Catalyst User Reviews

Started by admin, March 27, 2022, 10:08:02 AM

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Lewis Jenkins wrote>
QuoteI've now spent some additional time with the Catalyst 100 playing through the on-board sounds and effects.

Overall, really impressed with this little combo. It's very easy to dial in useable tones and make quick adjustments as required. I think all of the in-built amps are great and cover a wide range of desirable tones. The controls feel good and responsive, much like a real amp, and the overall sound and 'feel' in the room is very nice.

It's a million miles from my Powercab 212 (which will shortly be on eBay).

The included effects are great and will be instantly recognisable to anybody with experience of HX products. I don't mind being limited to a single effect at any one time - in fact I rather like the simplicity. The delays and modulations cover 95% of anything you'd ever need. The pitch effects aren't for me personally but no harm in having them available.

One minor usability criticism - when cycling through effects you have to press and hold the EFFECT button for two seconds to enter Effect Selection mode. You can then cycle through the different effects. Sometimes it's nice to audition each effect for a while before cycling to the next one - so it would be nice if we could stay in Effect Selection mode indefinitely to avoid the whole two-second press each time we want to cycle to a new effect. Maybe this is an setting within the editor software which I haven't installed.

So yeah, overall it's a great little combo amp and it ticks a lot of boxes. I will mostly use it as a powered cab with a Helix, so for me the in-built amps and effects are a bonus feature. But I'm sure the majority will use this as a regular combo amp with the in-built sounds and controls and be very happy indeed.

EDIT: Also, the in-built tuner works really well :)

QuoteDay 3 with the Catalyst 100.

Today I programmed the Helix Floor to control the Catalyst via MIDI. Ended up with snapshots for all six amps and individual stomps for boost, effect and reverb. Also assigned gain to the expression pedal. Worked really well :)

I'm still loving the Catalyst as a powered cab for the Helix. The built-in amps sound really great but I think the Helix amps are also sounding amazing and the Helix just allows for more control, especially in pedal edit mode.

Also for Catalyst owners, there is a very recent firmware update now available so might be worth grabbing the latest Line 6 Updater and checking which version you're currently on. I updated yesterday and it went smoothly

QuoteAs requested, I tested this by strumming a chord, letting it ring, and then changing channels.

Yes, there is a small gap in sound when switching channels, regardless of whether it's the same amp or not.

The image shows a recording of switching channels between the same amp model. The zoomed-in graphic deceptively makes it look like a huge gap but it's actually very tiny, approx only 150ms - see the timeline at the bottom.

The top track is USB 1 (wet signal). The bottom track is USB 3 (dry signal). Obviously the dry signal wasn't affected.

Changing banks is exactly the same.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about this. Nobody really changes channel "mid-strum" so you'll never really notice it. I'm only posting this here because you specifically asked about it :)


Nickolas wrote >
QuoteFor those planning to use their Catalyst without a Helix or other modeller, as if it's a real amp (!) ... this has more balls by far than any other digital amp I've ever owned or tried.
I'm not referring to just volume per se - although my 100 is easily loud enough - but the voicing in combination with the chosen speaker gives it loads of oomph. I'm using the high gain model (and I don't ever shake my gtr for 'vibrato' haha) ... there's real substance and responsiveness to the overdriven sounds that's unlike all of the others I've experienced ...Blackstar, Boss, Fender, Marshall, Vox etc.
What I do particularly notice on the crunchy settings (boutique etc) is a feeling of tweedy compression that's absolutely perfect if you play in the joncordy style (excellent playing always Jon, but different from my own style, typically). The high gain mode, which will be my most-used, works really well in cleaning up somewhat with your gtr vol pot, and can be easily balanced with the boost to cover a lot of ground, just on that one channel. The tones are very far removed from the artificial & uninspiring driven sounds generated by most digital amps. If you play like you mean it, Catalyst delivers.
Clean tones & the FX are absolutely fine, and the overall value is, frankly, ridiculous. The simplicity of operation is a breath of fresh air.
If you think you need one, I'd recommend that you just go buy it. Nothing else comes close, IMHO, at these price points.


