It’s time for a showdown of two phenomenal guitar amps: the Boss Katana 50 vs 100.
If you want a quality amplifier that gives you excellent sound output without distortion, there’s no question that both of these guitar amplifiers will suit your requirements.
But which is better for you?
That’s what we’re here to answer.
Before we look more at each individual option though, let’s learn more about Boss.
Boss is a manufacturer of effect pedals and other guitar accessories for electric and bass guitars.
They’ve been around for almost 50 years and make a huge range of products to help with effect processing for guitars:
- “Compact” and “twin” pedals
- Electronic tuners
- Digital studios
They also make solid-state amplifiers that come with a multi-effect unit, meant to imitate Boss’s original effects pedals.
The Boss Katana Series
Let’s look at our contenders today, the Boss Katana 50 vs 100.
They’re named for the Japanese traditional sword, the “Katana.” It’s a symbol of honor, artistry, and precision, which is what Boss strives to achieve here as they pursue what they call the ultimate rock sound.
What’s special about the Katana Series?
The Katana series features amplifiers that have smooth, cutting tones, a result of generations of expertise and dedicated research. These amps have meticulous tuning and phenomenal circuit design and manage to combine traditional craftsmanship with amazing functionality to eventually produce a next-gen rock guitar amplifier.
Who is the Katana Series For?
Both of these guitar amps were tailored for guitarists who feel seriously about their music. These amps offer transcendent tone and touch response no matter what you’re doing, be it playing on stage, recording, or simply jamming at home.
By managing to deliver superb power, real punch, and strong presence that can go toe-to-toe with any high-end amp, the Katana series is a great bet for any sort of playing situation.
Finally, both of these amazing amps come with integrated access to a huge range of Boss effects, which you can customize using the free Boss Tone Studio editor software.
^ The Boss Katana 100 Head Variant has two speakers.
^^ The Boss Katana 100 Head Variant has a line out.
Boss Katana 50 vs 100: Common Features
Both the Boss Katana 50 and 100 come with a lot of common features:
- USB, AUX, and line input
- Neither offer Bluetooth connectivity
- 5 unique amp characteristics (Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brown, Acoustic)
- Dedicated gain, EQ, and effects control for adjusting sounds quickly
- Professional setups available at Boss Tone Central
- 58 total effects, including the SDE-3000 delay, Phaser 90E, and Flanger 117E types
- Built-in tilt stand which helps with optimal monitoring and sound projection
- Headphone jack
- No tuner
Boss Katana 50 vs 100: Key Differences
What are the differences? There are five big ones:
- FX loop
- Presence control
- Line out
- 5-channel selection
- GA-FC foot switch capability
1. FX Loop
The FX loop is really fun to play around with, and you can combine with your pedals to see how they react in tandem. The various effects standard on the Katana 100, combined with how the FX loop works, make it a really worthy purchase.
2. Presence Control
The magnet in the Katana 50 is much smaller than the magnet in the Katana 100. While the 50’s magnet is adequate for the size of the speaker, the latter provides much better presence control over and makes the Katana 100 a deserved pick.
3. Line out
This depends on which version of the 100W you’re getting (standard or heat variant), but if you decide to go with the 100W head, there’s a line out for your speaker. It also comes with MIDI.
4. 5-Channel Selection
Both the 50W and 100W amp let you choose between multiple channels, but the 100W lets you choose between five channels.
5. GA-FC Foot Switch Capability
The GA-FC foot switch enables you to change around effects even as you play. The variety of sound and tone you can achieve is much better when it comes to the Katana 100 thanks to the GA-FC foot switch capability.
Boss Katana 50 vs 100: Deep Dive
With the similarities and differences described above, let’s dive deeper into the specific features, pros, and cons of both the Katana 50 vs Katana 100.
Boss Katana 50
The Boss Katana 50 is a compact amplifier that comes with several connectivity options. With 50W of power and a custom 12″ speaker, the amp provides a huge range of tones worthy of any gig.
It also works just as well for home practice thanks to its efficient design and amazing power control, which helps provide amazing sound quality and response even at a lower volume.
The Katana 50 loved by users for its variety of options
- Foot control
- Power amp in
Plus many others. Most customers love this amp and feel it’s perfect for anyone who isn’t playing to large crowds. The various available effects and the ease with which you can modulate the output makes users happy, and the amp’s compact size is another huge plus.
Katana 50 Key Features
Katana 50 Pros
Katana 50 Cons
Boss Katana 100
The Boss Katana 100 is an evolved and improved version of the Katana 50, focusing on and improved ability to play for larger audiences. The 100W of power that this amp offers makes it almost twice as effective at loud volumes, especially when combined with the larger speaker size.
Additionally, if you opt for the Head Variant of the Katana 100, it comes with two built-in speakers, which make the output pretty phenomenal.
The Katana 100 has the same options that make the Katana 50 so beloved, such as its superb power control, a wide variety of connectivity options, and clean sound output.
A key differentiator is how you can use a looper pedal in conjunction with the Katana 100, making the FX loop option a possibility.
Katana 100 Key Features
Katana 100 Pros
Katana 100 Cons
3 Factors Look For In A Guitar Amp
Amplifiers shape the sound of your music almost as much if not more than your guitar itself. When you’re going shopping for an amp, here’s what you need to consider.
Choose the amp type that best fits your needs. There are four types:
- Tube amps: Very responsive but unpredictable
- Solid-state amps: Lighter, cheaper, low-maintenance, and well-suited for the metal genre
- Digital amps: Steep learning curve but have a multitude of speaker combos they can simulate
- Hybrid amps: Jack-of-all-trades amps
Wattage is how you measure the power output of an amp. In general, you want to have around 20W for home use, 50W for smaller performances, and 100W if you really want to rock out. Again, it depends on the type of amp you have. For example, a 10W tube amp can be louder than a 20W solid-state amp.
There are two configurations.
Combos pack the preamp, power amp, and speaker cabinet into one box.
Separates have them separated.
Depending on whether you want portability or flexibility, you can pick either
There are a few more factors like speaker size and additional features (like channels and effects) that matter, too.
How Much Power Do You Need?
If you’re going to be playing for yourself and friends in the confines of your house, a small, Bluetooth speaker sized amp with about 20W of power should be fine.
If you’re going to be performing for small-to-medium-sized audiences, a 50W amp should work.
For large-scale performances, a 100W amp would be ideal.
All of these things also depend on the type of amp as well as the configuration and speaker size, but those numbers are a good rule of thumb.
Now that we know more about all the amps which are available, let’s look at our two contenders, the Boss Katana 50 vs 100.
Boss Katana 50 vs 100: Final Thoughts
Boss Katana 50 vs 100. Which is better?
The answer depends on what you need from your amplifier. Ultimately, it’s about portability vs power output.
If all you want is a compact device that amplifies sound across the entire audio frequency range and produces crystal clear sound, you should opt for the Boss Katana 50.
If you’re playing for large audiences and don’t mind carrying a bulkier amp around, you should opt for the Boss Katana 100.
Do you have a preference in the Boss Katana 50 vs 100 debate? Tell us in the comments below!