Boss HM 2 Heavy Metal Pedal

The Boss HM-2 is their heavy metal distortion pedal for guitar, bass and keyboard popular in the 1980s. The pedal shown here is from early 1984, has the black label and was made in Japan. These create loads of distortion with rich in highs and decent heavy metal bottom end lows.

These settings as well as the midrange tones in between are controlled with the two Color Mix knobs. This classic old distortion pedal has four knobs total yet these two are interesting because they are really diversely responsive at each location you can set them at. These are the settings which come in really handy for working in conjunction with different guitar amplifiers, large or small. They act essentially like high and low EQ controls but with extra feel, like extra harmonic overtones, due to the Boss effects pedal circuitry of the early to mid 1980s like this pedal. At this time they were implementing several advancements to their already highly regarded overdrive circuitry.

The other two knobs control the output level and the amount of distortion which is added to the mix. Cranking up the distortion setting all the way will produce wild amounts of feedback laden tone which has its place. However the more controllable tone for tight heavy metal lead guitar for instance will be with this knob set back to around 75% distortion and dialing in the best setting with the Color controls.

One thing that is probably the most noticeable thing about this guitar distortion pedal is the insane amount of sustain it produces at certain settings. This is where this effects pedal will act like a throttle so to speak, meaning that it can imitate a much larger amplifier even when you are playing the guitar through a really small amp. The harmonics continue to ring nicely within a terrific simulation of many of what the heavy metal songs sounded like in the 1980s.