Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we're going to review a classic stompbox, present in the live and studio rig (mostly live, though) of many famous artists, such as Slipknot, Machine Head, Mastodon, Killswitch Engage and Linkin Park, basically the major league of modern heavy metal: the Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor.
Compared to other modern noise suppression stompboxes the Boss NS-2 today may not result the first of the class in terms of transparency, especially on a head to head comparison with an Isp Decimator; the pedal nonetheless has been the first choice by many professional musicians due to its reliability, and due to the fact that Boss stompboxes are really built like a tank, made for the tour life with the highest level of reliability.
Plus it's cheap and gets the job done fairly well.
The unit features a dual input and dual output: the first input and the first output are made to stay at the top of the guitar effect chain, while the second input and output are made to go in the send and return of the amplifier (the effect loop), or if there are other effects, from the return of the amplifier to the input of the first effect: this way with the first input and output we clean the sound of our guitar from the pickup hum and unwanted feedbacks, and with the second one we polish the sound even more before going through any modulation effect (e.g. a Delay), to make sure that no noise gets effected.
Just make sure that the NS-2 it's always on the top of the chain, because for example if we'd set it after a Delay, the noise gate would cut the repetitions.
My overall judgement on this unit it's very positive, and it's a great bang for the buck, but at the same time I think that a Noise Suppressor should be used only when really necessary, for example playing heavy metal or other hi-gain genres, otherwise, if the signal-to-noise ratio it's bearable, I wouldn't suggest to use it, it would only reduce the sustain of our guitar without a real upside.
Specs taken from the Boss Website:
Input Impedance 1 M ohms
Output Impedance 10 k ohms or greater
Equivalent Input Noise Level -110 dBu or less (IHF-A, Typ.)
Connectors INPUT Jack, OUTPUT Jack, RETURN Jack, SEND Jack, DC In, Out
Power Supply DC 9 V: Dry Battery 9 V type (6F22/9 V), AC Adaptor
Current Draw 20 mA (DC 9 V)
Accessories Dry Battery 9 V type (6F22/9 V)
Option AC Adaptor (PSA-Series)