Friday 17 April 2015

Boss ME-80 Multiple Effect Unit

Something to truly fall in love with.....

Be a beginner or a professional player this is something that you'd love to have in your kit as a guitarist. I see this as a successful fusion between highly sophisticated menu orientated GT-100 and very tactile and organic good old stomp box. This is a big jump in the right direction from it's predecessor ME 70. Roland has really done its home work to produce this piece of beauty !


Well, all I can say is this has the right size and right weight for it to be portable yet comfortable on stage.(Check the specs) The feel good heaviness of the unit is a comfort when it comes to the real deal on stage. Right weight and the rubber studs on the bottom with make sure it would not move under your feet. Angulated surface makes it comfortable for the feet and makes controllers and the switches more accessible. Huge improvement from the Me 70 is bringing lots functionality from small manual buttons to foot control switches so the player doesn't have to stop playing and bend down to adjust settings.
Only downside is the not so robust effect peddle compared to the one on ME-70. But this is something you could easily get use to. 

Power supply
Designed to be used with 6 AA batteries. Boss boasts a battery life of 7 hrs with alkaline batteries. Also you have the option of using Boss PSA series AC adaptor. (Worth mentioning that a cheaper 3rd party adaptor would be a safer option as well according to some reviews.)


This is where ME-80 becomes a champion. For the first time ME series is connectable to a computer via a USB. This allows the unit to be connected to its native software Boss Tone Central(which comes free) where you can add, save and edit your patches and settings very conveniently. Boss provides quite a collection of free live sets full of different useful patches which are downloadable. Have a look here. Midi transfer of USB is also supported. Also you get usual stereo and mono connections. Headphone connection which is useful if you don't want to disturb your wife. Separate auxiliary connection is useful to connect iPod or any other similar device which will allow you to jam along with audio or midi files.

Whats on the top

Switches and knobs on the top are grouped into simple lay out according to the functions. Knobs are grouped as Pre amps, EQ/FX2, Reverb, Comp/FX1, OD/DS, Mod and Delay.

Then comes all important foot switches designed as 4 different stomps. These also let you select different functions and navigate ..through the menus as well. Effect pedal lies on the side as the king.

Sounds and functionality

There are two main modes. Manual and memory. In manual mode you can operate 4 separate foot switches exactly like separate stomps which will suit old school players use to play with stomps
Memory mode lets you have access into 72 patches. 36 programmable user patches and 36 non programmable preset patches. The sound quality is amazing. Having said that at the high ends you could loose genuine analog sounds to digital abrasions.
Most impressive are the pre amp sounds which very closely mimics the real sounds of old tweed, combo etc.
Did I mention about the loop function. This is amazing for practising and jamming on your own. You just have to try and see.

Overall ?

Very impressive. Very portable robust unit with amazing sound quality and functionality. USB connection opens up further dimensions in controlling the unit. As mentioned before only downsides are the plastic feeling effect pedal and the loss of quality in sounds at high ends. But for the money you pay this is a really good buy. I love it.

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