Price paid: € 109
Purchased from: Thomann
Sound — 8
It has affected tone slightly on any amp I have used it with, (SS Marshall's, Carvin/Fender tube combos and a DSL 50) but for the most part this can be compensated for or isn't hugely noticeable. I have to say that I am impressed with how well it does it job. If you wish to play again after it has engaged, there is virtually no delay in it disengaging, as it is very sensitive to deliberate signal input (eg. Scraping a Pick lightly on the strings over the pickup), while being able to differentiate from non deliberate signal input (I've had the guitar and amp just 'idling' in a lot of places and it has rarely been fooled it into disengaging). Once you get used to it and set it up to your preference, you will quickly forget that is even there and it can be quite a surprise to play on amp that doesn't have one hooked up to it. It's a pedal that you will kick yourself for not buying sooner.
Overall Impression — 8
I play Hard Rock, Classic Rock, some Blues and some Metal. I have been playing for nearly 6 years and I have used it for nearly 11 months of that time. I never had any real hesitation in buying it as I had seen one in action before and I was impressed by it. I love the fact that you can just leave the guitar 'idling' then Pick it up again. I don't really have any complaints against it, it's simple to operate and a very useful piece of gear that does make life easier. I hadn't previously compared it to other products, though I am aware of the existence of other brands selling noise gates and I may consider looking at these in the future, but for now I will continue to use the Boss as it does the job.
Reliability & Durability — 9
It's a Boss, so it's basically bullet proof. The build quality is very good and it has never failed me in nearly 11 months. I have a very high degree of confidence in it whenever I play anywhere and don't have another noise gate or access to any spares whenever I play.
Ease of Use — 8
This pedal is fairly easy to set-up and use, though some playing around time is needed to dial it in and figure out what goes where if you are also using your amp's effects loop and have a lot of cable going back and forth. The instructions are quite brief with regards to set-up but give you the general idea, however they do explain how it's operation clearly. The controls are very simple, it can be used in two modes; Reduction or Mute. When it is set to Reduction and activated, it acts as a noise suppressor to eliminate ambient/unwanted feedback and reduce the presence of unwanted hum from amps and in particular the nasty squeals and hums from using certain effects pedals or multiple effects pedals together. Depending on how you have it set, it will gradually or dramatically fade out the signal when you stop playing. When you set it to Mute, it instantly kills the signal when activated and prevents any signal going to the amp. It can be powered by either a mains power adapter or by 9V battery. As a bonus it can be used as a power distributor to other 9V pedals as it has a 9V 'power out' for use with a parallel power cable. If you don't have a power distributor already, it's worthwhile and cost effective to buy the mains adapter and parallel power cable, as you can be free of constantly buying/charging endless amounts of 9V batteries.