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
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Price paid: $ 59.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center Totowa

Sound — 9
I can get some pretty sweet sounds out of this pedal. I run my Ibanez RG321MH through the Boss DS-1 into my Marshall MG10CD. I got this pedal because, frankly, the Marshall MG series blows. Overdrive sounds like someone's dying (and not in a good way), so during Guitar Center's president's day sale I purchased this pedal for 30 bucks. For another 30 I got the adapter and 3 foot cable I need to run it all. I plugged this pedal into my amps clean channel when I got home and found some really killer Ramones tones right outta the box. I tweaked some knobs a bit and was able to get a Good Motorhead tone. Tweaked the knobs again and made "Smells Like Teen Spirit" come to life. I thought, "Pretty sweet tones, but can it handles Slipknot?" Cranked the distortion about 3-4 o'clock, width all the way, and tone at about 9-10 o'clock and made "Duality" sound sooo good. I've been satisfied with the sounds from this ever since. Once I upgrade to a Tube Amp (and modified the pedal slightly) this pedal will be even more vibrant! this is gunna sound stupid, but I found out something cool when I first demoed this pedal at GC. I was playing it through a Crate amp(which sucked clean) and I was using a MIM Telecaster. I was doing some Alice in Chains songs when my dumb ass cousin goes "New pedal." Before clicking off the DS-1, he clicked on the DS-2. I was like "Dude, what the hell!" I mean, the whole reason I went to Guitar Center was to try this pedal, not for HIM to BS with stuff. Before I could say anything else, I hit a power chord and shuddered: I had found the most low end tone ever. Playing through a Telecaster I was albe to play some Slipknot and Cannibal Corpse riffs to a T. Now I know that running both a DS-1 and a DS-2 will create mega-metal riffs!

Overall Impression — 9
Because I play primarily metal, rock, and hard rock since each genres conception, I needed a versatile pedal. The Boss DS-1 fits this bill. Plus, it's not even 50 bucks! I've been playing now for about 8 months (self-taught) and I've been using gear I bought for dirt cheap, so my sound isn't the greatest. This pedal more than makes up for. And at 40 bucks at Guitar Center, you can't go wrong. I may wind up either altering the pedal slightly or upgrading to something new, Who knows!

Reliability & Durability — 10
I've learned in my year of guitar self-tutalage that Boss pedals are built like tanks: seriously. I've dropped the pedal on different surfaces and it still has yet to dent. Would I use this as a gig without a backup? Like most things, hell no. You never know when something might go wrong. However, I doubt this pedal will wear out fast. If I went to a gig, I'd use this one as my stock pedal, and carry a "modified" pedal as a backup.

Ease of Use — 10
It doesn't get much simpler than the Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal. Three knobs: tone, level, and distortion. Operates by pressing on the pedal. Manual provides some settings for different styles, but I find it best to take those and tweak them to your liking. You can download upgrades from www.indyguitarist.com if you are unsatisfied with the tone of the pedal, but I doubt that will happen soon.

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