A division of the Roland Corporation, Japanese manufacturer Boss is a maker of musical equipment and accessories, including a number of products relating to effects processing for guitars. In recent years they’ve bumped up their product line to include rhythm machines, digital studios and other electronic music equipment.
The first Boss product actually pre-dated the Boss company. It was at that time a product of Beckmen Musical Instruments and was called B-100 The Boss. Released in 1974, the product came with a clip-on pre-amp and a pickup, designed to amplify acoustic guitars. The first real Boss foot pedal effect, the CE-1 Chorus Ensemble, followed soon after, in 1976, and was a rather large, AC-powered stand-alone unit.
In 1978, Boss launched their line of compact pedals with the release of an overdrive pedal, a phaser pedal, and a parametric equalizer (The Spectrum.) Through the 80’s and 90’s they continued to innovate. The Heavy Metal distortion pedal became an irreplaceable component of the typical heavy metal sound. On into 2006, the company continued to introduce new technology with their COSM (Composite Object Sound Modeling) in the AC-3 Acoustic Simulator pedal.
All of the Boss compact pedals utilize a buffered bypass type of silent foot switching to avoid clicks and pops. While this is not a true bypass system, the buffered bypass prevents signal loss which can occur due to long runs of cable, and keeps the original tone of the guitar intact.
Boss enjoys a reputation as the basic, mainstream, go-to guitar pedal manufacturer, yet it may be unfairly overlooked by user seeking a more boutique pedal. A good price is no reason to assume a produce is inferior. Boss is selling ambience, and doing it at a fraction of the cost of other manufacturers, who haven’t been around nearly as long.
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