This is a review of The Boss Nextone Stage amplifier.
The Nextone is a new amp line from Roland that combines Roland’s smart Tube Logic technology with digital control to provide a new panorama of sonic enticement. The Next One mini series has two combos: the 80-watt Artist 1×12 and the somewhat smaller 40-watt Stage combo, which I’ll go through in this article.
With a sleek textured black vinyl coating, black plastic edges and panel border, and grey-striped loudspeaker grille fabric, everything is nicely finished. The Roland/BOSS Tube Logic circuitry is used in the Boss Nextone Stage, a light, small two-channel 1×12 combo that delivers emulations of four iconic power tube sections built on 6V6, 6L6, EL84, and EL34. It’s a well-designed amp that fulfils on its promise of tones in the classic tonal ranges.
Working with it in my recording studio for a while revealed that it also has a few big surprises to offer along the way.
With its silver-trimmed grille fabric and the famed Boss emblem, the Nextone Stage looks sophisticated. The control panel has an old-school look and feel to it, with clean and overdrive channels having distinct volume and gain knobs and a typical bass, mid, and treble EQ.
With a total weight of under 30 pounds and a modest, vintage-style 112 open-back structure, the Nextone Stage is definitely a “grab-and-go” option for small venue events. The headphone output silences the speaker output, so whether you have a gig that requires a “quiet stage,” or if you need to rehearse late at night, you’re covered. There’s also a secondary line-level out that doesn’t mute the speaker, allowing you to connect to front-of-house sound without using a microphone.
Most of the amp’s sounds and functions can be changed through the front panel, but Nextone Editor software is accessible for those who want to go deeper or access a few capabilities (such as a tremolo effect) that aren’t available through the amp’s controls. Both the channels (Clean and Lead) has their own complete set of knobs, the front panel settings are far less sophisticated than they appear.
It sounds fantastic to plug in and move between different power settings, and it also feels amazing to play. Depending on your demands, the amp allows you to employ the same or alternative power amplifier settings.
The built-in USB connector serves as an audio interface for recording at home. All three non-mic sources produced sound quite similar to the amp’s open room sound. Though it’s not specified in the instructions, all of the direct-out sources have some type of cabinet correction, which lets the amp record cleanly and sound.
Another amazing feature is the built-in FX Loop. The option to put effects through the amplifier is a big benefit for individuals who require more power than the amplifier can provide. The optional footswitch can also be used to turn on and off the FX Loop. If you’re considering about getting an amplifier, I strongly advise you to get this one
On-board effects – The Nextone amps contain a few effects onboard, but not quite as many as the BOSS Katana line. Instead, there’s a decent selection of Delay, Reverb, Trem, and Boost to help you get those classic tones. After you’ve tweaked your sounds to your liking, store them into the Nextone’s single custom preset, which can be accessible via the control panel’s channel button.
Due to their huge headroom, the Nextone amps naturally take pedals wonderfully!
Other features are:
- Headphones/recording and line outputs
- USB Socket that records audio
- Effects loop
The Nextone may be used with ordinary latching foot switches or with the GA-FC foot-controller, which adds extra capability to your feet.
The best alternative is arguably Vox’s Valvetronix line, which uses a single valve stage to supply a faux transformer between the simulated preamp and the power amp to replicate the power-amp experience.
Katana vs. Nextone
There are a few instances where the Nextone amps and Katana are similar. BOSS obviously wants to follow in the footsteps of the Katana’s success. The most noticeable similarities are the power limiting mechanism (which was present on the Blues Cube even before Katana) and the way the back panel is configured. The Katana has more features, more effects and channels, and is a much more affordable kit, which will appeal to many budget-conscious guitarists. In my opinion, the Nextone looks nicer visually, but in the thick of combat at a show, they both function similarly.
The fact that the Boss Nextone was never offered in a 212 version is one of the amplifier’s major flaws. For a sound that is extremely comparable, the Katana has a broader variety of amplifiers and features.
The Nextone is a lot simpler to tune in, having used it both at home and at a gig. There are more options on the Katana, which means there are more things to fumble with rather than a real plug-and-play experience. In comparison to the Katana’s 12′′ version, I would recommend the Nextone as the victor for people who use pedals.
Are the Boss Nextone amplifiers any good?
A terrific solid-state tube modeling amplifier with its own distinct personality. The Boss Nextone amps sound more like tube amps than any other solid-state amp I’ve heard that tries to sound like a tube amplifier.
In my opinion, the Nextone achieves this significantly better with BOSS Tube Logic than the Katana.
So to answer your question, the Nextone is a great option if you want a lot of flexibility and are prepared to experiment.
The Katana makes complete sense if you want something that has its own sound and is much more plug-and-play.
- The concept is simple, uncomplicated, and simple to implement.
- The distinction between clean and dirty tones is amazing.
- Power tube emulations are selectable.
- Vintage-sounding speaker of high quality.
- Friendly-software editor
- Footswitch is available separately.
- On the front panel, there is no mechanism to change the delay to tremolo.
- The transition between regular and custom modes is not instantaneous, and it is not possible to do it with a footswitch.
The Nextones have an advantage over most valve amps for small venue or club gigs since they can achieve the perfect spot at audience-friendly volumes while yet being capable of performing loud when needed.
The BOSS Nextone is a decent amplifier in general. While I don’t think it’s great in terms of practicality, I think the tones are fantastic. Aside from the slightly disappointing drive channel, the built-in effects and external effects may produce a wide range of fantastic tones.