Price paid: $ 110
Purchased from: eBay
Ease of Use — 6
The Zoom Boss NS-2 may look like a classic stomp box/guitar effect pedal but it does not actually work like one. The footswitch does not turn the effect on and off like a classic/normal stomp box/ guitar effect pedal. The footswitch is used to do different things like cycle through patches and choose/select effects when programming patches. It can also go into a tuning mode when pressed. It's a little weird only because it looks so much like a classic Boss stomp box/guitar effect pedal. The preset patches are great but I like to tweak my own. Took me only a few minutes to wrap my head around the interface but once I did I can say I find it very easy to use. It's not only weird to have a footswitch that doesn't turn the unit on or off, it's also a little strange that there's not ANY off switch at all. To kill the effect you either have to remove the power supply or dial to an empty patch.
Sound — 10
The Zoom MS-50G is pretty miraculous. Does nearly everything. The amazing thing is that it's a huge collection of stomp boxes in one. The sound quality is clear, vivid and rich. The effects are high quality, very wide in variety, comprehensive, and I say that as a person who makes their living in sound design and audio production. The only thing about the Zoom MS-50G I don't like is the way the noise gate steps down in levels. It steps down about 6dB each time. Can hear 3 or 4 steps but this happens in less than a second so it's not that big a deal. You can hear the effect to a lesser degree if you've ever heard the trail-off of a Boss NS-2. It's acceptable of course because the phenomenon is not apparent if you're not listening too critically. But that's my only gripe. Otherwise the Zoom MS-50G is simply amazing. It's so inexpensive for the variety of FX. It has nearly everything you can think of in there. And unlike some of the reviews I read before I bought this unit, I find the Overdrive effects to be excellent. I mean just superb. And authentic. The amp models, too. Accurate and inspiring. Scrolling through the many cabinet choices for the different amps is highly satisfying. Final note on sound - I also play bass through this and it sounds absolutely great. There don't seem to be any limitations if using a bass though this unit. Performs magnificently.
Reliability & Durability — 10
You should have this thing for a while. Made like typical stomp boxes. The box is heavy metal (appropriate) and the knobs seems to be able to withstand rigorous use. Been messing around with it on a daily basis for the last 8 months and no problems at all. It's odd that the Zoom MS-50G doesn't come with an AC adapter. It's odd because even though the Zoom MS-50G looks like a classic stompbox and provides effects one would expect with such pedals (which don't usually come with an ac adapter), the unit is actually more like a rack FX unit which would usually come with a power cord of some kind. Anyway, I never use batteries so I had to order the adapter on eBay.
Overall Impression — 10
Blues over here. Rock blues, Memphis blues, Chicago blues, Texas blues, British blues, etc, etc... The Zoom Boss NS-2 dials it all in for me. I mean everything. Amps, cabinets, overdrive, compression, tremolo, noise gate, delay, reverb, all of it. Spring reverb is authentic, the choice of overdrives is staggering. And if I'm in the mood to explore different styles then everything I can think of is available in this box. I used to have a standard stomp box pedal set up that consisted of (not necessarily in this order): Overdrive, Noise Gate, compressor, delay, wah. Occasionally a tremolo or vibrato. What a pain in the ass to keep these pedals and their associated cables and wires tidy. Transporting them becomes a hassle too as we all know. This unit solves all of that. If consolidating and organizing your effects - even a simple setup like the one I used to have - is what you need to do, then forget the pedalboard and power supply and little connector cables because that's an even further expense. Sell 'em all and buy the Zoom Boss NS-2. Problem solved and money made. This one pedal unit is the same price as a single Boss pedal. That's incredible.