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23 of 24 found the following review helpful:
Boss eband JS-8... Can't live without it! Jun 24, 2010
By S. Bailey
I've owned a lot of Boss guitar products over the years. Before getting the JS-8, I was using a Boss ME-30 and a Korg Pandora PX4D. I never thought anything could replace my ME-30 until now. Simply put... The JS-8 is an amazing device! The jam tracks installed at the factory are top notch and you can add your own. If you run out of storage space on the included SD card, buy a high capacity SD card and store your entire music or backtrack library on the machine. Personally, the included jam tracks will keep me occupied for months.
The other impressive feature(s) are the guitar effects, which are based on the GT-10 effect engine. The designers included dozens of preset effects, but you can also make up your own. Now if you're a tone junkie like me, the JS-8 will allow you to dial in just about any guitar sound. The amp modeling is simply amazing! The first distortion patch I made included a Peavey 5150 amp model as the foundation. It took me about 40 minutes to set up my first patch because you can tweak so many sound parameters. After learning the interface real well, I could probably design an effect patch in under 15 minutes. The buttons and knobs make everything associated with the unit a cinch to use.
The only negative thing I could say about this device is the speakers. A lot of reviewers have also commented about them. But don't let this turn you away. The speakers are really a positive thing because you can take it on the road and play quietly in a motel or dorm room. You can also attach headphones and achieve satisfying results. The unit also comes with a USB cable that will allow you to use it as an interface with your computer. After setting the driver parameters, I was playing it through my Mixcraft software. And Boss, (unlike other companies out there), provide 64 bit drivers for both Vista and Windows 7. They also have firmware updates and add-on jam tracks. This was a very big selling point because I use Windows 7 x64. I should also mention that I saw several Mac OS drivers on their website.
Furthermore, the unit has RCA jacks on the side which allow you to play it through a regular stereo or boom box. That worked fine for me, but I had to try it with my Crate 4x12 amp. I simply ran a mini-stereo cable out of the unit's headphone jack, and added a 1/4" guitar adapter on the other end, which I plugged into the amp. With a little sound tweaking, I got VERY impressive results. So much that I dumped the ME-30 and just use the JS-8 with my main amp. I've even read about players running this thing directly into a PA system at gigs. From what I've experienced, I think that would work well because the JS-8 really shines when plugged into higher-end speaker systems.
So who would really benefit from this device?
1) Players who like to play along and improvise with good jam and rhythm tracks
2) Players who use computer software to write music and need a solid, versatile digital interface
3) Players who are real fanatical about their tone and don't mind digital/solid state devices
4) Players who need something relatively portable and easy to use
5) Players who will only buy things that are sturdy and well constructed
6) Players who need a new toy and can afford 300-400 bucks
The JS-8 has many other features such as a nice tuner and the ability to record. I suggest you check out some of the videos on YouTube and read the spec's on the Roland/Boss website. My personal favorites are Jack Thammarat's YouTube videos.
***Update January 2012:
I'm still using the JS-8 and couldn't be happier with it. I continue to run the device directly into my Crate amp head, but instead of using the JS-8's headphone output, I purchased a 3.5mm stereo to RCA stereo Y-cable adapter and connected the device to the amp head via the RCA outputs. This gives me more stable volume control.
Now that I've owned the JS-8 for over a year and a half, I can say that the original factory jam-tracks have become old and stale. I haven't seen Roland/Boss provide any new updates via their website since I purchased the product. Although Boss has given us a fantastic product, there doesn't seem to be any effort on their part to keep things interesting. For example, there's only been one release of additional jam tracks that you can download from their website and those tracks aren't as good as the factory installed tracks.
Secondly, if Boss has chosen not to provide any additional software downloads, I think it would be in their best interest to release some software that would allow others to create jam-tracks in the JS-8's audio format. Boss's proprietary audio format allows their jam-tracks to repeat endlessly without any skips or delays. Tracks I've installed using the MP3 format tend to have momentary delays when repeated over and over. I think others who own the JS-8 would agree that it would be nice to see some effort on Boss's part to keep their product fresh and intriguing.
5 of 5 found the following review helpful:
Great Practice Tool Dec 29, 2010
By Ivan Cernigoy
I bought the eBand as a tool for practice. It is easy to use, small and packs a ton of features into a compact package. The double foot pedal from my Behringer amp plugged right in and I can use it to toggle between lead and rhythmn with one pedal and turn on the tuner with the other pedal. You can customize the pedals to do different things like turn on the record feature. It packs a lot of Boss effects in and it picks the appropriate effect with the loaded jam tracks. You can go online and find newer jam tracks and load them as well. I haven't even scratched the surface of all the things you can do but I find it is already making me a better player just with the play I've had in the last month or so. It has a very handy feature that allows you to slow down tracks so you can practice with them before playing full speed. You can also go faster than full speed if you really want a challenge. I recommend this to pretty much everybody, from novice to pro. Fender makes something very similar with jam tracks by various pros but I haven't tried it yet. I'm sure it is great as well, but what sold me is the size of the eBand. It fits on my coffee table, but I can run it through my amp if I want a lot of volume.
9 of 11 found the following review helpful:
Boss JS-8 Eband Jan 14, 2010
By S. CROCKER
Well got the Eband this week and well from a teachers aspect it's everything I need.
1. speakers are not loud but work in a studio room without an amp.
2. Loading songs on a USB stick and just put it in the machine and dial them up.
3. Metronome and tuner are excellent
4. Sounds are great, I have not gotten in to create my own patches yet but on my to do list.
5. Can record sound on sound, You can also record your own jams and then play them back, Love that feature, helps with creativity not only for me but for my students as well.
I really love this product, it's not very big and very easy to tote around. Would recommend this to anyone, price is up there but hey it's a BOSS.
Can't comment right now on how it works with a foot switch I don't get my switch until tomorrow but looks like it will work great, you can use the foot switch to go between 2 patches, start and stop your a/b points when looping through tough solo's from songs.
All-in-all Excellent product.
3 of 3 found the following review helpful:
Exactly what I wanted! Mar 22, 2011
By Michael R. Moore
I'm just learning to play guitar. I've found that when I practice different things, using a metronome is boring. Using the JS-8 I can put on a multitude of different beats, and songs, and play the scales with those. It's an amazing gig box to play along with. My guitar instructor uses one in our lessons, and I had to have one of my own.
5 of 6 found the following review helpful:
Wonderful Practice Tool! Apr 22, 2010
By Lance Holland
"Just a guitar player..."
And a lot of entertainment value. Get ready to lose track of time because that's what happens when you plug in. While I have amps and effects, the JS-8 is special. For home practice, it's a no-muss-no-fuss device - just plug in, spin the dial to a fun jam and PLAY. The user interface on the JS-8 hides an amazing amount of power. Underneath those few buttons is a huge multi-effect pedal board with amp modeling and a sequencer. Sounds are very good. The speakers are fine for the purpose it was designed for....but could be a little louder. Boss has scored a huge hit here - highly recommended.
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