When it comes to distortions, you either take the tamed route, or you go all in. The former categorizes heavier distortions which are balanced. There is enough gain in there, but the signal that comes out the other end is still civilized, defined and contained. The other kind of distortion pedal just lets it all with zero limitations. Boss MT-2 Metal Zone fits this description perfectly.
When they designed it, ‘enough’ wasn’t really a word they were worried about too much. However, unlike many similar pedals out there, Boss MT-2 Metal Zone actually offers decent enough controls which allow you to use that seemingly endless supply of gain in a practical way.
Let’s go over this pedal and show you what it can do for your tone.
Boss MT-2 Metal Zone Review
Where Boss really made a difference is their understanding of what a heavy distortion should be like. For most, it comes down to drowning the signal with gain and giving you little to no assets you can use to shape that tone. Boss took a different approach, one that makes much more sense. In all honesty, this pedal is the direct competitor to DigiTech’s Metal Master.
The beauty of this competition is that both of these pedals offer something that is very unique to them and them alone. On a similar note, people are usually polarized between the two when it comes to finding a good, affordable distortions. If you are after a pedal that packs the heat but is also very versatile, this might be just the one you were looking for. Here’s why.
There’s a lot of things to be said about Boss and their pedal design. No matter if you are a fan or someone who personally dislikes the classic stompbox, we can all agree that Boss pedal enclosure simply work. The entire thing is made of that standard heavy gauge metal. In this particular case, the color they have gone with is full black with very limited orange details. These being reduced to labels and control designations.
Speaking of controls, the pedal features six overall. The first and most obvious one is the level control. There is no particular explanation necessary for this knob, as every Dist pedal has it. However, for those who might still be struggling, this is your gain knob. What follows next is a set of two EQ knobs, each featuring a dual purpose design. Left EQ pair deals with highs and lows while the right one takes care of two different spans of mids. Lastly, we have the distortion knob.
As you have probably figured out by now, this pedal has a pretty unusual set of controls. Not only are they immensely practical, but they bring what Boss calls double-stage distortion circuitry. It is by far one of their more popular advancements and one that has proven to be extremely practical. In terms of other features you should be aware of, we have the standard Boss setup. In other words, you will need either a battery to run this thing, or one of their power adapters.
When it comes to performance, we start seeing just how capable Boss MT-2 Metal Zone actually is. The range of tones you can dial in can span anywhere from super brutal to unbelievably transparent. This is thanks to the generous controls that we have mentioned earlier, but also the fact that Boss intended this to be a one stop shop for all your distortion needs. In other words, this pedal was supposed to substitute the most gain-heavy setups as well as those toned down sound configurations.
Most guitar players think of the Metal Zone as being a sledgehammer. While it is partially true. you can dial in a clinically precise tone that cuts through any kind of mix like its nothing. It all comes down to the way you harness the tone and learn the controls. Once you have everything figured out, the pure efficiency and practicality of the Metal Zone becomes very apparent. When used in combination with other pedals in its class, Boss MT-2 definitely plays well. Depending on where you put it in the signal chain, it can either boost your signal or drown it out due to its very saturated distortions. This is basically what happens to most of the younger MT-2 users who like to ‘scoop mids’ right away and just blast that gain knob until it can’t go any more. Even in that scenario, this pedal is just a blast to use.
Here’s a quick video demo of the MT-2 Metal Zone pedal in action straight from Boss’s Youtube channel.
The Boss MT-2 Metal Zone is something that many use, many are afraid to use, and some pros see as the quintessential modern distortion pedal. Whether you agree with these statements or not, the fact remains that MT-2 brings the most refined distortions for the money. Even though it is considered to be affordable by many standards, you will see pros such as Munky from Korn basing a good portion of their tone on this very distortion pedal. That being the case, Boss MT-2 surely has something to offer.
There are many distortion pedals out there on the market. Each of them being tailored for a specific group of guitar players. Is Boss MT-2 Metal Zone best of them all? Probably not, but it definitely brings on a lot of thunder for not a lot of money. That is something not many pedals can say for themselves. Everyone knows that Boss very rarely fails with their pedals. Metal Zone’s performance was expected to a certain point. However, it has exceeded those expectations numerous times. No matter what kind of hard hitting genre of music you are after, this Dist box gets the job done like none other.