If you’re looking for a great-sounding guitar amp that won’t cost you a fortune, BOSS Katana is undoubtedly a series worth looking at. But which model is your best choice? Today I’ll compare two of the most popular amps from this range: BOSS Katana 50 vs. 150.
One of these amps will give you significantly more power than the other. But is it really the only noteworthy distinction between these two? I will explore these amps in detail to provide you with the most accurate advice on which one you should choose.
My Bottom Line Up Front: If you can afford the investment, a bolder and more powerful BOSS Katana 150 with tons of creative features should undoubtedly be your choice number one. But the self-sufficient and lightweight Katana 50 is still a great pick if you need a good practice amp at a reasonable price.
Main Differences Between BOSS Katana 50 vs 150
The main differences between the BOSS Katana 50 and 150 are:
- BOSS Katana 50 offers 50W of power, whereas Katana 150 comes with max. 150W output.
- BOSS Katana 50 features a single 12″ speaker, whereas Katana 150 has 2×12″ speakers.
- BOSS Katana 50 is a standalone combo amplifier, whereas Katana 150 is a cab speaker built around Katana 100 head.
- BOSS Katana 50 is much smaller and lighter, whereas Katana 150 is a bulky and heavy amp.
- BOSS Katana 50 is cheaper, whereas Katana 150 will cost you more.
My comparison will try to pinpoint all the important differences between these combo amps, but keep in mind that they still have a lot in common too. Here’s a short overview of their key technical specifications:
Key Specifications of the BOSS Katana MkII Series Amps
|Model||Katana 50||Katana 150|
|Type||Independent combo amp||Cab enhancement for BOSS Katana 100 head amp|
|Features||Onboard effects, EQ, USB, Record out, Aux-In, Power amp in, Tone, Power control, etc.||Onboard effects, EQ, USB, Record out, Aux-In, Line-in, Power amp in, Tone, Power control, GA-FC, Effects loop, Stereo expand, etc.|
|Impedance||8 ohms||8 ohms|
|Dimensions||18.5 x 9.4 x 15.7”||26.4 x 19.1 x 9.8”|
|Weight||25 lbs||43 lbs|
|Latest price||Check here||Check here|
Exploring BOSS Katana 50 vs 150 Features
Now let’s take a closer look at BOSS Katana 50 and Katana 150 combo amps one by one:
BOSS Katana 50
Before you learn anything else about the BOSS Katana guitar amps, you’ll surely notice that these machines are named after the amount of power they can offer. So, in general, the lower the number in Katana’s product name is, the quieter and weaker your amp should be.
But before you jump to the conclusion that this is all you have to know to choose the right amp for you, let me warn you that watts are definitely not the main parameter you should consider.
After all, all Katana combos can be turned into several different power modes ranging from 0.5 to 150W (depending on the model), so you can easily turn any of the louder models into a discreet at-home practice cab.
So, what makes the Katana 50 special, and who is it really made for? Let’s find out.
- Compact 50-watt amp cab
- It weighs just 25 lbs and measures 18.5 x 9.4 x 15.7″
- Unique raspy sound
- Tube logic design
- Five amp characters with variations
- 15 independent ready-to-play inbuilt effects
- Stores two banks of two-tone settings
- BOSS Tone Studio software-compatible
Size and Construction
BOSS Katana 50 is a compact practice amp that will easily fit into your wardrobe or under the table. It measures just 18.5 x 9.4 x 15.7″, so it is a great solution for anyone who wants to have a great-sounding amp always at hand without sacrificing too much space.
Thanks to being very light (just about 25 lbs), it is also suitable for frequent transport. This is further emphasized by the cab’s sturdy outer housing that makes this small yet impressive cab perfectly road-ready.
The control panel on this cabinet is located on the top, which is great if you’re, for example, sitting on a chair while practicing with the cab seated right next to you on the floor. But if you hope to stack the amp on some other equipment or furniture, this design becomes slightly impractical.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly home practice amp with a bold sound, Katana 50 is not going to disappoint you. It comes with one 12″ speaker, and although it has a smaller magnet than some of the more powerful Katana amps, its sound is still very strong, wholesome, and punchy.
I like the unique raspiness in Katana 50’s sound, which makes me think of the old-school garage bands. It’s a bit raw yet still very authentic and versatile for many different play styles. You can also modify the tone with five switchable characters for a greater custom definition.
If you’re not totally obsessed with studio-grade clarity, I am sure you’re going to enjoy this special sound, too – especially if you’re mostly planning to use your Katana 50 at home or in a small practice room, as most of its users probably do.
On the other hand, this 50-watt amp can also play with a band. It is strong enough to keep up, for instance, with live drums, and if you align everything on stage correctly, Katana 50 can even accompany you on a small-scale gig.
