Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
I play a Schecter Gryphon or a Fender Splatter Stratocaster, which goes to a Dunlop Original Crybaby, then this pedal, and then my Peavey Triple XXX Super 40. I have heard people say that this pedal should be in your effects loop, but I personally think it works better when it goes directly to your amp. My amp is extremely noisy without the NS2, especially with the Crybaby. My Schecter also has hot humbuckers that produce a lot of noise, and Pick up other electric things in the area, which made it impossible to play anywhere near my computer screen, which was terrible for learning songs. With the pedal, I do not get any hum around electrical devices, and I can only hear the amp make a little bit of noise, which isn't made from the guitar or pedal, so this is really doing what I had intended it for. I have heard from people that I shouldn't get this pedal because it sucks tone, but I haven't noticed it yet. The only difference in my tone is that the highs may be a little lower than without the pedal, but it only effects my tone if I am doing trills or something like that on the higher strings up high on the fretboard. For rhythm, the tone difference is unnoticeable.
Overall Impression — 10
I play metal and hard rock mainly, and I use a ton of gain on my amp, so it is very noisy and loud. This pedal does an amazing job at killing all of my feedback and excess unwanted noise. I have been playing for almost 3 years now, and this is my first noise gate. I played it for a while in the store when I was buying, but I didn't get to try it on my amp, so it was a hit or miss when I got home, but I'm definitely not disappointed. The only other pedal that I was looking at other than this one would have to be the ISP Decimator, which I have only heard soundclips of online. It sounded great, but nowhere around me could obtain them, so I settled with this, which was $20 cheaper list anyway, plus I talked the salesperson down another $20! Overall, this is a great pedal, and it does everything I wanted it to do.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have had this pedal for about 2 days now, so I cannot really rate this area fairly, although my uncle has used Boss products for many years, and none of them have broke down on him. I would gig without a backup because I really wouldn't want to waste another 80 bucks just to have a spare, but I don't think you would need a backup anyway.
Ease of Use — 9
This pedal is extremely easy to use. You use the Threshold knob to set the sensitivity of the pedal, and that decides what it picks up as "noise" and what is a note. The Decay knob sets how long it takes after you stop playing until the gate kicks back in. This is there because the pedal may take away sustain, but I haven't noticed it in my playing. There are two modes for it to be used. One is the reduction setting. When the knob is on this setting, when the pedal is turned on, it is cutting out noise and feedback, but when you turn the pedal off, it is bypassing the pedal. In the Mute stage, when the pedal is on, the sound is completely muted, which is good for tuning or changing guitars onstage. When the pedal is off in mute mode, it cuts the noise just like it would if the pedal was on in the reduction setting. The manual wasn't too much help, but this was quite easy to figure out anyway.