One-stop wrote>
QuoteReceived my Catalyst 100 today and finally got to spend about an hour with it this evening.

Now the main reason that I bought this amp is because I was about to pull the trigger on a Line 6 PowerCab 112 to monitor my Simplifier DLX but then when this amp became available to order, what sold me was the ability to flip a power amp switch on the Return of the effects send and use my Simplifier. Without derailing this thread to talk about the results, I'll simply say it delivered in spades! It's sounds awesome!!

Now for the Catalyst 100...
- Clean setting sounds great overall!
- I really like the Boutique but notice an idle hum on both that setting and Chime. It can be controlled by reducing the Master Volume but even turned down, I wouldn't call it quiet.
- Like Boutique, Chime has a little hum to it but also the setting is a bit softer (in volume) overall compared to Boutique.
- Crunch channel is quieter (like Clean) and sounds fantastic!
- Dynamic is just fine as is High Gain which I honestly spent little to know time with.

Effects are great but nothing overall you exciting - although the Mod settings like Octiver (think that's what it's called) is fun!

Reverbs are good - I tend to lean towards Plate so dialed that up and was good with it.

Didn't really intend on writing a detailed review but those are my quick thoughts off having spent only a little amount of time with it.

With that said, would be curious to see if anyone else notices the slight idle hum on the Boutique and Chime channels.


DallasD wrote>
Quotegot the Cat100 today and spent a bit of time with it. For comparison history, I returned a Katana quickly - thought it was harsh and trebly in spite of deep dive high cuts, etc. and I felt like it went from off to too loud/hard even in low wattage mode. I had the smaller Nextone for a while and the different tube power modes came across as a gimmick and complicated the amp for not much benefit IMO.

The Catalyst on first pass is much more my style (not as harsh, more control at low volume). The clean and lower gain models take overdrive pedals in front surprisingly well so that could make it a keeper for when I don't want to heat up tubes. I ran an Iridium into the power amp input and felt like its Chime model sounds smoother right away compared to the on-board Catalyst Chime. Could this be a killer "power engine"?

Clean, Boutique, and Crunch were highlights on first pass and seem easy to get a working tone. Chime has something different in the midrange that may require some extra tweaking


Dbagchee wrote>
QuoteI've put a few hours on the amp now and it's definitely staying. I've kept it in manual mode the whole time and I'm loving the simplicity and the all in one nature of it. Being able to add a bit of delay and reverb is all I need for most things, but it's fun to be able to go off on a tangent when inspiration strikes.

And that's the thing - this amp is inspiring to play. The six amps are really an embarrassment of riches. I had to force myself to switch between them just to put the amp through it's paces but each amp stands on it's own and has it's own character. Don't be afraid to go extreme with knob settings either—there are terrific sounds to be found at the extremes and the boosts really bring some of the amps to life. Tons of tones in this thing.

Some notes:
When switching channels, don't expect to be wowed immediately - I found myself switching models and scowling at first at the sound, but just used my ears to readjust knobs and quickly found a new sweet spot. Each amp is really that different.
The power scaling switch is super handy - I'm not sure if it changes the tone at all, but having more sweep of the volume is just super helpful when you're trying to get the perfect amount of volume for the situation.
Learn all the controls from the amp - I connected the editor for a bit, but it's just a better experience dealing with the amp directly - you can turn off the noise gate and move the fx pre and post pretty easily once you know the moves and just less tech to mess with.
Headphone sound is ok - you definitely need to tweak with the cab and mic settings using the editor for this in my opinion - it's serviceable but it doesn't match the tone that comes via the cab and speaker. IR support would be cool in the future if it's possible somehow. Also it's a little annoying that every time you switch cabs that it resets the mic to the 57, forcing you to reselect a mic. I don't see why those settings can't stay independent.
Would be nice to be able to toggle fx type on the reverb channel - not a huge deal but would be cool to be able to combine delay and phaser/univibe etc.
Super happy with the 60 - it's plenty loud, full sounding, and digging how the open back sends sound around the room. Has plenty of bass though it is probably exaggerated a bit by the resonance of the wood floors - will see how different it sounds in the basement with cement. :D

I tried it a bit with my HX Stomp and initial sounds were nice - but again found myself drifting back to simplicity of the amp itself. Great to have the power amp in option though.

