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Boss OC-2 Octave

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Boss OC-2 Octave

The OC-2 is a basic octaver that can produce a two extra tones in additional to the original tone. The first is one octave below the original tone and the second, two octaves below. The level of each octave’s tone can be adjusted independently. The Oc-2 has always been popular with both guitar players and bass players. To get a steady and reliable sound from the Octave, it is recommended that you keep your action high and that you have absolutely no fret buzz on your guitar. It is also an advantage to use a compressor in front of the OC-2 to limit the dynamic range that the OC-2 has to work with.

The OC-2 had originally a much lighter non-metallic brown color and it was labeled “Octaver” instead of Octave. The name changed early 1984 while the darker shade of brown was introduced about a year later. Production moved to Taiwan, 1989 and was modified for the PSA adapter 1997.

Sometime later in the life of the pedal (it is unclear exactly when) supplies of the BA634 single flip-flop used for IC6 dried up and IC6 was changed to a 4013. All the “Octaver” pedals examined had the BA634.

Boss OC-2 Octave

Therefore the following versions of the OC-2 are potentially in service:

  • Octaver
  • Octave (dark paint)
  • Octave (light paint)
  • Taiwan
  • PSA (there are examples that indicate the BA634-to-4013 change has definitely occurred by now)

Specifications

  • Controls: Octave 1 Level (Oct 1), Octave 2 Level (Oct 2), Direct Level
  • Connectors: Input, Output, AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 4 mA (DC 9V)
  • Weight: 400 g (15 oz.)
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: ACA Series (black label) or PSA Series (silver label)

Labels

  • Black – Made In Japan
  • Black – Made In Taiwan
  • Silver – Made In Taiwan

The OC-2 was sold from April 1982 to September 2003.

Boss EH-2 Enhancer

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Boss EH-2 Enhancer

The ads used to say that the EH-2 adds brilliance, dynamics and presence to your sound. When you first plug in this pedal most people won’t hear any difference in the sound. Keep playing for a while and then turn it off. You will then realize the effect that this pedal has. What it does is to dynamically modify the high-frequency harmonics. This restores the clarity and delicate harmonic structures lost through signal processing with multiple effect units. It is well suited to studio work where it can have a huge impact on the clarity of the recorded sound.

Boss EH-2 Enhancer

The MIX control can be adjusted from INV (Inverse) to NOR (Normal). Thos control will cut or boost the signal. The FREQ (Frequency) knob controls what frequencies are affected by adjusting the cut-off frequency in a filter. The setting of the SENS (Sensitivity) knob will determine how much of the chosen frequency band that will be affected.

Specifications

  • Controls: Mix, Freq, Sens
  • Connectors: Input, Output, AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 24 mA (DC 9V)
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: PSA Series

Labels

  • Silver – Made In Taiwan

The EH-2 was sold from April 1990 to December 1997.

Boss DS-2 TURBO Distortion

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Boss DS-2 TURBO Distortion

It is rumoured that the DS-2 was maybe used by Kurt Cobain of Nirvana in the early 90’s, but he is linked to a lot of equipment so who knows how reliable this rumour is. In mode I the DS-2 sounds a bit like the DS-1 or the OS-2 in dist mode. Mode II gives a sound more in the direction of the HM-2 or MT-2. The DS-2 production moved from Japan to Taiwan as early as November 1989 so the Made in Japan version is a bit of a rarity.

Controls

  • Level Control adjusts the amount of signal going out to your amp.
  • Tone Control adjusts the tone of the signal.
  • Distortion Control adjusts the amount of distortion added to the signal.
  • Mode I: produces a powerful distortion sound with flat characteristics, without being muffled even with volume turned down. The special Turbo Circuit serve to remove unpleasant shrill caused by distorted frequencies.
  • Mode II: produces a sticky distortion with very unique characteristics in the middle range frequencies. The Turbo Circuit again create a powerful grunge distorted overload.
  • Remote: You can plug in a Boss FS-5U footswitch to toggle between Modes I and II.
Boss DS-2 TURBO Distortion

Specifications

  • Controls: Level, Tone, Dist, 2-way Turbo switch
  • Connectors: Input, Output, Remote, AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 12 mA (DC 9V)
  • Weight: 400 g (15 oz.)
  • Input Impedance: 1MOhm
  • Recommended Load Impedance: More than 10kohm
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: PSA Series

Labels

  • Silver – Made In Japan
  • Silver – Made In Taiwan

The DS-2 was sold from December 1987 to present.

