I first used one of these back in the early 90s, and then
my friend sold it. In the early 00s I started hunting
for one again since it did a few things that nothing else
could. For its fun-factor, I won't sell the one I have
any time soon. And I find it's a nice piece for small,
Model Year: 1991
Where Obtained: Internet forum member
Officially "BE-5B- 5 Special Selected Effects for
Multi-effect board for bass, from the early 90s.
Effects: Delay/Chorus/Flanger, 10-band graphic EQ,
enhancer/OD, limiter. Independent switches (no master,
Connections: Input, output, delay/mono out, headphone
out, send and returns for extension loop, and a tuner
out. Requires a standard 9vDC adapter.
Controls are mostly analog sliders and dials, with some
with fixed positions, giving a very good level of control
of the effects, and everything is well positioned to
avoid accidental bumps from changing the settings.
LEDs for the unit's power, and for each effect's on/off
None of the effects is stellar, but all are very solid
and what you'd expect from Boss. And the set is a very
good collection -- limiter, EQ, OD and modulation. The
OD wisely includes a blend knob which is essential for
bass. The 10-band EQ is a great feature and works quite
I've used this many times over the years, through cheap
stacks, through a nice Acoustic Image/Schroeder rig,
through headphones and as a direct recording input. It's
very competent without being, as noted above, stellar.
I did not find it particularly noisy, or unreasonably
noisy when compared to other analog effect collections.
The EQ and limiter make it nicely suitable for a wide
range of clean styles. The OD is decent, but may not
live up to the demands of metal or other very heavy
I used it for a while as my all-in-one solution in for
it's clean tones, delay, and for one or two uses of the
OD. It is very easy, however, to set your tone up just
perfectly to be lost in a band's mix. There are no
presets for the EQ, so you really need to use it
conservatively if you are not familiar with using an EQ.
And it can take some playing around to get a good
distorted tone that can cut through -- but the pedal
itself has all you need to do so. But no presets means
it's only as good as you are in picking the settings.
On a pure effect-by-effect basis, there are plenty of
other better options. However, this has a uniquely
appealing ability to blend the effects, and I have found
some amazing combinations that I simply cannot recreate
with anything else I own (or have owned). And often,
particularly on bass, I just want a small multi unit with
independent pedals -- like this. Too much programming
and too many features can become messy to manage.
Very direct, clear controls, no obvious interface
features missing. It's hard not to figure it out. I'm
not sure what unit the other reviewer was talking about,
but this one is very simply WYSIWYG.
Not programmable, which is why this unit falls behind
modern offerings. And while you can cause yourself
problems with the EQ, that's not unique to this unit.
And 10-bands on a small multi-effect unit is very
generous. There are many good sounds to be had, and
they're easy to find.
Compare to the modern generation of boards where getting
to the effect you want can take 3 or 4 stomps.
Programmable boards are nice, but you need to group
patches if you intend to use them on the fly. So
programmable would be nice, but sometimes direct control
is what you need.
I've had good luck, but the unit is all plastic, and not
extremely well built. I would not rely on a single unit
as a pro unless I had a special guy to baby it...or had
backups. Heavy stomping will surely destroy it. I'm
sure it would handle modest stomping and a modest
schedule. Really rough guess -- 6-8 hours a week, no
crazy abuse, and it'd probably be reliable for several
years. The one I have is at least 15 years old and works
fine -- but I don't know how much it was used before I
Good sound bad problems with the plug in shorting out.
Price: $179.00 (new)
Where Obtained: barkers music
Ive noticed a trend with these petals.they all get power plug in shorts and it happens all the time.you plug it in and hey its not on!both me and my guitarist have this petal and he has the same problems with it.a couple other friends of mine have it and they have the same problems with it.its a nice petal for the price but it lasts only about two to three months.
It sounds really good and lets you vreate your own sounds so thats a nice touch.and it has alot of range to work with.if only it didnt short out all the time.
Easy to figure out if you have the instructions handy!
Like isaid it sounds good but has problems.