So, once again, do not let the wattage be the main reason why you choose some of the stronger Katana models. When it comes to the boldness and volume of the sound, No. 50 is just enough for most of the applications you might consider.
So, if the wattage is not the reason why No. 50 is the cheapest product in the Katana amp series, and maybe you’re wondering what it is. Unfortunately, the answer is that Katana 50 comes with the least extra features, so if you enjoy experimenting with tons of tweakers and outboards, it might be a bit disappointing.
What does it mean in practice? BOSS Katana 50, for instance, has a decent range of in-built effects, but it lacks the effects loop. It does have a power amp in, but that cuts off all the effects and turns the cab into a simple speaker. So if you’re used to playing with loopers, it’s not the right amp for you.
Additionally to that, Katana 50 also lacks the Line out, so connecting it to your PA system or using this cab as a monitor speaker during a recording session is basically out of option. A Record out connector can be used for recording, but it mutes the speaker in the cab itself.
Katana 50 also, unfortunately, isn’t compatible with the great BOSS GA-FC foot controller, so you’ll miss out on many creative options available to the owners of more powerful Katanas. But, at least, you can take advantage of the BOSS Tone Studio library with some nice additional features.
However, the computing power of this device lets you store just four presets (2+2), which is not much.
BOSS is known for constructing reliable and durable music equipment, and Katana guitar amp series products are no exception.
Katana 50 is the cheapest product in its range, and the manufacturer certainly pushes the price down with affordable components and materials. Nevertheless, you most likely won’t notice it in practice if you use this amp standardly.
Moreover, BOSS also offers a comprehensive warranty on all of its amps (ranging from 1 to 5 years depending on the component and product), so unless you buy a second-hand product, you will be covered in case of some unexpected malfunction or factory fault.
BOSS Katana 150
BOSS Katana 150 is also known as Katana 100 212. The main reason behind this is that the combo amp was built around the Katana 100 head as a boosting upgrade with an extra speaker for more power and presence.
Though you already know by now that watts are not the most critical factor for choosing your new BOSS amp, Katana 150 will certainly mainly attract those who crave super-powerful sound and bold volumes.
But these are by far not the only qualities of this attractive amp cab. So let’s explore its features and abilities in detail.
- Powerful companion 150-watt amp cab
- It weighs 43 lbs and measures 26.4 x 19.1 x 9.8″
- It comes with two custom 12″ speakers
- Built around Katana 100 head amp
- Memory for storage of 8 presets
- Effects loop plus inbuilt effects
- Compatible with Katana GA-FC footswitch
- Onboard presence control
- Detachable back panel – closed and open back designs in one amp
- Cab resonance control
Size and Construction
BOSS Katana 100 212 (also known as Katana 150 by its maximum power output) is the largest and heaviest of all the Katana MkII amplifiers. It weighs 43 lbs and measures 26.4 x 19.1 x 9.8″, so you probably won’t opt for it if you need to replace your setup very often.
The cab is sturdy, boasts a classic BOSS design, and it also comes with an extra set of rubber feet for use in a vertical configuration.
As I’ve already explained, this is a cab speaker with a Katana 100 head serving as its control board. Its design is pretty neat and straightforward. But, again, the controls are located on the top of the cab, not front, which is probably even more impractical with such a large cab than it was with the smaller Katana 50.
What makes it special, though, is the detachable section of the back panel, which enables you to experience both closed-back and open-back sound with a single amp.
In comparison with Katana 50, Katana 150 has a considerably improved speaker. In fact, it has two 12-inch speakers with larger magnets, which are of better quality. In addition, they can handle 150 Watts, so if you’re after a powerful punch, this amp has what you’re looking for.
The technical improvement shows off in the form of a fuller, rounder voice of the cab. In addition, it lacks the roughness of the smaller Katana 50 (which I enjoyed) and replaces it with a bold, professionally-sounding presence that will suit many different genres and styles of play.
As you can probably imagine, this cab can be used in pretty much any situation and environment. Since you can adjust the power according to your actual needs, it works well as both a practice amp and a performance speaker. It’s also a good setup for your recording sessions.
Unlike the simplistic Katana 50, this upgraded model has a much wider range of features. Basically, it provides you with the very best of BOSS’ innovative amplification technologies in a compact and versatile solution.
Since this cab is built around the Katana 100 head, all of its features and functions are more-or-less identical with this product – which also means that it has everything Katana 50 has and more.
Onboard features include 5-point amp type variation, gain, volume, EQ, power control, and a set of classic inbuilt effects. Unlike Katana 50, this cab has an effects loop too. There’s also a stereo expand switch, classic line out, power amp in, a special GA-FC connector dedicated to this great footswitch, and so on.
