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The Boss Heavy Metal pedal is back as the HM-2W and available to buy now

Boss
(Image credit: Boss)

Gilmour used it, Swedish death metal worshipped it thanks to Entombed, Kurt Ballou loves it and other brands have tried to recreate it; the Boss HM-2 is a legendary distortion pedal and now it's finally returned as the latest in the premium Waza Craft line.

It's been a long time coming; it's long-awaited return was confirmed last year but the original HM-2 was only available for a relatively short time after its launch in1983, fuelling demand in the used market for it's dark delights. Now the HM-2W improves the design after Boss actively sought players' suggestions on Facebook

The headline new features are an improved noise floor, +3dB of level and an all-new custom mode. The ultimate chainsaw just got a new blade. 

Boss

(Image credit: Boss)

Thankfully the HM-2W keeps the iconic black and orange design and even offers a Standard mode for purists. But the Waza Craft-tuned Custom mode offers a "more aggressive sound variation." 

But even the original Standard mode has had some welcome tweaks; the noise floor is reduced and the maximum level is increased by 3 dB. The Waza Craft buffer also improves signal quality over the original when the the sound is bypassed.

Of course the first thing we'll be doing is cranking everything up for pure death metal manna but the HM-2W is capable of much more with its color controls and distortion range.

The Custom mode adds more gain, attack and sharpness, while the low and high-mid character have been tweaked for enhanced definition. 

The Boss HM-2W is £129 and available from dealers now – more info at Boss.

 

Boss

(Image credit: Boss)
Rob Laing

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before that I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar.