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Boss XT-2 Xtortion distortion pedal. This is a difficult pedal to get right. It did not approach the production numbers of most of Boss' pedal line. In fact, many lose patience with this pedal and call it "crappy". It was in production from only 1996 to 1998 and the lack of demand (only about 2000 were ever sold) caused Boss to end the pedal.

The manner in which it operates is novel, and we think Boss did a poor job of explaining how the controls work. Those who purchased and used the pedal were unaware of how to use it and as a result usually were disappointed by the outcome. We hope this wiki page helps dispel some confusion.

As described above, the Boss XT-2 Xtortion is no longer being made.


Image from Bossarea.com
  • Knob 1 - "Level": controls the volume output level of your guitar signal.
  • Knob 2 - "Contour": adjusts the frequency that gets cut or boosted. Fully counter-clockwise is bass frequencies, fully clockwise is treble frequencies.
  • Knob 3 - "Punch": adjusts the level of the frequency selected by the Contour control. Fully counter-clockwise cuts; fully clockwise boosts.
  • Knob 4 - "Dist": controls distortion gain from moderate to extreme.
  • Footswitch - "On/Off": Toggles the pedal on and off.


Like all Boss pedals, the XT-2 has a buffered bypass.

General Information

So we equate the operation of the XT-2 Xtortion as a distortion pedal plus a fixed wah-wah filter that is set by the contour and punch controls. It's easy to think of the Xtortion as a distortion pedal hooked into an MXR QZone pedal. The biggest clue as to it operating in such a manner is the "Fixed Wah" setting, shown on page 13 of the Owner's Manual.

If we look at the schematic, it seems like it would be a bit odd to describe the tone stack "like a fixed wah" because the topology of the schematic doesn't follow the typical schematic for a wah-wah. However, we also need to recognize that the usual wah-wah pedal with an inductor ([Vox] or [Crybaby]) is only the most well-known because it was the first and the most copied. If we look at the TycoBrahe Parachute Wah, we see something entirely different: a wah-wah pedal powered by integrated circuits (ICs) and no inductor. So the the topology can make a bit more sense when we also realize that we don't just have a fixed wah, but a fixed wah-style tone control combined with a distortion circuit.

Because of the negative opinion many people have of this pedal, it is a candidate for the Bad Device Chain Challenge.

Pedal Manual

Phase Inversion: No

We don't see any electronic components aligned in this schematic that would inverse phase, so we currently declare this pedal as not inverting phase. Of course this will have to be put on an oscilliscope to verify real-world results.

Schematic ID Electronic Part Action Phase State
Q2 - Does not Invert Original
Q1 - Does not Invert Original
IC2.2 - Does not Invert Original
IC2.1 - Does not Invert Original
IC1.2 - Does not Invert Original
IC1.1 - Does not Invert Original
IC3.1 - Does not Invert Original
IC3.2 - Does not Invert Original
Q11 - Does not Invert Original
Q4 - Does not Invert Original
Q5 - Does not Invert Original

There is a second "Q3" connected to the emitter of the actual Q3. This second Q3 can be found on the right side of the schematic. This transistor should be "Q6" and all subsequent transistors (Q8 thru Q11) should be renumbered accordingly (Q7 to Q10).


Assumed Public Domain, unaware of any Copyright claims by Taber


We are currently unaware of any artists actively using the pedal now, or who have in the past.

Additional Sources
  1. http://www.bossarea.com/boss-xt-2-xtortion/
  2. http://www.freeinfosociety.com/electronics/schemview.php?id=2321