HM-2 Heavy Metal Review

manufacturer: Boss date: 01/14/2013 category: Guitar Effects
Boss: HM-2 Heavy Metal
This pedal is very easy to use, it has only 4 controls, and standard input - outputs.
 Sound: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.2
 Ease of Use: 8.1
 Overall rating:
 8.5 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.8 
 Users rating:
 8.2 
 Votes:
 62 
reviews (14) pictures (2) 18 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.5
HM-2 Heavy Metal Reviewed by: UG Team, on august 04, 2003
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 45.75

Ease of Use: I bought it second hand and I didn't get a manual with it, but I can still get pretty much any sound I want if I play with it for long enough. The passive bypass is a godsend as the multifx processor I was borrowing before that I only used for distortion and fairly clean sounds required me to stop playing and find the different effects on the lists, pain in the arse! // 8

Sound: I use an Ibanez RG565, then the HM-2, then a Boss Md-2, then a Peavey Chorus Classis 2x12 120 watt amp (built in Chorus and Reverb effects, sometimes cranked upto max for an interesting sound). Pretty simple really. I personally use the Low and High both cranked up full, aswell as the Dist. cranked up full, but with the Level backed off to about a 1 O'clock position. This makes for a great thick crunchy palm muting sound (think metallica - seek and destroy type palm muting), and also a great confident thick rhythm tone. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Gotta give it 10/10, its not much to look at, not sure how old it is, but it works perfectly, built like a tank! Rock solid stomper, simple but effective wiring. // 10

Overall Impression: I generally play 70's and 80's rock on my own, in my band I play Grunge, metal and general rock. This pedal covers it all pretty good, the metal and rock best though, which is great for me! If it was to be stolen, first I would brutally murder the scrote who thought he would get away with even touching my gear, and then I'd go out and buy another one! // 8

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overall: 9
HM-2 Heavy Metal Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 24, 2004
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 35.55

Ease of Use: Fairly easy to use, but takes some getting used to. // 8

Sound: Im playing it through a pretty basic 30 watt amp with a Fender Telecaster. It's a little noisy when you have the distortion really cranked up, but nothing too bad, just a little static. You can get alot of different sounds out of it, all the way from old school almost Overdrive type sound to a new aged beefy low edge sound. But it does take a little tweaking with the nobs to get exactly what you want. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Very durable. Build very well. I would depend on it without a backup. // 10

Overall Impression: I bought this pedal because I wanted a distortion pedal and I found this one for cheap so I picked it up. It's very capable of giving you a terrific sound. If it were stolen I wouldn't buy one because I'm pretty sure you cant buy these anymore but if I could get another used one I probably would. My only problem I have is that it's hard to get a good higher pitched distortion like you get with an Overdrive. But it's hard to get a thick sounding distortion out of an Overdrive pedal, so I can't really complain, it does what its made to do, give you a classic heavy metal distortion. // 10

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overall: 8.8
HM-2 Heavy Metal Reviewed by: McRfan201Xx, on september 28, 2005
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 99.99

Purchased from: Musicans Friend

Ease of Use: I purchased this pedal about 2 weeks ago. It the best distortion pedal I've personally played. You can get a wide variety of types of distortion from it. The manual is pretty self explanatory and it also gives you recomended settings. // 9

Sound: I'm playing a Gibson Les Paul and I'm running through a Crate FTX 120 watt amp. This pedal works very well with my equipment. I don't really get much extra feedback or humming by using this pedal and I get a much more clearer sound by using this pedal. The distortion is pretty good on this pedal. I dont recommend it if your into really heavy Death Metal because you may be disapointed. But I doubt that this pedal wouldnt meet your expectations. It works good with metal though, dont get me wrong this dist. is very good. I can get a good accurate sound from all different kinds of music. This distortion sounds great for metal such as Ozzy (Rhandy Rhodes guitar) and Metallica to Grunge like Nirvana to newer hardcore punk music such as My Chemical Romance and The Used. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This pedal seems pretty tough and durable. I don't think you'd have to worry about it breaking. I definetly would use it at a gig without a backup. This pedal only takes 1x9 volt and lasts for a long long time. You just have to take the 9 volt out everytime your done using it or the battery will sap and die overnight. If you take it out though it will last you for a good week or 2 (if you play around 3 hours a day). // 9

