Boss looks to silence background noise with NS-1X for electric guitar
For more than 35 years the NS-2 stomp has been an effective set-and-forget solution to background noise in an electric guitarist's signal chain. Now it's being joined by a "highly tunable" next-gen noise suppressor and gate called the NS-1X.
Players who use a high-gain amplifier or stack a bunch of distortion pedals will likely be familiar with technology designed to clean up the signal path, and the NS-2 has been battling hum and hiss in bedroom setups and pro rigs alike since 1987.
For the NS-1X, Boss has leveraged its Multi-Dimensional Processing technology that analyzes the input signal across multiple levels in real time to nip noise in the bud "without affecting the natural tone and playing feel of a guitar or bass" or suffering from the kind of unnatural attack and decay artifacts other suppression systems can introduce.
There are three modes available. Mute allows for total silence while changing instruments, tuning or during breaks. Reduction "provides gentle noise suppression and natural note decay with all pickup types, including low-output single coils." Gate boosts the response and immediately cuts the sound when no signal is detected, which will be useful for percussive chuggers, legato tapping and sweep picking.
For improved control and response, a Damp knob for setting the maximum amount of noise reduction now joins the Threshold (which sets the level at which noise suppression kicks in) and Decay (for setting fade-out speed) knobs. And there's now a 12-light indicator bar for a quick visual check on the reduction status.
The NS-1X retains the familiar input/output jacks for simple setups after noisy pedals or amp, plus send/return jacks "optimized noise elimination with overdrives, distortions, and other noise-producing pedals." There's also a DC output for sharing power with other pedals.
"Thanks to its advanced digital processing and wide frequency response, the NS-1X provides outstanding results with standard guitars and basses and extended-range instruments with additional strings," said Boss in a press statement. "It’s also an excellent noise suppression solution for keyboards and other types of electronic instruments."
The NS-1X Noise Suppressor is on sale now for US$199.99. Boss has no plans to retire the veteran NS-2 pedal at this time, and since it comes in significantly cheaper than the new kid on the block, it could still be worth a look. The video below has more.
Product page: Boss NS-1X