Boss ME-70

January 1, 2010

IF YOU’RE THE TYPE WHO HATES HAVING TO SCROLL through lists of effects and parameters to do something as simple as change a gain setting or a tremolo speed, the ME-70 is the box for you. In Manual mode this multi-effects processor is essentially a collection of stompboxes, any of which can be turned on and off with the four footswitches, which are labeled Comp, OD/DS, Mod, and Delay, to correspond to the effects group that each controls. Press the Mod switch, select your desired modulation effect by turning one knob, and then make adjustments to that sound using the three knobs right below. It couldn’t be simpler, and it works that way for almost all of the effects. By switching to Memory mode, you can also save any effects chain (and all of the knob settings) to one of the 36 available memory slots. The ME-70 ships with 36 factory presets, and there are over 40 effects available. These include six COSM-based amplifier models (which have a dedicated set of gain, volume, and tone controls), ten distortion/ overdrive effects, six “comp” effects (compressor, touch wah, Slow Gear, Defretter, two pickup simulations, and a solo (boost) mode) five delays (analog, modulate, reverse, chorus+ delay, and phrase looper with 38 seconds of record time and unlimited overdubbing), eight modulation effects (including Uni-Vibe, Intelligent Harmonist, octave, and a second delay), six pedal assignable effects (wah, volume, voice, octave +1/-1, modulation rate, delay level), and a one-knob reverb with room and hall settings. You also get a bypassable noise suppressor, a built-in tuner, and an aux input for use with a CD or mp3 player. Also on the rear panel are stereo outs, a headphone jack, and a preamp/ reverb on/off jack (footswitch not included). The unit is powered by six AA batteries, or with the optional PSA series adapter

The ME-70 is compact and lightweight, and its vibe is very much in the stompbox realm thanks to having such a stout collection of classic Boss distortion and modulation effects. As you might expect, the sounds are happening across the board. The amp models (clean, combo, tweed, stack, lead stack, R-Fier) are realistic sounding and have good dynamic feel. The distortion, fuzz, and overdrive pedal tones have the familiar Boss stamp, and they come in enough flavors to satisfy everyone from blues players to metal shredders. The modulation effects are excellent, and the delays and reverbs are clean, warm, and nicely implemented for guitar. In about the same amount of time it takes you to grok the operating steps for other processors, you can set up an effects chain, dial in the sounds, and have the preset ready to go at the touch of a button. Short of accommodating external effects or controlling MIDI gear, the ME-70 does pretty much everything you need an effects processor to do. So if you’re looking for great sounds and the simplicity that a pedalboard offers, toss an ME-70 in your gig bag and enjoy all the cool things it can do.

(323) 890-3700;
MODEL                              ME-70
PRICE                                ($418 retail/ $299 street)
PRESETS                           36 factory/ 36 user
EFFECTS                           40
TAP TEMPO                     Yes
EFFECTS LOOP               No
BUILT-IN TUNER            Yes
USB                                   No
MIDI                                  No
KUDOS                             Knob interface rules. Lots of excellent sounding distortions, delays, and modulation effects. Onboard looper.
CONCERNS                     Battery operation only unless you buy the optional PSA series adapter. 84 HOLIDAY 2009 GUITARPLAYER

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