Boss MD-2 Mega Distortion Pedal Reviews4.5/5.0 based on 8 customer reviews
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from Twin Cities, MN
November 30, 2012Music Background:
One of the best (underappreciated) Boss distortion pedals!I've tried a lot of BOSS products, and while their stuff is always durable and dependable, a lot of people are critical of their distortion and overdrive pedals. But in most cases, those opinions are formed squarely off of the older BOSS pedals everyone has owned or tried: DS-1, SD-1, MT-2, BD-2, and so on.
The Mega Distortion (MD-2) did not come out until Sept. 2001, and was apparently meant to appeal to the drop-tuning, 7-string, and nu metal players that had been popular up to that time.
But actually, if you forget that whole angle and just LISTEN to how the pedal sounds, BOSS made a pretty convincing "cabinet-in-a-box" sound that can add some real size and punch to smaller combo amps. I was pretty skeptical when I read some of the other reviews mentioning 70's and 80's Marshall JCM sounds, but those are pretty good descriptions. No, it won't create that exact sound, but it will bring more life out of your rig without getting too muddy sounding.
While the controls and EQ are simpler than, say, the Boss Metal Zone, there's some cool interplay between the Dist and Gain Boost knobs. The "Dist" knob adds more traditional Boss distortion, similar to a DS-1, but capable of more saturation and low end fullness. The "Gain Boost", in my opinion, is more like an on-amp overdrive. I actually like some of the settings where the Dist is set low, but the Gain Boost is set high - makes some AC/DC-like classic rock tones.
My 5-star rating does not mean that this pedal is "better" than a Wampler or any number of $100+ boutiques. Pedal sound is very subjective, and I encourage you to try out before you buy, whenever possible. But given that the MD-2 can be found at pretty reasonable prices, I would give this modern improvement on the DS-1 some serious thought in your search for a high-gain distortion pedal.
from Nashville TN
June 23, 2012Music Background:
Rock, classic rock, motion pic. Soundtracks, classical, etc
A 1970 JCMarshall super lead in a boxThis is a great little pedal. When I want to throw in total overdriven mayhem, I can put a Boss Metal Zone on. However when I want that classic not over the top good controlled distortion like in Zep I, III and IV, this is the pedal. Of course it helps a lot to be playing through a Marshall 800, JCMARSHALL 900, or Dual Super Lead amp, and some nice Boss digital delay and a hint of chorus, or a tc electronic G Force, for some added subtle ear candy, or even plain, this little box will reward the good players with nice snarling controlled distortion, tasteful and rich with even harmonics.
I do not know how this would sound through another amp, but if it is a quality amp like a HiWatt or the like, you are bound to like what you hear. It has plenty of potential to take you back to the glory 60's And 70's, or pull up to modern stuff like Joe Bonamassa. A ticket to sonic bliss. Without over doing it or going over the top..add a hum bucker or two or an EMG and you are ready to rock on out.
STEVEN L. CONKLIN
September 2, 2009Music Background:
BOSS MEGA DISTORTION MD-2THIS PEDAL IS TOTALLY AWESOME FOR DROP TUNINGS. IT IS THE EASIEST WAY TO GET ALOT OF TONE AND BONE CRUNCHING DISTORTION. I USE IT IN MY SETUP WITH A CHORUS AND FLANGE. THIS PEDAL DOES GREAT VAN HALEN WORK. I WOULD STRONGLY ADVISE GETTING THIS PEDAL FOR ANY TYPE OF MUSIC. ITS JUST SO VERSITILE.
