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Equipment Reviews: Effects: Boss: GT-8 Guitar Effects Processor - The Online Guitar Community
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BOSS GT-8 Features
BOSS’s most powerful floor multi-effects processor!
Dual COSM® Amp engine allows two different amp types to be assigned to the two channels
200 stunning preset patches and 140 user patches; 44 effects categories, up to 13 simultaneous FX blocks
User configurable effect chain; any effect can be assigned in any order in the signal path.
Independent Assignable External Effects loop section for inserting external pedals any where in the signal path.
Solo Switch on the COSM amp section for instant lead tones
Amp Control Jack for switching external guitar amp channels
24 bit converters and coaxial SPDIF digital output for high-resolution direct recording applications

AD Conversion 24 bit + AF method*

DA Conversion 24 bit

Sampling Frequency 44.1 kHz

Program Memories 340: 140 (User) + 200 (Preset)

Nominal Input Level INPUT: -10 dBu
RETURN: -10 dBu

Input Impedance INPUT: 1 M ohms
RETURN: 220 k ohms

Nominal Output Level OUTPUT: 0 dBu
SEND: -10 dBu

Output Impedance OUTPUT: 2 k ohms
SEND: 2 k ohms

Digital Output EIAJ CP1201, S/P DIF

Dynamic Range 100 dB or greater (IHF-A)

Display 16 characters, 2 lines (backlit LCD)
2 characters, 7 segment LED

Connectors INPUT jack
SEND jack
DIGITAL OUT connector (coaxial)
MIDI connectors (IN/OUT)
AC Adaptor jack

Power Supply AC 14 V; Supply AC adaptor (BOSS BRC series)

Current Draw 650 mA

Accessories AC Adaptor (BRC series)
Owner’s Manual

Options Foot Switch: FS-5U, FS-5L, Dual Foot Switch: FS-6
Expression Pedal: EV-5 (Roland), FV-300L + PCS-33 (Roland)
Foot Switch Cable: PCS-31 (Roland), (1/4 inches Phone Plug (stereo) - 1/4 inches Phone Plug (mono) x 2)

Size and Weight

Width 515 mm 20-5/16 inches

Depth 261 mm 10-5/16 inches

Height 75 mm 3 inches

Weight 4.8 kg 10 lbs. 10 oz.

* 0 dBu = 0.775 Vrms * AF method (Adaptive Focus method) This is a proprietary method from Roland that vastly improves the signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio of the A/D and D/A converters.
* The specifications are subject to change without notice.

MSRP: £349 / $549
Retail: £299 / $445
Image: Click here to view
URL: Boss
Updated: October 16, 2005

Rate This Item

 » Review posted by R O Tiree on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005 @ 4:15 PM
General Comments:
Our lead guitarist just got the GT-8. We messed with it for a few hours last night.

The individual FX sounds are very good indeed, with the exception of:

(1) The Pitch Shifter which, like the Zoom GFX-8, gets horribly warbly at over about a fifth above the note you're playing. Harmoniser is OK and you can program it to play your own custom scale, which is very clever but time consumng to program. What is even cleverer is that if you play a note and then bend it, the harmonised note will switch to your custom one associated with the new note.

(2) Ring Mod - yeuggghhh

The amp models are sweet as a nut. The GT-8 has 2 COSM amp modelling channels. There are several ways of defining how they react; dual mono, dual stereo (putting a tiny delay between the outputs of the 2 channels gives a really spacious feel to the sound), switchable mono which changes channel either by pressing a switch or by varying your pick attack or even by turning the volume up and down on your guitar.

Once again, the pre-set patches are variable in quality. A few are eminently useable but the majority are "too much"... too much reverb, too much delay, too much distortion, too weird, too silly. The phrase "...less is more..." just doesn't seem to exist in Japan. Still, you do have 140 user-editable patches to play with, so it's no big deal.

Patch selection is via standard Bank Up/Down footswitches and numbered pedals, 1 to 4. Control of effect parameters within a patch can be made via the Ctrl pedal and the expression pedal like in all the other multi-FX boxes out there. What is different is that the GT-8 is positively painful to get these controls to do what you want. There's a large number of "quick assigns" that are anything but "quick" to either navigate, because they're obscure, and because there's so many of them before you get to the parameters that you really want to control. You can also put the unit into manual mode and use the patch select pedals to select amp/channel switch, OD, delay and chorus which are, after all, going to be the most commonly used FX.

Once again, Boss have completely failed to write an editing program for PC/Mac even though the MIDI implementation allows this to be done. There are several user groups out there who are busy writing one, but I haven't found one that the writers are ready to put out on the 'net yet. This is, in my opinion, a major drawback of both Roland and Boss - neither of them pay any attention to this detail and don't seem to care that people end up spending hours diving down blind alleys trying to find what they want. Roland's user interface on their VG-88 is actually quite easy to navigate but the GT-8 is a pain as the display is too small to give you any useful information about where you are.

The ability to re-order the effects chain is, however, a major plus point over its Zoom rivals, and is very easy to do.

Another major plus point is the ability to completely wipe a patch. With most of these boxes, if you want to start with a clean slate, you have to switch the individual modules off but the last-known values of the parameters stay where they were. With this unit, you can, with 4 key presses, completely wipe a patch and all values are set to useful "average" settings. It is therefore easy to add the effects you want and dial them in quite quickly.

Build quality looks good, having a steel casing and sockets bolted to the chassis, like the Zoom GFX-8. Time will tell whether this is gig-proof, but I suspect it will do very well. I suspect that the Patch/Value wheel, used to select levels, targets, etc in the various effect parameters will be the weakest link, as it gets a lot of punishment. Take for example selecting delay time - you can select from 0 to 1800 ms (1.8 sec). You have to go all the way past 1800 to get to the BPM and tap tempo settings. This is about 40 turns of the wheel (didn't bother counting, but it took a while) and it doesn't feel as robust as the rest of the controls. Just a feeling...

OK, here's a thing I can't make my mind up about - each module has its own little button with an LED in it to switch it on and the thing looks like a Christmas tree when there's lots going on. On the other hand, this makes it easy to see what's going on. It looks really cluttered and fussy, but it's effective.

Connectivity is very good: Guitar In, L/Mono+R Out, Headphones Out, Ext FX Send/Return, Ext footswitch, Ext Expr Pedal, digital SPDIF Out, MIDI In/Out.

OK, all this is pretty immaterial if it doesn't sound any good. Well, first impressions last, as they say. Try the "Voodoo Wah" patch - the sound is absolutely spot on. The individual effects are clean and clear and the amp sims with the many different types of OD, dist and fuzz are faithful to the sounds they are trying to emulate. It's hard to fault. Unlike the Zoom GFX-8, the amp simulations are separate from the OD/dist/fuzz and the compressor module. This means you retain full control over what you want the patch to sound like. Tried the synth sounds (organ, electric piano, etc) and not impressed. Acoustic guitar sim was... vaguely acoustic.

Overall - Sounds good, with only a couple of exceptions (ring mod, pitch shifter, synth sounds iffy). Dialling in effects is quite easy but finer points of assigning Ctrl pedal and Exp pedal are painful. No PC/Mac editor is a major minus point. User interface fussy and cluttered, but is quite effective at letting you know what's going on. Build quality very good apart from Patch/Value wheel which is most used control but feels flimsy. Very good connectivity.

What do you especially like about this product?
Sound quality with a few exceptions. Connectivity.

What do you dislike about this product?
No editing program for PC/Mac. Trying to assign parameters to the Ctrl and Exp pedals.

Recommended: Yes

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Note: 5 = Excellent, 0 = Not My Taste

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