Author Topic: BOSS GT100 Review  (Read 15481 times)

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Offline conradkriel

BOSS GT100 Review
« on: February 18, 2014, 04:43:59 AM »
Hi All

I am new to this forum and have decided to post an initial review on the BOSS GT100 as a:

Thank you to all the forums & people who helped me on my purchase journey/decision.
Thank you to those players who have uploaded numerous files of information on how to get the best out of this pedal.
Tool for player owning Marshall Valvestate 8080 combo with active pickup guitar. There is very little on the net regarding THIS COMBINATION. 

I have been playing for about 20 years now and I am an average player.

Pre GT100 SETUP:
Esp Ltd HR351 FR (active pickups)
Fender Strat (Mexican): Heavily modified with all pickups changed-all passive (backup guitar)   
Large behringer pedalboard, Crybaby wah, Satchurator, Metal Muff, Bi muff pi with tone wicker, Screamin Blues pedal, Zak Wylde black label chorus, Boss DD3 delay,Boss NS2 Noise suppressor, Behringer tuner.
Marshall Valvestate 800 combo amp (not the greatest amp in the world but does the trick) 

I play rock, hard rock, blues rock etc and am influenced by Led Zep, Hendrix, Deep Purple, Sabbath etc. I play a combination of covers and originals   

We were practising one evening at a local studio and the other guitarist has a Zoom MFX. As we were playing through the covers he simply clicked a pedal and he had a "stones sound", another click of the pedal and he had a "pixies tone" another click he had a good guns and roses sound etc. All this whilst i was bent over adjusting my gain & tone settings (on the relevant analogue pedal) to attain the right sound!! Now being well versed on analogue pedals and also aware of the long standing debate of analogue versus digital, i started doing the research. I did tons of research on the net and then visited my local music shop and spent an hour plugged into a GT100 (with my ESP)

I have decided that as I am never going to be a professional musician I am an individual who is happy to compromise on the "true sound of analogue" versus digital for the convenience of having a particular sound at my disposal with one click of a pedal. Given that all music is mixed digitally eventually anyway, I am not sure how relevant that debate is anyway? Further to this the audience you play too, simply cannot tell the difference. They just hear a "rolling stones sound" or a guns and roses sound. I tried this with my wife and she just hears "rolling stones sound" she doesn't say oh that sounds very digital!   

My initial thoughts were similar to may others on the net: There were a handful of patches that i thought were usable (as they were) but the rest sounded to thin, too digital, to trebly etc. Luckily I had been in dialogue with Glen De Laune (professional musician who produces good patches for the GT100) and he had told me not to judge the unit on the presets as they were not great.
I bought the unit and have now spent over three weeks playing with this pedal.

Initially I downloaded a lot of patches from Boss US, Boss Australia (25 essential patches created by Josh Munday), Glen De Laune and also from a user forum called "guitar" I managed to get some really decent patches form these four sources. The ones that stand out are: Steve Vai, Steve Vai "love of god", AC/DC, Joe Satriani, Rolling Stones, Rush, Natural Clean AND ZZ TOP to mention a few. Although most of these sounded good my sound was still too boomy and full of presence.
PAY Attention
This is a unit which MUST BE TWEAKED to suit your amp. Its not enough to simply download the patches and then think they will sound perfect because they wont!
Equally you cannot just set the input and output settings and think all patches will sound great because once again they wont! I thought after reading all the manuals and the parameter brochure (several times) that I had the input and output settings figures out (Your input is the guitar) and you tell the GT100 what you are (outputting to ie small amp, combo amp, return, amp/line out etc) 
but i found that despite all this reading the patches still sounded off (too boomy etc)

I searched the net and found an awesome manual of 98 pages composed by BOSS GT8 users and the information in there changed my sound DRASTICALLY!! You need to download this manual/collective wisdom of BOSS GT8 users and apply their combined knowledge.


Read the user manual from cover to back (one supplied with the unit)
Download the parameter guide (the website URL is on the cover of the manual)
Download the "Boss_GT_8_Brilliance" document (98 pages of boss gt central forums tips & tricks!!) 

Roland COSM Reference Library

Case in point:
  • My Jimmy Page patch sounded too boomy and "presency" After reading the boss gt 8 Brilliance document I:
    Plugged straight into the effects return of my Valvestate
    Selected the effects return switch (cuts the effects return sound by -20db & is recommended by Marshall for MFX)
    Turned my effects knob to 100% (ie toward effects full on)   
    Adjusted my input (global settings page) to -10db
    Adjusted my high gain by about 4 (in global settings) 
    Switched off my speaker sims
    Adjusted the output to line/pa. Theoretically you should be selecting combo amp return or JC120 return (as i am running straight into the effects return of the amp) but as I have heard suggested any times TRUST YOUR EARS.

