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BOSS HM-2 Heavy Metal

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BOSS HM-2 Heavy Metal

This pedal produces a distortion that is known from the heavy metal music of the eighties. The “COLOR MIX” tone control is very sensitive and the DIST got a lot of punch. It’s a great pedal if you want the 80s Marshall sound without actually using a Marshall amp.

Text from BossUS.com, Boss Classics:

This pedal sounded as if it was spawned from the devil himself. Well, not exactly, but it did offer legions of young metal-heads the thickest, most obscene distortion tones around – perfect for that ’80s metal sound -all in a convenient little stomp box that looked pretty evil. Grrrrr.

BOSS HM-2 Heavy Metal

Specifications

  • Controls: Level, Color Mix (L, H), Distortion
  • Connectors: Input, Output, AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 10 mA (DC 9V)
  • Weight: 400 g (14 oz.)
  • Input Impedance: 1 MOhm
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: ACA Series

Labels

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

The HM-2 was sold from October 1983 to October 1991.

Boss ACA Adapter

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Boss ACA Adapter

The ACA is an unregulated 9V or 12V adapter. For a long time both the ACA and the regulated PSA adapter was available but in the later part of the 90s the ACA adapter was discontinued as all Boss pedals then was designed to run with the PSA adapter.

When a power supply is unregulated, it means that the voltage level will drop as the load is increased. The ACA adapter may give out a full 12 volt when it is powering one or two pedals but if it is hooked up to a long row of pedals the voltage will drop. The ACA adapter is capable of supplying as much current as 250mA but problems keeping the voltage up may occur before the load reaches that level.

The early compact pedals was designed to run on either a 9V DC battery or 12V DC adapter. Because of this the ACA adapter was a 12V adapter. The voltage was reduced to 9V internally by using a 470 Ohm resistor and 1S2473 diode between the minus input on the power jack and ground. The resistor diode pair was later removed and at the same time the ACA adpater was redesigned to output 9V instead.

Boss ACA Adapter

Powering ACA pedals with a PSA power supply

Powering the older pedals designed for 12V DC input with either a newer ACA or PSA adapter will not work very well. The voltage drop over the resistor and diode will prevent the pedal from getting enough power and its LED will usually only glow faintly. The solution is to use a daisy chain and plug in another pedal designed for the newer ACA or PSA adapter. The lead between the two pedals will short the resistor diode pair and the pedal will receive full power.

Depending on the mains voltage there are 4 were versions of the ACA adapter. ACA-100, ACA-120, ACA-220 and ACA-240. The number denotes the mains voltage that the adpapter should be plugged into. The 9V version of the ACA adapter has a G appended at the end of its name. Pictured is the ACA-120G which is the version sold in the USA.Thanks to Stinkfoot for most of the information above.

Boss RV-3 Digital Reverb/Delay

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Boss RV-3 Digital Reverb/Delay

The RV-3 was launched in the mid 90s after 4 years without a Reverb pedal in the Boss lineup. The RV-3 is a combination reverb and delay pedal with four different reverb modes plus three delay modes with delay times up to 2000ms. There are an additional four modes that combines delay and room, hall or plate reverb types.

The bottom label was changed from pink to dark gray, January 1999.

Modes

  • Mode 1: Delay 32ms-125ms
  • Mode 2: Delay 125ms-500ms
  • Mode 3: Delay 500ms-2s
  • Mode 4: Delay + Reverb: Room 1
  • Mode 5: Delay + Reverb: Room 2
  • Mode 6: Delay + Reverb: Hall
  • Mode 7: Delay + Reverb: Plate
  • Mode 8: Reverb: Room 1 (small)
  • Mode 9: Reverb: Room 2 (large)
  • Mode 10: Reverb: Hall
  • Mode 11: Reverb: Plate
Boss RV-3 Digital Reverb/Delay

Features

  • New DSP (Digital Signal Processor) developed for the RV-3
  • Reverb effect gradually fading away when effect is turned off
  • Stereo outputs for 3D reverb sounds

Specifications

  • Controls: Balance, Tone, Reverb Time, 11-way mode switch
  • Connectors: Input, Outputs (A/MONO, B), AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 70 mA (DC 9V)
  • Weight: 420 g (15 oz.)
  • A/D Conversion: 16 bit linear, 128bit oversampling
  • D/A Conversion: 16 bit
  • Sampling Frequency: 32kHz
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: PSA Series

Labels

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

The RV-3 was sold from March 1994 to August 2002.