Overall Impression: I play everything, punk, emo, metal, '70s hard rock etc. It sounds great with everything. Even if your not playing a real heavy song you can still use it and set it up to get the sound you want. You can get a british rock sound, a classic rock sound, a Grunge sound, a whipsery metal sound, a heavy metal sound etc etc. I really think so far this is the best pedal I've used for dist. I really like it and recommend it to anyone looking for a really good dependable dist. pedal that plays all different music. // 9

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overall: 7
HM-2 Heavy Metal Reviewed by: Abnormal_Omish, on december 05, 2005
2 of 6 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 54.9

Ease of Use: 4 controls. Simple? No. It's hard to get the sound your looking for. The most minute turn of one of the knobs can change the sound of the distortion completely. They also turn very easily and are likely to turn when you step on the pedal while playing live. // 6

Sound: I run this through an Epiphone LP Studio and a Line 6 Spider 2 30watt. The low on the pedal is very nice, while the high sounds kinda crappy. The distortion on this pedal sounds kind of weak, but that just may be because I'm used to using the "insane" channel on my Spider 2. Can get you a nice unique sound though. The distortion is only suitable for old metal in my opinion, but then again it is a pedal made for metal music. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Should be able to withstand heavy gigging, after all it is made by Boss, even if it is one of their older models. Like I said the dials are very sensitive so you may want to tape them down on stage. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall, I think that if you want a good metal pedal you should look for a tube screamer or something because this pedal can sound weak in sustain. I think its discontinued now so if you see it being sold by someone second hand you might as well pickup a bargain. It's a decent pedal but there are much stronger and more toneful distortion pedals on the market, like Ibanez and DigiTech pedals. // 6

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overall: 9.5
HM-2 Heavy Metal Reviewed by: Taterdamillion, on march 12, 2004
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: It's pretty easy to use, if you have some kind of manual. Which I don't. It's interesting to mess around with it, and sometimes I find something really cool sounding. It did come with a Products Calender that listed all the Boss effects products on the line this year, and it gives, like, three settings that ARE pretty useful, and it comes with a demo CD that plays you a sample of what the different effects. But it works for a lot of stuff. // 8

Sound: I'm currently using this peddal on my strat and my little Peavey practice amp, and it works really well. The level setting can be a little fidgety. You can't get it right; either it's too loud or too soft. The effects are absolutely never weak. I can get some of the effects working for Black Sabbath and Nirvana and Metallica and Shadows Fall and the Clash, but it's hard to get some stuff like Billy Talent or Incubus. // 10

Reliability & Durability: You can depend on this with your life. It gives a full sound so you can play easily on your own at a gig. // 10

Overall Impression: I play mainly Grunge and metal and thrash and stuff like that, and it gets great sound, especially when you're play grindcore like Fear Factory or Devildriver. By this if you need a good quality heavy metal distortion pedal. // 10

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overall: 8.5
HM-2 Heavy Metal Reviewed by: ValascoDaGama, on september 18, 2007
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 50.4

Purchased from: eBay

Ease of Use: First of all, I must say, I play anything but metal. This pedal has been lying covered in dust since my juvenile fascination with heavy sounds vanished. Today I pulled it out because I needed something to "boost" my 5 watt tube amp. And, as you already know, this pedal has extremely sensitive tone knobs. So as you can imagine, it's not easy to get a good sound of it, whereas metal freaks might be excited with the wide spectrum of configurations to experiment with, but for us, laymen, there is only one single configuration which doesn't necessarily sound like Sabbath or Metallica, in my opinion. // 8

