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Rating and Reviews: Boss ME-80 Multi-Effects

Put a stable of Boss stompboxes at your feet in one multieffects pedal. The ME-80 lets you layer 8 effects, with a dedicated preamp section for amp modeling.

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"Boss ME-80 review" submitted May 3, 2014

By Derrick S in Troy, MO
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Musical Background: I mostly jam at home. I've been playing for 10+ years.
Music Style: Texas blues and ambient
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Overall: I had originally ordered the me-70 but it was put on back order. I was interested in the boss tera echo pedal and saw the me-80 had it as an integrated effect. I am very pleased with the pedal. Its very heavy duty, and adjusting the effects is super easy. I wanted this type of pedal because twisting knobs is just handier than going through buttons. The integrated tuner is also nice to have. Sound wise the options are incredible. I really enjoy the Bogner high gain cab model using the Tera echo and a second delay. A wall of crunchy waves of sound. Some effects I'll never use. But its nice to have them in your arsenal should you get the itch. Overall a good solid pedal. The usual great boss tones. All in one large package.
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"BOSS ME-80" submitted December 10, 2014

By Kurt Schuelke in Midlothian, VA
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Musical Background: Guitar player 20 years, sound engineer/tracking/mixing/mastering 17 years and custom electric guitar builder 3-4 years.
Music Style: Most any genre of music where instruments are played by musicians. Never been into the electronic or "in the box" music created
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Overall: This is a rock solid effects unit. I chose the ME-80 over the BOSS GT-100 to avoid having to navigate sub menus within the LCD displays. It's a personal preference for me to dial in sounds with knobs rather than shape sounds through digital drop down menus and generic parameters pictures offered with LCD screens. Now, I am an analogue guy when it comes to superb sonic quality/character when using dynamics/time based effects. As most pedal junkies know, an analogue pedal board gets pretty crazy over time and you have to ask,"is this a realistic set up for my purposes?" Well, for me it made more sense to have a consolidated palet of very good quality BOSS effects rather than expand my simple 2 pedal analogue effects chain. I loved my analogue delay and analogue envelope phaser set up, but how often can you use a pristine sounding analogue envelope filter? . It's one of those effects that in my opinion should be used in moderation. On the subject of envelope filters, the ME-80 has this feature labeled as up wah in the compressor section of the effects unit. Yes, it's much more difficult to dial in the sensitivity and response with the BOSS up wah/envelope filter but this is where the BOSS tone central came in to the rescue. Bottom line, you definitely get what you pay for and much, much more with the ME-80. Take the almost limitless possibilities offered on board the ME-80 and add the BOSS tone central feature and you are covered from every angle in the effects department. The BOSS tone central has an enormous amount of sonically insane effects that are also very practical in use. We all know some multi effects units have sounds that really have little place for use within the framework of constructed songs or compositions but may be used in some sort of ambient,sound scape piece. Last feed back for the ME-80 is volume levels between different effects.I read a number of similar reviews about how this unit is troublesome with volume levels from one effect to the other. I took time to focus on this issue and here's what I figured out about the volume issues: Gain strucutre in a common term used in recording studios. So, since this unit has a manual mode, user preset mode and factory preset mode I started working out the volume issue. First off, the consistency between user presets ( imported from BOSS tone central) and factory presets were very consistent. Nowever, in manual mode volume levels were all over the place. I isolated this problem to the pre amp section of the ME-80 when setting gain structure in manual mode. Here's how I approached setting proper gain structure: first, engage the pre amp section in manual mode and keep this setting the same as a reference point. Now, from here you can walk through each individual pedal one at a time. When you engage another pedal while your chosen pre amp setting is on and set, use either the gain knob, output knob or fx level knob to increase volume for that pedal section or decrease the volume for that pedal section. When setting your manual mode gain strucutre it's best to toggle between manual mode and one of your other modes, preset or user preset mode. Compare the volume levels and match manual mode as best as possible. Repeat this process for all pedal sections in manual mode. NOTE** your EQ pedal in manual mode will throw off the gain structure every time. So, the solution is to set the output level counter clock wise to no output gain. This allows your EQ settings to be applied to any combination of manual mode effects while retaining that gain structure. Lastly, any changes made to your manual mode effects settings may require a little more/less volumes in certain sections. Mostly in the dynamics based sections like pre amp, eq, compressor. The time based effect setting shouldn't be affected too much. Thanks for reading and I hope this helps.
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"Good stuff for the price" submitted July 2, 2014

