DS-1 Distortion review by Boss

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (443 votes)
Boss: DS-1 Distortion
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Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Sound — 8
I have used the Boss DS-1 with a Squire Standard Stratocaster thru two different amps, a First-Act Practice amp and a Johnson Reptone15. The sound varied upon these different amps. The pedal can get a little noisy on the highest distortion, but still sounds good. The effects are strong, but when it comes to trying to get that perfect amount of distortion, it can't get thick and creamy, but it can get noisy and loud. I heard that Kurt Cobain of Nirvana used this pedal, so I naturally tried some Nirvana songs with the pedal. It did most of the songs justice, but as I played some songs from the bands album In Utero, it was not thick enough to play the songs. The distortion from this pedal is good, but don't expect it to sound Thick and Creamy, but expect it to definetly loud and noisy.

Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing styles from Alternative to hard rock, so the DS is a good match for my hard rock tastes, but does not have the creamy distortion that I wish I sometimes had. I have been playing for over three years and I own 2 other pedals, a Rocktron TriWah and a DOD Grunge Distortion. I wish I had asked for a sound test, though so I could have saw what I would have been stuck with. If it were stolen I would buy it again, but if it was lost, I simply would wait untill it showed up. I didn't compare the DS to any other products, I wish I did though.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I would definetly depend on my Boss DS-1 to be reliable and durable. I would definetely use it on a gig without a backup. The people at Boss certinly know how to make an indestructible pedal. I have thrown it, stomped on it, poured water on it (by accident) and it still sounds the same. 100% satisfied.

Ease of Use — 7
The Boss DS-1 is very easy to use, but it's simplicity may sometimes get in the way of finding a better tone of distortion. It comes with a Level knob (for volume), tone knob, and a Distortion knob. It's as simple as that, not complicated, but not complicated enough.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    stradivari310
    synzacky7 wrote: so would this pedal be good for pop punk?
    you can use anything for pop-punk, really.
    bokuho
    x_themetalfan_x wrote: This + EQ + Valve Junior = Me being happy with my tone for the first time in a long time.
    Pretty much this. This DS-1 blows if you over-complicate things and add it in with a ton of other effects and are driving the amp hot too, but if you keep your pre-amp simple and don't abuse too many other effects, this DS-1 is a thing of beauty. I usually prefer overdrive to distortion, but the DS-1 gives most OD pedals a run for their money, when it's used right.
    Logan_B
    Okay so ive been playing guitar for a while now...electric for a year anyways but thats not the point! Which pedal would you reccomend....this one or the Boss MetalCore or whatever its called