Boss Nextone Vs Katana (Which one is better?)
It depends, but our pick is the Boss Katana
Both of these amps are really solid, but the Nextone is a little more focused on tube-amp modeling and vintage tones. To our ear the Katana just sounds better and has that modern edge which can also be dialed back for a more subtle sound. The Katana also gives you a wide range of Boss effects while the Nextone puts less emphasis on effects in favor of their tube amp models.
For starters, these amps are not dramatically different in terms of their functionality. There's emphasis and style differences to consider, but it's not a quality issue. A simple explanation is that the Nextone is a lot more focused on clean sounds and vintage tube amp models, while the Katana is more focused on effects, modern amp models, and high gain. That's the summary, but we'll get into a more detailed comparison below.
Boss Nextone VS Boss Katana (comparison table)
Detailed Comparison Table
Combo (preamp,. poweramp, speaker)
Combo (preamp,. poweramp, speaker)
Number of channels
Two channels for clean and lead
Five total (one for each amp model)
Vintage, blues, classic rock
Modern, edgy, high gain
Boss Tone Studio?
Yes (40W (0.5W, half power settings)
50W (25W, 0.5W settings)
Front panel knobs
Volume (clean channel), gain (dirty), volume (dirty), bass, middle, treble, delay, reverb, presence, master, power amp select, and power control
Amp type selector, gain, volume, bass, middle, treble, booster/mod, FX/delay, reverb, master, and power control
1 x 1/4" (8 ohm, internal), 2 x 1/4" (16 ohm), 1 x 1/4" (line out), 1x1/4" headphones/record out
1 x 1/4" (rec/headphones)
Demos of Both Amps
Whenever we can, we link to Bonedo's gear demos on YouTube. They're the best, in our opinion, and he does a good job of displaying basic functionality and not adding any talking which makes it easier to focus on tone. He has demos for both the Nextone and Katana.
You can hear the bluesy, vintage subtlty of the Nextone, where it sounds like a single coil Stratocaster is being played. The Katana sounds a lot more edgy, particularly on the high-gain settings and amp models.
Would a real tube amp be better than the Nextone?
If you're comparing the Nextone to a high-end vintage tube amp like Fender combos or Marshall heads, you're definitely not going to get the same tone quality. That's not to say the Nextone doesn't sound good, but it won't eclipse high-end tube amps. It's just hard to compete with analog tube circuits from a tone perspective. If that's the tone you're after, going with a real tube amp instead of the Nextone might be a good move for you. The main issue is that it's going to cost more.
Read more: Best cheap tube amps
Which one has the better clean tone?
The Nextone definitely does a better job in terms of clean tones. It's more pristine and has that smooth Fender-like sparkle. If that's your priority, the Nextone would be a better option than the Katana. Though the Katana also does a good job with their cleans, it just doesn't lean into the tube amp sound as much as the Nextone does.
Which one has the better distortion?
This is where the Katana starts to really pull ahead of the Nextone. The Katana series - as we pointed out - is a more modernized type of amplifier, particularly in terms of their gain and distortion levels. While they also sound good on the clean side and lower gain styles, the Katana's strength is definitely on the edgier and modern side. If you're going after that style, the Katana is your better option
Which one would we buy?
I'll give the Katana the edge here, just because it seems a little more flexible and it's priced a lot cheaper than the Nextone series. But with these two amps it comes down to the style you're looking for. Base your decision off the classic rock vs modern rock distinction.
If you have questions about our Nextone and Katana comparison, feel free to drop them in the comments section below.
We'll see you there.
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