By Eric W in Clemmons, NC
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Musical Background: 25 years on the guitar! A few bands and years of annoying my wife spending money at every turn on equipment.
Music Style: everything but pop... holy crap it sucks
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Overall: Granted, this isn't a RP100 or some $500+ effects system, but for the price this thing is great. Not terribly complicated and the ease of changing things on the fly with the bevy of knobs is frickin sweet. No scrolling through menus and not knowing exactly what you're changing is fabulous. It emulates a large selection of Boss pedals very convincingly and as I said before... you can't beat the price.
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"Like a pedal board" submitted August 30, 2014

By Roxanne A in Mesa, AZ
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Musical Background: I've been playing and recording for decades. I play both electric and acoustic guitars. I am a semi-pro.
Music Style: I play Rock, Blues, Indie, Acoustic, Progressive.
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Overall: I really like the sound, tone and feel of this mufti-effects pedal. Manual mode allows pedal board style operation. The amp models are quite good. There are also many professional presets for download at Boss Tone Central.
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"awesome effects!" submitted June 29, 2014

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: live/studio
Music Style: almost all
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Overall: Great effect!s My only issue with the ME-80 is the Overdrive/Distortion section which I use 80% of the time and Being with two different bands I can chose which Overdrive/Distortion I want. But it was still too sterile sounding for me,maybe I'll wait a couple of years for the next revision. Other than that, its easy to use,easy to program,awesome effects,great Boss quality. If you don't mind a slightly sterile Overdrive/Distortion then get it! its a great deal! But as for me,I'll just wait a couple more years till Boss gets the OD/DS section figured out and I'm sure they will. They have great Engineers and great minds that work over there.....
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"boss me-80 guitar multi-effects pedal" submitted August 31, 2014

By todd swenson in saint paul, MN
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Musical Background: I jam at home using keyboards and electric gutiar. I've been playing 25 years.
Music Style: rock
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Overall: An amazing but complicated box. The only way to learn to operate this system is hands on training. once you get by that it becomes an easy tool to use and the effects are awesome with good sound and an amazing effects. I am satisfied in this item.
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"Falls short for the money but, usable" submitted June 7, 2014

By G P
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Musical Background: Full-time Professional
Music Style: Rock/Country/Jazz/Fusion/Latin
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Overall: I just recently sold my GT-100 because the sound was too thin (digital) and there were many digital artifacts when controlling effects parameters (stepping can be heard in every single instance when changing values via a controller) - I was hoping BOSS might have corrected some of these with the ME-80 - unfortunately, they haven't - it's very strange, but it seems the company has taken a "lowest denominator" approach to their new products - as though they figure most people won't be able to identify those issues.I was so disappointed in the sound and features (lack thereof) that I actually asked Zzounds for an RMA#, the very next day! Then, I had an idea: I connected my analog pedals to it for taking care of compression and ovedrive/distortion, and only use the ME-80 for other effects - that improved the sound and, even though I will have to carry some extra pedals, it's still easier than carrying my huge pedal boards for smaller gigs and/or rehearsal - so, I decided to keep it. Here are some things that BOSS could have done better, imo:1) have a switch for the speaker emulation as opposed to force you to plug something in, which is sure to cause problems in the long run. How expensive can a simple switch be?2) offer a few more effects, such as the SLICER, etc... and have more options for where those effects are located on the pedal board (which switch turns them on/off) as it is, I feel short changed for the amount of money the unit costs. Right now, the compression takes up the same slot as other effect and that is a waste. There should be a full-time compression "module" that can be switch on/off3) the AMP modelling is pretty weak - I don't even care if they actually emulate ANY amps, I just would like it to say good - this sounds very thing and digital - the DRIVE amp can be worked with and with the addition of an analog compressor it's workable3) again, the EQ section (not the the one in the AMP) should have its own, full time slot - instead, it now shares with other effects, such a Delay, CHR, etc..4) if you record a loop and then want to switch memory location (i.e. switch to a different patch), the loop is immediately erased - I don't know if this can be changed in the system options but, I don't recall seeing such a note in the manual.5) Why no effects loop? Really, at this price, there should be one.On the positive side the unit is a pleasure to use! Very easy and very intuitive - I hope they use this system on the next GT-100MKII or whatever they will call it - the knobs are just the ONLY way to go when creating patches! No more scrolling through screens/pages, etc... My wish list for the new replacement of the GT-100 is:1) an ANALOG section for COMPRESSION and DRIVE sounds2) An interface that uses the KNOBS for each section (as in the ME-80) 3) the new DOUBLE foot switches - those things rock!4) the MEMORY/MANUAL switch as in the ME-80 (please, no more having to press 2 switches at once, please!I used it at a gig last night, running stereo with a Boogie DC-3 and a TECH 21 PWR 60 cab and it sounded very good! It will NOT sound that good directly through a PA, even with the speaker emulation turned on, so be aware of that.All in all, it will make my life a bit easier and with a little ingenuity can be made to sound very good for most types of music. But, there will be compromises and some shortcomings to accept.
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