In 1991, a tragedy happened in the world of Swedish Death Metal; the Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal Distortion pedal was discontinued. For many, the HM-2 was a cult classic, and by ending its production, Boss left a gaping hole in the market. In its absence, a variety of other manufacturers attempted to build a pedal that could capture that iconic ‘chainsaw tone’, with varying results.
Of all these potential successors, by far the most worthy was the Behringer HM300 Heavy Metal pedal. First released in 2008, not only was the HM300 affordable but, for the first time in almost two decades, it offered guitarists a sound that could truly compete with the HM-2.
If you’ve never listened to Swedish Death Metal then words simply cannot do it justice. It’s pure grind, like a guitar being played through a bag of gravel. There’s a harshness and brutality to the sound but at the same time, it can be surprisingly melodic.
In fact, many fans make a distinction between Gothenburg Death Metal and Stockholm Death Metal, with the former being noted for its more progressive rock influences, while the latter leaned further into that classic, biting distortion.
That being said, whichever you have a preference for, you have the HM-2 to thank.
So, for many years, fans of the HM-2 have either had to settle for second-hand or turn to the Behringer HM300 Heavy Metal. Now, however, there’s a third option. As part of their Wazacraft line of classic pedal reproductions, Boss have finally listened to their fans and released the HM-2W – a recreation of the beloved HM-2.
The HM-2W is an incredible pedal. It’s a near-perfect recreation of the original with three extra decibels of volume and a new custom mode.
Well, here’s the thing. In terms of quality, the HM-2W does win on almost every metric. That’s not to say the HM300 is bad by any means. It’s a great pedal, but it just can’t compete with the original… Or can it?
You see, there is one metric where Behringer’s HM300 undoubtedly wins and that’s price. Where the HM-2W will set you back by almost $200, for the HM300 you’re looking at closer to $20. Now that’s a huge price gap for a pedal that’s almost as good.
Of course, there are big differences. The HM-2W is made in Japan with high-quality materials while the HM300 is made in China from plastic. The HM-2W will last longer and has the Boss brand name while the HM300 is unlikely ever to appreciate in value.
At the end of the day, this all comes down to budget. If you love the sound of Swedish Death Metal and have the money to spend on a high-end pedal, then the HM-2W is the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re looking for that sound but can’t afford to break the bank, then consider checking out the HM300. It may not be top of the line, but it’s certainly value for money!
|Jacks mounted on||Sides|
|Weight (in kg)||.3|
|Based on famous model?||BOSS HM-2|
|Width (in cm)||8.6|
|Height (in cm)||6.1|
|Depth (in cm)||15.6|