BOSS TB-2W Tone Bender Waza Craft
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TB-2W Tone Bender
BOSS and Sola Sound Unite to Reimagine the Iconic Tone Bender MK II
The legendary Sola Sound Tone Bender MK II fuzz from the 1960s, meticulously reimagined with BOSS Waza craftsmanship.
BOSS and Sola Sound have come together to introduce the TB-2W Tone Bender, an authentic sonic recreation of the iconic Tone Bender MK II fuzz pedal used by some of the greatest guitarists of all time. Heard on legions of classic tracks from the 1960s through today, the Tone Bender’s bold, rich voice and smooth sustain are forever embedded in the annals of rock and pop music history.
Using a “masterpiece” Tone Bender MK II (serial number 500) from Sola Sound’s archive as a benchmark reference, BOSS engineers have fully realized the pedal’s magical sound and expressive dynamic response through detailed Waza craftsmanship. Available in a limited production run, each TB-2W features rare germanium transistors carefully tested for optimum tone, a three-way voltage selector, selectable true/buffered bypass operation, and a refined circuit design for ultra-consistent performance from pedal to pedal.
• Authentic sonic recreation of the legendary Tone Bender MK II fuzz from the 1960s
• Select germanium transistors, carefully tested for superior performance
• Chicken-head knobs, hammertone finish, and typeface reminiscent of the original Tone Bender MK II
• Three-way voltage selector for shaping the overall tone and response
• Selectable true bypass or buffered bypass operation
• Limited production of approximately 3000 units (due to component availability)
The TB-2W Tone Bender Story
Among the iconic fuzz pedals in music history, the Tone Bender is one of the most revered and unique. Embraced by many of the world’s greatest guitarists, the sound of this pedal is woven into the fabric of some of the most influential music created over the last five-plus decades. Under the Sola Sound brand, Macari’s Musical Instruments in London produced numerous variations starting in the mid-1960s, and many consider the “MK II” version to be the ultimate Tone Bender voice.
When BOSS and Sola Sound first discussed collaborating on a Tone Bender MK II pedal in 2017, we realized there would be many technical challenges in achieving our goal. Foremost among them was sourcing the rare and vitally important germanium transistors at the heart of the circuit. Other problems included power supply considerations and resistance to environmental changes, which would be key to realizing both authentic Tone Bender sound and BOSS’s strict performance standards.
Working through one challenge after another, we were able to overcome them all with no compromise through dogged determination and careful attention to the finest details. While BOSS and Sola Sound have totally different histories, both companies have always strived to achieve the very best in tone. The TB-2W embodies our shared passions, bringing you Sola Sound’s famous rock voice coupled with BOSS’s committed craftsmanship and legendary spirit of innovation.
Capturing the Soul of the Tone Bender
To develop the TB-2W, Sola Sound loaned BOSS their prized serial number 500 Tone Bender MK II, which they feel represents the ideal Tone Bender experience. Over a number of months, BOSS engineers carefully evaluated the pedal’s overall circuit at every level. A prime focus was analyzing the unique properties of its germanium transistors, which are key to the pedal’s smooth, musical tone and extreme sensitivity to playing dynamics and guitar volume.
Germanium transistors are very difficult to find today, and BOSS had to search around the world for a quality supply. But that was just a start—each one then had to be rigorously tested for the proper electrical performance and sound quality. In the end, we were able to build enough stock to create a limited production run of pedals that deliver the full Tone Bender mojo in all its glory.
Adjustable Voltage for a Range of Tones
The original Tone Bender was designed to run on a 9-volt zinc-carbon battery (the standard of the era), and its circuit is quite sensitive to voltage changes, with shifts in gain, response, and sound character as the battery gradually wears down. In the Waza Craft tradition of extending classic analog designs with modern innovations, the TB-2W features an adjustable voltage circuit that lets you replicate these changes—and more—at the flick of a switch.
Via the three-way Battery selector, you can instantly change the response of the pedal, whether powering it from a modern alkaline battery or an external power supply. The 9V setting provides the sound of a brand-new battery and the benchmark Tone Bender response. Choosing the 7V setting has the effect of a slightly depleted battery, producing a unique gain character and feel that’s favored by some Tone Bender fans. The 12V setting takes things in the other direction, offering expanded dynamic range that’s not possible with the original pedal.
Selectable Output Modes
Another convenient addition is the TB-2W’s two output modes, which can be easily selected with a switch at the top of the pedal. Thru mode is best for a vintage pedal experience, providing true bypass operation when the pedal is off and original Tone Bender output impedance when the pedal is on. Buffer mode engages the same high-quality output buffer circuit found in all Waza Craft pedals, optimizing the signal for downstream connections whether the TB-2W is on or off.
In any case, you’ll usually realize the best performance when the TB-2W is the first pedal in the signal chain, with no buffered signal in-between. This allows the pedal to fully interact with your guitar’s pickups for the magical interactive response that fuzz players love.