Boss Katana 50 vs Boss Katana 100: What’s the difference?

Boss Katana 50 vs Boss Katana 100

The Boss Katana range is a collection of digital modeling amps that bring a world of different guitar amp tones to your fingertips.

But which one is right for you?

The Katana 50 and 100 models look pretty similar; they are both portable combo amps with a single 12-inch speaker.

So, is one better than the other? And, perhaps most importantly, is the Katana 100 worth the larger price tag?

That’s what we’ll seek to answer in this review.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this Boss Katana 50 vs Boss Katana 100 comparison:

  • Tones
  • Effects
  • Size and Weight
  • Connectivity
  • Volume
  • Speaker
  • GA-FC Foot Controller
  • Price & Value For Money
  • Pros & Cons

Ready? Let’s get started…

30-Second Summary: Boss Katana 50 vs Boss Katana 100

So when it comes down to Boss Katana 50 vs Boss Katana 100, which one should you choose? Here’s a quick overview:

  • Go for Boss Katana 50 if you need a slightly quieter amp, don’t need an effects loop, or are looking for a combo amp that is super portable.
  • Go for Boss Katana 100 if you aren’t too worried about size and weight, need an effects loop or MIDI output, and want to absolutely blow the roof of your room.

1. Tones: Boss Katana 50 vs Boss Katana 100

Tones: Boss Katana 50

The first thing you need to know about the Boss Katana 50 is that it’s a digital modeling amp, which basically means it emulates a bunch of different famous amp tones.

The benefit here is that you basically have a tonne of different amps in one. The basic amp models that the Katana 50 offers are:

  • Clean
  • Crunch
  • Lead
  • Acoustic
  • Brown

The brown channel, by the way, seeks to emulate Eddie Van Halen’s balls to the wall distortion tone, so you’ve basically got an acoustic channel, a clean channel, and three levels of overdrive to play with.

Each of these channels is super playable and offers a really crisp yet organic sound that doesn’t sound particularly ‘digital’ at all.

This sound palette is further refinable by parametric channel and global EQ controls, as well as dedicated gain, power control, and tone-setting memories so you can set up your own tone presets.

Tones: Boss Katana 100

The Katana 100 has all of the same tonal features as the 50, but with a few sneaky extras.

For example, the 100 can hold 8 presets (whereas the 50 only comes with 4), and has built-in cabinet simulation available on the line, USB, and phones/recording outputs.

This cabinet simulation is further tweakable, with the Boss Katana 100 boasting 3 different cab resonance types so you can fit the right cabinet sound to whichever amp model you’re playing through.

Tones: Bottom Line

The bottom line here is that while both amp models offer insane flexibility and some really usable tones, the 100w model simply offers more flexibility.

Tones Winner: Boss Katana 100

2. Effects: Boss Katana 50 vs Boss Katana 100

Built-In Effects

There is no shortage of effects in the Katana range, with both the 50 and the 100 model shipping with 58 different built-in effects, from delay to chorus to flanger.

Reverb

Each amp model also has a dedicated reverb control, which also has a delay plus reverb mode, so you can stack up delays on either Katana amp for some crazy post-rock feedback vibes.

Effects Loop

The main difference between these two amps in the effects department is that the Katana 100 also offers an effects loop on the rear panel, so you can plug in your pedalboard and really amp up the analog aspect of your tone.

The 50 doesn’t offer this feature, making the Katana 100 the winner of this category.

Effects Winner: Boss Katana 100

3. Size and Weight: Boss Katana 50 vs Boss Katana 100

Size and Weight: Boss Katana 50

The Boss Katana 50 weighs in at just under 26lbs, which is pretty impressive and is owing to the fact that it doesn’t have any heavy analog gear inside.

By contrast, the Peavey 6505 1×12 combo weighs 61lbs, so the Katana 50 is a bunch more portable.

The physical dimensions of the Katana 50 are:

  • Width: 470 mm
  • Depth: 238 mm
  • Height: 398 mm

This makes it a reasonably portable amp that will easily fit in the boot of a small hatchback or sedan.

Size and Weight: Boss Katana 100

The Katana 100 is a bit bigger, and a bit heavier:

  • Width: 530 mm
  • Depth: 248 mm
  • Height: 484 mm

The increase in size, along with a beefier speaker magnet, see the Katana 100 weighing in at almost 33lbs, so a fair bit heavier than the 50.

That said, it’s still half the weight of that 6505 combo, so it’s hardly a heavy amp.

Size and Weight: Bottom Line

Both amp models are seriously light compared to your typical tube combo amp, and each of them has a built-in tilt stand so they are easily used for bedroom practice and busking.

