BOSS KATANA-Artist MkII: The Amp That Redefines Tone, Flexibility, and Control

BOSS   |   March 19, 2024

posted by: Levi

In the world of guitar amplification, few names carry as much weight as BOSS. Known for their industry-leading effects pedals, BOSS has also made significant strides in the realm of modeling amplifiers with their acclaimed Katana series. And now, with the introduction of the KATANA-Artist MkII, they’ve taken their flagship model to new heights, offering an unparalleled blend of tone, flexibility, and features designed to meet the needs of the most demanding professional guitarists.

Waza Speaker: The Heart of the Tone

At the core of the KATANA-Artist MkII’s stellar sound is the custom-designed Waza speaker. Developed by BOSS’s expert engineers, this 12-inch powerhouse is meticulously crafted to capture the essence of the legendary 25-watt British stack speakers from the 1960s, renowned for their wide dynamic response, smooth midrange, and rich harmonic overtones.

But the Waza speaker isn’t just a vintage clone. BOSS has carefully analyzed the original speakers and selected the optimal materials and components to faithfully reproduce their cherished tone while increasing the power handling to a robust 100 watts. This means you get the classic sound and feel that defined an era, but with the headroom and punch to handle modern gain levels and venue sizes.

Expanded Amp Characters and Effects

One of the hallmarks of the Katana series is the wide range of amp characters available, each meticulously voiced to capture the essence of iconic guitar tones. The KATANA-Artist MkII takes this even further, offering not just the five core amp characters (Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brown, and Acoustic), but also an additional variation for each, effectively doubling your tonal palette.

But an amp is only as good as its effects, and this is where the KATANA-Artist MkII really shines. Building upon the already impressive effects sections of the original Katana, the MkII expands the simultaneous effects categories from three to five, giving you access to a complete pedalboard’s worth of processing power right inside your amp. And by connecting to the BOSS Tone Studio software, you can dive even deeper, customizing your effects with over 60 different types, adjusting the signal chain, and crafting your perfect sound.

Unparalleled Tone-Shaping Control

While the KATANA-Artist MkII offers an incredible array of amp and effect options, BOSS understands that sometimes you need to make quick, on-the-fly adjustments to your tone. That’s why they’ve equipped this amp with a series of exclusive front-panel controls that give you unparalleled command over your sound.

First up is the three-way Contour switch, which allows you to instantly reshape the amp’s core tone, from warm and rounded to tight and aggressive. Next is the Global EQ, offering three distinct voicings (adjustable via BOSS Tone Studio) to perfectly match your amp to your guitar and playing style. And for those moments when you need your sound to soar above the mix, the Solo boost function is right at your fingertips, complete with a dedicated level knob for precise control.

Dual Amp Versatility

One KATANA-Artist MkII is impressive enough, but BOSS has designed this amp with the option to link up two units for even more tonal possibilities. Using the Dual Link function, you can set up each amp with its own unique settings and control them both from a single GA-FC foot controller. This opens up a world of creative options, from blending clean and dirty channels to crafting elaborate wet/dry rigs.

Alternatively, the Stereo Expand feature allows you to designate one KATANA-Artist MkII as the primary amp, with all of its stereo-compatible effects (such as chorus, delay, and reverb) distributed across both units. The result is an incredibly wide, immersive sound that will make your live performances and recordings stand out from the crowd.

Tube Tone at Any Volume

One of the greatest challenges facing guitarists is achieving the coveted sound and feel of a cranked tube amp at volume levels that won’t get you evicted or fired from the gig. This is where BOSS’s Tube Logic technology really shines. By meticulously modeling the output distortion characteristics of classic tube circuits, the KATANA-Artist MkII delivers the rich, responsive tone that players crave, with the sound becoming even more dynamic and expressive as you turn up the volume.

But unlike a vintage tube amp, the KATANA-Artist MkII features a variable Power Control, allowing you to achieve that sweet spot of power amp saturation at any volume, from bedroom levels to full-on stage output. It’s the best of both worlds: the uncompromising tone of a high-gain tube amp, but with the flexibility to adapt to any playing situation.

