A good Guitar/Bass Practice Tool,
This review is from: BOSS EBANJS8 JAM STATION Amps & effects Multi effects for guitars
This is effectively a MP3 Music Player (with Phrase Trainer), Electric/Bass Guitar Amp, Multi-Effects Unit, Recorder, Tuner & Metronome all built into something the size of a clock radio. Its Boss's idea that you use it at home to practice and improve your playing instead of a Traditional Guitar Combo Amplifier.
Frankly its pretty good for that. Its very easy to use and has sensible menu functions.
The tuner is pretty good. Not quite as good as the latest polytunes but very easy to access via a dedicated key and much better than many.
The metronome is accessed through the main menu. Its very good (easy to use and very customisable) but I tend to use backing tracks more.
The music player comes with a load of backing tracks that you can improvise over the top. If you have other tracks as MP3 you can copy them onto a USB stick, stick it in the top of the JS-8 and select them in the menu. If you want to only play a small portion and repeat that is real easy too. If its too fast you can slow it down but as usual with these features if you slow it too much it loses some of its quality.
You plug your electric guitar or base in the front and effecively have a BOSS GT-10 Multi Effects unit inside to twiddle the tone. There are a number of ways of doing this - the easiest is to hit the effects button, scroll up and down a number of categories and then select a subcategory (e.g.70s hard Rock Rock then Rock Crunch). The predefined music have default effects set for them but you can use a different one or overwrite the default if you wish. Whats really nice is the dedicated "solo" key - you set your tone for the rythem and then when you need that real woomph press the solo key to change bank (and again to go back). Clever and makes multi channel amps seem so "last year" since you switch in a whole set of effects too...
One thing you should bear in mind is that the audio is like that of a clock radio. e.g. You play your backing track and you then add your guitar and it sounds like you are playing rock out of a good quality clock radio - now this is a good thing for practice since it isn't loud and is very unlikely to annoy people in adjacent rooms but you aren't going to be able to use this device for band practice! I also find that the sound is slightly muddy - its fine for practice but its a bit over processed (no different to many digital Amps these days).
Sound wise you could get something very similar using a PC and a copy of Guitar Rig and a Music Player. However it wouldn't be as easy to use and it wouldn't be ready for you to use as quickly as this is. I have tried it and gave up...
I have a BOSS JS-8 and used to own a Fender G-DEC 3 15W which on paper are very similar. However the G-DEC was MUCH louder (its difficult to turn a normal Guitar Amp down late at night where as the JS-8 really is house friendly (think clock radio). Conversely the G-DEC would be much better for band practice since you can use it as a normal Amp). Crucially for me the G-DEC was not able to repeat a small portion of a music track and was also harder to use. Sound wise the G-DEC also sounds fairly processed to me (If you compare it to a Marshal AVT20 or a Blackstar HT1...)
Finally if you want you can plug in a Bass and select Bass related patches (or a Microphone and select Microphone related patches - microphone has to be self powered). Haven't done this but its a nice feature to have...