SD-1 Super Overdrive Review

manufacturer: Boss date: 10/03/2012 category: Guitar Effects
Boss: SD-1 Super Overdrive
The SD-1 produces the warm, smooth distortion of an overdriven tube amplifier while maintaining the subtle nuances of your picking technique. Used by countless professionals.
 Sound: 8.6
 Overall Impression: 8.8
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Ease of Use: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 8.9 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.1 
 Users rating:
 8.7 
 Votes:
 116 
reviews (21) pictures (2) 55 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 08, 2005
6 of 10 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: It has 3 knobs, 1 for volume, 1 for tone and 1 for the drive. The manual does a good job but then if you are a seasoned guitarist you won't even use it. // 10

Sound: I am using an Ibanez SZ320 through a Marshall CDR15 amp. The amp doesn't have a good distortion in the first place and thus I was in search of a distortion pedal. I tried the Danelectro pedals with Boss DS-1 and SD-1, in the end I decided on the latter. 3 things that affect my decision, the ease of use, the reliability of the unit and definitely the sound it produce. I was looking for a warmth kind of Overdrive (light distortion) which is smooth in its sound and does not alter my guitar tone. This pedal does it all. It can produce the warmth and solid rock tones. It can also play the blues well but it is definitely not in the territory of metal or any heavy distortion. It can even act as a boost and can be used together with the amp distortion to give a variety of tones. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I don't gig as of now but I would certainly use it without backup provided I bring spare batteries. It is definitely a solid construction able to withstand any punishment. // 10

Overall Impression: I play blues, rock (classic, punk, hard, soft) and some pop and country songs. It is absolutely a good match for me. I have been playing for a year or less. If it were stolen I will definitely buy it again cos it has lots of use. I like the sound shaping it does but there is an extent as to how it can change a sound. I don't quite like its colour though. I compared it to the DS-1 and choose it over the DS-1 because it has a more old school rock driven kind of sound and it is smooth. Compared to Danelectro distortion or Overdrive pedal, it beats them all. It is just simple and good for beginners. // 10

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overall: 7.3
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: darkarbiter7, on february 02, 2008
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 25

Purchased from: Another UG member

Ease of Use: It's an Overdrive, it's really easy to use. But, the next problem is getting a good sound out of it. There are very few settings that sound good with it. Either it's too muddy or too harsh. Finding that sweet spot is difficult. I also found that it can't be a good volume booster. With the level cranked, and the gain down, you get a very small volume boost. the only way to get more volume out of it is to crank up the Drive too, but that doesn't make it a volume boost anymore. // 7

Sound: I am using it with my trusty Fender strat and Peavey classic 50. The best aspect of this Overdrive is that it's not real noisy. Anyways, with everything set at noon, this pedal is passable at best. Tone freaks like me (and half of the UG gear forums), will not like it. It's real harsh (not in the good way) and unmusical. But, I dialed the tone back all the way, and set the Drive to below 1/4. This gives it a smooth, warm, tubey tone. But, the problem is, you can't dial in any more gain without it becoming unmusical again. The sound overall is very "meh". The point of a good Overdrive is getting several different good tones, not just one. The general Overdrive voicing is quite sterile and sandpapery, sort of like a cheap solidstate amp. And, it doesn't provide much of a clean volume boost at all. It gives a very very marginal volume boost. If you are boosting your amp, get a tubescreamer. The sound just isn't good, but can achieve passable tones. But, I'll say it again, tone freaks won't like this. // 6

Reliability & Durability: It's a Boss, it's a tank. Not as much of a tank as my DigiTech screamin blues, but pretty close. I probably wouldn't even gig with it. not because of bad durability, but because of the sound. But, it's a tank of a pedal, and nearly indestructable (like all Boss stompboxes). If I would gig with it, I don't think I'd need a backup. // 9

Overall Impression: I usually play blues and rock. This isn't a very good match. But, the only decent tone one can get out of it is passable for some blues OD, so I guess it fits the blues genre decently. If it were stolen or lost, I think I'd get something else. I think this pedal would become much better if it were modded. Luckily, for SD1 owners, there are plenty of affordable mod kits going around for the SD1. I've compared it side by side with my DigiTech screamin blues (similar price). And the screamin blues kills it in the Overdrive department. The SB also slaughters the SD1 in amount of gain too, reaching a nice crunchy distortion when the gain is dialed up. Overall, If you have 50 bucks, I'd go with a DigiTech Bad Monkey or screamin blues. But if you're a modder, I'd go with an Ibanez TS7 or if you don't want a TS, I guess go with the SD1. // 7

