The ULTIMATE Metal Pedal Shoot-Out


’10 Pedals in 10 Minutes’, a wrap-up to ‘30 Pedals in 30 Days’

Watch the Video Shoot-Out, THEN Vote!   Click HERE to watch on YouTube, or scroll down to watch on this page.  When voting, you can select up to 3. 

[poll id=”38″]

Line 6

Trivia Question (for those who made it this far down on the page … Can anyone guess why I reviewed these pedals in the order as outlined in the list below?  If you think you know the answer, comment below.

  1. ZVEX Box of Metal
  2. Digitech Death Metal
  3. MXR Fullbore Metal
  4. Behringe Heavy Metal
  5. Boss Metal Core
  6. Hardwire Metal Distortion
  7. Arion Metal Master
  8. Digitech Metal Master
  9. Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff w/ Top Boost
  10. Boss Metal Zone

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Filed Under: ReviewsPedalsPolls

About the Author: Hello. Welcome to! My name is Louis, but in name of good fun & entertainment - I call myself The Tone King. This website was born back in 2008, to compliment the videos I started uploading to YouTube on guitar & related gear (guitar, amps, pedals, etc.). It has since grown, thanks to the thousands that tune in, making it what it is. If you subscribe to, you can expect lots of Guitar, Amp, Pedal Reviews & Shoot-Out videos. I also have monthly Live Webcasts, perform Artist Interviews, and try to get all the juicy coverage Backstage and at trade-shows like NAMM. The cherry on top is that there are no shortage of How-To Videos & TTK Killer Deal Alerts getting you the most knowledge & gear into your hands & mind! Thanks for stopping by to check out my website! Rock ON!

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  1. Sgt Rocksteady says:

    I’ve owned 5 of these pedals at one time or the other.

    MXR Fullbore Metal – Didn’t like it at all once I brought it home and ran it in my rig. Too treblely and sounded like a hive of angry bees.

    Digitech Death Metal – Ok but nothing to write home about.

    Boss Metal Zone – Otherwise known as the most wrongly maligned pedal on the planet. PAF tone snobs hate it but wtf do they know about metal anyways? Lots of bass and with the adjustable mid frequency a ton of good sounds are to be had. Sounds good as long as the treble isn’t too high (past 11 o’clock on the knob).

    Digitech Hardwire Metal Distortion – Loved it. Bass is a touch lacking in the tight setting. Loose brings it home though. Should have kept it. Will get it again when the opportunity rises. Outstanding construction! (hopefully not SMD on the inside, I didn’t have it apart) Built like a tank! Highest quality pedal in the shootout. Returned it for the Metal Master but I wouldn’t if I were to do it again. See comments below.

    Digitech Metal Master – Not as versatile as the MT-2 and the Hardwire but the tone it has is awesome. Very aggressive! The morph control is nice with some different tones to offer. It would be better if there was a gain control though for some additional versatility which is my biggest bitch with it. I looked into modding it for a gain control only to find out that it is apparently digital SMD tech which IMO sucks cause you can’t mod or repair it plus as it is a cheap method of production I feel it makes it overpriced. Especially without a gain control. All told, a great sound but not that versatile or a good value.

    Idk how you can stand it with the treble that high though. Is your rig somewhat dark? Also did you have your amp volume down cause if I run the level that high with the amp running past 2 it would be deafening without earplugs.

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  3. thebannedpage says:

    ya know, i always hear the mass opinion of how bad the digi death metal pedal is. but in every comparison ive done, and every comparison i can find on web the digi death metal always sounds superior(minus the hiss). now if someone would make a mod to get rid of that hiss,itd be golden.
    IMO ofcourse, the digi death metal wins (especially for the price)

  4. Sadwingsraging says:

    Why didn’t you have the Behr Ultra metal?

  5. Buck Ofama says:

    Alphabetical by model name.

    Good: Digitech Death Metal, Hardwire Metal Distortion, Boss Metal Zone

    OK: ZVEX Box Of Metal, Boss Metal Core, Digitech Metal Master, Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff

    Tantalizing But Disappointing: MXR Fullbore Metal (good harmonic content, but too trebly)

    Stunk: Behringer Heavy Metal, Arion Metal Master

  6. zash says:

    the hardwire was the only one that had a full rich tone.
    many of them thinned the tone.

  7. J.R. Romero says:

    Great metal pedal review!!! My number one is the MXR Fullbore metal followed by the Boss Metal Zone and then the Hardwire Metal Distortion.

  8. Jesse Austin says:

    You reviewed them in that order because if you removed the brand name, they would be in alphabetical order

  9. gothy says:

    love my mt2,, Arion sounds like fart

  10. Casey says:

    They are all in alphabetical order, Duh.

  11. Feri says:

    MT-2 Best For Metal

  12. jackwagon says:

    Gonna have to go with Digitech Metal Master as the one that sounded best to MY ears. The M.M. seemed to have a wide range of tonal capabilities..only my opinion!

