Boss MS-3 Multi-Effects Switcher

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 100+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$412
Boss MS-3 Multi-Effects Switcher
Boss MS-3 Multi-Effects Switcher

Meta Analysis Overview

Our rating of 90/100 is based on analysis of 100+ sources comprised of online reviews and discussions. Under the Pros and Cons headings below you'll find a condensed analysis of what those owners and users have been saying. Feel free to ask questions or add your thoughts in the comments section.

The Boss MS-3 is a multi-effects pedal that is not meant to replace your favorite pedals, rather it is meant to help you make better use of them.

It has more than enough effects (112) for most musical applications, but what makes it special is its old school approach that lets you incorporate pedals and amps into your rig, along with its built-in effects.

First off, it has three effects loops that let you control pedals (or groups of pedals) right from the MS-3. It can also be used as a foot controller for amplifiers, which allows you to change the channel on your favorite amps and employ effects in the comfort of a single compact box.

This makes the MS-3 a very versatile unit, catering to vintage amp/pedal users while adding the comfort of modern digital effects processing and preset control.

Since it has its own noise suppressor and global EQ, you can tame noisy pedals and shape their tone a bit more.

All of these features are on top of the many built-in effects which are Boss quality good by themselves.

Key Specs:

  • Effects: 112 (6 Simultaneous)
  • Presets: 200
  • Footswitches: 5
  • Input: 1 x 1/4"
  • Output: 2 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4" (control out), 2 x 1/4" (control in), 6 x 1/4" (3 pedal loops)
  • Extra Features: Tuner, Noise Suppressor, Global EQ
  • MIDI: Out
  • USB: Preset Editor/Update
  • Dimensions: 2.68" x 9.68" x 3.87"
  • Weight: 2.44 lbs.

Pros

Most reviews are coming from users who have nothing but good things to say about their experience with the unit. One user summarized what most reviewers felt by saying that the MS-3 is a "game changer". But it's not just about its amp and effects switching, because many were just as impressed with the sound quality of many of its built-in effects, including its overdrive and modulation sections. Its compact and portable design is also very much appreciated, making it an easy addition to any setups.

Cons

There aren't that many complaints, other than some requests for extra features like having a software editor, and a built-in audio interface.

Overall

The Boss MS-3 is the go-to multi-effects pedal for those who want to enjoy digital control without totally giving up on old school pedals and amps. Get it if you need something to tie your rig together while providing great effects.

Although this was previously on our recommended list, there are now more highly rated options available which you can see in our guide to The Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedals / Processors.

About the Author

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

He's written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at his local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.