I definitely recommend checking this out - I can't believe this thing costs the same as a Strymon pedal!
forgot to mention I ran some backing tracks through the USB/iPhone connection - sounded surprisingly good for not being an FRFR speaker!


Dr Chang wrote >
QuoteMy Catalyst 200 arrived from the mail yesterday and first impressions were "Ooof, does it smell like industrial glue". Definitely fresh off the boat.

That said, I would highly recommend this amp to someone who don't like tweaking and just want to play guitar. It "feels" close enough to a tube amp where you can just shut up and play. The eq/gain knobs respond like your typical tube amps where you can just raise eq/gain to 5 and tweak to taste. Quality of life features, such as the power selector and linear volume controls, essential make this amp a "Transformer" that can turn from a gigging amp to a well behaved practice amp. In comparison, your typical 50w tube combo has volume levels that goes from barely audible to gigging decibels when you tweak from 2 to 3.

Compared to the Boss Katana, this amp overall has a warmer, vintage, more "tubey" vibe. The Boss Katana has a more "heavy rock god" feel to it with less of a "tubey" vintage vibe. That said, I never deep dived into either amp's software so this is just based on my experience on tweaking from the top panels.

Another difference I found was that the Boss Katana various amp selections "felt" like different channels of the same amp while the Line6 Catalyst amp selections each felt entirely like a different amp. Hard to say which is a better approach so different strokes for different folks, I guess

XLR out will use the speaker sim from the Catalyst. XLR out is fixed at line level, so master has no effect on XLR out - but I believe the channel volumes will still be in play so you can balance relative volumes between channels/banks.



Quotewhy not include a cable in the box for this? I mean how much can it add?

DigitalIgloo (Eric Kline) wrote>

Not a cable. We're talking about 5-pin MIDI DIN ports, which were omitted from Catalyst 60's back panel to ensure Line 6 could reach our target margin after paying for parts, tooling, labor, and shipping. Presumably other, less obvious things were also omitted like, I dunno, it not being 65 watts or something. To be honest, I don't know because Rick is Catalyst's PM and he's clearly not going to share internal ex-factory documents with TGP.

So here we are at Line 6 and say we want to make a $499 2x12, a $399 1x12, and a $299 1x12. In very rough terms, the $399 version's parts, tooling, labor, and shipping collectively needs to cost 20% less than the $499 version to meet the same margin. So we're looking at one less speaker, a smaller amplifier, less wood, less tolex, great! Still, difficult decisions are often made to get there.

However, the $299 version's parts/tooling/labor/shipping collectively needs to cost 25% less than the $399 version. That means we need to remove notably more elements from a product that's already had 20% of its elements removed. Except this time we can't remove a speaker, the amplifier is 60% as powerful instead of 50%, the cabinet isn't that much smaller... so what do we do? At this level, the decisions are MUCH harder and at the run rates we plan for, it means we may sweat pennies.

Admittedly, it's not exactly that cut-and-dry. As you might expect, we'll sell more Catalyst 60s than the other two simply because of its lower price. So its higher run rate is taken into account to warrant a slightly lower margin than what we need to reach with the 100 and 200-watt SKUs, in part because development is amortized across more units sold. But for the most part, if we want to make a product and sell it for $XXX, the parts, tooling, labor, and shipping cannot be over a certain percentage of that street price. Most companies use a force-multiplier, but it's always a rough guess based on a myriad of variables. Thankfully we have really smart people to figure out the Excel spreadsheets and Tableaux dashboards so we can focus on the fun design stuff.

