Is this the perfect practice tool for guitarists? We take a look in our Boss eBand JS-10 review
The Boss eBand JS-10 has been revealed, updating one of the ‘hidden gems’ in the Boss catalogue. The original eBand, the JS-8 managed to combine a high quality audio player, effects and speakers to create a fun and versatile practice tool. The new Boss JS-10 takes this concept even further, with improved speakers, cutting edge guitar effects, along with a library of audio loops, and the ability to adjust the tempo or key of these.
We take a closer look in our Boss eBand JS-10 review.
Two inputs with independent controls and effects
The JS-10 furthers its credentials as a practice and teaching tool with the inclusion of two inputs. These can be used as either guitar/ bass inputs or microphone inputs, with input 2 also including a mini-jack aux input. Each input has its own level control, and independent effects path.
The effects themselves are based on Roland’s COSM technology. Surprisingly, however, these are derived from those featured on the flagship Boss GT-100 guitar FX processor. In combination with the dual inputs, this means that the JS-10 can be used for two guitarists, or a guitarist and bassist, or guitarist and vocalist to jam along together with separately configured effects and settings.
At the heart of the unit is a high quality audio player/ recorder. MP3 and WAV files can be played back via a USB key, or uploaded via a USB connection to a computer. Once loaded these can have tempo increased or decreased, pitch altered, and have the centre channel cancelled to create mixes without vocals, guitar, or whatever happens to be in the centre of the mix. A huge library audio loops and fifty new songs provide play-along tracks for easy practice.
One of the really nice touches about these songs is that they comprise appropriate effects settings. So, if you dial in a Blues song backing, you’ll automatically have a suitable guitar tone.
The centre channel cancel is (as always) a little bit ‘hit and miss’. It’s very much dependent on the manner in which the source track is mixed. When it does, however, it’s a very welcome feature.
The guitar FX and amp models are a real treat, as you might expect. The GT-100 has always impressed with the ‘organic’ nature of its tones, and the models on offer here haven’t lost much in translation. Of course, you lose the detailed editing of the flagship FX unit, but then this is pitched as a practice unit.
Equally, the 2.1 speaker system is very impressive. It’s easy to be cynical of speaker technology that promises huge leaps in sound quality, but the ‘proof of the pudding’ as they say, ‘is in the eating’. Despite the compact size, the JS-10 delivers a surprisingly big sound.
As an added bonus, the eBand can be used to record to a host computer via an on-board USB audio interface. Nice.
The Boss eBand JS-10 is a rather rare thing- a music tech product which has no direct competitor. It is far from niche, however. The combination of compact design and guitar effects alone give it broad appeal. The high quality backing tracks (complete with ‘minus one’ parts for guitar and bass) really make this a superb practice tool, however.
Wrap this up with some great speakers, and an excellent, straightforward user interface, and you have a really great alternative to a typical practice amp. The audio interface just extends the huge scope of this unit. Remarkably, I’ve only provided an outline of the features in this review (I haven’t mentioned recording or looping, for example- the list goes on and on…)
The Boss eBand JS-10 is a device that may have escaped your attention, but may be a perfect solution for a number of musical situations.