Boss Katana Powered Cab?

  • Hello!

    I’ve been looking at small cab options lately. I’ve currently got an Orange 2 x 12 that I love, however my back doesn’t love it! I’m currently playing in a function band and tribute band as well as doing some recording at home and found Kemper is fantastic. 9 times out of 10 live I go straight into FOH and run on in ears, however I always get concerned when playing venues where it’s not my PA since you never know what you’re going to get! For this reason I quite fancy getting a smallish cab / powered cab for my Kemper.

    The new Boss Katana has a power amp in on there has anyone tried it? I’m worried it may sound quite boxy. Also is the 50 loud enough to gig with? The smaller the better ideally would be fantastic.

    Has anyone got any thoughts on if it would be suitable for this? It looks almost too good to be true at £219 so tell me why i shoulden’t.

  • I'm not sure about the 50w version, but before I traded up to get the Kemper, I had the 100w Katana, and even though its a solid state amp, it got seriously loud, more like a tube amp than any SS amp i've had before. I suppose it depends on your bandmates, but I think you would be fine with the 100w...

  • I was certainly looking at the 100w as well, ideally would want just the 50 watt. But I’m not sure if it’ll be too much of a sacrifice when i love the sound of the Kemper through my Orange.

    I’m worried it might sound a bit boxy and thin

  • Yeah, its a hard call, since I ran the Katana as is, not using the Kemper as a source. The 100w model had various low power settings: 100w, 50w, and .5w, and was kinda designed around 5 main tones: Brown, Clean, Crunch, Lead and Acoustic, which are definitely going to color the sound. That said, the Clean channel is pretty clean, and I'd probably start there if I was going to use the speaker simulation stuff from the Kemper. They do have a computer based editor that you can probably disable most everything in the Katana, and just use it as a (mostly) uncolored amp.

    I just read something someone posted on TheGearPage that said to run the Kemper into the Effects return on the 100w, and its a great self powered guitar cab. That's probably a better idea than running through the Clean channel as I mentioned above, and it avoids all the built in effects and such, and sends your signal right to the power amp section. Also, I'm pretty sure the 50w doesn't have the Effects loop, so you may have to go with the 100w to use it that way.

    Hope this helps!

  • Thanks for the feedback. I have a few active speakers around as I do live sound myself but ideally just looking for a guitar cab / amp i prefer the sound. I’ve also been looking at 1 x 12 cabs to replace my Orange.

    Ideally the Katana would be great for practice too but i’m just not sure on how good it actually sounds Since really it’ll be a bit of a downgrade. I just want to know how much of a downgrade

  • While I don't have one anyone, so I can't test it, the best method from what I've read in various places is to take the output from the Kemper, and connect that to the Effects return on the Katana 100w. That should take the Kemper signal and send it right to the Katana's power amp section, bypassing all the effects and such.

  • I have a Katana 100W head which I have occasionally used as a power amp by running the Kemper into the effects return.
    It sounds great and is capable of being extremely loud. It doesn't sound boxy or thin, although that probably depends what speaker cab you use.

    FWIW, I chose the head version instead of the combo because I didn't like the speaker in the Katana.

  • I actually just installed a Kemper knoe is my boss katana MK2 and I run the stage into the power amp in that bypasses all the digicrap. Sounds awesome!!! I think 100watts would be a little better but the speaker switch was super easy.

  • I’ve just ordered a Katana 100 :P

    Dochay, could you still use the built in Katana amp with the Kemper Kone? I’d quite enjoy using this for practice and gigs when I can’t be bothered to bring the whole rig with me. But also fancy a Kemper Kone for my Kemper.

  • dochay, are you still rocking the Kemper Kone though the Katana? I am also thinking of doing this with the shortage of Kemper Kabinets right now, and it works out pretty damn good price (especially for me and non-power Kemper) plus a back up amp/fx built in!

  • Looking at it, it seems like a cheap all in one solution to have amp in the room for your kemper, cost technically the same as a unexpensive FRFR, and 50watt is plenty of power for gigs. What I am not sure about is if it is worth to put a kone there, as 1x12 in a very small cab with completely open back will not give you the best sound, and also there is the power amp coloration.

    For less you can assembly your own icepower amp (125ASX2 in btl mode is more than enough for most things, the 250ASX2 is overkill as is the power amp in the kemper), buy a kone, and make yourself a cab. Lot of work but I bet it will be a worthy investment of time, and almost the same money for a Poweramp of 225W at 8ohm, and a kemper ready cab. I am doing just that, and I considered buying the katana, until I saw that I am getting more power, a more neutral power section, and all for less money than a Katana Mkii 100w if I decide to get my hands dirty.

    In any case, It would be lovely to hear some samples on the katana. Maybe I am making a mistake and a katana is enough.

  • I have to say Afdadj I’m really enjoying my Katana 100 Mk 2. It’s very very loud and sounds pretty nice with my Kemper, although I’ve not used it live yet due to lockdown which is why I brought it! I have a helix stomp also and it sounds great with that.

    The biggest thing for me is though i love to just plug into it for a quick play. If I’m recording anything serious of course I’m using the Kemper, but I really like the clean sound on the Katana (not sure if I’m the only one?) But I’ve managed to get some really nice tones with it.

    Obviously they’re not Kemper quality but all the same it works well and the power amp in is a brilliant option.

    I think I’ll still end up selling my Orange 2 x 12 and getting a Kemper Kab when everything settles though when everything settles down. Just to have a couple of options. I’m a little scared to change anything in the Katana since I love it so much as a practice amp