The Boss Katana KTN-50 is a bedroom practice amp that you can take to a gig! Its power scaling function (from 50w to 25w to 0.5w) allows you to turn right down to 0.5W so that you can get a great sound at low volumes, but turn it back up to the full 50W and you've got enough power to compete with your heavy handed drummer!
The Katana is packed with loads of cool effects based on famous Boss pedals, as well as programmable presets and a few different amp styles, allowing you to really experiment with your sound without the need for a pedal board. And with upgraded version 2 software, you have a whole new selection of added effects types and tone settings.
Whilst the Katana has a wide range of advanced features, It's clear and simple control layout makes it easy to dial in your tone by ear, just as you would on a standard tube amp. All the essential controls for the amp settings and essential effects parameters can be adjusted with dedicated knobs, and it doesn't take you long to learn some of the more advanced features that the Katana can offer.
The Katana also features an integrated tilt stand, an ingenious feature that lets you angle the amp back for better sound projection when needed.
The amp has five different amp styles to choose from:
- Clean - Crystal clean tones
- Crunch - A touch of overdrive with mild breakup
- Lead - Higher gain for stinging blues solos or fast shred!
- Brown - Super high-gain sound taken from the Japanese Boss Waza amp
- Acoustic - Amazing acoustic setting so that you can use the amp with your electro-acoustic guitar
The Katana Series presents guitar amplifiers with smooth, cutting tones that range from traditional blues to modern rock. A versatile amp for the all round guitarist, the Katana can also be set to an acoustic mode so that you can amplify your electro acoustic guitar.
So once you have chosen your amp sound and set your EQ (Bass, Middle, Treble) you can choose from a number of effects you want to run.
The amp has got effects on board but you also have access to 55 other effects through the BOSS tone studio app. You can connect your amp to your computer via USB and then upload the specific effect you want on the amp and save it as a preset. A maximum of 3 effects can run simultaneously but you can choose what those effects will be. If you want simple drive, chorus and reverb you can do so. But if you want to be more experimental by combining ring mod with a slicer then you can set that up with the Tone Studio.
It has 2 memory slots for you to save you favourite sounds and quickly recall them. For example, you could load up a mild rhythm overdrive on tone slot 1 and a screaming lead with loads of delay on tone slot 2.
The power scaling is an idea borrowed from the Katana's Blues Cube brother where you choose if you want the amp to run at 50w for full volume and power or down to 0.5w for late night bedroom use. It makes the amp really useful if you want 1 unit that can do band practices, as well use it at home without waking the neighbours. And because it has a 12" speaker, you can play with a band without losing too much low end or worrying about your guitar sounding too thin in the mix.
BOSS Tone Central
From the Boss Tone Central website, you’ll find numerous free amp and effects setups for the Katana series. Created by pro guitarists, these setups provide ready-to-play sounds for various music styles, and also make great starting points for building your own sounds. They load into the memories in a Katana amp via the Boss Tone Studio editor software, which is also available at the site. In addition to Katana effects selection and customization, Boss Tone Studio gives you a convenient way to organize all your Katana setups for different gigs, recordings, and practice sessions.
Boss Katana Version 3 Firmware Update Announced!
One the great things about the Boss Katana amps is that compatible Katana amps can be updated by simply connecting the amp to your computer to unlock a whole host of new features!
Version 3 sees the Katana range get 3 new effect types that work brilliantly with any of the Katanas five amp characters but with extra ‘tonal magic’ when used with the Brown channels harmonically rich voicing.
- Roland DC-30 Analogue Chorus-Echo
- Boss GE-10 Graphic Equalizer for more tonal shaping than possible before
- Expressive 95E Pedal wah effects
You can now record with stereo effects which means your delays can ping pong from left to right and modulations and reverbs will feel that much wider and more authentic.
The v3 update allows you to assign your favourite parameters to the front-panel effects knobs giving you huge control over your effects on the fly!
Version 2 software
The free Version 2 update adds many user-requested features to the Katana amps, including new effects types, doubled onboard effects capacity, twice the number of Tone Setting memories, enhanced direct output options, and more.
All Katana amps include integrated access to a wide selection of BOSS effects, which are customizable using the free BOSS Tone Studio editor software. Version 2 adds SDE-3000 delay, Phaser 90E, and Flanger 117E effect types, bringing the total number of available effects to 58. The three new selections are based on effects used to create some of rock’s most famous guitar sounds and are a perfect match for the Katana’s high-gain Brown channel tones.
One of the Katana’s most powerful features is the ability to store favorite amp channel and effects setups in Tone Setting memories for instant recall. The Version 2 update adds a second bank of Tone Settings, doubling the number of available memories. Combined with the newly added channel and global parametric EQs, this elevates the Katana’s performance versatility to even higher levels. Users can switch between the two banks from a panel button or an optional external footswitch.
A standout characteristic of every Katana amp is the dynamic interaction between its output section and the speaker, which provides a highly responsive tone and feel that players love. With the new Cabinet Resonance function derived from the flagship Waza amps, users can now shape this interaction with three selectable resonance types. Katana amps also offer line and USB outputs with speaker cabinet simulation, and Version 2 enhances this capability with three Air Feel settings inherited from the Waza series.
Get the matching Boss cover here.
"By way of sonic character, the Katana sounds and feels very ‘real’, and thanks to the choice of amp models it can cover all genres from clean country to nasty rock, with plenty of classic rock and blues possibilities in between."
Sound on Sound
- Rated Power Output 50 W
- Nominal Input Level
- INPUT: -10 dBu (1 M ohm)
- AUX IN: -10 dBu
- Speaker : 12"(30cm) Custom Speaker
- POWER switch
- MASTER knob
- POWER CONTROL switch (STANDBY, 0.5 W, 25 W, 50 W)
- Amp Type switch (ACOUSTIC, CLEAN, CRUNCH, LEAD, BROWN)
- Gain and Volume Knobs
- 3-band EQ (BASS, MIDDLE, TREBLE)
- BOOSTER/MOD button
- DELAY/FX button
- REVERB button
- TAP button
- BOOSTER/MOD knob
- DELAY/FX knob
- REVERB knob
- INPUT jack: 1/4-inch phone type
- AUX IN jack: Stereo miniature phone type
- REC OUT/PHONES jack: Stereo 1/4-inch phone type
- EXP PEDAL/CTL CH1/CH2 jack: 1/4-inch TRS phone type
- USB port: USB B type
- AC IN jack