The Beginner’s Dream Amp: BOSS Katana

Man holding a guitar changing the settings of a Katana-50mkII

When you’re thinking of purchasing your first electric guitar, the image that probably comes to mind is that glossy, beautifully painted instrument, donned by one of the many guitar gods out there.

You’ll spend hours searching for the right one.  The right colour, the right shape – the one that fits you like well-worn shoes. 

But what you might not be picturing is another equally important piece of the rockstar puzzle that’s just as essential to the electric guitar itself: the amplifier.

For beginners, understanding the relationship between the guitar and amp is very important, as it will give you the best head start you could hope for on your musical journey. 

Contributed by Steve Gibb for the Roland Australia Blog

THE SOUND IN YOUR HEAD

The guitar may be where the journey of your first note begins, but it is the amp that sculpts that sound and proudly pushes it out for all to hear.  While the guitar’s pickups and construction play a role in tone, it’s the amp that can either heighten that tone or throw a blanket over its potential.

For beginners, developing an ear for what sounds “good” is a part of the learning curve, and the right amp plays a huge role in that.

A lot of ‘practice’ amps are underpowered and offer only one sound.  While it will do its job in amplifying the guitar, it will unlikely be able to achieve the sound that a young player is used to hearing on their favourite songs from their favourite artists.  With one sound in an amplifier, it can be hard for them to find that ‘sound in their head’. 

Without the use of extra equipment such as guitar pedals, a young player can really be put off by this experience.

KATANA Guitar Amp
Top View of Katana 50 MKII

THE ALL-IN-ONE ANSWER

The BOSS Katana amplifier series comes with built-in effects and multiple channels.  This allows players to switch between clean sounds, ‘bluesy’ crunchy overdrives, or rock/metal distortions. For a beginner, this versatility is a playground. It allows for exploration into different genres and playing styles without needing a pedalboard full of effects right away. 

The BOSS Katana 50 MKII amps up this exploratory experience by presenting a choice of five amp characters and a treasure trove of over 60 effects. This extensive selection enables budding guitarists to emulate the signature sounds of their musical idols with just a few tweaks within the amp itself.  This will simplify the journey to discovering their unique sound.

Chorus to nail Nirvana tones.
Delays to perfect Pink Floyd and U2 sounds.
Pitch effects to master Muse or The White Stripes.
Distortions and auto-wah to shred with Slash and Metallica.
…and SO much more!

The BOSS Katana also makes recording music easy for beginners. It has a USB output that lets you connect the amp straight to your computer. Once hooked up, you can use basic recording programs like Zenbeats or GarageBand to record your guitar playing without any hassle.  You can also hook up to BOSS TONE STUDIO to edit your amp from within the computer, download user patches and a lot more!

KATANA Guitar Amp
Back View of the Katana 50 MKII

DON'T PRACTICE AMPS HAVE TO BE QUIET?

While practice amplifiers are traditionally designed for home use, the Katana series breaks the mold.

The Katana 50 MKII distinguishes itself with a 12-inch speaker, which is the same sized speaker you would get in those huge speaker stacks at stadium gigs behind your favourite guitarist.  This provides a rich, expansive sound that blows smaller, conventional practice amps out of the water.  Ensuring that even at lower volumes, the sound quality remains deep and resonant, emulating the experience of a live performance.

Speaking of low volumes, the Katana 50 MKII can offer low, manageable volumes or even no volume! 

With the Power Control settings you can run the amplifier at:
Full powered 50 watts for band rehearsal or performances. 
Half powered 25 watts for heavy duty practice. 
Or at 0.5 watts for bedroom practice. 

If you need it even quieter at home, there is even a headphone jack on the back of the amplifier for completely silent playing! 

This means you can get every bit of that ‘big amp’ sound without disturbing your neighbours.

KATANA Guitar Amp
Front View of the Katana 50 MKII

FUTURE-PROOF YOURSELF

In many ways, the relationship between a guitar and its amp is symbiotic. One without the other, especially in the context of electric guitars, is like a singer without a microphone. For beginners, recognizing this early on can shape their journey, ensuring that they not only learn the mechanics of playing but also the art of sounding good.

So, if you’re a budding guitarist, remember: while that shiny new electric guitar might catch your eye, the amp sitting beside it is equally deserving of your attention. Invest time and a little extra money into finding the right one, and you’ll be rewarded with a sound that truly resonates.

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Created by Roland V-Drums specialist Simon Ayton, these patches were designed using the internal factory sounds and many of the techniques covered in the TD-50 guide. Enjoy exploring the possibilities!