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Every Boss Pedal and Which Band Its Owners Desperately Wish They Were In

Guitar pedals are the paint-by-number books of the music world. Can’t come up with an original riff? Buy a pedal to sound like your favorite guitarist and just play what they played. Too stupid to learn music theory? Crank your pedal’s gain and let the feedback whisk you away. No creative impulses within? Get a wacky delay pedal and hit one note. There, you just wrote a song!

No company is more responsible for the proliferation of pedals than Boss. They’ve worsened guitarists’ delusions of grandeur more than anyone, so it’s time to take them to task. But let’s lay some ground rules first. We will look at every single Boss pedal currently in production and decide what it says about its owner and what much more talented band they wish they were in. If it’s out of production, it won’t be here. I don’t care if you paid $600 for a 1980s Slow Gear pedal, it won’t show up in the list. Typical Slow Gear owner…

If you own multiple Boss pedals, look for your favorite one you’ve owned. If you don’t own any, choose the one you’d buy first. By our count there are 107 pedals in production as of the publication date, and we’re counting any device they sell that can conceivably rest on the floor, get turned on by feet (gross), and affect your sound in some way. Things like metronomes aren’t included. Welcome to the Boss parade.

DS-1 Distortion: Days N Daze

Photo of Boss DS-1 Distortion PedalYou are cheap as hell. You itemize every receipt when you get drinks out with friends and send unprompted Venmo requests down to the exact penny. You cyberbully people online for getting Gibsons when Epiphones are just as good if not better. You pray that someday Days N Daze will hold auditions for an electric guitar player. Buy yours today

DS-1W Distortion Waza Craft: Lightning Bolt

A complete wild card. You’re the type of person who sets off fireworks in the band van at 3 a.m. while driving through the desolation of Kansas. You bought the most expensive version of the worst-sounding distortion ever because it’s funny. You don’t actually turn it on, but you talk about it to anyone who will listen. You’ve sent Lightning Bolt an email asking if they’re ready to go from couple to throuple. Buy yours today

DS-1X Distortion: Strung OutPhoto of Boss DS-1X Distortion Pedal

More. That’s all you want. More gain. More speed. More knobs than a normal DS-1. And you’re going to turn them all up. Why? Because it’s time to shred. It’s time to mosh. You are a musical adrenaline junky, and your band ain’t gonna open for Strung Out if you don’t get the blood pumping. Buy yours today

DS-2 Turbo Distortion: MXPX

Photo of Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion pedalMusic is fun. You’re here to have fun. You’re here to eat pizza, play music, and have fun. Let’s have some fun. Every song should be pop-punk and written in a major key and give you that feeling of walking into a Chuck E. Cheese at age 7. If it worked for MXPX in the ’90s and 2000s, it could work for you today. Buy yours today

HM-2W Heavy Metal Waza Craft: At the Gates

Photo of Boss HM-2W Heavy Metal Waza Craft pedalYou keep band photographers on retainer for the rare time it snows significantly in the Midwest. Because once the forecast predicts a dusting, you and the bandmates rush out into the woods to get your gloom on. All the posturing and scowling can’t make up for the fact that your mom still cooks most of your meals. And any extra money goes into more HM-2 clones and tickets to watch At the Gates play “Slaughter of the Soul” in full. Buy yours today

JB-2 Angry Driver: Sufjan Stevens

Photo of Boss JB-2 Angry Driver distortion pedalYou’re deeply sensitive. Disturbed may as well be a death metal band to your ears. But with great sensitivity comes great depth. You have notebooks and notebooks worth of poetry. You know life would be easier if you got a heavier distortion pedal, but you rarely enable the Angry Charlie circuit. That much gain isn’t befitting of your Sufjan Stevens bedroom project anyways. Buy yours today

MD-2 Mega Distortion: Mark Tremonti

Photo of Boss MD-2 Mega Distortion pedalThose liberal cucks ruined Affliction and Ed Hardy clothing for everyone. But not for you- you still wear it loud and proud. Skulls, tattoo art, and tribal designs are timeless. You won’t stop. You’ll open your chain wallet for more every time you go to the mall. And you also won’t stop playing Mark Tremonti riffs on your PRS guitar through this Mega Distortion pedal. Buy yours today

