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Review: Boss Katana 100 MKII – Very Powerful Combo

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boss katana 100 mkII review

Today, I’m stoked to talk about a piece of gear that’s been a game-changer in my guitar journey – the Boss Katana 100 MKII. This amp isn’t just another piece of equipment; it’s a powerhouse that has redefined what a versatile combo can do.

Whether you’re a bedroom rocker or a gigging musician, this amp has something for everyone.

Let’s dive into the world of the Boss Katana 100 MKII, and I’ll share why it’s become a staple in my gear arsenal.

About Boss Katana 100 MKII

The Boss Katana 100 MKII isn’t your average amp. Crafted by the legendary Boss, known for their commitment to quality, this amp is a testament to what modern technology can bring to the table for guitarists.

With its 100W power, it’s loud enough to fill any room, yet sophisticated enough for nuanced home practice. The Katana 100 MKII is not just an amplifier; it’s a control center for your sound, offering a range of tones and effects that can suit almost any style.

Features

Let’s delve into the features that make the Katana 100 MKII a powerhouse:

  • 100W Power Output: Enough grunt to handle live performances, with crystal clear sound delivery.
  • Custom 12″ Speaker: Designed specifically for this model, providing a balanced and dynamic tone.
  • Amp Types and Effects: Five distinct amp characters (Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brown, and Acoustic) and a suite of effects including Booster, Mod, FX, Delay, and Reverb. The ability to use three effects simultaneously opens up a world of sonic possibilities.
  • Memory Slots: The inclusion of four memory slots allows you to save and instantly recall your favorite amplifier and effects settings – a boon for live performers.
  • Versatile Inputs and Controls: The power amp input is particularly useful for players using multi-effect units. The range of controls like Amp Type, Gain, Volume, and a three-band EQ (Bass, Middle, Treble) offer extensive tone shaping.

Here’s a really good sound demo that you should listen to.

What do you guys think? Sounds pretty good IMO :)!

Pros & Cons

pros and cons and a guitarist
ProsCons
Versatile Tone Range – From jazz to metal, it covers a vast sonic spectrum.Complexity for Beginners – The multitude of options might overwhelm new players.
Intuitive User Interface – Straightforward controls make it easy to shape your sound.No Footswitch Included – A necessary accessory for live use, but sold separately.
Solid Build Quality – Durable and road-ready, typical of Boss’s high standards.Heft – At 14.8 kg, it’s not the easiest amp to lug around for gigs.
Extensive Customization – Over 60 additional effects available via Boss Tone Studio.

What it all means:

  • Versatile Tone Range: The Katana 100 MKII shines in its ability to produce a wide variety of tones. This makes it an excellent choice for players who enjoy experimenting with different genres or need an amp that can adapt to various playing styles.
  • Intuitive User Interface: The layout of controls and settings on the Katana 100 MKII is user-friendly. Even those who are not tech-savvy can easily navigate and tweak settings to find their ideal sound.
  • Solid Build Quality: Boss is renowned for building sturdy, reliable gear. This amp is no exception, built to withstand the rigors of touring and regular use without compromising performance.
  • Extensive Customization: With the additional effects available through the Boss Tone Studio, players can explore and create a virtually limitless array of sounds, enhancing their creative expression.
  • Complexity for Beginners: For those new to guitar amplifiers, the range of options and settings available on the Katana 100 MKII can be a bit daunting at first. It might take some time to fully grasp the capabilities of this amp.
  • No Footswitch Included: While the amp offers impressive features, the absence of a footswitch in the package means additional expenditure for those looking to use it to its fullest, especially in a live setting.
  • Heft: Weighing 14.8 kg, the amp is on the heavier side, which could be a consideration for those who need to transport their amp frequently, particularly for gigs or rehearsals.

I hope you enjoyed this little summary of advantages and disadvantages! These factors are crucial when deciding if this amp is the right fit for your musical needs and lifestyle.

What I Personally Don’t Like Here

what I don't like about MK II

While the Boss Katana 100 MKII is a remarkable amp, there are a few things that don’t quite sit right with me. First off, the absence of a footswitch in the box is a bit of a letdown.

For an amp that’s so geared towards live performance, it’s surprising that such an essential accessory isn’t included. It means an extra purchase, which can be a bit of a bummer if you’re already stretching your budget for the amp itself.

Then, there’s the weight. At 14.8 kg, it’s not the heaviest amp I’ve lugged around, but it’s certainly not the lightest. For gigging musicians who are constantly on the move, this might be a slight inconvenience. The Katana’s heft can be a bit of a workout, especially if you’re playing gigs where you’re your own roadie.

Lastly, while the versatility and range of options are a huge plus, they can also be overwhelming, particularly for beginners. There’s a bit of a learning curve to really get the most out of this amp.

I’ve seen some new guitarists struggle with the sheer breadth of options and end up not utilizing the amp to its full potential. It’s like having a high-performance sports car but not knowing how to shift out of second gear.

Would I Get It?

Now, the million-dollar question: would I personally invest in the Boss Katana 100 MKII? The short answer is yes. Despite the minor gripes I have with it, this amp offers incredible value.

The sound quality, coupled with the sheer versatility and customization options, makes it a powerhouse. It’s an amp that can grow with you – as you evolve as a guitarist, the Katana can evolve with you, offering more layers and nuances in sound.

It’s a great investment, especially for players who are looking for an amp that can cover a wide range of styles and settings. Whether you’re practicing at home, recording in a studio, or performing live, the Katana 100 MKII stands as a reliable and dynamic workhorse.

