Boss ME-20 Multieffects Review

ME-20

All is much simple and fast

A floorboard with a very user-friendly interface that has been designed for a live context. It provides the most used effects for guitar: Overdrive, Distortion, Phaser, Flanger, Delay, Tremolo, Rotary, Chorus and EQ. It is equipped with the EZ Edit for a quick editing, the OD/DS Solo function, for extreme leads, and with 30 memory locations.

The front panel

The basic philosophy is much clear, if we look at the image below. The ME-20 has been designed to be like a group of pedals in the same chassis, with the addition of a small 2-digit display for the visualization of the memory locations, and of some buttons for the various functions. In the image we can see the 4 main blocks of the effects, with the button for the activation, and the four dedicated knobs for the volume of each section. Everything is really clear and immediate. This Boss product is, perhaps, too simple for an expert guitarist, but it is perfect for a beginner that is looking for an easy and fast system to experiment with the effects.

The 4 sections and all the knobs and buttons of the front panel.

The OD/DS Solo function

It gives to all the distortions a remarkable boost and a more open character. The sound, when this function is active, is really much brilliant and important. Fundamentally, it is an Overdrive together with an equalization that exalts the treble. It can be activated also with one of the pedals or with the FS-5U footswitch (optional).

EZ Edit

A system for the sounds creation in a quick and intuitive manner. The most important added value of EZ Edit is that it allows the adjusting of a combination of parameters with a single knob.

30 Memory Locations

Obviously, as regards this context, we aren't speaking about a monster! But like we have said at the beginning of the review, this Boss product can be a good solution to experiment and, in this context, 30 memory locations are sufficient. Anyhow, let's see the effects list that the ME-20 puts at the user disposal.

OD/DS

  • Overdrive
  • Blues
  • Distortion
  • Metal
  • Fuzz
  • Compression

Modulation

  • Chorus
  • Phaser
  • Flanger
  • Tremolo
  • Rotary

Delay

  • 0-99ms
  • 100-700ms
  • Reverb

Other

  • Equalizer
  • Noise suppressor
  • Wah

The Aux In

Always a useful and pleasant option. The user can import an audio signal from an external device, like a CD, an MP3 player, a smartphone, and so on. The possibility of playing on a musical base is really instructive and amusing.

Two operational modalities

The ME-20 can work in two different modes: Memory and Manual. In the first the user can switch among the patches, while in the second he can directly select the effects on the front panel. So he can activate or deactivate the single sections. By pressing contemporaneously the pedals 2 and 3 the user can alternate the 2 operational modalities.

General opinion

It is very user-friendly, and the effects editing is really fast and immediate. The overall sound is of good quality, above all if we consider the excellent price of this Boss device. The only problem is that the ME-20 features two buttons to switch among the banks of the patches, and this is very uncomfortable. So, the purchase of the FS-5U footswitch is necessary, fundamentally. Anyhow, a good product.

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