ML-2 Metal Core review by Boss

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (173 votes)
Boss: ML-2 Metal Core
16

Sound — 8
I used a B.C. Rich Mockingbird (newer 4-knob model) through a 15W Crate Palomino 1x12 (tube) and then again with a Jackson Randy Rhoads Flying V through a Mesa-Boogie Roadster Half stack (tube. as if you didn't know). Through both guitars and amps I was able to get a great distortion sound from the pedal. While the distortion is powerful and you can produce an awesome grind with it, it's very limited to it's task. Unless your into bands like Ozzy Osbourne, White Zombie, Metallica or other metal bands then you may want to consider a different pedal. Other than that I'd have to say it's the best Boss metal distortion pedal you can buy (especially after the fiasco that was the MT-2 metal zone).

Overall Impression — 9
This is (in my opinion) the best distortion pedal designed to play metal that Boss has made. It's heavy, easy to use, and can go from growling bassy distortion to head ripping high tones. It is limited in the range of sounds but for any type of metal it wont let you down. Just be warned that it does get weaker in sound through a Solid State amp than through a tube amp.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Like any Boss pedal this one is built like a tank. Its battery life is pretty standard for a pedal (4-6 hours continuous playing) but a power supply would be better in the case of a gig. Don't expect the casing or pedal lever to break on this stomp box. It can take quite a bit of abuse and is definitely gig-worthy.

Ease of Use — 9
Like any good Boss pedal the controls for this one were simple: It has 4 swivel knobs (the modern looking ones that attach directly to the surface of the control panel on the casing) One level, low, high, and distortion amount. I found it very easy to coax whatever sound I wanted out of this pedal as it's low and high knobs were fairly responsive (no large spots where the tone wont change). The pedal part of the box wasn't jammed or too stiff to easily activate it on command; the springs were fine as well.

