Guitar Distortion Pedal Review: Boss PW-2 Power Driver

For this article a short review about the Boss PW-2 Power Driver. The PW-2 gives you a very specific sound, although it is possible to tweak the pedal to get different tones. The pedal contains 4 controls, One being Level, the next one is a Bass control (named FAT) the third control is for Mid (named MUSCLE) and the last control is for the Drive.
Giving the controls uncommon names is something of the mid to late 90s: There is DOD which did it, the Dirty Dog Peavy Pedal also uses uncommon names for typical guitar controls such as tone and drive. Do not let these names put you off from trying the pedal, it is just something funny and you can easily get used to it!

The PW-2 is quite a unique pedal. I feel the pedal is great for alternative rock and grunge, but if you wish you can use it for any other sound and style. Let me explain the various sounds in detail:

Keeping the FAT, MUSCLE and DRIVE all down and just using LEVEL will give you a crunchy sound, it also shows this pedal will not give you a clean boost!

For basic tone, turn all controls to 12,oo noon. If this is too much for your taste, turn down the DRIVE. Still too much? work with the FAT to reduce, or boost the bass. Use the MUSCLE to cut midrange or to boost it.

Turning the FAT all the way up will give you a bass boost without the pedal getting to sound too muddy. It works very well all depending on the sound- and settings of your amp.

Turning the MUSCLE all the way up will give you a Mid boost, turn this control down and you will hear more Treble.

By opening up the MUSCLE you will not get Marshall, no this pedal is not another OD-1.
The sonic character of the PW-2 comes close to an Electric Harmonics Big Muff: It sounds crude but pleasant at the same time.

Big Muffs are often mentioned in context of Fuzz, trying the Fuzz test with a Strat using the PW-2 gives great results: Turn tonecontrol down and just play. As extra I kept the FAT and MUSCLE controls all the way down while going for the Fuzz sound, the sound was very tight and pleasing. Sounds more convincing compared to micking a Fuzz on a DS-1.

When you read several reviews on the net you will see that some people feel the PW-2 can give you Blues, Metal and other sounds. Personally I feel the pedal is best at giving you crude, distorted sounds in a sweet way. All the variations on this tone are very useable and pleasant on the ear. Fans of Sonic Youth will love this pedal!

Happy Pedal Hunting and hope to catch you soon again,