BOSS Waza Craft has teamed up with Sola Sound to release a classic pedal that is being heralded as a masterpiece. The BOSS Tone Bender has a long history, and today we check it out!
BOSS Tone Bender: So What Is It?
The people over at BOSS Waza Craft have been teasing us on social media for a few weeks. I first thought all the hype was just about the reissue of the BOSS HM2 pedal. Well, it was…but we did NOT see this coming!
“Like nothing we’ve ever created before. Our art and expertise encapsulated in a Waza Craft pedal. Any guesses?”
No one could have possibly guessed it. Because BOSS doesn’t usually collaborate with anyone. Especially not a niche product like The Tone Bender. But wait…what is a Tone Bender?
The Tone Bender has a pretty long history, dating back to the late 1960’s. The thing is, the history is an insane rabbit hole when you try to research the original MK1 and the MK1.5 version of the Tone Bender. It’s weird and convoluted to say the least…
First, you have to remember that pedals were a totally new thing in the 1960″s. Back then, you relied completely on your amplifier for tone. So let’s take a look at some history…
At one point, Korg Electronics owned the Sola Sound brand name, yet did not produce the Tone Bender. The first Tone Bender Fuzz Pedals were sold by their designer, Gary Hurst, through the Macari Brothers’ Musical Exchange shops. They were made with wooden enclosures, and eventually moved on to folded metal. Just like pedals that we use now! These were the MK1 version.
The Tone Bender MK1.5 was a two transistor, which is the same thing that the Dallas Fuzz Face and the Vox Fuzz was based on in 1968. The latter were very popular, especially with David Gilmour and Jimi Hendrix. The Tone Bender was not as popular unfortunately. So the Mk1.5 is the official second version, although not noted as so.
Told you it was confusing.
The official MK2 circuit was released a year later, and immediately scooped up by some big name companies, and the circuitry Gary had designed was used in the Vox Tone Bender Professional MKII, Marshall Supa Fuzz, RotoSound Fuzz Box. These units used the now legendary Mullard OC75 or Impex S31T transistors. These sold until 1972 or so.
Now we move to the MK3 version of the circuit. It was a three transistor circuit with a Germanium diode (Like modern Fuzz), that came in several different enclosures, including one branded by VOX. Later, an official Sola Sound enclosure was produced. But they faded into obscurity in the late 70″s until the re-release by Sola Sound in 2012.
Which brings us to the BOSS Tone Bender…
BOSS Tone Bender By Waza Craft: Features and Design
The BOSS Tone Bender TB2W is a faithful recreation of the original Sola Sound version. Mostly, because they have officially collaborated with Sola to create the newest Waza Craft pedal!
This new Waza Craft edition retains all of important elements, with an updated look and feel.
- BOSS Traditional Casing
- Three Way Voltage Selector
- Updated Germanium Transistors
- True Bypass Operation
- Refined Circuitry
- Textured Steel
The BOSS Tone Bender takes everything about the Sola Sound version, and makes it more compact, while still retaining the vintage textured steel look and feel. If you own any other Waza Craft pedals, you know they use the best quality materials.
The three way voltage selector works much like Digitech DOD Carcosa Fuzz. This means that you can use the switch to alter the tone on a frequency level. You can really dial in your tone however you want, giving you more fuzz options than a tone knob could ever provide. So if you use multiple guitars, with different pickups, your possibilities are absolutely endless. This will not be a one dimensional pedal.
This voltage selector switch will give you the prospect of blending it with your amp’s distortion to get a unique sound. It can also be used in tandem with another fuzz pedal, as a boost. There’s crazy potential here. The BOSS Tone Bender can of course still be used “straight into the amp”.
The Germanium transistors are not only a tradition when it comes to classic fuzz tones, but a necessity. These transistors are much warmer sounding, and have more bite in the mid-range compared to the usual cheap silicone transistors found in most budget fuzz pedals. This is an amazing feature that will faithfully reproduce the pre-distortion sounds of the 1970’s.
The two knobs are a simple Level/Blend knob and an Attack control, that allows you to dial in the amount of fuzz.
BOSS Tone Bender TB2W: Tons of Tone Possibilities
BOSS has always been a staple of anyone’s pedalboard, but the Waza Craft pedals have been absolutely next level in design. But this is a first for the company, since they have never collaborated with another company before. The BOSS Tone Bender is uncharted territory for the company.
It seems that BOSS has shown a great amount of respect for the original Sola Sounds design, keeping all of the internal parts high quality. This is especially important when trying to dial in a warm fuzz tone. The Germanium parts make a big difference. So much so, that many people upgrade cheaper pedals with this circuitry.
The Boss Tone Bender could easily be a great addition to your Doom Metal pedalboard! It seems like the versatility would be perfect for blending tones. I imagine that you could blend it with modern distortion to create a huge wall of sound.
BOSS has always been a leader in guitar effects, but if more collaborations are on the horizon…I can’t imagine what will come next!
The Boss Tone Bender will be available by mid 2021, due to production for the premium transistors.
Is The Boss Tone Bender TB2w a clone pedal?
No. The new Boss tone bender is a collaboration with the original Sola Sounds company.
What is the release date for the Boss Tone Bender TB2w?
Boss has stated that due to production slow-downs, the Tone Bender will not be available until mid-2021.
How much will the Boss Tone Bender TB2w cost?
Most Boss Waza Craft Pedals are priced between $140-$190 dollars.
Is The Boss Tone Bender TB2w available for the Boss Katana?
Not yet, since the Tone Bender is not released yet.
Will the Boss Tone Bender TB2w be limited edition?
No. The Boss Tone Bender is a full production model.