ML-2 Metal Core: Converge

Photo of Boss ML-2 Metal Core distortion pedalBandmates plead with you to stop hopping on the mic, but no one can stop your avalanche of emotions. You have big feelings and need to get them out with blood-curdling screams while you chug palm-muted power chords. You want every song you ever play to sound like how Converge’s “Jane Doe” album cover looks. Buy yours today

MT-2 Metal Zone: Metallica

Photo of Boss MT-2 Metal Zone distortion pedalHappy Meals aren’t only for adults; you should know considering how many you order in a week. You don’t “collect” action figures, you play with them. You start your day off right with a bowl of Fruity Pebbles. No one is going to tell you to grow up, and no one is going to tell you to turn the gain down on your Metal Zone pedal while you chug along to the easy parts of Metallica songs. Buy yours today

MT-2W Metal Zone Waza Craft: Opeth

Photo of Boss MT-2W Metal Zone Waza Craft distortion pedalYou’ve created blind A/B tests for EQ settings in your DAW. You know how a 3db boost at 4k will alter your guitar tone. You can taste hints of rosemary in overpriced risotto. And even if your music taste sucks, you’re going to get the best possible tone for it. Ignore the scowls when you get passed the aux and blast some Opeth. If your friends can’t appreciate the perfection that is “Blackwater Park,” they shouldn’t be your friends anyway. Buy yours today

ST-2 Power Stack: NOFX

Photo of Boss ST-2 Power Stack distortion pedalYou’re so incredibly gullible, I’m shocked you aren’t locked in a Scientology closet somewhere. You truly believe in your heart of hearts that a pedal can give you the feeling of playing through a full stack of analog guitar amp power? It’s as likely as your high school crush finally divorcing their partner and discovering their love for you. C’mon already. Just cut your losses and try to enjoy the NOFX farewell tour by yourself. Buy yours today

BD-2 Blues Driver: Joe Bonamassa

Photo of Boss BD-2 Blues Driver overdrive pedalYou try to get your nephews and nieces to listen to Joe Bonamassa at every conceivable opportunity; this is your life’s mission. Kids these days don’t know real music, but someone’s gotta show ‘em the blues. The REAL blues. Rich white man blues. Buy yours today

BD-2W Blues Driver Waza Craft: Jimmy Buffett

Photo of Boss BD-2W Blues Driver Waza Craft overdrive pedalYou are fucking old and you are fucking rich. There is no reason to plug a $9,000 Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul with a hideous chameleon burst finish into a non-Waza pedal, so you won’t. You bought the last Dumble ever assembled by Howard Dumble, and you plug into it and play once a month. Now, if you could only remember that dang E major chord so you can play along with Jimmy Buffett. Buy yours today

OD-1X OverDrive: Fugazi

Photo of Boss OD-1X OverDrive pedalYou’re not a normal guitar player; you’re a little extra. Sure, you can whip out a bluesy rock solo or strum a soulful, emotional ballad on an acoustic. But there’s a little more than meets the eye. You can bust out a respectable rendition of “Eruption” and you can make boomer dads cry with your spot-on “Little Wing.” But when you’re by yourself? You bust out some powerful post-hardcore. Too bad Fugazi is never going to reunite and let you in. Buy yours today

OD-200 Hybrid Drive: Paul Davids

Photo of Boss OD-200 overdrive pedalYou subscribe to over 300 gear demo channels on YouTube. You get text and email notifications whenever That Pedal Show uploads everything. You’ve stalked Andy from ProGuitarShopDemos in a grocery store but were too nervous to say anything. You listen to Paul Davids’ original music on Spotify and are so close to convincing yourself that you like it. Buy yours today

OD-3 OverDrive: The Lawrence Arms

Photo of Boss OD-3 OverDrive pedalYou enjoy reading. You have a tasteful collection of tattoos. And your Criterion Collection shelf isn’t that bad either- woah, is that the Ingmar Bergman box set? Nice. You get down with a late-night bourbon and the occasional cigarette. And you thought you’d be way more successful by now. But keep in mind that your idols The Lawrence Arms weren’t overnight successes either. Time to quit dorkin’ around and start writing tunes. Buy yours today

