BOSS Katana gets Turbocharged
The Katana was carried by the samurai of Japan, a well-known symbol of honour and history in Japanese culture it’s widely considered to be one of the finest cutting weapons ever created. Honed with similar precision and artistry in mind, the BOSS Katana MkII amplifiers are named and crafted in honour of these finely made instruments except here cutting blade is replaced by cutting tone. There are four weapons to choose from in the new generation of Katana amplifiers, three combos and an amplifier head and they’re all available at Dawsons Music.
The previous iteration of Katana amps received worldwide acclaim for their tube tone recreation with its realistic breakup and fantastic dynamic response even at low volumes. The price point of these amplifiers made them a firm fan-favourite alongside the easy customisation of sounds and suite of onboard BOSS effects, a perfect combination for the beginner as well as the touring musician. With MkII BOSS is building on these firm foundations, expanding the sounds, increasing the intuitive feel and pushing the limits of sound quality without pushing the price up.
Five Amps, Ten Tones
One of the first things to note about the BOSS Katana MkII is the increase in amplifier characters. With newly voiced variations of the original quintet you now get enhanced versatility for your guitar tone, doubling up on the sounds from the previous iteration. Clean does what you’d imagine, a natural and transparent tone that’s great for combining with pedals. The variation is a more ‘American’ sound that’s warmer, adding some top-end sparkle to make your strumming really simmer. Next up is the Crunch setting that has a lovely breakup, ideal for players who like to riff. The variation adds a little of the Brown model for a more aggressive sound, so you can really dig in with those blues notes. If you want more distortion then switch to the Lead model, which gives you a searing solo tone that’s great for metal riffing as well. Encapsulating an aggressive, modern rock and metal amplifier sound, the variation adds even more grit to the equation, giving you a rich solo tone that really sings. The Brown setting aims to replicate those classic 80s high-gain amplifier sounds, warm, rich and spongey with the variation giving you a modern voicing of these iconic high gain amps. Lastly, there’s a dedicated amplifier for Electro-Acoustic guitars courtesy of BOSS themselves, designed to enhance the tonal qualities of your acoustic guitar, variation button is similar to the clean voicing, maintaining warmth add a bit top end.
BOSS Amp Technology
Everyone wants tube amps these days and for good reason. The sonic qualities are far superior to a lot of their solid-state counterparts, with plenty of modern guitarists searching for the crisp breakup and warmth of a tube amp. However we definitely don’t like lugging them around, nor are we fans of the maintenance costs involved in maintaining them. The voice of this amp comes from a real Class AB Power Amp onboard that interacts with the custom-made speaker, which is why the sound and feel becomes richer and more responsive as you crank the volume. Unlike its tube brethren, however, the variable Power Control of the Katana MkII makes it a doddle to find the sonic sweet spot without landing yourself an ASBO. Use the Power Control switch to drop your wattage but maintain your tone, a useful addition if you need to practice in the evenings and don’t want to get kicked out of the house.
The BOSS Katana MkII enables you to utilise up to five simultaneous effect categories, helping you to do away with the pedalboard and have your effects right inside the amplifier itself. There are independent Booster, Mod, FX, Delay and Reverb section that comes with three variations in each, giving you fifteen ready-to-play effects to complement your guitar tone. The One-Touch recall of the Katana Mk-II is a powerful feature that lets you instantly recall your effect settings with two banks of four available for you to save your favourite tones. BOSS Tone Studio lets you dive even deeper into the world of effects if you wish, with over 60 different effects types for you to customise, as well as four different chains to let you change the order. The interface of the BOSS Tone Studio has also received an update with a refreshed look and consolidated parameters for faster workflow. The dedicated Pedal FX category makes it simple to assign wah and pedal bend effects to a connected expression pedal and if you own the first-gen Katana, you can import all your old custom patches and use them with the new amplifier.
Connectivity is integral for a modern musician, you need to be able to connect to a variety of different inputs and the Katana MkII won’t let you down, whether you’re using it in the bedroom or on stage. Line, USB and Phones/Recording outputs feature with mic’d cabinet emulation, allowing you to send mix-ready amp tones to front of house, a DAW or headphones. There are three different Air Feel settings which are accessible via the BOSS Tone Studio, with Vintage, Modern and Deep cab resonance options selectable. Two-channel USB operation is supported, letting you track in true stereo with the Katana MkII’s suite of stereo effects. Connect another Katana via the new Stereo Expand feature which makes it easy to link two amplifiers with a single cable, allowing you to utilise the stereo-compatible effect ranges such as chorus, delay reverb and others distributed across both amps to give you an incredibly immersive and wide sound field. Please note Stereo Expand is only available on the 100-watt versions of Katana MkII.
BOSS continues to push the boat of innovation out with this latest offering. The Katana MkII is the perfect amplifier for a variety of players, whether you’re making your first foray into the wide world of guitar, or you’re an already touring musician who wants something versatile with great sound quality. More sounds, more features and more versatility is the name of the game here, with quality amp models that are scarily accurate in recreating their tube counterparts and a suite of studio-grade BOSS effects to go with it. With Katana MkII, the award-winning Katana range is now bigger and even better.
Get the Gear
The BOSS Katana amplifiers are available to order on our website.
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Matt is a multi-instrumentalist, music geek and current Content Creator at Dawsons Music. He composes, records and produces out of his home studio in Manchester as well as playing in two bands, China Moon and Sawbones.