Boss Os-2 Overdrive/Distortion Review

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Boss Os-2
Boss Os-2



Original author: Lurgen

Weapon: Overdrive/distortion Pedal

Make: Boss

Model: OS-2

Price: $109 AUD (roughly $80 USD)


The Boss OS-2 pedal is a combination overdrive/distortion pedal. Instead of using your amplifiers extra channel(s), it gives you more detailed control over the sound. One dial controls the mix between overdrive or distortion, giving you an easy choice between that heavily driven, clipped heavy-metal sound or a nice crunch for blues. Tone control allows you to filter out the higher frequencies to either soften the sound, or emphasise the higher-frequency sounds to clearly define every single note. An individual level control ensure that you can set the volume to match your undriven sound levels.


I picked this pedal up simply because I wasn't completely happy with the amp models that my amplifier simulates. I wanted a more straight-forward (and predictable) way to set my sound up. In particular, I have struggled so far to obtain a nice crunch to match Gabriel's rock lessons.

I have to say this device met my expectations in this area. The last week has been spent applying it to my playing and I'm very pleased with the sound.

The output is cleaner than expected, even on my single-coil Strat. There's an unavoidable amount of hum when the tone is cranked all the way up, but switching over to my humbucker-equipped Maton makes most of that go away. The hum is still there, but only slightly.

One very pleasing aspect of the way this pedal works is your amp doesn't need to be cranked up loud to get the proper sound. The pedal does its work regardless of your amplifier's settings making it very handy for practice.


As you'd expect from Boss, the device is rugged enough to survive just about anything. Cheap, compared to the alternative of buying multiple pedals or a better amp. VERY easy to use (if a noob like me can figure it out, it has to be good!) Nice clean sound Automatically turns off when you unplug your guitar



Rips through the batteries so the optional power supply is a must-have Really does need L-shaped connector cables, otherwise it intrudes on anything sitting beside it Makes me want to buy more Boss effect units The labels for each dial are very hard to read (impossible in the dark, difficult in the light) - compare the two pictures of the unit to see what I mean If you don't unplug your guitar, expect to need a new battery the next day The manual is extremely brief - fortunately it isn't a very complicated unit to configure



Worth every penny. If it died, or was stolen, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one. Given the poor battery life, I'd have preferred to see a power supply included for the price though.

Overall impression

When I started out, I was pretty skeptical about these higher-end distortion units. I just couldn't see the point in spending hundreds of dollars on pedals. I was wrong.