Keeley Electronics brings back the Katana Clean Boost in ‘Throwback White’

Keeley Electronics Katana Boost Throwback White
(Image credit: Keeley Electronics)

Keeley Electronics has brought back its ever-popular Katana Clean Boost in a new ‘Throwback White’ enclosure, using the same JFETs as the original circuits to offer two boost modes.

The Katana Clean Boost is a simple design but infinitely practical, and if you are very careful you can mostly control it all with your foot. There is a footswitch for engaging the boost on and off. Simple. Then you have an oversized 'Speed knob' mounted on the side of the enclosure. 

In the regular clean boost mode, you roll the large aluminium dial forward to add a "fat, harmonically rich boost" that'll get your other overdrive pedals and your guitar amplifier all excited. If you need more, well, there is more; simply pull out the 'Speed knob' to access an extra +30db of boost that will strong-arm your amplifier into overdrive. 

Keeley describes this secondary mode as "not quite an overdrive" but you'll definitely taste the extra heat in your signal. The Katana's circuit is designed to add the musical warmth and heat of tube tone in a transistorised design, deploying Dual FETs under the hood.

There is also an internal voltage doubler. While you connect your 9V DC power supply as you would for your other pedals, while the charge pump inside the enclosure doubles it to 18V. All this makes for more headroom, so that the extra decibels that are hitting the front end of your amplifier are pure and clean. Note, however, that the Katana can only be run at 9V DC.

This blast from the past takes Keeley Electronics back to the beginning. The Katana was Robert Keeley's first circuit, originally appearing on the two-channel Time Machine Boost.

The Keeley Electronics Katana Clean Boost ‘Throwback White’ is available to order now, shipping on or before 2 June 2021, priced $179. See Keeley Electronics 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.