GEAR SPOTLIGHT in the effects chain, before, after, or between the modulation engines. The compromise here is that you lose your stereo input and output, as it requires commandeering the right stereo input jack and the left/mono stereo output jack to use as an effects loop. It also requires editing the patch in question to engage this loop and select where it’s placed in the signal flow. Once set up, however, it’s pretty awesome, making possible a great degree of sonic flexibility and tonal variation from patch-to- patch. game-changing feature, and one that will keep the tweakers tweaking for years to come. Its small size, industry standard power requirements, and relative affordability are all bonuses. WHAT WE LIKE Warm, dynamic, industry leading tones in a very compact, pedalboard friendly, and easy-to-use stompbox. Its ability to engage two patches at once, while integrating very easily into an existing pedalboard, means that it In my short time with the Boss MD500 I quickly came to the conclusion that I need one on my board. The sounds equal or surpass the best that I have heard, generally speaking, and the breadth of its functionality is such that I was only barely able to scratch the surface of its capabilities. Being able to use two different patches at once and integrate them with external effects pedals is an amazing, 46 GEAR SPOTLIGHT // Boss MD-500 can easily replace several individual modulation pedals with ease. The street price of $349.99 also makes this financially feasible for a lot of players. CONCERNS Sacrificing stereo ins and outs to use the effects loop function is a slight bummer, but given that most players will probably be using it in mono most of the time anyway, this is probably an acceptable compromise.