ME-50 Guitar Multiple Effects review by Boss

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.4 (436 votes)
Boss: ME-50 Guitar Multiple Effects

Price paid: $ 364.17

Purchased from: Sound Control Newcastle

Sound — 8
High sound quality, low hum. Can't complain. Obviuosly the high gain dist and od make a racket, but minimal use of the noise gate can normally sort this out. After 5 minutes the overall sound blew the AX1500 away. Though that unit is capable of some nice sounds once you have fiddled through the menus. The Drive settings are generally very good, although I sometimes long for a bit more beef on the OD-1. I generally use the OD-2 and crunch settings the most. Mod, chorus flange and phase very good, I havent found a use for the vibrato or the UNI-V that the website rates so highly. Harmonist lead lines can sound pretty impressive when coupled with metal distortion, though its cheating of course. Delay, it delays, nowt special. The hold function can create a 2 sec "loop" function that must annoy the neighbours. Reverb leaves something to be desired, no subtlety, gets very muddy very easily. But its acceptable Compression, priceless. Although the controls are a little limiting, level and sustain. An attack dial would be an improvement Tone Mod, I use as little as possible. Expression pedal, the one place where the AX1500 really shone, the me50 has a reasonable wah and resonance, the voice wah is not that great, if you want living on a prayer vocoder (if you're cheese inclined) use the AX1500. pedal pitch shift is only 1 octave +/-. compared to many pedals that offer 2 octaves. I never got the point of ring mod. I probably should have mentioned the memory banks by now, but they are easy to forget about as I use the manual mode more often. Basically there are 10 banks, each with three patches, chosen by the 3 stomp pedals. Bank can be changed via an external 1 or 2 pedal Switch (obv it doesnt have to be a Boss one, I use a Marshall that came free with my amp. It's so easy to create and recreate sounds in the manual mode that I don't bother with the banks for practise and rehearsal. If I'm gigging, I store settings I need in the first few patches the night before. I give this pedal 8 for tone and features, my only complaints being the reverb and the compression.

Overall Impression — 9
I play all kinds of music, jazz, pop, rock, I use this pedal for all styles and it suits me well. I have been playing for 5 or 6 years now, before I bouoght this pedal I used a Zoom 505 #2, so this is a big upgrade. I usually play an Ibanez Artcore (lovely hollowbody, great sound for the price) through this pedal and into a Marshall 80 watt acoustic combo (I like this amp for jazz, and it works well for other styles too) or occasionally a Laney 65watt combo I wish I had waited a week before purchasing this pedal, as it was 30 cheaper next time I was in the store! If it were stolen/lost I would probably buy it again, unless something new crops up The thing that sets this pedal apart from other multifx units is the ease of use, it takes barely any time to create impressive tones. Improvements? I would look for a 2 8VE pitch shift and more compression options. Improved reverb. And maybe some envelope functions? Based on the above ratings I should really give the pedal an overall 10, but nobody is perfect!

Reliability & Durability — 10
Great. If you threw it at someone, it would demolish their house and not affect the pedal. As has been said before, it's a Boss. I would use it without a backup.

Ease of Use — 10
Brilliant! That is what I love about this pedal! And I'll probably mention it several times more in the next few minutes. Completely idiot proof technology in manual mode, plug-in and bang on the pedals and twiddle the dials. When I bought this I was comparing it to the Korg AX1500G (cheaper and packed with features) and the Boss GT-8 (pricey and need a degree to work it). I plumped for this pedal, because I could dial up sounds in a matter of seconds without having to use dreaded menus. Writing patches on the memory is also very easy. Setup the pedal, press write, choose bank and patch and press the write button a couple of times. The manual is simple, though its not necessary to consult it after a few minutes of use. Gives the details of the factory preset patches, but because the maximum value for each effect parameter is not given, I am uncertain of how to read parts of the table. Overall, this pedal is free of the dreaded menus that have annoyed me with previous pedals and sounds can be produced in seconds, so I give it 10 for ease of use.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i disagree with the comment made by the first review "The guitar you use, however, is of no consequence, since compression, noise supression and tone modification can give you practicaly any tone you require. A cheap acoustic, if well mic'd up can sound like a Les Paul." that is wrong, you can use any fancyness you want and it won't sound (nearly) as good as the real thing, you can thicken the tone with the tone mod to make it sound more like humbuckers possibly, but not a specific guitar; anyway it probably makes no difference because the original tone has been drowned out by fx a lot of the time. i've heard someone use one of these pedals live as ther distortion channel, they had a fairly good marshall and a gibson les paul studio it seemed silly to me to stick this pedal in the middle in the first place. when i heard it sounded horrible, lifeless & cold distortion, even a cheap solid state amp could have pulled a better distortion out. i think the modulation effects and the wahs and compressors and such are good but i think its a terrible idea to use this thing for your distortion sound (or any pedal distortion for that matter).
    Just because you heard some fool who probably doesnt know how to set-up his equipment mean that that the ME-50 sounds horrible. You should use a bit of common sense. Try it our your self.
    cfcfan wrote: I have a Marshall AVT275, Fender strat USA series and use the Boss ME-50 fx processor. The other guitarist in our band has exactly the same equipment as me apart from the fx processor. He uses a Boss GT6 and goes through the fx loop whereas I go through the front of my amp. Never been a problem until this week when we needed to turn the volume up a notch to match our new drummer who is a lot louder than the previous one. When I turned my volume up to match the other guitarist I got awful feedback so I tried going through the fx loop. Seemed great until I introduced the tremelo which was so weak it wasn't noticeable and my programmed banks that had distortion/overdrive were all clean?? I have been to 3 music shops and each adviser has given me a different set up, including connecting the send from the rear of the amp to the input on the front of the amp with the fx loop returns connected to the ME-50 outputs. If I didn't have the sense to turn all volumes down beforehand the high pitched sound that came out as I went to turn up might well have deafened me so God knows what it would have done to the amp! Any suggestions? Please bear in mind the following: It is nothing to do with single coil pickups as the other guitarist has the same. I do not have the master volume on ME-50 too high. I have contacted Roland/Boss customer support and finally, I am not technically minded so an idiots guide will be appreciated. Many thanks.
    It is probabaly your amp. Mine does the same thing sometimes and the problem was with my amp. If you have a rather nice amp you might concider taking it in. If not, you should probabaly buy a new one.