To most people, Boss is a brand that makes outstanding guitar effects pedals, but mostly those that would rank as mediocre at best. While there is a lot of truth to that type of reputation, Boss is more than capable of taking the gloves off, or should we say, putting them on, and creating a very refined stompbox. Boss VB-2W Vibrato is a perfect example of one such unit. This pedal is easily among the most elite vibratos you can find on the market, yet it brings that familiar Boss user experience.
Before we get any further, don’t let that standard Boss enclosure fool you. This is a completely analog pedal which belongs to a special Boss Vintage line of models. What this means in practical terms is that you get analog pitch shifting, that is inherently more precise and a lot more organic in nature. Seeing how it’s a complex system already, it is no surprise that Boss VB-2W Vibrato comes packed with all kinds of features. We’re talking buffered bypass, several modes of operation including the custom mode that uses a rather unique filter, and more. In all honesty, if there wasn’t a Boss logo on the pedal itself, you would probably wouldn’t recognize it.
One aspect of Boss VB-2W Vibrato that has remained true to old school Boss designs are controls. There are four knobs on the top, and a small switch that sits just right bellow them. With that said, the controls are pretty standard. You have your Rate, Depth and Rise, just like we have seen on numerous other vibrato pedals, and then there is also your mode select knob.
You can use this feature to select the Latch, Bypass or Unlatch mode. The switch we have mentioned toggles the Custom and Standard modes, which change the type of vibrato you are going to get. Boss VB-2W Vibrato also comes with an expression pedal input for controlling Depth. That’s that common of a feature on other top tier vibrato pedals, but it’s nice to see that Boss added it to this model.
Analog vibrato pedals are a very familiar concept by now. They cost a bit more to produce, but having one will emphasize just how worthy they are of such an investment. Same thing applies to Boss VB-2W Vibrato. It’s a beastly pedal that brings clinically accurate vibrato. With the controls available, you can dial in a wide range of vibrato effects that will mix well with just about any genre of music. This is especially true since you also have two presets to use as a foundation for your fine tuning.
At the end of the day, Boss VB-2W Vibrato is a type of stompbox not many expect to see from Boss. Even so, they have shown us that being oriented towards the consumer part of the market doesn’t mean that they are incapable of crafting a masterpiece in terms of guitar effects pedals. This analog vibrato is among the most refined, and definitely most capable units you can get at the moment. It might make a dent in your bank account, but it’s well worth it.