67 comments sorted by best / new / date

    rifftnstrings
    Yeah true pirate.. I might have read the review if it wasn't called metal core.. BOSS have clearly tapped the faggot market with this one.
    Doesn't matter if the pedal sounds sexy.
    deaththrashcore
    This thing F*UCKING owns. It blows the MT-2 away (for all you nay-sayers). This pedal can give you great attack. It's PERFECT for hardcore/extreme metalish type stuff.
    piratemetalhead
    hence y its called the METALcore pedal
    But the metalcore genre is a complete abomination of metal! Anyways, right now, my effects pedal is just turning the gain all the way up with the overdrive on. XP
    Andraysexy
    I play an Ibanez RG7321, which is a 7 string, so i'm having a tough time finding a good distortion pedal to handle the low B. Unfortunately, the only good one has "core" in the name. Absolutely great pedal, homo name. I suggest scratching it off and putting a sticker saying "not-gay-super-cool-awesome pedal"
    graspchoke!!!!!
    This pedal delivers what it says.It has more sound mass than any pedal except ..maybe the LANDMINE pedal.
    simoT.I.
    ok, so: this pedal have a ****ing huge sound. no matter if boos had follow some new ****ing brand or something like this... its sound is so powerfull, and so "real". i don't now how many peaople say that the mt-2 is better... it has one the fakest sound i ever heard from a distortion pedal! it has NO low end... this one is a fury, my favourite control is the high setting, fantastic... try this with EMG 81 in the bridge and you'll love it
    shinedown98
    yea i just picked it up earlier today, and though ive only been able to play it at minimal level this evenign due to neighbors, it def sounds better then my MT2, the distortion is much darker and heavier, a dist i couldnt get with my mt-2... i got it runnin through a boss dig delay and noise suppressor too, not sure if the suppressor makes much diff, pedal is super quiet for a high gain pedal...from an esp ltd ec500s into a peavey vk100....sounds pretty nice..
    stevenjw2007
    The perfect mate for the metal core is the NS-2 Noise Suppressor. This thing will cut the shit out of your tone with its high threshold and its low decay. A perfect match.
    CobainenHeralyn
    BWAHAHAHAHA you know hardcore has reached an all time low when boss makes a ****ing "metalcore" pedal...whats the standard metalcore gear now? A 5150, ESP Viper and this thing?
    piratemetalhead
    This pedal may blow away the MT-2 Metal Zone, but the Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff blows this one away. It is much more versitile, has a much better tone and is cheaper than the Metal Zone.
    Thanks, I'll probably get the metal muff. Plus, just that mention of nu-metal in that description at the very top drove me away from it at the beginning.
    SL!!!
    CobainenHeralyn wrote: BWAHAHAHAHA you know hardcore has reached an all time low when boss makes a ****ing "metalcore" pedal...whats the standard metalcore gear now? A 5150, ESP Viper and this thing?
    That's kind of true. That's really disappointing though. There used to be a lot of great metalcore bands in the nineties, like Converge and Coalesce. As I Lay Dying and other crap bands have ruined it. Maybe Between the Buried and Me could save it, but i like hardcore better anyway.
    piratemetalhead
    This pedal delivers what it says.It has more sound mass than any pedal except ..maybe the LANDMINE pedal.
    XD
    Cori-XX
    This Pedal Dominates, I use it with a Gobson Explorer and a Marshall Stack and let me tell you somethin.....dont even think the MT-2 can compare, i sold my MT-2 when i tried to compare it..BLAH not gonna happen, this pedal dominates
    RX120D
    I find the mt-2 is the farthest i could get from a digital sound, thats why i got it, and you have to be a complete dumbass to not know how to use EQ, 4 knobs, Low, High, Mid, Mid Freq. they all make certain sounds. if you cant figure out the MT-2 you should get the ML-2 but ifyou want real tone, and real distortion, get the MT-2.
    Emocrusher
    Yeah true pirate.. I might have read the review if it wasn't called metal core.. BOSS have clearly tapped the faggot market with this one.
    Sciatic
    cheaper than the Metal Zone
    I don't know, I got my MT-2 for about $50
    mikerockstar
    I bought this recently and was disappointed. I play it through a Randall RH300 head with Randall RS125CX cab (2x12, 1x15 cab). So far I find that this pedal is not the best. I had high hopes. I play metalcore, hardcore, deathcore, heavy rock, stuff like that. This pedal seems tailor-made for those styles (the modern stuff). I find the lows are either too little, or too much (gets WAY too "woofy" and undefined). Same thing goes for the highs. This thing needs a MID or Scoop control in the worst way. I find the attack on this thing is NOT good. I like the Line6 Uber Metal better, although it is slightly more digital sounding. Perhaps it is my active EMG pickups (I play an ESP EC-1000 and a MHB-400 baritone tuned to C-standard and drop B-flat). I'm getting a Boss 7-band EQ pedal soon, so I'm gonna try the Metalcore in combination with that to see if it improves things. I do not have these problems of poorly defined lows and woofiness with my Uber Metal, DigiTech Grunge, or Damage Control Demonizer. But I'll play with it more and post again. But it's still better than a Metalzone. Personally I hate them.
    tzmen23
    i got the mt2 today and i couldnt get the right tone i was expecting. you can get some good tones out of it if you can figure out the controls. it took me awhile but i found some but it wasnt what i was expecting. it kept hissing at me if i wasnt playing anything and i really didnt like that. im gona take it back tommorrow and look at this. ive looked at some sound tests and this sounds better for my taste
    gcnmaster7
    I bought this pedal a few days a go. I play it through a Spider III 30 watt amp with a Schecter Gryphon. This pedal kicks ass 24/7!
    Runow
    The metal zone pedal is made for Metal. This one is, like the description says, for nu metal and industrial etc so i bet there's a pretty big difference. So it depends on what music you're going to play.
    metalhed717
    okay, im gettin the Metal Zone pedal, but ive been hearing a lot about this one. it says this is good for nu metal and metalcore and stuff, but which would be better for Metallica-like thrashy sounds?
