Price paid: $ 437.37
Sound — 10
My Setup is I use an Ibanex AWD83 to the GT-8 then from the Mono output to my Boss RC-20XL Loop Station strait in to my Vox 30 Valvetronix instrument input. For recording I skip the Loop station and the amp and use the Coaxial SPDIF output to my PC for digital recording. I never notice any noise when playing through my amp, but I think that's because it has a built in noise gate. When recording I found a slight hiss and it was only a 2 second change on the GT-8 noise gate and it was solved, so I can't complain about noise. I bought this for my 21st birthday. I wanted to try and emulate Adam Jones's tone from Tool. I didn't really get it perfect, close, but you can ask any Tool fan and it's notoriously difficult to dial in. But I also wanted to work on my own sound and tone, and the GT-8 is just built for that. You can change 'every' aspect about the tone, I can't think of anything it is missing. Personally I love the amp mixing, you get some amazing and lively tones from blending 2 contrasting amps together. I also like the compressor, it's supprisingly good and helps sustain to no end. My least favourite effect. You know I've sat here flipping through the manual trying to think what I don't like. It's tough because in the right situation they are brilliant, it's only when you use these effects in the wrong place it would be 'bad' so to speak. Maybe the Auto Riff, not my sort of thing.
Overall Impression — 10
I play metal/progressive and as I've said before the GT-8 can do everything. As long as you know what your after you can dial it in. I'm particularly impressed with the cleans, they sparkle. Other reviews said they don't sound great (this might be true on a high end tube amp, but for my needs it's impressive). I researched quite a lot before I bought this. For me at the time 200 was a lot to spend on what is basically a fancy extra. But I decided if I were to invest in an effects rig I wanted one that could do everything I want to do now, and everything I might want to do over the next 5 years. I feel this has so much head room for other styles and driving my sound in to diffrent areas. It has totally met and exceeded my expectations. If I lost this I would certainly get another. I have come to depend on it, it shapes and defines my tone. Luckly I have all my patches backed up so if I did loose it I could get another and load them all back. I love the amp mixing and the fact that it drives my small 30 watt combo. The only thing I hate is that it weighs a bomb. It is heavy and our practise room is on the 3rd floor and the last month the elevator is broke. It wasn't fun carrying that up 3 flights. I was looking at the GT-6, and to be honest that would have done everything I wanted. I'm glad I didn't get it. The dual COSM amps is the main thing I love, I can't imagine not having them. I wouldn't mind a built in Looping Station, would have saved me an extra 150 on my RC20-XL, but hey that isn't what this is for. Overall I use it for practising in the house with headphones so I don't have to setup my amp. I use it for band practise every week. I use it for gigs. I use it for recording. It does everything I wanted and more. It has so many effects I can't think of a single one I feel it's missing. I'd recommend it to anyone Who is looking for an effects processor that is versatile, this is for you.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've had this thing now for 6 month, nothing has gone wrong with it once. I can't imagine anything going wrong with it. I have dropped it thrown it about abit there's not a scratch there. It goes with me to every practise session gets dragged along and works perfectly every time. I can and do gig without a backup.
Ease of Use — 7
First of all I'd like to just list the main features. Dual COSM Amp engine allows two different amp types to be assigned to the two channels. This might sound a little 'gimmicky' but to be honest it's one of the best features of the GT-8. You can mix 2 amp models in to a single patch. So they can be mono mixed, or stereo mixed, or Pick attack mixed (basically it blends depending how loud you play) it's a very nice feature. 200 stunning preset patches and 140 user patches; 44 effects categories, up to 13 simultaneous FX blocks. The presets are 'okay' personally I feel they sound a little flat and don't do the GT-8 any justice, however they do show the whole range of styles that's possible with this Machine (which is pretty much anything you want). The effects are numerous but I'll get on to those a lil later. User configurable effect chain; any effect can be assigned in any order in the signal path. This is very clever, and I haven't seen this on any other setup similar to the GT-8. Essentially if you want to move the Wah pedal to before the distortion or after, then you can change the order to what ever you like. Independent Assignable External Effects loop section for inserting external pedals any where in the signal path. Pretty much standard allows you to stick any other pedals you might have in the loop, or you can use the 4 cable method to link it up to your amp assuming your amp has an External Effects Loop. Solo Switch on the COSM amp section for instant lead tones. It's a nice idea, basically gives you a little gain boost so you can stand out abit more on your lead sound. Amp Control Jack for switching external guitar amp channels is what it says you can control your amps channel (assuming it has a simple 2 channel Switch input). 24 bit converters and coaxial SPDIF digital output for high-resolution direct recording applications. Very useful if you want to do proper digital recordings of your guitar. I use it when doing final recordings of songs so we can seperate the 2 guitars from another and mix them seperatly. As for the whole Ease of Use, the result of the whole plethera of effects, amp mixing, leveling, triggers and such it can be a pain to work with. The learning curve is pretty steep. The presets are okay, though as I mentioned before they can sound a little flat and lifeless. You will need to sit around and read the manual, which is huge. Now it might sound I'm on a downer about the GT-8, and it's true it isnt that easy to use at the beginning. However once you get used to it the GT-8 is a beast. There's a whole range of amazing tones you can get out of it, and once you know what your doing getting a good sound is fairly simple. Editing patches again can be a problem because of the sheer complexity of the whole system. There is so much to edit that I can easily spend an hour just setting up a new patch. However this is when you are working with the GT-8 on it's own. I would STRONGLY recommend buying a MIDI adapter, (I picked up a M-Audio UNO from amazon for 17~). When you have the MIDI Adapter you can go to http://www.bossgtcentral.com/ and get hold of the GT-8 Editor. You can edit all the functions of the GT-8 on the computer in realtime, makes creating your own patches much easier. I mentioned before that the manual is huge. The manual I find is brilliant, it gives you precise information about every aspect of the GT-8. Every effect is explained, and all their parameters. Boss did a very good job in this aspect. Overall I'd give 7 for ease of use. Mainly because the learning curve was a little too steep for me, the redeeming factor is the manual is great.