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overall: 9
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: Neon Knight, on october 10, 2005
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 50

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Ease of Use: Three knobs, drive, tone and level so naturally of course the pedal is easy as hell to use. The manual isn't so good, it basically explains the function of each knob but dosent give any examples of usable settings, but that's cool the pedal is so easy to use you don't need a manual. // 10

Sound: I'm pretty broke most of the time and my rig portrays that, I use a Marshall MG15CD (junk), an Ibanez GRX20 (quite good for such a cheap guitar), a Dunlop Crybaby and this pedal. I got the pedal because I was sick of walking to my amp to turn on and off the drive and sick of the muddy tone I got from the offending Marshall. This pedal fixed my problem although not as well as I hoped. As a stand-alone pedal the Boss SD-1 is mediocre especially when thrown in front of a lame solid state. As usual like almost any thing guitar related it sounds much better in front of a tube amp however still not amazing, that is until you use it as a booster. Yup throw this baby in front of an overdriven tube amp and prepare yourself for sweet harmonics, sustain for days and a lead tone that can slice a block of steel in half without any major colouring of your tone. Since boosting is what this stomp box was designed to do I give it a 8 (the only reason it's not a 10 is because it sucks your tone when your not using it). // 8

Reliability & Durability: It's a Boss, I need not say any more. // 10

Overall Impression: I play mostly classic rock and metal, and if used correctly this pedal is a good match. A good match is namely boosting an already overdriven tube amp. If this pedal was lost I would probably buy it again, or maybe the MXR Zakk Wylde Overdrive instead. All in all great value for your money. // 8

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overall: 9.3
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: rydaflyguy03, on october 26, 2007
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 46

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Ease of Use: Very easy to use, basic Boss pedal. No upgrades done, and none needed. It does come with a manual but it is very basic, like how to plug your guitar and amp into it, etc. It is very easy to get a good sound out of, only 3 simple knobs and basic Boss format. // 9

Sound: I play an Ibanez RG-350 with the stock pickups through a heavily modded Epiphone Valve Junior. This overdrive pedal did exactly what I wanted it to do, give it that boost to be able to play metal. Before the pedal it could do 80s metal like Metallica and Black Sabbath, but now it has range. It also works well to boost a clean sound for the perfect classic rock tone. This pedal is pretty dark sound and cuts a little bit of the bass sound but it's excellent for what I play. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Seems dependable. I would definitely gig with out a backup but I've never owned a Boss pedal before so I don't know. It is incased in metal and is very sturdy so I would assume that it is very durable. Also has rubber on the pedal part and on the bottoms so it doesn't slip around or anything like that. // 8

Overall Impression: Perfect match for the styles of music I play, pretty versatile. If it were stolen I would definitely buy another one, I've tried the DigiTech Bad Monkey and this thing is far better in my opinion and is the same price. I think this could definitely be compared to the ts9 or even the 808 for that matter. Execellent overall. // 10

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overall: 9.8
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: TeleMA50C, on december 07, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 50

Purchased from: Best Buy

Ease of Use: I literally took this pedal out of the box and stuck it in my rig without even changing the knobs (they were all at noon) and it already pretty much nailed my ideal rhythm tone. I brought up the volume a little and rolled off the tone slightly, and voila: beautiful rhythm tone in 30 seconds. // 10

Sound: I'm using this with a 2009 American Standard Telecaster into a 1974 Fender Twin Reverb, and the tone is, well, excellent. I like it better for rhythm playing than my Full-Drive 2. It's really similar in sound to a Full-Drive on Vintage and Standard (not MOSFET) mode, but a little more open and less compressed sounding to me. It's awesome for smooth, warm, and full classic rock rhythm playing. I prefer the FD (or my Big Muff) for leads and the Big Muff for heavier single note rhythm playing, but for rock chords and lighter single note rhythms, this is exactly how I want to sound. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It's a Boss. // 10

Overall Impression: I'm super impressed. I play classic rock, prog (Rush, Yes), indie, jazz blues, and almost anything else, and this works in many contexts. It's a perfect low/medium gain rhythm sound if you like smooth tones. If you want lots of crunch, you might should look elsewhere (or at an amp), but for me, the SD-1 gives me the rhythm tone I want. And for 50 dollars... Great purchase. // 10

