No matter how critical we are and how hard we try to find faults with Boss products, there is something that makes them pop up everywhere you look at. That something is the combination of excellent build quality, wonderful sounds and affordable price. When cheaper pedals come into play, there is always at least one thing you have to compromise. But with this brand, you usually have everything you want – no sacrifices needed. Though they have some stompboxes that are not exactly the best (which brand does not?), they have some products that have made history. There distortion and overdrive pedals have been a staple for a while now and that speaks volumes about Boss. Enough about that, let’s discuss a more important subject – noise. This nagging and badgering bastard can find its way in the most professional setups and ruin everything musicians work so hard on. It can have different shapes and forms: be it hiss, hum, buzz or unwanted feedback, but the solution is always simple and it is called noise gate. The particular model we are going to discuss is Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor. It belongs to a more versatile category and offers wonderful and reliable operation. If you want something you can trust, something that doesn’t require 300-page manual to understand what is what, then keep on reading!
No matter how much musicians differ from each other, there is one thing we all share – we hate (to be more precise, loathe) reading the instructions. As much as we love playing with the pedals, scrutinizing manuals is our least favorite thing to do. And it always excites us when we find out that a pedal doesn’t need those annoying papers. That is what Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor feel like – it is simple enough to be figured out on your own, yet it still maintains that essential level of versatility we all long for. The brand continues its tradition with this one by creating the shell that can withstand heavy beating, excessive stomping, numerous smashes on the wall of your van and so on. In a few words, it can endure any abuse you throw at it. The design has not changed either: we are looking at the same old chunky chassis. Yet we are so used to such appearance that no one is even complaining. This time we have the combination of black and white colors that they could not have gone wrong with. More importantly, Noise Suppressor works wonderfully with electric or bass effects and can easily detect and eliminate the faulty sounds coming out of your amplifier. It has a circuit which takes care of your noise without interfering with sonic palette of your performance, or ruining its dynamics. This bad boy has two modes of operation: Reduction lets you use the typical noise gate, while Mute makes it possible to mute the output for silent tuning, for example. It has Send and Return jacks that allow you to connect this one to an effects loop. Of course you will need a single 9V battery or an adapter to supply essential power and activate this baby.
The control panel is comprised of the typical package you usually get with noise gate pedals. Boss Noise Suppressor follows the same rules as its rivals and provides us with the encoders that are necessary for tweaking the effect meticulously. But it has an extra something that sets it apart from the competition. As I have mentioned above, figuring out what is what is a piece of cake here, but since we all hate manuals, I will be the one who bores you and explain how everything works here.
Threshold enables you to set the level at which noise reduction will take place. It acts as a sort of a border that does not let unwanted sounds in your rig. Decay determines how quickly the sound disappears when the input signal drops below the chosen threshold. Last knob here is Mode, which lets you choose between Reduction and Mute modes. The former lets you refine your sound by killing all the noise, while Mute silences the output and enables you to mute the pedal whenever needed. That encoder works in conjunction with the main footswitch that can turn the effect on or off, or mute the pedal completely. As underlined above, things are pretty easy with this one!
Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor could easily go wrong, but I am happy to inform that it did not. On the contrary, it performed even better than expected. Before diving into the details, I would like to mention some of the flaws it has. This baby can color your tone just a bit and since it doesn’t have a true bypass circuitry, it might suck some of your tone as well. These flaws are not too intense to be deal-breakers but you still have to know the full picture. Moving on to the positive side, Noise Suppressor can recognize the distinction between noise and your own sound quite well. This way it doesn’t chop off anything you don’t want it to and acts as a really simple tool for refining your sound. It is something you can rely on, since it will perform no matter what. In short, it does everything it is supposed to decently and as an affordable and simple noise gate, it does not have to do anything else.
To sum up everything said above, Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor is a wonderful option if you are a simple guy with simple needs. It certainly is not the most versatile and sophisticated pedal out there. In fact, one of its most prominent virtues is its fool-proof performance. It won’t take you too much time either, since proper settings are easy to find. Give it a shot and maybe you will be able to find what you were looking for. After all, the searching process can be tiring and you need to finally relax and enjoy your beloved unit. Good luck!
Click here to view more from 7 Best Noise Gate Pedals.