Sound: My equipment is also everything but metallish. Epiphone Valve Junior combo plus Squier 51 guitar. I don't play metal anymore, but I can tell you one thing about the sound. There are only two knobs adjusting the tone, the "high"-knob and the "low"-knob, which already indicates at the typical Sabbath/Metallica-character (or at least early Metallica, using practically no middle end, as far as I can recall). It's very good for that old dry '80s sound we hate today, but I managed to extract a nice fuzzy sound which does sound sweet, but at the same time not very bright, as you would expect from my Telecaster/Stratocaster-like guitar. And, obviously, it has got the "kick". Any variation from these settings, especially done to the tone knobs, really messes up the fuzzy sound and we are back to the '80s. So once again, the tone knobs are very sensitive. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I'd probably use it AS a backup, or if I needed some fuzzy type of distortion, but since I bought it used, I wouldn't make a gig dependant on such an antique piece of equipment. Now I must depend on it, because it't currently my only distortion pedal. But I'm getting something more versatile as soon as possible. // 7

Overall Impression: The reason I wrote this review was to share my experience with this pedal with you. Maybe now some of you people fed up with metal, like me, won't throw this stompbox away or sell it on ebay and use it as an interesting completion of their pedal collections instead. When I bought it I didn't even test it, not to speak of comparing it to other pedals. I wanted to have something that sounded aggressive and this did the work for me. Now I only use the HM as a fuzz pedal. It's not produced anymore and, Who knows, maybe it's going to be worth a fortune in the future. // 10

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overall: 8.3
HM-2 Heavy Metal Reviewed by: Smart Patrol, on september 21, 2010
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 100

Ease of Use: This was my very first pedal, so it had been a wrong choice for the kind of music I wanted to play. It was an opportunity. The thing came with 4 knobs. The 2 in the middle were separate for BASS and TREBLE, the COLOR MIX section. It allowed more changes in tone, from mid-ranged metallic sound to something very gutural. In theory it could be very versatile, but it wasn't. I had a humbucker guitar and it was very hard to get a non-metal distortion from it. It wasn't the easiest pedal for me, but for my friends HM players, it was the one. // 7

Sound: It sounded very agressive, a very pro effect, but it wasn't for me. The overhelming distortion was very good to play music from Iron Maiden, Metallica, Van Halen, Slayer and others. It was a product of its time, so the sound it produced, although high quality, sounded like something from the past. However, it's still a great pedal, as long as you play it HEAVY. ;) // 8

Reliability & Durability: The impression of it is the same I had from DF-2 Superfeedbacker (the one I got after it). That thing was a nearly Superman-invulnerable device. It could certainly resist to any kind of violence against it. No wonder it was usually the KING OF THE PEDALBOARD. ;) // 10

Overall Impression: HM-2 was a pedal that sounded great. I was entering the guitar playing world, and a friend offered me Heavy Metal. Although impressive, the sound didn't satisfy me for the excess of low frequencies, so it was very difficult to use it to play pop or overdriven covers. The DF-2 was much better, much more flexible. Of course, since it never fitted my style, I would never buy it again, but I would recommend HM-2 to every punk/heavy metal player I know. It's sound is very hard, energic. They will enjoy very much taking lots of noise out of it.:) // 8

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overall: 8.5
HM-2 Heavy Metal Reviewed by: Kuntekin, on november 18, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 70

Purchased from: eBay

Ease of Use: I actually bought this pedal after selling my Behringer HM-300 which is a copy of this Boss HM-2. The Behringer sounded very nasal and not really tight, and could not be used for any other tones except the cranked up buzzsaw tone. The HM-2 has 4 controls, Level, Low, High and Distortion. The controls are very touchy and sensitive, small adjustments make huge differences on this pedal. I bought it used, and it's definitely from the 80's, runs with either a 9V battery or a 12V adapter, I use my Voodoo Labs Pedal Power for juice, in the 12V setting. I don't have a manual for this, but since I've bought it for the "buzzsaw" Swedish death metal sound, I did not really need a manual anyways. Though if you're searching for other tones than the maxed buzzsaw tone, it will take a lot of tweaking, preferably with an EQ pedal next, especially for the early Gothenburg style melodic death metal tones. (aside from the oldschool pure evil death metal bands like Dismember, Carnage, Entombed, Unleashed etc, the guys in Gothenburg like In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, Eucharist and At The Gates used this pedal in their early days, before DT and IF headed off to 5150's). // 7