    My top 3 in no exact order…

    1.Digitech M.M.
    2.Hardwire Metal Distortion
    3.MT-2 Metal Zone

  13. Kabstract says:

    None of them really sounded that great to me personally.

  14. autumn_spirit_1 says:

    i liked the hardwire and mxr, makes me want to go out and buy one

  15. lopez says:

    Boss Metal Zone 🙂

  16. that guy says:

    the list is price (high to low)

  17. dreedix says:

    MT-2 coz i never try the others 😀

  18. Frank says:

    I’ve been a loyal fan of the MT-2 since I started playing. Mainly because it was what was available (permanently borrowed about 5 before I actually bought my first) but a huge reason why I kept it was because of the potential and spectrum of sound it has. Paired with a tube amp, this baby growls! My first and latest MT-2 is a Keeley Twilight MOD. It has clarity and volume by $#!Tloads but definitely took me a while before I settled with the distortion it gives. In the end what really stood out the most was the fact that it made me experiment with Volumes and speaker thresholds. That’s where the magic is.
    Keeley MOD IMHO blows the rest of these with little effort (or knob switching). And that’s me being nice.

    The Digitech Death Metal comes in second…(And last) for simply because It can go toe to toe with the Stock MT-2.

    Personally, I outgrew the “Mid-Scoop” phase a long time ago. kinda.

  19. Meemat says:

    I kinda wish you hadn’t put the bass up so loud, it really makes everything sound really distant/drowned out.

    For instance, the Death Metal sounded so clear and articulate, while the others sounded pretty muffled.

    Great video/selection of pedals, but wish you had gone through a more diverse set of settings…

  20. J_Dawg76 says:

    Well, some tough choices on this one. A few of these were obviously bad pedals right off the bat, but most did a surprisingly good job.

    1)Boss Metal Zone (MT-2) – Always the “go to” pedal for metal sounds. has been for a long time.

    2)Boss Metal Core (though it was pretty close between this and the Hardwire Metal for me)

    3)Hardwire Metal Distortion
    4)Digitech Death Metal
    5)Metal Muff
    6)MXR Fullbore Metal (though i like the Mid shift option, the scooped sound was too thin for me)
    7)Zvex Box o’ Metal
    The rest just didn’t sound good to me and are barely worth talking about, however the Arion was just plain awful.

  21. Tony says:

    in no particular order, my 3 picks are the Digitech Death Metal, Hardwire(Digitech) Metal Distortion, and the BOSS MT-2 Metal Zone

  22. ABC order by pedal name

  23. Varso says:

    For my top 3 (in no particular order), I had to pick the Metal Muff, the Hardwire Metal Distorion, and the MXR Fullbore. However, there were many useful pedals. If I was in a cover band that only did 70’s-80’s hard rock and metal, I would be likely to pick the Arion, because its very natural tone, or maybe even the ZVEX, just because of how smooth it is. But, may top 3 were based on more contemporary sounds (all of these pedals can achieve very usable sounds).

  24. andy says:

    alphabetical order by name of pedal

  25. cojack says:

    Id say the Metal Muff has a lot of potential compared to all the pedals used on this vid.

  26. Low-B 5-String says:

    Tricky: it’s a double index. First alphabetical by pedal name, then secondarily by manufacturer name.

  27. Prakasa says:

    I prefer metal muff,
    since that the only one that I have,.. =P

  28. Brian says:

    I liked the Digitech Death Metal best, had a nice bluesy natural tone to it.
    My guess for the Trivia Question: Alphabetically by model name, not brand name.

  29. TheModernGuitarist says:

    The Fullbore, Box of Metal, and Arion made my cry.
    The Hardwire and Metal Master made my jizz.

  30. Nathan says:

    now ,not so sure lol, went back and listened to the Boss Metal Zone and it didn’t sound as harsh as the Digitech Death Metal

  31. Nathan says:

    Interesting , I really loved the Hardwire ,it was my favourite, was surprised I picked a Digitech over a Boss pedal, with the Death Metal pedal ,this may have been my second pick and thirdly I picked the MXR ,but it didn’t start to shine for me until part way through,it seemed a little muddy at first ,maybe didn’t quite get a fair break ,because even I thought at first whoa not really impressed ! but I think you have been just trying to play with the bassy side of it ? and as to why I think you put the pedals in the order you did,I’m sure you had a method to your madness ,in why you put them in the order you did , I’m sort of thinking you already knew what they sounded like and wanted to break up say a Digitech beside a Digitech ,or the ones that sort of sound a little similar,so our ears wouldn’t be burned out ,and make it a little easier to differentiate ????

  32. Akaboo69 says:

    woops sorry for the so many replies my comp was teeling me it wasnt going threw

  33. Akaboo69 says:

    ABC order by pedal name not by brand and um the berringer is the same as the metal zone

  34. charlesbenson says:

    ABC ORDER NOT BY BRAND BUT PEDAL NAME heres a hint though the beringer heavy metal is the same as metalzone

  35. charlesbenson says:


  36. Byron says:

    nght5tlkr has it right.

  37. nght5tlkr says:

    Alphabetical order =P

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