The latest array of amp modelers from Line 6 – pioneers in the field – is the Catalyst, in 60-, 100-, and 200-watt variations. The 100 is a 1×12 combo with plenty of digital goodies under the hood. Its layout is accessible, so anyone can plug in and crank it up without reading the manual.
In essence, the Catalyst is a 100-watt solid-state modeler designed as a familiar two-channel amp, with a footswitch and ability to tweak EQ and Presence knobs just like classic gear. Six amp voices provide a range of tones, and each has its own customized Boost. You can set it up for standard rhythm and lead channels; also look for an onboard tuner and power attenuator offering 100-, 50-, and .5-watt output levels.
Being Line 6, naturally, there are digital effects onboard. The Reverb button delivers six types of sweetener, while an Effect knob offers six types of delay, modulation, and pitch each, for a total of 18 effects. You can adjust them manually on top of the Catalyst or download the Line 6 editor app and tweak depth on your computer via USB connection.
Cranked up, the Catalyst 100 is way more vibey than you might expect from a modeling amp. The six models are controlled by the Selector knob to give everything from clean to crunch, with impressive bottom-end when you pump up the decibels. Again, the Catalyst is designed for jamming, band rehearsals – or full-on gigs when you want to move serious air. That encapsulates the basic message; the Catalyst 100 is a very reactive, natural modeler that offers a range of digital effects, making a separate pedalboard purely optional. Everything is there inside the box, ready to rock.
This article originally appeared in VG’s August 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.