Price paid: $ 79.95
Purchased from: Musicians Friend
Ease of Use: Up for review is the Boss LS-2 Line Selector pedal. If you are a guitarist or bassist who runs multiple effect stomp boxes and you want to cut back on the frustrations of the pedal dance, the LS-2 is worth a quick look. The LS-2 offers two individual loops with level controls, six modes of operation and a line through straight to amp.
Setup for the pedal can be a little confusing but the manual that ships with it is VERY helpful. The manual shows you several diagrams on how to set this unit up in your board.
So lets dive into the functions and setup. Loop a and loop b are indicated as on by a green LED for loop a and a red LED for loop b. The level controls for each loop have the same colors. As for the modes of operation you can run in standard A-B, A-bypass, B-bypass, A-B-bypass, A+B(mix)-bypass and output select. The modes are selected by a rotary pot which makes selecting outputs on the fly a bit of a hassle.
Setting up your board is easy choose, what you want in each loop and wire it up. A big downside to the design of the pedal is how the input jacks are labeled and set up. All send jacks are on the left side of the pedal and all return jacks are set on the right. You will need longer patch cables than normal if you want a nicely spaced out board. Also when everything is hooked up to the LS-2 it is truly a bird's nest of cables. It looks messy but performs its job.
I mainly used the A-B function on the pedal to Switch between two effects loops. I used A-B mix quite often as well, mostly for mixing multiple modulation effects together on clean songs. A-B bypass mode would allow you to Switch between loops and then bypass, but it goes in the order that is stated on the pedal itself. There are 3 modes out of th six on this pedal that would actually serve a use and the others really don't need to be there.
Another function that makes a large difference on the pedal is the fact that it can power your other nine volt pedals via daisy chain. This function alone boosted my rating for it.
Overall its not a bad pedal, the three useful modes do their jobs and they do it well, but with the few issues that I discussed I can't rate it very high. My biggest complaint is the fact that half the modes are worthless to me, but they might be worth something to someone else. // 7
Sound: My setup is pretty simple I use a Crate Blue Voodoo 120H with a Peavey 5150 cab. My main guitars are a PRS SE Custom with EMG 81/85 pickups and an Epiphone 58' Explorer with a Seymour Duncan JB/59 set. I used this to Switch between my baseline tones which at the time was a Boss CE-5 and a Delta Labs Delay and loop B which was a Boss SD-1 and an MXR Phase 90. The pedal switched between the two like it should so I have no complaints on that but I did have to put my channel Switch right next to it and hit both buttons at once to effectively Switch channels and effects.
I did notice a little loop bleeding. I could hear a small amount of chorus on loop b, but it was only noticeable when I was on a clean channel. There was minimal tone loss and the effects always came through clear when I needed them. Functionally the pedal is great it does its job. The fact that I still had to Switch channels and there was some bleed takes away from the rating. // 8
Reliability & Durability: What can I say really? Its a Boss and most Boss pedals are pretty well built. The pedal itself is solid but the plastic knobs do feel like they would snap right off the pot if you were to drop it directly on them.
I used this pedal for quite a while with no issues but I'm the kind of guy that likes a backup for sound critical gear. My backup for this was actually the pedal the LS-2 replaced. The Boss PSM-5 power and master switch. // 9
Overall Impression: I have been playing guitar for 14 years or so and I play everything from country to pop to metal. I mainly stick around Thrash and Killswitch/Times Of Grace style music. This pedal did help my switching needs for quite some time but some of the noted issues with the pedal made it less desirable over time.
If this thing was stolen I'd be bummed and I'd eventually buy another if I needed to. In addition to switching your effects my favorite function of the pedal is the fact that it can power your other effects.
After using this pedal for a while I started to look for something that actually switched my amp channel as well as Switch my effects. I recently did a loop master review so if you are interested to see what I ended up with please check it out.
For a little more than your basic switching needs the Boss LS-2 will handle what you throw at it. I'm sure that someone can find a use for all the modes of operation but for general switching an actual a/b Switch would be a cheaper alternative. The main selling point is the multiple operations and powering pedals, its not a bad purchase but there are better options out there. // 8