Boss ST-2 Power Stack
Boss ST-2 Power Stack

ST-2 Power Stack, Distortion from Boss.

racerevlon 08/22/2012

Boss ST-2 Power Stack : racerevlon's user review

« An amp channel in a box that's hard to make sound bad. »

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The BOSS ST-2 Power Stack compact pedal is a new and I would dare say revolutionary compact pedal. Not necessarily an overdrive, not necessarily a distortion, it is a pedal that can serve as the overdrive/gain channel to a single-channel amp, or an amp that has a lacking overdrive/gain channel.

The configuration is standard BOSS; a 1/4" mono input and a 1/4" mono output to be run in front of your amplifier. It also has a 9V DC input so that it can be run on AC power from one of the standard BOSS power adapters.


The BOSS ST-2 Power Stack has four knobs: Level, Bass, Treble, and "Sound" knob, which controls the level of gain the ST-2 delivers. The range of the Sound knob goes from "Crunch" at 7 o'clock, to "Drive" at noon, to "Ultra" at 5 o'clock.

Again, I have to stress that this pedal REALLY makes it seem like there's another, different channel to your amp. I've played this pedal with multiple amps, both Tube and Solid-State, and it makes both sound just stunning. At lower "Sound" settings, the pedal makes the amp compress slightly and break up in the vein of classic blues-type amps. Bring the "Sound" knob up around 10 o'clock and you get a nice, gritty break-up. At noon the pedal gives off the sound of a classic crunch amp. Push the knob past 2 o'clock towards the "Ultra" setting and you get everything from classic 80's rock sounds to modern metal--it's all right there at your fingertips. The on-board EQ settings allow you to sculpt the tone to your exact needs.


As I wrote above, this is not an overdrive or distortion, rather employs BOSS COSM technology to model different varieties of amp tones as you turn the "Sound" knob to different positions. I haven't been so impressed by the quality and variety of the tones that can be coaxed from any one pedal in a long, long time. BOSS really took the time to do it right. You can hear the different amps in there: Marshall JCM 800 tones around noon, Fender/VOX cleans at the lower settings, and Mesa/Rectifier tones with the "Sound" knob around/above 3:00. The "in-between" settings are unique and great; this pedal REALLY encourages you to experiment.


I could write for days and days about the great tone of this pedal, but you really need to hear it for yourself. The BOSS ST-2 pedal is an EXCELLENT alternative for those who don't want to compromise on their clean channel, but need a great drive channel. I've heard that some have had issues with the pedal generating so much gain that it's difficult to stop from squealing and generating feedback. I've been running mine with an MXR Noise Clamp and haven't had any problems, with or without it.

If you have an amp that has a great clean channel but either doesn't have a gain channel, or has a less-than-adequate gain channel, the BOSS ST-2 Power Stack is an excellent 99-dollar solution. If something happened to mine, I would replace it in a heartbeat.