I'm actually having trouble thinking of product lines that don't bifurcate in the interest of pricing tiers. Toasters, computers, TVs, video game consoles, cars, planes, guns, refrigerators, bicycles, tortilla chips, cereal boxes, internet plans, streaming services, flowers, weddings, funerals, caskets, guitars, saxophones, nuclear missiles, beer, whiskey, wine, motorcycles, boats, yachts, savings accounts, baseball bats, windows, doors, doorknobs, flooring, concert tickets, plane tickets, hotel stays, dinners at restaurants, shoes, hats, furniture, jewelry, paint, cleaning supplies, chemicals, sunglasses, phones, tablets, cameras, utensils, cosmetics, vacuum cleaners... almost everything you buy has a more expensive version with desirable elements or traits not found in the less expensive version. You'd think it'd be obvious to apply the same logic to guitar amps, but apparently not.
Last edited: Mar 16, 2022


Joe D wrote >
Possibly the best value out there
Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2022
Size: 60-Watt, 1x12"
I have been playing the catalyst 60 non stop since I got it about a week ago. Not just because it's a new toy, but because it's just so much fun. I can't dial in a bad sound. And all I think about is the next time I can play on it. Works amazingly well with every guitar I plug into it. Takes drive pedals well and has an effects loop! I use the catalyst edit app on both android (need a USB C to USB B cable) and the desktop app - They're identical in function and very easy to use. I'm shocked quite frankly how well this amp sounds. The "feel" of this amp whilst playing is unreal you won't believe it's solid state modeling. I wish they had this stuff when I was a kid. The value here Is tremendous. For 299 you just cannot go wrong. I also own an hx stomp and plugged it in straight into the fx loop return with the power amp in toggle selected. Sounded amazing if that what you need for a modeler. I find myself getting the most joy from just sitting them, guitar plugged straight into the amp and just playing and enjoying the moment. I didn't buy it to replace my other rig, but more for the freedom to explore more sounds and not screw up my other platform. I gotta say, I'm having a blast and don't see the novelty wearing off anytime soon. I got a chance to record direct via USB to my DAW and worked flawlessly, again he value you're getting is tremendous. Has built in cab and several mic simulations and they sound very good. Basically Yamaha just put in the basic best sounding stuff into a combo amp, simplified, and it works! I don't think you will be disappointed. Go check out some YouTube reviews of people's impressions. It's not lip service, this is a legit (and very loud) amazing sounding combo! I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.

Amazon USA


Tony Cass Wrote>
I've had a Catalyst 60 for about 3 weeks now and feel pretty comfortable using it. Sometimes I wish I had gone for the 100 so I could add a midi controller to open up some of its capability. But, for the cost of the upgrade and a midi controller, I added a few other pedals to really get the most out of this amp. I don't use any of the effects and I exclusively use it in manual mode. I look at it like I have 3 different amps to choose from depending on my mood and the style of music I'm playing in the moment. I like the clean channel the most. It takes drive pedals REALLY well and the tone stack opens a wide variety of sounds. I use the crunch amp for Marshall tones and the Boutique amp for tweed or edgy clean tones. Everything else I get from pedals. I'm mixing in a variety of pedals on a small 5 pedal board. Rather than using the effects loop in this situation I use a little reverb from the amp and then run straight into the input. Sounds great.

I also like using the power amp in with an Atomic Ampli-firebox and Nux Cerberus. I came across some old posts from @Guitardave who was using this combo years ago. This is actually my favorite application. The catalyst adds the volume and I have a fully WYSIWYG rig. The preamps in the AFB are not better than the preamps in the catalyst. They are just different. I actually tested running the preamps out the send of the catalyst and then through different IRs using the Nux. This was interesting but in general whatever IR line 6 is using for the USB audio and XLR out is very good. I didn't really get better with other options, just different.

Speaking of the XLR out and usb interface capabilities of the catalyst ... they are a really nice touch that make this amp extremely easy to work with in a wide variety of applications. I like that I can record via the XLR out while also monitoring live via the amp. I only ever use the USB interface if I'm using headphones since the catalyst is not a great monitoring system for other instruments.

In general, I think this is the best use of $299 towards a piece of gear to date. It is unreal how line 6 is able to deliver so much value at this price point.