However, if you’re looking for the lightest, most compact amp, then the Katana 50 wins here.

Size and Weight Winner: Boss Katana 50

4. Connectivity: Boss Katana 50 vs Boss Katana 100

Connectivity: Boss Katana 50

The Katana 50’s input/output specs are pretty simple.

You’ve got a single guitar input on the top panel, with the rear of the amp hosting:

  • Aux in
  • Phones/rec out
  • Footswitch input
  • USB port for updates saving patches

Connectivity: Boss Katana 100

The Katana 100 is a little more sophisticated on this front.

In addition to the I/O of the Katana 50, the 100 rear panel hosts the effects loop send and return jacks, a power amp input, a line output, a port of the GA-FC footswitch (more on this later), and an expression pedal input.

Connectivity: Bottom Line

The Boss Katana 100 is the clear winner in this category, offering all the same I/O specs as the 50 and some helpful extras like an effects loop.

Connectivity Winner: Boss Katana 100

5. Volume: Boss Katana 50 vs Boss Katana 100

Volume: Boss Katana 50

The Katana 50 has a maximum output of 50w, but also offers some lower-powered modes.

The 25w mode is helpful for smaller venues, and there’s even a 0.5w output mode for bedroom practice.

Volume: Boss Katana 100

The Katana 100 has the 0.5w mode as well but offers 50w and 100w outputs instead of 50/25.

Volume: Bottom Line

This one is a tie because though the Katana 100 has more headroom and can theoretically go louder, it misses out on that 25w mode which is actually a nice middle-ground for smaller venues.

Volume Winner: Tie

6. Speaker: Boss Katana 50 vs Boss Katana 100

Speaker: Boss Katana 50

The speaker in the Katana 50 is a custom-designed 12-inch unit from Boss, crafted specifically to match the huge range of tones that the Katana range offers.

Speaker: Boss Katana 100

The Katana 100 essentially has an upgraded version of that speaker, with a larger magnet which allows it to handle the extra wattage with ease.

Speaker: Bottom Line

From a technical standpoint, the speaker in the Katana 100 is ‘better’, so it wins this round, though it’s really more of a case of being better suited to the greater output of the amp.

Speaker Winner: Boss Katana 100

7. GA-FC Foot Controller: Boss Katana 50 vs Boss Katana 100

GA-FC Foot Controller: Boss Katana 100

The GA-FC Foot Controller is a multi-button footswitch from Boss which allows you to switch channels and effects and turn the effects loop on or off.

The Katana 100 doesn’t ship with the GA-FC Foot Controller, but it does have an input for this pedal if you wish to purchase it separately.

GA-FC Foot Controller: Boss Katana 50

The Katana 50, on the other hand, is not compatible with the GA-FC Foot Controller.

GA-FC Foot Controller: Bottom Line

The Katana 100 wins this round, as it works perfectly with the GA-FC Foot Controller should you decide to purchase one.

GA-FC Foot Controller Winner: Boss Katana 100

8. Price & Value For Money: Boss Katana 50 vs Boss Katana 100

Price & Value For Money: Boss Katana 50

The Boss Katana 50 has a fairly affordable price point, sliding in neatly under $250.

Considering you get 5 different amp models (not to mention the 58 inbuilt effects), you’re really paying $50 per amp model.

Pretty impressive value for money with that considered.

Price & Value For Money: Boss Katana 100

The Katana 100 is a little more expensive at around $370.

Of course, it offers a lot more, with greater output wattage, an effects loop, and cabinet simulation.

Price & Value For Money: Bottom Line

This one’s a draw.

Both amps offer great value for money, it’s simply a case of whether you need the extra features the 100 offers, or not.

Price & Value For Money Winner: Tie

9. Pros & Cons: Boss Katana 50 vs Boss Katana 100

Boss Katana 50 Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • 5 different amp models
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Great effects section

Cons:

  • No effects loops
  • Not compatible with GA-FC Foot Controller

Boss Katana 100 Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Compatible with GA-FC Foot Controller
  • 5 different amp models
  • 58 built-in effects
  • Upgraded 12-inch speaker

Cons:

  • A bit heavier than the 50w model
  • Doesn’t have a 25w mode

Conclusion & Takeaway

To summarize our findings in this Boss Katana 50 vs Boss Katana 100 comparison, here are the winners for each category:

  • Tones – Boss Katana 100
  • Effects – Boss Katana 100
  • Size and Weight – Boss Katana 50
  • Connectivity – Boss Katana 100
  • Volume – Tie
  • Speaker – Boss Katana 100
  • GA-FC Foot Controller – Boss Katana 100
  • Price & Value For Money – Tie

Overall: Boss Katana 100

Both of these amps from Boss are incredibly versatile, giving any guitarist the ability to dial in almost any tone they want, and pair it with a surprisingly large selection of digital effects.

