Boss TR-2
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Overview

The Boss TR-2 Tremolo will leave listeners wondering if you have a vintage tweed amp hidden in the backline with its dreamy slow flutter. It also has a few modern tricks up its sleeve, allowing you take tremolo tones to places they never went in the '50s and '60s.

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Product Specs

Brand
Model
  • TR-2 Tremolo (Silver Label)
Finish
  • Green
Year
  • 1997 - 2019
Made In
  • Taiwan
Categories

From the Price Guide

More Information

Before Boss figured out how to churn out reliable pedals that could digitally conjure up sounds like the TR-2, before any outboard effects existed at all, there was tremolo. In the golden age of amplifiers, all the effects were built-in, and the pickings were slim, usually only reverb and tremolo. As a result, many artists were eager to use these novel effects, especially tremolo, forever associating that wavering sound the early days of electric guitar. Amp manufacturers have strayed away from onboard tremolo (with the exception of some reissues), but the Boss TR-2 can take you back to that era with the tap of your foot.

Wait...I thought "tremolo" was the technical name for the whammy bar on a guitar. What are you talking about?

OK. Let's straighten this out. Tremolo refers to the oscillation of volume, of amplitude, as if you were twisting the volume knob on your guitar back and forth in rhythm. Vibrato refers to the pitch or intonation of the note actually varying back and forth, which is what you do when you move your finger back and forth on a string or jiggle that Bigsby bar. Calling it a "tremolo" bar or bridge is a misnomer that has just stuck around.



So all this pedal does is flutter the volume back and forth?

Well, yes. But it can do that just a little or a lot, very fast or very slow, even changing the waveform of the LFO from triangle to square to get a different sounding oscillation. Trust us, it's a lot cooler than it sounds on paper. Just go back and listen some classic surf rock recordings or remind yourself what the beginning of classic tracks like "Born On A Bayou" by CCR or the Stones' "Gimme Shelter" sound like. A good modern example is Robert Plant and Allison Krauss collaboration "Killing The Blues."

How does this compare to other tremolo options out there?

Nearly every major pedal manufacturer has a tremolo option out there, but the Boss TR-2 is a world-beater when it comes to value and reliability. It doesn't have some of the fancier features of four and five-knob tremolo pedals, or the....boutiqueness of boutique pedals that have the same parameters and do the same thing. But it sounds good enough to please most people and will survive your gigs. Nels Cline and John Petrucci, among countless other pros, have one on their boards. But don't get one just because they have one. Get one because it's a great way to get that tremolo sound without overcomplicating things or hurting your wallet.