Boss TW-1 T Wah

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Boss TW-1 T Wah

The T stands for “Touch” and the early TW-1’s actually had the text Touch Wah written on them instead of T Wah. The TW-1 was replaced by the AW-2 in 1991. Together with the CS-1, the TW-1 is the only pedal to have a toggle switch. With only 2 controls, the TW-1 is very easy to control. The later autowah pedals have the added versatility of modulation but for the basic wah sound the TW-1 does the job without forcing the user to read the manual.

Version Differences

  • The earliest TW-1s was labelled Touch Wah instead of T Wah
  • There were both silver screw and black screw versions made
  • The T in TW-1 was first placed under the W in T Wah but later moved under the a
Boss TW-1 T Wah

Specifications

  • Controls: Sens, Peak, 2-way Drive switch
  • Connectors: Input, Output, AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 6 mA (DC 9V)
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: ACA Series

Labels

  • Black – Made In Japan

The TW-1 was sold from July 1978 to May 1987.

Boss SE-50 Stereo Effects Processor

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Boss SE-50 Stereo Effects Processor

The SE-50 is a multi effects unit. It was released 1990 and was in production until the SE-70 was released 1993. The unit is equippped with a 16 bit DA/AD converter and uses a sampling frequency of 32kHz or 48kHz depending upon the chosen effect. The SE-50 has both stereo in and out, is fully MIDI compatible and its 100 user presets can be stored externally using the MIDI interface.

The SE-50 has 28 built-in algorithms. An algorithm is a predefined combination of effects. Several of the 28 algorithms are single effect algorithms so thought it may sound like the SE-50 can combine effects in many ways, this isn’t absolutely true. Guitar players may be interested to know that the only algorithm capable of producing distortion is Guitar Multi and the only settings for the overdrive/distortion is level/drive and turbo on/off. The unit is very much focused on reverb where 9 of the 28 algorithms are reverb only algorithms.

Boss SE-50 Stereo Effects Processor

There are 128 presets. Preset 101-128 cannot be overwritten as they demonstrate each of the 28 algorithms. Preset 1-100 are user programmable and by copying one of the 28 fixed presets into one of these locations a start position with the chosen algorithm is easily achieved.

The 28 algorithms:

1Hall 1Natural hall reverberation
2Hall 2Hall reverberation with mid boost
3RoomRoom reverberation
4PlateSimulation of a metal plate vibrating to produce reverb
5AmbienceAmbience microphone reverb
6Gate ReverbThe reverb is muted partway through
7Stereo ReverbTwo channel reverb with common settings for both channels
8Multi Delay5 delays in a row
9Multi Tap Delay5 delays in a row with different settings than Multi Delay
10Stereo DelayDelay with independent settings for each channel
11Space ChorusA slightly pitch shifted signal is added to the original signal
12Multi Pitch Shifter4 parallel pitch shifters adjustable to +/- 2 octaves
13Stereo Pitch ShifterIndependant pitch shifting on each channel adjustable to +/- 1 octave
14Stereo FlangerA flanger and gate effect connected in series
15Stereo PhaserA phase shifted signal is added to the original signal
16VocoderRequires a microphone to R input and keyboard to L input. Has a chorus and noise supressor connected in series from the vocoder’s output.
17RotarySimulates a rotary Speaker. Has a noise supressor in series with the rotary’s output
18Keyboard Multi 1A stereo series consisting of: Equalizer – Delay – Chorus – Reverb
19Keyboard Multi 2A stereo series made up of: Phaser – Equalizer – Chorus – Reverb
20RhodesSimulates Fender Rhodes electric piano sound using a stereo series of: Equalizer – Phaser – Noise Suppressor – Chorus – Panning – Reverb
21Guitar MultiA stereo series consisting of: Compressor – Overdrive/Distortion – Equalizer – Noise Suppressor – Delay – Chorus – Reverb – Line Driver
22Vocal MultiA stereo series made up of: Limiter – Enhancer – Noise Suppressor – Delay – Chorus – Reverb
23Stereo EnhancerA stereo series made up of: Limiter – Enhancer – Noise Suppressor – Delay – Chorus – Reverb
242 Channel MixerThis algorithm consists of Equalizer, Noise Suppressor, Delay, Chorus and Reverb. The 2 first effects are applied separately to each channels while the latter 3 can be panned right and left
25Reverb1 + Reverb2Separete reverb for each stereo channel
26Gate Reverb + ReverbGate Reverb on left channel, conventional reverb on right
27Chorus + ReverbChorus on left channel, reverb on right
28Delay + reverbDelay on left channel, reverb on right

