Price paid: $ 445
Purchased from: Musiciansfriend.com
Sound — 10
I use the Dean From Hell (Dimebag's Lightningbolt ML) into the GT-8, direct into my Epiphone Blues Custom 30. The combination of this powerful pedal with an all-tube amp is unbeatable. Any kind of distortion you want, you can get. Even without tubes, you can set the channels to dynamically Switch from say a clean to a crunch based on how hard you play. Cleans are pretty good, but anyone Who has played on tubes know digital will never beat the real thing; but that's what tube AMPS are for! Effects for the most part are top notch. Compressors work well, reverb sounds awesome, the modulation effects (phaser, flanger, u-vibe, etc.) sound good if you tweak them right. If not, they may digital-spaz out a bit (like clipping) and not sound real. Distortion pedal models are ok, I'd rather just use the amp models and get a richer sound, but the Tubescreamer sounds good, so does the RAT. SO, with considerable tweaking, you can get ANY sound you could ever want out of this pedal, regardless of which artist or band you listen to. I have patches for Killswitch Engage, Godsmack, B.B. King, John Mayer, Switchfoot, and many, many more (around 150).
Overall Impression — 10
I play everything, but metal always comes first. The Boss GT-8 can do anything I want, and I can get any sound I could ever want out of it, and I'm still learning and finding new things today. I've been playing for about a year and a half, and I am getting ready to release an album with my band: www.myspace.com/relinquishthehatredband. The only gear I use on the album is my Dean From Hell, the GT-8, and the Epiphone Blues Custom. If the GT-8 was stolen or lost, I would most definitely buy another one, but I would bang my head against the wall because I'd have to program all my patches again, but that's just me being lazy.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Just recently this thing got seriously broken in, and I will probably never buy another brand other than Boss again. I was loading my gear in my truck after a show, I set the GT-8 on the tailgate, and somehow it got knocked off while I was putting my amp in the bed. It fell 4 feet to concrete, face down. The only damage was 2 nicks on the corners, and one knob had a little bit of scratch on it. That's it, this thing is a tank, pure and simple.
Ease of Use — 9
I do a lot of research before I buy anything, because of my limited budget and hate of returning things, so I read up on this, read the manual in PDF forms several times through and decided on this over the PODxtLive or Tonelab SE. The POD may have super-user-friendly controls, but it's tones were just sub-par, very digital no matter how much fiddling I did on my friend's xtl. The tonelab sounded pretty good from the tubes, but it couldn't do convincing metal, which is my one true love, so it was out with that, plus it cost a whole lot more. It took me a while to set up the GT-8 with patches that I really liked, but being able to take a premade patch and copy-paste it, then tweak it until I really like it is very handy. After you get a good base, then you can branch out, playing around with different amps and effects. Editing is VERY deep, just about any parameter you can think of for a certain effect or amp has a control. The knobs are responsive, the clickwheel is usable and once you get used to the GT-8's "operating system" of sorts, editing is a breeze. The manual is technical, and kind of dry. The Line6 PODxtLive's manual had quite a bit of humor and was actually kind of fun to read, but this feels like a professional piece of equipment, and the manual lends itself to that.