Boss Waza Craft Pedals: The Ultimate Guide

Boss pedals are probably the most popular in the game and are a piece of gear we’ve all had on our pedalboards at least at some point in our guitar journey. Their wide range of different effects, all in colorful cases, paired with the professional quality that characterizes the brand has earned them a deserved spot in guitar-head culture. In this article, Ramiro Somosierra from GearAficionado will tell you everything you need to know about the Waza Craft line, Boss’ take on boutique pedals.

Spoiler alert: They are amazing.

What are Boss Waza Craft Pedals?

The Waza Craft line pedals from Boss are reimaginings of the brand’s classics. These reissues are built with premium analogue components and present custom variations that enhance the traditional sound of these models. Boss describes them as ‘hot-rodded’ versions of old classics. From the Blues Driver to the Metal Zone, to the classic Vibrato and Chorus, they all have their ‘Waza’ version and let me tell you, they sound great.

Boss Waza Craft Pedals: The Ultimate Guide

What does the term ‘Waza’ mean?

Waza is a Japanese term that means ‘art and technique’, and it’s represented on the front of these pedals with a kanji. Kanjis are ideograms used in the Japanese language to represent ideas or syllables. As I mentioned earlier, the whole concept behind this product line is quality and craftsmanship, which is why I consider it an invasion of the boutique market by Boss.

Boss Waza Craft Pedals: The Ultimate Guide

A brief history of Waza Craft pedals

Waza Craft pedals were introduced in 2014 as an experiment to show off Boss’ engineering capabilities when they don’t have to work within the constraints of price or the mass availability of materials. Needless to say, the experiment was successful and gained a permanent space in the Boss lineup. The concept, as they state on their website, is to squeeze as much tone as possible out of the original designs, and make no compromises while doing so. Since their launch, these pedals have been a go-to for many musicians that were already using the classic versions of their favourite pedals. The idea behind Waza pedals is a no-brainer for any Boss fan that can’t live without some of those colourful pedals in their rig.

What makes Boss Waza Craft pedals special?

To begin with, and as their name suggests, Waza pedals are made in Japan, instead of Taiwan where mass-produced Boss FX units are usually manufactured. Another special feature, and perhaps my favourite, is that all these pedals come with a switch that lets you change between their ‘classic’ mode, and a ‘custom’ mode. These custom modes are a slightly different take on the original sound of the pedal, specially crafted by Boss engineers with players in mind. Now, one could think that the ‘classic’, default setting would sound and feel like the original non-Waza pedal, but that’s not quite true. You see, these higher-end pedals use premium buffers and better components than your regular off-the-shelve Taiwanese Boss pedal – features that help keep your rig’s signal intact, and that ultimately reduce noise and interference.

Boss Waza Craft Pedals: The Ultimate Guide

Are Boss Waza Craft pedals actually better?

Objectively, Waza Craft pedals are better constructed and use higher-end components. This is obviously reflected in the tone they deliver and the lower noise thresholds they present. Of course, reliability is also an important factor that these higher-end versions strive to provide.

Now, ‘better’ can also be subjective. If you are looking for the best of the best, and you already love these Boss pedal models, by all means, go for one of these hot-rodded versions. If you’ve never used any Boss pedals, I would recommend you first start out with the standard versions, and if they work out for you, you can always upgrade.

How much more expensive are Boss Waza Craft pedals?

The price between normal Boss pedals and their Waza Craft versions varies from model to model, however, you can expect the higher-end alternatives to be 80% percent higher, or even double the price of standard ones. You are, however, getting the best of the best, and you’d expect to pay the same amount for a comparable boutique pedal from another brand anyway.

Are Waza pedals limited editions?

No, most Waza pedals are not limited editions. They are a complete and stable line of Boss pedals built using high-end components and construction methods, and are marketed at a higher price. This, however, doesn’t mean that the roster will stay untouched forever. Companies are always trying out new things. For instance, there have been limited edition runs of certain pedals such as the Tone Bender TB-2W.

Boss Waza Craft Pedals: The Ultimate Guide

Does every Waza Craft pedal have a modern cheaper equivalent?

No, not every Waza Craft pedal has a modern Taiwanese alternative at a more affordable price. This is another great thing Boss did for all the fans of classic discontinued units such as the FZ-1. So if you are looking to replace or get a backup for one of your vintage Boss pedals, maybe you’ll find an alternative in the Waza lineup.

Other Waza Craft products

Finally, the Waza line from Boss is not limited to pedals. It is a brand that, lately, Boss has started to incorporate in other product lines such as the Waza-Air Wireless headphone amp, and other amps and cabinets from their lineup. The concept is always the same: it is the best of the best, with maximum attention to detail, and love for the gear-making craft.

Do you own any of these special pedals? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!

See also…

» Boss Waza Craft Pedals
» Boss Waza Craft Products
» Boss Guitar Effects
» Boss products
» Guitar Gear

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» This is Why the Boss Waza-Air is a Must-Have for Guitarists

Guest Blogger Ramiro Somosierra
Ramiro Somosierra is an Argentinian musician, and the founder and editor of GearAficionado, an online music magazine. With over 20 years of guitar experience, he has decided to teach everything he knows about his passion online. On his website, he shares all the secrets to crafting an amazing guitar tone, how to improve as a guitar player, and being a musician in general.
1 response
  1. Paul says:

    Well……the wazas!
    I got the..
    TUNER of course

    what I wish boss release in the waza series is
    1. tremolo
    2. compressor sustainer
    3. reverb

    this completed boss waza collection will cover all MY GUITAR AND BASS PEDAL NEEDS
    the wazas r all superb in qlty. built like a tank to last. all upgrades add significant value and I predict that within the next months some if not all will be highly sought by all collectors

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