Instant Recall of Custom Patches

In the heat of a live performance or the pressure of a recording session, the last thing you want to be doing is fiddling with amp settings and effect parameters. That’s why the KATANA-Artist MkII features eight onboard Tone Setting memories, allowing you to store and instantly recall your carefully crafted amp and effect setups.

Simply dial in your desired sound using the intuitive front-panel controls, then save it to one of the memory slots with a quick button press. And with the ability to store two banks of four patches each, you’ll have plenty of options to cover even the most diverse setlist. Plus, with the addition of an external footswitch or BOSS’s powerful GA-FC foot controller, you can seamlessly switch between your Tone Settings without ever taking your hands off your guitar.

USB Connectivity and Direct Recording

In today’s music landscape, the ability to record high-quality guitar tones is just as important as delivering them live. The KATANA-Artist MkII has you covered on both fronts, thanks to its comprehensive connectivity options.

The amp’s line, USB, and phones/recording outputs all feature BOSS’s acclaimed mic’d cabinet emulation, ensuring that the tones you’ve crafted translate perfectly to your live front-of-house mix, studio monitors, or headphones. And with the ability to fine-tune the cab simulation using five distinct Air Feel settings in the BOSS Tone Studio software, you can be confident that your recorded tones will sit perfectly in any mix.

But the KATANA-Artist MkII’s USB capabilities go beyond simple direct recording. With support for two-channel USB audio, you can track in full stereo, capturing the amp’s lush, spacious effects in all their glory. It’s like having a world-class recording setup built right into your amp, ready to go whenever inspiration strikes.

BOSS Tone Studio: Your Gateway to Infinite Tonal Possibilities

While the KATANA-Artist MkII’s front-panel controls offer an incredible amount of tonal flexibility, the true depth of this amp’s capabilities is unlocked when you connect it to BOSS’s powerful Tone Studio software. This intuitive, user-friendly editor allows you to dive deep into every aspect of your sound, from customizing your effects chain to fine-tuning your EQ and everything in between.

With Tone Studio, you have access to over 60 different effect types, drawn from BOSS’s legendary pedal lineup. You can arrange these effects in any order you like, crafting complex signal chains that would be impossible with physical pedals. And with the dedicated Pedal FX section, you can easily assign wah and pitch-bend effects to an expression pedal, putting even more expressive control at your feet.

But Tone Studio isn’t just about crafting your own sounds. It’s also a gateway to a global community of KATANA users, thanks to the BOSS Tone Central online hub. Here, you can browse, download, and share patches with other users from around the world, tapping into a nearly endless supply of creative inspiration. And if you’re an original Katana owner, you’ll be pleased to know that your existing patches can be easily imported into the KATANA-Artist MkII, allowing you to pick up right where you left off.

With the KATANA-Artist MkII, BOSS has set a new standard for what a modern, professional-grade modeling amplifier can be. By combining the meticulously crafted Waza speaker, an expanded palette of amp characters and effects, unparalleled tone-shaping control, and a host of advanced features like Dual Link and USB connectivity, this amp is equipped to handle any musical situation with ease and authority.

Whether you’re a gigging professional, a studio ace, or a passionate bedroom rocker, the KATANA-Artist MkII has something to offer. Its ability to deliver inspiring, responsive tones at any volume, coupled with the endless customization options provided by BOSS Tone Studio, means that you’ll never run out of new sonic territories to explore.

So if you’re ready to experience the ultimate in tone, flexibility, and control, it’s time to plug into a KATANA-Artist MkII and let your creativity run wild. With BOSS’s flagship amp at your fingertips, the only limit is your imagination.

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One thought on "BOSS KATANA-Artist MkII: The Amp That Redefines Tone, Flexibility, and Control"

  1. Levi says:

    If you could add one new feature to the BOSS KATANA-Artist MkII amp to make it even more powerful and versatile, what would it be and why?

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