The world of guitar amps just keeps growing and growing and growing. Whether analogue world, digital market or every gradation in between. Whether tubes, transistors, modeling, capturing, profiling. The variety of amps has probably never been greater than it is now. Every manufacturer regularly launches its latest model and presents new features and (more or less) useful tools. Line6 was at the forefront of modeling early on. The POD series enjoyed a good reputation early on and led to a new generation of modeling amps with the Helix series. With the Catalyst series, Line6 is bringing an amplifier onto the market that is intended to combine "traditional" handling with modern modeling technology, and at a very good price.

Let's see what the box can do. Let's unbox the Line6 Catalyst 200 Modeling Combo...

UNBOXING - Line6 Catalyst 200 Modeling Combo, Guitar Amp
The combo amp comes in the product box wrapped in foil and secured with styrofoam. In addition to the amplifier, the scope of delivery only includes a cold device cable, the instructions for use and safety instructions.

FACTS & SPECS – Line6 Catalyst 200 Modeling Combo, Guitar Amp
Line6's 47-pound, 200-watt, solid-state modeling combo amp features two programmable channels with six recallable banks (so you can store 12 sounds). The philosophy behind the Catalyst series is that they can/should be operated like traditional 2-channel amplifiers. The structure of the user interface is therefore very intuitive and familiar.

There are six different "HX ® sound design techniques" amp models to choose from per channel: Clean, Boutique, Chime, Crunch, Dynamic and HiGain. These can be selected using an endless rotary control and adjusted individually with the potentiometers Gain, Bass, Mid, Treble and Ch. Volume. In addition, an effect slot with 18 selectable effects, a reverb slot with six reverb types and a specially designed boost for optional gain structures that is individually adapted to each amp type can be switched on and regulated in the respective intensity via a potentiometer.

On the rear panel of the Catalyst 200 you will find other connections and features in addition to the on/off switch and the power socket.

The amp offers a built-in power soak with levels of 100 W, 50 W and mute. The amp can either be throttled in output power for a quiet ambience or operated completely muted for sessions in the apartment, in-ear setups or for direct recording.

The amplifier offers a USB-B connection, MIDI In via 5-pin DIN socket and a footswitch connection. The USB connection can be used to record and use the reamping method. This interface thus functions as a four-channel audio interface.

For jamming, there is an aux in for mobile phones, MP3 players, laptops, etc. to feed in playbacks directly, as well as a headphone output to be able to use all sounds via headphones.

An FX path has been added to the Catalyst for using external effect devices after the modeling preamps. This can also be modified to a pure return via a mini switch in order to be able to wire it directly into the power amp.

In addition, an XLR out is available as a direct out. Of course, this can, as it should be, be set with the ground lift switch to prevent ground loops and the resulting hum.

The sound of the amp ultimately comes from two in-house Line6 CATALYST HC100 4 ohm 100 watt speakers.

The Catalyst series consists of three available models, which differ in speaker configuration and performance. In addition to the 200 watt 2×12 model presented here, a version with 1×12″ speaker and 100 watt or 1×12″ speaker and 60 watt is for sale.

EFFECTS SWITCHING - Line6 Catalyst 200 Modeling Combo, Guitar Amp
Switching the effects is a bit tricky. Line6 provides a very clearly programmed software for Mac, iOS, Windows and Android via USB. All settings can be conveniently made on the laptop or mobile end devices via this.

Special settings can also be made in the software, such as various cabinet simulations for the XLR-Out, the selection of functions for the optional foot switch, etc.

In addition, many changes z. B. the effect or reverb types on the device itself. To do this, for example, hold down the effect button for two seconds and then turn the amp selector switch. Three different color codes can be used to select from six different delay, modulation or pitch effects. This procedure also applies to the reverb. Hold and turn the amp selector.

HAND TEST: Handling – Line6 Catalyst 200 Modeling Combo, Guitar Amp
The amp is built very intuitively. You quickly understand how to program, save and recall sounds. The "known" structure in the classic design achieves this immensely even for digital amp newcomers. At 18.9 kg, the combo amplifier is not a lightweight, but it is not a bulky one either.