Sound: I use this pedal in front of my Peavey 5150's clean channel with gain around 2-5 depending on my tonal choice, with an EQ in front of the guitar, the guitar being a Schecter C-1 Exotic with a SH6 in bridge and SH2N on the neck. With Level maxed, Lows at 3 o clock, Highs at 9 o clock and Distortion in fair amounts, it instantly sounds like the industrial metal band Godflesh. When all the settings maxed, except the distortion again in fair amounts, it is INSTANT buzzsaw Swedish death metal tone, which is pretty much the whole thing is good at in my opinion. With further tweaking, and in front of an amps overdrive/crunch channel, without the settings maxed, like Lows on 1 o clock and Highs around 2 o clock, Distortion at zero, the tone is VERY similar to Bloodbath's "Nightmares Made Flesh", "The Fathomless Mastery", and with a little bit tweaking it's instantly the Hail Of Bullets tone, which is a band that I also love very much. However, if you decide to use an EQ pedal, by cutting down the low frequencies below 150hz in order to tighten it up, and cranking up the midrange a little bit, with the pedal settings Low around 12 o clock, Highs around 12-1 o clock, and again with fair amount of distortion, the tone is spot on Dark Tranquillity's "The Gallery", "The Minds Eye", and In Flames' "Jester Race" and "Whoracle" guitar tones. No wonder why almost every Gothenburg death metal bands' albums that came out of Studio Fredman had this trademark guitar tone in their early days. Beware of the feedback though, it's pretty much uncontrollable without a noise gate if you're going for the buzzsaw Stockholm sound. Overall, I bought this pedal with the expectation of the tones I described, and happily succeeded. I doubt that it would be useful for other styles, maybe Stoner/Doom to some extent, but definitely not suitable for modern metal/metalcore and classic rock/hard rock. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The thing is obviously built like a tank, like all Boss pedals are (and this is the only Boss pedal I have bought in my life, I don't really like their other pedals except the DD3), and I suppose this thing is older than I am, so probably I wouldn't need a backup with me during the gigs. // 9

Overall Impression: I had been playing guitar for almost 3 years, and I do lack lead guitar skills. I wish that I knew I wouldn't be needing for an external EQ pedal for further tweaking, but hey, it does take a lot of tweaking to get the tones in our minds anyways, so its not a big issue. If it was stolen or lost, I would definitely buy this pedal again, it's definitely a must for a metalhead who likes to play oldschool Swedish death metal, and that nasally sound in all those albums. And that's what I love about this pedal, it is the trademark Sunlight Studios/early Studio Fredman sound, throws me back into the 90's death metal scene easily, although I didn't exist there back then. The only thing I don't like is that the need of an extra EQ pedal for tones other than the trademark buzzsaw tone, and I wish that the knobs were less sensitive, since I'm having problems returning back to the tone I made after tweaking for a while when I don't like it. I first bought the Behringer HM-300 clone, but it sounded very nasal and muddy, much like a HM-3 Hyper Metal pedal, which is not really a good choice for the buzzsaw tone, and pretty useless except when all the controls are cranked. The HM-2 is the key, and has more tonal variety in comparison to the cheapo Behringer clone. All in all, it's a must if you're planning to play/gig/record as an oldschool Swedish death metalhead. // 9

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overall: 9.5
HM-2 Heavy Metal Reviewed by: iammetal, on january 19, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: Lets face it, it's hard to find a pedal with alot to offer with out using alot of $$. Well, if your into heavy distortion, a wide range of tweeking it, and high string solos that don't sound like shit, then this pedal is for you! It's very easy to squeeze the sound you want out of it, just by tweeking the 3 band EQ which offers heavy low and mid range sounds, with out giving up the higher strings clearity. The manual is very friendly, and offers advice as well as directions of use. // 9