OS-2 OverDrive/Distortion: Yo La Tengo

Photo of Boss OS-2 OverDrive/Distortion pedalWill you quit waffling around and make one goddamn decision in your life already? Overdrive OR distortion. But no, you can’t. Commitment terrifies you. We checked with your exes and they can confirm. You need to keep all your options open at all times. But little do you know that by doing so, you’re actually closing yourself off to great opportunities. While you mope about how you got here, throw on some Yo La Tengo for a sappy soundtrack. Buy yours today

SD-1 SUPER OverDrive: Periphery

Photo of Boss SD-1 SUPER OverDrive pedalYou’ve practiced scales in your bedroom for hours on end. You found the best bandmates in your area. And it’s time for you to take this djent/metalcore/prog outfit on the road. You done your homework, and you are entirely unprepared for how hard it will hurt when you don’t make it. But why? You don’t sound different from all the other bands. You boost the front end of your Mesa/Boogie amp with an SD-1 like everyone else. So why can’t you be the next Periphery? Why? Buy yours today

SD-1W SUPER OverDrive Waza Craft: Weezer

Photo of Boss SD-1W SUPER OverDrive Waza Craft pedalYou’ve never made your partner climax. They’re incredibly understanding and never shame you for it, which unfortunately has the unintended side effect of leaving you with little motivation to improve your abilities. Obviously this goes without saying, but you are a Weezer fan. But I’m talking, like, new Weezer. Post-White Album Weezer. You make me sick. Buy yours today

FZ-1W Fuzz Waza Craft: King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

Photo of Boss FZ-1W Fuzz Waza Craft pedalYour eyesight has actually worsened because of how much ‘Antiques Roadshow” you watch. “Older is better” is your mantra. That’s why trends like distortion, digital, and heliocentrism never really appealed to you. Stick to the tried and true methods, like fuzz. It’s the only sound a guitar needs. And the only band out there keeping rock alive with its old sense of rebellion is King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. Considering how many albums they make per year, there’s actually a good likelihood of you guesting on a track at some point. Buy yours today

FZ-5 Fuzz: Sonic Youth

Photo of Boss FZ-5 Fuzz pedalThere is no Fender guitar so obscure that you won’t own it someday. Strats and Teles? Fuck outta here. We’re talking Jag-Stangs. We’re talking Toronados. We’re talking Musicmasters. We’re talking Squier Venus. Because if you’re guitar playing can’t be unique, at least your guitar can be. Hey, you’re at least as good as Lee Rinaldo when it comes to making dissonant feedback in Sonic Youth, right? Buy yours today

DM-101 Delay Machine: Lana Del Rey

Photo of Boss DM-101 Delay Machine pedalYour last name is Vanderbilt or Carnegie or Waldorf or Rockwell or some shit like that. Why pay $200 for a delay when you can pay $500? This one has more knobs, modes, and most importantly is more expensive. You buy obsidian guitar picks from mines in Africa. You have a chest of Mogami gold cables. And your wealth continues to grow by the day since you invest in oil companies and defense contractors. Might as well pass the time by playing along to Lana Del Rey songs. Hell, your parents and her parents are vacationing in Fiji together next week.

SDE-3000EVH: Mammoth WVH

Photo of Boss SDE-3000EVH delay pedalYou still go to monster truck rallies despite your friends declining every invite. You haven’t missed a single episode of WWE in 25 years. You crush Coors Light on the regular, and you play your guitar loud. Being a kid rules and just because you’re 54 doesn’t mean you can’t still be a kid. Van Halen seems to be done but maybe you could jam with Wolfgang in Mammoth WVH sometime. They seem like a fun bunch.

SDE-3000D Dual Digital Delay: U2

Photo of Boss SDE-3000 Dual Digital DelayYou are the highest-ranked software engineer at the company, according to the previous 3 years’ performance reviews. You still have your trophies from 9th-grade science competitions. And that’s to say nothing of the honors you earned in college. You’re fucking brilliant. So brilliant, that you know the ins and outs of the SDE-3000D like the back of your hand. Hell, friends of friends seek you out to nail the perfect delay presets. Just don’t let anyone know how much you like U2. Buy yours today