    DOMR28
    I got one of these for $65 at a hole in the wall, cool sounding after only eight damn hours of tinkering with noise sup, chorus, and eq, but for $65 I couldn't pass it up. So, setting up for leads is a bitch. But a great sounding pedal none-the-less. I had the original Metal zone, and will be getting the MT-2 as well.
    takotakumi
    hey, im thinking in buying a new distortion pedal,i like to play a lot of death metal,thrash, and want to try to get that decapitated sound or lamb of god sound.would u guys recomend me this pedal or a metal zone or a digitech dist. factory?
    mbsunga
    Is it comparable with HYPER Metal HM 3? Well they both have the same knobs a level a DIST and 2 EQs a LOW and HIGH. I have a HYPER metal but i doth think BOSS is still producing one thats why they came up with this Metal Core pedal. Idd like to hear some comments from you guys THANKS
    no. 1 maggot
    OK. I just bought this pedal recently. i ahve used to play everything from nirvana and silverchair to slayer, slipknot, SOAD and the berzerker. truly a versatile pedal, despite what MT-2 owners seem to believe. i could not imagine that the metal zone could be easier than the metal core. if you have both high and low on max and have the level knob at a point where there is no difference in volume between having the effect on or off, all you need to mess around with is the distortion pedal. and yes, pedal is spelt with a d. also, the name is just a name, and nu metal kicks ass, although I hate rap.
    mikerockstar
    I wanted to add something about the above post on the mids. It sounds like this pedal has SUPER SCOOPED mids almost all the time. I love a good scooped tone (like I said, I play a lot of modern styles of heavy music), but this sounds almost too scooped. Great for grind and death, but needs some more mids, I think. Again, an equalizer might improve this. But I shouldn't need it.
    ralleymonkey
    Hey i was rait about to buy this pedal like today.. and these reviews make me think i should sitck to my Boss MT-2 Thanks guys Rock on!!!
    jacob23
    this pedal sounds more like an amp than just a pedal but the metal zone seemed too digital.
    franksciante
    tried one out today and was actually fairly impressed. especially since i generally hate distortion pedals. seems like the best alternative if im stuck using an amp with dodgey overdrive or no footswitch.
    a dying entity
    THIS PEDAL SUCKS!!!!! PLEASE DONT WASTE 100 BUCKS ON IT!!!!! FOR THE SAME PRICE YOU COULD BUY A LINE 6 UBER METAL PEDAL, WITH CONTROLLABLE MIDS,SCOOP,BASS,TREBLE AND A BUILT-IN NOISE GATE!!!
    HELLSHREDD
    The ML-2 is the ultimate heavy sounding pedal.The MT-2 metalzone has settings you will never use& im glad i got rid of that fuzzy sounding thing, the metalcore is exactly what i needed &couldnt be more happy. I must add , that if you really want the right sound with the ml-2 get a chorus, i bought a ibanez chorus with the metalcore & ive never heard such sweet sounds ever, maybe the EMG-81 pick-up & mesa tube amp just is the perfect mix 2 send me right 2 hell & thats route 666
    wesman69
    i play in a hardcore band and i bought this thing as a joke. i busted it out at a show and i had every band there laughing
    nedthehead
    I really disliked this pedal. The distortion is okay, but its hard to get a good tone from the pedal. Get a Metal Muff
    kelvinxkelvin
    the tubescreamer is an overdrive, not a distortion. ur better off getting a tubescreamer anyways, EVEN if your playing metal...
    grimevil
    This pedal may blow away the MT-2 Metal Zone, but the Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff blows this one away. It is much more versitile, has a much better tone and is cheaper than the Metal Zone.
    Drokan14
    I'm getting it for chirstmas.. I didnt know if i wanted the metal zone or this.. Can anyone tell me which one is better Thanx
    opposablethumbs
    how's it compare to the digitech df7? i need a good distortion pedal. How do both compare to an Ibanez Tube Screamer?
    black_punk
    can this pedal get me a Lamb of God kind of tone??? or should i get the MT-2????
    mike_r_peggio07
    i used to have the mt-2 pedal but now i have the me-50 is this pedal better then the metal distortion in the me-50?
    Shor-T Zero
    black_punk, I have gotten a Lamb of God tone with an MT-2 and a Crate half-stack. It takes a bit of tinkering, but I have the settings written down somewhere. This seemed like a decent pedal, I'd buy it if it was cheaper, just because its looks kinda koo and it has a good sound. But I'd probably get something diff., since I have an MT-2. And I have an ESP ltd. Viper, but I don't play metalcore at all. I usually play hard rock, and then metal, and then some melodic death metal (which for me translates to Arch Enemy). That's about it though. Ok sound here, I would rate it better had it been cheaper.
    SuperSnake2012
    I would really recommend the Metal Muff pedal instead. So much more versatile and natural sounding compared to the MT2. I wish I knew about it before I bought it. I hate the way the Metal Zone sounds.
    becker009
    ahahhaha as soon as i saw "metal core," i thought, "oh lord, what has this world come to?!" I would have never thought that a respected pedal producer like BOSS would stoop to the likes of so-called "underground" metal fans by throwing a XcoreX at the end of the name ahahahaha. pure hilarity. anyways, i'm sure the pedal sounds great
    Pacarazzi
    jacob23 wrote: this pedal sounds more like an amp than just a pedal but the metal zone seemed too digital.
    The reason I bought the Metal Zone was because of the 4 distortion pedals I tried, it sounded the LEAST digital. It gave a full sound, and it's really versatile. If you think it sounds too digital you obviously need to go try out a couple more distortion pedals.
    Pacarazzi
    SuperSnake2012 wrote: I would really recommend the Metal Muff pedal instead. So much more versatile and natural sounding compared to the MT2. I wish I knew about it before I bought it. I hate the way the Metal Zone sounds.
    I forgot to say..not only did the other pedals sound more digital, but a big thing is that the Metal Muff sounded like pure digital crap compared to the Metal Zone. Maybe the set up was bad for the Metal Muff...all I know is that compared to the Metal Zone it was thin/cheap sounding crap.