Sound: I use my Ibanez RG7331 with it (seven string) tuned all the way down to G# C# F# B E G# C# with my Fender FM212R 100 watt amp, so it really puts the clearity of the distortion to the test. I run the clean channel on the amp, and then set up the pedal to my own setting. But it dosen't mate too well with my gain setting on the amp, one thing I haven't tired on another amp. It's very simple to get the sound of your favorite bands, i.e. mine would be the Deftones and old school Korn, it offers almost identical sound. Nothing to complain on this pedal. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The one issue I dont like about it, is it doesn't come with the PSA-120 wall adaptor, which means its back to the store every other 2 weeks to get more 9 volts. I have used it while practicing with my band, but unfortunely no gigs yet. From what it has shown to me, I would use it without a backup as long as it has a fresh battery in it. // 9

Overall Impression: Very nice pedal produced by Boss, and it goes a long great with my heavy metal/nu-metal style of music. I have only been playing for about 2 years, but I'm impressed for the price range and the quality verses its competition. I would definitely replace it if it were to be stolen or break-or w/e. I can't get enough from the pedal, and its heavyness. It's for people who seek distortion and clearity - for a lower price range. // 10

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overall: 9.5
HM-2 Heavy Metal Reviewed by: MetalNick, on february 27, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 63

Purchased from: eBay

Ease of Use: You simply turn the knobs the way you think you want, and it's all finetuning from there. I didn't get a manual, but I reackon I don't need one. It's according to the man I bought it from pretty old, but he got it 2nd hand to. // 10

Sound: I use my X300 mainly with this pedal, and my Honer P200 40Watt amp, and I'm as happy as a child. I can get nice clean sounds and the mastery metal sound this produces. It's like you can't get it to produce unwanted sounds on it's own. Unless your battery is almost imploded, the sound remains great. I play metallica mostly, and megadeth, and as I said, a bit of finetuning on it, and both come very close. The only thing this pedal has, as all Boss pedals (I've tried) have, is you get more volume as you raise your tone higher. // 9

Reliability & Durability: When I got it, I thought it wasn't gonna be all that, body damges everywhere, but it kicks ass. Typical for old Boss pedals. I gigged with it, and I have to say, I'd do it agian, it doesn't eat batteries as some other Line 6 pedals I tried back then. // 10

Overall Impression: It makes is name, if that makes sense. Heavy Metal. I've been playing for 2 years now, and the only thing this baby lacks is a perfect metallica sound, but that's also not to expect from my shiity amp. If it were stolen though, I would maybe get another old Boss Metal Zone, Hyper Metal Of Digital Metalizer. Maybe even a DigiTech Death Metal. I guess I was more impressed when I got it than you'll be reading this review, I'd say, look on ebay if you can get one cheap. It's a bargain. // 9

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overall: 9
HM-2 Heavy Metal Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 08, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 60

Ease of Use: Well, first of all, it isn't easy as it looks to get a good sound of it. You have to be pacient and turn all the knobs until you find one sound that please you. It's a very complicate pedal, I mean, it's very versatile, but, at the same time, you can't go to far with it. // 8

Sound: I'm currently using a Washburn X25 through a Marshall MG100DFX and, at least, with this setup, I can't hear noise at all. I really do like the distortion. If you are into heavy metal from the 80's, classic rock, hard rock, Grunge or punk rock, this stompbox fits you like a glove! I can get sounds like Kiss, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, The Stooges, Alice in Chains and Pink Floyd(in fact, Gilmour own a HM-2). So, it always sounds great to me, but if you are expeting something like cannibal corpse or Dream Theater, forget it. Ah! there is one thing that I think is important: I don't recommend to play Metallica at all. I mean, it's great to play the kill'em all stuff, but from the ride the lighting on, it just don't work out for me. other thing: if you turn all the knobs to the max, it work great to play Scandinavian death metal like Entombed, but just this kind of death metal! // 9