BOSS PSM-5 Power supply & master switch

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BOSS PSM-5 Power supply & master switch

This is the first power distribution pedal in stompbox format from Boss. It can supply power to up to 7 other pedals. In addition it’s got a built in switch and effect loop. It’s been obsoleted by the release of the LS-2 Line Selector and the NS-2 Noise Suppressor. When the check indicator light is green, the PSM-5 is in bypass mode and the Guitar and Amp connections are connected. Press the switch and the check indicator turns red. In this mode the Guitar connection is connected to Send and the Amp connection is connected to Return.

The PSM-5 is together with the RV-2 the only compact pedals to ship in non-standard size boxes.

BOSS PSM-5 Power supply & master switch

Boss Pocket Dictionary vol.6 (1989):

The PSM-5 Power Supply & Master Switch provides the BCB-6 with a comprehensive effect pedal board function.

  • The PSM-5 supplies power for up to five 9V effect pedals
  • Simply pressing the pedal permits switching between the effect and normal modes of two or more effect pedals.
  • Since the PSM-5 is the same size as a compact effect pedal, it can be stored in the BCB-6 Carrying Box.
  • Standard accessories include an AC adaptor and a parallel DC cord for 7 units.

Specifications

  • Controls: None
  • Connectors: Guitar, Amp, Send, Return, AC Adaptor in, DC Out
  • Current Draw: 13 mA (DC 9V)
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: PSA Series

Labels

  • Black – Made In Japan
  • Red – Made In Japan

The PSM-5 was sold from January 1983 to January 1999.

BOSS MZ-2 Metalizer

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BOSS MZ-2 Metalizer

The MZ-2 is a somewhat unusual distortion pedal as it has 3 doubling modes, 2 chorus modes as well as a normal distortion mode. The distortion is produced in an analog circuit while the chorus and delay functions are created using a digital chip. The pedal has 2 main circuit boards where one of them is analog and the other one digital.

Boss Pocket Dictionary vol.6 (1989):

Designed especially to meet the needs of Heavy Metal and hard rock musicians, the MZ-2 is a new distortion effects unit with built-in digital chorus and doubling to produce the full-bodied, hard-edged distortion and powerful spatial effects very popular in hard rock music today. Incorporating 6 modes and stereo outputs, the MZ-2 can produce straight, no-nonsense distortion which can then be doubled or chorused, producing a wide range of popular hard rock and Heavy Metal effects.

Using the MZ-2

BOSS MZ-2 Metalizer
  • The MZ-2 is a new type of distortion unit that’s optimized for creating Heavy Metal and Hard Rock sounds.
  • There are 6 Modes to select from, ranging from straight distortion, distortion plus digital delay doubling effects (3 types depending on delay time differences) to distortion plus digital chorus (2 types depending on the depth of chorus). Each Mode is instantly selectable and Modes can be switched as desired.
  • The setting indicated in Fig. 1 (Level 6, Tone 6, Drive 8, Mode Doub II) is ideal for Heavy Metal solos, combining rich distortion with a short delay.
  • Fig. 2 (Level 6, Tone 8, Drive 10, Mode Cho II)shows how to get a deeper, thicker distortion sound that fills more musical space. These settings combine heavy distortion with a deep chorus effect to give you a “three-dimensional” sound using the stereo outputs.
  • To intensity the sound when playing riffs, set the unit to doubling mode II and output the signal through the stereo outs.

Specifications

  • Controls: Level, Tone, Drive, 6-way Mode switch
  • Connectors: Input, Output A, Output B, AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 70 mA (DC 9V)
  • Weight: 450g/0.99 lbs.
  • Input Impedance: 1Mohm
  • Equivalent Input Noise: -120 dBm (IHF-A)
  • Recommended Load Impedance: 10kOhm or greater
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: PSA Series

Labels

  • Blue – Made In Japan

The MZ-2 was sold from December 1987 to August 1992.

Labels

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BOSS SD-1 SUPER OverDrive

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BOSS SD-1 SUPER OverDrive

Boss Advertisement text(2001):

Provides warm, smooth overdrive tones that respond to your picking style the way a tube amp does, even at low volume levels. Exclusive BOSS asymmetric overdrive circuitry delivers a genuine overdrive effect for a classic guitar sound.

