• Pros: Extremely user friendly interface and excellent tone capabilities.
• Cons: Sub-par looping function which only allows for 19 seconds of stereo recording.
• Overall: A worthwhile investment for a guitarist with the know-how of how to make use of the pedal’s many functionalities.
Since releasing their first CE-1 Chorus Ensemble pedal in 1976, the BOSS Corporation has been a stalwart in the world of guitar effects. The latest addition to the company’s flagship GT series, the GT-100, is an absolute beast of an upgrade from BOSS’s last offering, the GT-10. Today we take a look at pros and the cons of the GT-100 to determine if it really is all the pedal it looks to be.
BOSS has a tradition of manufacturing pedals that are built to last. If you’ve ever used one of the company’s old stompboxes you’ll know for sure that those things can take a beating. And the great thing about the GT-100 too is that it sticks to this tradition. The pedal’s outer casing is all metal and the thing looks like it could take some harsh treatment. The pedal’s 8 footswitches too are solidly built and don’t look like they could be stomped out of action any time soon. The pedal rests on four solid rubber feet that make sure that it doesn’t slide around when placed on the floor, which is great when using it in live environments.
Measuring at just over 21 inches long and a little over 10 inches wide, the GT-100 is definitely one of the larger multi-effects processors out there. However, the pedal’s design is quite slick so it’s not that big of a nightmare to transport. And at just 10 pounds, it’s certainly much easier to carry around than a fully-fledged pedalboard.
Multi-effects pedals of this caliber can sometimes feel like a nightmarish maze of knobs and control switches to navigate, and it’s quite common for most beginner and intermediate players to neglect certain tonal options that aren’t as straightforward to access. However the BOSS GT-100 shines in this respect due to the sheer simplicity of its interface.
Of the pedal’s eight footswitches, the two on the top left of the pedal allow players to navigate through the pedal’s tone banks. The footswitches marked 1-4 on the bottom of the pedal allow players to either switch between various patches or access individual effects, based on the mode the pedal is being used in. The seventh footswitch marked “PHRASE LOOP” controls the pedal’s looper.
A unique addition to the GT-100 is the “ACCEL/CTL” footswitch which can be used to add various specialty effects like warp, laser beam and ring modulation and control them in real time.
Another great feature as far as the GT-100’s interface goes is its dual-LCD display which makes navigating and controlling the pedal a cinch for even the most inexperienced multi-effects pedal user. For example, when adjusting the effects of a particular patch, the left LCD display brings up a detailed breakdown of the signal chain that is active in that specific patch. Players can then use the knobs underneath the left LCD screen to select and toggle between various effects in the signal chain. And when a player selects a particular effect, the LCD screen on the right displays a stompbox-like diagram of the specific effect. So if a player were to select a DS-1 distortion pedal in the effects chain, the LCD panel on the right would display the control parameters of a DS-1 stombox which can then be adjusted using the control knobs underneath the right LCD panel.
Another feature worth mentioning here is that the GT-100 comes with the option of being used as a traditional pedalboard where players can assign individual effects to the pedal’s footswitches and turn them on and off as desired. This is great for players who prefer to use their GT-100 as part of a much larger pedalboard.
Considering the size and price-point of the pedal, you would expect it to be incredibly versatile in terms of tone. And in this respect, the GT-100 does not disappoint. This mammoth pedal comes with 200 built-in presets that pretty much encompass every style of guitar playing out there. The pedal also offers players the option to store another 200 additional user-defined presets which brings the pedal’s total preset count to a whopping 400.
A useful feature that BOSS has added to the GT-100 is the EZ Tone function which allows players to select a tone based on a basic musical style and then tweak it using a graphical grid. This is great for beginners who are still new to the world of multi-effects processors.
However, for players that prefer to take the time creating their own unique tones, the GT-100 offers a wealth of 26 amp modulations and 54 effects that players can utilize. And while most experienced players might choose to bypass any amp modulation in their tones for live applications, they are more than adequate for most direct recording situations.
Another great feature of the GT-100 worth mentioning is its intelligent harmonizer which allows players to input the key they are playing in and the interval in which they would like their notes to be harmonized in. The harmonizer also tracks notes extremely fast so it can keep up with significantly fast playing.
A unique feature that BOSS has included in the GT-100 is the A/B Channel Divider which allows players to assign two different sets of amps and effects to the same patch. Players can then choose to combine these two sounds or switch them manually. The Channel Divider also allows players to automatically divide these two sounds based on the notes they play and how hard they play them. This is a truly unique feature and can be used to great effect in a live environment to get the sound of two guitarists with just one guitar.
One significant drawback to the GT-100 is its looper which only allows players to record 19 seconds of audio in stereo mode, which is quite dismal in comparison to various other pedals of this caliber.
The GT-100 is not a cheap pedal by any means, but for a guitarist that knows how to make use of its plethora of functionalities, it can actually be a worthwhile investment.