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overall: 10
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: excalibur672, on july 30, 2005
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: The SD-1 produces the warm, smooth distortion of an overdriven tube amplifier while maintaining the subtle nuances of your picking technique. Used by countless professionals. Smooth, round, fat distortion the sound of tubes being pushed past their limits. The overdriven sound that the electric blues and rock were built on. That's the sound you'll get with the Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive pedal. Its unique asymmetric Overdrive circuitry delivers a genuine Overdrive effect for a classic guitar sound that still maintains the subtle nuances of your picking technique. And so you can get your tone just right, there's a Tone control knob between the level and drive knobs. No, there's nothing complicated about this pedal just some great engineering and a sound that stands the test of time. A lot of digital distortions out there could take a lesson from the SD-1. // 10

Sound: I'm just plugging straight from my Strat to my amp with this. It did not affect the tone (except for a slight loss in treble that took me placing my head to the amp and running the pedal of to without the pedal for nearly a half and hour. Waste of time for something that is easily negligeble). It has a warm Overdrive sound and is very strong. It's a great "milder" sound that allows the guitar to be easily distinguished. Great as a booster too. // 10

Overall Impression: I play straight up rock, this is great. I would buy it again, instantaneously, if it were stolen. I love the sound it gives. I like the tone all the way up and drive and level at 12 o clock. It is a great pedal. I love it. // 10

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overall: 10
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 04, 2005
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: First off I'd just like to point out the simplicity of 90% of all Boss pedals. Most Overdrive or distortion stompboxes that are put out by Boss have only 3 knobs: dist./gain (how much crunch is produced), tone (warm, fat tone all the way to Tele twang), and level (volume). A child could get the tone he wants from this pedal. // 10

Sound: Well I play thru either an American 40th Anniversery Strat with a Hotrails pickup in the bridge, and a Les Paul. The amp I have is a Marshall JCM 900 (100 watt version) and I use two Behringer 4x12 cabs. The sound I get out of the amp alone is truely amazing to say the least. But what I do with my SD-1 is turn the gain down to about 2 or 3, pull the tone to about 8 o'clock, and set the volume to about noon. That way when I kick on the SD-1 it boosts my tone tremendously with out making it sound all sloppy. This is great for hard rockers, like me, who want a little more bark in their tone and a bit more bite in their distortion. The pedal isnt noisy at all either. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It's a Boss pedal, so of course this thing will survive nuclear warfare. I would definetly use this without a backup. Bring an extra battery though if you plan on using it live without an adapter (rule-of-thumb: do this with any pedal). I've dropped mine who knows how many times and its still in ship-shape. // 10

Overall Impression: I play hard rock. Much to the style of Blindside. Using this pedal as tone/crunch booster is a very good idea for any rocker who knows what theyre doing. If some punk were to steal my SD-1 Id have no other choice but to go out and buy it again. It'd be the best 40$ I ever spent. I've compared this to Tubescreamers and other tube Overdrive pedals and nothing compares to the SD-1! Get this pedal, wether you use it for a booster like myself or a bluesy distortion, every serious guitarist must have this pedal! // 10

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overall: 9.3
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: fujiwasa, on april 22, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: I got this pedal from a friend for my birthday, even though its for guitar I use it for bass. This pedal is very easy to set up and adjust for you preferred overdriven sound. The sounds can vary greatly with the settings on it. When I was first setting it up for my sound I found that when you run a bass through it you should have the tone knob down all the way to reduce the sound of your fingers sliding across the strings (it sounds nasty). // 10

Sound: The sounds can vary greatly with the settings on it. When I was first setting it up for my sound I found that when you run a bass through it you should have the tone knob down all the way to reduce the sound of your fingers sliding across the strings (it sounds nasty). It sounds good with a guitar, but with a bass you a lot of your bottom end. The "level" knob is very sensitive, when you have it too high and you Switch from clean to overdriven, the overdriven is considerably louder the the clean. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I've kicked this pedal around a lot and I've found no problems with it. I wouldn't use this one on a gig because I'm using it for the wrong instrument, but if I played guitar I would use it without a back up. The battery life is very long, I've used one battery for about 2 months and I don't hear any changes from when I first put in the battery. // 10

Overall Impression: I played a lot of heavier stuff, ex: Avenged Sevenfold, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Metallica, and I find that it fits perfect for all of it (even if I loose a lot of bottom end) If it was stolen and I actually had money to buy another I would probably buy the bass version of this. I love the knob to control how overdriven you want your sounds, but I don't like how sensitive the "level" knob is or the sound you create when you run your fingers across it with the tone knob above "0." I wish Boss made one pedal that had a guitar or bass. // 9

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overall: 10
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: JustinYap, on april 30, 2007
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 60.04

