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Rating and Reviews: Boss Katana-100 Combo Amp

This 100-watt 1x12" combo takes you from the practice room to the gig. Dial in tons of tones with 5 unique amp "characters" and 55 built-in Boss effects.

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"Amazing" submitted November 4, 2016

By Jack Moriarty in Mashpee, MA
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Musical Background: Lifelong pro and studio guitarist
Music Style: Rock. Blues, Fusion
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Overall: I'm really a tube snob but needed a small amp fro practices and after trying out Orange and Vox I read the reviews and decided on this one. Totally exceeds my expectations! For a solid state amp it's just unbelievable! put it on the Brown sound and crank the gain and it sounds just about as good as my Marshall. Budda and Blackstar! Just a monster. Plus great acoustic sound. A total winner!
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"Great Value, Awesome Tone" submitted January 2, 2018

By Richard G in Apex, NC
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Musical Background: At home recording hobby, addiction, my life.
Music Style: Rock, Power Pop
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Overall: If you are looking at this review then you are either just starting your search or have done some homework and are seeing what others think of the Boss Katana. Here is my experience. I had read that this Boss Katana was a non Tube tone machine that not only sounded great out of the box but when plugged into a PC/MAC offered the ability to customize your sounds. I found all of this to be true! I own a few Tube amps. My favorite is a Vox AC15. I'm not saying the Katana is better or worse but on its own, The Katana sounds amazing. Crispy Clear tones to ripping crunch, you will find a sound that works for you. I ended up going with the Katana 100 over the 50 because the 100 offers the following additional features: effects loop, Presence control knob, and 8 tone settings (version 2 software). As far as volume goes, the 100 Watt is like, Crazy Loud. Thankfully both the 100 and 50 offer a master volume control and amp wattage settings. You can run the 100 on .05 watt, 50watt, or 100watt with no tone loss. The Katana, again, is not a tube amp but it does have characteristics of breakup just like a tube provode and just sounds amazing. To me, I don't care what is under the hood, if it sounds amazing and offers ear candy to me and others then problem solved. Get a Katana and you'll be happy.
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"Maybe the best amp I've ever played through!!!!" submitted July 17, 2017

By william a in Lafayette, IN
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Musical Background: 30
Music Style: Blurs, rock metal
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Overall: No kidding. I've had several tube amps and the boss Katana 100w 1x12 sounds about as good as any of them. No kidding. Where this thing excels is its ability to sound great at any volume, the effects, light weight, cost, solid state durability, and USB interface. I checked out blackstar I'd, line 6 spider 5 and fender GT. Non of these felt like a tube amp. The Marshall code was the closest but isn't in the same class as the katana. You can roll the volume knob back and the sound cleans right up. It's loud as s#!% for a solid state amp. Could use a tuner but that's it's only flaw.
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"Katana 100×112" submitted November 13, 2017

By Guy Curtis in Baltimore, MD
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Musical Background: Drums and guitar for George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and Brides of Funkenstein
Music Style: Everythang funky
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Overall: This amp is the ultimate game changer. All those elusive tones I've been chasing have been captured. I've been giging with the Katana 100 for a little over a month now and my jcm 2000 half stack, Fender twin, and dual showman have taken a back seat. Light, powerful, awesome tones. I could go on and on. Tube dudes, stop tripin, this is the best amp ever. Ordered Thursday and it came the next day. zZounds you da bomb.
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"Boss Katana 100 1x12" submitted January 7, 2018

By Lora P in Holiday, FL
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Musical Background: Pro, Home Recording.
Music Style: Christian, Classic Rock, Hard Rock,
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Overall: Boss actually did it. I use A.R.T. DST 825`s 830`s and 8080`s.Manufactured from 97-99. They were over a grand new. Now they are aging and I have been looking for a suitable sound to give my aging non-repairable amps a rest. The Boss is slightly not as warm. But this amp is almost an exact duplicate sound wise. I have owned many Marshall tube amps including custom stacks that they only made a 200 limited run. I owned a Dumble modified 1974 Hiwatt Dr201. If I were to keep going this page would be full. This amp even produces tube harmonics. Where I goofed, I bought the 100 watt 1x12. So now I am going to decide to buy the 2x12 or the 100 watt head. Maybe even both? Look if you want a responsive amp? That will show your talent. Grab one. And I would recommend the 100 watt. They may say no, but there is a difference in sound between the power settings and the 100 watt setting is the best one. At times you can hear it is digital but you have to really have an ear. Definitely worth it and actually more. Get One or two!!! I will give support a 5 but will not need them. P.S. I ran every note I play through this amp , Near perfect sound not muddy or the digital fall apart most digital amps have. It took it. Made very well and the tilt foot is a good idea. I know my old Fender from 65-66 had the tilt arms, But Boss put lots of thought into this amp!
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"Boss nailed it. Better than expected" submitted June 26, 2018

