Boss MS-3 (Multifx / Switcher) for guitar and bass.

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simotek
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Joined: 23 Jun 2016, 18:13
Location: Adelaide Hills

Boss MS-3 (Multifx / Switcher) for guitar and bass.

Post by simotek » 25 Aug 2017, 23:29

Haven't been here for a while but I got a Boss MS-3 a few weeks back and seen as i've had it for a few weeks and there's nothing posted here I figured I'd write a bit of a review.

What is it?
Its a combination of a smaller version of the Boss ES5/8 Loop switcher + Midi controller and the multi fx from a Boss GT-1/GT-1B/Katana, Unlike the GT-1B it doesn't include Preamps or cabsims as its designed to run with your own pedals, it also doesn't include a looper.

How I use it
For normal playing I mostly use it as a programmable EQ pedal although I also use the light compressor (alongside my MXR 87 Comp), I occasionally use the volume pedal as well, I also use it to switch channels on my Two Notes Le Bass preamp, by running a graphic EQ in front of the Le Bass I am able to have several presets with different sounding drives. Further to that I'm using the MS-3's "T.Screamer" on my Modern Bass and "Vintage Fuzz" on my older sounding bass for the select few times I want even more drive although its too much for most of the time.

I also combine the MS-3's Slow gear (or volume pedal), Metal DS, and Reverb for a cello effect and have used the internal delay, reverb, pan, tremolo, volume pedal and one of the drives alongside my Digitech Polara and Obscura for ambient and postrock.

General thoughts
I haven't spent much time with many of the drives other then the ones listed above, I skipped through most of the overdrives they sounded pretty good but not quite there with the Le Bass the other drives were a bit hit and miss but all the guitar drives have a bottom and and Blend (D.Level) control so you can some reasonable sounds out of the guitar drives, I actually prefer them to the Bass drives.

The Delays and Reverbs are as good as any you'd find in compact Boss, MXR or TC pedals but miss some of the more advanced features of the strymon or 500 series boss pedals, not that I use either effect much in normal bass playing.

I don't have much use for the wah but I was able to get sounds I like out of it. The ring mod was also fun to make some random noises with but outside of that I can't comment much on the modulation effects because I rarely use modulation which likely means they'd be good enough for anything Id do.

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bassmaniac69
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Location: Brisbane

Re: Boss MS-3 (Multifx / Switcher) for guitar and bass.

Post by bassmaniac69 » 28 Aug 2017, 17:39

Thanks for the review. I'm looking at one of these in the near future so this came in handy.

Any thoughts on how well the digital octave effects track? I'm using a Sub n Up pedal at the moment thats great, so I would be interested in how well the MS3 one compares. Also, have you given the internal compressors a go? I also have the MXR that I currently only use on slap settings/sounds so I was thinking of having it switch in or out for presets, but if the internal ones are also decent I could leave it off my board as well.

Are you using the LE Bass in an actual loop or before/after the MS3?

Any thoughts after another weeks use with it?

Cheers.

simotek
Posts: 46
Joined: 23 Jun 2016, 18:13
Location: Adelaide Hills

Re: Boss MS-3 (Multifx / Switcher) for guitar and bass.

Post by simotek » 29 Aug 2017, 13:05

The actual octave effect has really bad tracking with my bass, but the harmonist which has an octave up and octave down function tracks really well.

I run my Le Bass in Loop 2 Its my main overdrive sound / preamp so I like it to be last of my drives but I also like it to be before delays and reverbs so while because its always on I could have it before or after, to get it in the right spot in my chain I use a loop. I particularly like using the Graphic EQ of the MS-3 in front of the Le Bass as a boost pedal to get the drive sounding different, on a lower output bass the Vintage fuzz also sounds really good in front of it.