Boss Pocket Dictionary vol.1 (1984):

By using to the fullest extent the characteristics of the guitar, the SD-1 Super Over Drive can produce the mellow and mild sounds of a fully-driven tube amplifier without changing the original tonal characteristics. The SD-1 is ideal for increasing the richness of a guitar’s sound without losing the subtle nuances of the guitar player’s picking and fingering. The SD-1 uses the same basic circuitry as the best-selling OD-1 Over Drive – the world’s standard overdrive effect pedal – to produce exciting overdrive sounds without ruining the guitar’s original harmonic overtones. The SD-1 is equipped with a Tone control which permits any desired boost or cut in the high-frequency band in order to produce more varied overdrive effects.

BOSS SD-1 SUPER OverDrive

Using the SD-1

  • Adjusting the Tone control allows you to create a wide variety of sounds, ranging from the DS-1’s distortion sounds to the OD-1’s overdrive sounds.
  • Careful use of the Tone control lets you add attractive overdrive effects to various guitar and amplifier combinations without having to worry about whether they match a particular instrument.
  • In order to produce an overdrive sound, care should be taken not to turn the Tone control fully clockwise
  • If a band in the high frequency range is boosted too much, it will produce large amounts of distortion when the Drive control is adjusted to higher levels. It is recommended that the Tone control be set at around 90 degrees (clockwise).
  • Fig. 1 (Level 4, Tone 6, Drive 2) shows the setting used to create a soft distortion effect with all the picking nuances.
  • Fig.2 (Level 4, Tone 6, Drive 10) shows the setting used to create a hard distortion effect. This effect was created by setting the Tone and Drive controls at very high levels.
BOSS SD-1 SUPER OverDrive

Boss Guitar Effects Guide Book vol.14 (1999):

The SD-1 produces the warm, smooth distortion of an overdriven tube amplifier while maintaining the subtle nuances of your picking technique. BOSS’S unique asymmetric overdrive circuitry delivers a genuine overdrive effect for a classic guitar sound. A tone control is also provided for precise tonal adjustment.

Using the SD-1

  • To produce a mild overdrive sound Set the DRIVE control at a lower level and avoid excessive TONE levels. Good for a bluesy sound. (Fig. 1: Level 6, Tone 4, Drive 4)
  • To produce a hard overdrive sound Turn DRIVE all the way up and boost the highs with the TONE control. (Fig. 2: Level 5, Tone 8, Drive 10)
  • To use as a booster Set DRIVE at a lower level and turn LEVEL all the way up. With this setting, the SD-1 functions as a gain booster, augmenting amp distortion and providing deeper, thicker sounds. (Fig. 3: Level 10, Tone 4, Drive 0)

Specifications

  • Controls: Level, Tone, Drive
  • Connectors: Input, Output, AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 4 mA (DC 9V) (Advertisement says 4mA, the manual says 6 mA, measurements confirmed current draw to be 3.7 mA)
  • Weight: 400g / 15 oz (including battery)
  • Nominal Input Level: -20dBu
  • Input Impedance: 470kOhm/1MOhm (Earlier Pocket Dictionary’s says 470k, later manuals says 1MOhm)
  • Nominal Output Level: -20dBu
  • Output Impedance: 1kOhm
  • Residual Noise Level: -110dBm (IHF-A Weighted, Typ.)
  • Recommended Load Impedance: 10kOhm or greater
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: PSA Series

Labels

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

The SD-1 was sold from February 1981 to present.

BOSS PQ-4 Parametric Equalizer

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BOSS PQ-4 Parametric Equalizer

THE PQ-4 is quite rare. It was never a big seller and as Boss doesn’t make any parametric equalizers today (2004) they are quite sougth after. You can adjust Presence, Low Level boost or cut, Mid Frequency range between 100Hz and 1.6 KHZ , and a High Frequency range between 500HZ and 8KHZ. Each frequency range selector has it’s own individual levels for boosting or cutting specific frequencies, plus it has a -18 to +18 over all level boost or cut.

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

For the first time, a compact pedal with concentric knobs for presence and three frequency bands. Each frequency band and equalization curve is ideally suited for guitar use, and each control adjusts over a +/-18dB range. The PQ-4 allows users to get a variety of sounds comparable to using several guitar amps, or different types of pickups and guitars.

