The Boss Katana and Line 6 Spider are two very popular amplifiers capable of producing a range of tones with built-in effects. In this article, I’ll compare these two heavyweights, and take a look at the full Boss and Line 6 range so you can see the models and their features that are available under your budget.
The Quick Answer
Boss amps are often easier to use and have more simple interfaces compared to Line 6 amps. However, Line 6 amps often have more presets (models) and effects built-in, giving the user lots of versatility. Line 6 amps are also available in more sizes than Boss amps and start at a lower price.
Boss Katana vs Line 6 Spider
The Boss Katana and the Line 6 Spider V are two of the most popular amps from each brand, so I wanted to take a more in-depth look at the features and the pros/ cons of each model.
The Line 6 Spider V has more built-in effects and models than the Boss Katana, and also comes in more sizes and higher power ratings. The Boss Katana has a simple interface that is often easier to use at first compared to the Line 6 Spider V which uses a screen to access more features.
The power control on the Boss Katana which allows you to change the power rating makes it more versatile than the Line 6 amp if you plan on using it in different settings, for example, gigging and bedroom practice. With the Line 6, you must select the correct power rating for environment you intend on using it in.
Here is a table comparing the features of each range.
|Feature||Boss Katana||Line 6 Spider V|
|Power (Combo)||50W, 100W||20W, 30W, 60W, 120W, 240W|
|Uses a Screen||No||Yes|
|Amp Types/ Modes||5||78 (23 cabinets)|
|Effects||15 built-in (access to 60+)||101|
|Built-in Looper||No||Yes (except 20W and 30W)|
- The Boss Katana has 5 main channels: acoustic, clean, crunch, lead and brown. Each channel comes with a variation setting, which adds more brightness to each mode.
- The Line 6 Spider V uses presets instead of channels, to simulate the tone of other iconic amps. It has 78 amp presets and 23 cabinet presets, giving you access to a wide variety of tones.
- The Boss Katana has 15 built-in effects. You can also access over 60 effects based on Boss’ popular pedal range by connecting the amp to a laptop or PC with the Boss Tone Studio Software.
- The Line 6 Spider V has 101 effects. These can be accessed using the 5 controls on the amp, in order to access more of the built-in effects, you can assign different effects to each control using the Smart FX control setting.
Power Rating (Wattage)
- The Boss Katana combo amp comes in a 50W and 100W version and the Line 6 Spider V combo amp comes in 20W, 30W, 60W, 120W and 240W versions.
- The Boss Katana head unit amp comes in a 100W version and the Line 6 Spider V head comes in a 240W version.
- The Boss Katana has a power control which allows you to reduce the power (wattage) of the amp to make it playable at lower volumes, unlike the Line 6 Spider V where you will need to select the correct size for the area you intend on playing in.
Ease of Use
- The Line 6 Spider V has tonnes of presets which you can access using the screen. This gives you a lot of versatility, but does mean it’ll take longer to dial in the tone you’re looking for.
- The Boss Katana has 5 main channels which makes it easy to select the correct voicing for the amp, making it a little less complicated to use than the Line 6 Spider.
Here is a video comparing the Line 6 Spider and Boss Katana tones back-to-back. I’ve set it to start at the right moment in the video.
Comparing Popular Amp Models
In this next section, I wanted to summarise the ranges of both brands into a table so you can see what features and power rating you get for your money. The tables are split into combo and head unit options (all solid state) and are ordered from the lowest to the highest price so you can see what options are available to you based on your budget. The prices are all from Guitar Center at the time of writing.
Solid State Combo Amps
|Line 6 Micro Spider||6W||$150||4 channels, drive, 3 band EQ|
|Line 6 Spider V 20||20W||$150||16 presets, drive, tone, reverb, 3 effects|
|Line 6 Spider V 30||30W||$230||128 presets, drive, 3 band EQ, multiple effects|
|Boss Katana 50||50W||$240||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Line 6 Spider V 60||60W||$320||128 presets, drive, 3 band EQ, multiple effects|
|Boss Cube Street II||10W||$350||7 guitar models, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, chorus, delay|
|Boss Katana 100 1×12||100W||$370||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Line 6 Spider Jam||75W||$400||6 models, drive, 3 band EQ, reverb, 6 effects|
|Line 6 Spider V 120||120W||$430||128 presets, drive, 3 band EQ, multiple effects|
|Boss Katana 100 2×12||100W||$480||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Boss Nextone Stage||40W||$515||4 models, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, delay, presence|
|Line 6 Spider V 240||240W||$550||128 presets, drive, 3 band EQ, multiple effects|
|Boss Katana-Artist||100W||$600||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Boss Nextone Artist||80W||$720||4 models, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, delay, presence|
|Boss Nextone Special||80W||$900||2 channels (and 4 models), 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, delay, boost, custom tune, presence|
Solid State Head Units
|Boss Katana||100W||$350||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Boss Katana-Air Wireless||30W||$412||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Line 6 Spider V||240W||$500||128 presets, drive, 3 band EQ, multiple effects|
|Boss Waza||150W||$2780||2 channels, gain, 3 band EQ, presence, reverb, FX|
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