thought it was a bit ho-hum but others love them and I've heard them sound great too. I looove 4 x 10 Hot Rod Devilles though, but they are too heavy and too big for my needs.

    Im in Australia and street prices for Blues Junior are around $1000-$1100 Australian dollars, TSA15 around $700-$750 and Katana 50 $349 Katana 100 around $500. From that stand point it's hard to argue against a Katana though I would want to play it with a band before I made the choice.

    Enjoy trying them out and making a decision. :dude:
     
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  4. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    I have a bastard Blues Jr.

    Plug in and play, not a lot of fiddling to be done.

    I haven't tried anything else.
     
  5. 83 Blazer

    83 Blazer Well-Known Member

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    There is a lot to be said for that concept. You spend less time messing about and more time sounding awesome.
    I must admit when I tried out a Blues junior previously I was searching for a different tone, now I do appreciate what Fender amps can do, especially with the right drive pedal in front of them. The sound can be truly magnificent!
     
  6. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't have written it better. I have the TAS15 head, going through two 1X12" cabs and that amp is IT. It replaced a Black Heart Handsome Devil, says a lot.

    The last reply in that strat-talk.com reference, mentions the Fender Super Champ. That is one you should also consider for classic rock & blues. I have a SCXD and it rivals with the Ibanez for first place contender.

    Here's the newer X2 version you can get as a combo or head.

     
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  7. pedecamp

    pedecamp Active Member

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    Fender Super Champ X2 good suggestion, I also like the Fender Bassbreaker. Lately I've been looking at Ceriatone, they make the 2202 which is a 20 watt JCM800 with lots of great features.

    I guess I'm not a fan of the amps laid out in this thread. I guess if I had to pick one it would be the TSA15 in a head.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
  8. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    As a Katana 50 owner, I'd recommend the line in a heartbeat.

    Good sounds all around, and in regards to effects: who better to model effects than Boss?
     
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  9. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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    The Katana 50 is featured in this video.


    The guys are surprised to say the least.
     
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  10. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    Stuff like this is very personal. Every amp suggested in this thread so far, would make an excellent platform for music mayhem. How will any of these inspire you? The best scenario is to actually demo these, but I know that's what you're not asking.

    Have you currently or in the past played an amp that has put a smile on your face?
     
  11. dexspeed

    dexspeed Active Member

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    I own a Katana 50, and very nearly bought a TS15 years ago for a practice amp that I was A/B comparing to another smaller hybrid amp, which I ended up purchasing in the end (I'm a sucker for head + cabs and the TS 15 I demo'd was a combo) although I preferred the TS15 (Did I mention I'm not a big fan of combos?).

    If I was given the choice between just the Katana and a TS15, I would probably choose the TS15. It has it's own unique tone characteristics that you can shape. While the Katana does emulate many different sounds extremely well, it's not something I would really define as part of the tonal package I'd be looking to sculpt upon (that's me - tone is subjective), but is a most excellent at home practice amp with an effects suite that is as close to authentic sounding as I have ever heard on a modelling amp. Not taking anything away from the Katana, it is probably the best solid state amp I have played - heck, I still play it daily and own quite a few different tube amps. It's very easy to dial in a great tone with very little fiddling, unusual for a SS.

    I guess it all really depends on what you want to use that amp for? I suppose the only real way to answer this question is for you to find somewhere where you have the opportunity to sit down and A/B both to find your preference (actually, A/B/C in your case - that might make things a bit more challenging).
     
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  12. gball

    gball Well-Known Member

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    I agree it is largely dependent on usage. To me, it breaks down like this:

    Bedroom/practice? The Katana
    Practice + gigging with pedals? The Fender
    Practice + gigging without pedals? The Ibanez
     
  13. bjunior

    bjunior Member

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    I'm using one right now (previous an Vox AC15).

    The Blues Junior is the best selling tube amp in the world and for a good reason. It is light, you can easily carry the amp to a gig. Loud enough to gig with. You can easily mod the amp. For example swap the speaker. The Blues Junior is good in pop, blues and rock. Need to say that BJ can sound a bit boxy. So far I'm happy with it.
     
  14. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Like dis ?

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. dexspeed

    dexspeed Active Member

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    Exactly! I swear, if that was what I had demo'd, that would probably have been the amp sitting in my living room for the past three years! I loved the sound of it but just couldn't bring myself to settle on a combo. I like to be able to easily swap cabs around. It looks like you do too ;)

    Nice looking setup BTW!
     
  16. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, it fills my needs for now.
     
  17. OldManJenkins

    OldManJenkins Member

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    Took my guitar to the local GC to get Chrome Pickup Covers installed, like DFLCC's. I think it will look great. I checked a few amps there but not with my guitar. Tried the Fender Blues jr. And the Boss Katana 50; (No TSA15 in store) both sensational in their own way but so different at the same time. I found the versatility of the Katana very appealing. The price tag is even better. Not sold on it yet but will try with my guitar when I pick it up tomorrow. I will post some pictures I promise.
     
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  18. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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  19. DFLCC

    DFLCC Well-Known Member

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    I am no fan of solid state amps and I have a hard time with modeling amps. I have owned a Line 6 Spider IV 150 and a Marshall Code 50. The spider was returned in three days. The Code 50 was ok and has a lot of possibilities but lacked the tube warm and action. Now that said I own a Blues Jr limited edition tweed that is IMHO Magnificent. Once you find the sweet spot it breaks beautifully in to Blues, Blues Rock, Rock and Roll, Hard Rock and Classic Rock. The Reverb is just superb with huge range and full. Great for clean Jazz. The Speaker in mine is a Jensen, that adds a little more fullness and spark (top end). That in comparison to the standard Blues Jr. It takes pedals extremely well but I seem to just use my Boss Blues Driver in front of it and nothing else. Now the bad, no effect loop. I would use this amp all the time if I had and effect loop to connect my looper in.

    Now about the Katana 50; Clean it is incredible (and it is solid state), the reverb is huge. The distortion was good and I found it very easy to use. I don't own one just tried it, but so far I am impressed by this amp. I have reason this a little because I do own a Roland Cube and it is my go to compact wife approved low volume master bed room amp. LOL. A lot of people here own and love this little 3W amps. Search the reviews if you would like to consider one but I mention this because the Katana is the next evolution of the Cube family of amps. In my opinion the fact that the Katana does more and sounds better and can do it at .5W, 25W and 50W is why I should replace my Cube for one of them. The Katana is a larger amp but very lightweight and still compact. I just want to mess with it more and learn more so may sell my little Cube and go for it.

    The point is that I believe that as a returning musician you have the most to benefit from the Katana than any other amp you mention. The versatility that offers is not limited to a few styles. The greatest thing is the numerous possibilities that this tool puts in your hands. The very best thing is that this amp is less than half the TSA15 and less than three time the Blues Jr, so very soft on the pocket compared to your other two choices.

    I don't own or have played a TSA15 so can't comment on it.
     
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  20. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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