Just What I Needed / Wanted
The JS-10 is a nice little unit. It does most of what it claims to do, very well. It’s worth the bucks to me to have so many features all in such a small, portable “all-in-one” unit. Would I buy it again? Would I recommend it to my guitar buddies? Absolutely! Is it perfect? No it‘s not. (is anything?)
Recording is ridiculously simple. The 16GB SD card I bought seems to work well for recording and gives me plenty of recording time, too. Easy to erase as well.
Hooking it up to the computer was idiot proof and works well with my old Windows Vista.
The backing tracks are 70% usable by MY TASTES (I’m not much into Jazz or Country) and are of great quality (WAV files). The user friendliness is what you’d expect from Boss units (I miss my finger-holed “jog” wheel, though) and the learning curve (if you’re familiar with Boss systems) is intuitive.
Startup for a newbie is simple and you should be jamming within in a few minutes after hookup. The navigation through the system is foolproof and in many cases, is as simple as “press any key” or “just hit exit” to get back to where you were or to the next parameter you want to change. Very intuitive.
Sound quality of the COSM is what you’d expect. They can keep updating it all they want (so they claim) but it’s still the same engine. To me, it’s no better or worse than the other engines out there (Line 6, Korg, Vox, Digitech, Zoom, etc) and for my tastes, the Boss COSM is good enough. (A few Germanium diode sniffing snobs might argue that Zoom or Line 6 is better, but most average Joe’s can’t tell the difference)
You don’t have to do a lot of programming to have fun with this unit. Out of the box, I could see someone using it for months without changing or adjusting anything other than guitar tones. Fun factor is 9 stars! :
The stereo speaker system sounds really good at low/medium volumes. With the volume knob at 3 o’clock (pretty darn loud), the rumble & shaking of the box gets bad (physical limitations of the box) esp. with heavy bass lines. It gets loud enough for my needs with the volume set at 12 o‘clock. I think the sub-woofer update was a definite improvement on this newer unit. The headphones defeat the speakers and when plugged in, you can crank your head off if you want, without disturbing anyone.
The song editing/naming is a bit slow (no keyboard...lol) so what cha gonna do?
I went to the trouble of picking all the backing tracks from the JS-10 that I liked the best (109 of them), and transferred them to a USB flash drive that also has all my other favorite backing tracks, giving me a combined selection of 266 backing tracks that I ENJOY jamming with (Pu-lenty of tracks!) ...I did this to free up the SD card for dedicated recording. But as someone pointed out in a related JS-8 review, the arrangement/sorting of files seems to have no rhyme or reason. I even put a “Z” in front of some of the pattern’s names to try to separate certain files, but it made no difference. I wish I knew why. Oh well...that’s one big negative strike.
Also, when scrolling thru my USB flash drive’s song list while simultaneously playing back tracks from the USB drive, the unit suddenly stopped playing and gave me an error message (couldn’t handle the load I was giving it). I quickly got back to playing & scrolling, but it shows that the USB flash drive has limitations that the SD card obviously does NOT.
The speaker system on the older JS-8 unit has gotten poor reviews, thus the JS-10 received a new sub-woofer update to help with the load. The sub helps a lot and gives depth to the sound that it lacked before (they upped the power some, too). But keep in mind, this is not a 20/50 watt tube amp and it doesn’t have a 12” speaker. It can’t move that much air, nor is it designed to do so. For playback of jam tracks & pre-recorded music, it has an even sound (like a home stereo) and you can adjust you guitar to a quite pleasing tone if you work at it. Just don’t expect to hear a combo amp response coming from a little plastic box with 2” speakers. You want more volume/clarity? Buy some nice headphones, plug it into a PA or some decent powered monitors.
The pitch change of the songs (as some reviews on the JS-8 have said) works OK on some songs, but awful on others. It’s like some songs have a serious “wow & flutter” problem. It’s irritating and displeasing enough to where I’m apprehensive when I go to use the pitch change. But I’m glad it’s there to use. Better than NOT having it.
I hope one day that Boss decides to make another SD card filled with another 300+ backing tracks to jam with, but how many styles of music are there? How many times can you reinvent a song? lol ...I guess that’s what the internet is for.