Price paid: $ 350
Purchased from: Sweetwater
Sound — 10
I use it with my $100 non-branded flying vee rip-off, a nice Yamaha acoustic of my dad's, my Takamine 12-string acoustic, my friend's ESP LTD F-250, my Yamaha BB series fretless bass and my suprisingly good quality 5-string Stingray rip-off. All of these sound absolutely brilliant, even the vee. No noise so to speak of from the unit. If this thing had a food controller I would use it as a multi effect, it's far better than the ME-50, about as good as the GT-8. You can do everything from Acoustic Folk to Thrash to Hard Rock to infinity and beyond!! The distortions are probably what stand out most but the clean effects are very beautiful. My one complaint is the placement of the expander before the compressor in the effects chain, meaning you can't compand to remove noise, I haven't figured how this is changed if at all. You can get around this by compressing heavily on the input stage and then expanding while bouncing or mastering.
Overall Impression — 10
I play a lot of Metallica (mostly post-Black pre-St. Anger) combined with folk and country. My brother uses it for his jazz. If it were stolen lost or broken I would either replace it or upgrade to a BR-1600 as soon as I could afford to. I love almost everything about this, especially the effects. It is far and away the best of it's class. I compared to similar models from Korg, Roland, Zoom etc and it was as good as the Roland but much cheaper. I wish it came with the AC adaptor, but like all Boss non-rackmount gear it doesn't come with one. So I had to buy one, which over here in New Zealand is extortionate. I also wish they gave you a decent sized memory card, they are also daylight robbery here. An example is that it was cheaper by about $400 for me to import one from USA, pay the shipping, the customs duty than it would have been for me to buy from Therockshop which here in NZ pretty much has a monopoly on Boss gear, I hope for the day when we get some market competition.
Reliability & Durability — 10
It's really reliable, one time it died on me but that was cos my adaptor had come loose and my batteries were flat. Wouldn't use it for gigging but it's not an effect unit so Who would? It has taken some pretty hard knocks from careless EX-bandmates Who had a habit of destroying my gear.
Ease of Use — 10
I love this unit. It is extremely easy to use once you get past the usual pitfalls of a Brand New Machine. Getting a good sound out of this baby is about as hard as switching on a light, the preset patches are brilliant and they can be freely modified, all perimeters are fully customisable. Also you don't have to write over the originals. You have 3 banks; the originals, the changes you have made for this particular song, and your user modifications. The manual is large and I didn't bother reading it at first as I have some experience with digital recorders. When it came to the deeper stuff like punching tracks and all that I read it and it was excellent.