DD-200 Digital Delay: Mogwai

Photo of Boss DD-200 Digital Delay pedalAll music can be boiled down to math. All of human knowledge can be quantified. And if you study enough, maybe even love can be sequenced like the human genome. There is a perfect combination of notes, tones, and chords that will seduce the cute barista you’ve been stalking for the past 3 years. Unfortunately, your favorite band Mogwai is an instrumental act and the barista is more of a lyrics person. Buy yours today

DD-3T Digital Delay: Tera Melos

Photo of Boss DD-3t Digital Delay pedalYou use the guitar in the same way Jackson Pollock uses paint. Fuck the traditional ways, you’re gonna straight-up smack the strings with your asscheeks, record that, sample it, pitch it down and reverse it, and tell your circle you just wrote a new “song.” And to replicate it live, you’re gonna exploit the DD-3T’s extremely limited SHORT LOOP functionality. You saw Tera Melos deploy this technique and you’re going to do it much worse than they do for the next two decades until you get banned from every venue in town. Not for your guitar playing, but for trying to steal a bottle of Jager from behind the bar. You need to cut that shit out. Buy yours today

DD-500 Digital Delay: Radiohead

Photo of Boss DD-500 Digital Delay pedalGoddamnit, you specifically asked for a used DD-5 for Christmas. Can’t Mom ever get anything right? If she’s not going to pay attention to the details, why bother spending the money at all? UGGH! Sure, the DD-500 is technically “better” than the DD-5 but it’s not what Radiohead used on “Paranoid Android” so what’s the fucking point? COME ON, MOM! Buy yours today

DD-8 Digital Delay: The Mars Volta

Photo of Boss DD-8 Digital DelayMusic is under attack by corporate interests, trust fund kids, and phonies. It used to have a message and tell a story. And you’re gonna bring it back to its roots. You’ve been working on a triple album about a child born from the husk of a dead tree who appears to various world leaders and peasants across time, forever altering their lives. Music is going to tell a real STORY again. Music fans will call you the second coming of The Mars Volta. Oh wait, technically it will be the third coming since they already reunited. Let’s stop saying “coming” so much now. Buy yours today

DM-2W Delay Waza Craft: Pedro the Lion

Photo of BOSS DM-2W Delay Waza Craft pedalYou’ve bought the hype yet again. Minutes after plugging into the DM-2W, your stomach sank. Is this really it? This is the mythical pedal everyone’s been talking about for years? It honestly kinda sucks. And now you’re out $175. Well, shit. Your old Behringer delay had more delay time and a clearer sound, even when using the custom mode. You could have figured this out by going to Guitar Center and asking to plug into one, but that would involve talking to a stranger which terrifies you. So go get that Pedro the Lion album and sulk into the couch for the next hour. Buy yours today

RE-2 Space Echo: Pink Floyd

Photo of Boss RE-2 Space Echo pedalScience says marijuana is not an addictive substance, but you’re out to prove the world wrong. Any moment you aren’t high is a moment of misery- you count down the minutes til your next bong rip. Getting high feels so good that you can’t imagine why anyone would be sober. Hell, even the paranoia and panic attacks are worth it in the end. No straight edge person will ever experience the joy of playing along to Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9” through your RE-2 Space Echo 4 nights in a row, high out of your fucking mind. Buy yours today

RE-202 Space Echo: Tom Petty

Photo of Boss RE-202 Space Echo delay pedalMaybe today is the day Rick Beato will reply to your comment on his latest upload. He just gets music in a way that makes sense to you. Hell, you bought his signature Gibson Les Paul Junior. You’re basically besties now. You see no reason why you can’t just pop down to Georgia someday to hang out. Maybe he’ll put you on the channel? That would be cool. You can talk about how underrated Tom Petty was. And how the RE-202 sounds so close to the original that you’d be crazy not to own one. Buy yours today

TE-2 Tera Echo: The Armed

Photo of Boss TE-2 Tera Echo modulated delay pedalCancel culture be damned, you’ll still do whatever you can to land on Sargent House Records. There is no sound weird or dissonant enough for you. You better start doing squats, because your primary means of musical expression is hitting two random notes on the fretboard, squatting down, and fiddling all the knobs on your TE-2 wacko delay pedal. Maybe you’ll land on the shortlist for The Armed’s rotating cast of noisemakers. Buy yours today

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