DS-1 Distortion review by Boss

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.5 Good
  • Users' score: 7.9 (442 votes)
Boss: DS-1 Distortion

Price paid: $ 97.02

Purchased from: Waltons

Sound — 7
I use this pedal with a Hughes And Kettner Warp 7 head, and a Bogner Shiva. I noticed the tone is extremely trebly once you go past 11 o' clock. Keep it at around 10 or 11 o' clock, and you can get a smooth, bluesy tone with the Gain at around 12 o clock. When the Gain is pushed high, it can get very noisy. Unless you tweak it a lot, you will not get a desirable tone with which you can play with without any other distortion. I primarily use the DS1 as a treble/gain booster for my amps. If you have other effects in your rig, it can be be niggly to decide where to put the DS1. It sounds absolutly rotten if it's placed in front of say, a Wah effect, and sounds extremely horrible if put after any sort of Delay or Modulation effect. Choose wisely, kids.

Overall Impression — 7
I play a lot of different styles. Mostly metal and blues. For blues, I could use the pedal on its own, but for metal, it's far too fizzly to use without combining it with your amp's distortion. I have been playing over 6 years now, and have a lot of equipment, and on every amp I own, I would not use this pedal on its own. It just simply does not hold its own against a decent Amplifiers distortion. Would I buy it again? No. I would prefer to buy a Tubescreamer, or if you're looking for a stand-alone distortion sound, choose a ProCo Rat. I love the fact it's compact, and the fact it's a handy gain/treble booster. I hate the fact it dosent have a nice distortion sound anywhere past 11 on the Tone control.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I'm pretty sure I can depend on it. It's quite rugged, although I noticed that the Power jack may be susceptible to damage if you don't look down while pedal-tapping. It looks fragile to me, maybe it's just my unit. I would use it for a gig without a backup, reason being is that I don't rely on using the pedal too much while playing, just as a booster. But, if you were to gig with this pedal, make sure you use an AC adapter, or bring a few spare batteries, because this unit really sucks battery life. Make sure you unplug your guitar cable out of the pedal while you are'nt using it.

Ease of Use — 7
Relatively easy to use. Three controls, tone, level and gain. It's not actually very easy to get a smooth, stand-alone distortion tone from it. See the Sound section for a better explanation of that. The manual is helpful, has some sample tones to use, and gives good directions on the unit.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I got this one just like two or three days ago. I got it cause i dont have a butt load o' money, and there was a bunch of good reviews for this one. I really like it. Even though it is my first distortion pedal--or any pedal I really like it. It's pretty heavy even though it's not a grunge metal pedal. I really like it though cause it's got a lot of range to it. It can go from really soft to X-tremely heavy. It's great for the price. Go for it!