BOSS DM-2 Delay

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BOSS DM-2 Delay

This analog delay pedal is able to produce delay times ranging from 30 to 330 Milliseconds. It’s got three dials with adjustments for Repeat Rate, Intensity, and Echo. This effect draws a lot of current so not all power supplies are able to power up this pedal. The vintage analog DM-2 is a very popular effect and prices are usually very high for a beat up but working pedal.

Version differences

There are at least 3 different versions of the DM-2. The first version was using the MN3005 BBD. This was soon changed to the low current version of the same circuit called MN3205. It is worth noting that the MN3005 has a SN ratio of 75 dB while the MN3205 is a little more noisy with its 67dB. The MN3205 only produces 0.8% distortion compared to 1% for the MN3005.

The DM-2 can be approximately dated by reading the number on the compander IC NE570N. It should have a 4 digit number giving you the year and month of production in the form YYMM. Note that this is the production date of the integrated chip and not of the pedal but it’s unlikely that the chips were stored for very long before used.

BOSS DM-2 Delay

Specifications

  • Controls: Repeat Rate, Echo, Intensity
  • Connectors: Input, Output, AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 11 mA (DC 9V)
  • Weight: 450g.
  • Input Impedance: 470kOhm
  • Output Impedance: Over 10kOhm
  • Residual Noise Level: -100dBm (IHF-A)
  • Delay Time: 20ms-300ms
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: ACA Series

Labels

  • Black – Made In Japan
  • Green – Made In Japan

The DM-2 was sold from June 1981 to February 1984.

BOSS CS-3 Compression Sustainer

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BOSS CS-3 Compression Sustainer

Compresses high-input signals while boosting low-input signals to give you smooth sustain without degrading the quality of the original sound. Onboard EQ delivers precision tone control and a special internal design insures outstanding low-noise performance.

Boss Guitar Effects Guide Book vol.9 (1993):

The CS-3 compresses high input signals while boosting low input signals, giving you smooth sustain without degrading the quality of the original sound. A range of effects from gentle compression to “squeezed” sounds is at your command. Designed for outstanding low-noise performance, the CS-3 also provides EQ for precise sonic control.

BOSS CS-3 Compression Sustainer

Using the CS-3

  • For a mellow sound: This setting is ideal for solos in ballads or mellow songs. Add a chorus effect for even more depth. (Fig 1: Level 5, Tone 2, Attack 6, Sustain 6)
  • For chord work: This setting balances the volume of each string for smooth chord accompaniment. (Fig 2: Level 5, Tone 6, Attack 2, Sustain 4)
  • For thick, rich sounds: Add Chorus and Delay after the Sustain effect. This setting is good when playing sustaining chords. (Fig 3: Level 5, Tone 6, Attack 5, Sustain 8)

Specifications

  • Controls: Level, Tone, Attack, Sustain
  • Connectors: Input, Output, AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 10 mA (DC 9V)
  • Weight: 400g (15 oz.)
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: PSA Series

Labels

  • Black – Made In Japan
  • Black – Made In Taiwan
  • Silver – Made In Taiwan

The CS-3 was sold from September 1986 to present.

BOSS BF-2 Flanger

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BOSS BF-2 Flanger

In 1980 the BF-2 replaced the BF-1. The two pedals have the same controls but the older pedal didn’t have the compact pedal case and a replacement was needed. The BF-2 has been around for a long time and is one of the most common flanger pedals.

Version differences

  • The BF-2 exists in both metal screw and plastic screw versions.
  • The earlier versions had all black knobs. These where later changed to the white top knobs. The change took place 1990, very close to the same time that production was moved to Taiwan
  • There may be some BF-2’s in pink. This was the original colour choice, but it was changed to purple in the last minute. Whether some pink ones exixts out there is uncertain.