By Tobo B in Birmingham, AL
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Musical Background: 20 years, hobby, recording artist, tobopr@reverbnation.com
Music Style: latin rock, guitar rock
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Overall: I've been looking for this amp for quite a while. I started with the line 6 modeling pedals, roland modeling pedals, something was missing, so I switched to a peavey modeling amp and all fell short. I was looking for a warmth, a chunk, a drive, whatever you might call it, it's a sound made by a tube amp, that just touching the strings you feel that power, that drive. Well, boss nailed it with this amp. My recordings are way clearer, now my guitar sounds with a professional grade. I bought a blemished version, I really didn't see anything wrong with it and saved big. I also used the zZounds 4 payments option. Was shipped and received fast.
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"This thing is awesome!" submitted March 18, 2017

By Rob P in Fredericksburg, VA
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Musical Background: 25 years playing.
Music Style: Rock, blues, metal, whatever else gets stuck in my head
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Overall: I haven't done much if any reviews for anything ever. But this amp is definitely worthy of a few mins to hopefully help someone that may be thinking about this amp. I've had Line6 spiders, the Peavey Vyper when they first came out. Marshalls, the 5150 etc. all are freaking awesome but for a family guy that doesn't even play out, they're overkill. Hell, I recently sold off my newer Vyper2 after this little beast arrived at my door. The Katana sounds fantastic. Period. No matter what type of tone you're looking for, it's in this amp. You know that you like at least like some of the Boss pedals. Don't lie! Though I don't use many effects myself, there's enough to come up with any sounds you might want. At the same time, you don't need a degree in engineering to access everything. Plus, I don't need a thousand presets. Four should be enough for us mere mortals. The ability to make and save some to pull in with the software is plenty for me. It's also super easy to doThe software is straight forward. Yes, there's 55 pedals you can download and play with, and they're all easy enough to dial in. There is a setting in the interface that will put your effects in before or after the power section. And yes, you can absolutely hear the difference. Honestly, i did do a little reading on some of these pedals to help me really understand what they're really meant for and HOW to use them for myself. Effects loop is great to have. The aux in is what it is so don't expect too much when playing along with your device of choice. The output sounds good enough for basic use. A serious home studio type of person isn't looking to buy this product. That's fine. But this amp can get the job done. The 12" speaker seems good. Your neighbors could potentially hate you when you turn this thing up. Which brings me to the power selector. Basically, you can have that cranked up to freaking 11 sound at extremely low volumes. That's something that IMHO has been a feature that other amps in this category just suck at. Mine stays on the .5 watt setting most of the time. It's still loud enough to drown out most people's little sound bars and what not. My wife and kids can back me up that, lol. 50 watts will do with a drummer and bass player. 100 watts is the way to be, just as long as your other guitar player isn't bringing a half stack to the party, lol. This model has only one speaker so, duh... it will only get but so loud. Certainly the 2x12 is louder. It's not rocket science. It would have been nice to include a footswitch. Though for $99, it's cheap enough to buy later. It's interesting to me that you can add two expression pedals to that footswitch too. Though most of us are going to use our wah of choice here anyway. Am I right? Yes, i am. lol. I suppose I'd be open to getting one to use as a volume pedal. But that's why i put a treble bleed circuit in my Les Paul too. I only put a little electro harmonics boost and vox wah in front. I've tried a cpl if delays and chorus thru the loop. They sound great as expected but the delays built in are enough for my use. I'm not a modulation effect guy myself. At the end of the day, this amp should really please anyone. No matter their chosen genre of music. Best practice amp with built in effects available today. It takes pedals great. If you have a multi effect unit, go with the four cable connection. The damn Katana is the hot lick. Check it out!
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"Outstanding" submitted October 7, 2018

By Tom B in Sacramento, CA
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Musical Background: I've been playing, teaching, performing for a bit over 3 decades.
Music Style: I'm heavily into Blues, Jazz/Fusion and Neoclassical.
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Overall: I already have the 50 watt version which I love, but I needed something that has more push and headroom. The 100 watt with the single 12" speaker fits my needs perfectly. I like the added benefit of the presence control when using Humbuckers. People say these Katanas are digital, but they're not. The effects are, but the quality of said effects are fantastic. I'm so happy that the Katana has a built in Blues Driver. Excellent boost and overdrive. The overdrive channels are absolutely great and perfectly usable. I've read reviews that the Katana line doesn't model "boutique" amps very well. That's actually the beauty of this line. They have their own sound. Get into the sneaky amps if you want to model some amps. I fully enjoy the Katana's own unique sounds. The amp has plenty of power and clean headroom for most venues. It'll plug straight into a PA system if you need more sound coverage and saturation. I'm thrilled with this line of amps.
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"Boss Katana 100" submitted June 6, 2018

