Price paid: $ 549
Purchased from: Sweetwater
Ease of Use — 7
It's a good thing they've finally managed to get the user interface down to where anyone who has ever used any sort of multi-effects box can just figure it out, because the manual for this is not very good, and not in the almost comical, poorly translated Boss manuals of old way either. This manual tries too hard to explain how to do things, taking 200 words where they only really need 50. It should be "in order to do X, press button Y and turn knob Z" and instead its like Boss uses their own terms for things that no one else uses, and then tries to explain backwards from their poorly chosen terminology.
I upgraded the firmware to version 2.0. The Bogner amp model is very, very good... Not so happy about losing 6 seconds off the looper time though. All this aside, it's very easy to get good sounds out of it if you just disregard all the factory presets and just program them from scratch.
Sound — 9
I play progressive rock, fusion jazz and improv. I've had this unit for 2 months now and it suits my playing. I'm using a Steinberger and a Digitech Whammy 5 in addition to a DOD fx 17 wah into (depending on the gig/practice) the return loop of a Gallien Krueger MLS solid state 1x12 amp; the return loop of a Carvin X100B tube amp with 4x12 cabinet; direct into the mixer for recording. It's important to set the output setting on the GT100 to match what you're playing through or it will sound bad. The compressors are good, the amp modeling is spectacular (I A/B-d this with a POD HD 500, the afore-mentioned Carvin X100B and recorded the results and several folks with lots of experience could not tell which was the tube amp and which was the Boss.) so much so that I got rid of my POD HD500, which sounded cheap and plastic by comparison. The chorus, flanger, phaser, delays and reverbs are all above average. The pitch shifting is merely good, which is why I have the Whammy 5. Also, oddly, the wah models in the GT100 are awful to my ears; I could not get a decent sounding wah out of them no matter which one I used or what settings I tried. Considering the routing options, effects loop, MIDI ports and overall above-average effects, not to mention those amazing amp models I can forgive the lousy wah. With few exceptions if there is I tone I need the GT100 can deliver it. I was actually nervous about getting the GT100; my last Boss product was the GT6, which I remember as being pretty bad, but after two months I can say the GT100 is a winner.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This thing could be dropped from a highway overpass, run over by a truck, used as home plate for a Tigers game and used as patch for one of our potholes here and it would probably still work. It's solid metal; nothing about it feels cheap. Typical Boss stuff. It could probably have beer spilled on it and still work, but I'm not going to do that deliberately. Having used some of their competitors' products that were made of plastic or had cheaply made parts (The Digitech GNX3 comes to mind here) it's nice to have something that sounds good enough to cover most situations either live or in the studio and not have to worry about the case cracking or knobs getting knocked off or expression pedals falling off (thanks a lot, Vox).
Overall Impression — 8
I've been playing for a long time and have played through dozens of different amps, effect boxes, DI boxes, PODs, etc. The GT100 is maybe not as compact or lightweight as it could be, but I also feel like I could take it out and gig in really bad bars with it for a few years with no problems. If it were stolen/lost I'd probably get another one. Nothing else has the durability combined with the double LCD screens which make it super easy to read on dark stages. I hate the wah in it; I love the amp models and flanger. I compared this to a POD HD500 and for tone, ergonomics, readability this beat the POD by a long long way IMO. On the POD I was also always running out of memory, not so on the Boss. I wish you could activate the looper on it with a single foot-press instead of having to wait 2 seconds for it to load. Also, the Accel pedal IS adjustable, you just have to dive into the not-very well written manual and learn how; very glad it is, too, because if Boss had saddled us with an Accel pedal that only did their default selections for it I'd have sent it back, great amp models or no. The "Twist" feature is especially laughable.