Review: Boss eBand JS-10 Guitar Trainer/Audio Player
The following content is related to the March 2013 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.
About three years ago, Boss introduced the eBand JS-8, an all-in-one, plug-and-play practice and jamming device featuring built-in effects, stereo speakers, a headphone output, audio loops, pitch and tempo control of audio files, a tuner, a metronome, a USB audio interface and more. The new eBand JS-10 preserves all of the features of the JS-8 and adds several improvements, including an upgraded 2.1 speaker system, effects and COSM amps from Boss’s flagship GT-100 effects processor (the JS-8’s effects are from the GT-10), two independent guitar inputs, additional audio loops, 50 new songs, and a center cancel function that removes guitar solos or lead vocals from MP3 or WAV files. These upgrades provide an even more satisfying playing experience, and the addition of a second guitar jack makes the JS-10 a useful tool for jamming with or teaching another guitar player.
While the dimensions and general features of the JS-10 are almost identical to those of the JS-8, it incorporates several cosmetic and practical changes. The silver control panel makes it easier to see the various knobs and buttons, and the graphic LCD has better contrast and detail than its predecessor. With 24-bit AD/DA conversion and 44.1kHz sampling, the JS-10 provides professional-level playback and recording sound quality. An SD/SDHC Card slot accommodates memory cards with up to 32GB capacity, allowing users to record up to 130 hours of eBand Songs, 50 hours of 16-bit stereo WAV audio and 550 hours of 128 Kbps MP3 audio.
The JS-10’s effects and amp section is outstanding and much more powerful than a typical guitar app. A full selection of vintage, modern and boutique COSM amp models is available, and 14 different types of effects—from distortion and compression to delay and reverb—are provided. When a guitar, mic or other instrument is plugged into the second 1/4-inch input, it can be processed entirely independently from the first input using its own GT-100 effects. The JS-10 now provides 350 audio loops and 50 new songs to jam along with, and many of them feature “minus one” arrangements that provide “open tracks” for adding your own lead guitar, bass, or other instrumental tracks. WAV and MP3 audio files can be downloaded via USB and processed internally with the JS-10’s center-cancel, key-shift, or tempo-shift functions.
The biggest improvement to the JS-10 is its 12-watt 2.1 speaker system, featuring a pair of stereo speakers and a separate woofer that provides significantly louder and cleaner volume output than the JS-8. Now the JS-10 sounds like a mini amp, and thanks to the tight low-frequency response of its woofer, it even sounds good when a bass is plugged into it. The sound quality remains clean, clear and well defined even when a WAV file and two guitars are being played through the JS-10 at once.
The 350 audio loops cover just about every style imaginable, including rock, metal, jazz, country and more. The center-cancel function does a good job of removing most lead vocals or guitar solos from WAV and MP3 files (as long as those tracks were originally recorded panned to the center), and it’s fun to record your own solos to replace those tracks. With its logical control layout and dedicated front-panel buttons for most functions, the JS-10 is very easy to use, letting you perform tasks quickly and with minimal hassles, so you can spend more time playing and less time consulting an owner’s manual.
List Price $600.50
Manufacturer Boss, bossus.com
An all-in-one practice/jamming device with stereo speakers, built-in GT-100 effects and COSM amp models, 350 audio loops, 50 songs, tuner and more.
Improvements include a 12-watt 2.1 speaker system that provides crystal-clear sound and an additional guitar input that allows another guitarist to play along.
The Bottom Line
Several new improvements and upgrades make the Boss eBand JS-10 the ultimate all-in-one plug-and-play practice device, thanks to its excellent sound quality and pro-quality effects.
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