Reliability & Durability: Well, as everybody here said, it's build like a tank, very very hard. It's a Boss. nuff' said. About the battery, in my case, it takes about one month if you play it 2 hours every day. I recommend you remove the battery every time you finish your practicing, it will save the energy from the battery. // 10

Overall Impression: I play most hard rock, and it is a very good match for stuff like Kiss. I play with this pedal for almost 1 years and just recently I've discovered how to get a good sound of it. but anyway, you have to test before you buying. I would probably purchase the pedal again if I lose it, because it's a really good distortion in a very accessible price. I love how this pedal can sound like the old good bands and, at the same time, I can play a little of modern stuff like Muse(if you put the low knob about 11 o clock, it's sounds like a nervous fuzz sound). I don't like how sensitive the knobs are. somebody told me he sounds like the Marshall Shredmaster, but I've never played one myself. Well, if you are not satisfied with this pedal, you can try a Boss Equalizer GE-7 before it, it should help the sound to reach more modern sounds. // 9

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overall: 9
HM-2 Heavy Metal Reviewed by: Freunleven, on august 13, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 10

Purchased from: Garage sale

Ease of Use: This has to be one of the easiest pedals I've ever used. I set the level and distortion for about one-fourth, and the high and low "color mix" knobs to about half, and just tweaked from there. Easy peasy. Within about ten minutes, I'd dialed in the sound I wanted, and went on from there into a two-hour jam session. // 9

Sound: I'm using a Gibson SG, straight into this pedal, into my Raven RG60 combo amp. Given the age and well-used nature of the pedal, it's got a bit of noise due to loose connections, but I'm working on that. Like others have said, there was a bit of tweaking involved in getting the precise sound that I wanted, but that's half the fun of using pedals. I'm able to pull off an early Metallica, Black Sabbath, Godsmack sort of sound without too much difficulty. // 9

Reliability & Durability: As near as I can tell, this pedal is literally around twenty years old already. Given that it still functions, I'm willing to bet that it's reliable. Once I get the connections solidified a bit, I have no qualms about using it without a backup. It's built like a tank, so I'm not worried about cracking the housing when I step on it. // 8

Overall Impression: I've been playing for a few years, and this is my favorite distortion pedal yet. I have something of a small arsenal of them, and a few digital modeling effects units. Out of all of them, if this one pedal were stolen or lost, I'd be willing to pay out the nose to replace it. The only thing I wish is that I had two of these, so I could hand one to the other guitarist in my band. // 10

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overall: 8
HM-2 Heavy Metal Reviewed by: nick_b, on november 04, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 49

Purchased from: Ikebukuro, Japan

Ease of Use: Straight out of the box, I found this to be an incredibly annoying pedal to use. It's incredibly temperamental, and moving any of the settings by even a millimeter or two results in an incredibly different tone, which is a nightmare for first time users. I swore off it for about a year and a half because I couldn't get a god tone out of it. Flash forward to about two months ago now, and it's the backbone of my distortion sound. It's by no means a walk in the park, but once you get the hang of this pedal, you'll be really surprised as to what it can do to your sound. That said, based on ease of getting a good sound, this is a difficult pedal to use first up. // 6

Sound: As I've mentioned, the sound to this pedal is incredibly difficult to mold, as it changes so drastically with each EQ, Drive and level setting. I find that anything above about 9-o'clock on the EQ settings turns the pedal into a noisy, tinny fuzz box, and turning the Drive up to max only results in even more noise. That said, when it's on the right settings, it's oh so right. I use a Sterling [Music Man] JP50 through a Line 6 Spider on a clean channel, with a BOSS DS-1 as an extra boost, with the HM-2 settings at Level: Full, EQ (bass): 9-o'clock, EQ(treble): zero, Gain: 12-o'clock, and it's a really satisfying Modern Marshall Drive that comes out of it. Add the DS-1 boosting at about 12-o'clock on each of your settings [before the HM-2, as it'll buzz and whir if you put it after], and you'll end up with a driving Rock and Metal tone, akin to Alter Bridge for its balls-iness and Lamb Of God/Slayer in accenting and elocution. I'm a metal player as you may have guessed, and this pedal sounds great for it. I understand a lot of Scandinavian metal bands use the HM-2 as the basis for their driven sounds, and after a long time, I can finally see why. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It's a Boss pedal, so it will probably never die. It has a sturdy metal casing, and a satisfying foot-switch, meaning it'll probably survive a nuclear bomb dropping on it. That said, I bought this as a used pedal and I'd hate to find myself without a Drive sound midway through a gig, so I'd probably bring a spare, just in case. // 9

