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BOSS Guitar Pedals for Metal: The Top Picks for Heavy Tones

As the sounds we get from our amps become more controlled, the search intensifies for the perfect pedal. With metal being as diverse as it is today, there are thousands of pedals out there.

a man playing electric guitar

For over 25 years, BOSS has been at the forefront of guitar gear design. They have consistently released innovative pedals. These have met the needs of musicians and music lovers alike.

Decide which pedals are right for your style of playing. These will help you piece together a killer pedalboard setup that will bring out the best in your tone. It will inspire you to write some awesome tunes.

You see, music is therapy for metalheads. And nothing helps get these creative juices flowing better than a great tone!

Metal Guitars Sounds

Metal guitars were made of heavy metal. It's great to hear the sound of sustain and overdrive echoing through the music. When you hear metal guitar it instantly connects you to the emotion within the song. Metal guitars paint a final picture of true rock n' roll.

Generally, a metal guitar should sound like an instrument (the exception can be heavier styles like black metal). The basic sounds of a guitar come from the notes played rather than the distortion or effects. Reverb,overdrive, and distortion are used to mask the absence of skill and poorly performed music. 

An excellent example of this is hardcore music. Hardcore punk went on to influence and shaped much of heavy metal. In some cases, bands like Metallica have simplified this over the years. They compressed the song's volume controls so that there are fewer nuances. Also, a lot more in-your-face energy, which works really well for them. 

A person using distortion or other effects pedals should be mindful at some point. These pedals frequently don't sound as good when used in conjunction with heavy distortion as they do without it.

The Top Picks for Heavy Tones

Metal guitar pedalboards are one of the most important steps you can take to get the best tones from your rig. 

Whether you’re playing extreme or modern metal, or have a strong blues and classic rock influence. You should check out our list of the best heavy-toned guitar pedals for every guitarist on the planet!

Wah Guitar Pedals 

Wah pedals are also considered 'inspiration' pedals. They have the sound of the wah creates some unique and expressive musical sounds. The distinctive sound of a wah pedal makes it a popular effect for electric guitar. Also, more recently, with players of other instruments like ukulele and synthesizer or even different voices.

The heart of a wah is simple: it’s a movable EQ pedal with a large 'sweep' in the sound and a pronounced midrange peak frequency.

Top BOSS Wah Guitar Pedals: PW-3 Wah Pedal

One of the biggest hurdles in selling an effects pedal is the limited visibility you have of what’s happening with your signal. But thanks to the PW-3, we can see how a standard wah circuit operates. It gives us a much clearer view of exactly what’s happening to your signal. 

Instead of having a large profile like most other Wah pedals on the market, this one is a lot smaller. This can be used even if you have limited space on your pedalboard.

Unlike cheaper alternatives, the PW-3 comes with an auto power function. It switches the pedal on when engaged and turns itself off when not in use for added silence between performances.

Pitch-Shifter Guitar Pedal

Ever had a song stuck in your head but wanted it to be higher or lower? Well, you can now easily do this with a pitch shift pedal

The most common thing that guitarists do with these pedals is sing along with their guitar riffs. They find it easier to have their voice modified on the pedal. With this, they don't have to learn the song's melody note-by-note on the guitar.

The pitch shifter pedal is an effects unit that alters the pitch of the input signal. It is calculated by a pre-determined number of cents or semitones. You can use this effect to create some really unique sounds. Especially when you're playing guitar solos. 

A little knowledge about how this effect works can go a long way in helping you get more out of it.

Top BOSS Pitch-Shifter Guitar Pedal:PS-6 Harmonist

BOSS PS-6 Harmonist

What do you get when you combine pitch shifting, harmony, and detune? You get more than just a BOSS pedal, you get the new BOSS PS-6 Harmonist guitar pedal. Another one of BOSS’s wildly innovative guitar pedals, the PS-6 Harmonist is as convenient as it is useful. 

It's easy to use, perfect for beginners. What's more, as far as innovations go, this one is affordable. It also comes from a brand well-known for its innovative guitar products.

Delay Guitar Pedal

Delay effects are a huge part of guitar playing. As echo repeats can add depth to your music and a new level of perception to your leads. 

Most delay pedals come with three knobs: time, tone (dry/wet), and volume. The time knob is what dictates how many milliseconds the notes you play will repeat. Usually anywhere between 10-300ms. 

There are also many pedals with modulation types in them. Such as chorus, vibrato, phase, etc which change the sound even more. With this effect tuned to about 4-6 repeats with an ever so slight amount of volume (a quarter of the sense), you'll notice a big difference in your lead guitar sound.

Top BOSS Delay Guitar Pedal:DD-8 Digital Delay

BOSS DD-8 Digital Delay product image


The DD-8 brings even more performance power to BOSS compact series pedals. This loaded mainstay delivers a wide palette of delay colors and eleven different modes. An indispensable looper that records up to forty seconds of delay time. It also comes with unlimited overdubs and external control via MIDI and USB. 

Its wide selection of tones, massive looper capability, and enhanced connectivity make it an excellent addition to any pedalboard.

