Price paid: $ 185
Ease of Use — 9
The overall Ease of Use on the Boss GT-1 is fairly straightforward, especially if you've used Boss multi effects in the past. Programming the unit, using the unit itself, is much simpler than what it was on the previous GT-modellers. You simply press the effects block once to turn it on/off, or hold it down to access the edit-menu for that effects block.
If you're not into programming the unit, on the unit itself, then you have the opportunity to download the Boss Tone Studio for the GT-1. In Tone Studio you can manage your patches, edit them, create LiveSets, play along to your own music and of course import and export patches to and from the GT-1. Enabling you to share your own patches as well as loading in other players patches.
Even though the GT-1 only features 99 editable user patches, you'll be able to create LiveSets in Boss Tone Studio, which you can export and save, for when you need to load in that particular LiveSet again. That's going to be a really handy feature for me, because I play in a partyband where we cover all the classic rock and pop songs, and the LiveSet function will give me the opportunity to create a Liveset, then export it when I need to create new patches and load them back in again, when I need it.
It's quite easy to get a good sound out of the GT-1. I have used it over a month now and I'm very pleased with it. I use the built-in amps and cabs, along with the effects, and getting the sound I want is easy. A little knob tweaking is required, but that would also be the case on regular stompboxes.
Sound — 8
The sound of the Boss GT-1 is both good and versatile. It's easy to create just the sound you want or have in mind. For me the GT-1 suits my music style just fine. I play mostly Pop and Rock and I'm capable of creating the sounds I need. I use the GT-1 for both effects, amps & cabs and I'm really happy with the result. For rehearsals and live use I run directly to our mixer/PA, using a Radial ProD2 Stereo DI box. That works just great!
Mostly I use the Clean Twin amp model with a 2x12" speaker cabinet, and then add the necessary effects I need for that particular patch/sound. I really like the Analog Delay, it just sounds soooo good! Of course there's a very broad selection of both preamps, cabinets and effects - more than enough to suit and satisfy a guitarist. With the GT-1 you'll be able to create whatever sound or song you have in mind. Everything from soaring lead tones to spanky cleans.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I've owned and used the GT-1 for over a month now, both for rehearsals and live playing, and it has been sturdy and reliable. I'm confident that the hardware will last, even though most of the casing is made of hard plastic. I seriously wouldn't worry about it, the GT-1 will stand everything from heavy to light use. It's a Boss product, remember, so of course they've taking the time to make a reliable and sturdy product. As of right now I use the GT-1 without any backup, and I'm not going to. The GT-1 is going to hold up just fine, at least for my type of use.
Overall Impression — 9
For the style of music I play, I find the Boss GT-1 to be a really good match for me. The size of the pedal is ideal for me, because my band often play small venues. The sounds I can create is just what I want and being able to use the GT-1 as both an effects and amp/cab unit is great! I no longer need to carry and pack heavy amps, the GT-1 will handle it all for me!
The assign function is absolutely great too! It makes it so much easier to assign the effects you need for a patch. I mostly assign overdrive stomps, delay and a solo button to give me all I need. I own other Boss GT units and I've simply chosen the GT-1 because of its size and the sounds. If I could change one thing, then I would probably make the spaces between the UP, DOWN and CTL1 foot swotches a little wider.. For a guy with big feet I have to aim correctly to engage the CTL1 switch, because it's so close to the volume... One could easily step on the volume, instead of the CTL1. The Boss GT-1 sounds great directly to the mixer/PA, and that's how I'm using it. Overall, I'm happy and will use this for quite some time!