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Budget 2x12 combos: Boss Katana or Blackstar Core:ID?

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  • Budget 2x12 combos: Boss Katana or Blackstar Core:ID?

    The head on my Spider II just blew up. So I'm looking for a replacement. What I'm mostly looking for in an amp is versatiitly and a nice, clear clean channel, plenty of headroom - I don't really want to be fighting against 'colouration' or 'natural OD' that comes from more specialised amps - I'd rather dial it in from the pre-amp in a pedal. I like the depth and tone of dual 12 inch speakers. I have a decent set of pedals, and I'm not too worried about the built-in effects, but an extra reverb or delay might not go astray. It just happens that the 2x12 combos that fall into my price range tend to be modelling amps.

    The thing that's spliiting my conscience right now, is that the Boss has an acoustic setting, and different power settings, and Boss effects, but the Blackstar has that 'wide-stereo' feature, and a built in looper, and comes with a foot-pedal. I have a good EQ pedal (Boss eq20) - is that good enough to make up for a lack of an acoustic amp?

    There is a third option - the speakers on my existing combo still work (2x75w UK celestions - they're nice speakers), so I could just wire them up to a head. But I think I'm more in the mood for just buying a new amp that works out of the box.
    Last edited by FrankensteinsLobster; 07-13-2020, 07:49 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Budget 2x12 combos: Boss Katana or Blackstar Core:ID?

    Got my son a Katana about a year and a 1/2 ago

    He loves it. He can use it for jams and it cranks down nicely for his apartment
    My Bands -
    https://kamikazechoir.hearnow.com/
    www.instagram.com/kamikazechoir
    www.reverbnation.com/theheartlessdevils

    Just some fun guitar stuff from time to time
    GUITAR KULTURE

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    • #3
      Re: Budget 2x12 combos: Boss Katana or Blackstar Core:ID?

      I don't have much experience with the Blackstar ID stuff, so I can't make any kind of comparison.

      I started with a Katana 100, moved up to the Katana Artist and have been very content. Before this, I had a separate amp head and 2x12 combo setup.

      The Artist sounds good enough with its single Waza speaker that I don't really miss the 2x12 and I appreciate the portability of the one-speaker combo and its features. Also, the biggest ID:Core models are only 2x10", so keep that in mind.

      To really maximize either unit, you'll need the $100 foot pedal from the respective manufacturer, which might push you into a new price bracket.

      Since you already have a cab you could reuse, you could also look into the Katana Head and possibly save a few bucks.

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      • #4
        Re: Budget 2x12 combos: Boss Katana or Blackstar Core:ID?

        Originally posted by Masta' C View Post
        I don't have much experience with the Blackstar ID stuff, so I can't make any kind of comparison.

        I started with a Katana 100, moved up to the Katana Artist and have been very content. Before this, I had a separate amp head and 2x12 combo setup.

        The Artist sounds good enough with its single Waza speaker that I don't really miss the 2x12 and I appreciate the portability of the one-speaker combo and its features. Also, the biggest ID:Core models are only 2x10", so keep that in mind.

        To really maximize either unit, you'll need the $100 foot pedal from the respective manufacturer, which might push you into a new price bracket.

        Since you already have a cab you could reuse, you could also look into the Katana Head and possibly save a few bucks.
        There is definitely a 150w 2x12 Core:ID - It might have been added to the line-up since you last looked, I think it's fairly recent. Either that or my local music shop is trying to mess with my head .

        A 100w 1x12 or 1x15 would be loud enough, but I prefer having two speakers because I find it adds a bit more complexity. They are more of a pain to lug around, but i'm not old enough, or moving them around often enough for that to be a worry just yet. If I wanted a 1x12 it would be the Katana hands-down. But then the Blackstar 2x12 has that "super-wide stereo" effect, which I'm kind of interested in.

        Also, it should be noted, where I live at least, the Katana head is almost the same price as the 100w 112. Both are about $600 new, the 212 combo is about $750 (AUD)
        Last edited by FrankensteinsLobster; 07-13-2020, 10:50 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Budget 2x12 combos: Boss Katana or Blackstar Core:ID?

          So I guess - come to think of it - it comes down to whether there's anything about the Katana's tone that I couldn't compensate for through the Blackstar. The Blackstar is $100 cheaper and has a footswitch included.

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          • #6
            Re: Budget 2x12 combos: Boss Katana or Blackstar Core:ID?

            I would almost by default go with the katana as a lot of guys have vouched for them and when I can't play an amp in person it helps if people I trust say "this worked for me".

            But I understand when budget is an issue
            If the blackstar comes with the switch then... Just watch as many demos as you can and listen carefully with good headphones if you have them
            If it doesn't sound bad maybe just go for it. At this price range everything has compromises right?

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            • #7
              Re: Budget 2x12 combos: Boss Katana or Blackstar Core:ID?

              Originally posted by FuseG4 View Post
              I would almost by default go with the katana as a lot of guys have vouched for them and when I can't play an amp in person it helps if people I trust say "this worked for me".

