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Boss ME 70 Pedal Board: Multi Effects That Won't Kill Your Wallet
May 2, 2009
Review by buffoonery
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Easy to use and plenty of variety. Good price.
Cons:No acoustic simulator. Not enough patches.
The Bottom Line: The ME-70 is an excellent processor for the gigging guitarist with plenty of functionality. Potential purchasers should look at the GT-8 first, though.
Recommend this product?
The new Boss ME-70 guitar floorboard is intended to be the replacement for the doughty but aging ME-50. On the whole, it is a worthy successor to the ME-50. It entirely blows away its cheaper and considerably less capable older brother, the ME-20 but is not as capable as the full-bore GT-10 multi-effects box.. This baby will cost you $299 street. (Note: Highlighted products are listed below and linked to my reviews.)
As might be expected, the ME-70 looks, tastes ands walks like a Boss box. Any experienced multi-effects box user won’t have to spend much time with the product manual because so much of the unit’s operations are entirely intuitive. And, the ME-70 even looks an awful lot like the GT-8 multi-effects with its threatening black metal box.
First off, we immediately see the first improvement over the ME-50 as there are now four floor pedals instead of three. These are used to turn on/off your compression, distortion, modulation and reverb effects and function just like a stomp box. In addition, they are used to cycle through the seventy-two total factory and user presets and, frankly, for this much money there should be a lot more space. There’s also an expression pedal to control wah and volume.
As before, each pedal controls a set of effects. And for each set, there are four control knobs that permit you to select the desired effect and certain settings. For example, OD/DS has a selection knob for one of ten distortion effects (see below) plus control knobs for drive, tone and level; for delay, you can control time, feedback and level, etc. The effects and mods (all listed below) are of the high quality we have come to expect from Boss’s COSM technology. The distortions in particular are rock solid. However, some of the mods are truly terrific, for example the slow gear will give your pinky a rest from the volume control and the harmonist is fast and will make you sound like Duane and Dicky without the dead guy in the casket.
Two other knobs control reverb (hall and room only, a surprisingly small selection) and the expression pedal.(wah, voice, octave, etc.)
Other extras include the tune, a single-coil to humbucker and vice versa option, But for some insane reason, there is no longer an acoustic guitar sim. What were these guys thinking? The ring modulator is gone, too.
There are two big new features over the ME-50. One is the thirty-eight second looping function that allows you to dub as many times as you like. Second (drum roll) is the new preamp controls. Now you get six amp simulators (Fender, Mesa, etc.) plus gain, volume and three eq controls. You can get some very serious gain from this machine with the right combination of distortion and amplifier.
There are the usual controls for making your own presets, plus thirty EZ tones that will let you get started for making your own tones. There’s a headphone jack and you can, of course, record directly into your computer.
I want to emphasize that the tones are all excellent emulations and certainly at the same quality level as the GT-10. True, it sounds like a Boss, but what did you expect. There are enough options, selections, mods, and toys to keep the curious engaged for a long period of time.
In short, the Boss ME-70 is a powerful, reasonably priced addition to the Boss line. It’s ideal for guitarist who have play a wide range of tones (vide wedding and bar bands), but especially for those in the harder rock and metal arena. The question is, is this the right machine for you?
So let’s look at pricing. The ME-70 at $299 has knocked ebay prices for the ME-50 into the $250 range and the ME-20 below its street price of $200. The ME-70 is better than either and, other things being equal, would be worth the money. However, one must compare this to the GT multi-effects series. Granted, the flagship GT-10 is $499 street, so that’s two more bills for a helluva lot more power. But the GT-10 has knocked ebay prices on the very good GT-6 below $150 and you can get the excellent, very powerful GT-8 in the $225 range if you watch your auctions carefully. And I would rather have a GT-8 than an ME-70, unless you really really want the phrase looper.
My advice to you is look around and make sure you get what you want. If you’re playing in bars, the ME-70 is a rock-solid gigging machine that is easy to use while you’re whipping your axe around. If you do serious recording or just HAVE to have the extra effects, I’d go with the GT-8 or GT-10.
Have fun and remember: let’s be careful out there.
COMP/FX (Compressor/Effect): COMP, T.WAH UP, T.WAH DOWN, SLOW GEAR, DEFRETTER, Single>Hum, Hum>Single, SOLO
OD/DS (Overdrive/Distortion): BOOST, NATURAL, OD-1, BLUES, DIST, CLASSIC, MODERN, METAL, CORE, FUZZ
MODULATION: CHORUS, PHASER, FLANGER, ROTARY, UNI-V, TREMOLO, VIBRATO, HARMONIST, OCTAVE, DELAY
DELAY: 1-99 ms, 100-990 ms, 1000-6000 ms, ANALOG, MODULATE, REVERSE, CHO + DELAY, MOMENTARY, TAP, PHRASE LOOP
PREAMP: OFF, EQ, CLEAN, COMBO, TWEED, STACK, LEAD STK, R-FIER
NS (Noise Suppressor)
REVERB: ROOM, HALL
PEDAL FX (Pedal Effect): WAH, VOICE, +1 OCTAVE, -1 OCTAVE, MOD RATE
7 lbs. 12 oz.
My effects and stomp box reviews:
Boss AC-3 Acoustic Guitar Simulator
Boss BD-2 Distortion Pedal
Boss ME-20 Guitar Multiple Effects Processor
Boss GT-8 Multi-Effects Processor
Boss GT-10 Multi-Effects Processor
Boss ME-50 Multi-Effects Processor
Digitech RP50 Guitar Effects Processor
Digitech RP80 Guitar Effects Processor
Digitech Brian May Red Special Overdrive Pedal
Line 6 POD X3 Guitar Multi-Effects Board
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