Boss Katana Mini Review – Ultra-Compact Amp with a Massive Tone

4.8 out of 5 stars

Boss Katana amps have a reputation when it comes to value for money. Now, with the Katana Mini, that same value has been packed into a battery-powered, ultra-compact portable amp. It promises a big tone and plenty of flexibility, despite the compact size. Sounds good to us so far…

Features

Boss claims that the 7-watt Katana Mini offers far more versatility than other amps in its class – and they might just be right.

It boasts three different amp types: Brown, Crunch, and Clean, along with a multi-stage analog gain circuit and 3-band analog tone stack. If we stopped here it would probably have as many features as most amps of the same size, but there’s more!

The built-in tape delay is an unexpected but very welcome addition. Especially when you consider how portable this amp really is. It can all run on six AA batteries, although is available for mains power with an optional AC adapter. The weight, including batteries, is under 3lbs. When you consider the features crammed into this amp, that’s incredible.

Adding to the super-portable nature of this little amp is the Aux input, allowing you to jam to backing tracks straight from your smartphone. You literally have everything you need in this fun-size package.

Controls

This thing is just over 9” wide and almost 5” deep, but, much to our surprise, it has all the controls you’d expect to see on a bigger amp.

Split into three sections, the first is where you choose your amp type (as mentioned, there is Brown, Crunch, or Clean), while also offering rotary knobs for gain and volume control. The next section is for EQ controls, with bass, middle, and treble knobs. The final section is for the built-in delay, with an on/off switch as well as time and level knobs. It’s not that the controls are anything unusual, it’s just amazing they all fit so well.

Performance

We have to say, for a 7-watt amp that’s as tiny as it is, the Katana Mini is a little powerhouse. You definitely get the same Katana sound that comes from the bigger models, despite the compact size. It won’t blow the house down with power, but it can fill a bedroom quite easily.

The multi-stage analog gain creates a sound far bigger than you’d expect, while the EQ controls add details to give you a very expressive tone.

Switching on the built-in delay really warms up the tone, which works really well with any of the three amp types. The Crunch and Clean selections are particularly nice for bluesy/funky riffs, while the high-gain that Brown delivers is great for modern rock styles. 

If you are running on batteries, you can expect around seven to nine hours of play – so chances are you’ll get tired before your amp does!

Conclusion

We have to look at this amp for what it is – and that’s an affordable, compact, lightweight guitar amp. We have to stress that fact because, when you run through the features, you will forget how small the Katana Mini really is.

This is as portable as it gets with more features and a bigger sound than you may expect. If you are a beginner looking for a first amp, or you just fancy being able to jam absolutely anywhere, then this is a great buy.

For more info about the Boss Katana Mini, click here.
For more portable guitar amplifiers, click here.


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