Boss has announced what looks to be a new flagship amplifier, the Nextone Special. Among the features that caught our attention are a special custom Waza B12W 12-inch speaker and the ability to mimic classic Class AB circuits and tube power sections, all designed to give you the feel of various amps and the sounds to match.
Boss Nextone Special
Boss certainly knows how to build a commercially successful amplifier; two out of the three top-selling modelling amps on Thomann’s bestseller list are Boss Katana models. The Nextone Special extends the feature set of the previous Nextone Artist and Stage models, plus it adds a newly designed speaker to help with the tone and feel of this new version.
Waza B12W Speaker
Boss says its new Waza speaker is based on the sound of vintage 1960s ‘blue bell’ speakers, but with improved power handling able to cope with this modern day amplifier and its selectable power amp sections. Boss has also included something it calls an enhanced reactive drive circuit to refine the interaction between the amps power section and this new Waza speaker. Whatever it does, the name sounds impressive.
The Nextone Special amp has two fully-featured, independent channels. Each gives you the full complement of options, including effects settings and a switch that selects one of four analogue Class AB power amp circuits, so you can opt for either a 6V6, 6L6, EL84 or EL34-style output section. These output sections will, according to Boss, dramatically change the tone and more importantly the feel of the Nextone Special. That’s a big advantage over the Nextone Studio and Artist from 2018, where the two channels were allocated certain features and shared the Power Amp sector switch. That restriction is lifted here, so you can set up a completely different amp sound for each channel. This is where all the fun starts really, as you can put together your own emulation of classic amp styles and store them in the three Tone Setting presets. These are available for recall via dedicated switches on the front panel. Nifty.
Another nice feature is the Power Control that lets you choose from five different wattages, from the maximum of 80 through 60, 40, 20 or 0.5 Watts. The Clean channel has a switch labelled “Extra Headroom” – no need to explain that one, then. That range of settings means that the Nextone Special should cover most amp duties whether live, at home or in the studio.
As is common these days, the Nextone Special is accompanied by an app to let you edit settings in even more detail. Boss says its Nextone Editor gives players the ability to “fine tune” the amp via their PC or Mac.
The Nextone Special also includes a selection of effects onboard: Boost, Delay, Tremolo and a Reverb. That gives you a set of basic effects to hand so you could – theoretically – leave your pedalboard at home (not that I know nobody that would do this though, they’re all pedal addicts).
The amp has three mic’d cab IR voices selected via the Air Feel switch. These are sent straight to the PA or to your DAW for USB for recording. The Nextone Special also has inputs for the Boss GA-FC foot controller or standard Boss footswitches as well as MIDI connections, an effects loop, XLR and 1/4-inch Line outputs, along with a headphone output.
It looks like the Nextone Special has you covered for most eventualities and has a lot of flexibility built-in. I look forward to hearing some user reviews when they are released in December.
RRP – USD 899
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