DS-1 Distortion review by Boss

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (443 votes)
Boss: DS-1 Distortion

Price paid: $ 51.35

Purchased from: Long and Mcquade

Sound — 10
For a while after I bought this pedal, I didn't like it because I was getting a really thin metallic distortion with it. Finally, I realized that it was because I was putting the tone near full all the time. I would suggest keeping the tone knob around or below half way. This pedal is quite versatile: I can get a nice crunchy distortion, a fairly heavy metally distoriton, nice modern-rock distortion, a punk distortion. I can almost get a nice overdrive-like sound. I also use this as a boost when playing lead parts in my band when I don't really need a distortion, but just enough boost to cut through the rhythm guitar. You might not be able to get a distortion for metal, but you can always try a different pedal for that.

Overall Impression — 8
I play basically any kind of rock and also some blues. This pedal isn't great for blues obviously, but it's not too far off from the blues drive. If you're a blues player, go with an Overdrive pedal. I wish I had tried more pedals because I might have chosen something else. However, I am very happy with this pedal. If it were stolen, I don't know if I would buy this again. I might use the distortion on my amp (with a footswitch my current amp is not footswitchable so I bought this pedal) and get an Overdrive pedal for lead boosts.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have played this live without a backup and I use it with my band for rehearsals frequently. This thing is built like a tank as you would expect from a Boss stompbox.

Ease of Use — 10
This pedal is easy to use: you step on it and it has three knobs. There was a manual, but I don't think I read it "thoroughly" (I think they show you a few ways to get some nice sounds with the pedal).

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