Boss Waza Craft Metal Zone Distortion Pedal, MT-2W
The Boss MT-2 Metal Zone Guitar Effects Pedal offers an all-analog upgrade to the generation-defining distortion pedal. The 'Standard' mode provides an improved update to the original MT-2 sound with greater clarity, while 'Custom' mode modernises the timbre and gives greater polish with a widened frequency range, improved dynamic response and tightened low end.
The sweepable mid boost/cut still allows you to flick back and forth between old school mid-scooped metal tones and much fatter, doomier mid-heavy sounds, now just with an expanded range. This is complemented by the astonishing amount of gain this pedal can deliver.
Upgrading the mythical MT-2
How do you upgrade an icon? Go analog! The unique dual-stage gain circuit from the original has been fully re-built using independent all-analog components. This means greatly reduced noise and improved clarity, all without losing its signature mid-range character. If you’re an ultra-high gain player, that means this pedal will only add to your sound without any unwanted noise.
The biggest addition is the new 'Custom' mode which gives a much wider frequency range, tightens the low end and gives a greater dynamic response. It's also been expanded from 2 to 3-band EQ for even greater tonal control. This, along with the new premium buffer for even quieter operation when not in-use gives an added sheen to one of the most aggressive distortion pedals ever devised.
Secrets of the Metal Zone
The Boss MT-2 Metal Zone is one of the most complex dirt pedals in existence and has probably the most sophisticated (and least understood) tone control circuit on any mass-market pedal. In simple terms, you’ve got the input buffer, the pre-distortion tone shaping circuit, the gain stage and clipping diodes, the post-distortion tone shaping circuit, the High and Low tone controls, and the sweepable Mid tone control.
The pre-distortion tone shaping gives a notable “mid hump”. If you put a wah pedal in front of a distortion pedal, you’ll find you can alter the tone of the distortion by moving the wah. This what’s going on here: a peak in the frequency response is being created to boost mid-range and shape the sound of the distortion. Next is essentially a two-stage clipping circuit. At minimum gain, there’s just enough signal to make the diodes conduct, so it generates a light crunch. As the gain gets up to x8 or more, the op-amp will start to clip too, and the boosted output will be clipped hard by the diodes. So this gain control doesn’t just go to 11, it goes way up to 252! By that point, all that is left is a ridiculously heavily clipped signal. After the diodes, we’ve got our raw distortion, with as much gain and crunch as anyone could possibly want. Then comes a filter that gives a soft lowpass action and removes some treble. The post-distortion tone shaping is a more sophisticated version of the pre-distortion tone shaping circuit and has two gyrators, and therefore two peaks in the frequency response. The sweepable mid control is in essence a semi-parametric EQ and gives a cut or boost of 15dB.
Whereas on many other distortion or overdrive pedals, the chosen op-amp or clipping diodes have a major influence on the outputted sound, in the MT-2 it’s really all about frequency response. Heavily shaped at every stage, those frequency responses determine the sound of the pedal, much more than component choice ever would. That initial mid-hump before the distortion, high-gain double clipping, and then the scooped-mid response after it gives the pedal its signature tone. Add to that the high degree of tonal control that comes from the powerful EQ and you’ve got a successful pedal- you just need to know how to use it.
- Nominal Input Level: 20 dBu
- Input Impedance: 1 M ohm
- Nominal Output Level: 20 dBu
- Recommended Load Impedances: 10 k ohms or greater
- Bypass: Premium buffered bypass for dependable tone
- Controls: High, Mid, Low, Level, Distortion, and Mode
- Input jack: 1/4-inch phone type
- Output Jack: 1/4-inch phone type
- Power Supply: Alkaline 9 V, 6LR61 batter (Approx. 18 hour life) or AC power adaptor (sold separately)
- Dimensions:73mm (W) x 129mm (D) x 59mm (H)
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