Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: Local Store
Sound — 8
I have used this effects unit through an old Peavey Bandit, a Marshall MG15DFX, and Fender Blues Jr. with such guitars as a Squier Strat, Ibanez ( I don't know the model, but it was a higher end Ibanez according to the owner), and my Peavey HP Signature EXP. I use it most with the Peavey guitar and Fender Blues Jr. because that's my current setup and anything else I was just messing around with. It's really fun to play through two amps at once. I hooked up my Blues Jr. and a Peavey Bandit up at the same time with the two stereo output jacks, and when using a light distortion with the phaser of flanger and one of the two pan delays, and maybe the wah or resonance, you can get some spacey sounds. I do get this horrendous hissing noise from the unit sometimes, when I use a lot of distortion. I don't know why, and I generally don't use the heavy distortion anyway. Otherwise, it's not really noisy unless you want it to be. The effects work just fine for me. Sometimes the wah doesn't really seem to sound out much when you're using heavy distortion. I don't know if wahs in general are like that, however. All the effects work just fine, depending on how much distortion you use. The tremolo can be a bit weak at times, with distortion. Basicly, if you use too much distortion, the effects won't sound out. I'm not very good at working with EQ at all, so I can't really get some of the sounds like Eddie Van Halen's brown sound. But I can get tones that I like. I may not sound exactly like Eddie Van Halen in terms of tone and playing skill, but I like what I hear, so that's fine. It really helped to clean up my Marshall MG15DFX. I have some recordings on my profile with my MG, and I got an excellent tone for Van Halen's 316 using the ME-50. So to those of you Who say the MG series sucks for cleans, you haven't run it with some good effects.
Overall Impression — 9
I play a mix of blues, metal, classic rock, and acoustic-chordy stuff. And for blues, I could get sufficient blues tones from my Blues Jr. but this certainly helps to get some dirtier blues for the dirty, dirty blues, which I really do love, with those slow bends and slow releases, and it sounds so much cooler when done with the wah. And for the metal, I'm talking about Iron Maiden to Black Sabbath. I don't use much high gain distortion very often. I can get some good tones that will fit for Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath. For classic rock, I can get some good Boston-ish tones, or maybe some Tom Petty. I like to play 80's metal stuff, too, and can get decent Van Halen tones, or some Bon Jovi sounds. I suck at working EQ and all that, though. I love this unit. I can't remember playing the guitar before it. How did I survive this long without a wah? I've been playing three years, now. I own a Marshall MG15DFX, Fender Blues Jr., Bad Dog Distortion pedal, Peavey HP Signature EXP guitar, and that's pretty much it. I pretty much knew what I was getting when I went in to buy it. I had studied by reading reviews like any good consumer should, and tried it out on numerous occasions. So it's not like I was walking in blindly, and anyway, the people at the store like to tell me random facts. So I didn't need to ask if it's wrong to hook up two of these together. And the manual covered any other questions I may have had. I don't quite know if I would buy another one of these. It's nice to have, but I think that somewhere down the road I'll be looking for dedicated pedals. Or maybe getting a bigger Boss unit, like the GT-8 or whatever it's called. Right now, this is just fine, and does everything that I expected and could wish for. I compared it to the DigiTech RP Series, which is a lot less expensive than this unit. I also compared it to some Line 6 multi-effects units. The ME-50 came out on top, because of the ease of use, what it could do, and because I could actually try it before buying. I didn't like the thought of the Line 6 very much because it just seemed like too much work to use, and the DigiTech just didn't seem to be what I wanted, with all the menus and whatever. I love the ease of use. The effects I use most are the tone modify, distortion (Blues Driver setting), reverb (usually MOD or the hall), suppresor and wah. Those are my favorite settings, and generally what I use. I can also get some really spacey sounds, which I just mess around with. I wish it did come with a power adaptor. That would have been nice, but I had no problem spending the extra $20 when the alternative was buying an unknown number of batteries over a period of time. I also wish it came in more colors. I wouldn't rate it down for that, because it's about the sound and functionality and not the color. But that would just be nice, I guess.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I can certainly depend on this unit. It's not like I'm going to do something stupid like hook two of these up together. The guy Who sold me the unit at my local store told me a friend of his did that, and one of the units got fried. Or both, I'm not sure. Anyway, if you're smart and store it properly and use it correctly, it will be fine. It's got a very sturdy metal casing, and the pedals are made of very hard plastic. I don't see this thing breaking down, and I know of some people Who have had their ME-50 for a very long time, and have had no problems.
Ease of Use — 8
This device is fairly easy to use if you know what you're doing. If you know what each different section does, you'll be fine. And anything you don't know can be explained in the manual, which explains anything you might need to know about this unit. There are eleven different distortion choices (with a variation button that changes each, bringing the total to twenty-two), eleven different modulation choices, eleven different delay choices, six expression pedal functions, four different reverbs, a noise suppresor, compression/sustainer, and eleven different choices of tone modification. There is also a tuner function, and a patch function. After reading through the manual once, I was able to quickly begin making my own patches. I could have gotten by without the manual, but it just makes it that much easier to figure out. There are a lot of knobs- twenty, three stomp pedal, an expression pedal, and four buttons, to be precise. Figuring out how it works is simple, and is only made easier by the provided literature. One of the main factors that went into my decision to purchase this unit was that there were no menus I had to scroll through. I just Pick an effect, turn in on, and that's it. As for ease of use while playing live, it's not easy switching banks of patches unless you also purchase the footswitches that can Switch banks when in the patch mode. Those pedals also turn the compressor and tone modify on and off when in regular mode.