Other Cool Amps

other cool amps similar to boss katana mk2 100

As a guitarist, exploring different amplifiers is akin to a quest for the perfect tone. In addition to the Boss Katana 100 MKII, amps like the Fender Champion 20, Fender Mustang LT25, and Peavey Classic 30 have caught my attention for their distinct characteristics and features. Each of these amps resonates with different aspects of my playing style and requirements.

Fender Champion 20

The Fender Champion 20 is a gem for those starting out or looking for a no-fuss practice amp. Its 20W power and 1×8″ speaker provide ample volume for home practice without sacrificing tone.

From my experience, its adjustable amp voice and onboard effects like reverb and chorus offer a playground of sound for experimenting and finding your own style. Its lightweight design, at just 5.4 kg, makes it incredibly portable – a feature I always appreciate for casual jam sessions.

Here’s the video review that you can see on my YouTube channel called Best Guitars Now.

Fender Mustang LT50

Moving up the ladder, the Fender Mustang LT50 strikes a chord with me for its blend of digital innovation and classic Fender tone. The 50 watts of power and 12″ speaker make it a robust option for serious practice and small gigs. What really stands out for me is its versatility. With 20 amp models and a plethora of effects, it’s like having a whole pedalboard and several amps in one unit. This amp is perfect for players who love to explore different genres and sounds.

Peavey Classic 30

The Peavey Classic 30 holds a special place in my heart. As a fan of the warm, organic sound of valve amps, the Classic 30’s 30W power and 12″ Celestion speaker deliver that in spades. The valve-driven tone, with its rich harmonics and depth, is something I find crucial for blues and classic rock styles. This amp, with its straightforward design and robust build, feels like a reliable workhorse for both studio and stage.

My Experience With Boss Amps

I’ve had a long-running relationship with Boss amps, and it’s been a mostly positive journey. My first encounter was years ago with an older Boss model, and it set the tone for quality and durability.

Boss amps have always been about robust construction and consistency in sound. They’re the kind of amps that you can rely on, whether you’re in a bedroom or on a stage.

One thing I’ve always admired about Boss is their commitment to innovation. They’re constantly pushing the envelope, integrating new technologies and features to enhance the playing experience.

The Katana series, in particular, has been a game-changer, offering a level of versatility and sound customization that was previously hard to find at its price point.

However, it’s important to note that while Boss amps are versatile, they do have their own character. Some players might prefer the warmth of a Fender or the bite of a Marshall, but Boss amps tend to have a more modern, crisp sound. It’s all about what suits your style and preferences.

For those who are interested, you can watch my other video reviews (including BOSS’s gear) on my YouTube channel.

FAQ

faq section
  • Q: Is the Boss Katana 100 MKII suitable for beginners?
    • A: Yes, but it’s worth noting that its wide range of features might be a bit overwhelming for absolute beginners. However, it’s an excellent investment as it’s versatile enough to cater to evolving playing styles.
  • Q: Can I connect external pedals to the Katana?
    • A: Absolutely. The Katana 100 MKII is equipped with a power amp input for external devices, making it very pedal-friendly.
  • Q: Is the Katana 100 MKII loud enough for gigs?
    • A: Definitely. With its 100W power output, it’s more than capable of handling live performance settings.
  • Q: How important is wattage in choosing an amp?
    • A: Wattage is crucial as it determines the amp’s loudness and suitability for different environments. Higher wattage is better for gigs, while lower wattage is ideal for home practice.
  • Q: Does the Katana 100 MKII have good clean tones?
    • A: Yes, one of its standout features is its ability to deliver crisp and clear clean tones, making it versatile for various music genres.
  • Q: What should I consider when buying my first amp?
    • A: Consider your primary use (home practice, recording, gigging), the music styles you play, the amp’s features (like effects and channels), and your budget.
  • Q: Are tube amps better than solid-state amps like the Katana?
    • A: This largely depends on personal preference. Tube amps are known for their warm, natural sound and dynamic response, while solid-state amps, like the Katana, are more reliable, versatile, and generally more affordable.
  • Q: Can the Katana 100 MKII be used for recording?
    • A: Yes, it’s quite suitable for recording. It offers a wide range of tones and has a USB output for direct recording.
  • Q: How does the Boss Tone Studio enhance the Katana 100 MKII?
    • A: The Boss Tone Studio software expands the amp’s capabilities, allowing access to a wide range of additional effects and deep customization options for your sound.

Final Thoughts

final thoughts on boss katana mk2 100 review

From its robust build quality to its impressive array of features and tones, this amp has demonstrated that it can be a trusty companion for bedroom practice sessions, studio recordings, and live performances alike.

Its versatility makes it an excellent choice for players who dabble in various genres, offering everything from crystal-clear cleans to earth-shattering distortions.

The ability to save presets and extensively customize effects through the Boss Tone Studio adds a layer of convenience and creativity that can be a game-changer, especially for those who love to experiment with their sound.

However, it’s not without its downsides. The absence of a footswitch and its somewhat hefty weight are points to consider. And for beginners, the learning curve might be steep, but it’s a worthwhile journey for the tonal possibilities that await.

In conclusion, the Boss Katana 100 MKII impresses with its blend of performance, versatility, and value. Whether you’re a seasoned guitarist or a newbie, this amp deserves your attention.

It’s more than just a piece of equipment – it’s a tool that can elevate your music, inspire new ideas, and evolve with you as you grow in your guitar journey.