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.