Price paid: $ 99.99
Purchased from: Best Buy
Sound — 9
I'm using a Schecter C-1+ with Duncan Designed pickups, playing through various Boss and off-brand pedals into a Vox AD50VT. I placed the NS-2 at the end of my chain, and then input straight into the amp's input. Obviously, the NS-2 will not do very good in a send/receive loop. I get almost no noise on the recommended settings, but I still have good sustain. You're not going to get a note that can cry for days, however, because with a high threshold setting the pedal will cut the signal once the note deteriorates. If playing on a clean setting, I highly recommend turning the threshold down for better sustain. Otherwise, the pedal does it's job perfectly. I can even bang on my Ibanez with a tremolo that rattles like a banshee and I still don't get any noise.
Overall Impression — 10
I play a lot of hardcore, punk, metal, and alternative, all of which are usually played with a lot of gain and Drive. This pedal is an absolute godsend for me; it makes your playing sound so much cleaner and brighter. Ah, the immortal question: If stolen, would I buy a new one? Most definitely. This pedal is one of the most important pieces of gear I own. In fact, I'd buy two, and safeguard the extra for emergencies. It's that big of a deal to me, and I promise it will be for you to. So go on out and buy it, now!
Reliability & Durability — 10
Like all Boss pedals, this thing is a tank. Metal casing and rubber bushing makes this a formidable pedal. I have a backup 9v in it, but I run it through a power daisy chain. The NS-2 has an output power connection, so if you have multiple Boss pedals and want to daisy chain them, this is one of the few Boss pedals with an output on it. I think the others are the Tuner and Line Selector. I definitely rely on this baby at gigs, and it's yet to let me down.
Ease of Use — 10
Upon buying a new Vox AD50VT, I was thrilled to have a great modeling amp with some crushing gain settings. Unfortunately, I got a lot of string noise and hum when chained through my pedals and playing with high gain, so I decided it was time to get a noise gate. The NS-2 is flat out easy to use. Set the sound threshold, the limit, and the mode with three knobs. The included manual even gives you the default "best settings" for the pedal. The pedal has two modes, a check mode and a mute mode. Check mode means that the pedal is either on or off depending on if the pedal is depressed. Mute mode means the NS-2 is always on, but depressing the pedal mutes the chain, allowing you to tune or whatever you wish to do without any sound making it to the amp. For such a simple pedal, you'd expect simple controls, and that's exactly what you get.