By Stephen T in Omaha, NE
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Musical Background: singer/songwriter for 20+ yrs playing acoustic and electric guitars.
Music Style: folk, rock, blues, contemporary Christian
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Overall: I'm thoroughly enjoying this amp. Haven't gigged with it yet but i love the sound and effects. Struggling a bit with the online ToneCenter editting of the effects, but the amp itself is great.
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"Good for 2 channel one clean one crunch. nothing more" submitted July 24, 2018

By Mike Santarelli in madison, OH
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Musical Background: 25 years/ semi pro/guitar /vocs
Music Style: rock/country/pop/blues/new wave/metal
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Overall: It is true that this amp can put out very good tone- but it is limited. All of the extras that they added are not very good- think of this like a 2 channel tube amp without the tubes -if you want that then buy it...if you want to use it and set up a varied array of channels and sounds to play in a band that does a wide variety of music then this will not work for you. I thought I was upgrading from the fender mustang- this amp does have a better clean tone and a slightly more natural punch, but it falls very short setting up channels and effects- the effects are not very good and the fact that if you select one of 3 pedal chains for the effects- that is the chain all of your saved sounds have to use. I bought it with the foot controller- you can save 8 pre sets.. 2 banks of 4- but if you are on one channel and you want to be able take off an effect - you cannot switch to another channel without getting out of that effect mode- the mustang with the 2 pedal set up can go up and down your settings and also add/remove effects on the fly. again- if you aren't someone who needs to have a lot of different settings then this amp might be a good deal at 399$ you may be better off getting a few pedals to use- this amp is a good fit for pedals- the one thing I did like on their software was the ability to select a premade tone from an upload and play it through the amp while connected to the computer without download. I was very disappointed in the effects causing the horrible fuzz at the end of notes that most of these kinds of product do, and the noise gate included was as good as the one on the mustang. I wanted to like this amp and be able to use it for gigs, but it did not offer what I needed.
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"This Amp just sounds Great!" submitted August 22, 2018

By Jorge R in Miami, FL
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Musical Background: I have been playing for about 40 years.
Music Style: Rock, Jazz, Blues
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Overall: From Super clean to Brown, I love the sweet tones this amp produces. It has plenty of power and sounds fantastic at any volume. With all the built-in effects and Boss Tone Studio I am able to fully customize and set up 8 presets for quick access.
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"I was quick to judge" submitted January 30, 2017

By Mikhail Manulis in Brooklyn, NY
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Musical Background: 25 years playing guitar
Music Style: many styles
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Overall: I was very frustrated in the begining, i couldn't get the amp to work with my Mac OS X, i needed to update the firmware before using it with tone studio, firmware update instructions were very confusing to say the least, after the update and tweaking on the screen for hours i got the amp to sound like anything i want, from easily best SRV sound i ever heard to Gary Moore Santana and even Metal stuff, also on high gain the amp is still becoming kinda fizzy, with headphones however the sound is less natural and a bit digital, but through the speaker the amp sounds very good, keep in mind you will need a lot of patience with this amp, it sounds pretty bad right out of the box, but once you get it hooked up to the tone studio, you can make it sound great.
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"Digital fart box." submitted January 29, 2017

By Mikhail M in Brooklyn, NY
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Musical Background: 25 years playing guitar
Music Style: Instrumental rock
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Overall: I Don't understand glowing reviews, must be Stockholm syndrome, yes it is inexpensive and gives you a lot on paper, but it sounds terrible, clean channel is good, everything else is just thin and brittle, every guitar sounds the same through this thing, every channel from crunch to brown is exactly the same but with added digital distortion the dynamics don't change at all, reverb is the worst i have heard since i started playing the guitar 25 years ago when i had digital zoom multi effects, brown channel however must be the worst one on this thing lol EVH would be laughing hard, i also run latest version of Sierra on my mac, and after downloading the driver and boss studio i have connected the amp only to be greeted by message that i must install updated software lol, well there isn't any i just installed it from roland's website, the amps is a joke and someone had to trash it, well let it be me. PS i also own Yamaha THR10x purchased from here as well, and it sounds magnificent with headphones or without, reverbs are insane and connectevity is a breeze, so there is digital technology that sounds as good as valves but in this amp, don't beleive paid you tubers and play one before you order it, i guarantee it will make your ears bleed.
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