Sound — 9
I've used it with an Epiphone ES-335 and an Epiphone Firebird (and a few others, but these are my preffered guitars) along with a Marshall MG100HDFX and TSL100. On the GT-5 there is a 'Pre-Amp' and 'Speaker Simulation' option which can be turned on either by patch or globally. If these are on, you will find it will kill your amps tone instantly, so I always have these off on every patch I use. With these off and just using the patches for their effects (which include a lot of the more popular Boss effects, and some others (whammy is one that I found that I've not seen in a Boss stomp)) the effects Shine through without killing your amps tone. And when you are using a tube amp, this is a crutial must, that you turn these two options off. there's not actually a unit 'bypass', there is a Tuner/Bypass mode, but this just kills the sound from the outputs, so the unit is most deffinatly not having 'true' bypass. But if you construct a patch with no effects on what'so ever and store it as a preset, it will go directly to your amp without the unit effecting your signal. You can still of course use the built in wah pedal to control the signal volume if you wish. This is somthing I find very useful when not using a stand alone controll. The effects really do Shine through, and there are a good few on there. Chorus, delay, flanger, not to mention the Wah Controlled Whammy effect, and a moddeled Boss SYB-5 patch on the Unit. But they may not be as clear if you are using an amp with a high gain setting/tone (Metal level of gain).
Overall Impression — 9
This unit is great for the effects it comes with. As I've been in the game a lot longer now then what I had the unit, I have a tendancy to buy stomp-boxes, and individual effect units now, simply because you can customise them a lot more then you can a floor unit (mods for example), and you can mix and match them and turn on or off effects when you please, as apposed to moving through patches of different presets. And the signal effect itself is a lot more customisable with stomp units, and you can mix and match a lot easyer, and you're not constricted to using only effect designs from the Boss brand. But, if you're looking for somthing space saving, somthing to play around with or easy to take to gigs with you or just practice with, I really would suggest you get this. It's also great for beginners (provided they read the instructions) as it offeres a lot of different sounds that maybe only somone who is professionally gigging or performing may be able to afford via individual units. I'm glad I baught it, and I still use it from time to time now, even along with my stomp effects, and I use a variaty of other wah's in the units effects loop.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've used it a few times at different gigs, and it's still yet to fail me. I've had it about 3 years now, and I baught it second hand when I got it, and it had no problems before I baught it, and it has none now. Only a few scratches on the unit, but that expected of all floor units. One worry I do have tho, is the wah pedal is plastic, and those with a 'heavyer handed' way of using floor units, over time this could result in damage to the pedal, but as I said, I'm still yet to find a fault with it, and I'm not exactly 'light footed'. I've never thought about taking a backup with me to any gigs.
Ease of Use — 8
The unit overall is fairly easy to use providing you read the instructions that come with the unit or your knowledge of acheiving a nice sound is a lot better then somone Who is new to the game. If you are not familiar with products like this I suggest you read the instructions it comes with before you start pressing buttons. Editing, creating, storing, moving and writing patches couldnt be simpler (provided you know what to do, like I mentioned above). You have the option to select the effect, if it is on/off or what effect preset you would like to use. As for switching between patches, it comes with use presets and factory presets, can't remember off the top of my head, but well in the hundreds all together. In each bank you get the choice of switching between 5 patches on the board. You can easily scroll through each bank, either using the 'B' Switch, then selecting on the board (1-5) if you have a group of banks, this makes it really easy when gigging, or you can use the 'scroll knob' which will move through every patch, one after the other.