With an optional LFS2 dual footswitch, two functions can be called up easily with your foot. The following options are available here: On/Off for effect, reverb or boost as well as tap tempo (or any combination of two).

HAND TEST: Sounds – Line6 Catalyst 200 Modeling Combo, Guitar Amp
The following sound samples were made with a Shure SM57. The microphone and the direct out of the amp were recorded via Universal Audio Apollo Twin X with Cubase 12 PRO. There was no subsequent processing by plug-ins. The guitar used is Ernie Ball Music Man L3 Neptune Blue.

The six amp types can be described as follows:

1.) The "Clean" amp goes back to an HX amp design called "Clarity" and delivers very clear, sparkling clean sounds at any volume.

The Clarity lives up to its name. The sounds are very balanced, clear and easy to tweak. They respond directly and also reproduce the fine nuances of the game cleanly. A bit sterile overall, but also very clean and clear. You can also feel a slight compression during play.

"Line 6 Catalyst_Clean L3 - SM57"
audio player


Use up/down arrow keys to adjust the volume.
1. "Line 6 Catalyst_Clean L3 - SM57"
2. "Line 6 Catalyst_Clean L3 - DI Out"
2.) "Boutique" is an HX amp model called "Aristocrat" and targets the tones of some iconic handwired amps.

Here you get into very pleasant compressing "breakup" realms. The amp model is very dynamic and reacts cleanly to both the volume pot and the velocity. The distortion that occurs does not sound digital and rather warm. Dissonances are also reproduced cleanly and clearly.

"Line 6 Catalyst_Boutique L3 - SM57"
audio player


Use up/down arrow keys to adjust the volume.
1. "Line 6 Catalyst_Boutique L3 - SM57"
2. "Line 6 Catalyst_Boutique L3 - DI Out"
3.) The "Chime" preset hides the Line6 amp algorithm "Carillon" for clean breakup sounds similar to chimes. Anything to say about that? Clear clean sounds. Speak directly and reproduce what is played very cleanly and balanced.

"Line 6 Catalyst_Chime L3 - SM57"
audio player


Use up/down arrow keys to adjust the volume.
1. "Line 6 Catalyst_Chime L3 - SM57"
2. "Line 6 Catalyst_Chime L3 - DI Out"
4.) "Crunch" delivers classic crunchy British amp sounds from the "Voltage" sound record from the Line6 range.

Here the name of the preset speaks plain language again. The realms of classic British rhythm rock sounds open up clearly here. Again, you can see the advances in modeling technology at Line6. The sound gives the impression that it will fit neatly into the band context without wrestling with bass or keys for frequencies. It reproduces chords cleanly with British tolerance, has enough dirt without getting a too modern clarity.

"Line 6 Catalyst_Voltage L3 - SM57"
audio player


Use up/down arrow keys to adjust the volume.
1. "Line 6 Catalyst_Voltage L3 - SM57"
2. "Line 6 Catalyst_Voltage L3 - DI Out"
5.) "Dynamic" uses the "Kinetic" HX amp sound design. As the name suggests, this preset is very dynamic with a lot of mid-gain.

DYNAMIC is very important here. The model responds very well to playing strength and the use of the volume pot on the guitar. Overall a bit scratchy in the sound, but used in the right place, quite appealing and definitely assertive in the band context.

"Line 6 Catalyst_Dynamic L3 - SM57"
audio player


Use up/down arrow keys to adjust the volume.
1. "Line 6 Catalyst_Dynamic L3 - SM57"
2. "Line 6 Catalyst_Dynamic L3 - DI Out"
6.) Finally, "HiGain" is Line6's "Oblivion" amp pack with endless gain reserves and lots of bottom end. Shredder and metal fans will get their money's worth here.

Gain is plentiful here. A bit too dead in the details and here you can see the differences to analogue originals or higher-priced products more clearly.

But the channel is fun. Is relatively clear and precise. Adding delay and reverb results in singing lead sounds. Scooped and dry, wide-legged metal riffs come into play.

