We were extremely excited last week to hear the announcement of Boss’s first ever line of guitar amplifiers, the Katana series. Will these hotly-anticipated amplifiers live up to the extremely high standards set by Boss? We believe so and here’s what to expect.
When Boss released their first guitar effects pedal (the OD-1 overdrive) back in 1978, they changed the way players and manufacturers looked at the electric guitar as a whole concept. Boss pedals are so universally relied upon that we’d wager almost any guitarist reading this, has either owned or at the very least used a Boss pedal.
Boss's First Ever Amplifier Range!
This new amp range represents years of development and innovation by Boss, following on from where the now highly acclaimed Waza amplifier left off. Available in a choice of 3 combo sizes or as a head, the Katana amplifier will include integrated access to 55 legendary Boss effects, all fully customizable using Boss's freely included Tone Studio editor software via USB.
Having all of your guitar effects pedals loaded into one amplifier is an extremely appealing prospect for not only new players, but also passionate musicians looking for the ultimate gigging, rehearsal and practice amp all-in-one.
New Boss Katana Combos
New Boss Katanas - 50w, 100w and 100w (2 x 12)
Here we see the 3 brand- new combo models coming in October 2016 (a 50w 1 x 12, 100w 1 x 12 and 100w 2 x 12). If Boss's existing products are anything to go by, you can expect that these amplifiers will be built to incredibly high standards.
Boss are taking a very serious approach to these amplifiers and clearly aim to rival competition from the likes of the new Vox VT series and Marshall Code Amplifiers.
In terms of design Boss have gone for a fairly modern look with little frills. It really is all business here but that's not to say that these amps aren't attractive, in-fact they are actually rather lethal looking! We particularly like the kick stands featured on the combos which serve to angle the amp up and increase it's projection.
Simple Controls, Endless Possibilities
Whether you're new to modelling amps or not, there's very little difficulty in understanding the new Katana Amplifiers.
Boss Katana 100 watt top view
This section lets us choose one of 5 base amp models to begin with. Each one of these amp models can be fully customized in the Boss Tone Studio via USB connectivity from the back of the amplifier. We also have a gain and volume control on this section of the amplifier.
A 3-band EQ lets you tweak and fine tune your tone.
Here we see the various effect-types available from the Boss Tone Studio. Each one of the banks houses a customized effect of your choice, effectively giving us 3 unique effects pedals assigned to each of the 5 amp models. In total this lets us have 15 legendary Boss effects loaded in the Katana at any one time.
In total there are 55 Boss effects are available from the Tone Studio with all of them being fully customizable.
This final section of the amp lets you store up to 4 finished tones for instant recall. Presence and master volume controls are included along side an extremely handy volume attenuator for quieter practice.
Boss Katana 100w 2 x 12 combo rear
- Phones/Rec Out
- Aux Input
- Line Out
- Effects Loop Return/Send
- USB Connectivity
- Foot Control Input
The Katana Head
The Head Version of the Katana Amplifier has all of the same features as it's combo counterpart. This much smaller, more portable 100 Watt head can be plugged directly into any PA system for instant amplified tones.
One seriously impressive features comes as a built in monitor speaker, letting you listen to your tone before the PA kicks in. This kind of feature usually goes completely unheard of in amplifier heads.
The smaller, more portable 100 watt Katana head.
Boss Tone Studio Software
The Boss Tone Studio software for Mac and PC is a powerful modelling tool which allows the user to fine tune their own sounds for a respective Boss device. With every new product to take advantage of this software, Boss have improved and streamlined the Tone Studio.
Boss Tone Studio optimized for the SY-300 Guitar Synthesizer
While we can't wait to start playing around with this, Boss's Tone Central hub allows users to download and use each others tones, effectively meaning that if you yourself are struggling to nail down that 'Ride the Lightning' sound, somebody else has probably done it for you. The possibilities with this are truly endless and it's a game changer.
The Boss Katana amplifiers will be arriving in October 2016, be sure to keep up to date with PMT House of Rock!
Waza All This Talk About Effects?
When Boss designed the original OD-1 overdrive pedal back in 1977, enthusiasts began to modify the pedals in order to achieve the sound they desired. Over the years this has become a regular occurrence. Many companies now make clones of original pedals, claiming to offer better results then their original counterparts.
Boss decided that nobody was going to copy their guitar pedals to be as good as the real deal. In order to do this Boss tracked down the original Japanese engineers of many different Boss pedals and asked them to overhaul the designs. The result was the introduction of boutique hand wired guitar pedals which offered more headroom and refined tones to the originals.
Think of Waza craft as Boss's way of saying, "yeah, look what we can make. Top that!"
All of the effects included with the new Boss Katana amps are modelled with and follow true Waza lineage.
Can the New Boss Katana Amps Handle Metal?
Now we feel this is worth mentioning, the Boss Katana is based on one of the most versatile metal amps ever made. If you're a player who really loves experimenting with sounds and strives for the screaming tones of Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai or even Dave Mustaine then look no further. The Katana will handle your metal sound without breaking a sweat, but that's not whats impressive here.
Whats truly impressive is that these amplifiers are just as versatile with blues and jazz as they are with handling Yngwie Malmsteen. This shouldn't be thought of as a metal amp. This is a players amplifier.
Be sure to check out the full range of Boss Katana amplifiers by clicking the images below for more information or to purchase your very own.
Katana 1 x 12, 50w combo
Katana 1 x 12, 100w combo
Katana 2 x 12, 100w combo