Hands-On Review:BOSS GT-10 Multi-Effects Pedal


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Powerful and intuitive sound shaping

By Dan Day
Musician’s Friend Staff Writer

 

Some guitarists are content with simple effects. However, a phase  shifter stompbox with an on/off switch and a single knob doesn’t offer a  lot of sonic choices. Many musicians are tech-hungry and  tweak-happy—they want complete control over a virtually limitless range  of guitar sounds for recording or live performance. Much more than just  another guitar pedal, the BOSS GT-10 is a powerful guitar effects processor. So what’s the difference?  Command and control—in addition to offering myriad pedal-type effects  including many BOSS favorites, the GT-10’s high-performance processor lets you adjust the parameters of the guitar  signal chain from amp input to speaker output. It allows you to  duplicate well-known guitar rigs or create new sounds of your own  design. You can select the type of guitar pickup and amplifier  preamp/speaker configuration; adjust EQ; and choose from a vast  selection of modern and traditional distortion, delay, and modulation  effects; and many more types of standard and non-standard effects.

 

COSM is cosmic

 

At the heart of the GT-10’s digital sound processor is BOSS’ COSM technology. COSM stands for  Composite Object Sound Modeling that includes amplifier preamp, speaker  configuration, and mic modeling. You can choose from a comprehensive  list of 38 modeled guitar amps including clean sounding, vintage clean,  crunch, combo, classic, modern high-gain, metal, and boutique amps. You  can create a custom preamp setting with parameter adjustments for gain,  EQ, presence, and then add the speaker complement ranging from a single  8" to a massive 8x12 double-stack. You can even select the type of cab  miking including position and distance from the speakers.

 

The amount of control you get with the GT-10 is astounding. For example, you can adjust parameters to select the  number of phasing stages, adjust the phase rate, depth, center  frequency, resonance, and step rate for a cosmic display of phaser power  that would make Scotty and Data drool (assuming androids can drool).  The GT-10’s two parallel effects paths let you easily switch or mix between two  different tones such as a clean, rotary speaker sound and a high-gain  drive with delay. You can also run the channels together or blend them  with the expression pedal.

 

Out of the box

 

When I first pulled the GT-10 out of its box I was struck by its sleek metallic sheen as well as its  heft and solid construction. This monster is built like a Humvee. I soon  discovered that, unlike some lightweight floor processors, this beast  wouldn’t budge as I got into some vigorous wah-wah action with the  expression pedal.

 

The 150-page owner’s manual makes a great reference tool when you’re ready to go deep to learn all of the GT-10’s capabilities, but I didn’t look at it at first. I just plugged in my  guitar, hooked up a couple of practice amps for stereo output, and  started tapping the footswitches to see what sounds I could get. I  accessed the 200 preset patches by first selecting a bank using the bank  up or down footswitches. Each bank contains four patches activated by  footswitches 1 through 4. The bright display indicates the bank number  and the name of the patch selected. In addition to grooving on the usual  suspects such as Stack Lead, ’60s Fuzz, and Texas Riff, I discovered  the joys of Irish Delay with a second amp hooked up for pulsating,  widescreen stereo crunch. I got especially hung up on the Ring Modulator  effect with stereo delay through the headphones. I found myself getting  tranced-out by playing a simple three-note sequence, adjusting the  oscillation frequency, and letting the sound echo between my ears. Now I  know how David Gilmour must have felt when he first played the  signature guitar riff to “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.”

 

EZ Tone

 

Even if you don’t know anything about patches or parameters, the GT-10’s EZ Tone wizard offers an intuitive way to create sounds. I pressed the  Create button and the display took me through the four-step process. I  was playing an SG through a practice amp, so I selected humbucker pickup  and small amp output. Then I chose my Basic Tone, selecting from genres  such as jazz, blues, punk pop, progressive, soul funk, and ’80s metal.  Each genre has 10 tone variations. I chose the ’70s Hard Rock tone and  the Burnin’ Riff variation so I was free to keep some bad company. Next,  I used the display’s Positional Tone Control to select the amount of  drive using the parameter knobs to move a pointer along an X-Y axis  called a Tone Grid. Totally graphic! Turning one knob to the right moved  the pointer from Soft to Hard. Another knob moved it up from Backing to  Solo. Since I could hear the changes instantaneously, I tweaked until I  got to the desired sweet spot so I could start burnin’ for you. The  fourth and final EZ Tone step let me use the Tone Grid to adjust delay  from Short to Long and Dry to Wet.

 

Loop guru

 

I employed the Phrase Looper to practice some harmonized sweep  picking parts. I also recorded the bass riff, some sliding 9th chords,  and blues lead to a version of “Driving Wheel” in G. I was able to  record up to 38 seconds for each loop—enough for a full 12-bar blues,  adding a seemingly endless number of sound-on-sound parts, each of which  I could modify on playback with different effects and tones. Move over  Robert Fripp and Willy Porter—hey, who needs a band?

 

I have just enough space to mention that the GT-10 has an impressive array of I/O that lets you connect your home studio  computer or digital recorder for realtime USB streaming transfer of  audio and MIDI data.

 

With its advanced modeling technology, 24-bit processing power, and intuitive controls, the GT-10 is an advanced tool for sculpting and controlling your sound onstage and in the studio.

 

Features & Specs


  • 39 preamps plus custom preamp setting
  • 134 pedal-type effects
  • Chorus
  • Reverb
  • 25 types of overdrive/distortion plus custom
  • Modulation effects
  • Delay
  • 200 factory presets
  • 200 user-defined presets
  • Equalizer
  • Compressor/Limiter
  • Noise reduction
  • Tuner
  • EZ Tone wizard
  • Parallel effects chain
  • Amp control
  • 24-bit + AF method AD conversion
  • 24-bit DA conversion
  • 44.1kHz sampling frequency
  • I/O

    • 1/4" input
    • 1/4" output (L/mono and R)
    • 1/4" EXT loop jacks send, return
    • 1/4" amp control jack
    • 1/4" TRS EXP pedal 2/CTL3,4 jack
    • (1/4" TRS phone type)
    • USB connector
    • Digital out jack
    • MIDI I/O
    • DC in jack
  • Included AC adapter
  • 21-3/8"W x 3-1/16"H x 10-3/4"D
  • 10 lbs. 13 oz.