As part of Roland/Boss’s impressive new international online product launch, today will see a clutch of new products announced by the Boss division – some predictable but at least one with the potential to open-up new market areas for MI retailers.
Perhaps the most innovative of the new products is the DR-01S Rhythm Partner, a new instrument that provides percussion backing for acoustic guitarists and other acoustic musicians. The DR-01S features an integrated sound system, and comes equipped with ready-to-play rhythm patterns that complement unplugged acoustic instruments. Compact, battery-powered, and simple to use, Boss says the go-anywhere DR-01S: ‘…makes playing acoustic music even more enjoyable and inspiring.’
Unlike other rhythm machines that are designed for electronic and pop music applications, the DR-01S is a unique product specifically designed for acoustic music. Via an intuitive interface, DR-01S users can access simple patterns and variations optimised for acoustic music styles. It’s also possible to add or subtract instruments like shaker, tambourine, bongos, congas, and more on the fly. Dedicated buttons are on hand to quickly adjust volume and tempo, and to add a count-in before the accompaniment starts. The DR-01S also includes a standard metronome for basic music practice.
The DR-01S is equipped with a sophisticated audio system that Boss claims produces big, full sound from a small footprint. An Aux In jack allows users to play backing music from a smartphone or other device, while a Line Out jack enables connection to a larger sound system. The DR-01S also supports optional footswitches for start/stop, tap tempo, and triggering sounds.
The DR-01S Rhythm Partner will have a UK RRP of £219.
Borrowing a trick from the TV and movie world, Boss’s second launch today will be a 40th Anniversary boxed set of its iconic FX pedals. The set features one-time-only reissues of the OD-1 Overdrive, PH-1 Phaser, and SP-1 Spectrum, the original three BOSS compact pedal models. Each pedal set is made in Japan, and comes in a deluxe presentation box with a serial number, the BOSS 40th Anniversary logo, and a personal message from BOSS President Yoshihiro Ikegami!
The reissue OD-1, PH-1, and SP-1 pedals are produced exactly as the originals were, with wiring and circuit adjustment performed by hand on a special production line in Japan. All electronic components are carefully selected, Boss says, ensuring fully accurate reproduction of the original pedals’ sound and response. Each pedal also includes subtle improvements for modern performance, including a PSA-compatible power supply section with a protection circuit and noise filter, a reinforced battery snap, and an LED that shows effect on/off status. The RRP will be an equally impressive £835.
Perhaps more likely to fly off the shelves in greater numbers will be Boss’s Solderless Pedalboard Cable Kit. The easy-to-assemble kit is designed to save pedalboard space without sacrificing tone. These do-it-yourself kits allow players to configure their pedalboards to suit their individual needs.
The customisable system requires only the tightening of a single ground screw on each connector, with no cable stripping required. Compact bi-directional ¼” plugs are engineered to allow straight or right-angle connections, enabling pedals to be placed as close as 1 cm apart. The low-capacitance, studio-grade cable is manufactured using oxygen-free copper and braided shielding for quiet operation with lasting durability. The extra pliable cable allows for ultra clean cable management and a tidier looking pedal board. In addition, premium 24K gold-plated contacts ensure the highest quality, most precise sound reproduction available.
Individual kits are available with a variety of cable lengths and connectors, including 2-ft (£18), 6-ft. (£49.00), 12-ft. (£85) and 24- ft. (£139). A 2.5mm screwdriver tool is included with the 6-ft., 12-ft. and 24-ft. kits.
Finally, Boss will unveil a Waza amp head 75, a new guitar amplifier that expands the flagship Waza series to two amp models. Driven by the proprietary Tube Logic design approach, the stage-ready 75 Watt amp head is optimised for high-gain tone, and delivers Boss’s version of the legendary ‘brown sound’. The amp also includes four independent channels, custom voicing options via Tone Capsules, and many other advanced features.
A key feature of the Waza amps is that they can be instantly re-voiced with a three-way Amplifier selector. The Internal position provides the classic vintage tone of the original stack-style amp from the 1960s, while the A position engages a built-in Tone Capsule that delivers the famed brown sound. The B position accesses an optional user-installable Tone Capsule, such as the Steve Vai Legacy Tone Capsule model.
The Waza Amp Head 75 is equipped with four channels: Clean, Crunch, Lead 1, and Lead 2. Clean and Crunch share one four-band EQ, while Lead 1 and Lead 2 share a second four-band EQ. The amp also includes a variable power control with Max, 50 W, 15 W, and 1 W settings, enabling users to get the satisfying feel and response of a cranked-up tube amp, but at a volume to suit any playing situation.
The amp’s rear panel includes two effects loops with series/parallel operation, XLR and ¼-inch line outputs, and USB for direct recording to a computer. The line and USB outputs feature miked cabinet voicing that can be adjusted with the front-panel Air Feel selector. There’s also a jack for connecting an included foot controller for channel switching and effects loop selection, and a MIDI input for controlling the amp via a MIDI switching device.
The UK RRP will be £1,495.