Purchased from: Allan's Music

Ease of Use: Like most Boss pedals, the SD-1 is very easy to use with only 3 knobs: 1 for level (volume), 1 for drive (gain), and 1 for tone (tone colour). And through using just that, you can get a very wide range of sounds out of your amp and guitar, from the pedal being a booster for your solos to it being your main source of Overdrive. This model was first introduced in 1981, and till today, is among the best Overdrive pedals out there. I only took a quick glance at the manual to check out what I'm supposed to do with the battery. And other than that, most seasoned guitarists wouldn't need the manual. // 10

Sound: I've used this pedal with Gibson SGs, Fender Strats, and a couple other guitars, with a Roland Micro-Cube, an old Behringer Valva-State amp, and a very old Fender Princeton (That's no longer in production), and it sounds REALLY sweet with all of them, but I felt the best sound I could get was with the Fender amp. It isn't noisy at all. And my favourite settings on the pedal is having the level full or near full, the Drive at around 2 o' clock, and the tone at around 12 o' clock and with the gain on my amp at around 7 or 8 o' clock, so it adds a lot more power and gain to my amp. And I've also used it as a booster with the gain near 0 and the level up full. I love the tone Eric Clapton had when he was in Cream, and I could get very close to it. I also really like Buddy Guy's tone, and I could pull it off easily with this pedal. I've also found it much easier to get very good pinch harmonics out of my guitar with the pedal. The pedal also increases the sustain on my guitar. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Boss is famous for making extremely durable pedals. And the SD-1 is a testament to that. You could kick it around, spill drinks on it (though I wouldn't recommend you do that), put your whole body weight on it, and it'll still work like a beauty. And the beauty of it is that it only weighs 400g! I've used it several times on my gigs and never had a problem with it. Just remember to always have a spare battery on you. // 10

Overall Impression: I'm a Rock & Roll and Blues guitarist. And this pedal is perfect for me. I've been playing for quite a while. I'm not sure how long, but this pedal really augments my playing, but one thing everyone should keep a note of is not to get carried away with effects pedals, especially during Live performances, cause you'll forget about your playing and the audience and you'll get very messed up with trying to get the "perfect" tone. If it were stolen or lost I'd definitely get a new one without hesitation. What I love most about it is of course the tone and sound it produces and also how sturdy it is. What I'm not too crazy about is that it's yellow. Not a big fan of yellow but that's negligible. // 10

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overall: 8.5
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: Bossman123, on may 09, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 63

Purchased from: Used

Ease of Use: It has 3 knobs, drive, tone and level, couldn't be simpler. It comes with a manuel that is far too detailed for such a simple product but you could hardly fault Boss for that. As with all Boss analogue pedals it can't get less than a 10 for ease of use. It also has the normal Boss battery compartment which is very easy to get atwhen yu need to change a battery. // 10

Sound: I use this with a Vox AC30CC2 and an MIA strat. For me this pedal only does one type of sound, that gritty sound that's perfect for punk and metal. It won't really do smooth Overdrive too well in my experience. The thing I most often use this pedal for is a clean boost because of it's transparency, it's perfect for me to get that Rory Gallagher or Brian May tone. It can be a little noisey when the gain and level are turned up but you'll find that with all ODs and distortions really. I find it tends to suck tone a little but not really enough for anyone to get worried about. I'm giving it a 7 because of it's tone sucking and because it's not VERY versatile. Still sounds great though. // 7

Reliability & Durability: It's Boss, you'll never have to worry about it crapping out or breaking unless you're unbelievably clumsy with your gear. Mine is missing a knob but the guy I bought it off is a bit of a clutz so I can't blame Boss for that. I can be sure that it will last the wear and tear of gigging and never let me down. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall, it's a great pedal and great value for money. If it were stolen I'd certainly buy another one as it's a very important part of my rig. I love it as a booster pedal and find it does everything I want it to very well. I quite like the tone knob as it gives a nice range of treble or bass to the pedal. // 8

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overall: 9.3
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 10, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: This pedal is extremely easy to use. I've been playing for only about a year, and this is my first pedal, and I had no problems with it. Turning the drive knob all the way up along with the level knob gives you harder overdrive, while turning down to the lower levels gives you a nice, warm overdrive. // 10

Sound: This pedal produces great sound. I play music from Led Zeppelin to Fall Out Boy, and I can get the sound of most of the bands I listen to. I haven't noticed any noise from it at all that I wouldn't normally get from my amp, it just sounds great all the time. // 10

Reliability & Durability: As far as durability, this thing looks like I could probably drop it off the roof of my house and then go gig with it. In the reliability department, however, I did find that the battery runs out after only a few days of use, so I would suggest buying the AC adapter. // 8