Shortly, BOSS Katana 100 212, as a combination of Katana 100 head and 150W speaker cab, is a machine filled with potential and tons of creative options ready to be explored and enjoyed to the fullest.
Although Katana 150 is not the most exquisite amp from this range (that applies to Katana Artist, which I describe a bit more below in the Alternatives section), it is still an upscale model with great technical and constructional qualities that can be trusted.
Again, this amp also comes with a complete BOSS warranty that should protect you in case of factory faults or malfunctions.
BOSS Katana 50
- Compact and lightweight combo amp
- Nice crispy sound, much bolder than you’d probably expect
- Sturdy and road-ready construction
- Suitable for both practice and small gigs
- Cheapest from the whole Katana MkII range
- No effects loop and incompatible with BOSS GA-FC controller
- Memory just for four stored tones presets
- No line-out – it cannot be used as a monitor
- The sound of this smaller speaker might not suit everyone
BOSS Katana 150
- Powerful 150W amp cabinet
- Two quality 12″ speakers with large magnets
- Perfectly rounded professional sound
- A complex set of features including effect loops, line out, etc.
- Tons of options for creative experiments
- The heaviest and largest of all Katana amps – not suitable for frequent transports
- It is quite an expensive piece of an equipment.
- It doesn’t really offer many upgrades from the cheaper Katana 100 amp
Are there Any Alternatives?
BOSS Katana 100
BOSS Katana 100 stands, technically speaking, somewhere in between Katana 50 and 150. It basically has all the functions and features of No. 150 except for the extra speaker, which provides even more punch and higher volume (Katana 100 has just a 1×12″ speaker, yet better quality than Katana 50).
If you don’t really need to fill a whole stadium with your sound, Katana 100 is a cheaper alternative to 150 that’s perfectly worth its price. This stage-ready amp is slightly lighter than No. 150, so it’s easier to carry it around.
BOSS Katana Artist
BOSS Katana Artist is the most advanced and sophisticated amp in its range. It’s truly a professional piece of a combo with one custom Waza 12-inch speaker, 100 watts of power, and a traditional British stack-speaker tone.
In comparison with the other amps from the Katana range, this model has some exclusive features and a design for an unbeatable punch and character. Unsurprisingly though, it’s also quite an expensive piece of equipment.
VHT Special 6 212
If you’re considering Katana 150, check out VHT Special 6 212 too. It is a great open-back combo amp with 2 x 12″ VHT ChromBack speakers and a perfectly balanced mix of modern punch and vintage ambiance. In addition, it boasts a classy finger-jointed birch plywood construction and a recessed leather handle.
VHT Special 6 comes with 120 watts of stereo power (60W on each side). It is a powerful and versatile amp that can be used for practicing, gigging, or recording. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t have as many extra features as its counterparts from the BOSS Katana MkII range.
Frequently Asked Questions about BOSS Katana 50 vs 150
Question: Where are the BOSS Katana 50 and 150 Amps Made?
Answer: BOSS has recently transferred all of its production from Taiwan to Malaysia. The black label on each of its new products informs you where your BOSS Katana amplifier was actually made.
Question: How Can I Make My GA-FC Footswitch Work on BOSS Katana 50?
Answer: Unfortunately, the BOSS Katana 50 guitar amp is the only combo from its range that is not compatible with the GA-FC footswitch. All the remaining Katana amps, however, will work with your GA-FC perfectly well.
Question: When Did Boss Katana Come Out?
Answer: BOSS introduced its Katana range of guitar amplifiers only in 2016, so it is one of the youngest amp series on the market.
Our Verdict: Which is Better Between BOSS Katana 50 vs 150?
Obviously, both BOSS Katana 50 and BOSS Katana 150 (or 100 212) boast many qualities, so you cannot go wrong with either of them. Nevertheless, each of these amps has a different range of capabilities, so the main question is: What do you need your amp to do and provide?
If all you’re really looking for is a great practice amp that can be occasionally used for gigging and won’t cost you an arm and a leg, the smallest and cheapest of all Katanas, Katana 50, has everything you want. But keep in mind that this simplistic amp has its technical limitations.
If you want to experiment with all the features, the BOSS Katana MkII series boasts model 100 212 (Katana 150) will serve you much better. It might be larger, heavier, and more expensive, but it gives you tons of creative options that will allow you to perfect your sound like never before.
However, maybe you should consider some other options too. BOSS Katana 100, for example, is a perfect compromise between 50 and 100, so it would be my preferred personal choice for sure.
I hope that this article helps you decide which BOSS Katana guitar amp is the right choice for you. If you’d like to learn more about the mighty BOSS equipment, maybe you should read our BOSS ME-25 or BOSS GP-10 reviews next.
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