TR-2 Tremolo review by Boss

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7 (53 votes)
Boss: TR-2 Tremolo

Price paid: $ 90

Purchased from: Mailorder

Sound — 9
The TR-2 will reduce the volume of the signal. Generally, you will want to either leave it on or off during a song. Switching on and off my produce dramatic changes in volume. A power boost, like a Boosta Grande or LPB-1 can remedy the problem, for the fleet of foot. I use a couple of guitars in front of a Hot Rod DeVille 2x12. The Gibson ES produces the more salutory sound, to my taste. Paired with a little spring reverb (like a Grail), I get a really good 60s pop tone. The Jazzmaster produces better rockabilly, surf, or garage, owing to the difference between the soapbar pickups and the '57 humbuckers. Noisier guitars don't sound as refined or authentic in front of the effect. I do not generally use the trem with my Strat, for example. I also seldom use much trem with a dirty tone, preferring it as a clean, crisp accent. Other tastes may vary.

Overall Impression — 8
I wish Boss pedals featured some kind of locking knobs. A lot of cheap pedals feature various forms of locking mechanism, from knobs that recede into the pedal housing to covers that flip over the controls. On a dark stage, resetting knobs disturbed by a kick or overturned pedal may be a problem. But this is a problem common to most pedals, not exclusive to the TR-2. I've painted brightly colored dots of paint to mark my favorite settings.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Boss pedals are built like tanks. I've had beer spill into my pedals on numerous occasions and have only had to replace on Boss pedal in my entire experience playing Live music. A backup battery is necessary only if one is not using an AC source. A TR-2 with a weak battery produces a weak effect. There is no reason to expect this pedal to crap out unless you're doing something you shouldn't be.

Ease of Use — 9
With three basic knobs, the TR-2 is easy to get a great sound out of. It's a little too easy to go nuts with the sound, particularly with wave shape. In front of a Live band, less is more. A long, soft "v" shaped wave is my signature sound 90% of the time. One's appreciation of the effect will depend on one's appreciation of Vintage sound. A lot of modern artists use trem and reverb and tape echo, but usually not for what the Hot Topic set listens to. I was surprised reading the other reviews that the effect is found in hesh. Perhaps, but only sparingly. Tremolo features prominently in sixties pop and The Music that is inspired by sixties pop.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    guitar masterx1 wrote: can u turn off the effect after ur done with something like an intro really easyly?
    yeah, like wat the reviews said, its very easy to use..
    had this pedal, wish i still did. I also had an eh Pulsar (reissue) and it wasn't as good as the tr-2. Radiohead uses trem farely often, beatles, and you know other pretty decent bands like them. Lastly, lets not talk about Spider amps, they ruin any good conversation.
    it's not just the radioheads and other freaky alt rock bands of today that use tremelo. The 80's classic Smiths tune 'how soon is now' used tremelo with OD for a great sound, and there's lots of classic old school 60's/70's bands that used it for their vintage sounds. After OD/Dist/Delay, this is a pedal worth considering in your rig.
    Jick Jackson
    I spose yer all kids but think CCR. Fake swamp boogie use a lot of tremolo. "What's the Frequency Kenneth" by R.E.M. "How Soon is Now" as mentioned above. Not essential but some of us like it and the Boss does it pretty well. Lots of uses in Country music. Best if your amp does it but I can't see buying a Spider because I need a tremolo!
    Could buy a Twin Reverb reissue, if you want an amp with built-in tremelo (altho Fender insists on calling it a "vibrato"). That said, who can afford a TRRI???
    Like A Stone, Boulevard Of Broken Dreams, Back To December and I Need you now
    copet wrote: I don't imagine myself ever investing in a tremolo pedal, the effect just seems to be scantly used, and I generally don't like how it sounds. Can anyone name some popular songs that use it?
    Next Girl & Howlin' For You - The Black Keys Planet Telex - Raidiohead Do agree, use sparingly, less is more.
    iTzMaTT wrote: Instead of purchasing this pedal you could get an amplifier, preferably the Spider III series, which have various effects such as a Tremolo Sweep (this pedal effect). Now with that you can simply purchase a channel switcher which is under 50$ CDN and there you go! Although it depends if you like Line 6 Spiders and if you already have a good amplifier.
    No disrespect, I have a Spider III and it ain't the same. I switch the effects off. Bought it 2nd hand and it makes a racket, which is what I want.
    copet wrote: I don't imagine myself ever investing in a tremolo pedal, the effect just seems to be scantly used, and I generally don't like how it sounds. Can anyone name some popular songs that use it?
    Led Zeppelin uses tremolo effect in some of their songs (like "Immigrant Song" and "Down by the Seaside"). Pink Floyd - Money?