I use my MXR Bass Comp always on toward the end of my chain as a studio style comp its set to only really come in when i'm playing slap or hard when I play at a medium volume its just coming in and if i'm playing lightly it doesn't do anything. As such I just put it in loop 2 after the Le Bass, because its easy to configure and often enough I use the 2 internal effects for EQ and something else I decided to leave it on. As such and because I find compressors hard to configure without a meter I haven't really bothered messing with the other compressors except for the "Light Compressor" which I often use on my clean and light driven sounds (although its slightly noisy with one bass), I have it set at a threashold where its basically coming on for all my playing but it isn't compressing much so there's still a good volume range etc. but you notice it sounds better on then off. Having said that others have said the inbuilt compressors are good and if your only using it for slap then there's a high chance that one of the inbuilt ones will do the job well.

I haven't really learn't much more in the last week, I have my 4-5 core sounds setup for my main bass and a couple more to mess with and similar for my second bass so i've mostly just been enjoying playing with the stuff I have setup, and thinking about shooting a video of sounds. But also thinking about what I still want to add to the board, I'd like to get a Tech 21 VT Bass to switch in, in front of the Le Bass at times mostly for fun on the rare occasions I want a SVT sound (Its a cool sound thats grown on me). Next time I have money I also have my eyes on a switchable Octave/Fuzz pedal (or two) mainly for bass synth, there isn't enough FX slots in the MS-3 to do everything i'd want with synth bass and while I like the vintage fuzz on the MS-3 it doesn't have a modern sounding fuzz that I like.

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slowlearner
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Re: Boss MS-3 (Multifx / Switcher) for guitar and bass.

Post by slowlearner » 31 Aug 2017, 13:56

Interesting. I'm looking forward to a vid. I've found it hard trying to visualize everything you're reporting. BTW, my bro has one of these units for guitar and loves it.
Bassline "I'm not arguing.... I'm just explaining why I'm right."

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drbass
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Re: Boss MS-3 (Multifx / Switcher) for guitar and bass.

Post by drbass » 31 Aug 2017, 17:56

Looks interesting, lots of functionality over my current B3 - hmmmm ...
- Kermit 6 fanned, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, ME1/5, Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3
- EBS OctaBass, Boss MS-3, Line6 G50

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Rocksolid
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Re: Boss MS-3 (Multifx / Switcher) for guitar and bass.

Post by Rocksolid » 15 Nov 2017, 09:41

Thought I would bump this thread to see how people are finding this a couple of months on. I like the concept of it.

Just downloaded the manual to read more. Especially interested in the signal path. Can you change where the loops are in the chain?
Also a bass version with a inbuilt DI would be awesome. Looks like you'll have to run an external DI, which is a real shame.
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drbass
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Re: Boss MS-3 (Multifx / Switcher) for guitar and bass.

Post by drbass » 15 Nov 2017, 12:30

Had mine for 5, 6 weeks now. Have not spent a lot of time with it but what I've achieved so far I like.

Mostly use modulation effects (not a drive person), love the Harmonist set to a zero shift (results in a chorus-like effect with some slap-back delay, great for fretless). Still sorting out levels 8/ - just takes a while, and what works at home doesn't necessarily work with a band.

The loops are in one block so the order "L1L2L3" can't be changed but you can put the whole block anywhere in the chain. I'm using L1 for my EBS OctaBass (the original from '93, just like that sound) and L3 for a Sooundblox bass envelope filter.

Great to organise your specific sounds. Bit hard to explain (but pretty easy to set up), much more suitable to what I need than the Zoom B3 I had before.

Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 fanned, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, ME1/5, Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3
- EBS OctaBass, Boss MS-3, Line6 G50

WestOfBen
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Re: Boss MS-3 (Multifx / Switcher) for guitar and bass.

Post by WestOfBen » 17 Nov 2017, 15:01

Great little review! I have the ES-8 with a whole stack of stuff running from it. Yes it needs a small learning curve, programming it isn't really that hard. Sound quality I can't complain at all. No onboard FX on the ES-8 but if I was looking for a smaller travelling rig, which I just might be, then the MS-3 would be my first choice. Combining onboard with outboard - heck yeah!
Rickenbacker 4003JG, Epiphone Ripper, Marina P/J fretless, Tanglewood ABG, 1960s Rose Music Tempo SS semi-hollow bass, an acoustic guitar, GK 700RB-II, SWR Henry 8x8, some pedals
My band is called Ascribe!

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