Overall Impression: As I mentioned, I'm a metal player. Until I rediscovered this baby, I used a Zoom multi-fx to get my tone going. It has to be said that this setup of pedals is a lot quieter and a lot less temperamental than the multi-fx ever was, and it produces a satisfying distortion tone for its price. I've mentioned my gear above, and this setup works well at low volume, and only gets better as you push the amp harder. The main thing that I would suggest would be to spend maybe $20 on eBay or at your local shop and get an AC adaptor, and about $10 on eBay getting a an AC daisy chain for it, as I'd expect it to run through the batteries pretty quickly. If someone stole this thing from me, I'd be pretty pissed. They're a little harder to find now than a couple of years back, and I'm glad that I finally found a good tone out of the one I found in Japan in 2008. It's just a shame that such a solid distortion box is hindered by such temperamental and disheartening controls, which really suck the fun out of the tone if you don't get it exactly right the first time. I've been playing for about six years, and I'll acknowledge that this isn't the be-all and end-all of distortion tone. What it is though is a relatively inexpensive means of getting a solid, ballsy Marshall distortion out of a cheap amplifier on a clean setting. I'd definitely recommend using it with another pedal to boost it, but maybe that's just my taste. All in all, a solid addition to your pedal chain. // 8

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overall: 9.8
HM-2 Heavy Metal Reviewed by: fenderman555, on january 14, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 120

Purchased from: Ebay

Ease of Use: I looked through all the HM-2 reviews, and it looked like most of you didn't know how to use it properly, so here's my input on the thing. It's incredibly easy to use. The HM-2 is for one sound, and one sound only, but it makes that one sound better than anything else can. To get that sound, you simply turn every knob to ten. There you go, that's the Boss HM-2. There is no need to fiddle with it to find a tone. However, you can get a decent stoner sound by turning the distortion all the way down. However, pretty much any fuzz pedal will do that better. // 10

Sound: I play an Epiphone SG through a thrift store pocket amp, the brand of which I can't be bothered to check right now. The pedal is noisy as hell, but that's desirable in my case, and in the case of anyone else who knows how to properly use the HM-2. It's a really strong pedal, with thick, crunchy, crackly distortion. Sounds like a chainsaw. I can definitely get the sound of some of my favorite bands like Entombed, At The Gates, and all of the other Swedish death metal bands. It also works very well for "Deathcrush"-era Mayhem. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The Boss HM-2 is incredibly reliable. They do not break. Ever. This is a pedal that you can throw around, roll joints on, do lines of coke on, vomit on, piss on, drip blood on, do whatever to, without it breaking. The knobs do have an annoying habit of coming off, though. However, that issue is easily fixed, as they pop right back on. The knob problem is honestly the only flaw the pedal has, sound included, provided you're using it properly for Swedish-souding death metal, or to a lesser extent, black metal. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall, this is the best pedal I've ever played. I honestly think it's the only good distortion pedal ever made. I personally play black metal, and it works really well. I would buy another for sure if it got stolen or lost. I would not, however, buy another if it broke, because that's impossible. The thing is built like a tank. I love everything about it, and dislike nothing. My favorite feature is the fact that it exists. I have compared it to other products, namely the BOSS DS-1 and MT-2. The DS-1 sounds awful. The MT-2 sounds even worse. Like I said, the HM-2 is the only good distortion pedal ever made (plenty of good fuzzes and overdrives, though). There is nothing I wish it had, because it is perfect in every way. // 10

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