Another suggestion for you to save time is to set your loop pedal to patch edit, record a snippet of the sound you want to achieve and then play the loop whilst you change eq settings, global eq settings etc etc as you will hear the changes real time. The tonal difference I have achieved using the above has been the difference between sending the unit back/selling it and falling in love with it!! 
The result of the above (without tweaking the EQ, parametric eq's, pre amp settings etc as suggested in the document) is an excellent Whole lotta love sound!! The sound still needs the EQ, Pre amp and parametric EQ tweaking to get it "very close" but if i played this to an audience today they would associate the output sound as whole lotta love, which is what I am looking to achieve!!

I am about to start tweaking all individual patches and applying the tweaks suggested in the document so if anyone is interested in my findings let me know and ill post an updated review at a later stage

I hope this POST helps others achieve their tonal Nirvanna 
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 03:52:10 PM by Elantric »

Offline Mrchevy

  • Senior Member
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  • My other wife is a Les Paul Custom
Re: BOSS GT100 Review
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2014, 07:27:47 AM »
Excellent points and welcome aboard. The whole point of a MFX pedal is not even necessarily to be able to change from a STONES or ZEP or AC/DC sound, but to just be able to change your sound period at the click of a switch. with a pedal board, your stuck with the pedal settings you have, unless you want to reach down and change them between songs or even mid song, as you said. You'd have to have a pedal rig with a hundred pedals, amps, switchers, etc. to do what you can with a GT100 or the likes. It's a matter of need and convenience. Fact is, if you had such a pedal board and 20 or 30 amps, you'd still have the need for all the tweaking to get the variety of sounds, plus a semi truck and crew to set it all up and move it vs a small gig bag to carry the MFX pedal in. Pretty basic math if you ask me. I love my GT100, and I don't have to have a commercial license and a payroll to move it and set it up ;D
Les Paul Custom
SG 50's prototype
Squire classic vibe 60's
Gibson WRC w/GK3
Vantage VE 565
Schecter Hellraiser & C1 classic
PRS SE FR Custom 24
Martin acoustic

Tubemeister18 w/Egnater 112cab
Princeton chorus 210
Yamaha THR10C

Mustang Floor
Boomerang III

A lot of stuff I DON'T need

Offline conradkriel

Re: BOSS GT100 Review
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2014, 02:36:28 PM »
Too true and thank you mr Chevy

I have been doing a LOT more reading on what each effect does and been tweaking to get better 

I have since found that Resonators, mic placement , eq , high cut filters, speaker sims, your levels in terms of pre amp and od and effect placement are all crucial in getting a good sound. Get these right and there is no fizz!

Also been doing a lot of reading on the different types of mics and their placement , diff types of speakers and their characteristics and how they affect the sound - this has made a huge difference to my sound!!

I read a lot of forums (prior to buying this unit) where guys said this unit is great for beginners, not more advanced guitarists ? What a lot of nonsense , if you are a beginner I strongly suggest NOT buying this unit as it is very easy to get a really crappy sound . Getting a good sound requires lots of patience, research and tweaking .

You need to understand how the different types of amps and pre amps, behave, how the diff types of overdrive and distortion behave, you need to tweak the eqs . You need to understand how various effects work, where they should be placed  and most of all you need patience and lots of tweaking!!! I have found that playing a patch and recording it  is a great help as a lot of the time when you are using gain you won't hear the fizz whilst playing but the recording picks it up ( I use my I phone and it's speaker to do this ) tweak and repeat. I think I have played the opening riff to a whole lotta love a thousand times now !!

Very few beginners will spend the time required to do the above and hence why a lot of people write the unit off  and sell it or take if back to the shop

Once again of you are expecting to plug in , download a satch tone and sound like satch this is NOT going to happen. However if you are willing to tweak downloaded patches and take the time to learn about the various parameters I have mentioned above then buy this little box of joy !!

I now have a pretty convincing

whole lotta love tone,
a Great 7 nation army tone,
a steve vai patch that is almost there
a really beautiful "wish you were "here tone 
A jumping jack flash tone that is almost there

 ITS TAKEN ME THREE WEEKS to reproduce these sounds. I have done this by listening to the original artists and tweaking and creating patches. Oh by the way I suggest you set you patches up on the gear you will gig with

I set up a lot of my initial patches at bedroom volume and also using headphones and they were useless on a pa and at higher volume. I have now been blasting my neighbours out for three weeks (imagine hearing the opening riff and solo to whole lotta love for three weeks) and the result is I have patches that sound the same when we rehearse at the studio using my amp

Good luck and keep tweaking

Offline gumtown

Re: BOSS GT100 Review
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2014, 03:33:54 PM »
There is a free GT-100 patch editor here

Comes with a bunch of 100's of patches
Free "GR-55 FloorBoard" editor software from

Offline Elantric

Re: BOSS GT100 Review
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2014, 03:38:19 PM »
Yes = and Since Gumtown's GT-100 Editor runs "offline" its the #1 thing to use for understanding all GT-100 features as a fast as possible

Offline conradkriel

Re: BOSS GT100 Review
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2014, 01:44:20 PM »
Thanks guys

I'll try it

Offline Ingesecition

Re: BOSS GT100 Review
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2014, 04:54:50 PM »
So....basically the point is that the amp mods for each are "different" I'm not sure I would describe either as better since you need to compare with that they are emulating, it boils down to preference.?