Overall Impression: This pedal fits most styles of music I play. I can get a warm overdrive or a harder overdrive easily. I think my favorite thing about it is it's simplicity; three knobs. I don't hate anything about it. If it were lost, I'd probably cry until I found it. If it were stolen, I'd find the loser that took it and beat his brains out. Anyone can use this pedal, from beginner to expert. // 9

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overall: 9
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: r0cKst4r666, on december 10, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: This pedal is really easy to use. It's got 3 knobs: one for level (the loudness), one for tone, and one for drive. there wasn't any manual, but I usually play with the Drive around 7, 8, or 9; once in a while 10. With the tone somewhere in the middle, and the level around 7 or 8, it's a real good pedal, despite the price. // 10

Sound: I'm using this pedal out of a Marshall MG50 Amp, and it sounds real good. I play a Gibson SG Special, and it suits the pedal perfect. The pedal can get a bit noisy if the level, drive, and the tone are all the way up. The effects have never quit on me, and always sound full. With this pedal, you can get the sound of AC/DC and more. The distortion is very warm and rich with this pedal. It keeps a crunchy drive, and but doesn't cause too much excess noise. The only thing I dislike is how the distortion really isn't killer. It's warm and smooth, which really comes in handy when I play classic rock. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I, personally, can depend on this pedal. When I practice with my band, it's always with me. I would definitly use it in a gig, (as I have), but I would probably bring a back up, in case of bad batteries or a sudden crap-out. The durability is good; you can really stomp on this thing and it won't break. The reliability is also good, and as I said, it hasn't cut out on me. // 9

Overall Impression: I play anything from classic rock to hardcore and metal. this pedal suits the classic rock styles much better, I will say that. I've been playing for about 2 and a half years, and I own a Gibson SG and a Marshall amp. The only thing I should have asked before buying this product is if the distortion was really deep. It doesn't exactly fit the hardcore music, because it's not killer distortion, just a warm smooth sound. If it were lost or stolen, I would probably buy it again, for the reliability and the nice sound it makes. The thing I love is that it's got 3 dials: very easy to set up. However, on the other hand, I wish that it had more for better Precision on the sound. Overall, I really like this pedal. I would strongly recommend it for anyone who plays '70s, '80s, or '90s rock. // 9

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overall: 9
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: AdamDK, on march 28, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 54.9

Purchased from: Guitar Guitar

Ease of Use: This pedal is very easy to use. It has only three knobs: level, tone and overdrive. Tweaking settings in easy, and in no time, you'll land on a nice sound. The pedal comes with some manuals on the health and safety, how to use the pedal and also some ideas of settings for different styles. // 10

Sound: The sound from this pedal is great. I'm using it with a Epiphone Les Paul Standard (Plus-Top), Vox Valvetronix AD15VT, and it is hooked up with a Boss DS-1, Dunlop GCB-95 Crybaby and a Danelectro Fab Chorus. This pedal is great for blues and classic rock. When I play on the neck pickup of my Les Paul, and turn all the settings on the pedal to twelve 0' Clock, I get a nice fat bluesy tone. With the use of the bridge pickup, and by turning the Drive up to about 3/4, this thing cuts classic rock really well. I generally play '80s rock and metal, with some classic rock and blues, and this cuts well for everything except metal and some '80s rock. This pedal also works great as a boost. By turning the level max, and adding some Drive, when already playing on the dirty channel of an amp, if you push down on the pedal, you're boosted. It's great for boosting solos and also heavy sections of songs. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This pedal has never broke down on me in the year or so I've owned it. I would definitely use it at a gig without a backup, however, I'd hook it up with a 9V adaptor if I played Live, in case the battery ran out. But I definitely reccommend this for Live performances. The boost can also be great live. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall, this pedal is fantastic. If you play blues or classic rock, you need this pedal. It can do a range of nice overdrives, and is very cheap for what you get. If it were stolen, I would definitely buy another. At 30, there is nothing to loose, and it is definitely value for money. // 8

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overall: 8.3
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: Hnayr, on november 13, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 29.99

Purchased from: Musician's Friend

Ease of Use: It is very easy to get the sound you want. it has a range of sounds, and is very sturdy. The knobs are quite decent sized. The LED is not very bright which would be bad for playing in a bar but when switched on you could definitely tell a difference. The manual is not very big, and doesn't really say much honestly. it's more of a figure it out thing, which I did'nt mind playing with it a few hours finding my sweet, fat, crunch I wanted. // 8

