Boss MZ-2 Digital Metalizer

Boss MZ-2 Digital Metalizer
The MZ-2 is a strange pedal, and I'm not quite sure who it was aimed at when it was conceived. For a lot of people, the combination of the words 'digital' and 'metalizer' in its name are reason enough to immediately eradicate any interest in it whatsoever.

I'm to blame for all I've heard...

Despite some fairly widespread misconceptions, the MZ-2 is built around an analogue distortion; it's just a standard Boss-sounding distortion - but I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing.
There are actually two full-sized PCBs sandwiched together in the MZ-2; one for the distortion and one for the digital effects.
I'm not scared...

There are six modes on the MZ-2; the first ('Single') is just the distortion, the next three are doubling (very short delay) effects of varying lengths - the third of which is essentially a slap-back echo. The final two modes are both designated as being 'Chorus' but sound more like mild flanging to me.

The distortion isn't the most exciting sound, but it's perfectly usable... it begs to be turned up all the way and provides decent sustain without having masses of gain (especially by modern standards). Interestingly - or not! - the MZ-2 actually works really well as an overdrive/boost with a cranked amp... as long as you keep the drive set low so it doesn't get all mushy and indistinct.

There is a little low end loss when you turn the pedal on, which - in a way - can be seen as a good thing; it means the distortion can fit easier in a band/recording/mix setting. The tone control is adequate and is usable throughout its entire range; it doesn't get too harsh even when turned right up, while turning it down yields a smoother overall sound.

All of the digital effects do add a - surprise, surprise - metallic quality to the distortion, especially the first two doubling modes. I also found the MZ-2's digital processing adds some weird artefacts and side-effects to your signal, especially when you bend a string or let a note/chord decay.

I can't wait to meet you there...

Don't be put off by the name, the Digital Metalizer could find a home in many a guitarist's pedal armoury; let's face it, nearly everyone could make use of a good distortion pedal. On top of that you get the extra digital effects - which are good for occasional use - and the provision for running in stereo too.