New mini amp day - BOSS Katana Mini!

Guitar Rod

Senior Member
May 29, 2016
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Just picked up one of these puppies today. Wanted a little portable mini amp to take around the house and outside, and to practice quietly with. I was originally going to get a Blackstar Fly 3, but luckily YouTube recommended a video about this. Once I saw the video reviews, I was sold.

Posting this in the regular amp thread because this is an all analog amp. No modeling. Just three analog gain stages (clean/crunch/brown) plus an analog tape/carbon copy style delay, that with some tweaking can sound similar to reverb. Its a subtle delay, not stark like a digital delay.

When unpacking it, I was still shocked at the size and lightness of it. The front is about the size of a DVD/Blu-Ray case. All plastic but feels sturdy. Loaded up the supplied batteries and plugged in the Tele. It was a little underwhelming. Sounded boxy with all the settings at 12 o'clock. Fiddled a bit with the 3-band EQ and boosted the volume and it came into it's own. This is not a loud amp, as the Anderton boys mentioned. But loud enough for a bedroom/office. Definitely not suitable for busking. Though if you tilt it up and stay in front of it, the volume and tone improve.

Then I plugged in an LP. That transformed the amp. Got a bit louder, and sounded more like a full-sized amp. My favorite setting is the clean channel with gain and volume cranked. That's where it sounds the best and makes you forget its a 4 inch speaker. The crunch channel sounds next best with gain just below half, and I like the crunch channel better at full gain than the brown channel, though the brown channel is not really my thing. But it sounds good too. Tons of gain.

Need a small, light, portable practice amp for a bedroom or office? Can't do much better than this unless you get into full-sized amps. Crushes the Fender/Marshall/Orange offerings. Haven't played the Blackstar Fly 3, so can't compare, though in video reviews the Katana sounds better and more versatile. It better be at twice the price.

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