"Line 6 Catalyst_HiGain L3 - SM57"
audio player


Use up/down arrow keys to adjust the volume.
1. "Line 6 Catalyst_HiGain L3 - SM57"
2. "Line 6 Catalyst_HiGain L3 - DI Out"
The quality of the DI out is positively surprising. It's still nicer to mike the amp and let the sound fly through the air, but at the right moment it's a very useful and usable tool in this case. Cool!

The Line 6 CATALYST is definitely value for money. You get a good and flexible modeling amplifier with good effects and practical features for your money. It's a pity that some functions cannot be set without the software. But you have a very intuitive user interface without useless or complicated bells and whistles.

Definitely a recommendation in this product category and price segment.

easy handling
clear sound palette
sufficient effects available
Some editing is only possible with software
498 euros
Musikhaus Thomann product page
Manufacturer's product page
"Line 6 Catalyst_Boutique L3 - DI Out"
audio player


Use up/down arrow keys to adjust the volume.
1. "Line 6 Catalyst_Boutique L3 - DI Out"
2. "Line 6 Catalyst_Boutique L3 - SM57"
3. "Line 6 Catalyst_Chime L3 - DI Out"
4. "Line 6 Catalyst_Chime L3 - SM57"
5. "Line 6 Catalyst_Clean L3 - DI Out"
6. "Line 6 Catalyst_Clean L3 - SM57"
7. "Line 6 Catalyst_Dynamic L3 - DI Out"
8. "Line 6 Catalyst_Dynamic L3 - SM57"
9. "Line 6 Catalyst_HiGain L3 - DI Out"
10. "Line 6 Catalyst_HiGain L3 - SM57"
11. "Line 6 Catalyst_Voltage L3 - DI Out"
12. "Line 6 Catalyst_Voltage L3 - SM57"
13. "Line 6 Catalyst_Chime L3 - DI Out"
14. "Line 6 Catalyst_Chime L3 - SM57"
15. "Line 6 Catalyst_Chime L3 - DI Out"
16. "Line 6 Catalyst_Chime L3 - SM57"




I may revise this later as more details and testing continues
I only have access to a Catalyst 200

Purchased open box from Sam Ash

I suspect prior owner felt the rotary Amp select switch was prone to random behavior. specifically at the change between CHIME and CRUNCH amp models

Since I had the Amp Chassis out. A small spritz of Caig DeOxit on the Encoder area where its contacts emerge on the side of the problem Amp Type Rotary  Encoder solved that issue

I took the amp apart , and discovered a high reliable Main PCB,  With Dual 100 watt @ 4 ohm Mono Class D Power Amps. Good Cirrus CS4272 24 bit codecs using 2 A/D's per signal input (Guitar In, FX Return )  for maximum dynamic range.

Stereo signal fed in into the TRS Aux Input appears in summed Mono to the internal Speakers. While stereo Aux signal can be monitored in Stereo via the TRS Headphone output. I expect Stereo USB  Playback Audio to be able to be monitored in Stereo via Headphone Out as well.

The internal Catalyst Guitar processing and FX are  Mono only

Using the LFS2 latching footswitch , there is a short gap of silence on Amp A/B channel selection change.

I'm glad I got the 200 , because the amp is voiced on the darker side - sounds of Bill Frizzel. Or Mark Knopfler "Shangra-La" era are easy and apparent- which is a great tone when playing lower volumes in smaller rooms without ice pick treble bleed.

A rookie who A/B tests Catalyst vs Katana may prefer the Katana 100. KATANA  has as a higher piercing treble and perhaps is capable of a bit higher decibel output.

But I'm enjoying the polished tones emerging from Catalyst vs the Katana which often becomes a treble spike ear bleed without taming Katanas global EQ.

To be continued

Internal Views

Remember Catalyst has far fewer FX resources, vs Mustang

Catalyst channel switching is sluggish with a noticeable mute

Catalyst is suited more for owners of Helix, Headrush, Kemper, Fractal, and want a guitar speaker power cab. With emergency fall back mode using Catalyst standalone. And work guitar Vol/Tone controls for Rhythm/Solo-old school

The GTX 100 and certainly the Katana can get MUCH brighter, while the Catalyst may initally appear to be very dull and no top end

I figure a novice at guitar center will walk out with a Katana

While mature folks with older ears , and no desire for an ice pick in the ear amp experience will prefer a Quilter, then a Catalyst.