The 0.5w mode on each amp is a nice touch, allowing you to practice in the comfort of your own home, but both are very light in comparison to other combo amps, so they are portable enough to take to practice or to a gig.

Overall, though, the Katana 100 has a better set of specs and offers an effects loop and strong I/O, so it’s the winner here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHgJq3n7Kz8 

Product Links:

Boss Katana 50

https://www.amazon.com/BOSS-KTN-50-2-Katana-50-MkII-50-watt-KTN-50-MK2/dp/B07YVP6K7N 

Boss Katana 100

https://www.amazon.com/BOSS-Katana-Guitar-Amplifier-Black/dp/B01M0SRCNC 

Products Comparison Table:

Spec / Feature

Boss Katana 50

Boss Katana 100

Rated Power Output

50w

100w

Nominal Input Level

INPUT: -10 dBu (1 M ohm)

AUX IN: -10 dBu

INPUT: -10 dBu (1 M ohm)

AUX IN: -10 dBu (20 k ohms)

RETURN IN: -10 dBu (100 k ohm)

Speaker

30 cm (12 inches) x 1

30 cm (12 inches) x 1

Controls

POWER switch

MASTER knob

POWER CONTROL switch (STANDBY, 0.5 W, 25 W, 50 W)

[AMPLIFIER]

AMP TYPE switch (ACOUSTIC, CLEAN, CRUNCH, LEAD, BROWN)

GAIN knob

VOLUME knob

[EQUALIZER]

BASS knob

MIDDLE knob

TREBLE knob

[MULTI EFFECT]

BOOSTER/MOD button

DELAY/FX button

REVERB button

TAP button

BOOSTER/MOD knob

DELAY/FX knob

REVERB knob

[TONE SETTING]

CH1 button

CH2 button

PANEL button

POWER switch

MASTER knob

PRESENCE knob

POWER CONTROL switch (STANDBY, 0.5 W, 50 W, 100 W)

[AMPLIFIER]

AMP TYPE knob (ACOUSTIC, CLEAN, CRUNCH, LEAD, BROWN)

GAIN knob

VOLUME knob

[EQUALIZER]

BASS knob

MIDDLE knob

TREBLE knob

[MULTI EFFECT]

BOOSTER/MOD button

DELAY/FX button

REVERB button

TAP button

BOOSTER/MOD knob

DELAY/FX knob

REVERB knob

[TONE SETTING]

CH1 button

CH2 button

CH3 button

CH4 button

PANEL button

Indicators

BOOSTER/MOD

DELAY/FX

REVERB

TAP

CH1

CH2

PANEL

ACOUSTIC

CLEAN

CRUNCH

LEAD

BROWN

BOOSTER/MOD

DELAY/FX

REVERB

TAP

CH1

CH2

CH3

CH4

PANEL

Connectors

INPUT jack: 1/4-inch phone type

AUX IN jack: Stereo miniature phone type

REC OUT/PHONES jack: Stereo 1/4-inch phone type

EXP PEDAL/CTL CH1/CH2 jack: 1/4-inch TRS phone type

USB port: USB B type

AC IN jack

INPUT jack: 1/4-inch phone type

AUX IN jack: Stereo miniature phone type

REC OUT/PHONES jack: Stereo 1/4-inch phone type

SEND jack: 1/4-inch phone type

RETURN jack: 1/4-inch phone type

LINE OUT jack: 1/4-inch phone type

EXP PEDAL/CTL CH1/CH2 jack: 1/4-inch TRS phone type

GA-FC jack: 1/4-inch TRS phone type

USB port: USB B type

AC IN jack

Power Consumption

47w

77w

Accessories

Owner’s manual

Power cord

Owner’s manual

Power cord

GA-FC sticker

Options (sold separately)

Footswitch: BOSS FS-5L

Expression pedal: Roland EV-5, BOSS FV-500L, BOSS FV-500H

Footswitch: BOSS FS-5L

Expression pedal: Roland EV-5, BOSS FV-500L, BOSS FV-500H

GA FOOT CONTROLLER (GA-FC)

Width

470 mm

18-9/16 inches

530 mm

20-7/8 inches

Depth

238 mm

9-3/8 inches

248 mm

9-13/16 inches

Height

398 mm

15-11/16 inches

484 mm

17-1/2 inches

Weight

11.6 kg

25 lbs 10 oz

14.8 kg

32 lbs 11 oz