Overall

The BOSS GT-1B is a powerful yet very portable addition to the BOSS family. It is an ideal multi-effects processor for those who want everything in one unit ready to plug and play.

Pros

  • Light-weight, portable unit with a special round-edges design
  • Battery-powered allows for more freedom
  • USB connectivity to tweak your patches and add PRO-designed ones from BOSS Tone Central

Cons

  • Digital sounds might be a little fake to experienced players.
  • There is no brightness adjustment for the LCD Display.
  • Double-step on the pedal to stop the loop recording is quite uncomfortable

At first glance, there is one thing that is completely certain: Boss is making smaller multi-effects processors.

This mighty sound-shaping machine can fit in the palms of your hands.

The three knobs and switches make this bass multi-effect very intuitive and easy to use.

I wish back in my bass-playing days there was something as powerful and simple as this machine.

It is light-weight, battery-powered, and sturdy enough for the stage.

Unique features

There are some outstanding features in this Boss GT-1B that are not-so-common in other multi-effects of the same size:

  • It has a built-in looper (see dedicated bass looper pedals) that will let you record up to 32 seconds to play along and build songs on your own.
  • The USB connection allows you to download pro patches from BOSS Tone Central and the BOSS Tone Studio software allows you to have easy storage of your presets.
  • The enabled categories in each user bank or preset light up so you know what is on at a glance (if you´ve had something like a GT-3 at your toes know it was a guessing game).
  • Because it features some of the best-known amp models to choose from, the BOSS GT-1B is a great preamp to go straight to a console and also a great tone-shaper to go to an amp. BOSS designed this multi-effect unit with round edges so you can put it in your bass gig bag and go playing with it and just two cables.

Tweaks and knobs

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Both the CTRL switch and the expression pedal can be applied to any parameter of any of the effects at hand. To the usual modulation, delay and reverb effects this powerful machine adds Harmonist, Defretter, Synth and more. If you´ve ever seen bands like Living Colour playing live you know just how powerful a bass synth pedal is. Adding to that power, the versatility of assigning any parameter to the expression pedal can take the sound of the four strings anywhere you want.

I have to say that the three knobs for adjusting parameters are just something great. If you are like me, someone who has been playing with pedals for years, you are used to going down on the floor to do some on-the-fly tweaks at the turn of a knob.

What does it sound like?

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The sounds that this product is capable of are very accurate and although you can sense some of the digital signals in the final audio, there is a lot you can do to enhance the sound of your instrument. It does require some time to sit down and shape your sound, but once dialed in, sounds great. The preamp section is very credible; those of us who are lucky enough to have plugged into a real SVT know that it sounds quite similar. All the effects sound very accurate including the most extreme settings.

Hear it!

The Boss GT-1B is a great sounding unit like what you expect from BOSS, just that in a smaller, friendlier, more manageable size. To hear it in a live situation you can check on this video made by Big Music Australia that covers most of the essentials.