The actual tones are nice. And suitable if you are only guitarist on the stage

But will get destroyed if your other guitarist has a genuine tube amp

But at majority of my live gigs , folks under age 45 vehemently hate loud live non master volume tube guitar amps.
While Bass can play at 2000 watts and 120 dB

If I showed up with my Vox AC30 and played it at the decibel levels it sounds best, I'd never get rehired by the venues I play.

Instead the trick is using gear that gets great dynamic sound of a record , but live real time at lower volumes - and Catalyst delivers that experience.

Using Catalyst Editor (iPad)

OK, let's go Surfin
These settings were worth the purchase price for me - I could leave it here and play many surfing hits , just toggle tremolo on off

This is the Tone , and Catalyst gets very close, with more dynamic range than Mustang GTX

Just palm mute on my Jazz Master delivers very close to this


Observe Global Settings panel above.

The FX Loop is unity gain , with a straight patch cable connected from FX Send to FX  Return , there is a  -6 dB signal loss  on FX Return when FX Loop is set to Power amp input and Loop is Engaged in the System settings

Line-6 probably designed the FX Loop  in this manner to accommodate higher output levels from external MFX outputs levels.  But worth knowing
FSW2 Assignment Options

Today I'm able to open it up and play loud,

Using the editor and adjusting BIAS finding many great tones

One example is with the Boutique Amp and Ducking Delay and a bit of Ganymede Reverb

Catalyst has ability to clean to mean just using guitar  Volume control

Very happy with its ability to drip Reverb  surf tones too

And any Joe Bonemassa /Zeppelin record tones too just using built in FX

And lower the gain on the High Gain amp I was getting near Sonny Landreth tones.


LOVE THAT TONE IN THE VID ABOVE....   its spanky yet cleans up well and has definition..with that slight hair that can open up to massive tone... what amps does he use?  reminds me of gary clark jr tone..and he uses p90's alot..


Quote from: hsuru4u on April 11, 2022, 08:37:34 AM
LOVE THAT TONE IN THE VID ABOVE....   its spanky yet cleans up well and has definition..with that slight hair that can open up to massive tone... what amps does he use?  reminds me of gary clark jr tone..and he uses p90's alot..


In the quote above that starts with "day 3 with the catalyst" the guy is saying theres an update. Mine shows the initial release version and i don't see a newer one. Whats going on there? Was there an update and if so why don't i see it ? When i use the updater it appears to be ready to update as i go thru the steps but i stopped when i got to the accept or decline screen. It appears there are no updates and the only version is the initial release, 1.02.


Quote from: dazco on May 28, 2022, 07:06:21 AMIn the quote above that starts with "day 3 with the catalyst" the guy is saying theres an update. Mine shows the initial release version and i don't see a newer one. Whats going on there? Was there an update and if so why don't i see it ? When i use the updater it appears to be ready to update as i go thru the steps but i stopped when i got to the accept or decline screen. It appears there are no updates and the only version is the initial release, 1.02.

There is no updated firmware
A few 1st adopters acquired the amp prior to Line-6 posting the current firmware, Catalyst FW 1.02.0, dated 2/16/2022- but was released to public 2 weeks later.

Feb 15. 2022 was official product release date.
Source of quoted Catalyst Owner reviews


From what I've seen on YouTube it sounds good, and I'd be interested in the 100. But for me it would be the rig I use for smaller gigs and some rehearsals where I don't want to use pedals or a large floor board, my normal rig is a Kemper stage through a Laney LFR112 which is great where the venue has enough space.

But with only 1 effect plus a reverb and a two button foot switch, and the foot switch has limited options in what you can use etc it's not for me.

Obviously there's a market for this amp as I can see from reading the comments here, but I think line 6 could have offered more functionality without sacrificing the simplicity and appealed to a larger audience.