DS-1 Distortion review by Boss

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (442 votes)
Boss: DS-1 Distortion

Price paid: $ 40

Sound — 6
It's a pretty decent distortion, but I wish it had a little more bottom end to give it a fuller, richer sound. If you have an EQ pedal along with this then it can sound great. You can find a variety of tones from mellower bluesy distortion to really brittle crunchy sounding distortion. However, it is not very good for a Tubescreamer like sound, and is definitely a distortion pedal rather than an Overdrive. I've tried using it to overdrive an amp that's already distorted for lead work, and it gets pretty noisy.

Overall Impression — 7
It's good for a starters distortion pedal, but I find I want a warmer sound. It's definitely durable and good for a variety of sounds. Then if you ever get bored with it, you can always try modding it (I might) to get a different sound. All in all, very useful, and it will definitely last you.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It's made from thick metal, a hippopotamus could use it for a three hour gig and afterwards it would still be fine. You can be really confident that it won't break on you. This is pretty true for all of Boss' pedals. Really good quality build, excellent enclosure, etc.

Ease of Use — 9
The 3 knob set-up is pretty straight forward. There's tone, drive, and level controls. The switch is very good as well, and batteries are easy to change. As far as dialing in your tone, it's hard to get exactly what you're looking for with this pedal. However, it's so straight-forward you should easily be able to get in the ballpark of what you're looking for in a few seconds.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    E_squared wrote: Can anyone suggest where I should set the knobs on here to get a Nirvana sound? I've been messing with this pedal and I can get it to sound pretty close to Nirvana, but not quite there. Any ideas?
    distortion and level to max tone between 12 and 1 oclock