BOSS PQ-4 Parametric Equalizer

Using the PQ-4

  • To change a strat-type sound to a telecaster-type sound: Boost the extreme high frequencies using the PRESENCE control and cut the highs a little to get a dry telecaster sound (Fig 1: Low 3, Presence 8, Mid Freq 5, Mid Level 5, High Freq 7, High Level 2, Level 5)
  • To produce an acoustic guitar sound: Cut the extreme low frequencies using the PRESENCE control and boost the middle and high frequency bands to produce a warm sound (Fig 2: Low 1, Presence 5, Mid Freq 2, Mid Level 6, High Freq 3, High Level 6, Level 5)
  • To get the mid-range sound of a large amp: Boost the extreme high frequencies with the PRESENCE control and boost the mid frequency band with the MIDDLE level and frequency controls. (Fig 3: Low 7, Presence 8, Mid Freq 2, Mid Level 6, High Freq 5, High Level 5, Level 5)

Specifications

  • Controls: Presence/Low, Middle, High, Level
  • Connectors: Input, Output, AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 23mA
  • Weight: 410g
  • Input Impedance: 1 Mohm
  • Output Impedance: 1 kohm
  • Residual Noise Level: less than -98dBm (IHF-A)
  • Recommended Load Impedance: More than 10kOhm
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: PSA Series

Labels

  • Silver – Made In Taiwan

The PQ-4 was sold from March 1991 to November 1997.

Boss CE-3 Chorus

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Boss CE-3 Chorus

The CE-2 doesn’t have a stereo output so the CE-3 was made, perhaps more as a replacement for the CE-1. The CE-3 have adjustments for depth and rate, just like the CE-2, but supports in addition a stereo output. Having two outputs gives you the option of having a chorused signal from Output A and the direct signal at the same time from Output B. These can be panned left and right to simulate the sound of two guitars playing simultaneously.

The placement of the 3 knobs are not typical. This is the only 3-knob pedal that has three knobs in a row. As this caused the LED to become hidden behind the middle knob, it was a design that was soon changed in favor of the V shaped 3 knob control layout.

Boss CE-3 Chorus

Version differences 

There are minor colour differences between versions of this pedal and from 1988 the CE-3 was shipped with white black knobs with white tops. The CE-3 was the first metallic coloured Boss compact pedal. The green label was introduced 1984 to indicate compliance with FCC rules and production moved to Taiwan, 1988.

Specifications

  • Controls: Rate, Depth, 2-way Mode Switch
  • Connectors: Input, Output A, Output B, AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 13 mA (DC 9V)
  • Weight: 400g/0.88 lbs.
  • Input Impedance: 1Mohm
  • Residual Noise Level: -90 dBm (IHF-A)
  • Recommended Load Impedance: 10kOhm or greater
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: ACA Series

Labels

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

The CE-3 was sold from October 1982 to February 1992.

CE-2 Chorus

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CE-2 Chorus

The CE-2 was the first compact pedal chorus from Boss. The CE-1 was released 1976 and contained the exact same circuit as the Roland Jazz Chorus JC-120 Amp. The CE-2 builds on the legacy of the CE-1 but isn’t identical. The middle region is boosted in the CE-2 compared to the CE-1. According to the design engineers this may be because the CE-1 had a lower input impedance.

Roland says that they stopped marketing the CE-2 November 1982. The pedal was however still produced and sold at least out 1990. The label changed from black to green 1984. The CE-2 was produced in Japan up until 1988 when production moved to Taiwan.

CE-2 Chorus

Version differences 

  • The CE-2 exists in both silver screw and black screw versions.
  • The font used on the “Chorus” label is wider on some versions. This results in the C in CE-2 to be located under the r in Chorus on the earliest models while it later ended up under the u.
  • The circuit has gone through some minor changes but nothing significant. All MIJ CE-2s are designed around the MN3007 BBD using MN3101 clock driver.

Specifications

  • Controls: Rate, Depth
  • Connectors: Input, Output, AC Adaptor
  • Current Draw: 9 mA (DC 9V)
  • Weight: 400 g. (14 oz)
  • Input Impedance: 470kOhm
  • Signal/Noise Ratio: 90dB or more
  • Recommended Load Impedance: 10kOhm or greater
  • Recommended AC Adaptor: ACA Series

Labels

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

The CE-2 was sold from October 1979 to November 1982.

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