REVIEW: Boss GT-1000CORE Multi-Effects Processor

When you take a flagship product, and streamline/consolidate it, the results in many cases are less than half the value. Boss figured out how to make a new axiom: “less is equal” by taking their GT-1000 Multi-fx system and putting into the size of their 500 series of pedals, all while maintaining the tonal options of its big brother. Meet the Boss GT-1000CORE.

The front panel sports three rugged footswitches, along with five parameter editing knobs, patch selector, and output level controls. The big display is very bright and super easy to see and sits next to a minimal editing control section. On the back, stereo ins and outs, two effect sends and return loops, and control outputs, with another control connection on the side. Mini 1/8” MIDI connections and a USB port also reside on the side.

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A great feature is the left output also doubles as a headphone out! The two loops can also be used as Aux In and Sub Out connections, as well, as for 4 cable method configurations. Pedal junkies who can’t part with that boutique fuzz or drive that’s all the rage now, can have those items easily incorporated into this system utilizing these loops. So getting this to play nicely with your existing pedalboard is a no brainer.  Want to have it make your amp change channels as well? Connect it to the CTL jacks, and now your analog tube amp plays with it nicely, making it a complete control center.

We used this in a variety of configurations; in front of an amp, as a stompbox, the 4-cable method and through a set of headphones. Just scrolling through the presets, we were blown away by the overall audio fidelity. Each new preset in stock form seemed well thought-out and could easily be the starting point for players looking for something new, yet familiar. Even some of the extreme versions of the more unusual effects like the slicer seemed far more usable in actual playing situations, and not just examples of parameters and “look what I can do” approaches.

The days of presets that may be perfect, algorithm wise, but meh for guitar or just impractical, are over! Pretty much every BOSS effect is in there, from chorus to blues driver, along with their 500 Series (delay, modulation and reverb) effects. Amp models galore are also crammed in here, and players wanting to emulate stereo rigs, with let’s say a Vox-y version and a Marshall-ish at the same time — no problem, mate! Try to play “let’s see if it has this effect” game, and you’ll lose. This unit has it in there! And if you want to see how much a patch can handle, try 24 effects at once. BOSS even included a looper mode.

Want to load your own impulse responses? Of course you do. Well, there are 16 open spots for ones players have made on their own or downloaded from other sources.

The overall experience was impressive, finding more and more usable tones and variants that made sense, but not getting overwhelmed during the process, and getting inspired along the way. Players who need to re-create sounds that would normally require dozens of pedals and amps, this is the little box you’ve been begging for.

If you add in the cost of getting one of these, and spend a few extra dollars on let’s say, an external footswitch like Boss’s FS-7, and their EV-30 expression pedal, what you end up with is a pedalboard friendly version of their bigger, full sized GT-1000, for about $150 less. Yes, it’s missing XLR main outs, and full-size MIDI connections, but it’s otherwise there in every other way.


Well thought out, excellent sounds, plenty of options, pedalboard friendly


Might need a couple of extra devices (FS-7, EV30) to fully unlock potential



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