A couple of years ago, Boss pushed the limits of the amp sim game, delivering their IR-200 unit — a floor-based guitar amplifier and cabinet simulator. In the meantime, brands like Universal Audio really stepped things up, delivering super-compact amp simps to the market. However, now, with their new IR-2 Amp & Cabinet, Boss seems to show a lot of potential, especially with eleven different amp sims. And it’s all within their legendary compact pedal casing.
Boss Amp Sim Pedal
So, if you’ve been planning to drop your bulky tube amps for an amp sim (which is something that U2’s Edge seems to have done as well), Boss’ IR-2 is more than a viable option. What’s really interesting is that this isn’t just your usual amp simulator with predetermined amp or cab models. With USB connectivity and a dedicated Loader app, you can use any third-party impulse response that you want. Yes, you can even use John Petrucci’s tones, which he released under his Tonemission brand.
But, by default, the pedal comes with eleven premium guitar amp types and cabinet IRs from Celestion Digital. And on top of that, it’s surprising what they managed to pack into a regular-sized pedal. Firstly, we can see the usual input, along with two outputs for potential stereo use. Then there are also two more jacks on there for an effects look (the usual send and return), as well as a “channel select” input for external switching (like Boss’ own switches). So, that’s a total of six input or output jacks for the standard casing.
Oh, and that’s not all — apart from six jacks and a USB-C port, there’s also a headphone output. This one helps you do all the necessary monitoring, be it on stage or in any studio setting.
What makes it even more surprising is how many controls they managed to utilize. There’s the knob/switch on the right side for the aforementioned eleven models. Then there’s a 3-band EQ, as well as controls for gain, volume level, and ambience. Bypass is engaged by holding this pedal while channel selection can be done with the usual footswitch action.
The pedal comes with a 32-bit resolution and 96 kHz sampling rate. This is more than enough for a realistic guitar amp tone. They also promise the much-appreciated dynamic response, which was once only limited to actual tube-driven amplifiers.
It’s Also an Audio Interface
But apart from being a viable option to replace an amplifier and just have it there on your pedalboard, the IR-2 can also be used as an audio interface. In other words, it can completely replace that audio interface you were planning to purchase. Essentially, you can use it with any standard DAW and record multi-track projects in real-time with this pedal.
The new IR-2 Amp & Cabinet is now officially available through your usual Boss retailers. The recommended price is $199.99. For more information on this pedal, go check out Boss’ website here.