Boss Katana Amplifiers

Boss has a new line of combo and head amplifiers called Katana, multi-channel solid-state amplifiers with built-in effects.

Boss Katana Series Amplifiers

This new amp line is a follow up to the Waza amplifier, and it is the company's attempt to provide guitarists with a versatile amplifier that does not compromise quality and response, while keeping the price tag reasonable.

It's interesting that Boss is now coming up with their own amps, especially when considering that these will be going head to head with the amplifiers that their mother company, Roland, also builds. Thankfully, rock tones are mentioned a number of times in the press release, somewhat emphasizing that this amp is a different tool meant for overdriven tones, compared to Roland's reputation for clean tones.

The name Katana is derived from the traditional sword that was carried by the historic Samurai of Japan. It symbolizes precision, artistry and honor in Japanese culture, a fitting description to what Boss wanted to achieve out of the newly developed circuits that they implemented in each Katana amplifier. Boss expounds, "Adopting the majestic sword’s name with pride, the Katana amps deliver smooth, cutting rock tones honed by generations of BOSS dedication and expertise. Featuring proprietary circuit designs and meticulous tuning, the Katana series combines traditional craftsmanship and breakthrough functions to produce true next-generation rock amplifiers."

The initial launch of the Boss Katana Amplifier line features three combo amplifiers and an amplifier head. The combo amplifiers include the Katana 50 (50 Watt) and the Katana-100 (100 Watt) both of which feature a custom 12" speaker. The more powerful Katana-100/212 is also powered by a 100 Watt amplifier, but houses two custom 12" speakers. Finally, there's the Katana-Head, which is designed for use with speaker cabinets, like the Waza Amp Cabinet 412. It also has a 100 Watt amplifier, but what makes it unique among other amp heads is its built-in monitor speaker, yes it is an amp head with a small speaker built-in for tone preview and for quiet practice.

Boss Katana Series Amplifiers

Common to all four Katana amplifiers is the ability to switch between five tone channels, which include Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brown and Acoustic. The labels of each channel are self explanatory, Clean channel gives you clean tones, Crunch channel has some overdrive, Lead channel has even more overdrive, while the Brown channel is for modern high-gain tones. Finally, there's the Acoustic channel that makes them viable acoustic amplifiers.

As expected, each amp comes with built-in effects, a total of 55 of them to be exact. Ironically, even with all these effects, the processing power is limited to only run three effects at once. Each effect is customizable via the free Boss Tone Studio editor software. To keep track of your effects and amp voicing settings, each Katana amp lets you store and load your settings much like a multi-effects processor.

Other features include support for MIDI control, expression pedals and footswitches. Each amp also comes with a power attenuator that lets you crank up the gain while keeping the output volume low, for achieving great tones for small venue gigs and for practice.

The price for each Katana amp is as follows:

  • Boss Katana-50 ($199)
  • Boss Katana-100 ($329)
  • Boss Katana-100 2x12 ($499)
  • Boss Katana Head ($349)

For more information on the new Katana Amplifiers, you can head over to Boss.

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