Over the years, the Boss Metal Zone has often been lampooned for its ferocious personality. But if you plug one in, you’ll be hard-pressed to understand why – it’s a badass box with high-gain distortion and an EQ section of terrifying power. This new version also celebrates the box’s 30th anniversary.
The majority of this Boss’ controls are EQ-related. In addition to the obligatory Level and Distortion controls, you get four concentric tone-shaping knobs to save space. Bass and Treble preside over massive EQ sweeps. Using the Bass control, the low-end on a 1×12 cab was dramatically boosted to half-stack territory – there’s serious “thump” in this box. The Treble is also potent, requiring a judicious hand. If you’re not careful, you’ll get angry bees. The solution is simply not to overdo it.
The two middle controls are Mid and a Mid Freq that is a semi-parametric EQ. Using them, the MT-2 3A is particularly adept at that cocked-wah sound, steeped in gain and a deadly mid bump. While many stompboxes purport to deliver “stack” tones, this one does, bringing to mind blast-furnace textures of an Orange or Bogner head through a big cabinet.
While the Metal Zone doesn’t have to be the only distortion unit on your pedalboard, it’s a specialty gain pedal that will grab attention. It’s also hellaciously fun.
This article originally appeared in VG’s March 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.