Boss GT-8 Guitar Effects Processor

There's a lot of information available about this awesome processor. First there's the Boss web site, then there's the owner's manual then there's Boss GTCentral and of course a lot of user's web sites. My coverage of this unit will be as a standard 6 string guitar processor although I am primarily a pedal steel guitar player. I already have great Steel King and rack setups for steel so I haven't pursued using the GT-8 with steel guitar. If you are considering buying a GT-8, I hope you will find this site useful with it's detailed pictures, links, and sound samples.

This is by far the most versatile and best sounding guitar processor I've ever owned. I did look at and review a lot of the Zoom, Line 6 and ToneLab SE units. So far I think I made a good decision! The GT-8 has a huge number of effects and they are mostly very high quality. Many are as good as the stomp boxes I have used and many are real close to the stomp boxes. The biggest weakness for me is that the GT-8 Plate and Hall reverbs are not as crisp or as lush as the RV-5 reverbs I am used to. Yeh I know I could put the RV-5 in the GT-8's external effects loop. They are however very good and totally usable if you extend the default hold time. Other strong points of the GT-8 include the ability to put ANY effects in any order, you can create user patches AND user effects and use them in other patches. It is a very complex unit but also a very powerful one! I have opted not to use the oft mentioned 4 cable hookup method because I plan on recording direct with this unit. The 4 cable method, when used with a combo amp, allows you to use the GT-8 as the pre-amp of your amplifier but also create a loop that contains your combo amp's pre-amp! You could then use for example, your tube amp's power section and have each patch choose bewteen the GT-8 preamp, the tube amp's pre-amp or both.

Here's some useful links for the GT-8:

  • Boss Web Site
  • GT-8 User Manual (12 MB file!!!)
  • Boss GT Central GT-8 Forums
  • Musician's Friend Ad and reviews
  • Harmony Central User Reviews of Boss GT-8

    Since I just wanted to have a bunch of stomp boxes all in one, I went through all of the factory patches and all of the default effects and made a list of what I wanted MY GT-8 to do. I ended up using the output set to LINE/PHONES and the JC-120 premap for most of my own patches. I ordered them as simple one effect + reverb patches followed by a subset of the factory patches I liked. I moved these all to the beginning of the user bank for easy access. What listed below is the name (either mine or factory) of each patch, its location and a link to a sample of me playing a few riffs with the patch switched on. This is a very simple and practical use of the GT-8 and in no way begins to tap the true power of this processor. But it satifies my initial needs and weeds out all the factory patches I don't use and gives me quick access to single effects I use a lot. I did set up one patch with the A/B pre-amps in parallel with stereo outputs and one channel delayed 50 milliseconds from the other. What a fat sound that is if you want a single guitar playing single notes to fill up the whole track for an intro or ending. I used to have to record a guitar track on the AW-1600, copy it to another track, then delay the second track a few milli-seconds and mix the two together to get this same effect. Now it's available at the push of a few foot switches.

    All the sound samples below were recorded in stereo and direct (no amplifier) to my Yamaha AW-1600 workstation. The final stereo .wav file at 16 bits was then converted to a .wma file at 44khz and 192 kbps.

  • My Presets (Click to hear the audio):

    Reverb (1-1) Limiter (1-2) Delay (1-3) Octave (1-4)
    T Wah (2-1) Auto Wah (2-2) Wah Wah (2-3) Tremolo (2-4)
    Lite Phaser (3-1) Bi Phaser (3-2) Slo Bi Phaser (3-3) Vibrato (3-4)
    Pedal Bend (4-1) 2 x 2 Chorus (4-2) Dual Pre A/B Delay (4-3)

    Factory Presets I Moved To User Bank (Click to hear the audio):

    Crunch Rotary (4-4) Blues+MS1959 MIX (5-1) R-FIER Vint.1/2 (5-2) MASSIVE (5-3)
    Dropped D (5-4) R-FIER SCREAM (6-1) 5150/1959 DUAL (6-2) HEAVEY 5150 (6-3)
    70's 1959 STACK (6-4) FAT STEREO LEAD (7-1) TWIN CRUNCH (7-2) 60'S TWEED (7-3)
    PAD (10-4) JAZZ ORGAN (11-1)

    Comments? email webmaster Greg