Boss ST-2 Power Stack Review

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by shanejohnson02, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. shanejohnson02

    shanejohnson02 Hammer of the Gods

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    Oct 30, 2007
    Texarkana, TX
    I will get to the details here, but in short: This. Pedal. Rocks.

    Background: I was looking for something that would give me a decent, modern hard rock sound in a pedal format. I have amps I can use, but given that I mostly play in small clubs and coffeehouses these days, I wanted something more portable that I could just "plug-and-play" if necessary. I did some online shopping and came across this baby. Sounded good, so I sprung for it.

    Best decision I've made in a while.

    I took the pedal home, set everything to noon, and ran it into my Engl 530 clean channel. Great sound. The same settings into my Egnater Tweaker and Peavey Ultra Plus. It worked best with the Tweaker. So, on to the details:

    Ease of use: Four knobs and simple boss on/off paddle footswitch. Left to right: Level, Low, High, and "Sound" (I'll get to that one in a minute). Plug in, and get to twiddlin' those knobs.

    Features: Like I said, 4 knobs, on and off. It's also built like a damn tank, like any Boss product. I like the finish on it, oddly enough...sort of a crackly black rough paint job. The "Sound" knob is the real selling point here. (again, I'll cover this in the Sounds section.)

    Reliability: I've used it for a month or so now, and played 2 shows with it. Never had an issue. Of course, this may not count for me...all of my pedals live on a rack shelf and are perma-on, switched in and out by a Ground Control system. So I'm never really just stomping on them. I'd trust it on a pedalboard though, since I've used Boss products on floorboards in the past and had no issues.

    Value: It's right in the middle for price when it comes to Boss products. I paid $100 USD for mine. Cheaper than a digital delay, more expensive than a DS1. It's WAY more versatile and expressive than a DS-1 though...imagine a DS-1

    Customer Support: N/A. I've never had to deal with Boss CS, but I've heard they're decent.

    Expressiveness/Sound: Now, about that "Sound" knob. On the low setting, it offers just a bit of breakup, like a pushed Fender Deluxe or similar. In the middle setting, it's very Marshall-esque, reminds me a lot of a JCM900 crunch sound. Wide open, it is VERY Mesa-like. The good news is you have the full sweep of the knob to mix and match any combination of these sounds; it gradually becomes more distorted as you go from min to max. For instant shred gratification, I leave everything at noon and crank the sound to the max setting. The good news here is the volume knob on your guitar becomes incredibly useable with this pedal. Even on the highest setting, rolling the volume back brings it into bluesy breakup territory. Neck pickup / low sound knob setting / tone knob rolled back makes for a SWEET jazz tone. Also, since this is, I should make note...I tested it solely with my DC727. There was absolutely NO mud or farting out on the low string. It has a super-tight low end. Of course, you can turn the bass knob up and lose the definition, but if you keep it within reason it sounds killer.

    As far as how it actually sounds, you can just barely tell it's a pedal. It doesn't sound digital or modelled in the least; it's very natural and organic. It pushes the amp into overdrive in a very natural way too; I tried it with the amp on a light crunch and with the pedal set to an overdrive...worked like a charm.

    Overall rating: You know you've got a winner when you want to buy another one. I want 2 so that I can switch between the balls-to-the-wall distortion and the barely-broken-up distortion. It's fantastic for what it does, and it sounds killer. Go buy one. Go buy 2.

    I will post links to some clips when I get off work today.
  2. BigPhi84

    BigPhi84 Pronounced "FEE"

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    Jul 26, 2008
    Thanks for the review! :yesway:
  3. sell2792

    sell2792 Back from the Dead

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    Mar 11, 2011
    Grand Rapids, MI.
    Sounds like what I may need for my Peavey Classic.
  4. Zeno

    Zeno SZ Hunter

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    Feb 20, 2011
    Chicago, IL
    I tried this thing yesterday, and you are right, it's freaking amazing. I need one of these.

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