Sound: When I bought this pedal, I was using it through a Squier Stratocaster, into a Line6 Spider III. the spider did not have a very good "crunch" sound. this gave me the sound I wanted for like rock and blues that my amp could not deliver. The sound is very authentic sounding, and with the Drive knob turned all the way up, and the level halfway, it sounds like a overdriven tube amp. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Very sturdy. I could rely on this pedal.I have never gigged with this pedal, but I have dropped it from about four feet up and it didn't even dent, and turned right back on. it has about 40 hours on the battery and it hasn't died yet. I may bring a back-up, but that's just me. // 9

Overall Impression: It is perfect for a wide range of styles. Best for blues or classic/light rock. After 2 years of playing I think this was a great investment for me. I now own a Marshall so I don't have a need for it but I still use it to play with and for boost. If stolen, I would buy another. // 8

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overall: 8.5
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: cliff_em_all, on november 26, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 37

Purchased from: Surrey Music.

Ease of Use: You all know the drill with Boss, This has 3 knobs, Volume, Tone and Gain. The Volume controls the Volum (Surprise, Surprise) The tone knob is like the Tone knob on a guitar, right to the left you get a Bass Heavy tone, as you draw the know to the right, you bring in a bit more treble And the Gain controls the amount of Gain that the pedal will push out. And to activate all of this? Just smack it down with your foot and an LED will tell you when it's on. // 9

Sound: Right now my general setup is consisting of either a MIM Strat or a Lag Arkane into a Vox VR30. The pedal is tied in with a few other pedals aswell. The sound I get? To be honest, this OD doesen't really do it for me and right now it's being used as a booster pedal for my Amp's Overdrive and (when I really want to get messy) my Turbo Rat. Don't get me wrong, it has been a great pedal since I bought it, but I have set my eyes on one of Voodoo Labs "Sparkle" Overdrive's and I wouldn't be able to justify both of these. However when considering the price difference, the Boss is still amazing value for money, I also team it up with an Electro Harmonix "Knockout" Equalizer and that can make this thing stand alone as a medium gain dostortion pedal. Its not the boutique tone that you'll hear from a lot of peoples music and if I have to be honest, the "Bad Monkey" by DigiTech Pips this, but only when used in conjunction with a tube amp. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Reliability? My god, you could run a tank on this thing And it woulnd't die, it's standard Boss engineering. The industry standard that has made Boss what they are today, which is a nice bit of Heritage that your stamping on. I haven't had any problems in my year and a half of ownership. Really this does deserve a 10. // 10

Overall Impression: This pedal is fantastic as a first OD and many people go on to keep them, however, there just was not enough clarity and sparkle for me, if I could go back and choose a different one, I would consider the Bad Monkey, But credit to this pedal, it has got me through with a strong enough tone and bulletproof reliability and I think that it would be a great pedal for a first or second OD or even a booster, but I'm just wanting to Upgrade. So I will be looking at the next Boss Twin pedal Overdrive or a Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive. Again, if I could rate on Decibles, this would be around an 8.4, or in the Low eights, but still, it's a cracking pedal for the money. // 8

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overall: 9.3
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: Nicolini109, on january 14, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 30

Purchased from: Musician's Friend

Ease of Use: This pedal is very simple and easy to use. First, you can crank Up the Drive and let the pedal produce it's raw bite, Or turn Up the Level and use minimal Drive to let your amp's natural crunch take over. My particular model is completely stock and has been "broken in" after many years. I feel these babies really Shine when their circuitry has been worn down a bit. // 10

Sound: I am using this pedal with a Gibson LP Standard, an Ibanez Blazer, or an Ibanez full hollow-body guitar. I use either a Laney 2x12 120Watt or a Marshall 2x10 15Watt amplifier. This pedal is not noisy at all and the gain is pretty minimal. Even at high levels, it produces next to no hum or buzz. To some, this effect may not be for you. I have heard it been called "weak" and that some people can't even tell if it's ON or not. That's because they may be looking for something richer. I went from playing the Boss Metal Zone to this, and they are on the opposite ends of the Boss Distortion Grid. As my taste matured, I found this Super Overdrive to be much more versatile than the MT-2. This pedal has been used by Zakk Wylde and Eddie Van Halen, but don't expect their sound to come strictly from this pedal alone. You would need some heavy duty amps and tubes at arena sized volumes to achieve the tones that they can produce. For me, it is used for it's smooth, clean Overdrive and mild distortion. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I can depend on my Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive, without a backup, any day of the week. I have had my Super Overdrive for about eight years and it sounds better than ever. I have used it on numerous occasions for gigs, without backup, and have survived to tell about it. This pedal is amazing and will live a long life if you take care of it and maintain it properly. // 10