Label differences

No pedal has had as many different labels as the BF-2. From its birth in 1980 the label was black. It was changed to green in 1984. When production of the BF-2 moved to Taiwan 1990, the label kept its colour but was reprinted with the new country of origin. In 1994 the label was changed to orange. The CE-2B is the only other pedal to have use the orange label. Orange became pink in July 1997 and the final change happened in 1999 when the dark gray label was introduced.

BOSS BF-2 Flanger

Specifications

  • Controls: Manual, Depth, Rate, Res
  • Connectors: Input, Output, AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 15 mA (DC 9V)
  • Weight: 400 g (15 oz.)
  • Input Impedance: 470 kOhm
  • Residual Noise Level: -95dBu (IHF-A)
  • Recommended Load Impedance: 10kOhm or greater
  • Delay Time: 1 ms ~ 13 ms
  • LFO Speed: 100 ms ~ 16 s
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: ACA or PSA Series (depending on production year)

Labels

  • Black – Made In Japan
  • Green – Made In Japan
  • Green – Made In Taiwan
  • Pink – Made In Taiwan
  • Orange – Made In Taiwan
  • Dark Gray – Made In Taiwan

The BF-2 was sold from June 1980 to December 2001.

Boss SG-1 Slow Gear

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Boss SG-1 Slow Gear

The SG-1 filters out the attack of your note, and swells the volume automatically. There are only 2 controls, one for the attack speed, and the other for sensitivity. The attack knob controls the speed of the volume swells. A compressor or overdrive in front of it may be helpful to minimize the variations in your signal level for the SG-1’s response. Used with a delay it sounds sort of like a more articulated E-bow or a passage played backwards.

Boss SG-1 Slow Gear

The SG-1 circuit is very similar to the NF-1. The pedal was in fact made using the exact same circuit as the NF-1 but the way it works is completely opposite. With the NF-1, the sound decays away but is cut when it falls below a threshold. With the SG-1, the attack is filtered out and then the sound increases gradually. The Slow Gear is a rather unique effect and the SG-1 has become one of the hardest Boss pedals to get hold of. Expect to pay top money if you find one.

Specifications

  • Controls: Sens, Attack
  • Connectors: Input, Output, AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 4 mA (DC 9V)
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: ACA Series

Labels

  • Black – Made In Japan

The SG-1 was sold from May 1979 to February 1982.

Boss DD-3 Digital Delay

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Boss DD-3 Digital Delay

The early DD-3 is the same pedal as the DD-2. Because of the price drop on DRAM in 1986 it was possible to produce the pedal much cheaper. Dropping the price didn’t look so good so it was decided to re-release the DD-2 under the name DD-3 instead. The front of the pedal got a face lift with the re-release.

Version differences 

There are 3 main versions of the DD-3. The first version was released 1986 but it was redisigned with a new DSP gate array chip December 1990. The new version was called DD-3A. The DC socket was at the same time replaced with the smaller PCB mounted type and this can be used to identify the version. The design change happened before production was moved from Japan to Taiwan so all DD-3s made in Taiwan are DD-3A or DD-3B versions. The latest version of the DD-3 was introduced August 2001 and is called DD-3B. The DD-3B uses a new type of DRAM as well as surface mounted components. The PCB layout is therefore radically changed compared to the DD-3A.

Boss DD-3 Digital Delay

Specifications

  • Controls: E.Level, F.Back, D.Time, 4-way Mode switch
  • Connectors: Input, Output, Direct Out, AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 55 mA (DC 9V, D.Time control at center)
  • Weight: 450 g (0.99 lb.)
  • A/D Conversion: 12-bit logarithmic compression
  • D/A Conversion: 12-bit logarithmic compression
  • Input Impedance: 1Mohm (FET Input)
  • Residual Noise Level: -95dBm (IHF-A)
  • Recommended Load Impedance: 10kOhm or greater
  • Delay Time: 12.5 to 800ms
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: PSA Series

Labels

  • Blue – Made In Japan
  • Blue – Made In Taiwan
  • Pink – Made In Taiwan
  • Dark Gray – Made In Taiwan

The DD-3 was sold from August 1986 to present.

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