              But I understand when budget is an issue
              If the blackstar comes with the switch then... Just watch as many demos as you can and listen carefully with good headphones if you have them
              If it doesn't sound bad maybe just go for it. At this price range everything has compromises right?
              There's also a matter of convenience. This is a bad time to break an amp. Everyone's out of stock, and a backorder would take at least six weeks, so I'm told, and there's not even a guarantee of that much. Under different circumstances, the boss 212 might be cheaper, but the Blackstar is more available. I'm fairly confident it will at least do me for now, I can always sell it on to someone else on Facebook once this blows over.

              I'd kind of expect more people would be in favour of the Katana just because it's more familiar. Can anyone who's tried both speak for the virtues of the Core:ID?
              Last edited by FrankensteinsLobster; 07-13-2020, 01:40 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Budget 2x12 combos: Boss Katana or Blackstar Core:ID?

                Originally posted by FrankensteinsLobster View Post
                There is definitely a 150w 2x12 Core:ID...Either that or my local music shop is trying to mess with my head
                I just looked...the 150W is 2x10" according to Blackstar's website and specs on various retailer's websites. Don't believe everything a music store tells you

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                • #9
                  Re: Budget 2x12 combos: Boss Katana or Blackstar Core:ID?

                  Originally posted by Masta' C View Post
                  I just looked...the 150W is 2x10" according to Blackstar's website and specs on various retailer's websites. Don't believe everything a music store tells you
                  ****, you're right. I just assumed because there's a 2x10 100w version and also a 150w version, that the 150w would be 2x12, because that would be logical. Now I have to think

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                  • #10
                    Re: Budget 2x12 combos: Boss Katana or Blackstar Core:ID?

                    To be fair, I bet the 2x10" arrangement in that Blackstar sounds great! Speaker tech is really at its prime right now and I doubt you'd actually miss much about the 12" speakers if you went that route.

                    Also, I've seen quite a few people that preferred the Katana "Artist" and its 1x12 over the sound of the 2x12" version of the KTN-100. Just a thought.

                    If you CAN use your existing Celestion setup as a 2x12" cab, then I'd definitely suggest you take a look at the Katana Mk.II head first and foremost. You can always add a looper pedal if you need

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                    • #11
                      Re: Budget 2x12 combos: Boss Katana or Blackstar Core:ID?

                      You reckon? Just intuitively, I feel like the 12 inches give just enough of a "gurgle" for my liking, whereas 10 inches are a little too sharp. I want a good amount of mid-range rumble, rather than a 'cutting' sound. I want them to be just that little bit lazy. I'll take it on advisement, but I'm pretty sure I want two speakers rather than one. I don't think I could get a 'layered' sound out of one driver. I've tried single-speaker arrangements and they just seem to fall a bit flat.
                      Last edited by FrankensteinsLobster; 07-13-2020, 03:23 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Budget 2x12 combos: Boss Katana or Blackstar Core:ID?

                        If you would rather dial in pre amp sounds from your pedals, why not just get a power amp and run it through your existing speakers? Something like the Powerstage 170 or Quilter should give you enough clean headroom.

                        Sent from my Alcatel_5044C using Tapatalk

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                        • #13
                          Re: Budget 2x12 combos: Boss Katana or Blackstar Core:ID?

                          Originally posted by Demanic View Post
                          If you would rather dial in pre amp sounds from your pedals, why not just get a power amp and run it through your existing speakers? Something like the Powerstage 170 or Quilter should give you enough clean headroom.

                          Sent from my Alcatel_5044C using Tapatalk
                          I do have a couple of poweramps lying around, like one out of a car-stereo. Or I could salvage one from an old hi-fi - those are options. It's just a bit messier. I don't mind forking out a few hundred bucks for something that's just neater and more convenient.
                          Last edited by FrankensteinsLobster; 07-13-2020, 04:30 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Budget 2x12 combos: Boss Katana or Blackstar Core:ID?

                            There have been some Blackstar amps at the two stores around here, but they never quite captured me like the Katana. Maybe the kanji caught my eye more than anything.

                            Likewise though, two musicians I trust also recently bought Katanas right around March, one the 50-watt combo and the other the Artist 100 combo - both still rave about how great they are and how good the power scaling is.

                            Bottom line IMO - if you can find one, spring for the Katana

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                            • #15
                              Re: Budget 2x12 combos: Boss Katana or Blackstar Core:ID?

                              Originally posted by FrankensteinsLobster View Post
                              I do have a couple of poweramps lying around, like one out of a car-stereo. Or I could salvage one from an old hi-fi - those are options. It's just a bit messier. I don't mind forking out a few hundred bucks for something that's just neater and more convenient.
                              That's what the ones that I suggested are. Though they are by no means the only ones. I've always wanted to try an EHX .44 Magnum. Or that 200 watt ss lunchbox amp with a 6" speaker that has a speaker out jack that can push a half stack. Anyone remember the name of those things?

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