No, it’s not the most recognizable name when it comes to guitars. Chances are, however, you’ve seen the Boss branding across a variety of effects pedals, amplifiers, and all sorts of musical accessories. This time around, though, they’re building a full-fledged axe in the form of the Boss Eurus GS-1.
Yes, Boss made their first electric guitar. Except, they’re not even calling it an electric guitar. Instead, they’re calling it an electronic guitar because the darn thing is fitted not just with the regular parts of an electric six-string, but with a built-in synthesizer that allows you to produce much more complex sounds than what you can do with a standard Gibson or Fender.
The Boss Eurus GS-1 looks like any regular electric guitar, with a strat-shaped body in matte black, Eurus humbuckers at the bridge and neck sections, a Gotoh tremolo bridge, and a 25.5-inch-scale maple neck with a 24-fret rosewood fingerboard. Along with the usual volume and tone knobs on the body, however, it also gets a toggle switch that lets you turn on the integrated polyphonic Boss synth engine, so you can quickly switch between synthesizer and regular guitar sounds, as well as a pair of knobs that you can use to control the synth and scroll through the range of preloaded sounds.
It has six memory slots, each one filled with ready-to-play sounds, although you can also customize each slot via the GS-1 Editor app (iOS and Android) when you pair it with your smartphone over Bluetooth. According to the outfit, all the synth sounds have been designed to respond to normal guitar techniques, so you can play them smoothly with no latency or triggering issues to disrupt the flow. Various parameters can also be assigned to the main synth control knob, by the way, allowing you to alter the onboard sounds on the fly to your exact liking each time out.
The Boss Eurus GS-1’s synth circuitry can be powered either via the integrated DC port, a USB slot, or the battery slot (it uses four AAs), so you can run a line to a power outlet or play without being tethered to any power source. According to the outfit, the batteries should last it up to nine hours of synth operation. It has a standard instrument jack for plugging into your amp of choice, as well as a synth out, so you can route the guitar and synth sounds to different destinations, allowing you to process each one separately for better flexibility whether you’re doing studio sessions or live performances.
Additionally, Boss is offering an option wireless MIDI expression pedal that’s designed to work with the guitar over Bluetooth, allowing you hands-free control of the synth engine, so you can keep your fingers on the strings and fretboard where they belong. And yes, you can program it using the same GS-1 Editor app, allowing you to assign parameters to the pedal, toe switch, and up to two external footswitches.
The Boss Eurus GS-1 comes out in October, priced at $2,199.99.