Boss Katana modeling amp is a very popular series of guitar amps from a famous brand. According to many players, it’s the best modeling amp.
The Katana series includes different types of amps. It comes in combos, amp heads, mini amps, and even cabinet formats.
The particular model I am reviewing is the Boss Katana 50 MKII which has a custom 12” speaker and produces 50 watts of power.
First, let me explain the design and looks of the amp. Because I think the Boss Katana amp series has one of the best designs. It looks modern and classic at the same time.
The amp is black. The front of the combo is very minimalistic and classic-looking. Simple black speaker cover and silver Boss logo.
The back of the amp is open and you can see Boss Katana’s custom speaker. Also, on the back, it has different inputs and outputs.
And everything else like a power switch, input, controls, and channel switches is on the top of the combo. I like this design because navigating and working with the amp is very easy and convenient.
Overall, I think that Boss Katana 50 MKII looks modern and minimalistic. The controls section is very compact and very well designed.
Boss Katana 50 doesn’t offer too many amps like other modeling amps. But what it offers is enough to dial any guitar tone you like. I can dial in any tone from clean to hi-gain very easily.
In total, the amp has five different amp options. One is for acoustic guitar which is a great feature. I tested it with my acoustic-electric guitar and it sounds very good.
Regarding electric guitar amps, you have four options – clean, crunch, lead, and brown. All these amps emulate different famous real amps. Having a separate lead tone is a great option in my opinion.
And the thing I like the most is the variation feature. When you engage this switch each amp changes its style. So, in total, you have ten different amps.
The clean amp offers crisp clean tones whereas crunch is great for classic rock and crunchy tones. For me, the lead amp sounds like a Marshall amp and is great for guitar solos. And the brown amp is a hi-gain amp but it’s not too heavy.
I like the amp options Boss Katana 50 gives me. I can easily dial in any type of guitar tone I like. I can go from pure clean to metal tones easily.
Effects is the feature where Katana amps shine. This combo is packed with different high-quality effects. It includes modulation effects, delay effects, reverb, etc. In total, you can use sixty Boss effects.
Each effect section has dedicated switches and control knobs. I like having a separate reverb section. It gives me more control over the sound. And switches and knobs allow us to choose different effects and tweak the settings.
Also, in this section you can use the booster and delay has a tap button. These features make Boss Katana a great amp for different cases. It’s a great amp for recording, live shows, and rehearsals.
How Does Boss Katana Sound
When I first saw the Boss Katana amp and checked its features, I was very satisfied. But I was skeptical about the sound. I watched different Youtube videos but I wanted to hear the sound myself.
And I was shocked when I first played it. I didn’t expect this sound quality from the modeling amp. I have owned many modeling amps and I know how bad they can be. But Katana 50 MKII sounds amazing.
Each tone is unique and has a very rich sound. Clean and crunch tones are good in most amps. The main problem of modeling amps comes from hi-gain tones. And I can say that Boss Katana’s hi-gain tone might be the best among modeling amps.
The clean tone is really good and rich. Crunch and lead tones have good overtones and work great with different styles of guitars. And the lead tone is great for guitar solos. It has a great mid-boost which is crucial for guitar solos.
And the brown amp which is the hi-gain option of Boss Katana is amazing. It differs from other heavy tones and sounds realistic. Hi-gain in most modeling amps sounds very artificial and digital. But not in the Katana series.
It sounds very realistic and organic. Of course, you can say that it’s not a tube amp sound but it’s much better than in most modeling or solid-state amps. You can dial in different heavy tones and it will sound great.
Overall, I am very satisfied with how Katana 50 sounds. I love heavy tones. My second favorite is the lead tone. Also, having an acoustic guitar amp option is a great addition.
I was already satisfied with the amp after I played it. But that’s not all. Boss Katana 50 includes some great features that make it an even better guitar amplifier.
Regarding controls, it’s simple. You have standard 3-band EQ, gain, volume, and master knobs. Additionally, you have a power attenuation option. You can use full power, half power, and 0.5 watts.
Boss Katana 50 is a two-channel amp and you can save eight presets in total. This makes it a great live amp. Also, it comes with an app that enhances the capabilities of the amp.
Boss Katana 50 MKII works with different footswitches. Namely with BOSS FS-5L, FS-6, and FS-7. I used FS-5L and it’s a very simple footswitch that allows changing channels. Also, it works with expression pedals such as EV-30, FV-500L, and others.
If I can rate Boss Katana 50 in one word, it would be great. I think that this is one of the best modeling guitar amplifiers. It will work in different situations. You can use it for rehearsals, live shows, and recording. Sounds great, has various effects, and includes great features. Also, Katan 50 is a great amp for practicing and is the first guitar amp for beginners. I prefer this amp to any solid-state combos.