ME-5 Guitar Multiple Effects review by Boss

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.7 (14 votes)
Boss: ME-5 Guitar Multiple Effects

Price paid: £ 485

Purchased from: Soho Soundhouse London

Sound — 10
I have an all up-to-ate set of BOUTIQUE Patches in mine that gives me classic sounds such as: Univibe, Vibratone, (and other Leslie effects), Rangemaster, Fuzz-Face, Tweed and driven Deluxe Reverb emulations, classic JTM45, Rockabilly, Bluesbreaker, 'Rectified' and 'Twang' - all classic tones in various states - and not modeled! You can get a set too and upload either via sysex/midi and your PC or manual input. See link where to hear/get more info...

Overall Impression — 10
The original Factory Presets are very of the 80's era and is surprising how many users have not deviated too far away from those tones. In particular the OD and distortion are very saturated. That is why I spent a great deal of time in the studio revising my unique and modern BOUTIQUE patch set so that they are meeting the requirements of TODAY'S musicians. Many people still use the Boss SD-1 and love it but moan about the ME-5 OD - is the same! It just needs some special tweaking and blending and then is all you need in one box... Check them out and give the ME-5 a new place on your pedal board!

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have had my unit from new in 1988 and is perfect. Built like a tank and has in-built PSU - no extra adapter to worry about. I have never heard of people looking for parts or spares for these. The only niggle is that you sometimes have to depress the buttons more than once to register - but hey! It is nearly 25 years under foot and back of cupboard!

Ease of Use — 10
If you have an old Boss ME-5 - Don't sell it! Few people realise that the ME-5 incorporates the classic Boss pedal internals that are now Vintage in their own right including the: CS-2, DS-1, OD-2, RV-3, EQ-1, CE-1, DD-2, BF-2 all together with a switchable Noise Suppressor that calms the proceedings.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    BASSMAN THANKYOU. I was literally about to auction my ME-5 on ebay and was looking for a price range and came across your commentary here. I had never really used it as I have a GT100 but on reading your comments I tried her out and definetly will not sell it, some of the effects were so 80sI thought I was going to snort cocaine off a delorean. Cheers.
    Thanks. Ordered the 50 cent switches online and proceeded to open her up. Started to work again and back on the weekend circuit. Will save the switches. This pedal is unmatchable for analog sound. Never use digital reverb/delay and rely on my trusty fender tube amp to supply reverb and presence.
    After 25 years of faithful service, can't switch to pedal one. Any one know an easy fix for this. Thanks.
    They use the same switches as other boss footswitches, as far as I know. I think any technician who works with guitar pedals could easily replace it, and the switches are cheap.
    Are there any noticable differences between ME5 and ME6?
    As a matter of fact, yes. In the ME-5 you have all analog, except the delay/reverb. In the ME-6 you have only OD/DS analog and everything else digital.
    hello there, is it bpossible that i cannot make a memory if the backup battery is empty. i tried tomake such a memory place but he didn,t reacting.i can use the standard presets without any problem.who can inform me? thanks arnold
    @arnoldkamp69 - contact me via my ME-5 website -
    Sounds like the guy who rated everything at 10 is trying to justify the £485 he spent on it