ME-5 Guitar Multiple Effects
59bassman, on january 13, 2012 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 485
Purchased from: Soho Soundhouse London
Ease of Use: If you have an old Boss ME-5 - Don't sell it! Few people realise that the ME-5 incorporates the classic Boss pedal internals that are now Vintage in their own right including the: CS-2, DS-1, OD-2, RV-3, EQ-1, CE-1, DD-2, BF-2 all together with a switchable Noise Suppressor that calms the proceedings. // 10
Sound: I have an all up-to-ate set of BOUTIQUE Patches in mine that gives me classic sounds such as: Univibe, Vibratone, (and other Leslie effects), Rangemaster, Fuzz-Face, Tweed and driven Deluxe Reverb emulations, classic JTM45, Rockabilly, Bluesbreaker, 'Rectified' and 'Twang' - all classic tones in various states - and not modeled! You can get a set too and upload either via sysex/midi and your PC or manual input. See link where to hear/get more info... // 10
Reliability & Durability: I have had my unit from new in 1988 and is perfect. Built like a tank and has in-built PSU - no extra adapter to worry about. I have never heard of people looking for parts or spares for these. The only niggle is that you sometimes have to depress the buttons more than once to register - but hey! It is nearly 25 years under foot and back of cupboard! // 10
Overall Impression: The original Factory Presets are very of the 80's era and is surprising how many users have not deviated too far away from those tones. In particular the OD and distortion are very saturated. That is why I spent a great deal of time in the studio revising my unique and modern BOUTIQUE patch set so that they are meeting the requirements of TODAY'S musicians. Many people still use the Boss SD-1 and love it but moan about the ME-5 OD - is the same! It just needs some special tweaking and blending and then is all you need in one box... Check them out and give the ME-5 a new place on your pedal board! // 10
ME-5 Guitar Multiple Effects
cedricsmods, on july 29, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 110
Purchased from: used
Ease of Use: Boss's first multi-effect unit! Mine is from 1988. I think that the effects are all analog (except the delay). 64 patches organized into 4 groups of 4 banks of 4 patches. The signal path is a series of effects organized into categories. You can have one (or no) effects from each category simultaneously:
Once you figure out how the editing works, setting up patches is straightforward, albeit slow (manual is excellent, but is not necessary, I found one online).
This system is fantastic if you are playing a set of pre-defined songs because you can simply organize the patches so that you put all the patches you will use for one song in the same bank, then the next song in the next bank, etc. The system does not work well when you are just jamming and want to fiddle with settings on the fly. My only complaint with the signal path is that I wish the noise gate came after the effects loop, because the noise gate is amazing.
The ME-5 also allows you to attach a midi controller, an expression pedal, and an FS-5U footswitch. You can also listen with headphones instead of an amp. Loads and loads of features! // 7
Sound: I have used mine with Les Pauls and Strats through tube, solid state, and bass amps. By adjusting the EQ, you can get good sounds with any decent setup. Each effect has its own volume so you can get a good blend then adjust the master at the end. Here is a rundown on the individual effects:
Compressor - sounds too unnatural to me, I hardly ever use it.
Overdrive - regular and hi-gain, both sound excellent, very warm and natural sounding tone.
Distorion - good, goes from fuzz to moderate distortion.
Chorus - excellent.
Flanger - 5 different modes, some are mediocre, some a good.
Noise Gate - simply amazing!!! Eliminates noise without sounding processed. No hum and your tone is intact!
Reverb - excellent, room, hall, plate, and gated, all sound great.
Delay - excellent. Up to 500 miliseconds, and up to 7 feedbacks (repeats).
The weak points are the compressor and some of the Flanger modes, but everything far outbalances those two. For what I paid, it was worth it even for the noise gate alone! // 9
Reliability & Durability: Mine is from 1988, I have had it since about 2003 and it is still going strong. The casing is strong. I had to replace the 1/4" input jack, and some of the mini-pushbuttons are getting sticky, but all of the footswitches (what you actually use when gigging) are in fine shape. My one complaint is that the jacks are PCB mounted, which means if you step on a plug while it is in the jack, you could damage the PCB. // 7
Overall Impression: I have been playing for about 10 years. Modern rock, alternative, blues, pop, classic rock. It works well for what I need. The ME-5 won't get ultra hi-gain, but it will get close! My main electric is a G&L Tribute Legacy HB, I also have a couple overhauled Squier strats and an overhauled Johnson Solara Elite (LP style). My main amps right now are a hotrodded Epiphone Valve Jr. Into a Weber 12 cab and an Ampeg BA-112 bass combo (good for jazzy cleans). If you can't tell, I mod most of my gear.
I often keep my eyes open for another one for sale because I like this one so much and would love to have a backup, but they are kind of rare. // 9