“Katana—the traditional sword carried by the historic samurai of Japan—is a symbol of honour, precision, and artistry in Japanese culture”
I’d say that pretty much sums up what Boss have achieved with this stunning series of powerful, yet affordable guitar amplifiers.
Not a lot people know this but Roland have been making Guitar Amplifiers since 1975 starting with the iconic JC120. Fast forward a few decades and COSM (Composite Object Sound Modelling) technology was introduced in Boss multi-FX pedals, Roland V-Drums and other instruments. This unique approach helped revolutionise the effects industry due to the amazing sound, authentic response and innovative customisation options. Think back over the years at the amount of key innovations and fantastic inventions that Boss and Roland have brought about. Every year there’s been something new. Some new way to push the boundaries or improve the lives and performance possibilities of guitarists worldwide.
These decades of research and development in the guitar world have continued to inspire players and the attention to detail and constant striving for improvement have produced some exceedingly good products in recent years. If you’ve not tried a Roland Blues Cube yet, I urge you to pop in for a demo. They are exceptional.
The new Boss Katana series of amplifiers is the latest family of products to continue on this journey. We now have Boss Amplifiers! I know that Boss and Roland are the same company but the prospect of Boss, finally producing amps is an exciting one. Why? Let’s find out!
When I first saw them last month, my first impression was how cool they looked! Bear in mind, the demonstration hadn’t started yet, so at that point I couldn’t judge the sound. They just look great. Understated, sleek design combined with a classic amp shape make them look like they mean business.
There are four different models of Boss Katana amps available. The Katana 50, The Katana 100, the Katana 100 212 and the Katana 100 head. The 50 Watt and 100 Watt models each have a single custom built 12” speaker, while the Katana 100 212 is a 100 Watt combo with a 2 x12” speaker. The Katana 100 head is obviously designed to plug into an external cab of your choice, although it has the added bonus of having a built in speaker for practicing or warming up.
Each amp has 5 main modes consisting of “Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brown and Acoustic. Gone are the days of incorporating sound-a-like models of amps. Katana amps occupy their own space. The clean sound is super clean and full of character with a rich sound that responds to your playing the way you’d expect a far more expensive valve amp to. The Crunch mode brings in dirt with plenty control and the Lead mode provides an excellent and authentic high gain sound ready for melting faces at a venue of your choosing. The Brown setting invokes the spirit of Eddie Van Halen and destroys any modelled recreations due to its expressive and explosive nature. Finally, in stark contrast, the acoustic setting turns the Katana into an acoustic amp!
There are Boss effects on board too. In fact, we can load up to 15 Boss Effects into the amp at any one time from a library of 55, direct from the Boss Tone Central website. This amazing resource lets you customise your amp to your own specifications with ease. If you’ve not visited the site, I’d really recommend checking it out, here.
The Katana’s versatility does not end there. As we already mentioned, it functions really well as an electric and an acoustic guitar amp, making it perfect for stage and the pub! A power control allows you dial down the power of the amps so that you can practice or perform quietly without compromising on tone, in a similar way to the Blues Cube series. Lastly, it’s pretty handy on the connections front. USB lets you send and store settings as well as doubling as an audio interface for recording. Various footswitch options let you control channels and effects easily.
So how much are they? The Katana 50 is only £165. The Katana 100 is £249 and the 100 212 is a very reasonable £409. The 100 Head is £329. I can’t stress enough, how good these sound for the price. Our stock will be arriving imminently so get in touch to book a demo now!