from Boscawen, NH
July 14, 2007Music Background:
Own Online Vacuum Tube/Used gear business
Classic Rock - Hard Rock - MetalLet me start off by saying this is a great pedal - I use this through the clean ch of a Marshall JCM900 with 6L6 Power tubes - Mahogany Guitar with Dimarzio Fred Pickups. The MD2 in my opinion sounds a lot like a DS1 - The MD2 is very clear and open with flatter mids than a SD1 or TS9 - If you set the Distortion to 40/50% and turn the Gain Boost off it's very dynamic. If you set the Distortion to 60% and the Gain Boost to 50% you can get a great Classic Metal type of sound + The High/Low EQ really helps to shape the overall tone - I really like this pedal - I found it to be very musical, especially when used with a Boss CE-5 and DD-3. I found it sounds best through the clean CH of a tube amplifier. In my opinion this is one of the better sounding Boss Distortion pedals. You would be surprised at how good a lot of pedals sound with the right EQ setting and the Gain backed off - Lower gain settings are more dynamic. So... Check it out - Give it a try - who knows you might Like it!!
from Middle TN USA
August 1, 2012Music Background:
40 yrs as serious guitarist, 10 yrs being a crippled guitarist, but a good one
A bit of perspective about effects pedalsOne thing to remember about all these pedals, Boss included, is that so much of peoples' opinions about these techno devices are subjective, and based sometimes on limited knowledge. Why do I say this?
I have been an enthusiast of the Boss Metal Zone for 15 years, however I ran into a dispute with another guitar player a few years back, who swore the MT-2 Metal Zone was just junk. He proceeded to hook up his MT-2 and put all the controls on 12 noon. (Hint: the Metal Zone, as does the MD-2 Mega Distortion, has a parametric equalizer that allows you to custom contour your tones and parameters... you MUST know how they work or else they sound terrible.) The way he had it set, it DID sound terrible because he took no advantage of the great parametric EQ. It had no bass, too much treble, no midrange, it was miserable.
So, my recommendation is learn how parametric equalizers work, FIRST before judging FX gear. I usually set my bass for around noon to 2pm, my treble around 9-10 AM, and the midrange for about 2 pm for the level of midrange, and 2pm for the level of midrange so it is potent but not overwhelming. Same for distortion. Distortion can be overemphasized, or unexploited, both leading to tonal misery.
On the MD-2 I like the distortion set to 9 am to noon generally, so you really come across powerful but almost clean. If you crank distortion to 3 to 4 pm, your tone will be so distorted it will be mush. If you set your midrange range to be low, it will cause your entire tone starting with midrange to be absent, almost non-existent..
And of course, the way to set the volume is to compare your clean volume and try toggling your distorted volume to be set equal to, or just slightly higher than your clean rhythm sound, so your leads don;t overwhelm the listener or audience but does stand out a little bit, (to a good bit if you really want your leads to strut out.
Without these nuances, the qualities of these good pedals from Boss (or any other brand) cannot be understood, explored, and articulated .
from Kalamazoo, MI, USA
June 2, 2009Music Background:
The MD-2 Mega Distortion offers Mega FlexibilityI used to own a DS-1 distortion pedal. Too harsh and too much bass. I own
a Boss overdrive. Too smooth and too much midrange. How does one solve
this? An MD-2, that's how! The distortion control reminds me of the DS-1,
and I would never use it alone. The gain control reminds me of the Boss
overdrive, and, by itself, just wouldn't do. But combined.....that's a whole
Using these two controls together, at modest levels, allows one to really
tweak the best of bite and smoothness. And having a separate bass
control allows trimming out just the right amount of bass to prevent
boom. A very flexible pedal, once it's tweaked a little. Negative reviews
say there's too much compression......not true if the distortion and gain
controls are adjusted quite low. Just get to know it, and discover how
good it can be.
A quiet, durable, useful pedal offering wide flexibility. I am happy
that I bought mine, and I use it often.
January 26, 2009Music Background:
In a band
Not bad..purchased this pedal about one year ago and so far I have not experienced much that I don't like with it.
SOmtime i get to much feedback so i am gonna have to buy Boss NS-2. but buy an ac adatper.
i cant play any Sum 41 or Korn but it's good for metallica or some rock
July 1, 2005
Something moreThis pedal is not that great. Kick it on and prepare for heaps of compression. Loss of dynamics at an incredible price! If you like it to sound like your guitar tone is missing something, this pedal is the one for you! All around, it's a bit fake sounding. I would go for something like a big muff, a rat, or some other pedal that isn't this one.