Chorus Guitar Pedal

The chorus pedal is a little-known tool for guitarists. But when you figure out how to use it, it can add more depth and texture to your guitar sound and make it stand out more in the mix. The main effect you can get from using a chorus pedal is making your guitar sound like several guitars playing. It is a great effect to use for riffing/shredding solos and experimenting with different sounds.

It is a type of effects pedal that creates a lush and pleasing tone. It plays the same note as the original guitar signal but spreads it out in time a little. The effect is more pronounced when used with a distorted guitar or with a clean signal and turned up loud, so some people prefer to use it with the distortion turned down low.

Top BOSS Chorus Guitar Pedal: CE-2W Chorus

The CE-1 Chorus Ensemble, which was released in 1976, was the world's first chorus pedal, but it can also be used as a flanger. In addition to that, in 1978 the CE-2 Chorus, which differed from the CE-1 in its added "Depth" control, became available. And since then, chorus pedals have remained as part of the BOSS line. 40 years later, Waza Craft is releasing a limited edition re-creation of these two legendary effects pedals. This highly accurate new product is called the CE-2W Crafted Edition Wah/Chorus.

The CE-2W recreates the classic chorus sounds that defined the CE-2. It uses optical components for a lush, smooth sound. There are two types of modulation: the high-speed modulated type found in the original, and a low-speed type for more subtle tones. The pedal comes with two sets of RCA jacks, so you can use it with an amp or from an effects loop.

Tuner Guitar Pedal

If you want to keep your guitar in tune at all times, and while simultaneously looking like a pro, then tuner pedals are for you. Tuner pedals are extremely easy to use. Simply plug in any guitar or bass and check the tuning on the display of your pedal. Tuner pedals are simply the best way to tune a guitar! 

Use tuner pedals for the loudness of an electrical signal coming in through the input jack of the pedal. Once tuned, it will ignore your playing when activated. You won't even notice that it's there. In fact, many owners use them right before setting up their equipment on stage and don't even notice the difference. Once activated, they are a simple indicator that you are perfectly in tune.

Top BOSS Tuner Guitar Pedal:TU-3W Chromatic Tuner

BOSS TU-3W Chromatic Tuner product image


The TU-3W is the ultimate premium-tuned guitar pedal. Providing a rich and uncolored signal, it’s the same circuit used to create our top-quality TU-3 tuner pedal. This one-of-a-kind approach renders true bypass operation and pure signal transfer essential for a tuner, delivering a premium pedal experience only available from BOSS!

Featuring a new TU Drive circuit that offers selectable buffered or true bypass operation, the TU-3W provides an unprecedented level of transparency and pristine audio performance.

Filter/EQ Guitar Pedal

The EQ pedal is a special guitar effects module that modifies the musical tone of your instrument in various ways. The adjustment of these frequencies is called equalization. 

From treble and bass knobs on stereo equipment to the complex s-curves of a parametric equalizer, equalization controls are used to modify and enhance sound. In general, a wide range of EQ settings is found in heavy metal due to its relentless and thick distortion.

An EQ pedal is an effects pedal that allows you to adjust Bass, Mid, Treble, and Presence on your electric guitar any way you want. It's great for making your sound louder and more defined when playing in live settings and recording sessions.

Top BOSS Filter/EQ Guitar Pedal:EQ-200 Graphic Equalizer

BOSS EQ-200 Graphic Equalizer product image


The EQ-200 is a compact all-in-one EQ that does it all at once. Each channel features two wide-ranging 10-band Q switches for precise tonal shaping, and an onboard graphical display reveals the current EQ curve at a glance. 

The EQ-200 does not just match the tone of your instrument with a single knob, but it can shape the tone in any direction by using the three different frequency center selection types.

Distortion Guitar Pedal

distortion pedal is a very trendy effects device. If you are a fan of the heavy rock/metal genre of music, this is the pedal for you. A distortion pedal can be used to change your sound from lighter sounds to darker and more aggressive tones.

The concept is pretty simple, they take the sound from your guitar and turn it at least twice up to 10x as loud. It can be used to shape your guitar sound as well as add your own signature tone.

Top BOSS Distortion Guitar Pedal:DS-1X Distortion

BOSS DS-1X Distortion product image


If you’re a guitarist who loves expression, the new BOSS DS-1X distortion pedal is sure to be your new go-to pedal. From a modern standpoint into an era of expression, the DS-1X delivers a new level of tone that’s only possible through the legendary expertise at BOSS.

The DS-1X guitar pedal is so much more than just a BOSS distortion pedal. It's a sonic aggressor, capturing both the unique truths of an amp’s personality and delivering an unrivaled level of tone, something equally important for studio recording and live performance, where every note counts.

BOSS Guitar Pedals for Metal: Conclusion

BOSS pedals are some of the most powerful guitar effects pedals on the market. Their innovative quality and dedication have allowed them to be a top choice among many established metal guitarists.

As you’ve seen on this page, there are various pedals that can help you achieve a great metal tone. This will hopefully help you to identify which pedals are best for your needs, or maybe give you a few “inspired-pedals” to get you started!

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