Boss’s new Katana MkIIs include just about everything you could want in a modern guitar amp

Boss Katana MkII guitar amps
(Image credit: Boss)

Boss’s Katana series has been a revelation in the budget guitar amps under $500 arena, and the Japanese effects giant has seen fit to equip it with a whole load of new features and increased versatility for 2019.

The MkII line-up - which comprises 50W, 100W and 100W 2x12 combos and a 100W head - adds new voicing variations to the five original guitar amp characters, spanning clean to high-gain, plus dedicated acoustic-electric voices.

You can now employ up to five effects categories simultaneously, as opposed to the original’s three, and the independent booster, mod, FX, delay and reverb sections boast three variations each for a total of 15 effects.

In a smart, forward-thinking move, Katana MkII models can be used as a power source for a preamp, amp modeler or multi-effects pedal via a rear Power Amp in jack.

100-watt Katana MkII amps also include a Stereo Expand feature, which allows you to link two amps together with just one regular cable.

As before, Boss’s Tone Studio affords you the ability to tweak a wide variety of amp and effects parameters, as well as a high-pass filter and adjustable gain for the Power Amp In - and yes, you can import your patches from first-generation Katana models.

Custom 12-inch speakers appear across the range, while the head features a handy integrated 5-inch monitor speaker.

The Katana series was already an impressive range, but with these new tweaks and additions, the MkIIs could well end up being the best guitar amps under $500.

Prices for each model are as follows:

  • Katana 50 MkII - $229
  • Katana 100 MkII - $359
  • Katana 100/212 MkII - $469
  • Katana Head MkII - $349

See Boss (opens in new tab) for more info. The Katana MkII follows the announcement of Boss’s new DD-3T and DD-8 digital delay pedals, which were launched last week.

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Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar (opens in new tab), Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as the best part of 20 years performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe (opens in new tab).