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FX is a healthy addiction. Sure, you might start out with a dash of drive, but pretty soon you’ll be chasing sounds your setup can’t deliver. If you just want another stopgap FX pedal, move along. But if you want a keeper, invest in the new Boss ME-80. Raising the spec of the Boss ME-70, and taking key features from the flagship Boss GT-100, it’s as tone-packed as a top studio, but as easy to operate as a stompbox.
Think of a box and the Boss ME-80 ticks it. Under the bonnet, an array of ultra-realistic COSM amp models replicate the coolest amps in history, and pro Boss effects are ready to give your songs wings. On the dashboard, a pedalboard-style layout of gig-friendly footswitches, intuitive controls and expression pedal let you bring the noise fast and shape it in real-time.
Live guitarists will lap up the Boss ME-80, but so too will production boffins, thanks to free Boss Tone Studio software that allows deep editing on your computer, and gives a web connection to the gig-ready patches and endless guitar content at Boss Tone Central. There’s a new Boss in town.
Metaller. Bluesman. Jazz-cat. Whatever style you play, the FX-loaded Boss ME-80 has sounds to suit. You’d expect to find world-class overdrives, wahs, mod effects, pitchshifters and delays (this is a Boss, after all). But the ME-80 goes further. Driven by Boss’s ultra-powerful Multi Dimensional Processing (MDP), you’ll turn heads with one-off effects like Tera Echo and Overtone. Direct from the Boss GT-100, uprated and ultra-realistic COSM amp models give you classic tones from rock history (including new additions like Crunch and Metal). Plus, there’s even an AC preamp for acoustic/electric guitar. Combine up to eight effects at once and edit them to perfection, but don’t forget to shape them in real-time, too, controlling parameters including volume, wah and octave shift with the rugged expression pedal.
Some multi-effects pedals are a headache, with too many layers of options making them hopeless in the heat of a gig. Designed for live, the Boss ME-80 keeps things stompbox-simple, organising effects into eight logical categories, with a footswitch to activate your choice and dedicated knobs to fine-tune it. Even the expression pedal couldn’t be more gig-friendly, taking mere seconds to change the effect or function under your heel. Better still – and unlike ‘real’ stompboxes – is that you can save your edited settings to one of the Boss ME-80’s 36 user patches, then recall them with a stomp of your cowboy boot.
Not every setlist is the same. One night, you might be playing punk, and only need a couple of overdrive effects. The next, you might be playing prog, and need complex preset tones comprising multiple effects. As such, the Boss ME-80 offers two modes for maximum convenience. In Manual mode, it functions like a lineup of stompboxes, with one effect activated by one footswitch. Switch to Memory mode, meanwhile, and pressing the footswitches will instantly activate complete ‘patches’ (ie. settings that comprise multiple effects). The eighth footswitch, meanwhile, is dedicated to mode switching, so you can toggle between Manual and Memory mode, even in the middle of a song.
Compact and powerful floor multi-effects with simple knob-based interface Eight simultaneous effects categories, each with multiple effects types Dial up tones with the ease of using your favourite stompboxes Includes a massive selection of top-quality effects, from classic Boss stomps to the latest MDP effects Updated flagship-level COSM amps derived from the GT-100 Eight multi-function footswitches and expression pedal Manual mode for stompbox-style on/off; Memory mode for switching complete patch setups Delay section includes Phrase Loop function with 38 seconds of recording Runs on six AA batteries or optional PSA-series AC adapter USB audio/MIDI interface built in Free Boss Tone Studio software allows you to edit and organise tones on your computer, and also preview and download free patches directly from the Boss Tone Central website