Offline Toby Krebs

Re: BOSS GT100 Review
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2014, 07:01:13 PM »
Excellent post! And the right attitude.I am both a tube snob and a full fledged digital modelling user. I decided a while ago both could co-exist within my musical journey. At my last two gigs Friday and Saturday I used my Boss GT 10 and one of my Roland GR55s' and I will tell you for covers it is a lot of fun.Let's see we played Zeppelin/Tab Benoit/Crowded House/Eddie Harris/Miles Davis/Metallica/SRV/Rick James/Blackstreet/Cee Lo Green/ Maroon 5 etc... etc...and I and the audience had a great time. Not one person in the audience knew what I was using . All they knew was that they were having fun dancing and listening to a good band that can play almost anything they want to hear and sound good and entertain them. Have fun with your GT 100!

Offline gumtown

Re: BOSS GT100 Review
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2014, 09:51:53 PM »
All they knew was that they were having fun dancing and listening to a good band that can play almost anything they want to hear and sound good and entertain them.
This IS what it's all about !!
Even if it meant using a plank of wood and some fence wire to do it.  ;D

The only people that care what's on stage or what your using are other muso's and yourself.

I don't think anyone has ever asked why does your mesa stack sound like a fender twin,
- just 'that' sounds good and play us something we all know.  ;D
Free "GR-55 FloorBoard" editor software from

Offline Elantric

Re: BOSS GT100 Review
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2014, 12:38:26 PM »
(very comprehensive links for GT-100 here)

Offline gumtown

Re: BOSS GT100 Review
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2014, 03:16:27 AM »
The GT-100 Version 2 firmware update is out now,
I have just updated my GT-100 to version 2

Just a brief skim through the user manual feature update list,
The pitch to midi seems more advanced than i first anticipated.
It has the same play feel setup like in the GR-55 plus a chromatic type setting,
 and can send (monophonic only) midi data over 6 separate channels by splitting the tone/frequency spectrum.

It also has a polyphonic tuner like the GR-55 has. (they are beginning to use polyphonic pitch detection technology?)

Extra USB audio channels (now 4) for separate Dry/Direct and Effect routing.

Phase adjustment of the Send/Return loop.

Midi Out now on both the USB and 5-pin port at the same time.

Number Pedals can be used as Assign sources.

plus the other advertised updates and extras, tera echo, multi-dimensional OD/DS processing, Rotary 2, extra preamps (Bogner Uberschall and Orange rockerverb), MDP Overtone, Acoustic guitar sim, yada yada yada.....

Quite good value and pushes the GT-100 a little further in front of the competition in it's catagory.

Free "GR-55 FloorBoard" editor software from

Offline conradkriel

BOSS GT100 Review update
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2015, 11:59:20 AM »
hi guys

Been working with this unit for almost a year now and have gone right back to basics. I am getting the best tone I have ever had by:

using the effects loop of the Marshall valvestate.

decibel button at 0

Amp master Volume at 100%

Nb : reverb at 50% I had always turned this completely off as I was using chorus and delay pedals (analogue and digital) and the reverb in the gt100. BIG MISTAKE The Amps reverb BRING THE SOUND TO LIFE AND KILLS THE BOXY SOUND!

Using the effects loop in serial mode (ie turn the effects knob completely to the right)

For distorted patches : Using just overdrive / distortion pedals of the gt100 (ie no pre amp sims)
I'm using no speaker sims or Pre amps from the gt100 as I'm finding that using JUST an overdrive pedal gives me a FANTASTIC warm non digital sound.

I'm an using the modulation and time based effects of the gt100 (delays, chorus, phase, flange, noise suppressors) bit nothing  else and the sound is incredible!!!

On The clean patches I'm using the pre amp sims (natural clean pre amp) and this gives a beautiful clean sound (better than the Amps natural clean sound  IMHO)

So after to a of tweaking I gave FINALLY FOUND the sound I was looking for. I almost gave up and was about to take out my analogue rig and sell the valvesrate !! Very glad I did not

Hope that helps other valvestste / gt100 owners get a good tone.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2015, 01:44:43 PM by conradkriel »