Boss updates the Katana amp series promising "more tones, more effects, and more features"

(Image credit: Boss)

Boss has announced a comprehensive update on their celebrated Katana series of guitar amplifiers with the MkII series digging deeper into the company's effects pedal wizardry and adding a number of forward-thinking features.

Expectations couldn't be higher for this Katana MkII series, with options including a 100-watt 2x12 stereo combo, 100-watt combo and 50-watt combos, and a 100-watt head. 

Back in April this year, we declared the Boss Katana-100 the Best Guitar Amp for £/$500 or less, saying that the flagship model of the series' first generation "may look plain, but its tones are truly exceptional." Time will tell if that bar will be raised but the omens look good. 

The Katana MkII series shares the spartan, under-designed black-on-black aesthetic, and inside the cabinet the amplifiers share the same True Logic technology inherited from Boss' parent company Roland's suite of amps, which promises organic, valve-like tones without the associated price tag.

Like the first-gen Katana amps, the MkII amplifiers have five generic amp characters to choose from: Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brown, and Acoustic, but these now come with two newly-voiced variations for each setting. 

You then have five independent effects sections: booster, Mod, FX, delay, and reverb, each with three selectable variations for a total of 15 onboard effects.

With all that, a three-band EQ, presence, adjustable output wattage, there are is already a cornucopia of tone options. But once you connect via USB to the Boss Tone Studio software, you can bring all kinds of effects into the mix. Well, over 60 effects. Up to five can be adjusted at once on the front panel, and you can save up to eight of your favourite tones as presets.

The Tone Studio software has been upgraded, too, making the user experience a little more intuitive with a number of parameters now available via the main screen, while the Pedal FX makes it easier to control your effects with an expression pedal. Those upgrading to or already owning a first-gen Katana, can import their settings onto the MkII

The Katana MkII series also has a stereo expansion feature for its 100-watt models that lets you connect it to another amp. It has a power amp in connection for inviting external preamps, modellers, and multi-effects into your signal, and mic'd cabinet emulation for recording, practising with headphones, or sending direct to the PA when gigging.

Indeed, the Katana MkII series might just have everything you need for gigging, recording and practising. 

The amps are available now, all priced competitively under the £500 mark and as follows: Katana 100/212 MkII – £439, Katana Head MkII – £369, Katana 100 MkII – £334, and Katana 50 MkII – £237.

See Boss for more details. 

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.

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