I will admit that I’m a very jaded gear enthusiast, over the years my heart has become very hard to “innovation” and digital profiling and the hype that surrounds it, dismissing most recent developments in the world of amplification as fads or a pale imitation of the great tone of vintage valve circuitry.
I was wrong, I admit it.
The Boss Katana range of amplifiers started a crisis of faith for me in regards to the perceived purity of tone associated with vintage or valve amplifiers to the point where for the first time in my life I see solid state/modelling as the future. The Katana is a seriously impressive amplifier and a lot of work and effort went into crafting the perfect entry/intermediate solid state amplifier and its fans (including myself) are beyond impressed with the results.
With a range of on board-effects, multiple channels/banks and an output volume adjuster this little amplifier can really move some air and comes in a multitude watt variants (my favourite is the 50 watt version). It of course sounds fantastic, offering everything from the most brutal of gain settings to the cleanest of silky cleans with everything in-between literally a dial away and best of all it actually sounds REAL.
Now I don’t propose for a second that the Katana will replace your favourite tube amplifier but as practice amp for backstage, bedroom and even small venue use there is no other even on the same playing field. If I had access to the Katana when I first started playing I would be completely besotted with its features and due to its affordability it would have been high on my Xmas/birthday list. It’s impossible to try and predict the nature of the guitar industry going forward but the Katana (along with a handful of other digital amp models) certainly feels like a C change product, highlighting that not only is a great sounding solid state affordable but it’s also the start of something truly special on the horizon for amplifier technology.