Price paid: $ 430
Sound — 9
My current rig is as follows: Boss EQ (GE-7) -> Original Crybaby Wah -> Boss GT-8 -> Mesa/Boogie Single Rectifier Solo Head (V2) -> Boss GT-8 -> Amp again. I use 7 string guitars with EMG pickups or Bareknuckle Warpig pickups. The sound in this unit is amazing, almost all effects are great, with the exception of Pedal Bend and the synths which are a little sterile but still very usable. The pre-amps are a mixed bag, not all of them will sound amazing right out of the bat and although they are not as accurate as the POD XT Live's pre-amps, they are very usable and can get you a little variety. You can always use your amps Pre-Amp (in my case I have it on all the time). The OD/Distortion Stompboxes are excellent, especially the TS-9, OD-1, DS-1 and MT-2 models which are pretty darn accurate. The integration with the rest of my rig was superb, no complaints at all (after I have it set up as I need it).
Overall Impression — 9
I play metal with touches of progressive metal and instrumental rock (a-la Satriani) and this unit is the perfect match for me. It solved my tap dancing problems and it provided all the sounds I need. I wish it had an extra switching device so I could also toggle the solo boost through the unit but that can easily be done through the amp's footswitch. I used to have a Zoom unit and this unit totally smokes that unit.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Looks almost indestructible, would definetly use it without a backup. The power adapter also looks pretty sturdy and reliable, although I would carry a backup for that one as I have had bad experiences with power adapaters before. The stomp pedals have a nice feel and don't look like they'll break off easily and so is the expression pedal which is a sturdy chunk'o'metal.
Ease of Use — 8
The GT-8 is extremely deep and it quite simple to edit, but it is not as simple to get the sound. Because it works very similarly to pedals, it's easy to get a lackluster sound out of it. However, provided you have the time to edit it's patches you can get almost any sound you can (or not) think of. Once you have your patches set it is amazingly easy and pleasing to use. It can switch your amps channels and set it differently on each patch, which is extremely convinient as it ends any tap dancing. Also, depending on your amp it will be a little tricky to get it to sound just right as it will have to be set differently. Also, you may need to make yourself a special cable just for channel switching as some amps do not like the GT-8's system and will produce unbearable hum. This is easy dealt with my removing the ground (sleeve) wire on one of the ends of the cable.