Price paid: € 200
Ease of Use — 8
The unit is very easy to use due to its knob-based editing. The Boss ME-80 has 2 operation modes: memory mode and manual mode. In memory mode the unit works as a conventional digital multieffect, you can select banks and patches. In manual mode the unit works a real pedalboard where every pedal turns on and off an effect. Boss also offers his Tone Studio to edit patches from PC which works well. It's also possible to backup and restore patches and download new ones from Boss Tone Central. The product has no upgradable fw, the manual is clear and well written.
Sound — 8
There was an actual improvement on the sound compared to the other pedalboard of the ME series. The amps are a fraction of the ones offered on the GT-100 and sound great, the Stack model (my personal favorite) simulates very well the sound of a Marshall Plexi but also other clean, crunch and metal amps are included. Some of my favorite effects are the famous Boss chorus and the intelligent harmonizer that follows the scales using the right intervals. If needed a noise gate is provided. The wah-wah is good either with clean and with distortion.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Metal chassis as all Boss pedals, with rugged plastic switches. It is solid enough for gigging although I will use it for home playing/recording as I'm not a gigging musician. For gigging purpose I recommend buying an AC adapter that is not provided with the unit as is it also battery powered. Jack sockects are also metal and an handy on/off switch is provided. To turn on and off the unit you must hold the power switch for two seconds, this prevents the unit from being accidentally shutted down.
Overall Impression — 8
All the sounds, apart from the overtone, the ring modulator and some distortions are very usable in my opinion. The amps sound great and in memory mode the unit can be used as a real pedalboard where every pedal turns on and off an effect. There is also a 38 seconds looper that works well (the only limit to me is that you can't change patch while looping but only turn on and off effects). USB recording and reamping is also supported. A thing to remember is that there is no cabinet simulation editing option but cabinet simulation is activated when headphones/recording out are connected.