Boss ME-50B Bass Multi-Effects Review

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Boss ME-50B Bass Multi-Effects

Pedal Info

While many musicians decry multi-effects units or scoff at how "professionals" don't use them, the reality is that they are incredibly practical and cost efficient, especially if you're playing a gig where space (or money) is tight. Many players who have massive pedalboards will even use a multi-effects unit as a backup or a travel board. For bass players who fit any of the above criteria, the ME-50B bass pedalboard is a perfect choice.

Patterned after the guitar-oriented ME-50, the ME-50B offers a dizzying array of effects that are conveniently divided into six separate sections. There's Filter/Tone, Drive/Synth, Delay/Modulation, Compressor/Limiter, Master EQ, and Volume/Expression. While the pedal includes all the effects you would expect like overdrive, chorus, flanger, delay, reverb, and the like, it also includes several effects aimed at bass players specifically, including an octave-up effect and an instant "defretter" for faux-fretless sounds.

The ME-50B also offers real-time control of each effect. While you can group the effects into presets if you wish, each of the six sections can also be treated as a "live" pedal, with all parameters adjustable in real time. It also includes a built-in looper and a "kick drum" feature that lets you build your own drum and bass loops, a feature unique to the ME-50B. It runs on either an adaptor (not included) or six AA batteries (included) and has a durable metal case that can withstand years of gigging abuse.

User Reviews

Users report an overall positive experience with the ME-50B, noting that you get a lot of effects for a relatively low price tag. Users are also impressed with its durability, particularly gigging bassists who use the unit a few times per week. Most bassists who have used the unit for an extended time note that the basic effects (chorus, compression, delay) work very well, though they often add a pedal or two to supplement the Boss unit. Many users also applaud the lack of amp modeling, glad that Boss concentrated on effects. The lack of menus are also a plus, with knobs providing an immediate response to changes.

On the downside, some users have found volume level issues with different effects. A few also claimed that the distortions and overdrives were "muddy" at high volumes. Also, most users decry the lack of an included adapter, given the price. Also, for those wanting to advance through presets, external footswitches, while not required, are highly recommended for live use, adding another expense to the unit.


Name of Gear: Boss ME-50B Bass Multi-Effects
List Price: $440.50
Street Price: $319.00
Manufacturer Info: Boss;
Pros: Versatile; wide range of effects; robust construction
Cons: No adapter; external foot switches required for fast patch changes

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