“ Brand: Boss / Type: Guitar Accessories „
To get this amp simulator you're going to have to dig out a hefty £200 (at least) which is approaching the cost of a low end amplifier!
I'm not even going to draw it out for you, it's worth it! Get this thing!
What you're looking at is your dream tones all at the click of a button (and a little patience to work out the tones etc). This pedal has everything a budding guitarist coud dream of having inside their amplifier. From chorus to delay, I only wish I got this pedal board BEFORE I spend a couple of hundred quid on my collection of other pedals.
The sound quality from this beast is pretty damn awesome. I had always been scared of these amp simulators just seeing them as a "cheap alternative to a good amp", but how wrong I was! I must try putting more faith into technology instead of being so old-school... One downside is that you're still going to need a PA system or a regular amplifier to play your guitar out of. Luckily it's pretty easy to se it up and just requires one simple cable or a loop system.
The way this pedal works is you just plug your guitar into it, and it will become the "tecnological" part of your amplifier. A guitar amplifier is split into two parts, the Pre-amp and the speaker. This in escence replaces the pre-amp therefore cutting out the price of a speaker. This is a huge leap forward if you already own a speaker, and will conserve some of that student loans! (you know what I mean for the students reading this) All the pre-set amplifier settings sound pretty much like their intended to. Mind you, the only way I can compare this is by looking up on youtube/soundcloud other guitarists who have used the original equipment. One strange thing that I discovered about the pedal was that it really didn't like my cheaper guitar cable.. I had to switch up to my more expensive planet wave cable (that I only save for gigs) to preserve the high gain tone that I was looking for. Don't get me wrong about the old cable though, it's still good! So I don't get why it won't co-operate as well with this pedal. It remains a mystery.
If you're reading this and were considering buying a brand new amplifier, don't bother! Just get this and plug it in, it would have saved me many a hundred of pounds in the past. In fact I'm going to have to buy another one of these seeing as my brother seems to have stolen the first one...
This pedal was Boss's flagship fx pedal a number of years ago and has since been replaced by the gt10 etc. When I purchased this pedal this pedal was up against line 6 pods, I chose this pedal as i believed the sound quality to be much higher. For this review I will split the sections into parts of the pedal including construction, amp modelling, fx and general notes.
This pedal is a serious piece of kit meant for abuse on the live circuit. The pedal is built from metal and heavy rubber, underneath are rubber stopper to stop it slipping around. The pedals are plastic but feel very solid. The edges are all rounded with no sharp corners and the design is generally well thought out and logical, although people with big feet may have some trouble pressing the wrong buttons.
The amp simulations in my opinion are the weak link in the pedal as they sound digital and fake. The cleaner simulations such as the fender models aren't half bad in all fairness, however the dirtier models get progressively worse. In my opinion you are much better off using your amps own sounds.
This is where this pedal really shines the effects are really top notch. 340 effects are including delays, reverbs and compressors as well as more unusual ones such as pitch benders, uni V and doublers. They can be used together and moved around in the signal chain to wherever you like. The pedals can be assigned to turn on and off effects and also be used to control tempo on tempo synchronous effects such as delay. The expression pedal can be used to control parameters of effets too such as gain on distortions or delay times etc. As well as effects them selves such as volume, wah and uni v.
Unlike many other pedals like this, the gt6 allows you to include an effects loop within its own effect loop allowing external effects to be used. This is great if you have a great effect not included in the pedal. This can also be used to include your amps own distortion using the 4 cable method which treats your amps pre amp as an effect. This is what I would suggest most people do to get the best sound quality. If you can pick one of these up cheap second hand I really do recommend it.
A Guide To The Boss GT-6 Guitar Effects Processor
I spent a fair few years working in guitar shops before moving on to other pursuits, so feel I may be able to shed a little light onto the workings of the
Boss GT-6 and hopefully make potential buyers aware of some of the potential pros and cons...
