After teasing a new addition to its premium, Japanese-made Waza Craft series for some weaks, Boss has unveiled the TB-2W Tone Bender, a collaboration with Sola Sounds that brings back an "authentic sonic recreation of the Tone Bender MK II."
For many, the Tone Bender MKII is the finest iteration of a classic fuzz that lit up the 60s when players first started looking to outboard devices to get more dirt from their amplifier.
One thing about Tone Benders, however, is that they were are not the smallest of pedals. This repro comes in a typically compact Boss chassis, which is more pedalboard-friendly by far.
The pedal's controls are straightforward, with knobs for Level and Attack, plus a three-way voltage selector for adding headroom or choking the fuzz for more extreme tone.
Under the hood, you've got rare stock germanium transistors – though there is no official confirmation, circuit geeks can presume that these will be a trio of Mullard 0C81D germanium transistors as per the reference pedal.
Boss worked with closely with Sola Sound on the pedal, plundering the archives to build the TB-2W around a “masterpiece” Tone Bender MK II (serial number 500), even going as far as to label the enclosure using Sola Sound's original font.
The original circuit was designed by Gary Hurst, aka “Gary the Fuzzman,” and was soon adopted in the mid-60s by Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page (who helpfully demos one below in the company of the Edge and Jack White, having liberally deployed one across the Led Zeppelin canon). Page took receipt of a MKII just before the recording of Led Zeppelin I.
As mentioned in the teasers, the Boss Waza Craft TB-2W Tone Bender will be a limited edition model, with pedals arriving at retailers in spring 2021.
There are no prices just yet, but if you like the idea of having a MKII circuit in a Boss chassis, act fast as these will surely become collectible.
Boss, meanwhile, have another Waza Craft pedal in the works. As revealed by Boss CEO Yoshi Ikegami last week, the cult classic HM-2 Heavy Metal distortion is being reissued, with Boss starting a Facebook group to pool ideas from players.
The HM-2 was integral to the development of the Swedish Sunlight Studios death metal tone, as debuted on Entombed's Left Hand Path.