Boss expands its Katana amp range with upgraded entry-level combo, 100-watt head and Waza 2x12 cab

Boss's new-for-2023 Katana amplifiers
(Image credit: Boss)

Boss has announced the latest entries into its highly popular Katana family of guitar amps – the Katana-50 MkII EX combo, Katana-Artist MkII Head and Katana Cabinet 212 Waza.

The three units are the latest additions to the Japanese brand’s ever-growing collection of Katana products, which is fast becoming one of the most popular amp lineups currently on the market.

After debuting its first-ever Katana bass amps last summer, Boss has revisited some of its existing products for its latest drop, bringing to the table an expanded version of the entry level Katana-50 MkII combo and a 100-watt head iteration of the Katana-Artist MkII combo.

Likewise, the Katana Cabinet 212 Waza is a revamped take on the brand’s sole existing 2x12 cab, the Katana Cabinet 212, arriving loaded with new Waza Craft speakers said to be ideal for “ultimate rock tones."

To find out more about each new unit, cast your gaze below.

Boss Katana-50 MkII EX

Leading this lineup is the new Boss Katana-50 MkII EX – an updated take on the preexisting combo of the same name minus the ‘EX’. Said to expand on its predecessor’s capabilities, this amp offers greater live performance versatility by supporting Boss’ GA-FC and GA-FC EX foot controllers – both of which can be used to select Tone Setting memories, turn effects on and off, and more. 

As an added bonus, there’s also a line output for cabinet emulation and for sending your signal to a front of house PA, as well as an input for connecting a second Katana Mk II amp to make the most of Boss’ Stereo Expand feature.

Otherwise, it’s a standard Katana-50 MkII, featuring five amp characters – Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brown and Acoustic – dedicated effects sections for Booster, Mod, FX, Delay and Reverb, and four Tone Setting memories for quick setting recalls.

For those unfamiliar with the Katana layout, other notable specs include compatibility with Boss Tone Studio software for in-depth tone tweaking, three cab resonance options – Vintage, Modern and Deep – and a Power Amp In for preamps, modelers and multi-effects.

The Boss Katana-50 MkII EX will be available this month for $339.

Boss Katana-Artist MkII Head

Joining the above is the Katana-Artist MkII Head, which, as the name suggests, is the previous Katana-Artist MkII combo amp repackaged in a head format. Despite the smaller size, it retains the 100-watt power and an identical control layout.

That means there are five selectable amp types – subject to Gain and Volume knobs – a three-band EQ and Booster, Mod, FX, Delay and Reverb effects. Elsewhere, the Tone Setting section allows the recall of up to eight presets with knobs for Presence, Master and Solo.

The face is capped off with a four-way, contour-sculpting Tone Shape knob and a power attenuation control that flicks between 0.5W, 50W and 100W. In fact, the only thing the head version doesn’t have is the Custom Waza 12-inch speaker found in the combo.

It does, however, promise enhanced features such as the foot-controllable, post-amp Solo boost function, as well as the ability to adjust the middle setting of the amp’s Power Control in 10-watt increments via Boss’ editor app.

Furthermore, the Air Feel setting on the rear of the head lets users shape the selected cab emulation on the line output using three stock settings – Rec, Blend and Live – or two custom settings.

According to Boss, the head is complemented by its new Katana Cabinet 212 Waza, which has been “precisely tuned to support the massive range of the Katana-Artist MkII Head." It features two custom Waza speakers inspired by British stacks from the ‘60s.

Price-wise, the head and cab will be available for $569 and $599, respectively, when they arrive later this month.

For more info, visit Boss.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.