Ola Englund demos the first Boss HM-2W Waza Craft reissue prototype, which boasts an all-new custom mode

After months of HM-2 reissue teases, Boss has given YouTube electric guitar guru Ola Englund a prototype version of the hugely anticipated Boss HM-2W Waza Craft to demo.

It marks the first time we have been given an insight into what the final product will sound like following the effects pedal giant's announcement that it was developing a reissue of the revered HM-2 pedal, inviting input from fans to help design the new-and-improved iteration.

In line with previously released photos of the reissue's design, Englund confirms that the new pedal's control set is more-or-less the same as the original HM-2 – namely, Level, Low EQ, High EQ and Distortion controls.

However, Englund then introduces us to a series of features that the updated pedal sports, including a "better" noise floor, +3dB of level and an all-new custom mode.

Hidden at the top of the pedal is a mode selector switch, which toggles between a standard and custom voice. While the former is designed to reproduce the original Boss HM-2 sound, Englund describes the custom mode as having a “little bit more gain” and being “slightly more refined to work with modern gear”.

“The lows and high mids are a little bit more polished, and it also has a little bit more gain than the standard mode,” says Englund in an overview of the product, before plugging in and putting the pedal through its paces. 

With each parameter cranked up all the way – as per Swe-death tradition – the Swedish rocker flicks between each mode, giving us an in-depth audio insight into the first HM-2 Waza Craft pedal.

Boss Heavy Metal HM-2W

(Image credit: Boss)

To contain some of the unruly high-gain goodness and increased output, Englund reveals he was aided by a noise gate, though he refuses to see this as a point of criticism, noting the reissue's similarity to the original HM-2.

"I know a lot of people are saying, 'Ugh, this is a shitty sound' – no, this is Swedish Chainsaw, okay?" he comments.

Though we all have some serious pedal-envy right now, Englund revealed that he unfortunately didn’t get to keep the pedal, and was required to send it back to Boss following the filming of the demo.

"Boss did indeed send me this pedal, and it's going back to Boss after this, and I still have to take a decision if I'm going to buy one or not," he reveals. "But I'm probably going to buy one… just saying."

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.