I'd also like to also explain a few aspects of the GT-6 that may be a little confusing to guitarist's who're relatively unfamiliar with digital guitar effects -but want to know if they're missing out by not having a GT-6...
GT-6 DESCRIPTION (with my comments)
Firstly -the GT-6 is a multi-effects processor, which simply means that it can apply multiple guitar effects to your sound - simultaneously. For example you can have distortion and echo and chorus etc all at the same time.
(For those unfamiliar with guitar effect sounds; 'DISTORTION' emulates a guitar amplifier driven so hard that the sound breaks up and becomes warmer with lots of sustain - if you could see a distorted signal on an oscilloscope you'd see that the peaks of the wave are squared off and become literally; distorted / 'ECHO' is a spatial effects and emulates a sound hitting a distant object then bouncing back -like shouting loudly into a canyon / 'CHORUS' is a combination of a very short echo of a few milliseconds and a slight undulating of the pitch which is mixed back in with the original guitar sound, producing a sound supposedly emulating multiple guitars playing -hence the name 'chorus' as in the music term for a collection of voices- and not chorus as in the catchy bit in a pop song- lol!!).
Digital Multi Effects processors (from here in called simply 'multi-FX') have been around for quite a while, and grew with the rise of the microchip - in much the same way that the PC has evolved -getting steadily ever more complex.
Boss was at the forefront of Multi-FX development, so certainly have a good pedigree in this department (though it could be argued that, being so well established and while being undeniably very high quality, the prices tend to generally be higher than other multi-FX manufacturers), and sure enough the
GT-6 is Boss's flagship offering - having (at the time of writing this) more processing power than any previous Boss multi-FX unit. The unit is well built and feels reassuringly robust and weighty, so I've no doubt it would stand up to the rigors of gigging well. Be aware though, and I speak from experience here, that the weak part of the GT-6's design (and indeed most manufacturer's multi-FX pedals in general) is not in the pedal itself; but is in the AC power adaptor cord.
The GT-6 (in common with most pedals) is powered by a separate AC adaptor which plugs in to a normal electric plug socket one end, while the other end is a thin long(ish) cable that terminates in a small socket that plugs into the GT-6. As any gigging guitarist will tell you, these AC cables - unless treated with the utmost care and respect - will at some point develop break.
But as I said earlier; this AC adaptor connection cord problem is certainly not limited to the Boss GT-6, it affects almost all multi-FX pedals regardless of manufacturer. But if you're planning to take the GT-6 out gigging you need to be ready for this eventuality. I suggest doing two things;
1) Treat the AC cord with great respect.
2) As soon as you can afford it; buy a spare AC adaptor.
Problem solved -lol!!
Thanks to the GT-6's vast processing power, there are an enormous amount of programs available (stored groups of sounds, that you 'program' from the comfort of your own home, and that will stay loaded into the GT-6's memory even if you turn the power off), 340 programs in fact - which in all honesty is ridiculously more than you're ever going to need to use at a gig or recording session.
In some ways the enormous processing power can be a double edged sword; in that while it's nice to have so much power at your fingertips (or in this case toes -lol!!), because there's so much that the GT-6 can do -there's a tendency to overdo it somewhat when creating guitar sounds.
There's endless potential for overkill here - you can have effect on top of effect on top of effect... well you get the idea. Many of the groups of sounds programmed into the pedal (programs) when you first buy it are designed to impress you, and to sound great in a music shop when you're trying the GT-6 out deciding whether to buy it.... These sounds are wonderfully complex and layered -but it's easy to lose sight of the fact that these factory preset programs are mostly designed just to showcase the GT-6.
But those over-the-top programs that sound so wonderfully impressive and full in the music shop/ your front room, will often get lost completely if you try to use them when playing in a band at a gig. Your sound will be indistinct and hard to hear when other instruments are playing, -usually because of lots of echo/reverb effects in the program you're using - which will naturally make your sound seem distant and relatively quiet; this is the natural reaction of the human ear to spatial effects like echo and reverb.
