Here is the problem. I noted the discrepencies in the preceding posts about whether this pedal is noisy or not. I also considered that the people that thought it was noisy may not have realized they themselves were boosting the noise. I couldn't test the pedal out before buying, and now I know....all of you are probably correct. It IS noisy and in some setups is NOT noisy.
I won't go into all that I have run it through, because in troubleshooting I cut down everything so I had the simplest test to see why it was so noisy. I was using a Strat->GE-7->Carvin MTS3212 100/50w (switchable) tube amplifier.
When I got the pedal home, I liked it a lot. It held a lot of promise. But I was keeping the volume on the amplifier WAY down next to 1. I took it with me to a band practice, and there I heard the problem at "normal" levels (with my amp set to 50w setting, I had the volume at only around 3-4...but that is pretty loud with this amp). Terribly white noise coming from this thing. I stopped using it, and took it home. Played with it at home reducing the chain down to what I showed above, keeping it simple. Tried swapping out both guitar cables also (guitar->GE-7 and GE-7->amp) and no...not with each other :-).
The biggest clue to the problem was that the white noise showed up, AND at the same apparent levels, whether I raised OR cut a frequency. Unlike what someone else here posted, I found that when I turned the pedal on if all the bands were set to 0, it was still quiet. BUT, when I raised or lowered ANY band there was white noise. If I raised or lowerd say 100hz, it had a more bassy (for a high freq) sound, if I raised or lowered 800 it had a different quality but seemed just as loud.
The level of this noise made the pedal unusable for me. I tried running it in the effects loop of the amp, and it improved some. I don't know if this is strictly the pedals fault...at some point I unplugged the guitar from the input and also tried with teh guitar plugged in but the pickup set to 0. Same thing in all cases.
I am taking the box back to see if this happens with other amps. I won't go on record as saying the pedal is necessarily bad, but it has to be either the pedal, or the amp or the combination of the two.
As some helpful folk here have mentioned, I may try the option of buying yet another pedal, the NS-2 noise suppresor and if that doesn't suck tone too much, I may go with that combo to fix the problem. I considered waiting until I found out before writing this, but I can add a short synopsis later about what I found out. The point is this pedal CAN seemingly be noisy, so if I were you I would test it at the store, AT the volume you plan on using it, and with the same or similar equipment as you play through.
I have no opinion abouit the sound quality yet because the hiss is a deal breaker...but what I could hear over the hiss did sound pretty nice. I want to be able to keep this pedal. Either I find out that I just got a defective one, or that a suppressor makes it all worth it.
I trust Boss pedals so far. If I can solve this hiss problem, I will probably buy two pedals, one for into the amp, the other in the effects loop along with a delay box.
I play everything, but am in a strictly blues band. That is where I wanted to use this, on both clean and OD sounds. Want to dial in that bubbly, hendrixy (from "Still Raining Still Dreamin..." and others) if I can. Want every sound I can think of. I've been playing for almost 30 years. Haven't been in bands off and on, and always play.