Overall Impression: I play an array of musical styles, mostly instrumental rock and jazz fusion. This pedal is great for adding some intensity to my solos or a nice boost for my rhythm patterns. I have been playing for about 11 years and use this pedal with a Boss Compression Sustainer and a Boss Chorus Ensemble. If this pedal were stolen, I would buy another one in an instant. I love this pedal for it's natural and smooth tone, I would compare it to that of Eric Johnson's tone. I really like the fact that it let's your picking style bloom without any discoloration. I play with quick, alternate picking strokes, and this pedal will fully showcase your technique without having any disruption from that what'soever. // 9

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overall: 10
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: JL_Shredder, on march 18, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 50

Purchased from: C.A. House Music

Ease of Use: Being an Overdrive pedal, operation is about as simple as it gets. I own a Peavey Valveking, and it sounds incredible, but I wanted something that would push it just a little harder. This pedal was perfect for that. Honestly, I don't think it's possible to get a bad tone out of this pedal. Boss really did a great job with their packaging as well. It looked like it had just come out of the factory. // 10

Sound: I'm basically running this between my Schecter Damien-7 and the Valveking 100h. There really isn't that much noise unless you crank the level and gain all the way up on a loud amp. As long as you're quick with the guitar's volume knob, you'll have no problem in between songs playing live. This unit gives me that extra bite that really makes solos stand out. It's great for riffs too and I can easily get tones similar to Savatage, Testament, King Diamond, Yngwie Malmsteen, etc. It is also good for blues and classic rock. Basically, it does anything you want if you're playing something that requires a bit of gain in the tone. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This thing is absolutely solid. I've had plenty of pedals that have fallen apart, but I'm sure I could chuck this against a brick wall and still be able to use it. I'm not going to do it however. I'd trust Boss to the ends of the earth with reliability. I always have a backup though. That backup just happens to be the same exact model though. // 10

Overall Impression: I mostly play neoclassical and power metal, but I also have a Morbid Angel ish Death Metal band, and this pedal sounds just as good in that setting. I play anything but country when I'm at home, and this pedal does it all. I've been playing since I was six (14 years now) and I've finally found the perfect Overdrive pedal! I own 2 of these, but if both suddenly disappeared, I'd march right down to CA House and buy another one. It's that good. At first, I was hoping for an Ibanez Tube Screamer. They didn't have those in stock, so I picked this one up, and I'm so glad I did. This IS my sound, and I'm not gonna pay 100 bucks for something that might not be. // 10

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overall: 10
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 11, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 45

Purchased from: On line

Ease of Use: Level set to Max, Drive set to zero and Tone just past midnight. Nothing simpler to use. Out of the box the sound is average but I had mine modded in the states by Keeley. It is now the best and only pedal I use. The Original SD1 came out of Japan and they are really highly rated. Latest incarnation has been lacking in the quality of the original. Modded this pedal is a class act and in my humble opinion is the best Overdrive out there. If you own one check out my settings, especially if you play through a Marshall valve amp. // 10

Sound: JCM DSL 50 WATT Head hooked up to a Marshall 1960 BC Cab with 4 x 25 watt greenbacks. Peavey Wolfgang USA Standard guitar and a modded 1983 Kramer Baretta with Bare Knuckle Pick ups dropped down a whole step. If you want to know how well respected this pedal is just check out the likes of Zakk Wylde and Yngwie Malmsteen. Sometimes it is difficult to comment realistically on a pedal as the range of amplifiers out there is so vast. To really scrutinise the quality of the SD1 I would definitely recommend a valve set up. Solid State amps can never bring out the best in a pedal like the SD1. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Built like a tank and would feel naked without it either gigging or bedroom rocking. Like most Boss gear you can guarantee a life time of performanc. My SD1 had a bright blue LED installed by Keeley and this is great for those situations when the light in a venue is very low. // 10

Overall Impression: I play primarily Hard rock/Heavy metal from the 80's right through to todays bone crushing stuff. Been playing for 25 years. If this pedal was stolen I would purchase another one immediately from Keeley in the states fully modded with Burr Brown chip and true by pass. Pedal is completely silent and transparent when switched off. However, I rarely if ever Switch it off as it is integral to my sound. // 10

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overall: 7.3
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: Slash_metal, on january 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 40

