DS-1 Distortion review by Boss

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (442 votes)
Boss: DS-1 Distortion

Price paid: $ 82.35

Purchased from: Soundcontrol - Edinburgh

Sound — 9
I use it with a Fender Mexican Strat, with maple fretboard (very good guitar). I use it through either a 15W Crate amp for practise or through a Marshall or Fender 30W amp at band practise. With the Crate it's okay but since that's only a practise amp it give a bit of as tinny sound. With a 30W or above, however, it sounds warm, deep and powerful. Easy to get a grungy, sustained sound, a bit like Cobain used. I think it sounds better than either or the 30W amps distortion, by far! The only problem I had with it was after listening to the sound clips on the Boss website. The 'Mellow' setting is really hard to replicate. But I also own a Boss 'CS-3 Compressor' and if you put that with the DS-1 you can get lovely warm sounds, very much like Overdrive.

Overall Impression — 9
Very good for any classic or modern rock. Bands like The Strokes, Nirvana, The Kinks, some Chili Peppers and The White Stripes are all ideal for this pedal. I felt this had more sonic range than the Boss Overdrive I tried. Only problem with it is that it struggles to give a mellow sound, but if you wanted that you would be using an Overdrive or bluesbreaker. Used with a compresser, though, you can get any sound you could possibly want, except for screamo-death-hard/grindcore-metal.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It's a Boss. The only backup you need is extra batteries for playing a gig. Mine have lasted 5 months of frequent playing though.

Ease of Use — 10
This pedal is brilliant for most the music I play grunge, rock, garage and punk. The manual gave several settings, some were useless for me but it all depends on the styles you like. If you've bought this pedal there is almost certainly going to be a setting in the manual that you like. Three knobs, how hard can it be? Manual tells you what each knob actually does but an explination is not really needed, it's not like it's a phaser or anything.

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