(That's why, even with your eyes shut, you can tell when you're in a large hall if you clap your hands -because the handclap will cause reverb and echoes when the sound bounces of the high ceiling and distant walls. It's these ambient sounds that tell your brain, via your ears, that a sound is from far away).
So unless you have a very specific artistic idea in mind - try to avoid using the GT-6's programs that have mountains of echo /reverb (or both) -or your sound will quite literally recede into the distance (even when you try to compensate with volume).
The best solution is to forget the 'designed-to-show-off-the-GT-6' factory preset programs, and write your own - then the GT-6 really does become a great guitarists tool.
Operating and programming the GT-6 is pretty straight forward (though if you've never owned a multi-FX before, expect a STEEP learning curve, and a lot of manual reading before you get to grips with the many, many features that this pedal has to offer)...
...thanks to it's 15 analog style knobs (old fashioned 'turning' knobs like you find on a guitar amplifier), and the various buttons and foot pedals -including an expression pedal (a pedal that you can rock forward and back with your toes and heel. The expression pedal is commonly used for 'wah wah' effects and as an overall volume pedal).
Once you've programmed the sounds you want, you can switch easily between all your 340 programs (I've never needed to use more than 5 or 6 programs in my life and I've played, performed and recorded for most of my life -lol!! Though I suppose it's nice to have the option) using only the foot pedals - which feel good quality and robust.
The sounds on the GT-6 are certainly high quality - and are created by Boss's own COSM engine; which is Boss's (built in -no messing about required) modeling software for emulating all of the classic guitar effects, and guitar amplifiers that you could ever want, as well as plenty of cutting edge new sounds too.
(There are other manufacturers who have also created there own, very good modeling software too though, so Boss certainly don't have the market to themselves).
It would take me too long to list all the effects that are built into the GT-6 as it's such a comprehensive list... and considering the GT-6 also emulates all the best known guitar amplifiers too - it's an ideal recording tool, as well as being great for live work. (But again, other manufactories multi-FX pedals can also emulate guitar amplifiers).
Sound quality is first class - as it uses 24 bit converters and there's also a digital coaxial output for high fidelity recording applications.
I think it's fair to say that there's really nothing missing from the GT-6 arsenal of sounds and features that I can think of, indeed if it's got a fault it's probably that there's too much on offer here -which can be distracting if you don't keep a clear view of what you want to do with it... but I can't argue with it's potential.
Is the GT-6 the best guitar multi-FX to buy? Unfortunately there's no simple answer; it really depends on what you want from a multi-FX pedal.
If you're new to the world of multi-FX and this is your first purchase (or if you don't want or need mountains and mountains of features and complex options) then you'd probability be better off buying a far cheaper, less featured multi-FX -of which there are many fine examples on the market (made by many different manufacturers, including Boss -though the Boss one certainly won't be the cheapest).
If you play at a pro or semi-pro level (or if you're a very keen amateur) then the GT-6 is very worthy of your consideration. The options for live and recording uses are more than ample, the sounds are really excellent and of a truly professional standard, it's very robust and gig friendly (as long as you follow my advice about the AC adaptor -lol!!) and Boss have a long proven track record when it comes to reliability - so all in all you won't be disappointed. with the GT-6, and it could even turn out to be your new best friend -lol!!
I do have a slight reservation, in that you could probably get a Multi-FX with a good many of the GT-6's features, made by a different manufacturer, for less money - though it probably wouldn't quite be as good in some areas.
So I don't think there's an easy yes or no answer when it comes to deciding whether it's worth digging a bit deeper in you pocket to get the GT-6 I'm afraid. In the end only you can decide if those extra 'flagship' features and robustness/ proven track record are worth the extra cash... But either way there's no disputing that the GT-6 is a fine piece of kit.
Hope you found my review useful and of some help, and I wish you good luck with your bargain hunting!!
24-bit converters and coaxial digital output for recording applications. 30 COSM amp models, plus new Distortion/Overdrive Pedal Modeling (15 types) and Wah Modeling (5 types).