What a long and interesting story this guitar pedal has…it is almost, dare I say, a LEGEND. The Boss HM2 Pedal was recently teased, with no real release date for the Waza Craft update. But That all changes today, and YOU can help design the new HM2!
The BOSS HM2 Pedal: A Little Bit of History…
People often ask how to “get a the tone” of another artist. This is usually found on internet forums and reddit. People go over the gear that a guitarist used to get an iconic tone, and try to replicate the process.
For tone-hunters everywhere, one of the main ingredients to a sound can be pretty hard to come by – The BOSS HM2. But why is it hard to come by? Because it was discontinued all the way back in 1991.
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The HM2 was famous for a lot of tones, but the first time I heard about the pedal was with David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame in 1984. David replaced pedals in his rig all the time, constantly switching it up. His mainstay of his tone is a fuzz pedal, always. But the Boss HM2 pedal took over the fuzz duties for a little while. But why?
“At the moment, the sound that I’m using a lot of the time is going through a Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal to a Boogie amplifier to a [MXR] DDL and then on into a regular Fender amplifier….I use a DDL on it…because I find it stops the fuzz box from from sounding like a fuzz box. It smooths off the unpleasant, raw frequencies that you get from the fuzz box. Then you get a nice sort of sound.” David says of the Boss HM2
You see, the HM2 isn’t exactly a distortion pedal OR a fuzz pedal, it’s a bit of a mistake…
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The sound was supposed to sound like a Marshall Stack, turned up to 10. This dimed out gain monster of a pedal had a couple of features that others just didn’t have. The main thing being the “Color Mix” controls that take the place of the EQ of the pedal. These controls act almost like the tone shift of current Marshall DSL amps. These two knobs effect the frequency more than your regular EQ and could dip past -20db, if you wanted.
I had a Boss HM2 that I bought used at a guitar shop in the 1990’s. I did everything in my power to try and make it sound “good”. I tried every setting, which wasn’t very hard as the distortion control is useless. I tried to use it straight into the front of the amp, and I tried it as a preamp, all to no avail. Had I known then, that the idea was to blend the sound…
1990: Swedish Death Metal and The Buzzsaw Tone
The first Swedish Death Metal Band to use the Boss HM2 pedal was probably Entombed on their album “Left Hand Path”. The production notes mention that each guitar channel was a Peavey practice amp with a Boss HM2, with the center channel guitar being a Boss DS1. The sound was insanity. It sounded like a “buzzsaw”.
This became the sound of Swedish Death Metal in the 90’s. The Stockholm scene started to branch out, and as it did, the popularity of the Boss HM2 pedal grew bigger and bigger. These pedals were found everywhere on the used market, since they never became popular. At The Gates recorded their first albums with the Peavey/Boss HM2 sound!
People have been after that grinding, nasty sound for years. But the used market nowadays is either dried up, or very expensive. But not anymore!
Boss HM2 Re-Issue Confirmed: and YOU can Help!
BOSS Waza Craft pedal re-issues need no introduction. These are hot-rodded versions of the original BOSS pedal lineup. They are high quality recreations of legendary pedals.
Boss president Yoshi Ikegami confirmed a Waza Craft version of the HM2 is on the drafting table, and for the first time ever, the company will be seeking input from fans of the pedal. They are offering a collaborative design on a new BOSS HM2 Facebook group, and BOSS is seeking your specs and suggestions.
That’s right! You can throw your input in for the design of the new BOSS HM2 pedal. BOSS will be taking suggestions, and all input will be considered. It was all explained in a recent live-stream by Ikegami that you can watch here.
If you have always wanted that filthy distortion tone, but you’re just not willing to shell out $250 for a used guitar pedal, then 2021 will finally be your year! While Waza Craft pedals are usually much more expensive than their original counterparts, the quality is also much higher.
Most Waza Pedals come in at $150 or so.
Looks like 2021 is off to a great start already! I cant wait to see what a new generation of Metal Guitarists do with the Boss HM2 pedal.
Is The BOSS HM2 being re-issued?
Yes. It is scheduled for an early 2021 release by Waza Craft.
How much will the Waza version of the BOOS HM2 Pedal Cost?
Most Waza Craft Pedals start in the $150 range.
Why is The BOSS HM2 pedal so expensive on the used market?
The pedal is no longer available from BOSS, and people that own one usually will not sell it. making supply scarce.
What Years Was The BOSS HM2 Made?
From 1983 until 1990. Two different models exist: the original Japanese (discontinued 1988) and the Taiwan version made until 1990.