Purchased from: Local Guitar Shop

Ease of Use: With only three dials on the pedal (Level, Drive and Tone) this is a very easy pedal just to take out of the box and find a decent sound on straight out of the box. I can't fault Boss for the ease of use of this pedal, it does what it says on the tin. You may need to tweak for a while to find that sweet spot for your tone but then again I'd bite the hand off a seller who could give me a pedal with no dials that is already perfectly catered to what I need. // 7

Sound: I'm currently using an Ibanez ARZ700 with a Marshall DSL50, this pedal shines when in front of a tube amp, solid state amps will not do justice to an effect like this. I'm using it at the moment as a slight boost for lead playing, the volume increase isn't very significant but it does give a good added gain/sustain for screaming lead tones. You could use this pedal in a lot of ways and I did find it to also give a good blues lead tone when using it pushing an amps clean setting with a Telecaster on the neck pickup. I can see obvious downsides to this pedal being the added background noise when the pedal is engaged and there is a fair bit of loss in the low end when using as a boost, of course you may be looking for that cutting lead sound and feel that the positives outweigh the negatives. // 7

Reliability & Durability: It's a Boss pedal, there's a reason why they've been one of the big boys of the pedal market for so long. It's a heavy duty pedal that can stand up to the abuse of constant live playing, I can't see this thing dying on me in the foreseeable future. Though you should bring spare batteries/a power source for effects if you're a performing artist. // 9

Overall Impression: There are better overdrives, but for the price and reliability the Boss SD-1 puts itself into a unique bracket of pedals where it can be a godsend for musicians looking for a cheap, reliable pedal to suit their needs. I needed a pedal to kick an already overdriven amp with a Les Paul styled guitar fitted with EMG's into the next stage (Already had plenty of gain and didn't want a wall of mud), it gives me what I need. If you're looking for volume boost, you'd be better looking elsewhere. If you want a your guitar to have that extra sustain and bite then this pedal may very well work for you. After trying many boutique overdrives and distortions for such a small job and shelling I ended up kicking myself after finding that sound from such an overlooked and price effective stompbox. If you've never played one then try it, it may not be for you but you may find a use for this little yellow box in your pedalboard. I may only be giving it a 6 but I'd only give a ten to something perfect, and distortion/gain/overdrive are things that are all personal preference and what you need, this pedal will not push a amp on a clean channel to sound like a Mesa Dual Rectifier, like with any pedal try before you buy... But I would buy it again without thought if it got stolen or broke down on me. // 6

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overall: 9.8
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: caiuswilliams, on july 13, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 45

Purchased from: musicroom

Ease of Use: It is an amazing Overdrive pedal, with level (volume of effect), drive (gain) and tone(tone of effect) dials. It runs on battery's for a long time and also works with a DC adapter. It is a great pedal for lead (good for rhythm as well) for rock, blues rock, Hendrix style and punk. It is usable as a blues Drive as well. // 10

Sound: I use a Tokai 80's Strat (a rare guitar) through a Belcat V35RG amp and it sounds great! You can get pretty much all Overdrive tones from it, from low gain Marshall crunch sound, a blues drive, all the way to a Hendrixy lead tone and a hi gain cranked sound. You can get quite a tube like sound out of it as well. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I can depend on it for anything. Its a boss, its built like a brick and could survive a nuclear war. And I have gigged with it and I had no problems! // 10

Overall Impression: I play rock, punk (all lead) and a lot of Hendrixy stuff. I play in a rock band and this works well with all the styles me and my band play. It is my totally dependable lead tone. It's a Boss! // 10

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overall: 6.8
SD-1 Super Overdrive Reviewed by: 90sMetal-Head, on october 03, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 85.99

Purchased from: Bobs Music

Ease of Use: Of the wide variety of pedals out there, this one was very easy to use. It has 3 knobs (tone, level, and drive) which means it doesnt't take a genius to figure out how to use it. It has basic input and output. IF ur looking for a cheap pedal and you want fair quality, its there. // 9

Sound: It doesnt't have a heavy crunch sound but it has a light-medium rock sound to it. Its very sensitive to the settings so you don't have to adjust it very much. The sound is mostly clear depending on the amp and guitar used with it. I use an Ibanez guitar and Fender amp and it sounds good, not really my first choice but good for beginners. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This pedal wouldn't really work in a live gig situation. It doesn't have alot of sound so its more of a practice pedal. However, it did last a while on the battery (9v) and took about 1 month of everyday hard use before it needed to be changed. So definitely for beginners. // 6

Overall Impression: An ok pedal, it wasn't expensive and had an ok sound. It was pretty loud if you cranked everything and had a pretty decent crunch, but still not enough to do big gigs or anything. But if uve got the money you would be better off going with something a little better. // 6

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